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Guest Message by DevFuse

African-American Group Criticizes NAN, Helps DISH

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Posted 13 February 2002 - 04:03 AM

The Centre for New Black Leadership (CNBL) weighed in on the pending merger between EchoStar and DirecTV, as well as the opposition building to the deal by some in the African American community.

In a statement released Monday, the Centre took on ongoing protests of the merger by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network. CNBL challenged the notion that the protests are "motivated by what is in the public interest of black America, as a whole, and not by what is in the private interest of Rev. Al Sharpton and his so-called followers."

Part of NAN'S protest center on the Word Network, an urban ministry and gospel channel, which is carried on DirecTV but not on EchoStar. CNBL said the net is affiliated with Sharpton and his group.

"Company mergers are easy targets for economic blackmail, the merger process being what it is," said Charles E. Polk, Jr., CNBL's board of directors chairman. "Companies must obtain the approval of boards and shareholders, various governmental agencies and entities, Congressional and consumer watchdogs, the media, and most of all, their current customers and future ones. Thus, merging companies try to avoid any public ruckus or negative publicity that might derail their deal."

Polk added, "EchoStar should respond by informing Rev. Sharpton that EchoStar is not in the business of lining the good Reverend's pockets. Maybe then the corporate shakedowns by the likes of Rev. Sharpton will cease. Maybe then the real business of creating wealth and building businesses in our communities will continue in earnest."

NAN has held protests in Washington, D.C., as well as a prayer vigil outside the home of EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen. On Monday, NAN held another demonstration in Washington, D.C.

From <a href="http://www.skyreport.com" target=none>SkyReport</a> (Used with permission)

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