At least four journalists, including a cameraman for British broadcaster Sky News who was also the husband of a former Washington Post and USA Today reporter, were killed and several were injured in the violence that erupted in Egypt on Wednesday, according to news reports.
“Media watchdogs urged Egypt to investigate all attacks on journalists and to hold those responsible to account, condemning the casualties that occurred after riot police backed by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi,” Maggie Michael and Jill Lawless reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.
“Scores of people were killed in the violence nationwide.
“Sky News said Mick Deane, 61, was shot and wounded while covering the violent breakup of protest camps in the capital, Cairo. It said he was treated for his injuries but died soon after. The rest of the Sky crew was unhurt.” Deane was the husband of Daniela Deane, a former editor and reporter for the Post and USA Today.
“The Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, reported on its website that journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, was shot dead near the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo as security forces moved in on a sit-in by Morsi supporters.
“The newspaper said she had been on annual leave and was not on assignment at the protest for the XPRESS, a sister publication that she worked for.
“Egyptian journalist Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who wrote for the state-run newspaper Al Akhbar, was killed while covering the crackdown at Rabaah al-Adawiya. The Egyptian Press Syndicate, a journalist union, confirmed Gawad’s death, though it had no other information about how he was killed.”
“Sky said Deane had worked for the broadcaster for 15 years in the United States and the Middle East. He was married with two sons.
Egypt’s Al Ahram reported, “The AlRassd news website (RNN), an alternative pro-Islamist media network, also reported on Wednesday that their photojournalist Mosab El-Shami had been shot dead in Cairo.”
There were other reports of violence against journalists, Jack Mirkinson reported for the Huffington Post. Mike Giglio, a reporter for the Daily Beast, tweeted that he had been detained and beaten by security forces, and Haleem Elsharani, a freelance photojournalist, said that a Reuters photographer had been shot in the leg.
“Arrested, beaten by security forces and then held at a local arena,” Giglio said via Twitter, Al Ahram said.
“The police took his laptop, opened it on the scene and punched him until he gave them the password, he later wrote. His wallet and mobile were also confiscated and not returned, according to the Daily Beast reporter.”
The AP story continued, “The International Press Institute said it had received reports that journalists were being targeted by both sides in the clashes.
” ‘Journalists are neutral parties in conflicts and should not be the target of violence, regardless of who is perpetrating it,’ IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. ‘The Egyptian government must also be held accountable by the international community for any deaths or attacks that deliberately targeted media workers.’ “
American reporters were among those offering reports from the scene. On NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Leila Fadel described a harrowing encounter at a local hospital. “Just to get to the hospital, we had to dash through an alleyway where sniper fire was being shot from buildings. And the sniper fire was coming from the security forces.”
Inside the hospital, Fadel said, “The steps were slick with blood as we went from floor to floor and every few seconds people were being carried in with gunshot wounds and some were already dead. One image that sticks in my mind is a body that had been completely charred; apparently burned in one of the tents. A woman, also shot in the head. Her body wrapped in a blanket. Just on one floor of that center I counted 37 bodies. They were lined up in rows, their hands folded across their chests. And the doctor there told us that the security forces were shooting to kill.
“When we were trying to leave the gunfire intensified. We didn’t know at the time that a state of emergency had been declared. We hid behind walls until we knew we had to just run, and then we got out before it got even worse. And as I was running, a man just dropped in front of me. He had been shot in the head.”
In an editorial, the Washington Post called the Obama administration complicit in the day’s events.
“Before the July 3 coup in Egypt, the Obama administration privately warned the armed forces against ousting the government of [Mohammed] Morsi, pointing to U.S. legislation that requires the cutoff of aid to any country where the army plays a ‘decisive role’ in removing an elected government. Yet when the generals ignored the U.S. warnings, the White House responded by electing to disregard the law itself. After a prolonged and embarrassing delay, the State Department announced that it had chosen not to determine whether a coup had taken place, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry declared that Egypt’s military was ‘restoring democracy.’
“Because of those decisions, the Obama administration is complicit in the new and horrifyingly bloody crackdown launched Wednesday by the de facto regime against tens of thousands of protesters who had camped out in two Cairo squares. . . .”
Hours before the crackdown in Cairo Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a strongly worded report about repression of the news media in Egypt.
“Hopes for press freedom were high after the 2011 revolution ousted Hosni Mubarak, led to an explosion of private media outlets, and set the country on a path to a landmark presidential election,” began the special report by Sherif Mansour, with reporting by Shaimaa Abu Elkhir from Cairo. “But more than two years later, a deeply polarized Egyptian press has been battered by an array of repressive tactics, from the legal and physical intimidation of [Mohammed] Morsi’s tenure to the wide censorship of the new military-backed government.
“[Mohammed] Morsi and his supporters pushed through a repressive constitution, used politicized regulations, pursued retaliatory criminal cases, and employed rhetorical and physical intimidation of critics. This intolerance of dissent helped lead to the Morsi government’s downfall.”
The report continued, “The military shut down pro-Morsi news media and obstructed coverage supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the toppled president. If the repression thus far has been aimed at one segment of the news media, there are ominous signs for the press across the political spectrum. . . .”
Paul Farhi and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post: Husband of former Post reporter among journalists killed in Egypt violence
Mike Giglio, Daily Beast: Egypt’s Government Thugs Beat Me Up at the Rabaa Sit-In
Joel Gulhane, Daily News, Egypt: Egyptian journalist briefly detained at Nahda sit-in
Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post: Caught in the middle, a Washington Post reporter recounts Egyptian attack
Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail, McClatchy News Service: Egyptian forces storm protest camps; hundreds killed or injured
Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail, McClatchy News Service: Egypt: After ‘volatile’ and ‘saddening’ day, what happens next?
“ESPN president John Skipper has capped a whirlwind month by snatching Fox Sports’ top digital talent and longtime ESPN nemesis Jason Whitlock, just days before the launch of Fox Sports 1, sources exclusively tell The Big Lead,” Jason McIntyre reported Wednesday for Big Lead Sports.
“This shocking development — Whitlock famously left ESPN in 2006 after an interview with this website — culminates Skipper’s master plan to define ESPN as the Worldwide Leader in original sports thought and intellect, while letting his new challenger, Fox Sports 1, go the ‘jockularity‘ route.”
Whitlock tweeted to his followers, “Today is my last day at Fox Sports. I want to thank David Hill and people at Fox for six great years of support. They allowed me to grow.”
He followed that with, “And they stood by me during my Jeremy Lin meltdown. I wish FoxSports 1 a successful launch. Good group of hardworking people deserve success.”
The former Kansas City Star columnist apologized in February for a tweet about NBA player Lin’s private parts that the sportswriter said showed “my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature.”
Whitlock said in another tweet Wednesday, “Seriously, looking forward to thanking a lot of people — at the top John Skipper, Rob King — for bringing me back to ESPN.”
Erik Hayden noted in the Hollywood Reporter, “The columnist had been writing for Fox Sports since 2006 and hosted his ‘Real Talk’ podcast for Fox [Sports] Radio. He previously wrote for ESPN’s Page 2. The timing of the hire arrives just prior to the Aug. 17 launch of Fox Sports 1, the national sports news network that aims to compete with ESPN.”
Lou D’Emilio, a spokesman for Fox Sports, told Journal-isms via email, “Jason is a talented writer and a thought provoking columnist. We had conversations with him about continuing his relationship with FOX Sports, but we were unable to reach an agreement. We thank him for his contributions over the past six years and we wish him well.”
McIntyre wrote, “Skipper, who took over as ESPN president in January 2012, has made it his goal to fix the network’s No. 1 problem: the perception that the lowest-common-denominator debate culture of First Take defined the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless will continue to make incessant, annoying noise, but it will be impossible to deny ESPN’s increased intellect push. . . .”
Alex Ben Block, Hollywood Reporter: Fox Sports 1 Execs Reveal Strategy to Take on ESPN (Q&A) (July 24)
Matt Rudnitsky, sportsgrid.com: The Loud And Controversial Jason Whitlock Is Returning To ESPN… Is This Good Or Bad?
“Hugh Douglas is no better than Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper when it comes to racial sensitivity,” columnist George M. Thomas of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal wrote Wednesday.
“A former member of the Eagles himself, Douglas just lost his gig with the ESPN show Numbers Don’t Lie, which he appeared on with journalists Michael Smith and Jemele Hill.
“As heinous as Cooper’s use of the N-word was, Douglas went just as low recently when he allegedly dropped the terms ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘house N-word,’ two more linguistic legacies of slavery, on Smith during the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention in Orlando, Fla. Most notably it came on the night that the organization’s sports journalists honored their scholarship winner, marring a party that had never had any sort of controversy associated with it.
“According to a source, who was in Orlando, the incident with Smith served as the climax of several days of alleged boorish behavior by Douglas that included excessive drinking and a lack of professionalism. The source is not permitted by his organization to speak publicly due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“Unlike Cooper, there is no damning video and ESPN treaded lightly before telling Sports Illustrated on Monday that they booted Douglas from their airwaves. Obviously they found something they didn’t like or Douglas would have been hit with a suspension, all would have been forgotten and once football season began he would be dishing out his words of wisdom again.
“He won’t get that opportunity.
“Good. Good riddance.
“He allegedly displayed a side of African-American culture that few outside of the community rarely see. . . .”
Bobby Caina Calvan, Asian American Journalists Association: ESPN apologizes, gives straight answer for “One Direction” flub (Aug. 7)
Gregory Clay, McClatchy-Tribune News Service: As for Riley Cooper, we’ve seen this scenario before (Aug. 8)
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, The Atlantic: I Will Jump That Paywall and Fight Every Blogger Here, Bro
Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated: ESPN parts ways with former Eagles lineman Hugh Douglas
Bob Raissman, Daily News, New York: ESPN fires Hugh Douglas after he threatens, spews n-word at Michael Smith
Bob Raissman, Daily News, New York: After thrashing Riley Cooper, Stephen A. Smith & ESPN avoid Hugh Douglas affair (Aug. 10)
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Robert Griffin III not happy ESPN let Rob Parker go
“The Washington Post. Home of Woodward and Bernstein, the reporters who took down President Richard Nixon during Watergate. Home of numerous Pulitzer Prize winners,” Rob Capriccioso wrote Wednesday for the Indian Country Today Media Network. “Home of current top-notch investigative reporting on the Edward Snowden/National Security Agency fiasco.
“But not home to many Native Americans.
“There are currently two Indian [journalists] working in the newsroom of 600, according to data collected by the newspaper’s employees, which means that only 0.3 percent of the newsroom is Native.
“When The Washington Post released a report on its newsroom diversity in 2010, it omitted noting the lack of Natives altogether. Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, women were all there. That same report indicated that ‘journalists of color comprise about 24 percent of the newsroom,’ while 43 percent of The Post’s circulation area is minority. Indians there at that time: still 0.3 percent.
“Is that a problem? Many in Indian country say it is. A common lament is that one of the nation’s top publications, based in the heart of the nation’s capital, does not devote any full-time reporters to covering tribal affairs, even though there are countless Indian-focused legislative hearings, Native bill mark-ups, Supreme Court cases, federal agencies and programs devoted to Indians, and tribal leader meetings taking place every month in D.C. Not to mention NFL team name disgraces, tribal lobbyists and lawyers running amok, and regular Indian cultural activities at the many museums around town. . . .”
Jeff Bercovici, Forbes: Sorry, Craig: Study Finds Craigslist Took $5 Billion From Newspapers
Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review: Applaud the Grahams, but acknowledge their failures
Michael Getler, PBS: The News Business Makes News (Aug. 8)
Colbert I. King, Washington Post: For The Post, local ownership made all the difference
Chris O’Brien, Los Angeles Times: Bezos’ Washington Post deal comes as tech focuses on news business (Aug. 8)
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Can Jeff Bezos save bullied newspaper industry? (Aug. 8)
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Thank you, Graham family
Betsy Rothstein, FishbowlDC: Politics & Prose Owners to Bezos: Welcome to Washington You Ruthless Outsider (Aug. 8)