Blogging the Beltway: His vote upheld the law, but his opinion is far from an endorsement.
(The Root) -- Chief Justice John Roberts has held the role of "swing justice" in the past, casting the deciding vote in close Supreme Court cases. But his decision to side with the center-left justices in Thursday's Affordable Care Act ruling, upholding the individual mandate, still came as a surprise.
While the vote to reaffirm President Obama's signature piece of legislation is being hailed as a boon to the president's re-election campaign, the substance of Roberts' opinion stops well short of actually championing the policy. From the opinion:
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
With his careful "this is not about politics" ruling, Roberts avoids accusations of judicial activism or overreach by not completely striking down the health care reform law. By shifting the individual mandate argument away from the Commerce Clause, reframing the provision as a tax, he also managed to still uphold conservative legal ideology.
"He got away from the problem that the conservatives would have had if he'd argued that it's OK to force people to buy things under the Commerce Clause," Abigail Moncrieff, professor of law at Boston University School of Law, told The Root. "But it also avoids the institutional problem of having the court invalidate such a big political decision."
Moncrieff added that the Supreme Court, historically, has tried to be modest in second-guessing legislative and political decisions. "Throughout the opinion, Roberts is very interested in this idea of judicial restraint and trying to make sure that the court doesn't do too much," she said.
In his reaction to the Supreme Court decision, Mitt Romney emphasized that the ruling was far from a ringing endorsement of the Affordable Care Act. "What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it's good policy," Romney said on Thursday. "This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama."
Romney's rallying cry against the law may very well re-energize the Republican base, since a Romney administration would have the power to undercut the law's implementation with or without control of Congress.
The way that the Supreme Court ruled could also make things more difficult for Obama. "Now, based on Justice Roberts' opinion, in his re-election campaign President Obama has to say that he increased taxes," said Moncrieff. "And not only that, increased taxes on the middle class. Because among the people who are most likely to not have health insurance are lower-middle-class individuals. So on this issue, Romney will have a bit of ammunition."
Nonetheless, President Obama will no doubt use the Supreme Court decision to make a campaign argument for his re-election. In his own remarks on Thursday, however, he claimed to be uninterested in how it will play for him politically. "That discussion completely misses the point," Obama said. "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it."
Cynthia Gordy is The Root's senior political correspondent.
Blogging the Beltway: The law is ruled constitutional, paving the way for full implementation.
(The Root) -- Just before the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in March, I asked Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, if the Obama administration had a plan B if the high court struck down the law's individual mandate. She wouldn't divulge.
"We're not thinking about or planning for a moment when those provisions are not in the law," she said perkily. "We really are quite confident that the Supreme Court is going to uphold it."
Turns out Munoz was right. On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act 5-4, arguing that, yes, the federal government can require you to buy health insurance or face a fine.
In upholding the health care reform law's individual mandate, the court cast the penalty for those who refuse to purchase health insurance as a tax, arguing that Congress has that authority.
As Chief Justice John Roberts said in the decision: "Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A [the individual mandate] under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it."
With regard to the other part of the law that was in question -- ACA's expansion of Medicaid, to cover anyone with incomes of less than 133 percent of the poverty level -- the court ruled that the expansion is constitutional, but only with conditions.
Under the U.S. Constitution's Spending Clause, the federal government has the power to give the states more money for Medicaid, in return for the requirement that they provide more low-income people with access to health care. What the court ruled that the government is not allowed to do, however, is strip states of their existing Medicaid funding if they do not expand Medicaid. Those states, in other words, can continue to receive funds for the rest of the program.
As Justice Roberts put it: "Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding."
So in the end, the entire Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Although the Supreme Court rejected the government's argument that the individual mandate is fair game under the Commerce Clause (the part of the Constitution that gives the federal government authority to regulate multistate economic activity), it was nonetheless allowed to stand on the grounds that the penalty that one must pay if one refuses to buy insurance is a tax that Congress is authorized to impose.
Full implementation of the law will continue, and the plan for barring insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions is still on track. The 3.1 million young people who are already being allowed to stay on their parents' health care plans will remain insured, and seniors who have already been receiving 50 percent discounts on brand-name drugs will keep those discounts.
Glenn Cohen, professor of law and co-director of the Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard University, reasoned that, even if the court's specific rationale was not ideal for the Obama administration, it's still a victory for him.
"The best possible thing would have been for it to have been upheld as an exercise of the Commerce Clause power because now Mitt Romney gets to say, 'Look at the president increasing taxes -- he didn't want to call it a tax before, but the Supreme Court called it as it was,'" Cohen told The Root. "But at the end of the day, this is a very good day for the president."
Cynthia Gordy is The Root's senior political correspondent.
Blogging the Beltway: But as women flee the GOP, he's working to keep their growing support.
As the general election gets under way, analysts have repeatedly underscored female voters as the group that will determine its outcome. According to a series of recent polls, they're flocking to President Obama.
The latest example is a new USA Today-Gallup Poll that shows the president's lead with women over Mitt Romney. Among female voters in 12 swing states, Obama is ahead by 18 points. The gap is even wider among younger women, with more than 60 percent under the age of 50 supporting Obama.
The president's approval rating with women had actually dropped last December. But the longer Republicans talked about contraception and "getting rid of" Planned Parenthood, the more women started to prefer the president's message.
Likely hoping to capture this groundswell of support in a bottle, on Friday the White House hosted a forum on women and the economy. For four hours administration officials -- including Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius -- discussed their efforts to bolster economic security for women, with panels on women in the workplace, entrepreneurship, education, health care and violence against women and girls.
Midway through the summit, President Obama stopped by to address the audience. He first tried to distance himself from the polls and analysis of female voters, calling them oversimplified. "Women are not some monolithic bloc. Women are not an interest group," he said. "Women are over half this country and its workforce -- not to mention 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law."
With that, he ticked off his administration's work, starting with the gender pay gap.
"Right now, women are a growing number of breadwinners in the household. But they're still earning just 77 cents for every dollar a man does -- even less if you're an African-American or Latina woman," he said. He continued that in 2009 he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which made it easier for women and other workers to sue for pay discrimination, in order to work against that.
Obama also spoke on health care reform, listing its provisions that benefit women in particular. "Last year more than 20 million women received expanded access to preventive services like mammograms and cervical-cancer screenings at no additional cost," he said. "Nearly 2 million women enrolled in Medicare received a 50 percent discount on the medicine that they need. Over 1 million more young women are insured because they can now stay on their parent's plan. And later this year, women will receive new access to recommended preventive care like domestic violence screening and contraception at no additional cost."
Then he pushed back on the GOP. "When something like the Violence Against Women Act -- a bill Joe Biden authored, a bill that once passed by wide bipartisan margins -- is suddenly called to question, that makes no sense," he said to applause. "That's not something we should still be arguing about."
Meanwhile, Romney acknowledges that he has a "women problem" -- but he attributes it to Democratic distortion of his positions, and says that the tide will turn. "There's no question that over the past several weeks, that a discussion about religious liberty was distorted into a discussion about contraceptives ... that somehow Republicans are opposed to contraceptives," Romney said in a Newsmax interview this week. "I think it was a most unfortunate twist by our Democrat friends. I think this will pass as an issue as people understand our real position."
Cynthia Gordy is The Root's Washington reporter.
Blogging the Beltway: Stories of how the Affordable Care Act is working in real life.
Editor's note, June 28, 2012: With news that the Supreme Court upheld key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, The Root has decided to re-run this blog posting where we met people who are affected by the health care law.
At an Iowa town hall last summer, an audience member prodded President Obama for failing to pass a single-payer health care system in 2010's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The president admitted that his health reform law wasn't everything he wanted, but he defended it.
"The health care bill that we passed was not perfect, but it [will extend coverage to] 30 million people," Obama said. "So this was a landmark piece of legislation. Yes, getting it through Congress was messy, and it didn't have every single provision in there that we wanted, but it was entirely consistent with what I campaigned on."
As Friday marks the second anniversary of the law's passage, the White House is reminding Americans that the legislation has already expanded access. "We know that 2.5 million young adults have gained coverage on their parents' plan because of the Affordable Care Act -- and that includes 410,000 African Americans within that number," Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told The Root in an interview this week. "We know that 5.5 million African Americans are eligible for preventive care without co-pays and co-insurance now as a result of the Affordable Care Act."
Here are some of the real African Americans behind those numbers.
Help in the "Doughnut Hole"
Helen Rayon, 72, works at a West Philadelphia senior center assisting her peers with their health and wellness needs. She cites free preventive care (including physicals and screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol) as a piece of health care reform that has been particularly important for seniors on a fixed income.
"Last year the center ran a breast-health campaign and found that, within a group of about 52 women, 28 of them had not had mammograms in several years," Rayon told The Root. "Their explanation was that the fee involved held them back. When they found out that they could get their mammograms free now, that gap closed. They are getting mammograms, gynecological checkups and other health screenings more. It makes us all more cognizant of getting examinations instead of putting them off until it's too late."
Rayon, who takes seven daily medications, is also one of many senior citizens in the Medicare "doughnut hole" -- the coverage gap that occurs once their total drug costs have exceeded $2,250. While the Affordable Care Act seeks to fully close that gap by 2020, last year a new provision kicked in to help in the meantime.
"Now I get a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs," she said. "So for those of us in the doughnut hole, the law has begun to help."
"I'll Never Forget My Mom's Face"
For Michael Byrus, a 25-year-old college student in Raleigh, N.C., the Affordable Care Act rule that allows young adults to remain on their parents' policies until age 26 has been a huge relief over the past two years.
Living with Crohn's disease, a painful condition that requires regular treatment, Byrus was dropped from his mother's insurance policy in 2009. At the time, in order to be covered, he had to maintain 12 college hours a week, but complications from his illness and an ensuing surgery had kept him out of classes for three weeks.
"I could barely walk because my stomach was split from the surgery," he told The Root. "But the insurance company sent a letter saying I was about to be dropped, while I was still in the hospital. I'll never forget my mom's face."
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, he has been able to stay on his mother's insurance -- and receive a vital intravenous infusion every eight weeks -- without the threat of interruption. "It's a nice thing to have because otherwise I don't know how we would pay for it," said Byrus, who is looking into insurance options for when he turns 26 next year. "I'm very fortunate right now."
Read more about the Affordable Care Act in this interview with Cecilia Munoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council. She talks about how health care reform is making a difference for African Americans in particular and why the Obama administration is not worried about legal challenges to the bill.
Cynthia Gordy is The Root's Washington reporter.
From Journal-isms: President Obama is trying to use the term to his advantage.
For more than a year, Republicans have taken to calling President Obama's health care reform legislation "Obamacare" in an effort to disparage it. No Republican presidential candidates debate is complete without numerous uses of the term, and like "death tax" for "estate tax" before it, the hope is that with repetition, even "objective" journalists will use the word.
The strategy is partly succeeding, but here is the surprise:
Obama is trying to turn the term on its head and use it to his advantage. He did as much in a campaign-style stop in St. Louis this month as he tried to whip up support for his proposed American Jobs Act. The president was ticking off his administration's achievements, including health care reform:
". . . And while it will take a couple of years for all the reforms to fully take place," he said, "already we’ve got seniors all across the country who have gotten $250 to help them pay for their prescription drug benefit. And nearly 1 million young adults already have health insurance because of it — 1 million more young people. That’s an incredible achievement. The Affordable Care Act is working. (Applause.)
"They call it Obamacare. I do care, that’s right. (Applause.) The question is, why don’t you care? The question is, why don’t you care? You should care, too. Some of these folks [are] making central to their campaign pledge to make sure that 30 million people don’t have health insurance. What kind of inspiring message is that? (Laughter) "
Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, used "Affordable Health Care Act" on Thursday when she and Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes took questions from audience members, tweeters and reporter Cynthia Gordy at a White House discussion sponsored by theRoot.com.
"A million young people right now are on their parents' insurance," Jarrett said to the in-house audience of 150 and others watching theRoot.com's live stream of the event. Most of the audience was African American, and it included a sprinkling of black journalists.
The public relations offensive was designed "to educate everybody about what's at stake here," Jarrett said, including members of Congress. She and Barnes, who announced Thursday that she was leaving her post at the end of the year, directed audience members to www.whitehouse.gov/jobsact, and http://www.whitehouse.gov/opportunity for more details about the administration's jobs initiatives.
*Cynthia Gordy, theRoot.com: What Has Obama Done for Poor People?
*Betsy Rothstein, FishbowlDC: The FishbowlDC Interview With The Root’s Top Byrd
*Sunday Talk-Show Hosts Resist GOP's "Obamacare" Term (Nov. 8, 2010)
Gene Demby has been named editor of the HuffPost BlackVoices website, a spokesman said Friday, and Rebecca Carroll, who rose from culture editor to managing editor, only to be replaced in that job by Demby, left the operation this week.
"Gene Demby was promoted to Editor of HuffPost Black Voices last month, and Rebecca Carroll is no longer with us. We appreciated her contributions to our team and we wish her the best in her future endeavors," Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz told Journal-isms by email. "He's our first editor of the site."
Demby was hired as a news editor in June and founded the website postbourgie.com.
Demby's LinkedIn profile lists him as a news assistant and writer at the New York Times from May 2005 until June.
"What would I like to do next?" Carroll said in response to an email from Journal-isms. "Something that involves bold ideas, brilliant narrative writing, culture, art and the nuances therein."
BlackVoices has undergone significant turnover since coming under Huffington Post control this year. Carroll made major changes in subject matter and presentation leading to a site redesign that was introduced by Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in August.
At the relaunch, Christina Norman, the ousted CEO of Oprah Winfrey’s struggling OWN cable channel, was named executive editor, and she was still listed in that position in an Oct. 7 Huffington Post article.
HuffPost BlackVoices had 3 million unique visitors in September, according to the comScore, Inc., research company, placing it second to the lurid MediaTakeOut.com among African American-oriented sites.
"News organizations are defending airing the grim video of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar [Gaddafi's] lifeless, bloodied body being kicked and dragged through the streets near his hometown of Sirte," Marisa Guthrie wrote Friday for the Hollywood Reporter.
"The cell phone video was obtained by Qatar-based Al Jazeera on Thursday morning before widespread reports of [Gaddafi's] death. And while U.S. news organizations were careful to note that [Gaddafi's] death was not confirmed by NATO or the U.S. government, they quickly began airing the video, warning viewers that what they were about to see was disturbing."
Meanwhile, Lucas Shaw noted Thursday for theWrap.com, "When the news of Moammar Gaddafi’s death broke on Thursday, it was no surprise which network was first with a video of the bloodied dictator's body dragged through the streets of Sirte: Al-Jazeera.
Shaw asked al-Jazeera spokesman Osama Saeed how Tony Birtley, reporter for Al-Jazeera English, managed to get the video.
"It’s a pretty straightforward story," Saeed said. "We have maintained a strong presence in Libya even after Tripoli fell. Though there has been a general drop off, we’ve maintained our presence there. Tony knew what was happening in Sirte, and he was the first journalist in there. As such, when people had footage of what happened, he was on hand to receive it."
The Poynter Institute was one of several news operations to note the many English transliterations of Gaddafi's Arabic name, surfacing a 1986 article reporting that the colonel once spelled it out in English.
In that article, Cecil Adams wrote, "For many years . . . the Mummer was too busy promoting global chaos to devote much time to the niceties of orthography. That changed in May, 1986, when he responded to a letter from some second-graders at Maxfield Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota. The colonel signed the letter in Arabic script, beneath which was typed 'Moammar El-Gadhafi.' This was the first known indication of his own feelings on the subject . . . "
*Chris Ariens, TVNewser: How the Evening Newscasts Reported the Death of [Moammar] Gaddafi
*Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro blog: "This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya .."
*Roy Greenslade, the Guardian, Britain: Gaddafi's death — how the papers covered it, and what they say...
*Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: John McCain, Libya Expert
*Huffington Post: [Moammar] Gaddafi Dead: Did Newspapers Go Too Far?
*Mahmood Mamdani, AlJazeera.com: What does Gaddafi's fall mean for Africa? (Aug. 30)
*Justin D. Martin, Columbia Journalism Review: A Grand Year for Free Speech
*Julie Moos, Poynter Institute: Few U.S. front pages feature dead [Gaddafi], many international papers show body
"Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pushed back Friday against The Post’s front-page story that details how the Florida senator confused key dates in his family history, saying that 'if The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that,' " Nia-Malika Henderson reported Friday for the Post.
“ 'But to call into question the central and defining event of my parents’ young lives — the fact that a brutal communist dictator took control of their homeland and they were never able to return — is something I will not tolerate,' he wrote in an op-ed published by POLITICO.
" 'My understanding of my parents’ journey has always been based on what they told me about events that took place more than 50 years ago — more than a decade before I was born. What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates.' "
"The Post story reports that Rubio got his parents’ story wrong, saying for instance, on his Web site that his parents 'came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.' Yet documents reveal that Rubio’s parents were admitted as lawful residents on May 27, 1956, a date of which Rubio was apparently unaware.'
" 'My parents and grandparents came here from Cuba in ’58, ’59,' Rubio said in a 2010 interview with Sean Hannity.
"It was on New Year’s Day in 1959, that Castro’s forces came to power, a date that marks a bright line in Cuba’s history, and as The Post reports, provides a dividing line between the post-revolution exile community and the pre-Castro community."
Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia told Journal-isms on Friday that the story grew out of reporting he is doing for a biography of Rubio, who has been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential candidate. "I came upon some documents that I thought were interesting, related to the arrival of his family in the United States," he said by telephone.
When he came upon the 1956 date, he thought it was a typo, he said. "I had heard Sen. Rubio say his parents came in 1959, and seen references to that in many articles, from the Weekly Standard . . . and particularly the Miami Herald," Rubio's hometown newspaper.
After further research, including a five-hour stretch reading microfilm at the Library of Congress, Roig-Franzia said he, the Post and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, decided that he had a story that could not wait for the book.
"Mario Rubio is an important figure in American politics today. He is somebody invested with a lot of hope by a lot of the country regarding his potential future, so it doesn't surprise me that this piece has generated" plenty of comment "on both sides of the political divide," Roig-Franzia said.
On Friday, Rubio changed the passage in his official biography that said his parents "came to America following Fidel Castro's takeover."
*Keach Hagey, Politico: The Marco Rubio story: From birther blog to mainstream media
"Carolina Garcia, the editor of the Daily News, will now be the executive editor for the Daily Breeze and the Press-Telegram in Long Beach as well," Kevin Roderick reported Friday for LAObserved.
"Breeze editor Toni Sciacqua becomes managing editor - digital for the group. Sue Schmitt, the editor & general manager of the Press-Telegram, has 'decided not to remain as a full-time employee of the company as part of this transition.' It's the next, big shoe to fall after yesterday's axing of the DN's features and food editors. In Northern California, the MediaNews papers have been largely merged into one product — and many expect this is the first step toward that occurring here."
A memo from Jack Klunder, named last month as publisher of all three papers, says, "The three respective newsrooms of the Daily News, Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram will be led by one executive editor. Carolina Garcia has been selected to serve in this new role."
"David Stern declined comment yesterday on commentator Bryant Gumbel's assertion that the NBA commissioner has come off like a 'modern plantation overseer' during the lockout," Marc Berman reported Thursday in the New York Post.
"Using racially tinged remarks, Gumbel said on his HBO show Monday night that Stern is 'a modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys.'
"Stern was a former board member of the NAACP in the 1990s, and during his tenure, the NBA has been given high marks for its minority hiring practices and minority ownership.
"The attack on Stern also may not have helped the Players Association in the labor battle, because Gumbel's remarks could be turning Stern into a more sympathetic figure.
" 'Stern's version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys,' " Gumbel said on his show 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.' 'It's part of Stern's M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he's the one keeping the hired hands in their place.' "
*J.A. Adande, ESPN: Should've seen this one coming
*John Gonzalez, Philadelphia Daily News: NFL timeout is good theater
*Eric McErlain, dailycaller.com: Bryant Gumbel, David Stern and the television ratings game
*Shaun Powell, ESPNNewYork.com: Bryant Gumbel should've known better
*Deron Snyder, theRoot.com: Bryant Gumbel: Exposing Himself or David Stern?
*Deron Snyder, Washington Times: Gumbel’s slavery slam on Stern was out of bounds
*USA Today: Barkley calls Gumbel's comments "stupid"
*Dr. Boyce Watkins, NewsOne: Bryant Gumbel And The Rise Of The Planet Of The Athletes [Video]
*Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com: Players need to stick to their day jobs
Short Takes*". . . I've considered Juan Williams a friend since we covered Jesse Jackson's first presidential campaign back in 1984," Jack White wrote for Saturday on theRoot.com. ". . . That's why reading the ludicrous piece comparing [Thurgood] Marshall's successor on the court, Clarence Thomas, to Malcolm X that Juan posted on The Root earlier this week made me so sad. It made me wonder what had become of the journalist I had known and respected for his careful analysis and courageous willingness to examine the unpleasant facts about the most sacred black icons."
*WikiLeaks and retired ABC News anchor Carole Simpson are the winners of the PEN Oakland 2010 Censorship Award, PEN Oakland, "a Bay Area Chapter of the International Organization of Poets, Essayists, and Novelists," announced on Thursday. Simpson self-published her biography "NewsLady" after being turned down by literary agents as too controversial, she said. Ishmael Reed, PEN Oakland board chairman, told Journal-isms, "Since publishers and television networks might belong to the same conglomerate, it's not surprising that Carole Simpson had to self-publish her book,['NewsLady.'] The racist and sexist treatment she received behind the cameras explains how African-Americans appear before the cameras." This columnist won the award last year.
*"It's only been a month since syndicated talk show host Michael Baisden started working with The Black and Missing Foundation," RadioInk reported this week. "Since then, Baisden's program has been directly responsible for finding three missing children. The most recent success story involves young Jhada Clarke, who had been taken out of state by her father and missing for more than a month."
*Asians who watch video on the Internet viewed more than nine hours of it per month, according to the Nielsen Co.'s second-quarter 2011 report on cross-platform consumption, Kate Kaye reported Thursday for ClickZ.com. Asians are followed by Hispanics, who spent six hours and 15 minutes watching online on average. African Americans viewed web video for around six hours and whites for only three hours 50 minutes, Kaye reported.
*Justin Tejada, assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated Kids, will be joining Bob Der to co-direct the Asian American Journalists Association's Executive Leadership Program, a volunteer position, AAJA announced on Thursday.
*"Time Warner Cable today (Oct. 20) launched a new, originally-produced African-American-themed talk show as part of its On Demand platform," R. Thomas Umstead reported for Multichannel News. "The six-episode series, Born To Shine, spotlights the impact African Americans continue to make within the entertainment industry, sports, technology and the community," according to cable officials.
*". . . California’s Silicon Valley is booming, and technology companies like Facebook, Skype, and Apple are seeing their valuations soar," CNN announced on Friday. "CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports that the ownership of this digital bloom is mostly young, white, and male. For her fourth 'Black in America' documentary, O’Brien asks why, according to industry analyst CB Insights, less than one percent of all venture capital money went to digital startups with African-American founders in 2010 — and she profiles a unique, technology-focused 'accelerator' developed to help African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding to establish their businesses. 'Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley' will debut on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8:00p.m. ET & PT and replay on Nov. 13 at 11:00p.m. ET & PT."
*Teresa Puente is returning for a second year as secretary of the Journalism & Women Symposium, known as JAWS, the group announced on Friday. Puente teaches at Columbia College Chicago and is a visiting professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Charreah Jackson, associate editor of Heart & Soul Magazine in New York, is one of three returning board members. Katherine Rowlands, an editor with the Bay Area News Group in California, was elected president.
*"As sports fans move to the real time reporting of the Internet to get their fix, so too has Sporting News," Steve Smith reported Oct. 6 for minonline.com. "The venerable title is celebrating its 125th year in print, and does so by pulling its hard copy publishing schedule back from bi-weekly to monthly. The publication announced this week it would go to once a month beginning with the November 7 issue. It is merging with the Sporting News Yearbooks brand, but retains Sporting News as its title. The editorial content will shift towards sports previewing, focusing on pro, college and fantasy sports."
*"On September 26, 2011, five days after tragic execution of Troy Davis by the State of Georgia, the National Board of the Pacifica Foundation passed a resolution calling for the end of the death penalty in the United States," according to an announcement from Pacifica, which operates five "community radio" stations. "In response to the resolution, Pacifica’s Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt said, 'We will encourage our programmers across the country to inform the public about the ramifications of the death penalty and the harm it invokes. We will encourage our radio stations to provide opportunities for those working to end the death penalty in the United States to have a voice on our airwaves.'”
*"Cuban human rights defender Laura Pollán, who died Friday from respiratory complications at a Havana hospital, fought a mighty battle against the Cuban government for almost a decade," Carlos Lauría and María Salazar-Ferro wrote Monday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Pollán, 63, leaves behind her husband, the award-winning independent journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, and a daughter. She also leaves a legacy of determination, courage, and creativity. Her powerful belief in justice was ultimately rewarded when dozens of wrongly imprisoned dissidents and journalists, including her husband, were freed from prison over the last two years, in large part due to her efforts."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.