Journalist, CNN talking head, and now runaway-ready clothes hanger Roland Martin has teamed with a company named Verse 9 Neckwear to release a range of ascots, the bright and silky collar cloths Martin has made a bit of a signature in his time on TV.

The move came after Daily Show host Jon Stewart took a jab at Martin for wearing an ascot while discussing immigration on CNN—though Martin tells Politico he was already in discussions to create his new line before Stewart’s segment aired. He has high hopes the Roland S. Martin range of ascots will take off.

“I have traveled this country and I have seen more and more men choosing to be daring with their attire. Once they realize that you can have a bit more swagger and step out of the fashion box, they go for it,” he said. “I went to an event the other day in Dallas at a hot hotel, and all of these guys were in jeans and t-shirts. Jeans? Really? So the sartorial splendor of the past is in desperate need of a revival.”

Not a bad idea, really. Journalists aren’t exactly raking it in, so why not get some “merch” going to bring in a few extra bucks? I’m working on my own signature fragrance right now. It’s a heady brew with hints of the NYC subway, PBR, and stale coffee, sold in a bottle shaped like a twenty-five-year-old with the laptop-ravaged spine of a hunchback nonagenarian. I call it, “The Hamster.”

Others might follow Martin’s suit as well.

Why not a pair of stylish Rachel Maddow skate shoes?

A line of ultra-thin-framed Karl Rove spectacles, (somehow) designed to blare the imperial death march upon entering any new room?

A collection of Donna Brazile power jackets?

Blitzer’s beard-sculpting shave kit?

Beck’s big box of tissues?

An O’Reilly “American Patriot” mug? Or cap? Or belt buckle? These last three already exist.

We’re still yet to see if Martin’s ascots will take off (they worked for Ken—see clip below), but if they do, we’d encourage journos of all stripes to brand themselves in this most literal sense. If you have any suggestions for a journo-branded product you’d like to see, let u know below.


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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.