You probably remember Joe Williams from his days at Politico and as a msnbc contributor. He's what I'd call a top notch journalist. He built his career, expanded his audience and brought valuable insight as a White House reported until his (what should not have been) infamous day June 21, 2012 in one of his typical on-air appears on msnbc. Joe's exact statement was:
“Romney is very, very comfortable, it seems, with people who are like him. That’s one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in town hall settings … But when he comes on ‘Fox and Friends,’ they’re like him. They’re white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company.”The first point, Joe's perception was accurate. Video footage of Mitt Romney in town hall meetings made Romney look awkward and uncomfortable. Then when he'd be on Fox News he seemed much more comfortable.
The second point, there can be jokes about race that are NOT racist.
Final point. ESPN has had a major controversy lately with hosts defending domestic violence. Has anyone been fired? Nope. The network has even been reluctant to reprimand their hosts publicly.
Beyond the solid journalism Joe Williams once produced, his most recent article titled 'My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish and Cheap' goes in-depth on his experience of being down in out emotionally and financially. He was able to experience first hand what life is like for those who don't make a six figure income. Writers are most major news organizations make $100,000 plus annually, enough to not worry and struggle to make ends meet, at least not the same way a typically retail worker worries paycheck to paycheck.
Learning something (as journalists who cover the working poor do) and living is (as Joe Williams had to in order to survive) provides two very different perspectives. Similar to learning something in college and then going and actually applying it.
Income inequality is a major and growing problem in America. To solve this problem we need journalists who understand it, journalists like Joe Williams back on the beat.
If you haven't already check out Joe's article "My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish and Cheap"
A look at his Twitter, blog and a Google search didn't show any recent publications.