Monday, December 3, 2007

NBC News To Black Women: "Never Let A Stripper Refinance Your Home"

[We Watch, So You Don't Have To. And Because You Asked.]

Ok, so I promised after last week's skewering of NBC News' godawful African American Women: Where They Stand series that I'd stop watching the final segments, and wouldn't waste anymore bandwidth on this issue. Two problems however: 1) Hits were through the roof last week. 2) You guys asked me to. Who am I disappoint my loyal readers?

[Editor's Side Note: if you're a fellow blogger and have stolen my "black women, it sucks to be you" tagline, be sure to give me credit at least. Respect the architect.]

The final couple of segments were by-the-numbers and hardly enlightening. There was the bland and non insightful look into the power of the black female vote in South Carolina Friday. Apparently, NBC knows no better source of black intelligentsia than the beauty shop, so many of the viewpoints on this segment were shown from customers there. Note to Mainstream Media: despite whatever message Hollywood has given you about the importance of the black barber/beauty shop as the epicenter of black thought, I can reassure you, no substantive discussion has EVAR occurred there. Period. Unless you count T-Mac vs Kobe, and "how good was that bootleg" as serious critical examinations of the state of black America. Heck, I was there yesterday getting my Ceasar, so I can vouch for this. Conspiracy theories about the death of Sean Taylor? Check. The new Jay-Z album? Check. "The State of Black America"? Uhhm, not so much.

So, can we please kill the "beauty shop soundbytes tell the heart of Black America B.S." for the last time?

Anyways, they figuratively saved the best for last and ran a tired assed story about interracial dating, specifically how many black women are now turning to white guys because they're ostensibly so tired of black men not being about idd'ish. Cue the Something New clip, and more sobering statistics. Interestingly enough, the story centered around a black woman who had admittedly always dated white guys, which I thought more or less killed the alleged premise of the episode, since she probably never exactly "crossed over". But then again, it was the expected ending for a week of lazy assed reporting.

Love breaking racial barriers
Love breaking racial barriers [NBC News Video]

If you're really a glutton for punishment, there's some additional segments on NBC's series website, including an unintentionally hilarious bit about Black women in hip hop, starring Irv Gotti and Melyssa Ford.

My lasting impression of this series is that it was half-assed journalism at its worst. The stories were one-sided, sensationalized, and worst of all, classcist. All the segments seemed to conveniently focus on the professional black female perspective, but when men where critiqued, is was us as a whole. Why not explore some of the issues that lower classed black women have with dating, healthcare, politricks, and the workplace? I guess NBC was more interested in putting its best foot forward. It should have put its best foot somewhere else. But I'm sure last week's rating were through the roof with all the added notoriety, so let's not forget the obvious here: TV is all about ratings. Not objectivity. Not correctly reporting the facts. Not presenting all facets of a story. Nope.

It's all about the Nielsens baby.

I sure hope Raheema Ellis enjoys that Christmas bonus.

Curiously enough, since I left the Tivo Season Pass on for NBC Nightly News, I saw that there was yet another episode recording last night. And lo and behold, even though the Where They Stand Series is technically over, NBC couldn't resist throwing one more lick of salt in the proverbial black woman's wound by running a somewhat old story about a stripper turned CEO here in DC who bilked thousands out of their homes in an elaborate refinancing scheme.

Vulnerable homeowners target of scams
Vulnerable homeowners target of scams [NBC News Video]

NBC's story was decent, but I liked the story the first time I heard it, months ago in the Washington Post.
Joy Jenise Jackson glided down the aisle of the Mayflower Hotel ballroom wearing her handmade oriental silk wedding gown and tiara with Swarovski crystal rhinestones. Trailing her was a 42-foot train, it, too, adorned with bling.

The June 2006 reception was equally glitzy, captured, like the wedding, on video. Patti LaBelle serenaded Jackson, 39, a former exotic dancer turned mortgage broker, and her groom, Kurt Fordham, 38. Later, the video shows the couple and their 360 guests sipping Moet and Cristal champagne and dining on lobster and shrimp fried rice, followed by four wedding cakes. As gifts, the couple gave one of their attendants a Porsche, another a house, and a third a $10,000 check, wedding guests said.

The price tag for the nuptials, Jackson told friends, was nearly $800,000.

It was a fairy tale wedding born of a booming real estate market. But even as Jackson was basking in her platinum wedding, her dreams and those of hundreds of homeowners in the Washington area were crumbling around them -- just like the market.

Investigators and attorneys say it appears that Jackson paid for her wedding and her lavish lifestyle, in part, with money from an elaborate foreclosure rescue business she operated out of her Lanham-based Metropolitan Money Store Corp.

Last month, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of homeowners who say they have collectively lost as much as $60 million in home equity through her business.
While NBC's story really couldn't capture the Ghetto-Fabulousness that is Joy Jackson and the Metropolitan Money Store quite like the August story in the Post (a must-read), I couldn't help but notice the strange juxtaposition of the stories.

After a week of stories that mostly reflected well on the black woman (albeit at the expense of black men), I couldn't help but wonder just who thought it was a good idea to run this completely negative story to cap things off? I mean, this story isn't by any means new, there haven't been any new developments since it broke last Summer. There's a really good chance that the segment NBC News aired was actually old. So, again, I ask, what's up with the timing?

Black women, if you had any doubt, whatsoever, NBC really didn't give an idd'ish about where you stand.

Prince George's Fairy Tale Unravels For Woman at Center of Fraud Probe [WaPost]

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