Category Archives: Media

Chicago PD has a secret interrogation “black site”

black site is a location at which a publicly unacknowledged black (or highly classified military/defense) project is conducted.

The term has gained notoriety in recent years in reference to secret prisons operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, which are used by the U.S. government in its War on Terror to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants. The existence of CIA black sites or secret prisons was acknowledged by then-President George W. Bush in a speech on September 6, 2006.

Well, it turns out black sites are not just run by the CIA or outside of the United States, we have a black site right here in Chicago, Illinois, Obama’s hometown! But it took a foreign newspaper, the UK’s The Guardian, to discover that, not the august New York Times or Washington Post.

Chicago PD black site

Homan Square, the Chicago PD’s black site

On Feb. 24, 2015, The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman had an exclusive on the “equivalent of a CIA black site” operated by police in Chicago. Here are excerpts:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. […]

The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.

Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.

“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution. “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”

Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units. […]

A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s.

But in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody.

[…] Chicago police guidelines appear to ban the sorts of practices […] lawyers said occur at Homan Square. A directive titled “Processing Persons Under Department Control” instructs that “investigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process,” and arrestees must be allowed “a reasonable number of telephone calls” to attorneys swiftly “after their arrival at the first place of custody.” Another directive, “Arrestee and In-Custody Communications,” says police supervisors must “allow visitation by attorneys.”

[…] Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods. “I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.

[…] Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report.

Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. 

The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said. “They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”

Writing for The Intercept, Feb. 26, 2015, Juan Thompson describes the experiences of two Chicago black site detainees.

Kory Wright

Kory Wright

Kory Wright, a Chicago resident and computer program analyst, claims that 9 years ago, he spent some 6 brutal hours at Homan Square, zip-tied to a bench in an intentionally overheated room without access to water, phone, or a restroom. He was never read his Miranda rights and his arrest was not put into the police system until after he gave false statements to try and end his ordeal.

Eventually, Wright was taken to Cook County jail, where he was processed and charged with distribution of heroin and cocaine. In the end, the drug charges against Wright were thrown out, though not before he’d spent six months under house arrest because his mother lacked the money to fund a bond for release.

Deandre Hutcherson, a friend of Wright’s swept up in the same police raid, described attacks to his face and genitals. Hutcherson was shackled to a bench and was being interrogated in another room. “He [a Chicago police officer] gets up, walking toward me,” Hutcherson alleges. “I already know what’s finna happen. I brace myself, and he hit me a little bit and then take his foot and stepped on my groin.” According to Hutcherson, the officer struck him two or three times in the face before kicking his penis. “You must think I’m a fucking idiot,” Hutcherson says his attacker told him. Within an hour, Hutcherson, who was in town for his mother’s funeral, faked an asthma attack that unnerved the police. He says they then released him from detention and sent him on his way.

The Chicago Police Department declined to address the specific allegations from Wright and his friend, providing only a general statement denying abuses at Homan Square. “CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility,” the statement read. “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square.”

Kory Wright was attending Wilbur Wright Community College, and taking criminal justice courses, when he was detained at Homan. He says he had hopes of becoming a police officer in the city of Chicago before that June day. His experience at Homan, and his subsequent arrest, caused him to miss a semester of school. Fortunately, Wright recovered, and today, at age 29, he is working on his master’s degree in network engineering at DePaul University. He lives in Bronzeville, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, and is the father of a new baby girl. But the torture he says he suffered at Homan continues to haunt him. “The whole thing caused a rift between me and my mom. I didn’t like being black at all after that, and when I got to DePaul, I started trying to be as white as possible,” a doleful Wright told me. “Being black is a curse.”

Note: Kory Wright is now a programming analyst at Aon Hewitt. Here is his LinkedIn page. Send him a note of encouragement!

H/t Activist Post

~Éowyn

Stop being nice to America-destroying Left

Conservatives, including me, like to blame Obama for everything that’s wrong with America.

But the truth is he wouldn’t be in the White House, ignoring and bypassing Congress by signing more executive orders and memoranda than any U.S. president in history:

  • without MILLIONS of Americans voting him into power, twice!
  • without the willful complicity of the establishment media
  • without the gutless spineless Republicans, and
  • without the approval of MILLIONS of Americans (50% of adults, according to Gallup Poll, still!), despite or because of everything he’s done.

To quote 18th century French diplomat Count Joseph Marie Maistre (1763-1821), “Every nation has the government it deserves.”

In the following op/ed by Michael Cummings for Clash Daily, he perfectly articulates my sentiments.

america_divided

Tired of Losing: No More ‘Benefit of the Doubt’, Decorum for America-Destroying Leftists

Ben Shapiro, attorney, author of Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America, and Brietbart.com editor-at-large, said in a recent column:

“If someone calls you a racist, and you respond by stating that they are a reasonable human being with policy differences, you grant their premise: A reasonable person has called you a racist, which means it is reasonable to call you racist. You lose.”

I am tired of losing.

I am tired of giving people on the Left the benefit of the doubt. Is it not clear they do not mean well? Is it not clear they don’t want the same things as we? Is it not clear they do not wish to arrive at the same destination via a different path? These people are not on our side, and were I in Congress I would not call any member of the opposition party “My honorable friend” or “esteemed colleague.” Decorum be damned.

In the last week we’ve seen former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani get criticized on every news show over his statement that he didn’t think Barack Obama loves America. True Americans cheered as Giuliani didn’t back down when challenged over the days that followed. Even Scott Walker, when asked about what Rudy said of Obama, essentially said, “Ask Obama.” Well done, both of you.

We need more of this, more of calling these people out.

And why shouldn’t we? Barack Obama has done more damage to this country than any president or elected official. We need to tell the truth.

  • He and his perpetually angry wife criticized our country during the 2008 campaign.
  • He began his administration with a trip around the world to apologize for every wrongdoing he believes America has committed.
  • He destroyed the best health care system in the world.
  • He pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving a gaping hole the Islamic State is only happy to fill with the blood and body parts of Jews, Christians, and not-the-right-kind-of-Muslims.
  • He traded five, high value terrorists for a proven Army deserter, some of whose fellow soldiers died looking for him.
  • He has spent more than all other presidents combined.
  • He vetoed a bipartisan bill that would allow the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, bringing more energy independence and jobs to our nation.
  • He pushed the FCC to treat the Internet as a public utility, paving the way not just for speed but content restriction.
  • He granted de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, and set processes in place to provide them tax credits and Social Security.

We know how long this list could get.

Note: Cummings left out Obama abandoning 4 Americans to die in Benghazi; the IRS singling out conservatives for extra scrutiny; the NSA spying on our every email, phonecall, and credit transaction; targeting right-wing Americans as extremist terrorists; promoting sodomy as U.S. foreign policy; imposing gun control via banning bullets by executive action; and much much more. See our “The Obama Chronicles” page.

In every facet of our lives, Barack Obama and people like him on the Left want to control us — never asking if we want to be controlled nor checking with the Constitution on the legality of their actions. Free enterprise, health care, freedom of religion, free Internet, strong military — they destroy everything they touch. In protecting America or our allies from danger, these people have made it clear they want chaos to reign.

I don’t know what else to say other than this: I hate Barack Obama. You can’t call me racist because I hate Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, too. You can’t call me sexist because I hate Harry Reid and Dick Durbin. You can’t call me anti-pervert because I hate Joe Biden.

Do I hate these people personally? No. How could I? I know none of them. But I hate anyone who becomes part of the 1% off the freedoms of the best country this world will ever know, but with every breath they take seek to fundamentally transform it.

Do I hate these people more than the Islamic State? No, but I hold them responsible for the bloodshed painting the entire Middle East.

My hatred is bipartisan. You would like to think that since, for the moment, we still have elections, we could vote these people out and put in place principled and courageous leaders who will keep their multiple and fervent promises to stop Obama. And in 2010 and 2014 we set decades old records in political power shifting by handing Republicans the keys to Congress. Since then, Republicans have taken impeachment and funding (shutdowns) off the table. Please tell me where our negotiating power resides other than at the bottom of the pit in the movie “300.” Save for a few, patriotic stalwarts, I hate the Republicans too.

But I love God, Jesus, and the American people, and with faith in all of these I remain optimistic that while we’re in a really dark part of history, we will see the light.

Armor of God I can do all things through Christ

See also:

~Éowyn

Whiplr, a new Fifty Shades-inspired dating app, helps BDSM fans connect with kinky play partners

photo

DailyMail: Not only has Fifty Shades of Grey brought BDSM to the mainstream, E.L. James’ erotic novel and its film adaptation have inspired a bondage friendly dating app that is similar to Tinder – but kinkier. Whiplr is a free location-based messaging app that discretely allows users to channel their inner Christian Grey by connecting them with people who share similar interests in BDSM or other fetishes.

‘The inspiration comes directly from the kink community where people are looking for ways to find and meet other like-minded people,” Whiplr Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Sevitt told the The Daily Dot in an email. He added: ‘I think the genius of Fifty Shades of Grey was that it tapped into something that was already happening.’

According to the app’s description, it is ‘the world’s first and only location-based messaging app to help you connect with potential play partners online or in person’.

The free download, which was released today (Thursday) on iOS and Android, allows users to message, call and video chat their potential partners without ever having to leave the app’s interface.  ‘Download today and embark on your personal “Fifty Shades of Grey” journey!’ reads the app’s description.

Most importantly the login remains anonymous and private, so users don’t have to worry about Whiplr linking to their Facebook pages or sharing their personal information.  In addition to the app’s secure login, you can keep your messages and videos from falling into the wrong hands thanks to the app’s ability to delete shared content from both your device and the Whiplr user to whom you sent it to.

photo2After joining, users are prompted to upload a photo and fill out a profile that includes gender, location, a ‘kink category’ and level of experience. Preferences are broadly categorized by fashion, objects, behavior, materials, accessories, and sounds, and every experience level – including the merely curious – are welcome. And the truly shy can start a conversation by sending an animated ‘Spark’.

The free version of Whiplr has daily allotments, which allows users to browse up to 100 profiles, start up to 10 chat sessions, initiate three voice or video calls, send three ‘Sparks’ and swipe through 25 profiles over the course of 24 hours. But for those who find themselves spending all their time on Whiplr, the restrictions can be lifted by purchasing monthly subscriptions, which range from $19.95 for a one month of service to $119.95 for a year.

Of course, Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired more than just this a dating app. Since the release of the trilogy’s first book in 2012, companies have been motivated to cater to its fans by offering titillating hotel packages, as well as themed sex toys and lingerie.

With two more films on the way, it was only a matter of time before a company found a way to help people meet their very own Christian Grey.

What could possible go wrong?

See also:

DCG

The erection of Barack Obama

We really must be in the end days.

The President of the United States gives Americans the finger, and picks his nose in public.

Obama gives America the finger

Obama picks nose

The First Lady of the United States scratches her crotch (see “First Lady of Itchy Crotch) and, while delivering a speech at the National Governors’ Conference in the White House, lets snot drip from her nose for a full 10+ minutes. (See “First Lady of Snot”)

First Lady of Snot

Now, I discovered a video showing the President of the United States with a boner.

I kid you not.

EYE BLEACH ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The blurry video, with “CNN” imprinted on it, was uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 21, 2009.

The video clip begins with Obama inside a small commercial airplane. He’s dressed casually, in an open-collar white shirt, no tie, and dark trousers. Since it’s not Air Force One, my guess is the video was taken sometime during the 2008 presidential campaign season.

The video begins with Obama standing at the front of the cabin aisle in full view of the other passengers, talking on a mobile phone.

For some reason, he twirls around, first clockwise, then counter clockwise. At the 0:14 mark, a female voice (a reporter?) can be heard calling from among the passengers: ” . . . Check it out!”

The video next shows Barack Obama with what appears to be an erection (0:15 mark):

Obama boner

After which, instead of sitting down in a seat so as to conceal his erection, Obama puts his left foot on a passenger seat, his boner still plainly visible. (0:16 mark)

Obama boner1

Sound of females laughing in the cabin, and Obama saying, “No flashing.”

More laughter.

Then Obama moves to his right so that his crotch is now blocked by the back of a front row seat. But the Caucasian man in that seat must have had an eyeful.

The video clip repeats itself beginning at 0:41. Pay particular attention at the 0:15 and 0:51 marks.

Some of the commenters on YouTube, male and female, offer to perform fellatio on Obama, the President of the United States.

I am so utterly ashamed for my country . . . .

H/t BirtherReport commenter ACisAC

~Éowyn

Investigative journalist says Obama joined a “gay club” at Occidental College

Charles C. Johnson is an investigative journalist and author (full bio below).

Last night, Johnson went on a Twitter binge, firing off a series of tweets about Obama, including one I’d never seen/heard of before — that Obama joined a homosexual students’ club when he entered Occidental College in southern California in 1979.

Charles Johnson tweet

In his other tweets, Johnson also claims the following:

  • He knows most of the classes Obama took in Occidental College and Columbia University.
  • He knows who “really funded” Obama’s purported biological father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr.’s education at the University of Hawaii.
  • Obama’s roommate at Columbia U., the Pakistani named Sohale Siddiqi, is “gay”.
Barack Obama and Sohale Siqqiqi in 1981

Barack Obama and Sohale Siqqiqi in 1981

  • Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, lived in Pakistan in the 1980s.
  • The FBI had a file on Obama’s maternal grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham.
  • There is no evidence Stanley Armour Dunham ever sold furniture in Hawaii although that’s what Obama claimed in his memoir, Dreams From My Father.

If Charles Johnson knows all the above about Obama, he should fess up instead of teasing us with these tweets!

Charles C. Johnson is the editor of GotNews.com and a contributor to the Daily Caller. Most recently, he is author of Why Coolidge Matters: Leadership Lessons from America’s Most Underrated President (Encounter Books). He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Criterion, The American Spectator, The Claremont Review of Books, City Journal, Reason.com, National Review Online, Tablet Magazine, The Weekly Standard, Powerline, and The New York Sun. His work has been featured on Real Clear Politics, the Drudge Report, Hotair.com, The Blaze, Breitbart.com, Rush Limbaugh’s Show, and the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web. He has been on Fox News with Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, and Lou Dobbs and numerous radio programs, including Larry Elder, John Batchelor, Rusty Humphries, Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Mark Levin, and Larry Kudlow.

H/t BirtherReport

See also:

~Éowyn

New VA secretary Robert McDonald lied about being in Special Forces

“The lie is the distinguishing feature of evil, because of its self-devouring commitment to what is not: it is an inner vacuity.” -Anthony Esolen

How did deception and lying become so facile and common place in high places?

We have a President who lies habitually and can’t seem to tell lies from truth. Writing for the New York Post on Sept. 13, 2014, author Jack Cashill said he’s counted 75 significant lies since Obama’s campaign for president began, excluding the casual fibs and hyperbole Obama “spouts seemingly every day.” Here are some big whoppers:

“If you like your health insurance, you can keep your insurance.”

“After Obamacare, your insurance premiums will go down.”

Jon Gruber never worked for me.”

“We revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time.” — about the Benghazi attack of Sept. 11, 2011.

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

We also have a network news anchor Brian Williams, who makes an annual salary of $10 million that most Americans can only dream of, repeating a lie for 12 years that he was in a helicopter that was shot down by an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) in Iraq in 2003.

And now we have another public figure, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald who, like Brian Williams, is a very successful man and, leaving aside the immorality of lying, doesn’t need to lie to burnish his credentials.

On the evening of Jan. 30, 2015, McDonald joined some volunteers who were out in the mean streets of Los Angeles counting the number of homeless veterans — all captured on video by CBS News.

McDonald came upon a black homeless vet.

Robert McDonald and homeless vet, L.A., Jan. 30, 2015

The exchange between McDonald and the homeless vet begins at the 1:07 mark in the CBS news video (click here):

McDonald: Do you happen to be a veteran, sir?

Vet: [indecipherable]

McDonald: Really? Army? Navy? Air Force?

Vet: Army

McDonald: What year?

Vet: Special Forces

McDonald: Special Forces! What years? I was in Special Forces!

The exchange was broadcast in a Jan. 30 CBS News story about the VA’s efforts to find and house homeless veterans.

Wikipedia says Robert McDonald, 61, a retired Chairman, President, and CEO of Procter & Gamble, had graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for 5 years, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division, attaining the rank of Captain.

On February 23, 2015, 24 days after McDonald’s encounter with the homeless Special Forces vet, The Huffington Post published an article by David Wood stating that McDonald “wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in the Army’s elite special forces.”

Wood pointed out that:

U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are composed of exhaustively trained and highly capable troops from each military service, including the Army Rangers, Delta Force, Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets) — but not the 82nd Airborne. […]

In fact, McDonald never served in special forces. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975, completed Army Ranger training and took courses in jungle, arctic and desert warfare. He qualified as a senior parachutist and airborne jumpmaster, and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until he resigned his commission in 1980. While he earned a Ranger tab designating him as a graduate of Ranger School, he never served in a Ranger battalion or any other special operations unit.

It was only when Huffington Post contacted McDonald to explain himself did this cabinet-level secretary in the Obama administration admit he had “misspoken”:

“I have no excuse,” McDonald told The Huffington Post, when contacted to explain his claim. “I was not in special forces.” […]

McDonald told The Huffington Post that he “wanted to clear up the confusion I probably created — I did create” in the exchange with the homeless man in L.A. Saying he was in special forces, McDonald said, “is not right. I was not in special forces. What I said was wrong.”

McDonald said he has many friends in the special forces community “and I have great respect for special forces.” But, he added, “as I thought about this later I knew this [claim] was wrong.”

When the homeless veteran claimed to have served in special forces, McDonald said, “I reacted spontaneously and I reacted wrongly, [with] no intent in any way to describe my record any different than it is.”

Ironically, McDonald was selected by Obama to replace Eric Shinseki, the retired Army general who resigned in disgrace last May following reports of widespread corruption and malfeasance within the VA.

See also:

~Éowyn

Irony Alert: Comcast, Al Sharpton Hit With $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

al-sharpton-obama-7-16-08

Hollywood Reporter: Even though the FCC hasn’t yet ruled on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, one group has already filed a lawsuit claiming at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media.

The complaint, filed in California on Friday, comes from the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which also filed a similar suit against AT&T and DirecTV in December.

This time, the plaintiff is not only targeting both Comcast and TWC — on the eve of the two companies merging to become what would be the largest pay television distributor in the United States — but also various African-American advocacy groups and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for allegedly facilitating discrimination.

msnbc

Comcast is one of the biggest companies to employ a chief diversity officer, and its practices have been lauded by many including Black Enterprise magazine, which recently named it as one of the 40 best companies for diversity. The lawsuit figures to face many hurdles, from the sufficiency of its allegations to possibly the First Amendment, but for now it presents a larger portrait of a media company that isn’t carrying many fully owned black channels and the dangers of allowing it to grow bigger.

“We do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations,” responds Comcast in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sharpton tells us that he “welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations” and says he will be bringing counterclaims for defamation.

According to the lawsuit, Comcast and TWC “collectively spend approximately $25 billion annually for the licensing of pay-television channels and advertising of their products and services, yet 100% African American–owned media receives less than $3 million per year.”

At the time of Comcast’s 2010 acquisition of NBCUniversal, Comcast entered into memoranda of understanding with the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, but the lawsuit says the voluntary diversity agreements are “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”

Paula Madison

Paula Madison

The plaintiff objects that the only fully black-owned channel picked up by Comcast is the Africa Channel, and that entity is owned by former Comcast/NBCU exec Paula Madison, who “was directly involved in putting together the sham MOUs and obtaining government approval for the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal, thus creating a serious conflict of interest.”

Other black channels are said to be “window dressing,” with black celebrities as “fronts” when they are “white-owned businesses” that are run by friends or family of Comcast executives. The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash “donations” to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton’s MSNBC gig, the complaint says, “Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton’s show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton’s continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity.”

Sharpton objects that the budget for National Action Network is not even $4 million, and as for his MSNBC show, he believes he has the most successful show in the 6 p.m. hour at MSNBC, that “the numbers speak for themselves.”

You know you're laughing.

The lawsuit seems to count Sharpton’s reported $750,000 annual salary at MSNBC as part of the $3.8 million and leverages past criticism of the noted civil rights leader that’s rooted in him allegedly turning an eye and forgoing boycotts and protests on corporations upon receiving monetary contributions to the National Action Network.

As for support to the theory of discrimination in contracting, the lawsuit says Comcast has a “Jim Crow” process with respect to licensing black-owned channels, and that one Comcast exec stated, “We’re not trying to create any more Bob Johnsons,” referring to the founder of Black Entertainment Television.

The NAAAOM is suing along with Entertainment Studios Networks, which was founded by Byron Allen and now has a television operation with stations like Justice Central that reach 7.5 million consumers through deals with smaller pay TV distributors.

A Comcast spokesperson responds, “We are proud of our outstanding record supporting and fostering diverse programming, including programming from African-American–owned and –controlled cable channels. We currently carry more than 100 networks geared toward diverse audiences, including multiple networks owned or controlled by minorities.”

She adds, “Comcast has engaged in good-faith negotiations with this programmer for many years. It is disappointing that they have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit. We will defend vigorously against the scurrilous allegations in this complaint and fully expect that the court will dismiss them.”

“National Action Network has not been served with any papers and considers this claim frivolous,” says a spokesperson. “If in fact we were to be served, we would gladly defend our relationship with any company as well as to state on the record why we found these discriminatory accusations made by said party to be less than credible and beneath the standards that we engage in.”

The group adds, “As for Rev. Sharpton’s TV show ratings the numbers are clear. Rev. Sharpton’s show has the highest ratings of any 6 p.m. show in the history of the network.

DCG