Comcast: The Latest “Diversity” Shakedown

Henry Wolff, American Renaissance, March 2, 2012

Congressional pressure forced the company to make racial set-asides.

If black Comcast subscribers wanted more black-oriented television, they will be glad to hear that this summer a new station called Aspire will join the ranks of BET, Centric, TV One, and Bounce TV. Basketball star Magic Johnson is working with the Atlanta-based Gospel Music Channel (GMC) to start a channel that, according to GMC vice-chairman Brad Siegel, is “100% targeted toward African-American viewers.” It will show documentaries, movies, comedies, and religious programs.

Mr. Johnson says Aspire “will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams,” adding that it “will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture.” It is one of ten independent cable networks Comcast agreed to add over the next eight years–and all of them must be owned or operated by non-whites. The deal was part of a shakedown Comcast agreed to when it sought FCC approval for its merger with NBC Universal—the first union of a cable company with a major broadcast network. Black Congresswoman Maxine Waters led the charge to ensure that the merger would include plenty of handouts for non-whites.

In a letter dated May 7, 2010, Congresswoman Waters wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking the commission to delay approval until after public hearings. The letter, cosigned by 68 congressmen, said, “As members of Congress, including many from the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, we are most interested in how the applicants to this merger will involve underserved communities and minorities in media programming and ownership opportunities.” The letter noted that something called the Hispanic Association of Creative Responsibility gave Comcast only 50 points out of 100 in a “diversity review.” Miss Waters then attached five pages of “diversity”-related questions for Comcast to answer for the public record.

This video sums up the tenor of the hearings that followed:

Comcast met with the leaders of non-white pressure groups to set up sweet-heart deals in exchange for support for the merger. It promised a $20 million venture-capital fund for non-white entrepreneurs in digital media, an advisory council for each racial group to oversee “diversity” giveaways, more contributions to non-white charities, and the 10 “diverse” networks. (See the formal memorandum of understanding with AsiansHispanics, and blacks).

This wasn’t enough for Miss Waters. In a letter dated December 20, 2010, she wrote to Chairman Genachowski complaining that the memos of understanding were just “vague goals and nominal gestures” rather than binding commitments, and professed herself “alarmed” that Comcast-NBCU had not filed the “diversity” pledges as formal amendments to its application. She said she feared “yet another set of broken promises between communities of color and large corporations.”

The next month, the FCC published its 279-page agreement with Comcast, including the company’s “diversity” commitments, and noted that the commission would “condition grant of the Application on these commitments.” Comcast recently called its handouts program  “voluntary,” but immense congressional pressure and FCC requirements tell a different story.

Comcast also promised more non-whites  in news and programming on NBC Universal’s networks. Interestingly, Al Sharpton, whose National Action Network signed the memorandum for blacks, was made a host on the NBC Universal-owned cable news channel MSNBC less than a year after the Comcast merger, raising questions about a possible backroom deal.

Comcast’s first new channel for non-whites, Aspire, is not likely to be profitable. The Oprah Winfrey Network, which started in January 2011 with a similar black uplift theme,  has yet to produce a popular show. Brad Adgate, Research Director at Horizon Media, says Aspire is “an expensive concession Comcast had to make. These are costly ventures. Throw in online video, and audiences are hard to come by.”

Aspire is not Magic Johnson’s first try at cable programming. In 1998, he hosted the eponymous “Magic Hour” late-night syndicated talk show. The L.A. Times says the show premiered “with great hoopla . . . only to be yanked less than two months later after harsh reviews and low ratings.” The show’s gospel-music intro seemed more fit for a televangelist than a hoop star:

Who besides Magic Johnson is cashing in? El Rey, a Hispanic station, will be led by Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez. BabyFirst Americas will be a project of Spanish-language TV exec Constantino Schwarz and will “offer Latino parents the ability to help their children integrate into American society, while maintaining a strong connection to their Latino heritage and bilingual communication.” REVOLT, a venture of rap music titan Sean “Diddy” Combs, will feature “uncut, raw, uncensored” music and news. Mr. Combs recently explained what REVOLT is all about:

Obviously, the beneficiaries of all this are not ghetto blacks or Hispanics or even the middle class. The people walking off with the swag are rich already. It would be hard to think of a more cynical get-richer-quicker scheme for non-white millionaires–or more pathetic passivity on the part of Comcast. Asians–who have a higher per capita income than whites–also have their snouts in the trough.

This is the kind of Third-World cronyism we can expect as the United States becomes a Third-World country–with the added twist that whitey gets a double dose of the shaft.

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Henry Wolff

Henry Wolff is the assistant editor of American Renaissance.

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  • voiceofstl

    And we thought when comcast took over they would stop the crazy stuff at MSNBC.
    I guess we were wrong.

  • Mr. Johnson says Aspire “will be a network that encourages and
    challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams,” adding that it
    “will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the
    fearless talent that has shaped American culture.”

    Okay, but what will his channel do after that hour is up?

    Comcast also promised more non-whites  in news and programming on NBC
    Universal’s networks. Interestingly, Al Sharpton, whose National Action
    Network signed the memorandum for blacks, was made a host on the NBC
    Universal-owned cable news channel MSNBC less than a year after the
    Comcast merger, raising questions about a possible backroom deal.

    As if I needed yet another reason not to watch MSNBC.  Thankfully, Obama/Holder don’t (yet) have the power to force us to watch any of these channels.  If a tree falls in the forest…

    Comcast was eventually going to regret this deal anyway, if only for NBC’s ratings-free money pit prime time lineup.  Now on top of that, they’re going to have to pay for a bunch of  money pit affirmative action channels that nobody will watch.

    •  That phrase, “celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture” never fails to draw a laugh from me.  Cannibalism, infant rape, peanut butter, and “The Cosby Show.”  That’s about it.

      • Ol’ Georgie Carver DID NOT invent peanut butter……

        •  Duly noted.  Let’s substitute instead, uh, break dancing?  Dude, I don’t know.  I’m at a loss.

  • R P

    black and hispanic TV is the only reason why we don’t have “a la carte” cable programming. It’s just another form of welfare.

    • NAACP explicitly proposes a la carte pricing, for that very reason.

      The good news is that the new affirmative action cable channels that Comcast creates will only be on Comcast cable systems.  There does not seem to be a requirement that other carriers, cable or satellite, pick them up.  Comcast-NBCUni cable channel programming changes on channels that most systems have will obviously be seen.  Unfortunately, I get the feeling that T-W, Charter, Dish, DirecTV, etc. will pick up those new channels, to pander to Obama.

  • The_Bobster

    Obongo is just taking care of his homies.

    Group Says Comcast Corp. Is Hiding Its Low-Cost Offering From Low-Income Famblies
    February 9, 2012 3:06 PM
    By Ian Bush

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community group says Comcast Corporation needs to do more to bridge the digital divide for low-income families.

    About a dozen people — along with the activist organization Action United — dropped off complaints this morning with federal officials in center city Philadelphia.

    Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” is restricted to certain low-income families, but cuts the cost of getting online to $9.95/month.

    “I feel as though the Internet service will help my son to progress in math, reading, spelling,” says Dawn from North Philadelphia. But she says she couldn’t sign up:

    “They told me I had a back bill from 10 years ago, so I was not qualified.”

    Another barrier, says Marvin from West Philadelphia, is the apparent lack of publicity about the special offer for low-income families.

    “None of the skoos in my community know nuffin’ about it,” he said today. “That’s a major problem.”

    The program, created as a condition of Comcast’s merger with NBC-Universal, is aimed at families of kids who qualify for free and reduced-cost school lunches.

  • MartelC

    This isn’t going to stop. So re-direct it. Let’s have NPR, MSNBC’s line up, ect be subject to diversity quotas and black oriented programs. 
    You support this Chris Matthews? Fine, give up YOUR job. 

  • Marc B.

    There he is,  Congressman Steve Steve Cohen (D) Memphis, TN, looking out for his majority black district by getting in on the shakedown. He is a pathetic suck-up who claims to vote with the conscious of a black grandmother. 

  • razorrare

    Darn,i cant boycott Comcast because i dont have satellite or cable.

    • The_Bobster

      I suppose you can always sign up with Comcast and then quit in protest.

  • This was a 20 million dollar shakedown.

    From the article…

    Aspire will join the ranks of BET, Centric (black centric), TV One, and Bounce TV as a t.v. channel “100 percent targeted” to blacks.

    How many t.v. channels are 100 percent targeted to Whites? Who owns the t.v. channels and decides what airs? Think about it.

    • The Jews.  Jews own The Media.

      I cannot help but think, when Jehovah told them that they are “The Chosen”, it went straight to their head.  Power and Privilege always does.  It’s just Human.  Jehovah should have known better if ya ask me but then again, maybe He did…

      I feel that when The Jews went wrong (behaving badly), Jehovah said, okay, I’ll fix your little red wagon and He Gave us and them, Jesus.  We accepted Jesus and they rejected Jesus and this is because for The Jews to Accept Jesus means to accept the fact that they are no longer “Chosen” but instead, now Equal and won’t be automatic Rulers of The Earth.

      I feel this is a part of why there is this mission to do away with us all.  Non-whites, mainly Jap, Chinese and Indian have been promised to “lead” if you will.  I mean, they will take the place of the White Man.

      Bear in mind please, the easiest People to Rule Over are the Non-Whites.  The easiest.  All it takes is a Less Intelligent People and a Firm Hand and you got it.

      Pardon my “sense”.  I just can’t figure out how or where from all this hate/bash White came from.

  •  Congressman COHEN. What more do you need to know? This is textbook jew racist divide and conquer. It is the usage of their money and influence to give blacks a means of propaganda against Whites. One of the shows on Aspire is called Revolt. Exactly.

  • I called “comcast” and guess who answered the phone?  You only get ONE guess.

    I suggest all White People dump this abomination of a “company” and go elsewhere if at all possible.

    By the way, that non-white DARED to try and tell me that the likes of CNN was a “White” Channel. That’s their definition of “equality”.  As long as there is ONE White Person, it’s a “White” channel and if there are no White People, it’s “diversified”.

    • I called “comcast” and guess who answered the phone?  You only get ONE guess.

      “Mark,” aka Pradesh, from New Delhi? The All-American boy from down the street who moved to Bangalore and got a job with a call center. Is that it?

      • Usually, yes, but this time, it was a Black Lady and I give her that Title because she listened to my screaming.  I can be rather LOUD.  I don’t need a bullhorn you could say.

        I should have given Proper Credit but I was just so doggone upset, I wrote just what I felt at that time.

        She didn’t hang up on me and she didn’t come up with CNN on her own.  She put me on hold when I asked where the White Channels were so I know it was her Boss who told her to say that.

  • Kurt Plummer

    Africa just passed 1 billion.  By 2060 they will be at 2.7 billion.  They are the ONLY continent population estimated to have an ongoing growth curve, through 2100.  Which means they may bypass even India as the land of squallor made large.
    One wonders what will happen when 13% of our population, suitably ’emergent’ as an economic minority with 5-6 TV stations dedicated solely to their own interests, runs headlong into the 60% that Hispanics with TFR birthrates in the 4s, will bring to the table by 2040 or so?
    Does somebody know something about black American birthrates we don’t?
    IMO, it is the Hispanics and perhaps, eventually, the Asians who will be the real threat.  Because Hispanics are already the dominant movie demographic (seeing more films and more often than any other group) while their ability to ‘revert’ to a protected language effectively means we MUST go to them if they ever set their claws seriously into our telecomms.  With numbers to match.
    Or be excluded in that which we most certainly need to remain players in an ever more congested, competed and class-exclusive world: communication.
    Blacks I’ve noticed don’t communicate.  The cast a vibe and expect agreement or participation or explanation as though the lack of argument was it’s own acquiescence.
    Hispanics are just the opposite.  Very much color-continuum conscious.  And very aware of the power of exclusion as an effective means to maintain social as ethnic cohesion.  The word Cunning comes to mind.

  • People actually subscribe to Comcast when you can get TV through the internet, XBOX or satellite (like DirecTV)????  I guess the joke’s on you if you are paying for Comcast….

    • Much like Electricity and Phone, you don’t have choice like you think you do.

      What you should have written is:  Like others have noted, there are many benefits to be found with doing away with the Anti-White Television.

      Be nice now.

    • Funruffian

      I cancelled my Comcast subscription over 3 years ago. I no longer watch Network TV for I think it panders to Blacks, debauchery, lies and Anti-White bilge. TV is no longer a useful source of information. It’s sad that Comcast caved into the larcenous demands of Blacks and their Anti-White sentiments. Hopefully, if Blacks start to operate Comcast on their own the Whites will leave and we will see this Media conglomerate crumble due to their incompetence, malfeasance and lack of popularity. I hope many other Whites follow my example and stop watching TV altogether. There’s nothing valuable to derive from the Idiot box.

  • mikejones91

    Calling for diversity in television is like calling for diversity in the N.B.A. Its pretty much accepted that blacks (on average), are just better than whites at basketball (on average). When are we going to accept whites are just more creative in things like Tv/Film/Music, specifically comedy(on average), than blacks (on average). Just watch the first 4 seasons of Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia and soak up the comedic genius of that show and its WHITE writers. I watch a show like that ( or any number of white films/tv shows) and I can’t help but think to myself “who else”? Who else but whites? Drama is an Aryan art form. Along with our comedy that EVERYONE loves. But no, we can’t credit whites for being good at something. (unless its racism/slavery/mass murder.) We accept that blacks are better at basketball   (on average). Whites have been outscoring blacks on standardized testing for YEARS. When you ask people why that is they usually say something like “well, those tests are culturally biased towards the white students”. Then I tell them ASIAN students have been outscoring WHITES for YEARS. So whites are smarter than blacks, and Asians are smarter than whites (on average). But! We are CREATIVE> We are the innovators, entertainers, comedians. We are the creators. “Blacks are athletic, Asians are smart, and whites are creative”.

  • This is similar to what happened in the 1980s when it was decided that there was not enough black-owned television stations and they opened up UHF stations and gave them away virtually free to blacks.  The blacks were supposed to develop “Black-oriented programming”.  What they did instead was run home shopping networks (the exact opposite of what their people needed, more bling bling) and quickly flip the stations to conglomerates as soon as the blackout period expired.  Or, they would order a bunch of, worthless all-syndicated content and then not pay the bill to the syndicator.  It is still going on today.  Just Google “Roberts Broadcasting.”

    •  You must be a St. Louisan, and I imagine you don’t have Channel 46 programmed into your remote’s favorites.

  • Funruffian

    It seems like poetic justice, but the downside is that we alienate our base. They betrayed us, so it seems fitting for payback.

  • j.f.k.

    Comcast cable is all commercial that should be free! to have to watch a bunch of bullshit!Go to just internet you can watch what ever you want do not be a fool and wast your money on cable or dish big rip offs! GO INTERNET!!!