I spent quite a bit of time travelin' over the holidays so ol Ty logged more than a few minutes in airports from here to the east coast and back. One thing I noticed as I tried to steer clear of those tasty a$$ Cinnabons and big chocolated chip cookies from Starbucks was how many magazines Smooth Barack is coverin' these days. From Time to Men's Health homey has definitely reached 'maximum exposure'. Even 'Chelle is covering Essence mag this month lookin' all glamorous. I didn't have time to check out Nickelodeon or Tiger Beat to see if Lil 'Chelle (Malia) or Cool Breeze (Sasha) were handlin' the cover duties but I sure wouldn't doubt it.
No doubt Family Obama is now firmly in the global fishbowl - even the kids first day of new school is newsworthy. One recent article ol Ty read with more than a little interest was how the southside press is retoolin' their so so news coverage (in ol Ty's opinion) to finally step up and recognize that there are bigger things goin' on in the world than Bey and Jay-Z's latest Mediterranean yacht cruise...
According to the article, Essence will now have full time White House reporter, as will Ebony and Jet will have a weekly two page Washington Report - no doubt squeezed in next to the Beauty of The Week (check out their Smooth Barack-centric website). Maa fact, I bet if they put the Beauty of The Week between those two Washington Report pages, they might actually get a few more homeys to actually read them. Even our (southsiders) most popular cable TV ghetto, BET, is steppin' up with four hours of inauguration coverage. I wonder if the commercial breaks will still feature payday loans, Nellie ringtones and Blue Blocker sun glasses? Roman wasn't built in a day, y'all. Ol Ty will reserve his hate until he actually sees some coverage but until then I have to give BET a little dap, if only for their previous convention and election day coverage.
However, the excellent question that April Ryan, of American Urban Radio Networks, asks is 'What took so long?' Ol girl has been covering the White House for 11 years, so she can ask. I've been coverin' Smooth for four so so can I. Did news just get invented? Hasn't the doin's in the White House, regardless of the race of the occupant, *always* been relevant to the southside community? I'm pretty sure that's the case. What do y'all think?
But it's a new year and ol Ty has resolved to look forward instead of back so I'll look upon this as welcomed news and hope that this is the beginnin' of a new era in serious southside news coverage (even once Smooth has moved on to elder statesman). Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists put it best, “There is a sense of going to back to the roots of where we used to get our news. When we first learned of something that was going to happen in our community, it hit the black press long before it hit the mainstream.” No doubt. Wasn't that the main reason for the rise joints like Ebony, Jet and the Chicago Defender? Looks like yet another thing to be thankful for courtesy of Smooth Barack.