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A Chat With Ebony’s Man of Power: Roland Martin

40th+NAACP+Image+Awards+Red+Carpet+dxCZu5q9Le4m.jpgFor the third year in a row CNN Contributor and TV One’s “Washington Watch” Host Roland Martin has been named one of “Power 150″ by Ebony Magazine. Martin makes the list with the likes of Beyonce, Tyra Banks and Chris Rock.

We checked in to see what this powerful man has on his mind these days, aside from recently inspiring ESPN’s “Ascot Day” for wearing fashion-inspiring neck wear.

After three years on this Power 150 list do you feel powerful?
Well, I tell you what. I’ve always felt the media industry was the second strongest institution in the world. When you see folks overtake a country, they always take over the military first because you have to take the guns, Then they take over the newspapers, radio and TV stations. That is the direct way to the hearts and minds of the people, so we carry an extra burden in what we do in our daily jobs.

Does the power seem to go down after say, year two?
First of all, all these different lists are subjective. But you recognize what happens when you say something on television and you put something in print. Always good when you get feedback whether it’s pro or con. When you have the haters come out you know you’ve sparked a nerve in somebody.

Who has been the most memorable interview of your career?
Definitely Earl Woods, Tiger Woods’s father. I mean it was so awesome. First of all I’m allergic to smoke. But Earl smoked through the whole interview. (Dionne Warwick also smoked through her whole whole interview — trust me that was a little rough on the brother.) I remember asking him, ‘How do you think Tiger is going to go on playing when you’re no longer here.?’ He said, ‘Tiger will always hear my voice no matter where he is on the course. I have put an imprint on him – he will always hear my voice.’

What do you think about Tiger’s situation?.
If Earl was hear he’d go and look in his face and say, ‘You f-ed up. You’re going to have to take this public butt licking like a man. The Green Beret in him would say, ‘You made a grown man decision, you are suffering grown man consequences.’

See more Martin power after the jump and check out these Verse 9 ties he likes…
verse9.jpg


Last year you brought back the ascot. TheyÂ’ve even featured you on ESPN for “Ascot Day.” What fashion trend will you champion this year? I’ve been wearing the Asoct since late 2008. I really started rocking them this year. I was rocking one to the White House Christmas party last night. Even the President said, ‘Roland, the Ascot?’ Obama told [me] he couldn’t pull it off.

What will your next fashion trend be? Oh man, I don’t know. I am always looking for interesting and unique pocket squares. Get D.C. out of those boring D.C.-striped ties. I hate those ties. My wife actually bought me a couple of Brooks Brothers ties and I refuse to wear them. Verse 9 has crazy awesome patterns. They are coming out with Ascots in funky patterns. Who wants to be boring? There are enough boring people on television.

Who’s your favorite entertainer? My favorite musician is saxophonist Kirk Whalum. He has a romantic song named “Glow”. if you can’t get to home base with this CD you might as well go to a monastery.

Which show on TV do you not normally admit to watching? There’s no hidden show I don’t tell anyone about, but I’m going to tell you: “The Good Wife” on CBS. That’s a damn good freshman show. Every week I check it out.

Thoughts on Washington, D.C.? I get in and out as fast as possible. You see the same people and they start sounding alike. I just really prefer to have an outside the beltway perspective. Says its trapped in that cocoon known as Washington, D.C.

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