News Anchor Wins Gamble on ‘Miracle Drug’ After Stroke

Louisville, Ky., reporter Dawne Gee collapsed on air and was paralyzed from the neck down. 

Dawne Gee
Dawne Gee Courtesy WAVE-TV

Minutes after collapsing on live TV, Dawne Gee woke up in an ambulance paralyzed from the neck down. She was having a stroke,” Jere Downs reported Tuesday for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

“It was 7:43 p.m. Friday night. ‘I could look up and see the ceiling. There were lights everywhere, and they were working real fast. I couldn’t raise my head.’

“At her side in the ambulance, WAVE 3 weatherman Kevin Harned fumbled with Gee’s phone to call her mother.

“When medics snipped the strap on her $80 red bra, Gee tried to protest. ‘That effort was hard. I kept trying to say, “Something is not right.” I kept saying, “I can’t move. I can’t feel my face.” ‘

“Meanwhile, her skin crawled with what she could only describe as the worst pins and needles.

” ‘I can’t even explain it,’ she said. ‘Like your limbs are concrete and you can’t move them.’


[Dawne Gee faints Friday in the anchor chair at WAVE-TV in Louisville. (video)]

“In the basement emergency room at Norton Hospital, doctors assembled her three adult children to explain how a clot-busting miracle drug might restore blood flow to her brain and reverse the damage. But time was growing short. The enzyme only worked if given within three to four-and-a-half hours after a stroke. But the side effects from the drug, known as Activase, or tPA, could kill her. In rare instances, the drug might unleash a fatal hemorrhage inside her brain, spark another stroke, or prompt seizures.

“Standing at their mother’s bedside, Brittney, Eric and Alex Gee shouted ‘No!’ in unison.

” ‘Momma, do you understand they are just practicing on you?’ Gee remembered her son Eric asking.

” ‘They were saying it could cause you to bleed in your brain,’ Alex Gee recalled Monday. ‘I didn’t like the way it sounded. I don’t trust any of those medicines.’

“It was getting late. At 11:23 p.m., emergency room doctor Jeff Spain appeared at the foot of Gee’s hospital gurney.

” ‘He was so serious. He had that voice,’ Gee remembered. ‘He said, “You have a window, and that window is closing. This may be what you are left with in your life.” ‘

“The information swirled in her head. She was shaken. She began to cry.

” ‘Do it,’ Gee said. ‘Just do it.’

“The drug flowed immediately into her intravenous line.

“Nine minutes later, at 11:31 p.m., Gee could lift her head. The feeling of pins and needles began to fade. By 11:43 p.m., she could move her arms and lift her legs. . . .”


[Reporting on his meeting with Donald L. Trump, Robert L. Johnson tells WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson, “I wanted to give him a message that I thought was important for African Americans.” (video)]

Bob Johnson Turns Down Trump Cabinet Post

Businessman Robert L. Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, told television interviewers Tuesday that he met with President-elect Donald J. Trump and top aides, including the controversial Steve Bannon, and turned down an offer of a cabinet post.

I’m not disclosing the position, but I turned him down,” Johnson told Bruce Johnson of Washington’s WUSA-TV.

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Johnson said, “It was an easy discussion, because I wasn’t coming there on a job interview. He hinted at something I could be interested in, and I quickly shut that down. It was a Cabinet position,” Matthew J. Belvedere reported for CNBC.

“But I can’t work for the government … because to me as an entrepreneur trying to work in a government structure where you got to through 15 different layers of decision-making to get want you want done doesn’t fit my mold,” he added.’

The businessman told WUSA’s Johnson that Trump deserves “the benefit of the doubt.”

“. . . ‘If you ignore a president and a party that holds the House and the Senate and their ability to enact legislation or policies that may not be in your interest, they will do that because they have no reference point to talk to you. They have no knowledge of what you’re most concerned about, what your fears are,’ Johnson said. ‘And if you find that common ground, you go forward with the opportunity that something positive could happen as a result of the relationship.’ . . .”

Belvedere also reported, “Johnson met with Trump and top advisors Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Jared Kushner at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Nov. 20.”

Ben Carson, the surgeon who ran for president in the Republican primaries, is the only African American reported under consideration for a cabinet post. Carson is said to have been offered the job of secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Bannon, former president of Breitbart News, is anathema to civil and human rights groups. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, has said, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’ ”

However, Johnson told CNBC, “To me, I never thought Donald Trump, and I still don’t believe it today, was a racist. I don’t believe that he’s anti-African-American.”

Kellogg Quits Breitbart; Website Retaliates

Following Kellogg’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be pulling ads from Breitbart, the ‘alt-right’ news organization created a campaign encouraging its readers to boycott the company,” Kristina Monllos reported Wednesday for adweek.com.

“The maker of Pop-Tarts, Apple Jacks and Rice Krispies came under fire for ads on the site after President-elect Donald Trump appointed former Breitbart chairman and white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.

” ‘We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company,’ Kris Charles, a spokeswoman for Kellogg, told Bloomberg of its decision to remove its ads from Breitbart.

Meanwhile, Gregory Ferenstein, editor of the Ferenstein Wire, and author of a book on Silicon Valley politics, wrote for Politico on Tuesday that though he wrote in favor of Hillary Clinton, “as the election results poured in on November 8, I was forced to reflect on a very (very) difficult realization: Much of my work last year was, electorally speaking, worthless. I, evidently, needed to start writing for publications that were trusted by Trump supporters.” He said he plans to start writing for Breitbart.

Martin Baron, Vanity Fair: Washington Post Editor Marty Baron Has a Message to Journalists in the Trump Era

Ramzy Baroud, Arab American News: What should Palestinians expect — can Trump be any worse? (Nov. 23)

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Here’s how to preserve the Kennedy ideal in Trump’s America, from a Kennedy

Jelani Cobb, New Yorker: Protecting Journalism from Donald Trump

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call: Still No N.C. Governor-Elect as Voting Charges Echo Trump’s Claims (Dec. 1)

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Donald Trump’s tweets are a study in incoherence

Renée Graham, Boston Globe: Trump’s revenge on Romney

Michael M. Grynbaum and Sydney Ember, New York Times: If Trump Tweets It, Is It News? A Quandary for the News Media

Amanda Hess, New York Times: The Far Right Has a New Digital Safe Space

Jens Manuel Krogstad and Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Research Center: Hillary Clinton won Latino vote but fell below 2012 support for Obama

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Call to serve? First, ritualistic humiliation

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Recount not justified in this election

Southern Poverty Law Center: The Trump Effect: The Impact of The 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools

Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: Journalists in the age of Trump: Lose the smugness, keep the mission.

Armstrong Williams, National Newspaper Publishers Association: President Donald Trump Will Make the Middle East Great Again, Too

Lilly Workneh, Huffington Post Black Voices: Google Chrome Extension Replaces ‘Alt-Right’ With ‘White Supremacy’

20 Journalists Among Dead in Air Crash; 1 Survives

Twenty journalists are among the dead in the airline crash that devastated a Brazilian soccer team, officials said Tuesday,” Peter Prengaman reported for the Associated Press.

“Colombian aviation authorities said 21 of the 77 people aboard the charter flight were journalists covering the Chapecoense team from southern Brazil and its upcoming South American Cup match in Medellin, Colombia.

“One journalist was among the six survivors: Rafael Valmorbida of Radio Oeste Capital, a station in the Brazilian city of Chapeco, where the team is based.

” ‘We lost more than just a team,’ said the station’s website. ‘We lost friends, partners, colleagues and family members.’

“The station called for prayers for Valmorbida’s recovery, and for three other station journalists who died.

“The journalists, all men, included cameramen, photographers, commentators and reporters from radio stations in Brazil as well as larger media outlets such as Fox and Globo, a large Brazilian conglomerate. . . .”

Associated Press: The Latest: Officials identify 59 victims of Colombia crash

A galley proof, in the New York Times’s morgue, of an advance obituary for Fidel Castro, this one from 1971. (Credit: Stephen Hiltner/New York Times)
A galley proof, in the New York Times’s morgue, of an advance obituary for Fidel Castro, this one from 1971. (Credit: Stephen Hiltner/New York Times)

At N.Y. Times, Castro’s Obit First Drafted in 1959

” ‘Every Mexico correspondent in recent years, myself included, inherited and worked on the Fidel Castro ‘Death Plan,’Randal C. Archibold reported Tuesday for the New York Times “Times Insider” publication. “We all thought for sure it would happen on our watch — only to see Castro outlive our tenures, just as he outlasted presidents.

Azam Ahmed, the Mexico bureau chief, is now that sweepstakes ‘winner,’ though Damien Cave, by amazing luck, is the one who was actually there when it happened — on vacation.”

Archibold, now the Times’s deputy sports editor, introduced “Decades in the Making: Fidel Castro’s Obituary.” A subheadline explained, “Sixteen New York Times journalists recount their work on the Cuban revolutionary’s obituary, first drafted in 1959.”

Mark Brown, Chicago Sun-Times: Souvenir, telephone secrets from 1984 meeting with Castro

Raoul Lowery Contreras, Fox News Latino: Cuba in a perfect world after Fidel

Roberto Lovato, Alfredo Estada, Loren Medina, Suyapa Portillo Villeda, Latino Rebels: Latino Rebels Contributors Weigh In on the Death of Fidel Castro

Mac Maharaj, New York Times: Fidel Castro, a South African Hero

Neil Reisner, Columbia Journalism Review: In Cuba’s ‘second capital,’ covering Castro’s death a letdown for journalists

P.J. Rickards, The Root: Black Writers’ Room: Author Gives Us a Glimpse Inside the CIA’s Covert War on Jamaica

Albor Ruiz, Al Día, Philadelphia: “12 uncertain hours that changed my life forever…”

Fabiola Santiago, Miami Herald: A threatening Trump wants ‘a better deal,’ but knee-jerk moves won’t transform a post-Fidel Cuba

Michael Weissenstein and Paul Haven, Associated Press: Fidel Castro clung to socialism, mentored new leftists

NAHJ Says Meeting With NABJ Doubled Revenue

The joint convention between the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists “exceeded revenue expectations!” immediate past president Mekahlo Medina wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

“We doubled @NAHJ conf revenue from 2015. Great way to end my @NAHJ presidency.

“Couldn’t have done it without the great help of my board, Executive Director Alberto B Mendoza, past president Hugo Balta, our amazing sponsors including Toyota, United and dozens of others and NAHJ members!

“Thank you to the great partner in (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists and Sarah J. Glover.”

Mendoza would not elaborate, saying by email, “we’ll be sending that info to our members first later this week or early next, so it will be available externally then.”

NABJ reported last month that the convention in the nation’s capital saw 3,209 NABJ and 681 NAHJ registrants. The success helped lead NABJ, which projected a 2015 deficit of nearly $380,000, to predict that it would end 2016 with a projected $1 million surplus.

Charlotte Observer Backs D.A. in Police Shooting

Of all the words Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray said in his news conference late Wednesday morning, none may have been truer than his first,” the Charlotte Observer editorialized after the news conference.

“ ‘We’re here,’ Murray said, ‘to discuss a tragic case.’

“The shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott was exactly that — a tragedy for Scott’s family, which has had to grapple with a sudden and very public loss. It was a tragedy, too, for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson, who fired four bullets in the heat of a moment few can imagine.

“Vinson will not face criminal charges for that September shooting, Murray announced Wednesday. The officer, he said, ‘acted lawfully.’ We heard nothing that makes us disagree with the district attorney’s determination. . . .”

Bruce Henderson, Katherine Peralta and Ely Portillo reported for the Observer, “Dozens of protesters marched from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters to the city center Wednesday night.” They also wrote, “Speakers at the protest, organized by the coalition Charlotte Uprising, said they want to see more police transparency in investigations. The march was generally peaceful, especially compared with the sometimes violent protests in the days after Scott’s death in September. . . .”

Glenn Burkins, Qcitymetro: DA: No criminal charges warranted against officer in Keith Lamont Scott shooting that sparked protests

Aerial view of the Lewisburg prison complex, via Google Earth
Aerial view of the Lewisburg prison complex

37 Groups Respond to Stories on Prison ‘Torture’

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, 37 civil rights, human rights and church groups on Monday asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate ‘harrowing allegations of abuse and torture’ of prisoners at the federal prison at Lewisburg, Pa., based on stories last month by NPR and The Marshall Project,” Joseph Shapiro reported for NPR.

“Groups signing the letter included the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Southern Poverty Law Center.

” ‘Reported conditions at USP Lewisburg call for swift intervention and accountability,’ said the Rev. Laura Markle Downton, of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, one of the drafters of the letter.

“The letter writers said the stories showed ‘a facility in crisis that requires greater oversight, transparency and accountability to ensure humane and lawful conditions of confinement.’

“The investigation by NPR and The Marshall Project found violence between prisoners is six times more likely at Lewisburg, compared with all federal prisons. That violence is more likely because of the practice of putting dangerous men together in one solitary confinement cell — a practice called double celling — for 23 to 24 hours a day, plus a lack of mental health care and the frequent use of restraints for prisoners who refuse to live with a specific cellmate.

“One man in our investigation, Sebastian Richardson, was put in restraints for 28 days after he refused to cell with a man who had a reputation in the prison for attacking his cellmates.. . .”

TV Execs to Sit Out Critics Tour Next Month

January’s semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour will be without some of the industry’s biggest executives, as well as another streaming outlet,” Lesley Goldberg reported Tuesday for the Hollywood Reporter.

“Amazon has opted to join Netflix as well as Starz and completely sit out the January TCA press tour. Additionally, NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS have all eliminated executive panels from their day-long sessions. Instead, insiders say, each of the Big Four networks want to focus on their midseason fare. Sources suggest that the networks will resume executive panels during the summer as they look to heavily promote their 2017-18 fall lineups. . . .”

“During the summer TCA, [Glenn] Geller was roasted about CBS’ lack of diversity during a panel in which he confessed the network needed to “do better” as part of a grueling 10-minute-long diversity discussion. Fox brass [Dana] Walden and [Gary] Newman fielded questions about the future of The X-Files; ABC’s [Channing] Dungey — in her debut — opened up about axing Castle and plans for a Star Wars TV series; and NBC’s [Bob] Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke were quizzed on [Donald J.] Trump.

“Given the near lack of a breakout broadcast hit and the absence of outright [cancellations] amid a lower ratings barometer, it’s almost no surprise that execs from the Big Four networks would sit out the January tour in an effort to maintain a positive news cycle. . . .”

Short Takes

The “Journal-isms” fund drive, which officially began on “Giving Tuesday,” raised $5,625 from 57 people in its first two days. Many added comments extolling the site’s value. The overall goal is $50,000. List of supporters.

Sopan Deb of CBS News, who is described as of “Indian-origin” by an Indian news outlet and “who emerged as a standout 2016 reporter for his tireless coverage of Donald Trump, is joining The New York Times culture desk,” Michael Calderone reported Wednesday for the Huffington Post. “In a memo to staff, Times Culture Editor Danielle Mattoon said Deb will ‘cover a spectrum of news — cultural, political, race/gender/class, way-we-live-now — through arts and entertainment lenses in the Trump era. . . .”

Cierra Ford (Credit: WSB-TV)
Cierra Ford (Credit: WSB-TV)

Police are investigating the shooting death of a Clark Atlanta University student outside a Sandy Springs condo,” Raisa Habersham reported Wednesday for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Cierra Ford, 25, was with her boyfriend when she was shot Friday . . . Tyrique Lobban, 21, was taken to the North Fulton Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and is listed in critical, but stable condition. Robbery is thought to be a motive . . . Ford’s family told Channel 2 Action News she was majoring in communications at Clark Atlanta University and wanted to cover issues concerning African-Americans, including gun violence. She had already earned an associate’s degree at Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, California. . . .” Berkeleyside account.

House Bill 48 — which passed the Ohio House by a huge margin a year ago — is singularly ill-timed,” the Plain Dealer in Cleveland editorialized on Tuesday, “coming right after an armed attack on the Ohio State University campus that injured 11 people.” The bill would authorize the carrying of concealed weapons on the campuses of Ohio’s public and private universities and colleges. Ohio State students divided.

David Brown, who, as Dallas Police Chief, became familiar to Americans in the days following the ambush police killings of five officers in July, has joined ABC News as an analyst,” Chris Ariens reported Wednesday for TVNewser. “A 33-year veteran of Dallas P.D., Brown resigned from the force on Oct. 22. He’d been chief since 2010. . . .”

At Indiana University in Bloomington, “Members of the Black Graduate Student Association and the National Association of Black Journalists gathered Tuesday for a mass meeting to discuss policing and write letters to Ramsey Orta, the man behind the camera in the Eric Garner video,” Bailey Cline reported for the Indiana Daily Student. “Garner was killed after being held to the ground by a police officer in New York City. . . . ‘I felt the need to write letters to him to let him know someone still cares,’ said Taylor Hurt, president of the NABJ. ” Orta is the only person at the scene of Garner’s 2014 killing by police who will serve jail time.

At Standing Rock Indian reservation. (Credit: Shannon Kiss)
At Standing Rock Sioux Reservation (Credit: Shannon Kiss)

Editorializing on the Dakota Access Pipeline dispute at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, the Boston Globe wrote Tuesday, “Winter is coming, and conditions at the protesters’ Oceti Sakowin camp are deteriorating quickly. On Tuesday, after the governor ordered the camp evacuated and a winter storm swept in, officials said they would begin blocking supplies. The protesters vowed to stay put. . . . what better time for [President] Obama to show he is commander in chief and intervene, in the interest of negotiating a peaceful solution to a standoff that could have fatal consequences. . . .” Essay by photographer Shannon Kiss in the Comments section.

On Nov. 29, 1864, hundreds of Native Americans were killed,” Billy J. Stratton wrote Tuesday for Time magazine. “In treaties such as the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, the lands of Native peoples in the west were legally recognized and guaranteed. That such agreements carry the full weight of the United States Constitution belies the casual nature of their neglect. The Sand Creek Massacre of Nov. 29, 1864, represents just one example of our nation’s failure to live up to the ideals and laws sanctified in the documents of civilization. . . .” video (Rocky Mountain PBS)

Some people think that racism toward Asian Americans “diminished because Asians ‘proved themselves’ through their actions,” Jeff Guo wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post. “But that is only a sliver of the truth. Then, as now, the stories of successful Asians were elevated, while the stories of less successful Asians were diminished. As historian Ellen Wu explains in her book, ‘The Color of Success,’ the model minority stereotype has a fascinating origin story, one that’s tangled up in geopolitics, the Cold War and the civil rights movement. . . .”

Looks like there’s been a change in the weather at KXAS/Channel 5, especially on weekends,” Robert Philpot reported Tuesday for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “NBC 5 confirms that Remeisha Shade, who has primarily been doing weather on the weekend-evening newscasts since late 2010, has left the station. . . .”

In Atlanta, “Morning host Gloria Neal has left CBS46 today after just 17 months,” Rodney Ho reported Nov. 22 for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Her name has been stripped off the staff listings and her bio page is gone. . . .”

In Los Angeles, “KTTV morning anchor Tony McEwing expects to be off the anchor desk for several weeks due to medical treatment,” Mark Joyella reported Monday for TVSpy.

Ugandan authorities should immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Kenya Television Network (KTN) reporter and anchor Joy Doreen Biira,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. “Police detained Biira on November 27 after she reported on a deadly battle between police and a traditional monarch’s royal guard, charged her with ‘abetting terrorism,’ and released her pending trial the following day, she and her lawyer told CPJ. . . .”

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday that it had urged Mexican authorities “to ensure the safety of journalists working at the Tijuana-based weekly Zeta. The Mexican magazine is currently under police protection after authorities learned of a plot by a cartel to attack the office. . . .”

Comments