I have the privilege, yet great responsibility for which I don’t take lightly, of reporting the news and telling stories that are important to the Black community in Houston. Sometimes, those stories are tough and aren’t always light-hearted. The truth can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but it is the truth.
First off, let me put all this Black on Black conspiracy to bed and dispel the notion that people are being attacked. Let me also be 100% clear in that the only reason that I am choosing to write this piece is because I care deeply about the Black community and don’t want to see our community misled, taken advantage of or led astray. Know this; I don’t apologize for telling the truth!
A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about KCOH radio on the front page of the Houston Forward Times newspaper (Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 2012) and many folks in the community responded. Ironically, out of all the people who responded to the story, KCOH morning talk show host Michael Harris has started on yet another narrative-filled journey down the road of telling people that the KCOH story was about him and that he has been tied to some conspiracy.
Not true. Nowhere in my story did I say that or allude to that.
I called and spoke to several owners of the station and attempted to reach out to the broker, John Saunders, who to this day has yet to return several of my phone calls and messages. There was no need to contact anyone that worked at the station because the story was not about them.
Let me park right here for a second and be crystal clear about something; Michael Harris’ name was mentioned only “one time” in the entire story. His mention in the story was a very brief one, in that he has consistently communicated to the community that, “to his knowledge”, no Black folks other than a gentleman by the name of Jesse Dunn had put forth a concerted effort to buy the station.
How did he know that? Where did he get his information from? And more importantly, could he be wrong?
When we received several emails and calls from Black folks who said that they tried to purchase the station and when someone even bought their own airtime on KCOH to tell listeners that they tried to purchase the station, we wanted to get down to the bottom of it, because unlike Harris and the narrative he has constantly communicated, we asked ourselves the question, “Are all of these Black folks lying and what if they aren’t?” As Houston’s community newspaper, we knew we had to ask questions and find out more.
If there are people who have come forth to say that they were not handled properly concerning the “process”, as Harris has called it, why can’t he give them the benefit of the doubt and find out more information instead of just completely discarding their claims and discounting our story? For someone who claims to know nothing about the details, I find it ironic that Harris has consistently used his daily morning platform to tell his listeners that he believes everything that the White owner and the White broker have told him, yet discount anything that Black folks have stated, including the Houston Forward Times.
That is a lot of confidence being expressed by someone who has no ownership in KCOH radio and claims to know very little about the details. What does Michael really know and why is he using his daily morning platform to tell people to support “his” efforts to pursue another station, while still on the air at KCOH? Since Harris wants to make the story about him, which it’s not, maybe there is more to the story than meets the eye.
He also went on a rant about how the story sought to besmirch the Petrizzo family; a family that has done so much for the Black folk of Houston because of their many sacrifices even when the station wasn’t making money (another narrative).
I then heard Harris respond to a caller on his show this past Monday to say that the writer of the KCOH story was “either biased or uninformed.” He went further to that same caller and said that “if the story in the Houston Forward Times was true, then I am White!”
He also questioned the motives of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Rev. Jesse Jackson, who appeared on KCOH radio’s “Lisa Berry-Dockery Show” on this past Saturday to talk about the story and share their efforts to find out the truth of what happened and get involved.
All of these narratives that Harris continues to share about the KCOH story that was written are completely untrue, IF you actually read the story.
On his radio show last Friday, Harris said that he didn’t believe the KCOH story, written in the Houston Forward Times, but that just because he didn’t believe it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Well, if that is what he really believes, he needs to let ownership speak about the matters of KCOH Radio and stop using his KCOH radio program to be a megaphone for information that could be wrong or misleading.
Lastly, I happened to listen to Harris on last Monday’s radio show, where he called the writer of the KCOH story a “minion.” Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now let me let you in on a secret. I wrote the story, so he was talking about me.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a “minion” is someone who is a dependent, follower, or underling of another and is a subordinate or petty official. I don’t fit the description of either; I am not anyone’s puppet. I do my own research and I tell the truth.
When you have a platform of listeners who respect your voice, listen to you and trust you for information, you have an obligation to deliver the truth and do your due-diligence to uncover it and disseminate it. That’s if, unless, the truth doesn’t matter.
Let me say that I have the ultimate respect for the history that Harris has put forth at KCOH and the dedication he has had to his job and to the community. I thank Michael Harris for allowing his misinterpretation of my story to allow the true issue involving the sale of KCOH to be discussed.
Once again, the story had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Michael Harris whatsoever, other than the fact that he has gotten on the air and recited the narrative that he was told by select folks.
I am not anti-Hispanic. I am not anti-business. I am not anti-Catholic. I am not anti-Michael Harris.
I am PRO-TRUTH!
So I am hopeful that the next time Harris wants to go run and tell something to his listening audience, that he’ll be sure to tell them this!
Now carry on…I’ll be listening.