Category Archives: Media

Praise 92.1 Positions Station as Obama Mouthpiece

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

After a six-minute softball segment with President Barack Obama last Wednesday, Praise 92.1 FM is positioning itself as Houston’s liberal talk network with an interview Monday with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Monday’s interview is billed by The Yolanda Adams Morning Show as a discussion on getting out the vote, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, encouraging children to exercise and get active every day.

The problem I have is with the former, not the latter.

For anybody who heard the interview with the president, it is abundantly clear  Praise 92.1, and parent company Radio One, Inc., hope to become Houston’s official mouthpiece for the Obama White House, failing to offer a response to Republicans.

The problem with that is Praise 92.1 bills itself as a Christian inspirational station; I think it is disingenuous to preach the Word, but then fail to seek truth by asking questions from both sides of the aisle.

I don’t like it when Dan Patrick does it at KSEV for Republicans, and I don’t like how Praise 92.1 is doing it there for Democrats.

For anybody who listened to the six minute, 20 second interview, hosts Yolanda Adams and Minister Anthony Valary (“AV”) essentially took the president at face value on his agenda, and even showed their bias through the language they used.

Adams, an award-winning (and amazing, might I add) Gospel artist, accentuated her bias by asking the president to discuss the importance of the election for our people, and declared that we–as in Praise 92.1, Yolanda Adams, Radio One and President Obama–needed the listener’s help to continue Obama’s brand of change in Washington.

AV, on the other hand, did not parse words when he told the president he agreed that Republicans had “driven the economy like a car into the ditch,” despite failing to realize that the worst years for unemployment were marked by Democratic control of Congress.

The pro-Obama language coming from Praise 92.1 is of no surprise, however, when you consider the parent company behind them.

A History of Support for Liberals

Radio One, which operates 53 radio stations in 16 urban markets, has a history of support for liberal politics as it caters to a largely African-American audience.  Rev. Al Sharpton can be heard on The Al Sharpton Show in 18 different markets.

Furthermore, the company’s top brass are unapologetic in their support of liberal Democrat candidates, according to Federal  Election Commission filings.

According to records, Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins was a 2008 donor to President Obama’s campaign, and has contributed to the campaigns of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and New York Rep. Charlie Rangel this cycle.

Radio One Founder and Chairperson Catherine Hughes is also a Democratic donor, formerly supporting Obama’s bid for U.S. Senator, in addition to that of former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is the U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama Administration.

While there is a certain political-racial element we could discuss (Gallup Poll: 93 Percent of Blacks Support Obama), it is the Christian angle that I am more interested in pursuing.

It should be said, and I broach the topic carefully, that the Bible does not signify Jesus Christ’s political affiliation, but it does make clear we ought to work to win people to Christ, not push them away.

The practice of engaging in partisan politics, for Christian media, is potentially dangerous, in my opinion, as it has the potential to turn off people to the message of Jesus Christ, who for all intensive purposes, would probably lump the Congress in with the tax collectors of the day.

Often in political discourse, we see liberals balk at conservative Christian groups, calling for their tax exemptions to be revoked.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, Houston’s more popular Christian radio station, 89.3 KSBJ, does not offer its listeners a partisan agenda, except to engage listeners to vote. Period.

Radio One, which is a publicly traded company and not financially supported by listeners, has every right to present its one-sided view; in this case, because the president is not on the ballot, the FCC’s equal time rule does not apply.

But, just because Praise 92.1 can engage in politicking, there will be a cost.

The Fallout From Praise 92.1’s Politicking

Aside from engaging in  indoctrination, Praise 92.1’s bias will ensure another generation of African-Americans will suffer under a philosophy which says reliance on government rather than responsibility is good for black families.

If liberalism, with its tenets of handouts and entitlements, has been so good, why is unemployment is liberal states tilted disproportionately towards African-Americans?

Furthermore, despite great increases in government under every president since Franklin Roosevelt, why are the poor still not housed, the hungry not fed, and the naked not clothed?  A Great Society it did not become.  Liberalism fails time and time again.

Meanwhile, by engaging a political philosophy that so often maligns the Christian faith, Praise 92.1 does a disservice to its own mission to inspire others for Christ.

The same president Yolanda Adams cheered on as “the coolest” last Wednesday is influenced, unbeknownst to most, by an agenda written by a man who dedicated his work to Satan.  Yes, really.

As a result, some will tune out Praise 92.1 as a result of the station’s Obama bias, and maybe Christianity.

Others, however, will remain faithful to the cause, to the station, and to the president.  And who knows how that will hurt them in the long run.

So, how can we stop Praise 92.1?

First, turn off the station.  It helps not to have the sane go insane listening to something that makes the blood boil.  Second, pray. He listens.  And third, you can hit the station where it hurts.

Because Radio One is not a 501(c)(3) as KSBJ is, they rely on advertisers to keep them afloat. Contact the advertisers and let them know you will not be patronizing their business because of the political message that the radio station supports.

Let them know, in clear words, that it is the radio station that is the problem–Praise 92.1’s agenda can divide the Christian community, and as a result, you wanted to let them know that you will not support their business as long as they support that radio station.

And finally, pray again, for our nation, for Praise 92.1, and for the president.  God is still on the throne, and he moves the hands that move the world.

The Yolanda Adams Morning Show Producer Jay Rodriguez could not reached for comment prior to posting.  I will gladly bring an official response from the show when and if it becomes available.

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Best and Worst Campaign Websites: Harris County Republican Edition

Each election, I am both amazed and appalled by some of the choices of branding political candidates choose to forgo on their campaign signs and websites. While few are excellent, many are notoriously bad. The Harris County Republican slate is no exception.

 

Today, I look at some of the best (and worst) the Harris County GOP has to offer, and a few comments from me to you.  By and large, the Republicans could use a book on CSS for Christmas.

 

The Best

 

Typically, the best Republican websites come from the Congressional incumbents.  They have more money, staff and relevant content on the issues to fill a site.  U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-7) has the most organized site, featuring top-of-the-page navigation, plenty of social media links and buttons calling voters to interact with the campaign, and an overall clean feel.

 

Of all the Republicans in all of Texas, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)‘s website is built to inform and engage.  A Twitter link up top provides easy access, which a left-hand navigation is straight forward with sections for issues and videos. The gigantic Texas flag behind him and the red, white and blue nature of this website screams “I AM RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN 2016.”.  Scary thought, isn’t it?

 

Texas Rep. Patricia Harless (R-126) sets the bar for what every House member’s website should aspire to be. Not only is it clean and classy, in a Texas cowboy kind of way, but it offers her constituents and supporters ways to get in contact with her via email and social networks. Furthermore, bonus points for the very cool tagline: “I believe that limited government means limited spending.”
I hope she will run for higher office at some point, and take this website with her. 🙂

 

The Worst

 

I start the bad section with the Harris County GOP’s party website only because it could be better.  Republicans, by definition, are not very good with the Internet to begin with, so I will try to be brief. But, this site is crammed, very modular in its appearance while also looking very disheveled. My eye doesn’t quite know what to look at, and therefore, I am apt to struggle to focus on one thing; for example, the video embedded (congrats on learning how to embed videos, guys!) at left is so “heavy” in weight, even if I want to look at the buttons at right (which are the second “heaviest” item), I have a hard time focusing.

 

Another point I want to make, thus proving the assertion about the GOP and its slow progress online: While viewing the website’s page source, the webmaster (or creator) illustrated how behind they were by not only taking the time to write out metatag keywords (which, for all intensive purposes, lost importance years ago when it came to SEO and search engines), but alternating between capitalizing keywords, as if they were case sensitive.

 

Remember when I said the Congressional incumbents had the best sites? On the flip side of that, Congressional also-rans (in this case, Republicans challenging standing Democratic incumbents, who no matter how bad they suck, always win) have among the worst. Steve Mueller, God bless him for trying, has nice talking points framed by a website my 10-year-old brother could make if he was learning HTML.

 

Okay, I lied. Not all Republican incumbents have the nicest sites.  Rep. Pete Olson shows just how boring, white bread he can get by filling one of the Republican’s nicest websites with big blocks of text from top to bottom. Olsen is highly prolific, and unless you have the time to read Olson blah blah blah about blah blah blah, you will be turned off by this website.  Olson does get points for breaking out of the red, white and blue motifs, however.

Back when I was with the 1960 Sun Newspapers, I met and spoke with Rep. Gary Elkins on a number of occasions.  His policies, especially in terms of small business, are incredibly sound. But, his website looks like something I tinkered with when I was in my freshman year of high school!  It is a very simple HTML site. I wish he’d do something about this eyesore.

 

In the Harris County judicial races, one judge stands out for a weird navigation feature on their website.  Harris County Judge Vanessa Valasquez, of the 183rd Criminal District Court, relies on this crazy Flash menu which changes at a rate of every 4 seconds.  The image isn’t even shaped like the flap, with a corner virtually cut off. It looks pretty tacky, and for an older voter, probably isn’t clear it is a link.

 

Orlando Sanchez is to the Harris County Republicans as Chris Bell is to the Harris County Democrats: He is always running for something.  And when he throws his hat in the ring, Orlando counts on the above early ’90s HTML website to carry him through, time and time again.  In fact, if you look closely, the “for Harris County Treasurer” part appears to be pixelated, likely because they changed it in Microsoft Paint every time he filed for a new campaign.  The left-hand navigation is very simple, and let’s face it, the site is boring.

 

While Harris County Clerk candidate Stan Stanart is busy vying for Beverly Kaufman’s seat, he is also busy as the Harris County GOP’s IT guy.  And yet, despite being the Computer Whiz-in-Chief, this train wreck of a website is supposed to persuade us to “Stand with Stan.”  The alternating red and blue text is bothersome, the artwork is fuzzy, and the faded American flag looks like some Windows Outlook background. Navigation is simple enough, but the end result leaves much to be desired, Stan.

Oh, and when the September 27th Fundraiser was over, you should have removed the flashing yellow banner. I got my hopes up thinking I was going to get to spend a night with you, Chris Daniel and Paul Bettencourt!
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2 Houston Libertarians Surge in Popularity on KHOU Website

Glass (top) and Townsend (bottom)

Videos featuring Kathie Glass, Libertarian candidate for Texas Governor, and Bob Townsend, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congressional Dist. 7, have surged in viewership on KHOU Channel 11’s website, making them the two most watched videos on the site.

Glass, whose video comes second to Townsend, advocates for border control and getting “our fiscal house in order,” while appealing to disaffected Perry and White voters.

Meanwhile, Townsend takes a hard line against the status quo, who will increase the size and scope of government and trample on the sovereign and Constitutional rights of Texans.

According to a recent Texas Tribune poll, Glass garnered 8 percent support among those polled (797 persons). The poll, taken before an October 19 debate between Glass, Democratic candidate Bill White, and Green Party candidate Deb Shafto, does not reflect what the campaign maintains is an even higher base of support.

Gov. Rick Perry did not appear at the debate, or any debate this election.

Townsend, meanwhile, will face Republican incumbent Rep. John Culberson.

Texas Libertario proudly supports and endorses the Harris County and statewide Libertarian Party ticket, including Kathie Glass for Governor and Bob Townsend for U.S. Congress, Dist. 7.

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Why are TV Networks Pushing Election Coverage Later?

Anybody notice that this year’s mid-term election coverage is being pushed back significantly this year? Here is a sampling:

  • ABC News, 8:3o p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • CBS News, 9 p.m. CST/10 p.m. EST
  • FOX Local, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • NBC News, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST

While we can expect the cable networks to carry the coverage from the first poll closings in the east, I am surprised (although, should I be?) that the networks have opted for such late coverage this year around. CBS’ 9 p.m. start is pretty much the latest election coverage schedule I’ve ever seen in the almost 14 years I have watched elections on TV with vigor.

Nobody is saying it, but I bet all these networks are cognizant of a real kick in the pants Republican and conservative candidates will deliver come next Tuesday, and the liberals who run those networks (ABC, NBC and especially CBS) want to hold on to their hope-y change-y for just a few more moments before the reality sets in.

Think about it this way: In previous election cycles, we’ve had every single network begin election coverage around 7 p.m. CST, and we got to hear talking heads analyze, dissect, spin and most of all, urge western state voters (solidly blue) to get to the polls early.

Without all that urgency, they may be giving away liberal holds to conservatives without a fight. Maybe they have seen polling data nobody else has? I wouldn’t put it past them!