My CNN appearance and post-show analysis (videos included)


cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

So here's the setup for this post.

We've got:

  • The CNN segment thanks to some incredible technology from RedLasso which lets you search aired TV and radio, clip it and embed it.

  • My own post-show video response. There was a lot that could not be said on the show. Rev. Jackson and Rick Sanchez are some talkative brothas!

  • The show transcript

  • Parting thoughts


The Segment (9 minutes)
Note: the quality is pretty good considering I got the video due to magic. Check out RedLasso and see the crazy stuff they let you do with video.

My Video Response (9 minutes)


Parting Thoughts
I'm so glad I forced in my last comment. Rev. Jackson wanted to end on a note saying Obama lacks substance. That's just not true. You have questions about the man's substance? Ask here in the comments and someone will educate you.Most disturbing was the story immediately following this segment: Britney Spears. I actually called Sanchez on it off air and was like, "Yo, don't do it. You can stop it Rick. You can save America! How can you follow this segment on Obama and go to Britney Spears!?" What a sad way to end.Overall, the experience was a good one. TV is a surreal, fast-paced environment not conducive to the exchange of real ideas, at least not on a show like that, but I'm happy with the points I was able to communicate: the sense of ownership and pride many black folks felt, Obama's criminal justice work, Bush stealing the election in 2000 and Obama having already demonstrated both hope and substance with one major result being increased participation in the democratic process. I tried to point out the substance without directly arguing with the good Rev. about the so-called lack of substance.I wanna thank the Jack & Jill Politics fam especially for the moving comments over the past few days. It's been amazing. Let's keep on pushing.

Update: I want to add that a show like this on CNN isn't the best deliberative forum, nor did I expect it to be. Because of that, I'm even more excited that we have our own media in the form of the blogosphere, web video, etc. Really.

The Show Transcript (click here for the full show including the segment before me, Michael and Jackson showed up).
(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: That's Harlem today.

Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. You know when I first got my first inkling something like this might be coming? About a month ago I was in Miami covering what I thought was a very important story at the time. And I ran across an old-timer at a park. He and I went and shot some baskets. And we were talking about the state of black America.

And this guy is about 70 years old. And he told me that he's never voted before because he doesn't trust the system.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STANFORD PATTON, NEVER VOTED: I have never voted in my life. I ain't seen a God-damned thing to vote for. I'm going to vote for this time, the first time, for Obama, you know, because the one thing he said, he's going to try to get some justice for black men.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Isn't that interesting? It just came out of the blue, by the way.

What I get a sense of today and I think a lot of folks who have been watching this get that same feeling, is, from talking to a lot of African-American voters and reading the blogs, is that Obama's win in Iowa has triggered something that has people waking up today with a certain spring in their step, if you will indulge me.

Joining us now is Baratunde Thurston. He's a comedian and a writer for the blog Jacques and -- Jack and Jill -- not Jacques and Jill -- that would be the French version of it. And then Michael Washington, he's president for the group Harlem for Obama.

Hey, guys, thanks so much for being with us.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I guess congratulations are in order. You both backers?

BARATUNDE THURSTON, COMEDIAN AND BLOGGER: Definitely.

MICHAEL WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT, HARLEM FOR OBAMA: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Yes?

THURSTON: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Is this akin to a color barrier being broken in this country? Is this akin to Joe Louis winning a fight, like my dad used to tell me when I was a kid, or even Ali, or Jackie Robinson breaking into baseball? Is it like that yet?

THURSTON: I think it's a lot like that.

I was telling Michael backstage when he won, when the results came in and they called it, I stood on a chair. I threw my arms in the air.

SANCHEZ: Did you really?

THURSTON: Because I felt like I won.

And in the second you just showed this old man, it actually -- it hurts to see someone who feels so disenfranchised from the process, they wouldn't trust the system at all to even cast a vote and to see that they have been changed, they have been brought into this process because of some hope they have that things might get a little better.

SANCHEZ: Michael, let me bring you into this, because I think there's something interesting going on in terms of people who -- I have been reading all these blogs today by a lot of smart African- American writers, who say, goose bumps, tears in my eyes, that kind of feeling. Can you help us understand that?

WASHINGTON: Yes, I mean, we're on the streets of Harlem. We're doing the outreach.

So, what we find is that a lot of people, you know, up until this, you know, this Iowa win, a lot of people didn't really believe it could happen and especially a lot of people in the African-American community, because a lot of times people make a lot of promises and they say things are going to happen, and it doesn't happen.

But this kind of confirmed that, you know, this is real. This is going to happen, and you can get behind this candidate, because this is the real deal.

SANCHEZ: Well, you guys are young. You're part of the new thing that's going on in this country. You're both younger than I am obviously.

Think about what this must be like, though, for people who have been a part of this struggle for half a century now, people like the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a former presidential candidate himself, who many would say even opened some doors here. And, before that, he was there when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

As a matter of fact, he's with us tonight. He's good enough to join us.

Are you honored to see a guy like this come over here and talk to us about something like this?

You have fought the battles. How are you, sir?

WASHINGTON: Good to see you.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Good to see you, Reverend.

Did you get that feeling? You have been there. You have won primaries. You were an African-American presidential candidate who's actually had this. How is this different from what you did?

REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: It's one of those great moments. He's running a crusade, not merely a campaign.

I will only warn people, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and hope and substance has to come together. Kennedy represented the hope. We had to fight for a public accommodations bill. There is the hope that Obama represents...

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: But let me stop you just for a moment, because something seems -- and you guys correct me if I'm wrong. And you can jump in here and talk to the reverend as well.

It seemed like what you did was astonishing. But, then, I don't know if we can call it the dark ages, but there seemed to be a dip, sir. And there was a period of disillusionment. And I think what these guys are saying is, we may be coming out of that sense of disillusionment now.

JACKSON: Well, we have some need to overcome the structural gaps.

For example, there are 2.2 million Americans in jail. A million are young blacks. That's the substance of our crisis. In every major city, seven of 10 young black males don't finish high school. That means there must be some investment in urban education and choose schools over jails.

And, so, the substance involves budget and agenda. I think Barack represents that hope, that feeling. We must also fight for that substance. And that substance -- Dr. King would say, freedom is not enough. We must pay for equality.

SANCHEZ: Are you -- go ahead.

THURSTON: Just on that point -- and I love that you brought up the prison thing, because that's an issue that very few people even talk about.

One of the pieces of Obama's plan that I was so impressed with, he wants to restore voting rights for ex-felons. With those 2.2 million prisoners....

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Do you think that Bush won the first election because of what happened in Florida? Was there a disenfranchisement there?

(CROSSTALK)

THURSTON: First of all, I don't think Bush won that election. I think he earned a selection from some people.

SANCHEZ: Do you agree with him, Reverend?

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Well, he had the fewest number of votes. He won by a Supreme Court appointment.

THURSTON: Right.

JACKSON: Gore got the most votes.

And really coming now by '88 campaign, Clinton -- Bush and Gore got more white votes than Clinton, didn't get more rainbow votes. And he won.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: But, in 2000 and 2004, Bush, by nullification, took away votes and won.

SANCHEZ: But is that -- maybe what I'm trying to get at here -- Michael, maybe you can help us with this. Is that feeling so entrenched, that that's what people are feeling, a release of pressure now with this Obama win? Is that it?

WASHINGTON: Well, I think, with the Obama win, it's kind of -- you know, it's basically saying, yes, we can do this.

And I think we have to give a lot of credit to, you know, the run that Reverend Jackson did, because he kind of set the -- he set the pace. And now I think Obama has taken that baton and run with it.

JACKSON: So, I think, as a campaign, he's going to keep doing well, but that it remains for us the challenge of structural inequality, black babies, infant mortality rates higher, and life expectancy shorter, health care gap, education gap, income gap, access to capital gap, today, the mortgage foreclosure, subprime, exploitation gap.

These gaps require a real commitment to invest in closing these gaps. That's -- so, hope and substance has to come together.

(CROSSTALK)

WASHINGTON: I totally agree with you, I think.

But we have to do this simultaneously. I don't think we can just look at one aspect of the campaign. And I think we need to be in the forefront. The African-American community needs to be in the forefront, so that we can address this.

JACKSON: I think, for so long, that we have assumed that whites could not rise above their own racial fears.

To see -- I think, tonight, I would say Dr. King would be happy that -- he would be glad that our last night and America rose above its own historic fears. We have been ready for a long time. It seemed like more and more white Americans are getting ready. We have been qualified. Dr. King was qualified.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Especially when you break down the numbers.

JACKSON: We're not changing. America is changing...

(CROSSTALK)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I'm being told we're about out of time, guys. I know we can go on this forever. Are you -- what role are you going to take now that this guy looks like a front-runner, Barack Obama, in his campaign? And I know it's a delicate thing for him because he wants to see these young faces out there, right?

JACKSON: Well, I think it's important, but his campaign must determine strategically where he wants people to fit in the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right.

JACKSON: And those who put them must respect the distance and proximity that he wants. And so far, he has running a campaign where he's tried to bridge that delicate gap.

SANCHEZ: But you're willing to support? You're willing to help? You're willing to endorse, wherever needed?

JACKSON: We've done that already. I'm telling you the real challenge remains. We must connect hope and substance.

BARATUNDE THURSTON, COMEDIAN AND BLOGGER: And I think that he's --

SANCHEZ: Ten seconds.

THURSTON: I think he's done that. What I took away from you yesterday was participation. He got more people in the process.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: There's no doubt, guys.

THURSTON: He got younger people in the process.

SANCHEZ: They're yelling at me in the control room. Sure, they're young. They're independents, women, young --

THURSTON: People have spoken loudly, and I think they will continue. That's why I appreciate his campaign.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're doing a lot in South Carolina.

SANCHEZ: We have a lot more to say tonight. Reverend, thanks so much for being with us, sir. JACKSON: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Well, Baratunde Thurston, Michael Washington and Rev. Jesse Jackson. All of us with this one.

By the way, speaking of New Hampshire primaries, you're going to be able to see all of it right here. Join us Tuesday night for the best political team on TV and results as they happen. That's Tuesday, starting at 8:00 p.m., right here Eastern.

And call this guy towering candidate. Why? Well, can hanging out on top of a 320-foot-high tower get him elected to the U.S. Senate? It's an interesting story. It's a little different than Barack Obama's way, but it's his way, nonetheless.

Later, just when you thought that things couldn't get any worse, we've got this afternoon's breaking news about Britney Spears. We'll bring it to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)