Armstrong Williams says he is confident that he still has a vital career as a conservative commentator and columnist even though he has been kicked off the air and dropped from newspaper columns.
“It is a great learning lesson and opportunity to move forward,” said Williams, who has withstood a firestorm of criticism since it was revealed that he was paid $240,000 to promote the No Child Left Behind Act.
In an interview on Jan. 26 Williams also said “A person’s character is truly revealed in the time of a storm.”
As a result of these revelations, there has been a melee of criticism from media and calls for an investigation from lawmakers.
Michael Powell, former FCC chairman, ordered an investigation into the matter on Jan. 15. Currently no action has been taken regarding the matter but the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC is looking into the situation.
“Once the FCC looks into an issue it does not comment during the phase of looking into the matter,” said Suzanne Tetreault, Associate Bureau Chief/Chief of Staff.
Recently, on Jan. 12 Sens. Arlen Specter, R-PA and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, to ask for his “careful review of the contract with Ketchum and the payment made to Mr. Williams.” There has been no response from Paige regarding the letter, which was supposed to be replied to in five business days.
George Curry, editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and BlackPressUSA.com, feels that Williams’s actions have tainted journalism.
“Armstrong is useless as a commentator anymore because no one is going to believe him,” said Curry.
On the contrary, TV-One, Baltimore’s Afro American News and New YorkAmsterdam News have not been so quick to judge Williams.
“Our position is we’re going to wait and see what happens, but were not going to permantely exclude him,” said Jake Oliver, Chairman of the Board and publisher.
Lynn McReynolds, publicist for TV-One, said that the station is currently investigating the matter to see if Williams made any comments relating to the Department of Education.
Williams still has his two TV shows, “On Point with Armstrong Williams,” and hosts “The Right Side” and two other columns with New YorkAmsterdam News and the Baltimore Afro American News.
Williams, CEO and founder of Graham Williams Group, was recently dropped from his syndicated TV show “America’s Black Forum,” The State, a newspaper in Williams’ home state, and Tribune Media Services, Williams’s newspaper syndicate.
These media outlets have dropped Williams in response to allegations that his public relations firm, Graham Williams Group, accepted $240,000 from the Department of Education to promote the No Child Left Behind Act.
“At this time no decision has been made,” said McReynolds.
Wilburt A. Tatum, owner of New YorkAmsterdam News, said, “I have no problem with his taking money from the Education Department,” according to Journal-isms.