Lone Black Reporter Covering Trump Campaign Reveals Good, Bad, Ugly

ABC’s Candace Smith, who was viciously attacked on social media, says it was a mixed bag with Donald Trump supporters face-to-face: “They may like me as a person, but were concerned more holistically what black and brown people were doing to this country,” she wrote.

A supporter of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump heckles demonstrators before the start of a rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago on March 11, 2016. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Race was not high on the list of concerns listed in analyses of Donald J. Trump’s victory Tuesday, but the self-described only black reporter who covered Trump in the field wrote Wednesday that, to her, the subject was omnipresent.

“In this, my experience was not unique. Nearly all those who covered Trump have been booed, given the middle finger, told we are ‘s—.’ At rallies, people have called for us to be killed, along with Hillary Clinton.

“Social media was much worse. My Jewish colleagues were the recipients of horrifying memes that digitally placed them in gas chambers. In Phoenix a protester chanted at the press pen to which we all were relegated, ‘JEW-S-A,’ as spittle from his mouth fell on us.

“On Twitter, I’ve been called a ‘n—–,’ a ‘c—‘ and, at times, a combination of the two. Also, one person who claimed to be Christian — as I am — tweeted, ‘You are a Hillary WHORE and, thus, can NOT possible be saved by Grace. Grace wouldn’t have a whore like you.’


“In person, I was met by a strange mix; my blackness was not unnoticed, but people seemed genuinely open to speaking with me, respectful. There was the elderly white woman protesting Trump in Wisconsin who asked me ‘what the coloreds think about Trump.’ There was the white man in a sweltering New Hampshire gymnasium who asked me which race had been created first and told me, of my education, that I had ‘learned everything wrong.’

“But conversations with over 100 Trump supporters, all white, revealed a darker truth: that they may like me as a person, but were concerned more holistically what black and brown people were doing to this country and worried about a changing nation that no longer looked like them.

“ ‘I’m not afraid to say that I’m in fear for the white man. I’m in fear,’ Brian Patterson told me in North Carolina. He had voted for President Obama but worried about racial tensions, feeling Obama had exacerbated them. Jayna Knowlton, who confided in me that she had been called a bigot and racist, said she merely wanted her country back. . . .”

Alec Tyson and Shiva Maniam wrote Wednesday for the Pew Research Center, “White non-Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton by 21 percentage points (58% to 37%), according to the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool. [2012 presidential candidate Mitt] Romney won whites by 20 percentage points in 2012 (59% to 39%).

“However, although Trump fared little better among blacks and Hispanics than Romney did four years ago, Hillary Clinton did not run as strongly among these core Democratic groups as Obama did in 2012. Clinton held an 80-point advantage among blacks (88% to 8%) compared with Obama’s 87-point edge four years ago (93% to 6%). In 2008, Obama had a 91-point advantage among blacks. . . .”

Michael Arceneaux, The Root: We Owe Donald Trump as Much Respect as He Gave Us During His Run for President

Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Shame on ‘deplorables’ who supported Donald Trump

John Bacon, USA Today: Racist graffiti greets Trump win across USA

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Your 45th president.

Zeba Blay, Huffington Post Black Voices: Don’t Be Surprised. This Is The America You Have Always Lived In.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: America Elects a Bigot

Todd Steven Burroughs, The Root: So, Um … Will Black People Pull Out Their Old ‘Black America’ IDs Again?

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call: Trump’s Coalition Can’t Last

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Donald Trump wins without a big-tent approach

Ed Diokno, AsAmNews: What Just Happened?

Editorial, La Opinión: President-Elect Trump

Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Black Women Were the Only Ones Who Tried to Save the World Tuesday Night

Chris Fuchs, NBC News: Muslim Americans, Allies Urge Caution In Election Aftermath

Kai EL’ Zabar, Chicago Defender: Trump Takes The Election

Arsalan Iftikhar, Washington Post: Being a Muslim in Trump’s America is frightening. Here’s what we can do in response.

Indian Country Today Media Network: Donald Trump Wins Election and Indian Country Holds Its Breath

Ben Jealous, NBCBLK: Organizing Starts Now, With Love

Cameron Joseph, Daily News, New York: Civil rights groups brace for four years ‘under siege’ during Trump administration

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: The Bigoted States of America have the chief they want — President Donald Trump

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

Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: The 2016 Presidential Election Exposed America’s Racist and Sexist Patriarchy for the World to See

Media Matters for America: Trump Advisor Roger Stone Tweets Racist Image Of Black Rioters As “Hillary Supporters”

Tiffany Onyejiaka, Huffington Post: To the White Millennials Who Voted For Donald Trump

Jay Reeves, Associated Press: Some minorities find ‘President-elect Trump’ scary prospect

Lawrence Ross, The Root: Welcome to the New Nadir

Rebecca Shapiro, Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook, Huffington Post: Newspapers Around The World React To The Reality Of President Trump

Rebecca Shapiro, Huffington Post: Tavis Smiley: Love And Justice Lost, Hatred And Revenge Won (video)

Brooke Sopelsa, NBC OUT: Shocked and Disappointed, LGBTQ Activists Vow to Fight On

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press: Trump presidency sparks anxiety among minorities in Michigan

Julia Carrie Wong, the Guardian: Standing Rock protesters sit out the election: ‘I’m ashamed of them both

Lilly Workneh, Huffington Post Black Voices: Black America, We Must Not Give In To Fear. We Must Take Action. We really are stronger together.

Stephen Colbert presents the presidential election results in the Showtime special, “Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?” To Colbert, Donald Trump’s quest began with President Obama’s barbs at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (Credit: YouTube.com)

Trump Breaks Tradition, Leaves Reporters Behind

Donald Trump is keeping Americans in the dark about his earliest conversations and decisions as president-elect, bucking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on its new leader,” Kathleen Hennessey reported Friday for the Associated Press.

“Trump on Thursday refused to allow journalists to travel with him to Washington for his historic first meetings with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. The Republican’s top advisers rebuffed news organizations’ requests for a small ‘pool’ of journalists to trail him as he attended the meetings.

“The decision was part of an opaque pattern in Trump’s moves since his victory Tuesday. He was entirely out of sight on Wednesday. His aides said he was huddled with advisers at his offices in New York. His team has not put out a daily schedule, or offered any detailed updates on how he has spent his time. They have not acknowledged phone calls or other contact with world leaders. . . .”

Hennessey also wrote, “The White House Correspondents’ Association, which coordinates press pools and advocates for transparency at the White House, urged Trump to allow journalists to cover his meetings and other movements.

” ‘This decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis,’ said Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters and the group’s president. ‘Not allowing a pool of journalists to travel with and cover the next president of the United States is unacceptable.’ ”

Chris Ariens, TVNewser: With Trump Administration, TV Nets Look to Fill New D.C. Roles

Mike Cavender, Radio Television Digital News Association: Where will we go?

Russell Contreras, Unity: Journalists for Diversity: UNITY joins ASNE to prepare to defend First Amendment

David Folkenflik, NPR: Now That He’s Won, Will Trump’s Relationship With The Media Evolve?

Robert A. George, Daily News, New York: Why didn’t the New York Post endorse Donald Trump? The right-wing tabloid’s silence speaks volumes

Hadas Gold, Politico: The Huffington Post ending editor’s note that called Donald Trump ‘racist’

Max Kutner, Newsweek: In Age of Donald Trump, Newspaper Endorsements No Longer Matter

Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting & Cable: Analyst: Top 6 Ways Trump Could Impact Media

David Oxenford, Broadcast Law Blog: Looking at the Last Night’s Election Results and the Future of Washington Policy For Broadcasters

Becky Peterson, Folio:: People Faces Backlash Following Shift in Trump Coverage


On Wednesday, members of the NBC Latino team discussed the significance Latino voters played in the election of Donald Trump and in historic down-ballot races.

Elite Media Said to Define Diversity Too Narrowly

Donald Trump won, and the media is grasping for answers as to why we didn’t predict it,” Hamilton Nolan wrote Thursday for Deadspin. “Already, you can see the seeds of many bad solutions forming. . . .”

Nolan also wrote, “What does the media need? Diversity. Period. Diversity in the newsrooms, diversity among editors, diversity among executives. All news publications are ultimately the product of the collective lived experience of the people who put them out.

“There is no super-intelligent omniscient robot deciding what goes in the New York Times; it is the product of a bunch of people sitting in a room, using their own best judgment. Their own best judgment is shaped by their own lives. If you do not have people in that room who lived a very wide array of different types of lives, your publication will have holes. This is why the New York Times can write very credible analyses of barbecue restaurants in Williamsburg, yet a trip to Kansas City comes off as the equivalent of a trip to the moon.

“Of course, every media outlet will tell you they value diversity. The deeper problem is what places like the New York Times think diversity is. The Times’s approach to diversity is to hire a black person who went to Columbia Journalism School and a woman who went to Princeton and someone who grew up in rural West Virginia who went to Harvard. This is not what diversity means. . . .”

Nolan also wrote, “The ‘elite media,’ to the extent such a thing still exists, must recruit young writers who are not fucking Ivy League graduates, who may not be friends with people who already work there, and who may not be wealthy enough to run in the same social circles.

“These are the writers who will bring a true diversity of lived experience to your publication, which will translate into a true diversity of stories, and will hopefully prevent you from sounding ridiculous when you cover certain people, places, and things. And this diverse staff must constantly be replenished. Once someone has spent a decade working for the New York Times, they have probably ceased to provide a lot of economic diversity. . . .”

Additional observations by black journalists Roger Witherspoon and Tom Jacobs are in the “Comments(scroll up) section below.

Eric Alterman, the Nation: Election 2016 and the Collapse of Journalistic Standards

Joshua Benton, Nieman Lab: The forces that drove this election’s media failure are likely to get worse

Detroit Free Press: How the Free Press missed mark on Michigan projection for Clinton

Tim Franklin and Benjamin Mullin, Poynter Institute: How the media missed President Trump, and what comes next for journalism

John Herrman, New York Times: What We’ve Learned About the Media Industry During This Election

A.J. Katz, TVNewser: MSNBC President Phil Griffin: ‘We Cannot Go in There With a Sense That We Think We Know Better’

Alec MacGillis, ProPublica: Revenge of the Forgotten Class

Ari Paul, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Another Election Loser: Corporate Media

David Pierson, Los Angeles Times: After Trump’s win, even some in Silicon Valley wonder: Has Facebook grown too influential?

Joe Pompeo, Peter Sterne, Hadas Gold and Alex Weprin, Politico: What went wrong? Eleven takes from media veterans

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: Joe addresses the media blind spot (video)

Gary Segura and Matt Barreto, Latino Decisions: Lies, Damn Lies, and Exit Polls

Alicia Shepard, billmoyers.com: Why the Media Blew It

Judy Woodruff and Hari Sreenivasan with Margaret Sullivan, Steve Deace and Jim Rutenberg, “PBS NewsHour”: How the mainstream media missed Trump’s momentum

Mandate? What mandate?
A “mandate?” (Credit: Rick Horowitz)

Trump 5th to Lose Popular Vote but Win Presidency

“The states voted for him. The people voted for her.” It’s a good meme for those reporting on the “mandate” delivered to Donald Trump or considering a declaration that “the American people have spoken.”

As if to underscore the point, thousands of anti-Trump protesters filled the streets of cities nationwide Thursday for a second night, David Caplan reported Friday for ABC News, a seemingly unprecedented phenomenon after a presidential election.

There are still more votes to be counted, but it looks almost certain that despite losing the presidency, Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote,” Zachary Roth reported Thursday for NBC News.

“And likely by a million or more votes — a much larger margin than Al Gore enjoyed in 2000, when he too was denied by the Electoral College even though he had more votes.

“Put more starkly: It appears Americans chose Clinton, but got Trump.

“Trump’s popular vote loss likely won’t constrain his effective power as president, especially with unified GOP control of Congress — just as it didn’t seem to hem in George W. Bush.

“But if the candidate who got fewer votes wins the White House for the second time in five elections, it could put a new spotlight on the peculiar way that America picks its presidents — one not shared by any other democracy.

” ‘It certainly is going to bring this back into the forefront of public discussion,’ John Koza, the founder of the National Popular Vote campaign, which aims to effectively get rid of the Electoral College, said Tuesday night as the results rolled in. . . .”

Interestingly, when Gore won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral college, Clinton, then a new senator, called for direct elections of the president, Mario Trujillo recalled for the Hill 11 days before the 2012 election. “She argued the country has changed since the Electoral College was put in place.

“ ‘We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago,’ Clinton said at a news conference.

“ ‘I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.’ ”

Jessica Firger, Newsweek: Hillary Clinton Beats Trump in Popular Vote, But it Doesn’t Matter

Brianne Garrett, USA Today College: Answers to your questions about the Electoral College, from a historian

TheGrio.com: How slavery became the basis for the Electoral College

John Koza, National Popular Vote: End the Electoral College (video) (2008)

Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Congratulations, President-elect Trump. But don’t take too much credit for the win.

Alma Newsom, Trailblazing Broadcaster, Dies at 70

Alma Joy Newsom, a trailblazing news reporter who was among the first black women to anchor a Houston television broadcast, died Nov. 2 of unknown causes at her home,” Blake Paterson reported for the Houston Chronicle. “She was 70.

Alma Newsom (Credit: C-SPAN)
Alma Newsom (Credit: C-SPAN)

“Passionate about diversity in media, Newsom relentlessly mentored countless Houston journalists over 14 years at KHOU (Channel 11) and later sought to educate reporters on how to accurately cover minority communities.

” ‘She launched the careers of hundreds of broadcasters,’ said Carolyn Campbell, who worked for Newsom at KHOU. ‘She really had a special passion that women and people of color were represented in the industry.’

“Born in Simonton in 1945, Newsom was a prolific speaker and community activist. She graduated from Jack Yates High School, in Houston’s Third Ward, and later attended Texas Southern University.

“She began working at KHOU in 1971 and was one of only a handful of black employees at the largely white, male station. Before leaving in 1984, Newsom worked in a number of positions, including community affairs director, program manager, talk show host, reporter and news anchor.

“Unflappable in the face of adversity, Newsom was regarded by colleagues as a source of guidance and inspiration, offering encouragement while remaining firm about her standards.

Paterson also wrote, “After leaving KHOU, she served as communications director for U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland. Newsom updated a concerned nation in a 1989 televised news conference following the plane crash in which the Houston congressman died.

“Following her stint in Washington, Newsom returned to Houston in 1990 and started the Newsom Communications Group. Newsom sought to bridge the divide between diverse communities and media organizations. . . .”

Short Takes

Donald Trump, president-elect, will sit for an interview on 60 Minutes that will air Nov. 13,” Mike Malone reported Thursday for Broadcasting & Cable. “Correspondent Lesley Stahl will conduct the interview, which takes place at the Trump family residence in Manhattan Nov. 11. Stahl will also speak with First Lady-elect Melania and Trump children Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric and Donald Jr. The telecast airs on CBS at 7 p.m. [ET] Sunday. . . .”

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went off on San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick for not voting in Tuesday’s election,” Ny MaGee reported Thursday for EURWeb.com. “Colin previously made his feelings about both presidential candidates known by calling them ‘proven liars’ who were ‘trying to debate who’s less racist.’ . . .” Jim Vance, longtime anchor at WRC-TV, the NBC station in the nation’s capital, also had little patience for nonvoters. In a video this week, he reminded millennials of the sacrifices their ancestors made for the right to vote.

For all of the ways the 2016 presidential election was extraordinary — particularly Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that the vote was being ‘rigged’ — the actual balloting on Tuesday was largely without serious incident,” Derek Willis reported on election night for ProPublica. However, Ari Berman, writing in the Nation, concluded Wednesday, “We’ll likely never know how many people were kept from the polls by restrictions like voter-ID laws, cuts to early voting, and barriers to voter registration.” He saluted and named the journalists who “did cover voting rights doggedly.”

Many Asian American voters across the country, especially new citizens and first-time voters, encountered barriers and discrimination at polling places, including improper requests for identification, inadequate language assistance, no provisional ballots, being sent to multiple incorrect poll sites, and discrimination against American Muslim women wearing hijabs or niqabs,” the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund reported Tuesday.

Even as Americans ushered in a presidential candidate who favors hard-line law enforcement tactics on Tuesday, voters still passed criminal justice reform measures by comfortable margins in many states,” Beth Schwartzapfel reported Wednesday for the Marshall Project.

As voter after voter walked into the Reno High School gym on election day, a group of nine journalists sat on the bleachers and watched the American election process at work,” Rebecca Kitchen reported Wednesday for KOLO-TV in Reno, Nev. “But these journalists are unique. ‘From what I see, I am in admiration of what is being done,’ a journalist named Evelyn said. Evelyn, along with the 8 others in her group don’t have the same rights as American journalists or voters. That’s because they are from various African countries, including Chad and Niger. They are here in Reno to learn more about American politics and journalism. . . .”

Zambia’s press has come under sustained assault in this election year, with station licenses suspended, journalists harassed or arrested for critical coverage, and one of the country’s largest privately owned papers, The Post, being provisionally liquidated in a move that its editors say is political motivated,” Angela Quintal reported Tuesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In Burundi, “Salvator Nyandwi, the chairman of the association of gravediggers ‘Dufashanye’, was arrested in the afternoon of 5 November,” Lorraine Josiane Manishatse reported for Iwacu. “He is detained in Gihamga police Brigade custody in Bubanza Province in the West of Burundi. He is accused of speaking to a journalist. . . .”

A Mozambican correspondent for a German radio station has been held in police custody for a month on charges he defamed a police officer, Deutsche Welle has reported,” News24 reported Thursday in South Africa. “Supporters have been trying to raise 20 000 meticais [$260 U.S.] bail for Arcenio Sebastiao. . . .”

Yesterday, media practitioners from Rwanda and elsewhere on the continent, together with different stakeholders, met in an event to celebrate the African Information Day,” the New Times in Kigali, Rwanda, editorialized. It also wrote, “During the dialogue, different speakers stressed the need for African media practitioners to rise to the occasion and own the Africa story and give it the right perspective. For decades now, Africa has had to contend with the unfair coverage at the hands of the global media outlets, mainly from the Western countries. . . .”

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