By Akosua Kathryn Albritton
crazy as a Fox 5
Fox News at 5 PM was dead set on showing the 40th West Indian Labor Day Parade in a negative light. Although the station anchors described it as New York City’s largest parade where over one million people attend, Fox News never showed shots of the dignitaries, union members, floats, dancers, stilt walkers or trucks. In fact, there was a party of Christians walking through the crowd asking people did they want to pray. The Brooklyn Catholic Archdiocese drove a truck down Eastern Parkway. It was an event attended by people of various ethnicities, nationalities and personal interests. In fact, restaurateur Kathy Ewa set up one classy vending booth offering jumbo shrimp cocktail and bourbon chicken over rice pilaf. If you watched Fox News at 5, you didn’t see any of this.
No, Fox News, on September 3, 2007 during its 5 PM airing had reporter Robert Malcolm talk about an unidentified 26-year-old black man who was shot in the leg two times. This shooting occurred in front of 935 Eastern Parkway during the latter part of the parade. Rather than the usual on-the-ground shots, the video was done from a helicopter. Why? The police used effective crowd and traffic control throughout the parade’s duration so the news van could have got to the crime scene. Fox 5’s Robert Malcolm did his report away from the shooting site.
Interestingly, no one was arrested. There were police officers along the Parkway and posted two blocks away from each intersection between Grand Army Plaza and Utica Avenue. To add to the sensationalism, Robert Malcolm, during his last of five reports on the shooting, said it was a “double shooting”, excused himself and said, “one shooting involving two shots.”
Then Fox repeatedly showed a 10-second shot of men being jostled. It appeared that they were swinging at one another as if someone was walking through the crowd creating a disturbance. Once the disturbance moved along, the same crowd went back to dancing on the sidewalk. Just what is Fox News trying to depict? That a body of 1 million or more people can’t behave themselves? Is it too easy to believe that there must be a shooting when people of color come together?
A flick of the TV remote to Channel 11 revealed the festive side of the event. The preview of the 10 o’clock news highlighted on-the-ground shots of gaily costumed dancers and stiltwalkers moving down Eastern Parkway. What’s a parade without colorful costumes, music and smiling street performers? Can you imagine millions of people coming out to Eastern Parkway to a known violent event year after year? Apparently, NY 1 can’t believe it because they had Josh Robinson posted at the corner of Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway to do an on-the-ground report. Robinson explained the origins of the carnival going back to ancient Egypt. Robinson said, “In this incarnation, the carnival celebrates its 40th Anniversary.” He urged NY 1 viewers to come down to the event.
The parade is managed by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association. The parade is the finale to a week of festivities. To learn more about the parade and the association, visit www.wiadca.org.
Lulu For Self-Publishing
Lulu (www.lulu.com) is the digital marketplace to buy, sell or display your words, your art and your ideas. Launched in 2002, this Web site is the place to self-publish videos, music, artistic creations and photography. CEO Bob Young conceived of this site as the means for more people to gain access to the world’s consumer market. The content generator-writer, artist, photographer-keeps editorial and copyright control. With users in 80 countries, it is evident that Lulu, 2007 Web 2.0 awards winner in the books category, is turning artistic dreams into reality.
As with most Web sites, online registration is necessary. There are forums, blogs and a newsletter. For those interested in publishing their work, the site has service providers to get you through editing, cover art, obtaining the ISBN, translation and promotion.
Daughter of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Iowan Tribal self-published a book of poetry entitled Trials and Tribalations earlier this year. Lulu offered the kind of features an independent, out-of-the-box thinker like Iowan had to capitalize on. She explained there was no financial overhead; she stood to get 90% of the revenue; and Lulu would arrange sales not only from this site but also Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s. Purchasers had the option of a digital download or hard copy version. Iowan Tribal says, “I’m using lulu.com so that the book can be ordered easily on the Internet no matter what state or country the request comes from.”