Gobbling up The Daily News, The New York Post and The New York Times before he ever hits the studio each day, NY1 anchorman Dominic Carter is known for his hard-hitting political interviews with an impressive roster of notable names from Nelson Mandela to Hillary Clinton swinging in for a chat. "We have a spirit here at NY1 where we believe politics is very important," says Carter of his political power hour, Inside City Hall. "We've basically changed the dynamics of politics in New York—and I think that we've changed the way almost every television station covers politics here."
Raised in the Bronx, Carter knows that the trick to getting the nitty gritty of a story is all in the approach. "When you're live, anything can happen. Politicians, their job is to eat up the airtime and say absolutely nothing. My job is to make you answer the questions and reveal something that perhaps you don't want to," says Carter making his simple trade secret known. "I believe you treat people the way you want to be treated. So I'm not going to take any cheap shots."
Those strong principles keep working in his favor. For a kid whose "whole world" was the Bronx growing up, Carter's horizons have certainly expanded—he's reported from Japan to Somalia to the Persian Gulf—but his love of the city has only solidified over the years and foreign travels. "Manhattan is absolutely stunning and beautiful. In terms of the diversity and all of us living together, and in all the different neighborhoods, from Chinatown to Spanish Harlem to Chelsea," says Carter. "New York City definitely influenced my path to journalism."
Other key influencers were his loving grandmother and aunts who encouraged him to go to college, and to whom his book, No Mamma's Boy, were in part dedicated to. "Like many kids in New York City, I grew up poor," says Carter. A moving read, that memoir chronicles his rags-to-riches rise over an abusive childhood with a mentally unstable mother (as an adult, Carter found out she had been diagnosed as a chronic paranoid schizophrenic) all the way through his modern day successes. "It is very liberating for me to talk about these issues," he says. "I had a secret for more than 25 years that I was abused, sexually abused, by my mother. I wouldn't discuss it with anyone—it was like a poison, developing within my own body." Once he was ready to tell his story, however, Carter credits the writing process as a therapeutic venture. "I have forgiven my mother, and I have found that in forgiving her I'm able to heal myself," he says.
More importantly, Carter hopes that by sharing his tale, he can also be an example to others on how they too can triumph over extreme conditions and adversity. "I see myself as someone who is a voice for the voiceless in New York. For those in society that don't really have someone to speak up for them," says Carter. "My job is to break politics down in a way so that everyone can follow what I'm talking about." And with Carter as host, we have a feeling there are a lot of viewers out there that appreciate finally having that voice heard.
When you go there, you'll see that like every major politician, if they're in Harlem, that this is where they hold their meetings. You'll also see a Bloomberg monitor up on the wall and a really diverse crowd. …more