Fawning Over (Pro-Democrat) Talk Radio Host Tom Joyner

Felicia Lee filed an infomercial-type flatterer of a story about top black radio host Tom Joyner ("Building a Conversation, One Radio Show at a Time") for Tuesday's Arts page.

"For the past 13 years, Mr. Joyner has been the host of 'The Tom Joyner Morning Show,' which is dedicated to offering what he thinks blacks need: an unfiltered conversation about black life and black issues from a black perspective. Far less known outside African-American communities than other radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern, Mr. Joyner has an estimated eight million listeners in a given week in the roughly 120 markets where his show is syndicated, making it the nation's largest black-oriented radio show."


"Unlike Mr. Stern or Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Joyner does not aspire to shock his audience or to hammer home a partisan position. In Mr. Joyner's town square on the radio five mornings a week (with a recap on Saturdays offering highlights of the week's shows), the conversation ranges from speculation about the White House to jokes about Whitney Houston. His guest list in the last year has included former President Bill Clinton; the actors Will Smith and Jamie Foxx; Senator Barack Obama of Illinois; the singers Lionel Richie and Aretha Franklin; the comedian Bill Cosby; the scholars Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker; and Bishop T. D. Jakes, the televangelist."

Judging from that guest list, it sure sounds like Joyner has a "partisan position" towards Democrats.

At times Lee's article reads likeas if she'dnever heard of talk radio - the most mundane details of Joyner's radio show are greeted with wonderment: "Mr. Joyner's show blends such interviews with radio staples like news, sweepstakes and comedy. There's a 'cash call contest' and a humorous soap opera called 'It's Your World,' about a fictional, prosperous all-black town. The four-hour show also includes news analysis with Jacque Reid and celebrity news with Jawn Murray. Mr. Joyner's site, BlackAmericaWeb.com, includes news, surveys and games." News you can use!

"Unlike more strident pundits, Mr. Joyner does not tell listeners what to think. But what Mr. Joyner calls his 'air advocacy' is on display, especially when he joins with Tavis Smiley, the media personality and editor of the best-selling book 'The Covenant With Black America,' who offers twice-weekly commentary on Mr. Joyner's show."

Joyner may or may not "tell listeners what to think," but the guests he features certainly sound as if they'd tell those listeners to vote Democrat: "It is a measure of Mr. Joyner's cultural and political capital that he was the co-host of Mr. Smiley's annual State of the Black Union meeting in Hampton. Mr. Joyner received a standing ovation as he walked onstage and introduced panelists; later, he encouraged audience members to call friends to watch the C-Span broadcast of the event. The gathering attracted a Who's Who that, among many others, included Bruce Gordon, the president and chief executive of the N.A.A.C.P; Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; and Chuck D., who founded the rap group Public Enemy."