Julie Chen and her husband Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp. (Diumitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

" 'We are sorry to hear about what happened to CBS' Julie Chen in 1995 when she was a reporter at WDTN-TV,' Joe Abouzeid, WDTN and WBDT president and general manager said in a statement. 'The station was under different management and ownership during that time. At WDTN and WBDT, we don't tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind.'

"WDTN is now owned by LIN Media. It was owned by the Hearst Corporation when Chen worked there. . . ."

What might be most notable about Abouzeid's statement is that he labeled the news director's comments racist.

CBS had announced that its show "The Talk" would feature each co-host revealing a secret about herself this week. On Wednesday, "Chen said a former WDTN-TV news director told her she would never be accepted in Dayton as an anchor," Robinson's story continued.

" 'It is cold out in the field. I wanted to try to get a seat on the anchor desk so I asked my news director "you know holidays, anchors want to take vacation could I fill in. You know, I don't care, I will work Christmas." He said "you will never be on this anchor desk because you are Chinese." And he said "let's face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we really have here in Dayton? Our audience can't relate to you because you are not like them,' Chen, 43, recalled on the talk show.

"A high-powered agent echoed many [of the news] manager's views and Chen ultimately elected to get a 'double eyelid surgery.' The cosmetic procedure reshapes the skin around the eye so that the eye looks more Western. . . ."

Jeremy Blacklow, writing for Yahoo News, reported that Chen said she consulted with her mother, who greeted her with silence. "She said, 'This is a deeper conversation that we have to have with your father.' We talked about if this was denying my heritage, and whether or not I should have this done.'

" 'And this agent — he represented the most famous Asian broadcaster out there at the time — you know who I'm talking about and I'm not going to say names.

" 'So, this divided my family. Eventually, my mom said, "You wouldn't have brought this up to me unless this was something that you wanted to do." And they told me that they'd support me, and they'd pay for it, and that they'd be there for me.' "

Ironically, the revelation took place on the same show where Sheryl Underwood, a black comedian, "sat beneath a shiny wig and before a largely White audience . . . mocked nappy Black hair," as Jamilah Lemieux recalled recently for ebony.com. On Wednesday, Underwood told Chen, "You have represented your race and your colleagues," and the studio audience erupted in applause.

Not everyone agreed, although some said that passing judgment was not so simple.

"They talk about Chen's procedure as if hooded eyes equal Asian, and eyelid surgery equals becoming white, or American. In reality, this operation, called 'double eyelid surgery' by many — or blepharoplasty, if you want to get technical — is really common amongst Asian Americans. And it's practically a requirement to become a model or actress in certain parts of Asia, like last spring's South Korean beauty contest controversy showed." Photos of the contestants prompted claims that cosmetic procedures left all of them looking the same. "I think the preference for larger, rounder eyes is something that's been internalized in Asia after a long history of European colonialization.

"And many Asians, like me, are born with folded lids. I was reminded often as a child how lucky I was to have my mother's eyes. But just like you can never be too rich or too thin, I still envied the girls with rounder, deeper-set eyes. And believe me, I was still reminded constantly that I was Asian, and thus, not American enough. . . ."

Chen's revelation quickly became the talk of social media. "She had the works done, nose, eyes, etc. and boobs too probably. But she sold out big time — very sad, but like she said, it got her to where she is and married to the big boss...whoop-de-do good for her (sad)," said one commenter on Facebook, referring to Chen's marriage to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves.

"She made herself racially ambiguous," said another.

"she's from a culture that rewards looks and money, and doesn't look beyond skin deep, sadly. i know — a grew up in this culture and it sucks. brainy, loud, taller than most of the guys — not good; looks and money and no principles = trophy wife. spare me," said a third.

The Asian American Journalists Association applauded Chen's disclosure for putting Asian American issues in the public dialogue.

"AAJA applauds Ms. Chen for sharing this personal moment with her audience," began a statement from Paul Cheung, AAJA national president, and Niala Boodhoo, AAJA vice president, broadcast. "Her story chronicles some of the daily struggles Asian Americans face in the workplace across all industries, not just in broadcast journalism.

"Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the country. But Asian Americans issues are still rarely covered. Similarly, few newsrooms reflect this diversity among their staff.

"AAJA was founded more than three decades ago because of this problem. Ms. Chen's story is an all-too real reminder of how crucial our mission remains today."

Phil Yu, creator of the blog "Angry Asian Man," wrote, "Chen says she wondered, 'Did I give into The Man?' Yes, Julie. You kind of did. But I appreciate the opportunity for a frank conversation about the things we give up and how we deny our identities, to feel more accepted. It sucks that you did that, but it sucks even more that we live in a world that practically cheered it on. . . ."

Other ethnic groups live in that same world and have also faced the problem of not looking "American enough."

As Underwood's comments illustrate, black women confront it in deciding whether to chemically straighten their hair. Last year meterologist Rhonda Lee was fired from her ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., after she responded to a racial remark posted by a viewer on the station's Facebook page in reference to her short Afro hairstyle. The station insisted that the issue was Lee's defiance of station rules about responding to viewers, but many saw it as grounded in Lee's hairstyle choice.

At a panel at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention last month in Anaheim, Calif., an audience member said she was told, "Don't roll your Rs too much," even if that was the way the word is pronounced in Spanish.

At a similar session for broadcasters two years ago called "Latina Journalists Wanted!," some NAHJ attendees complained that they were expected "to look like a white girl from Boston" and lose their Latina distinctiveness. Former CNN host Rick Sanchez, one of the panelists, advised then, "Always adapt a little to your surroundings but not so that you sell your soul."

As for Native Americans, "historically Natives have faced immense pressure by mainstream society to change their personal appearance and abandon their cultural identities, starting with the boarding school era when so many children were forced to cut their hair or change their names," Mary Hudetz, president of the Native American Journalists Association, messaged Journal-isms.

"To some degree, these challenges still continue today. It's not uncommon for some professionals to be asked to cut their long hair or cover traditional tattoos in the workplace, or at least sense that there might be an unspoken expectation to do so," Hudetz continued. "This by no means has been my experience, but has been a reality for some.

"And I think it's clear that none of the efforts of the past carried a lasting impact. You've seen that within our NAJA membership, we all are very proud of our cultures."

Lee's name has been invoked in the reaction to Julie Chen's disclosure that she had plastic surgery on her eyes 18 years ago. Lee told Journal-isms Friday that she is a new mother, having given birth in Shreveport, La., on Thursday to Louis Charles Johnson.

"Over the last several months I have pretty much taking it easy trying to make sure I had a healthy baby despite all the stress that came along with being pregnant and fired from my job," Lee messaged Journal-isms. "It has been tough finding another job. Some people do recognize me from the publicity. I don't know if that has helped or not, it's hard to say. But I still keep my options open.

"I would love to have a job early next year, so I'm definitely still looking. My website is www.heyweatherlady.wix.com/rhondalee. I still do lots of speaking engagements promoting people being accepted for who they are and less on what they look like. Between Julie Chen and Sheryl Underwood having issues concerning appearance and ethnicity it has been a busy week for women of color in a visual medium. I know my name has come up several times. If we can parlay the bad into a better future then I'm all for it."

Blacks and Latinos are more optimistic than whites are about the economy, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center taken "five years after the U.S. economy faced its most serious crisis since the Great Depression."

Overall, "a majority of Americans (63%) say the nation's economic system is no more secure today than it was before the 2008 market crash. Just a third (33%) think the system is more secure now than it was then," the center reported on Friday.

But in a racial breakdown provided to Journal-isms, black and Latino respondents were more optimistic than were whites.

Only 43 percent of the total approved of the way President Obama was handling the economy, for example. However, 83 percent of non-Hispanic blacks did, compared with 60 percent of Hispanics and 31 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Asked whether they expect the economy to be better a year from now, 28 percent of the total said better. But the figures for blacks and Hispanics were each 46 percent, compared with 22 percent for whites.

For all groups, "the job situation" was first among national economic issues that worried them most, compared with the condition of the financial and housing markets, the federal budget deficit and rising prices. However, 58 percent of non-Hispanic blacks chose "the job situation," compared with 42 percent of Hispanics and 38 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Olivia Marshall, Media Matters for America: O'Reilly And Rivera Continue Fox Tradition Of Demonizing The Poor

"In crafting that history, the three authors interviewed 61 media movers and shakers from the past three decades. Of those 61, five were (white) women, two were men of color, and zero were women of color.

"To the many people who spent the next few days skewering the report's omissions and offering up innovative women and people of color that were excluded, Riptide doesn't come close to telling the whole story of how journalism and tech innovated and intertwined. So a couple of those critics decided to conduct their own complementary study.

"Jeanne Brooks, the digital director of the Online News Association, and Sabrina Hersi Issa, a media entrepreneur and Roosevelt Institute Pipeline fellow, are searching for funding to create a report that includes a full, diverse spectrum of change-makers in digital journalism. They hope to compile and launch it next year.

" 'Everyone was asking me who should be on the list,' Brooks said. 'But it takes a lot of work and it takes time out of your day just to do that research. And I've been pushing back to say, these men got their research supported… I don't want to do this work for free.'

"Brooks added that getting the journalism world at large engaged in addressing diversity is a struggle. In her three years with ONA, she said, association panels and speeches addressing the issue have been sparsely attended. By way of example, Brooks mentioned ONA’s 2011 conference, where one of the keynotes was about … the history of women and people of color in digital journalism. The speech was well-attended, she said. But for the following work session, on meaningfully integrating diversity into newsrooms, 'there was no more than 10 people in this giant ballroom.' . . ."

Jennifer Vanasco, Columbia Journalism Review: Riptide's white, male history of journalism

"That's the reality zealous defenders of the name ignore. As time passes, people won't become numb to the offensive nature of the name. Instead, more people will wake up to the reality that a word that would never be used as anything other than the name of a football team shouldn't be used as the name of a football team, either.

"And so the Post once again has called for Snyder to abandon a term that is 'so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated.'

"In recently explaining that the league must listen to dissenters even if only one person is offended, Commissioner Roger Goodell pointed out that, in the end, the decision lies with Daniel Snyder. Goodell is right, but there’s nothing stopping the NFL from giving Snyder a firm nudge.

"Actually, Goodell's recent comments could be interpreted as just such a nudge. . . ."

Bill Fletcher Jr., National Newspaper Publishers Association: New football season, same offensive names

Barbara Munson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Indian mascots, nicknames harmful to children

"It didn't take long for Jason Whitlock to become topic A in Bristol," Ed Sherman wrote Thursday on his Sherman Report.

"This morning, ESPN issued a statement, saying his comments towards Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans were 'not acceptable.'

" 'We have discussed Jason's comments with him. They were personal in nature, they do not represent ESPN and they are not acceptable based on the standards we have set.'

"Tuesday, Whitlock went on an Oklahoma City radio station and blasted Evans, who along with George Dohrmann is writing a series of stories about improprieties in the Oklahoma State football program.

"ESPN has media policies in place about how its employees should address the competition. As in they really aren't supposed to comment or criticize other media.

"However, they are allowed to weigh in if it warrants discussing media coverage of a particular story. Even then, they are asked to follow certain guidelines.

"The policy contains this line: 'Comments must not be personal, vicious, dismissive…No cheap shots.'

"And then there's this: 'No personal attacks or innuendo toward people, media companies, networks or publications.' . . . "

Whitlock had written, "having worked with Thayer Evans at Fox Sports, having followed his work for some time, I am completely and utterly flabbergasted that a legitimate news outlet would allow Thayer Evans to be involved in some type of investigative piece on college football that tears down a program, and particularly one that tears down Oklahoma State when it is no secret what a huge, enormous, gigantic Oklahoma homer Thayer Evans is.

"This is just incredible. Knowing the lack of competence that's there with Thayer Evans, knowing the level of simplemindedness that's there with Thayer Evans, to base any part of the story on his reporting is mind-boggling.

" … Let me end by saying this and I honestly mean this without malice. It wouldn't shock me if Thayer Evans couldn't spell cat and I say in all seriousness.”

ESPN announced last month that it was hiring Whitlock for a multiplatform deal. Whitlock had been writing for Fox Sports since 2006 and previously wrote for ESPN's Page 2 and the Kansas City Star. Whitlock said "he was eager to start a website where he would get a chance to work with young writers and shape the conversation surrounding sports," Nate Scott reported then for USA Today.

"Ray Suarez is looking to change the way the history of Latinos in the U.S. is taught in classrooms," Zayda Rivera wrote Wednesday for the Daily News in Suarez's New York hometown.

"The 'PBS NewsHour' correspondent is the author of 'Latino Americans: The 500 Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation,' a rich tapestry of stories on the impact Latinos had in helping to forge this country.

"But it's also a part of American history students rarely, if ever, learn in class, Suarez says.

"Released Sept. 3 in anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Month, the book serves as a companion to the three-part, six-hour documentary of the same name premiering Sept. 17 on PBS.

" 'I think this series and this book both propose themselves to be the beginning of a redefinition,' says Suarez of how history is taught in American schools.

" 'As the number of Latinos and the percentage grows in America, that redefinition is going to be a long-term work in progress. I don't think it will make any sense to learn history the way we've learned it in the past.'

"The five century-long story begins with the first Latino, born just after the arrival of Columbus, and ends in present times with the more than 50 million Latinos living in the U.S. today.

" 'This story is different from other conventional histories you may have read,' the book begins. . . ."

Claudio E. Cabrera, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Dominican Colorism

Lynn Elber, Associated Press: PBS film 'Latino Americans' aims for wide audience (Aug. 7)

"The goal of the grant is to increase diversity in media staffing and coverage of social justice issues through training, education, recruitment programs and scholarships to NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair.

"The grant is part of the Ford Foundation's Media and Justice Initiative, which seeks to increase and improve news coverage of issues of inequity, injustice and disparity that are often ignored by the mainstream media.

"This grant will help in the development and implementation of NABJ C.A.R.E.S., a members-only web portal that will offer job search, continuing education, training and networking opportunities for members entering or returning to the workforce. . . ."

The grant was one of the last awarded as Calvin Sims, a former New York Times correspondent, completed a six-year stint as program officer for the Ford Foundation. He is now president and CEO of International House, "the New York non-profit program and residence center with a mission to promote cross-cultural understanding and peace and prepare leaders for the global community," in the words of an International House announcement.

As previously reported, Unity: Journalists for Diversity received $150,000 in August "to undertake a broad national effort to expand and strengthen a coalition of diverse journalists' associations to advance diversity and inclusion in media coverage, staffing and ownership through a series of meetings, conferences, and training sessions."

Also in August, Univision News won a one-year, $500,000 grant from the foundation to strengthen and expand its Documentary and Investigative units.

The same month, the Asian American Journalists Association was awarded $200,000 to launch "Diverse and Inclusive: News of the Heartland," a project to address the lack of news coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Nebraska.

Sims' successor has not been named.

"There is not a lot of money in African journalism. As an African journalist, I know this all too well," Simon Allison, a South African freelance journalist based in Somaliland, wrote Wednesday for Pambazuka News, a pan-African web forum for social justice in Africa.

"An illustrative example: I was in South Sudan in November 2012, on a trip I was financing myself. Weeks in flea-ridden hostels culminated in a four-day stay at a refugee camp near the border with Sudan. I was the only reporter there and pleased with myself for getting a story that no one else had. Not so fast. On my last day there, a small plane descended unannounced on the tiny airstrip and disgorged four foreign correspondents in their khakis and combat boots. They represented two of the biggest and best-known international media outlets. They spent a total of two hours in the camp. One of them had filed his story even before he left.

"As they hijacked my interviews, I chatted to their fixer who whispered to me that they had spent $8,000 to hire the plane for the morning. To me, this was an unimaginable sum: their morning cost more than four times my entire two weeks in South Sudan. And, of course, they missed the story. In four days I barely scratched the surface of what was going on in the camp, but in their two hours, they could not even get beyond official statements.

"For aid workers and the camp's refugee leadership, this was a common complaint: journalists, invariably foreign, screeched in for a few hours and got the story wrong.

"This echoes a common lament among African journalists, politicians, policy-makers and civil society activists, which goes something like this: one of Africa's biggest problems is that it is not allowed to tell its own stories. The agenda for African news is decided in far-off Western capitals — London, Paris, New York — and written by dashing foreign correspondents who do not understand the local complexities and base their narrative on sweeping, misleading generalisations. Sometimes the reports are wrong or distorted. Sometimes their depictions and analysis are borderline racist. (Sometimes, foreign reporting on Africa is excellent; but in general it is hit and miss.) The broader point remains that Africa is not setting its own news agenda.

"The end result is that Africa continues to be defined by stereotypes: it is poor; it is conflict-ridden; it is starving and dangerous. It is the helpless continent, or — if those invariably white editors are in a good mood — it is 'Africa rising', the positive generalisations just as sweeping as all the negative ones which came before. . . ."

The Times in Shreveport, La., apologized to readers Wednesday for running a story about local Muslims on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "Our main story reporting how local Muslims were sheltered from some of the hatred after 9/11 was an important story to share, but it should not have been the main story Wednesday or [should have] run on a different day. Many of you complained that we missed the mark, and the reaction is easy to understand," Publisher Judi Terzotis wrote.

"ASNE was thrilled to hold four Minority Leadership Institutes in the past year," the American Society of News Editors told members on Friday. "We trained more than 60 middle-managers through partnership at a variety of conventions," including Unity in Las Vegas; ASNE in Washington; the National Association of Black Journalists in Orlando, Fla.; and Excellence in Journalism in Anaheim, Calif., which included the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. The announcement added, "We hope to expand and create new partnerships in 2014."

"Journalists and bloggers who report news to the public will be protected from being forced to testify about their work under a media shield bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday," David G. Savage reported for the Los Angeles Times. "But the new legal protections will not extend to the controversial online website Wikileaks and others whose principal work involves disclosing 'primary-source documents … without authorization.' . . . "

"Cesar Conde is resigning as president of Univision Networks to become an executive vice president at NBCUniversal," TVNewsCheck reported on Friday. "In this newly created role, he will focus on business development, strategic priorities and special business projects across the NBCUniversal portfolio. He also will oversee the International Group. . . ."

"Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition has asked the FCC to reject Sinclair Broadcast Group's effort to buy Allbritton Communications' ABC affiliate WJLA Washington," Doug Halonen reported Friday for TVNewsCheck. "In a Sept. 13 petition to deny at the FCC, Rainbow PUSH also asked the agency to hold a hearing on whether Sinclair — which has proposed to buy all seven of Allbritton's ABC affiliates, including the company's flagship WJLA, for $985 million — is basically qualified to be an agency licensee. . . ."

"ABC's 'This Week' will air an interview with President Obama on Sunday, the network announced Thursday," HuffPost BlackVoices reported. "The interview, with George Stephanopoulos, is the president's first since his pivotal Syria speech. . . ."

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the inaugural forum of the newly formed LGBT Technology Partnership Thursday that promoting broadband would benefit the LGBT community "by making it easier to connect, easier to learn, and easier to engage in self-expression," John Eggerton reported for Broadcasting & Cable. "Pai said that gay teens spend more time online than straight teens, and are more likely to search the Internet for health information." Eggerton also wrote, "Pai, who is Indian-American, talked about often being the only minority in his classrooms growing up in Parsons, Kan. He said he never felt discriminated against. 'But I did sense at an early age what it was like to feel different — to walk into a room aware that I was the only person like me. . . . "

"Ex-jock talking heads aside, the nation's sports pages remain overwhelmingly white. That's probably why you're only vaguely aware that for many of us, tomorrow night is the one of the biggest sporting events of the year," Gautham Nagesh wrote Friday for NPR. "On Saturday night, boxing's biggest star, Floyd Mayweather Jr., will meet unbeaten Mexican sensation Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the junior middleweight championship of the world." Nagesh also wrote, "Hype aside, Saturday's fight is unique among American sporting events in that the majority of those watching on fight night, whether in person or via Pay Per View, will be minorities, specifically African- Americans or Hispanics. . . ."

"Leading up to an early January launch of its first local newscasts, Telemundo Philadelphia / WWSI today announced that it is recruiting a total of 15 Spanish-speaking journalists and other professionals to fill the roles of reporter, producer, anchor and photographer as well as positions in sales, finance and engineering," the station said Wednesday. "The additional 15 positions will be based at the Telemundo Philadelphia / WWSI facilities in Bala Cynwyd, PA. . . ."

Announcing from Red Bank, N.J., the Thomas Fortune Project said Wednesday, "The committee working to preserve the home of former slave and noted journalist T. Thomas Fortune will host its first fundraiser on Oct. 3, the actual birthday of the human rights activist, from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Celestial Lodge located at 141 Drs. James Parker Blvd. The cost is $20." The group has set up a Facebook page.

The #solidarityisforwhitewomen conversation about digital feminism and inclusion has made it clear that more publications need to create opportunities for feminists of color to share their perspectives. To help create some of that much-needed, inclusive space, Roxane Gay will be curating work from feminists of color (note that this does not limit gender), to be published at Salon. If you're interested in submitting your work, e-mailrgay@salon.com," Salon announced on Tuesday.

BK Nation, an organization co-founded by writer and activist Kevin Powell, went live Friday with a website "for bloggers, readers—and truth-tellers and truth-seekers. . . ."

"Twenty four years ago, journalist Yvette Walker became one half of an interracial marriage," Kristen Hare wrote Thursday for the Poynter Institute. "Her everyday experiences, like finding a cake topper that reflected the bride and groom, eventually led to the launch of New People Interracial Magazine, which ran from 1989 to 1995 in print and online until 2003. Now, it's back on Facebook with nearly as many likes — 384, as this post was published — as the printed magazine’s former circulation. . . ."

Reporters Without Borders hailed a decision Thursday by South African President Jacob Zuma to refuse to sign the Protection of State Information Bill into law and instead send it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration. "Adopted by the National Assembly on 25 April, the bill was widely criticized by the opposition, local media and international human rights organizations because of the danger it posed to investigative journalism," the press freedom group said.

"Qatari-owned news channel Al-Jazeera has launched legal action against the Egyptian authorities, saying that its journalists have been detained without charge and attacked, its London-based lawyers announced Thursday," Agence France-Presse reported.

"Three weeks before parliamentary elections in Cameroon, the government's National Communications Council (NCC) has ordered the suspension of 11 media organisations, accusing them of unprofessionalism and unethical behaviour," the International Press Institute reported. "The suspension of seven newspapers, three radio outlets and a television station constitutes a violation of press freedom in the West African country. . . . "

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter.

Facebook users: Like “Richard Prince’s Journal-isms” on Facebook.

Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.