Description: TV SHOW, BLACK JOURNAL, WITH HOST LOU HOUSE, COVERAGE OF ISSUES CONCERNING BLACK AUDIENCE Initial Broadcast Date: January 30, 1972 30 minutes -- Color Benjamin L. Hooks is the first black person to be appointed a member of the Federal Communications Commission in the 38-year history of the organization. He is a gentle-spoken 47-year-old grandfather, minister, lawyer and former judge and was a long-time associate of Dr. Martin Luther King. Appointed to the post by President Richard M. Nixon, Hooks claims he is “not an Uncle Tom” and will begin “jawboning” white television network executives to realistically depict the quality of life in Black America today. Hooks will be interviewed on Black Journal. Hooks also believes that insignificant numbers of Blacks are employed by the networks and would like to see more Black editors in television. In this 30-minute Black Journal interview he also told executive producer Tony Brown: “Blacks in America will never really wield power unless they are given positions in government – appointed or elective – enabling their voices to really count.” Commissioner Hooks also charges that America’s white press never reports on anything that “I say or do unless it affects the Black issue. But the truth in that is I have a vote on everything that comes now and on a seven-man commission, it is very easy to get a 3-3 shift there.” He also charges discrimination at the hands of the white television media, noting that he has never been invited to be interviewed on any one of the commercial national news shows except for an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. Near the conclusion of his interview, Commissioner Hooks accuses the American Congress – and not President Nixon – for the current financial crisis that Public Television is now facing. He says Congress refused to approve permanent funding for Public Television because “no one wants to cut loose the purse strings.” “Black Journal” is a production of WNET New York. Executive producer: Tony Brown
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