Former CNN contributor and YouTube show host Roland Martin has backed out of a scheduled live debate with black conservative and founder of Black Americans for a Better Future Raynard Jackson.
Following an appearance by Jackson at the White House – wherein the Republican-support Jackson called out black, liberal media personalities – Martin took to his show and associated Twitter feed to demand Jackson debate him on air.
“Since you think you big and bad in front of Trump, why don’t you come and talk to me?… BringYaAss.”
Jackson accepted the debate challenge on the War Room: Pandemic show last week, only to be told early Monday morning that Martin had backed out.
Roland Martin show producer Jaci Clark emailed Jackson:
“Good morning, Raynard. Unfortunately, we have to cancel your interview with Roland Martin scheduled for today. There’s a lot of news that we need to cover today and we just won’t have the time. I’ll reach out to reschedule again soon. Thanks for your understanding.”
When quizzed on it, the Roland Martin show refused to reschedule Jackson at a different time, simply tweeting: “It’s called breaking news. In the news business, interviews get cancelled when bigger news happens.”
He then demanded he needed more money for his show, in order to extend it, with the possibility of having Raynard Jackson on in an extended show. When offered the money to extend the show, Martin backed down again.
Speaking to the National Pulse on Monday, a spokesman for Raynard Jackson said: “Once again radical liberals like Roland Martin have shown they are afraid of meeting real Black Conservatives in the marketplace of ideas because they know they would lose.”
Martin is perhaps best known as the leak source between CNN and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the presidential town halls in 2016.
Politico reported at the time:
…ahead of a March 13 CNN town hall, it appears that guest-moderator Roland Martin from TV One may have shared his contributions to the questions with [DNC Chair Donna] Brazile. In an email the day before the town hall to senior Clinton staffers, Brazile wrote: “From time to time I get the questions in advance” and included the text of a question about the death penalty. An email later obtained by POLITICO showed that the text of the question Brazile sent to the Clinton campaign was identical to a proposed question Martin had offered CNN. (A similar, though not identical question, was ultimately posed to Clinton at the town hall).
The Martin connection was seemingly cemented on Monday when WikiLeaks published more of that thread, featuring a newly released reply in which Brazile promises to send additional questions.
“I’ll send a few more,” Brazile wrote, adding, “Though some questions Roland submitted.”
Martin initially denied sharing his questions with anyone, but later said his executive producer and team at TV One had the questions in order to pass them on to the CNN team. Once POLITICO obtained further emails, Martin said he didn’t believe he consulted with Brazile about the questions. Martin did not return a request for comment on Monday.
Roland Martin has also drawn considerable ire from his own side for not being “woke” enough, having tweeted a number of homophobic statements, including an apparent call to violence against gay people.
He was suspended from CNN following the anti-gay outburst.