I’ve been doing radio for more than 40 years, first at the 50,000 WATT behemoth WLS AM in Chicago, and now at several stations around the country including now in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 and in Washington DC on AM 700 radio. American Arabs still continue to struggle to break into the mainstream news media but the good fight continues
By Ray Hanania
I first got into radio in 1979 on WLUP FM when Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne attacked me at a press conference. Of course, she didn’t physically beat me with a bat, although she might have wanted to at the time.
I was the City Hall reporter for a community newspaper at the time, the Daily Southtown, and I had criticized Mayor Byrne, Chicago’s first woman mayor, in several of my columns. Criticism is a part of the political world and you get used to it, but politicians fight back.
So WLUP invited me to do commentaries on their radio show, which I did do. I then went to WLS AM Radio hosting 5-hour live shows on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was a lot of fun.
But that was before the media realized I was a crazy American Arab. Once the mainstream media relized I wasn’t Italian or Puerto Rican, and discovered I was a loud-mouthed Arab – and, as Jackie Mason once gasped “a Palestinian!!!!” — The horror. The humanity. The Outrage. The media booted me out as fast and as hard as they could. Several colleagues, especially a few who happened to be Jewish, turned their guns on me because they knew that if an Arab American could break into journalism and write about being an Arab American, it might wake up the mainstream American people who are in a coma-induced headlock influenced by the sinister pro-Israel monolith.
Or, actually, they just didn’t like Arabs who were Palestinian and wanted to censor us by excluding us from the so-called professional journalism. So they would beat on me and attack me. Journalism and media columnists attacking me, and pretending they were objective. Excluding Arabs. Marginalizing Arabs.
It was obvious that I had to build my own media empire from scratch, which is what I have done. Publishing my own newspapers. Exploiting the Internet and publishing this news website — 800,000 visitors on average each month — and hosting my on online TV and podcast interviews, and hosting radio shows.
We, American Arabs, can’t give up. We have to keep fighting the racism and discrimination that is the foundation of America and that fights hard to suppress our voices. We have a right to express our views, and our views are the right views. American Arabs fight for justice, the Rule of Law and objectivity, all of the things that the mainstream news media tries to stop.
The mainstream news media is not objective. It is biased, bigoted and racist. It sells sleaze and lies and stereotypes because sleaze, lies and stereotypes make money in America. It is an industry.
So, we have to do it ourselves.
So every 2nd Friday of the month I appear live on Detroit and Washington D.C. radio. You won’t read about it in Rob Feder’s column, or in the columns of other media writers. But it is out there and we have our audience and we pound away at the BS and garbage that passes as fact in this country challenging the stereotypes that are used to suppress our voices.
I’ll also be on Friday July 24, for a special show, too at 8 am EST, just in case you want to listen to the live broadcast. Or, you can get the podcast online at Rayhanania.podbean.com.
Detroit has a vibrant American Arab community and there are more than enough issues to address. I hope you tune in.
Here’s the latest podcast of Friday’s show (July 10, 2015.) Fuck the mainstream news media. They’re assholes. They’re biased, bigoted racists. They discriminate and they hate Arabs, especially Palestinians. But they are the minority. The majority of journalists are afraid to speak out or criticize this racist nature of the media profession.
But I won’t shut-up!
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and now newspaper columnist. Reach him at email@example.com.)
THIS POST HAS BEEN READ 14166 TIMES SO FAR. THANK YOU!
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Latest posts by rayhanania (see all)
- AHRC Celebrates Nelson Mandela’s International Day - July 17, 2019
- Tlaib trades barbs with Democrats over criticism of Israel - July 14, 2019
- US Muslim Charity to Host One Nation, One Cause Back to School drive - July 14, 2019