Exploring the Double Standard: What if the Ore. Militants Were Black or Muslim?

There’s a rampant idea being floated around on social media that not enough law-enforcement pressure is being applied to the white Oregon militants who took over a federal wildlife refuge building.

Ammon Bundy (right), leader of a group of armed anti-government protesters who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., speaks to the media as other group members look on Jan. 4, 2016. 
Ammon Bundy (right), leader of a group of armed anti-government protesters who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., speaks to the media as other group members look on Jan. 4, 2016.  Robb Kerry/Getty Images

Treatment of Armed White Protesters at Issue

"The Oregon protest at a federal wildlife refuge has reignited an already intense debate on social media about policing, race and terrorism," Katie Rogers reported Monday for the New York Times.

"On Saturday, an armed group of antigovernment protesters occupied a remote federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and warned that they would not leave without a fight. The authorities have held back from attempting to stop the protest.

"On social media, that led quickly to questions about a double standard, particularly from liberals and the left, who asked: What if the armed men were Muslim or black? They predicted the authorities would have been more forceful.

"Many or all of the protesters appear to be white. It was unclear what religion they are, but least one has made reference to a prominent Mormon figure. For its part, the Mormon church on Monday condemned the armed building seizure and said it could ‘in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.’ . . ."

Writing Monday for the Oregonian/OregonLive in Portland, Therese Bottomly acknowledged that terminology was an issue. "The Oregonian/OregonLive is referring to the group that has taken over a federal building in rural Oregon as militants, deciding that word best describes the loosely organized protesters vowing to fight the federal government.

"We are also referring to them as ‘self-styled militia’ to recognize that the terms ‘militia’ and ‘militiamen’ were originally widely used to describe the activists who descended on Burns over the past few weeks. They have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal facility.

"We’re not alone in wrestling with the issue of how to label the protesters. . . ."

Paul Farhi added Monday for the Washington Post, "Almost all major news outlets surveyed on Sunday said they were avoiding the use of the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Oregon protest, saying it was unclear that the group’s action was designed to terrorize or harm anyone. . . ."

Native Americans, meanwhile, pointed out their longstanding interest in the land.

Steve Russell wrote Sunday for Indian Country Today Media Network, "Some of the same armed ‘militia’ involved in the Cliven Bundy affair in Nevada have occupied federal land in Oregon formerly reserved for the Northern Paiute.

"Ironically, the ‘legal’ basis for starting a fight with the federal government is that sovereignty ‘really’ belongs to Oregon rather than the Paiutes, who have seen their federal trust land shrink from over one and a half million acres to a tiny remnant of 760 acres in Burns, Oregon, where this current armed standoff began. . . ."

Russell also wrote, "If anything is clear-cut about Indians in the Constitution, it is that relations with Indian nations are a federal responsibility. Carrying out that responsibility in Oregon, President U.S. Grant established the Maiheur Indian Reservation for the Northern Paiute in 1872. It is no coincidence that the historical reservation shares a name with the Maiheur National Wildlife Refuge, site of the current armed standoff.

"White settlement nibbled at the Maiheur Indian Reservation until the Bannock War in 1878, which ended with surrendered Paiutes and Bannocks on the reservation being removed, officially to the Yakama Reservation in Washington Territory. Unofficially, Paiutes had scattered all over the Western States that comprised their aboriginal lands. The Burns Paiute Reservation is the remains of the Maiheur Reservation and the Maiheur Wildlife Refuge is an alternative use for the federal land, for those who believe the federal government exists. . . ."

Meanwhile, the editorial board of the Tennessean in Nashville reacted swiftly Monday after Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt tweeted support for those who took over the federal wildlife preserve.

"There is no shortage of foolish behavior on social media platforms, such as Twitter, where celebrities, elected officials and ordinary citizens have an equal opportunity to be reckless," the Tennessean editorialized.

"Judging from his initial controversial tweet and subsequent exchanges with members of the public on Sunday and Monday, state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, does not seem to understand how public — and global — these messages are and how they reflect upon him, Tennessee and his constituents.

"It is possible he does not care, but when Holt tweeted — and later deleted — “#bundymilitia Where can I send support for your effort?’ he reflected poorly on himself, the state and its people. . . ."

Julie Alderman, Media Matters for America: Chuck Todd Doesn’t Ask Rand Paul About Militia Takeover Involving Sons Of Ally Cliven Bundy

Wajahat Ali, The Guardian: If the Oregon militiamen were Muslim or black, they’d be dead by now

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: America under attack.

Dave Boucher, the Tennessean, Nashville: TN lawmaker Holt tweets support for Oregon protesters

Yesha Callahan, The Root: Twitter Names Crazy White Oregon Terrorists #YallQaeda and #VanillaIsis

Russ Choma, Mother Jones: How the Leader of the Oregon Armed Protest Benefited From a Federal Loan Program

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: When white people commit outrageous crimes, let’s use appropriately strong language

Chauncey DeVega, Salon: They’d be killed if they were black: The racial double standard at the heart of the new Bundy family standoff

Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone: WTF Is Happening in the Oregon Militia Standoff, Explained

Editorial, the Tennessean, Nashville: Lawmaker Andy Holt’s pro-militia tweets are just foolish

Amanda Girard, U.S. Uncut: Don’t Call Them Patriots. They’re Terrorists Occupying Sacred Native American Land

Tom Kludt, CNNMoney.com: Oregon occupation confronts media with what to call them

Leah Libresco, fivethirtyeight.com: The Armed Oregon Ranchers Who Want Free Land Are Already Getting A 93 Percent Discount

Phillip Martin, Huffington Post: Defining Domestic Terrorism Part Three: Conservative Politicians Downplay Threat from the Far Right

Brentin Mock, Citylab.com, the Atlantic: The Oregon Standoff: Race, Land Use, and Environmental Protection

Maria Mora, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Thousands Outraged At Limited Mainstream Media Coverage Of Armed White Militia Taking Over Federal Building

Manny Otiko, Ebony: Oregon Standoff Reveals Painfully Obvious Racial Double Standard

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire: What’s Happening in Oregon Is Nothing Less Than Armed Sedition

Janell Ross, Washington Post: Why aren’t we calling the Oregon occupiers ‘terrorists’?

How Trump Would Have Delivered the Gettysburg Address

Just before Christmas, Jay Jochnowitz, editorial page editor of the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., wrote, "I got to thinking this morning about how we remember some of our greatest presidents for their inspiring speeches, and how we have in Donald Trump a leading presidential primary candidate who promises to make America great again, yet stoops to some of the most boorish, insulting, and degrading language I’ve heard in presidential politics.

"Which got me to wondering how Trump might (or might not) rise to occasions that demand greatness. Would Americans have heard ‘Yesterday, December 7, was a lousy day. A very, very, lousy day.’? Or ‘Talk loud, and carry a big — ‘ well, I’ll leave that one to you. . . ." More on that in a moment.

Just before New Year’s Day, Jerry Seinfeld released an episode of his Web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" featuring 19 minutes of the comedian hanging out with a relaxed President Obama in the White House and in a 1963 Corvette. It turns out that Trump had something to do with that, too.

Asawin Suebsaeng explained Dec. 22 in the Daily Beast, "In 2011, current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was on a bit of a birther kick. The Donald even claimed he sent a team of investigators to Hawaii to get to the bottom of the Obama birth certificate drama. (Spoiler: Obama turned out to be an American.)

"Seinfeld was not amused by the racist-conspiracy-theorizing, so in April 2011 he pulled out of a scheduled gig at a charity benefit hosted by Trump’s son. . . ."

Suebsaeng quoted a White House spokesman: "It is fair to say [Obama] is a fan of Seinfeld and we thought this would be a good opportunity for people to hear about the lighter side of life inside the White House. . . . ."

Back to Jochnowitz’s parody, headlined "Trump Does Gettysburg." It begins:

"So, 80-some-odd years ago, the Founding Fathers — a great group of people, just great, am I right? — started this country, with the idea of liberty, with the whole point that men are created equal. And let’s be clear, and I know I’m going to get in trouble for this with the media, but as you know, I tell it like it is: they meant white men. That’s what they meant. And yeah, I know, they didn’t mention women, for whom of course I have the greatest respect. I love women. But they didn’t mention them, so what can I say? That’s what they did.

"Now we’ve got a war going on. It’s been a great war. It’s going fantastic. Fantastic. And we’re going to win, because I’m a great commander in chief, and I’ve assembled an incredible team, while the other side, they’re a bunch of schmucks. They’re schmucks, and their leaders are a bunch of schmucks. We kicked their ass, right here, on a great battlefield of that war. We won this, and we’re going to win a lot more. A lot. Very, very many.

"We’re going to designate a portion of this field to the dead, and that’s fine, we should. We should. I don’t think there’s any disagreement on that. It’s the right thing to do. But first, I think we should all give a round of applause to the people who survived. To me, those are the real heroes. Give it up for them. . . ."

Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post: Obama’s skin looks a little different in these GOP campaign ads

C. Eugene Emery Jr. and Louis Jacobson, PolitiFact: Donald Trump’s first TV ad shows migrants ‘at the southern border,’ but they’re actually in Morocco

Hadas Gold, Politico: Trump most frequent 2015 Sunday show guest

Harold Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer: Trump giving GOP a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment (Dec. 19)

Judd Legum, ThinkProgress: 4 Things That Were Supposed To Happen By 2016 Because Obama Was Reelected

Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Recalibrating the Trump Effect (Dec. 22)

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Daily Beast: Latinos Are The One Group That Was On To Donald Trump From the Start

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: How Donald Trump destroyed the Republican Party in 2015 (Dec. 28)

Gyasi Ross, dailykos.com: White America’s Racist Uncle: 3 Reasons People of Color Should Be Thankful for Donald Trump (Dec. 25)

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Trump should think twice about picking on Bill Clinton

Greg Sargent, Washington Post: Donald Trump’s new TV ad: Make America great by keeping the dark hordes out

Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast: How Trump Brought Obama And Seinfeld Together, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That (Dec. 22)

Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post: America’s self-destructive whites

Albor Ruiz Column Cut From N.Y. Daily News

Albor Ruiz, a Cuban-born columnist at the Daily News since 1993 who often wrote about Latino issues, has been cut from the newspaper for budgetary reasons, Editorial Page Editor Arthur Browne confirmed for Journal-isms on Monday.

Browne responded by email with a simple "correct" when asked whether news of Ruiz’s termination, as reported by Ruiz and the National Institute for Latino Policy, was accurate.


"The year is not beginning all that great for me: I was just told that due to budget cuts my column in the Daily News (where I worked for 22 years) has been scrapped," Ruiz wrote Saturday on Facebook.

"After 20 years writing it every week, I — and hopefully the readers — will miss it."

Angelo Falcon, president of the institute, included the Facebook message and wrote in the institute’s electronic newsletter, "Albor, who first joined the Daily News staff in July 1993, had been demoted from full-time status that of a freelance columnist in the May 2013 round of layoffs at the paper.

"His columns were one of the few English-language media outlets that consistently covered Latino immigration issues, as his last column below illustrates.

"Given the Daily News’ poor and at times controversial track record in covering Latino community issues, the absence of Ruiz’ column leaves a hole. There were, [for example, incidents revolving around] their coverage of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (the naked ladies and Cuban flag mix-up controversies) that illustrated the paper’s editorial disconnection from the Latino community, especially with the forced departure of such Latino journalist as Maite Junco, Carolina Gonzalez and the demotion from the editorial ranks of Robert Dominguez.

"According to the American Society of [News Editors], in 2015, before the latest cuts, Latinos made up only 6.3 percent of the Daily News staff, despite Latinos making up over 29 percent of the city’s population. With the departure of Ruiz, the paper’s only remaining columnist is Juan Gonzalez. What makes the Ruiz cut interesting is that, unlike other high profile and highly paid layoffs made by the paper, which is reportedly losing $30 million a year, Ruiz was only a part-timer. This says a lot about their commitment to fair coverage of the city’s 2.4 million Latinos.

"If you would like to express your concern about the layoff of Ruiz and the future of the Daily News’ coverage of the Latino community, write to or call:

"Bill Holiber, President and CEO, New York Daily News, bholiber@nydailynews.com, (212) 210-2100, Letter to the Editor, bholiber@nydailynews.com"

Albor Ruiz, Daily News, New York: President Obama must understand deadly consequences of deporting Central American immigrants

Cosby Wears a Sweater Intended to Manipulate

"Bill Cosby’s . . . walk was striking for its overwhelming lack of grace and power," Robin Givhan wrote Monday for the Washington Post, referring to Cosby’s stumbling walk to his arraignment last week on a charge of felony indecent assault. "It was an exploitation of our assumptions of fragile old age. . . .

"It was the explicit manipulation of a studiously unattractive sweater.

"Cosby, who is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, arrived at the small courthouse in suburban Philadelphia last week on the supportive arms of two attorneys. He looked as though he had been suddenly rousted from a fireside nap, helped up from his comfortable rocking chair and asked to put aside his favorite cigar, then forced to make a bewildering appearance before a judge. That was the first-glance illusion as he stumbled down the path towards the courthouse door.

"For Cosby, of course, none of this — the charges, the . . .walk, the media throng — was a surprise. One of Cosby’s attorneys, Monique Pressley, has said as much. And so, there was time for his costuming to be considered. . . ."

Givhan also wrote, "Taken on its own, the sweater managed to telegraph the dual message of grandfatherly trust and warmth, as well as impish innocence. What the sweater most vehemently did not imply was money and power, which Cosby has in abundance. . . ."

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Waka Flocka nonsense about Bill Cosby

Christine M. Flowers, Philadelphia Daily News: Bill Cosby, Bill Lynn and undue process

Lonnae O’Neal, Washington Post: For black women, the Cosby indictment is painfully complex

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Fond Cosby memories take another beating

Iyana Robertson, Vibe: Bill Cosby Is Reportedly Blind, Suffering From Degenerative Eye Disease

Charlie Hebdo Marks Anniversary of Deadly Attack

"French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo will mark a year since an attack on its offices with a cover featuring a bearded man representing God with a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder, accompanied by the text ‘One year on: the assassin is still out there,’ " the Guardian reported Monday, citing news services.

"One million copies of the special edition will be available on newsstands on Wednesday, with tens of thousands more to be sent overseas.

"It will mark a year since brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi burst into Charlie Hebdo’s offices in eastern Paris and killed 12 people, including eight of the magazine’s staff.

"The attack on 7 January 2015, claimed by al-Qaida’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula, came after a 2011 firebombing of its offices that forced it to move premises. Its staff had also been under police protection since it published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2006.

"Included in the special edition will be a collection of cartoons by the five Charlie Hebdo artists killed in the 2015 attack as well as several external contributors.

"Cartoonist Laurent Sourisseau, who took over the management of the weekly after the attack, also wrote an angry editorial in defence of secularism. It denounces ‘fanatics brutalised by the Koran’ as well as those from other religions who hoped for the death of the magazine for ‘daring to laugh at the religious.’ . . ."

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders announced it "is publishing Jihad against journalists [PDF], a report about the war that Islamist armed groups such as Islamic State (Daesh), Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram wage against media personnel.

"The report examines the origins of their hatred for journalists, the totalitarian ideologies and systems that insist that journalists either submit or die, the propaganda machines of their extremist and violent version of Islam, and their strategy for conquering minds by eradicating independently reported news and information. . . ."

Editorial, Daily News, New York: The slave-rape regulators: An ISIS Fatwa is disgusting and [revealing]

Forbes Lists Young People Transforming Media 

"What used to be a long-climbed ladder in the news industry is now one built by founders and strengthened by innovators," Glynnis MacNicol and Emily Inverso wrote Monday in introducing Forbes magazine’s "30 Under 30: Meet The Young People Transforming Media."

"The next generation of media makers are telling the stories and building the companies they couldn’t seem to find when they went looking — and they’re making millions along the way. . . ."

Among the people of color on the Forbes list are Anna Ly, 29, who leads Creative Technology Partnerships at Sesame Workshop; Heben Nigatu, 24, senior editor at BuzzFeed; Angelica Nwandu, 25, founder, the Shade Room; Ashish Patel, 29, senior vice president of social media, NowThis Media; Doreen St. Félix, 23, editor-at-large, Lenny; Zim Ugochukwu, 27, founder, Travel Noire; Amani Al Khatahtbeh, 23, founder, Muslim Girl.

Also, Rembert Browne, 28, writer-at-large, New York magazine; Nisha Chittal, 27, manager of social media and community, MSNBC; Morgan DeBaun, 25, and Aaron Samuels, 26, co-founders, Blavity; and Kimberly Foster, 26, founder, For Harriet.

Judges were Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic; Jim Bankoff, chairman of Vox Media; and Katie Stanton, vice president, Global Media.

Boston’s ’70s Busing Battle Still Living History

"IF YOU FIND yourself reading the 2,200-page spending bill that just got passed in Washington, you might stumble upon this hidden relic: ‘No funds appropriated in this Act may be used for the transportation of students or teachers (or the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to overcome racial imbalance in any school or school system, or . . . in order to carry out a plan of racial desegregation,’ " Farah Stockman, editorial writer and columnist, reported Dec. 27 for the Boston Globe. She was concluding a series, "Boston After Busing."

"Court-ordered busing to address ‘racial imbalance’ in schools has pretty much gone the way of the dodo. Yet those words still appear in spending bills, as if busing might suddenly rise again, like a zombie from ‘The Walking Dead.’

"Was busing really that awful? And how could a policy of educational and racial equality — one of the most idealistic projects our government ever attempted — have turned out like this?

"I’ve spent much of this past year trying to answer those questions. I’ve listened to Bostonians recount their memories of 1974, the year a federal judge ordered that busing be used to desegregate Boston’s schools. I’ve looked into the lives of people who fought for it and against it. I’ve interviewed researchers from across the country about what school desegregation achieved, and where it failed. I’ve examined the racial makeup of Boston’s schools to see how they’re different today.

"One thing that struck me, over and over again, is just how alive this history is, not only in this city, but across the country.

"National politics today pits black against white against brown; those who have little against those who have even less. We’ve been here before. From the blue-collar disciples of Donald Trump to the revolutionary rhetoric of Black Lives Matter, we are in a tug of war over the nation’s soul. Divides over class and race have taken center stage, just as they did during the busing era 40 years ago. What, if anything, have we learned since then? . . ."

Brian Stelter, CNNMoney.com: ‘Paper routes for a night’: Boston Globe reporters deliver Sunday’s edition

Farah Stockman, Boston Globe: The limits of Massachusetts liberalism (Dec. 2)

Farah Stockman, Boston Globe: 90 percent Hispanic? No hay problema (Dec. 16)

Farah Stockman, Boston Globe: How a standoff over schools changed the country (Dec. 20)

Sometimes It’s More Fun Not to Use Fancy Words

It isn’t often that editorial writers devote space to their own craft of writing, but those at the Chicago Tribune did just that in a New Year’s Eve editorial, "Why using exciting words can make you a worse writer."

"We worry that the admonition to gussy up writing by jettisoning short, common words in favor of allegedly more expressive terms could go awry in the hands of the average seventh-grader," the Tribune wrote. "Sometimes people do say things. They don’t aver them. Or assert them. Or declare them. . . ."

The editorial also said, "To be crisply effective, writing has to efficiently communicate what the writer wants to say. It must be clear. When words send readers exploring alleys of thought — I wonder if, by laconic, she’s trying to tell me ‘lazy,’ or ‘slow’? — then the less likely they are to rejoin the writer’s journey, let alone ever reach its destination.

"So remember, we beg, that words are tools, not bludgeons. Avoid obscure polysyllabic words that no one else can read, spell or … understand. Because your readers may just stop reading. For them, nothing is easier.

"Once you know all the fancy terms, you can choose to wield the simple ones with greater force.

"In time, a skilled teacher will mention that understatement often is more powerful than overstatement.

"Clarity of purpose, precision of word choice, not letting readers stray from the journey, tools not bludgeons, the power of understatement. Now you’re getting somewhere.

"Writing a true declarative sentence, Hemingway said, is ‘a good and severe discipline.’

"In other words, it’s a lot of fun."

Jill Geisler, Columbia Journalism Review: 10 resolutions for a new year

Ethiopia’s Disaster Too Slow-Moving for Media Attention

"When a poor country is hit with a sudden catastrophe — say, an earthquake or a tsunami — the world is quick to send aid," Nurith Aizenman reported on New Year’s Day for NPR. 

"But a slow-moving disaster, the kind that unfolds over weeks or even months, is another story. There are no immediate, dramatic TV images, no screaming headlines.

"And that means it’s really tough for aid groups to raise the money needed.

"Just ask John Graham. He’s the head of the aid group Save the Children, and he’s watching a slow-moving disaster unfold in Ethiopia as the world remains largely oblivious.

"It started with last year’s winter rains — or rather, the lack thereof. They were barely a trickle. Then came spring.

" ‘[Spring rains are] not terribly reliable, you see them fail fairly frequently,’ says Graham. ‘But this year they failed quite spectacularly.’

"Everyone hoped the summer rains would make up for it. But they were almost as disappointing due to this year’s El Nino, a periodic warming in the Pacific Ocean that plays havoc with weather systems worldwide.

"Pastoral regions where people raise cattle were among the worst hit. ‘Animals died,’ recalls Graham. ‘People by tens of thousands had to trek into places where they could get water, get food. A lot of the children were severely malnourished."

"By August, it had become official: Ethiopia is in the midst of its worst drought in decades. . . ."

Aizenman also wrote, "This type of situation is common in aid work, says Tom Kirsch, director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He says the world is just a lot more responsive to immediate disasters than it is to slower-moving ones.

" ‘Where we have a very dramatic sudden event that causes widespread destruction and death it captures a lot of attention,’ says Kirsch.

"By contrast, he adds, ‘When you get to the cases where you can actually prevent a crisis like this — where we can intervene early and prevent widespread death — we don’t get the media attention. We don’t get the politicians falling over themselves to organize funds.’

"Kirsch says the irony is that slower-onset disasters often have more severe and lasting consequences. . . ."

White House: Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price on the Arrest of Journalists in Ethiopia

Short Takes

"The International edition of the New York Times newspaper had two blank pages after printers in Pakistan removed an article," Emma Henderson reported Saturday for the Independent in Britain. She also wrote, "The article focused on the brutal attacks and murders on a group of Bengali bloggers who are in support of gender equality, human rights and civil liberty and are battling online with Islamists." On Monday, Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, said that Richard W. Stevenson, ranking International New York Times editor, "told me that The Times objects to what happened and did not get a chance to contest it with The Express Tribune, the Pakistani media company that does its printing. . . ."

"The non-profit Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) has announced 11 winners of its 2015 Public Media Content Fund," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves column. "Among the chosen projects, 37% of the funded producers are emerging filmmakers, 21% are mid-level producers and 42% are veteran filmmakers. In total, 68% of the funded producers are women. . . ."

"Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says the decision to shake up his campaign staff came after a ‘deep dive’ into his operation, which showed the campaign’s inability to execute a plan," Katherine Faulders reported Sunday for ABC News. Carson mentioned Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator and entrepreneur, writing, "Throughout Carson’s campaign, conflicting messages have come from Armstrong and Carson’s staffers, who previously acknowledged that Williams created a problem. Bennett told ABC News last month the relationship with Armstrong was ‘a disaster.’ Carson acknowledged that Williams had made some ‘bad [judgments].’ . . . ‘But, you know, he’s a friend. I think he’s a valuable individual.’ . . ."

"During the live airing of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, Don Lemon’s behavior led many viewers to speculate that perhaps he had one drink too many in ringing in the new year," theGrio reported Saturday about the CNN telecast. "During one moment, comedian Kathy Griffin had taken off her coat to reveal a purple bra during the celebrations. Lemon said to her, ‘I have to say Kathy… I have to say… nice rack. I didn’t know you had all of that.’ . . ." On Dec. 26, Brian Flood reported for TVNewser, "The often-polarizing anchor of CNN’s 10 p.m. program told us he’ll ‘probably get out of traditional news’ at some point, adding that he aspires to host a show along the lines of some of those other late night hosts but ‘not so focused on the comedic part of it.’ . . ."

Appended to the New York Times obituary Thursday of Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning singer who died the day before at 65, was this correction: "An earlier version of a headline on the home page misspelled Ms. Cole’s surname as Coal." Also noteworthy was an obituary by Jason King of NPR, "Natalie Cole: Underappreciated But Never Forgotten."

In "The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors," Dr. Frances Cress Welsing "stated that a system is practiced by the global White minority, on both conscious and unconscious levels, to ensure their genetic survival by any means necessary," Stacy M. Brown reported Saturday for the Washington Informer. Welsing died that day at 80 after a stroke, and few expected much reporting on Welsing’s death in the mainstream media. Not so the black press. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), praised Welsing and her legacy. "More than anyone else in the 20th and 21st centuries [she] personified the intellect and courage to speak the truth about the pseudo ideology of white supremacy and its longstanding impact on the consciousness and lives of millions of Black people throughout the world. . . ."

"On the first anniversary of sportscaster Stuart Scott’s death, his daughters have released a ‘love letter’ dedicated to him, in which they share memories of their father’s life and explain the powerful legacy he left in their hands," Juliet Spies-Gans reported Monday for HuffPost Sports, describing a video tribute.

"A federal appeals court found that the Patent and Trademark Office overstepped when it refused to register a trademark for an Asian-American rock band called the Slants . . .," [accessible via search engine] the Chicago Tribune editorialized on Sunday. "The case of the Slants illustrates the folly of letting censors rule. The band members chose the name to subvert prejudice against Asian-Americans, not encourage it. But literal-mindedness is a hallmark of the bureaucratic approach. The [Washington] Redskins, of course, don’t mean their name ironically. But the right way to address the owner’s obstinacy is by persuasion and social pressure — not by government dictate."

"John McCaa, mainstay news anchor of Dallas-based TEGNA8, remains off the air and on the mend after suffering a hairline fracture of his jaw under unusual circumstances," Ed Bark reported Wednesday for his blog about Dallas-Fort Worth television news. "In an email reply Wednesday to unclebarky.com, McCaa said he had a pair of back teeth extracted two weeks ago and hoped to have them replaced with implants. But last week, while eating a piece of french bread with “the teeth on the opposite side of my mouth, I heard something that sounded similar to the cracking of ice underfoot in the winter. I immediately experienced some of the worst pain I have ever had.’ At Baylor Hospital in Irving, a hairline fracture was discovered. . . ."

In an editorial announcing its editorial agenda for the year, the Cincinnati Enquirer declared Sunday, "We will lift up our community, in all its diversity. We will embrace solutions that will pave a path toward equality in treatment and opportunity, and those that provide a brighter future for all. We will be a friend to the marginalized and impoverished: abused children missed by the social services system; gay, lesbian and transgender people and immigrants who seek only to grasp the American Dream. . . ."

Sociologist William Julius Wilson, "who turned 80 in December, spoke with The Associated Press about his decades of thinking and writing about race, class, education and poverty and about how his ideas run through today’s news stories, whether on income inequality or the Black Lives Matter movement," Hillel Italie reported Dec. 29 for the news service. " ‘We should be cognizant of the choices available to inner-city families and residents in high jobless inner-city Black neighborhoods,’ he says, ‘because they live under constraints and face challenges that most people in the larger society do not experience, or can’t even imagine.’ . . ." 

In his first column for WWJ-TV in Detroit, sportswriter Terry Foster wrote Dec. 28, "The Detroit News is history. This is the beginning of a new and wonderful friendship. I plan on filling this space with blogs and columns. I might even do a feature on one of your favorite athletes or even someone you’ve never heard of. It all depends on how I am feeling that day. So you thought you were rid of me when I took the early retirement package from The Detroit News. Really? No such luck my friends. . . ."

"Egyptian authorities arrested three people who administer 23 Facebook pages, accusing them of using the networking website to incite against state institutions," the Associated Press reported on Saturday.