Some wonder where the outrage was when the NAACP was audited.
"The burgeoning 'scandal' over how the IRS chose for review 75 applicants for tax-exempt status puts on full display an unfortunate tendency in journalism -- to quote people accurately without explaining the underlying context," David Cay Johnston wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.
"Yes, it is as wrong for IRS employees to select groups to scrutinize based on their names as it is for police to stop and frisk young people based on the color of their skin. Still, the facts here are not so black-and-white as with racial profiling."
President Obama, saying Wednesday that he was "angry" at IRS officials who inappropriately targeted conservative groups for scrutiny, announced that his administration had sought and accepted Steven Miller's resignation as interim commissioner of the IRS, Michael O'Brien reported for NBC News.
Meanwhile, "Georgetown University professor and MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson revealed on MSNBC's Now on Wednesday that he has been the target of political intimidation by the Internal Revenue Service during the administration of President George W. Bush," Noah Rothman reported for Mediaite. "Dyson claimed that, after criticizing Bush on television for his government's response to Hurricane Katrina, he was audited for five consecutive years by the IRS. . . ."
Also, Joy-Ann Reid wrote for the Grio: "NAACP members and leaders watching the excitement over the IRS' alleged targeting of Tea Party groups might be wondering where the outrage was in 2004, when the IRS, then during the George W. Bush administration, not only targeted the NAACP for extra scrutiny, they hit them with the tool that has made Americans fear the revenue agency most: an audit. . . ."
In his Columbia Journalism Review piece, Johnston, president of Investigative Reporters and Editors and a specialist in tax and regulatory law, continued, "There is a scandal in all of this -- several, actually, and some are more significant than the one that is getting all the attention. As the story unfolds, here are some important points to keep in mind:
"Missing from much coverage is the relevant recent history -- the role of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision and how it prompted a deluge of requests from new organizations seeking tax-exempt status under tax code Section 501(c)(4) as 'social welfare' organizations -- despite the fact that many of these are blatantly political operations.
"Congress requires [PDF] the IRS to review every application for tax-exempt status to weed out organizations that are partisan, political, or that generate private gain. Congress has imposed this requirement on the IRS, and its predecessor agencies, since 1913.
"When it comes to 501(c)(4) organizations, what the IRS is supposed to do is draw a distinction between groups that are 'primarily engaged' in politics and groups that really are primarily engaged in 'social welfare' -- somehow 'promoting the common good and social welfare of the community.' It's kind of mushy. Brad Plumer has a good explainer about this on The Washington Post's Wonkblog.
"The first scandal here, meanwhile, is that the social welfare tax exemption is being used by existing 501(c)(4) organizations, including some very large ones, to promote partisan political interests -- the very activity Congress has explicitly prohibited for a century. The New York Times, after a weak political piece on Saturday, had a clear and useful explainer about this on Tuesday.
"Also worth pointing out: None of the organizations that the IRS scrutinized as a result of the ill-considered screening-by-name regime was denied tax exempt status.
"The second -- and widely ignored -- scandal in this unfolding story is that the IRS is drowning. Congress is demanding that the agency do more and more with less and less, as we have reported here and elsewhere . . . . "
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: The big overreach.
Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Conservative Outlets Reported On IRS Tea Party Targeting In 2012
Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Obama and overreach
Andrew Kirell, Mediaite: IRS Scandal Just Tip Of Iceberg: Agency’s Been Politically Targeting For Decades, Under Both Parties
Sheila Krumholz and Robert Weinberger, New York Times: The Real I.R.S. Scandal
Mark Lacter, LAObserved: Getting the real story on the IRS 'scandal' (it's not what you think)
Mollie Reilly, Huffington Post: Julian Bond, Former NAACP Chair: Tea Party Is 'Taliban Wing Of American Politics'
"Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday he plans to reintroduce the Free Flow of Information Act, the federal shield law bill that twice passed the Congress over the past few years before being stalled in the Senate," John Eggerton reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"That move was prompted by the Department of Justice's seizure of AP reporter and editor phone records, according to AP, without informing the news operation.
"At a Justice Department oversight hearing with attorney general Eric Holder, Conyers said he was 'troubled by the notion that our government would pursue such a broad array of media phone records over such a long period of time.' . . ."
Media organizations were nearly unanimous in denouncing the Justice Department's action.
Hugo Balta, National Association of Hispanic Journalists: NAHJ questions the motives by the Justice Department
Dylan Byers and Katie Glueck, Politico: Inside the AP: Fear, determination
David Carr, New York Times: Snooping and the News Media: It's a 2-Way Street
Committee to Protect Journalists: CPJ alarmed by US seizure of AP phone records
Editorial Board, Washington Post: Damage to press freedom likely outweighs national security gain
Steven M. Ellis, International Press Institute: IPI expresses concern over U.S. government's seizure of journalists’ records
Paul Farhi, Washington Post: Justice Department subpoena increases tension between White House and news media
Mark Memmott, NPR: Holder Isn't Sure How Often Reporters' Records Are Seized
Newspaper Association of America: Newspaper Association of America welcomes reintroduction of Free Flowof Information Act
Radio Television Digital News Association: RTDNA issues statement on seizure of AP phone records
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Media organizations call on Justice Department to mitigate damage from broad subpoena of journalists' phone records
Betsy Rothstein, FishbowlDC: NPC Calls on Obama to Explain DOJ Mess
Unity: Journalists for Diversity: UNITY Calls for Transparency on Seizure of AP Journalists’ Records
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: AP subpoena: Journo says he lost sources in 2001 case
MacKenzie Weinger, Politico: 52 media groups protest DOJ's Associated Press action
Who better to know how Al Neuharth would want to be remembered -- and celebrated -- than Al Neuharth?
And so Neuharth, who led the Gannett Co., founded USA Today and became the CEO of both the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, planned his own memorial celebration. The second installment took place Wednesday at the Newseum -- "the house that Al built," in the words of his colleague Charles Overby, who succeeded him as chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, for an audience of about 500.
It was dubbed the "Celebration-capade" by Overby and the "Funeral-capade" by another compadre, John Siegenthaler, former editor of the Tennessean in Nashville and USA Today's first editorial page editor. They were references to the "buscapade," "jetcapade" and other "-capades" that Neuharth took around the world, filing reports for USA Today readers as he traveled.
The service opened with a high-definition video in which Neuharth recounted some highlights of his life, including a "-capade" interview with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whom he called "the toughest, meanest and perhaps the smartest foreign leader I've known."
Castro asked Neuharth whether it was true that USA Today had lost money, and if so, where he got the money to pay its bills. When Neuharth replied that it was with the profits from other Gannett properties, Castro proclaimed that they had something else in common: socialism. Neuharth diplomatically exclaimed "touché!" and was rewarded with a lengthy conversation.
Allen H. Neuharth led the newspaper industry in championing diversity and made it possible for Robert C. Maynard to become the first African American publisher of a mainstream newspaper. He died April 19 at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla., at 89.
His insistence on diversity and his belief in following one's dreams despite the naysayers were never far from the list of attributes his devotees recalled for the audience.
Madelyn Jennings, retired senior vice president of personnel at the Gannett Co. and co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Freedom Forum, referred to the recent "42" film about Jackie Robinson's integration of Major League Baseball. "Al was our Branch Rickey, but better looking," Jennings said, referring to the Brooklyn Dodgers owner who guided Robinson into history.
"Long before Sheryl Sandberg, he was championing women," said Judy Woodruff of PBS, a Freedom Forum board member who secured Neuharth's support in creating the International Women's Media Foundation in 1990. Sandberg is the author of the current best-selling "Lean In," about women and mentoring. "For you guys, I'm glad there was affirmative action," Woodruff joked.
Six graduates of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Scholars program, displaying multiple ethnicities, expressed gratitude for the professional boost Neuharth's program had given them. "He taught me that words are only as useful as they are easy to understand," one said.
Neuharth appeared again at the end of the 90-minute service. "I'm still around," he said from the screen. "Does that make you wonder whether you'll ever be rid of me?" He imparted more of the lessons life taught him.
They were neatly packaged into a 50-page, pocket-sized book of aphorisms printed on the pumpkin-colored paper used for his infamous notes to staffers. "See the glass half-full, not half empty," page 41 read. "Honk your own horn," it said on page 42.
The "celebration-capade" began Tuesday at the Florida Today building in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and continues Friday at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota.
Melanie Eversley and David Colton, USA Today: D.C. mourners remember USA TODAY founder
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Dead Journalists and the Newseum Scandal
When Lydia Esparra got the interview call, she seized the opportunity.
"I Told Them on the Air . . . Got to Go"
Lydia Esparra, a weekend anchor at Cleveland's WOIO-TV, became the only journalist to talk with freed kidnapping victim Gina DeJesus Thursday when DeJesus' family interrupted Esparra on the air and said DeJesus wanted to see her.
Meanwhile, news outlets differed over the propriety of reporting on prior convictions of Charles Ramsey, the Internet sensation credited with helping to free DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, who were imprisoned for a decade.
WEWS-TV apologized for its report on Ramsey's domestic violence convictions, and Mark Naymik, writing in the Plain Dealer, said his newspaper "learned Tuesday night about some aspects of Ramsey's troubled past. The paper left it out of its news stories.
"Ramsey's action to help Berry stood alone. His past, even if it contained bad deeds, had nothing to do with his act of heroism Monday."
Esparra described her meeting with DeJesus, a fellow Puerto Rican, on her own station [video] and with CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin Thursday on that network.
From the CNN transcript:
BALDWIN: And I talked with a family friend and a journalist here in the Cleveland area. She's a weekend anchor at WOIO. Her name is Lydia Esparra. She visited Gina today and she told me about that visit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYDIA ESPARRA, WOIO ANCHOR: They have waited nine long years. And, of course, I have been covering the story.
BALDWIN: From the beginning.
ESPARRA: From the beginning, from the very beginning.
And Nancy and her husband, Felix, never gave up hope, never gave up hope. They said, my daughter's alive. Even when I doubted her, she said, Lydia, my daughter's alive. So...
BALDWIN: You were on the air, and they said get off the air.
ESPARRA: I was on the air.
Yes, once they came through — and that was Gina's sister in orange. That was her sister Mayra protecting her.
BALDWIN: With her arm.
ESPARRA: Right. They are very protective of her because they haven't had her for nine years.
So, yes, so I'm live on the air, and then one of her relatives comes over and says, Nancy wants you to come to the house.
ESPARRA: So, I said, OK, and I told them on the air, said, got to go, Nancy's calling.
So, I go inside the house and I have my moment with Nancy and we're crying and — with Felix and we're crying, because I haven't spent any time with them, and I'm friends besides being a journalist. It's just such a tough line trying to be a friend and do your job.
ESPARRA: But first I'm a human being, so that's the attitude I took.
ESPARRA: So, I went and I cried with them, because that's what I do, and I cried.
And then I was like, am I going to be able to see Gina? And she — the niece says, yes. And Gina wants to see you.
ESPARRA: And I said, really? And she — yes, mom asked her. And she goes, Lydia's out there. Do you want to see Lydia?
BALDWIN: And you never met Gina before?
ESPARRA: I have never met — never.
BALDWIN: You got to know her through missing posters and talking to the family.
ESPARRA: Everything, missing posters, talking to the family.
I used to keep her pictures on my desk. Any time I covered a vigil, I would keep everything on my desk of her to remind me that she was missing. I would talk to Nancy. She would tell me stories. She was shy. She'd never get in a car with anybody, a stranger.
BALDWIN: How is she? How was Gina?
ESPARRA: She's doing fabulous. It was unbelievable.
My hands were sweating because here's someone I never imagined would come back to us. And so when I went inside, I embraced her and she embraced me reluctantly, because she's, obviously, been locked in a basement for nine years, and we talked.
And the first thing I said is, you look nothing like your composite. She's a tiny little thing. She's very small, short hair. She had longer hair when she disappeared. And her skin's a little pale from the lack of vitamin D from being outside. But she was just so kind and so happy.
And a relative came up to her and said — was talking in Spanish and she looks at her mom and says, mom, I don't remember my Spanish anymore.
BALDWIN: She can't speak Spanish anymore?
ESPARRA: No. And then we had a couple of other words. I asked her about the house, and then I left. The family told me to stay, have food. We're Hispanic. We're very open with one another. Lydia, stay and have food. But I did not want to make her feel uncomfortable. I left. . . .
In other developments, Angel Cordero, who speaks only Spanish, told ABC affiliate WEWS-TV that he arrived at the scene first and he was the one to kick the door down, freeing Berry, who had been trapped inside for nearly 10 years. Also, the Call & Post, Cleveland's black weekly owned and published by boxing promoter Don King, had no coverage of the rescue events on its Web page, but reported on the saga in its print edition, a staffer told Journal-isms.
David Bauder, Associated Press: Charles Ramsey's turbulent 15 minutes of fame
James Carr, the Shadow League: Charles Ramsey Is The Gregory Brothers' Latest Muse For Psuedo-Blaxploitation
Henry J. Gomez, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: The rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight: 30 minutes that ended a decade of nightmares (video, slideshow)
Latino Rebels: The Other Cleveland Kidnapping Hero: Ángel Cordero
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Heinous crimes could happen next door and most people wouldn't have a clue
Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Michelle Knight released from hospital; thanks community but asks for privacy
Ruben Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Some understanding for the Cleveland kidnapping victims
Jay Smooth, Ill Doctrine: T-Paining Too Much: The meme-ification of Charles Ramsey (video)
Daily News columnist Clem Richardson was among the dozen or so journalists laid off from the New York tabloid, Richardson disclosed, telling Journal-isms that Friday was his last day.
Richardson, 58, has worked at the News since 1993. His disclosure came as the New York Post offered voluntary buyouts to newsroom employees, the top two editors at the New York-based Village Voice said they were leaving the weekly newspaper over staff cuts, and the editor of Columbia Journalism Review, Cyndi Stivers, also based in New York, left to become editor-in-chief of AOL.com. CJR's longtime executive editor, Mike Hoyt, was in the process of being laid off, according to Joe Pompeo of capitalnewyork.com.
Richardson explained Friday by email, "I have been a columnist since shortly after returning from a six month International Center for Journalists fellowship teaching newspaper writing for the Independent Newspaper group in South Africa. When I officially left the company today I was writing the weekly Great People, City Beat, and Uptown Talks columns, the titles of each explain what they covered.
"What's next? Several friends in the business have graciously offered writing opportunities, and college teaching is a possibility should a position come up. All this time will allow me to finish the rewrite on my first novel, a Brooklyn-based fantasy, sometime this month, which a brilliant Brooklyn artist, Leokadia Cermakova has graciously consented to create the cover art and illustrate several scenes inside.
"Other than that I'm sitting here screaming at the ridiculous and unending one-on-one play that passes for the NBA playoffs nowadays and reflecting on how wonderful a life I have been blessed to live. I have heard from friends, colleagues and dozens of people I profiled, so I guess I got a few names right. . . ."
[On Saturday, reporter Tanyanika Samuels, who is expecting a baby, told her Facebook followers that she, too, was laid off:
"As some of you may know, I was among those laid off from the Daily News on Friday. I consider myself in good company. Thank you to those who reached out. Looking forward to the future, most notably on the imminent arrival of baby #2. Just three weeks to go...eeek!" Samuels previously worked at the Kansas City Star and the Philadelphia Inquirer, according to her LinkedIn profile.]
Joe Pompeo, capitalnewyork.com: Daily News chief Colin Myler tells staff layoffs were inevitable; announces new digitial initiative in boroughs
Joe Pompeo, capitalnewyork.com: 'New York Post' offers buyouts; seeks 10-percent staff reduction in attempt to avoid layoffs
The media circus will turn next to Gina DeJesus, who returns home this week.
"The Cleveland kidnapping case has all the elements of an unforgettable news story, including a bizarre crime, innocent victims, heroes and a happy, at least for the most part, ending," Michael Malone wrote Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"As such, it's nothing short of a circus on site in Cleveland, as the local TV reporters trade elbows with news crews from as far away as Australia, Japan and Argentina to follow the story of the three women, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, who were freed earlier in the week.
" 'It's a sea of reporters at the scene of both homes,' says Dan Salamone, news director at Raycom's WOIO. 'It presents a challenge for the police, and also for us as we continue to try and bring the story home for local viewers. It's a mad scene.'
"The next big get will be with the victims. One victim's relative attempted to speak to the media Wednesday, but gave up when she was not able to be heard. 'It's going to take some time,' says Brooke Spectorsky, president and general manager of Gannett's WKYC. 'They've been locked up for ten years, and it's a circus out there.' . . . "
Meanwhile, Charles Ramsey, who was lauded as a folk hero this week, remained in the spotlight -- but not always in a good way.
Some debated whether viewers were laughing with him or at him, and the Smoking Gun reported, "The Cleveland man credited with helping free female captives from a house of horrors is a convicted felon whose rap sheet includes three separate domestic violence convictions that resulted in prison terms, court records show.
"Charles Ramsey, whose 911 call and subsequent TV interviews have made him a microcelebrity, was once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife. . . ."
Ramsey himself rejected the "hero" label. "I don't even want it," Ramsey told Russ Mitchell and Erin Kennedy of WKYC-TV in Cleveland in one of several media appearances. "They keep saying I'm a hero. Let me tell you something, I’m an American, and I'm a human being. I'm just like you. I work for a living. There was a woman in distress, so why turn your back on that? My father would have whupped the hell out of me if he found out that I had coward-ed out."
Cleveland police announced Wednesday that they had charged Ariel Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape in connection with holding Berry, DeJesus and Knight captive for the last decade, the Plain Dealer reported, conveniently listing the day's developments on its website under the headline, "8 things we learned today about the Decade of Captivity for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight."
"And we must continue to collaborate, educate and hold law enforcement officials accountable to better protect young people from sexual exploitation. That means re-evaluating, again, how Cleveland police handle missing-persons cases. They need to keep looking and working every lead until the missing are found. . . ."
Rebecca Aguilar, News Treadmill blog: Cleveland case sheds light on 800,000 children reported missing in the U.S.
Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Kidnap hero's colorful interview leads to 2013 kind of tribute
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: ""Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms."
Margaret Bernstein, Plain Dealer: Freed women give missing-persons activist Judy Martin a reason to be joyful
Michael H. Cottman, Black America Web: Charles Ramsey: American Hero or Racial Healer?
Mark Dawidziak, Plain Dealer: For missing-women story, national news outlets quickly shift focus to Cleveland
Kevin Eck, TVSpy: Kidnap Hero's Interview Gets Taiwan Animation Treatment
Pat Galbincea, Plain Dealer: Cleveland will investigate 9-1-1 call from Amanda Berry
Arturo R. García, Racialicious: Open Thread 2: The Rush To Memeify Charles Ramsey
Doug Gross, CNN: Why the Web loves Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey
Aisha Harris, Slate: The Troubling Viral Trend of the "Hilarious" Black Neighbor
Demetria Irwin, the Grio: Charles Ramsey is an American hero, not a 'hilarious' meme
David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times: McDonald's shamelessly exploits Cleveland rescue
Tara McKelvey, BBC News Magazine: Cleveland abductions: Do white victims get more attention? (May 9)
Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Cleveland must do a better job of protecting and finding its missing women
Sara Morrison, Columbia Journalism Review: The Plain Dealer columnist who knew Amanda Berry’s mother
Erin McClam and Jeff Black, NBC News: Who's who in the Cleveland kidnapping case?
Mark Naymik, Plain Dealer: Charles Ramsey breaks stereotypes by helping Amanda Berry escape but will the Internet notice? (video)
Michael O'Malley, Plain Dealer: Castro family among first Hispanics to settle in Cleveland, coming from Puerto Rico just after World War II
Cliff Pinckard, Plain Dealer: Discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight a worldwide phenomenon (video)
Connor Simpson, the Atlantic: Charles Ramsey Is an Internet Hero for All the Wrong Reasons
Debbi Snook, Plain Dealer: Charles Ramsey is hero for rescuing Amanda Berry, chef employer says
Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Anderson Cooper Chats With Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey
The Daily News in New York Wednesday laid off columnist Tim Smith, the last African American in its sports department, and Albor Ruiz, a columnist who often wrote about Hispanic issues. Joe Pompeo, reporter for capitalnewyork.com, wrote, "Several sources put the total number of pink slips at around 15."
The news of Joanna Molloy's termination was particularly shocking," Pompeo wrote. "She's arguably the most famous writer still at the paper, having helmed its gossip pages for 15 years with her husband, George Rush, who took a buyout in 2010. . . ."
Smith, 53, known primarily as a boxing writer, told Journal-isms by telephone that he'd covered a range of sports events over 30 years and that "I would like to do anything that comes my way. I'm open to any and everything."
Smith said he was told that he was selected for the layoff because the News had identified categories of employees who would be eliminated and one of the three sports columnists' positions was on the list. There are 33 writers in the News sports department, he said.
Smith wrote about boxing while at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Evander Holyfield, later a five-time heavyweight champion, left the Olympics in 1984. Smith also wrote about boxing for the Cincinnati Enquirer and the New York Times, where he was also an NFL writer. In Cincinnati, he covered the Bengals NFL team, and at the Times, the New York Jets.
Smith won the Nat Fleischer Memorial Award from the Boxing Writers' Association of New York for excellence in boxing journalism in 2005.
Ruiz, 71, has been a columnist since July 1993, according to his LinkedIn profile. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. "Next? I am not really sure, but I have no plans to disappear from the face of the Earth," Ruiz messaged Journal-isms. "I'll be around."
Ruiz, a Cuban-American, came to the United States in 1961. When he returned from a trip to Cuba in 2006, Ruiz told Journal-isms he had a Cuban passport, "as all Cubans do." Cuban immigration authorities held him for two hours at the airport in Havana, but they allowed him to enter "because I have family in Cuba. I would not be granted a permit to work as a journalist," he said. Nevertheless, Ruiz said he went to work anyway and interviewed a dissident.
Ruiz's most recent columns carry such headlines as "New York City’s public libraries need their patrons to stand up against mayoral budget cuts," "The Gang of Eight's proposed immigration reform bill must be inclusive and not punitive," "Childcare workers' union leaders blast Bloomberg administration's EarlyLearn NYC program," "Once again, May Day is a time for workers to stand up and speak out in defense of their rights," and "The city’s hunger crisis stands to worsen as funding cuts to the food stamp program loom".
Is Charles Ramsey, who helped kidnapping victims escape, "the Internet hero we've been waiting for"?
Interviews Produce "Internet Hero We've Been Waiting For"
"He likes to grill out, eat McDonald's and listen to salsa music. Charles Ramsey has also just become famous not only for his actions Monday in helping three Cleveland women escape from years of being held captive in a Cleveland house, but also for his interview he gave in detailing the events of the day," Mark Heim reported early Tuesday for al.com, an affiliate of Cleveland.com.
An Australian columnist called Ramsey "America's newest hero." Lacey Mason of Washington's WTOP-AM said, "Charles Ramsey just might be the Internet hero we've been waiting for."
Ramsey actually was interviewed by more than one reporter, including John Kosich of WEWS-TV, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, and Kevin Freeman of WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate.
Heim offered this account: "Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, were found at a house in Cleveland Monday after going missing between 2002 and 2004.
"Three brothers were arrested, including 52-year-old Ariel Castro.
" 'I heard screaming,' Ramsey told Cleveland's ABC affiliate. 'I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of a house. So I go on the porch, and she says 'help me get out. I've been here a long time.' So you know, I figured it was a domestic dispute. So I opened the door, and we couldn't get in. ... So we kicked the bottom. And she comes out with a little girl and she says "call 911. My name is Amanda Berry." '
"Ramsey said he had no idea what was going on at his neighbor's house. 'My neighbor, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro,' he said. 'Because we see this dude every day. Every day. I mean every day. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. You see where I'm coming from? Bro, not a clue that girl was in that house.'
"The reporter then asked him what the reaction was on the girls' faces. 'Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," Ramsey said. Something's wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she's homeless or she's got problems. That's the only reason she run to a black man.' . . ."
* Kevin Freeman, WMJI-TV, Cleveland: Charles Ramsey Tells About Finding Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus And Michelle Knight (video)
* Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV, Cleveland: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus & Michele Knight trending on Twitter globally
* Thomas J. Sheeran and John Coyne, Associated Press: Frantic 911 call leads to 3 missing women in Ohio
*Scott Shaw, Plain Dealer: Video: Charles Ramsey on how he helped Amanda Berry escape
*Jen Steer, newsnet5.com: VIDEO: Cleveland man who found missing woman Amanda Berry: 'I thought that girl was dead'
The ex-CNN anchor says he learned from his failed BET show, Don't Sleep.
Black Entertainment Television finally acknowledged Thursday that it will not bring back T.J. Holmes' "Don't Sleep!" [video] late night news/talk show, eight months after its initial launch. Holmes told Journal-isms on Friday, "I'm a completely free agent."
Holmes left his job as a CNN weekend anchor in December 2011 for BET, which developed a half-hour late-night show for him that targeted African American viewers but was intended to have more in common with Jon Stewart than with traditional journalism.
"But the show, which aired Monday through Thursday, failed to draw a significant audience," R. Thomas Umstead wrote Thursday for Multichannel News. "After generating a series-high 1 million viewers for its Oct. 9 episode, the series averaged less than 400,000 viewers before being revamped into a weekly, one-hour format on Nov. 14. The last new episode of the series aired Dec. 19."
However, BET refused to say it was canceling the show, even as it turned its attention toward the reality show "The Real Husbands of Hollywood."
Holmes told Journal-isms by telephone, "I will never, ever regret thinking that my heart was in the right place," a young black man taking his skills "to do something that was not being done for our community," that is, providing a daily news show geared toward African Americans. "You learn from the mistakes, there are questions I should have asked, things that should have been cleared up," but reaching the black community in that way was "an opportunity I would love to have" again, Holmes said.
Umstead wrote, "In a statement, BET said Don't Sleep 'delivered smart social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans with the nation's most prominent thought leaders. BET remains committed to being a resource for our audience on issues that directly affect the African American community.'"
Boston Suspects Darkened for Magazine Cover
"This is how brofiling actually works in real life," Hari Stephen Kumar wrote Thursday for his "brofiling" blog. "The Week Magazine ran with this image as their cover sketch.
"Just so it is said, clearly and unambiguously: the Tsarnaev brothers are white guys. They are white. The FBI's own wanted poster for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lists his race as 'white', but you would never know it from the cover image on The Week.
"Hold up the cover to someone else, and ask them how many white people they can see on the cover. Chances are they will identify Gabby Giffords on the top left and the image of the Boston policemen (all white men) on the top right, but how about those two guys in the center? Nope, not a chance that anyone would say these caricatures look white.
"Why? Because in addition to being white they are also 'Muslim', which is the current dehumanizing 'Other' label that whiteness has constructed as a sanctioned target for violence in US popular culture.
"This is how white privilege works in media representations and everyday life: when the criminal suspects are demonstrably white men, seize upon any aspect of difference and magnify it such that they become Othered, non-white, and menacing. If it is too hard to do so, simply dismiss them as aberrations and isolated cases of insanity. This is also how white culture, specifically the process of whiteness in conjunction with white privilege, portrays several non-white identities, including those that are now considered white but at one time were decidedly not so. . . ."
The Week magazine did not respond to a request for comment.
The episode is reminiscent of Time magazine's darkening of O.J. Simpson's face during his 1994 murder trial to make him appear more menacing.
The well-respected weekly calls itself "A comprehensive, balanced distillation of national and international news, opinions and ideas." Its subscriber base is just a fraction of Time's 3.2 million: It had a total paid and verified circulation of 561,459 for the six month s ending Dec. 21, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
As many as five senior black journalists at USA Today and Gannett News Service are taking a buyout, depleting the top ranks of journalists of color at "the nation's newspaper."
Three of the five confirmed their departure: Geri Coleman Tucker, deputy managing editor; Robert Robinson, deputy managing editor/copy editors; and reporter Larry Bivins of Gannett News Service.
"Early retirements were offered to USA TODAY employees who were at least 55 years old and had 15 years of service. They were offered two weeks pay for each year of service — with a cap of one year of pay," USA Today spokeswoman Heidi Zimmerman told Journal-isms by email Friday. She would not disclose the number taking the buyout.
"Yes, it's true," Bivins messaged Journal-isms. "After 36 years in the business, starting at The Cleveland Call & Post, a black weekly, I'm hanging it up. At least for a while. The timing is good for me . . . I'll be 64 in November, giving me just two more years before full Social Security eligibility. I'll get a paycheck for almost a year. I'm not quite sure what I want to do. I imagine I'll be open to freelance possibilities. But for a couple of months, at least, I plan on doing nothing but playing tennis every day. And clear my head!
"May 15 would have been my 20th anniversary with Gannett, all in Washington. I started in 1993 as an urban affairs/race relations reporter for The Detroit News, then moved over to Gannett News Service in 1998. I was a regional reporter, spent time as a regional editor, then went back to reporting when the bureau downsized in 2009 — I had just returned to work after a six-week disability for a hip replacement. . . ."
Tucker said she was "embarking on a great faith journey." She said she had spent 23 years at USA Today, "30 at Gannett all total because I was also a regional managing editor at Gannett News Service." Tucker has been deputy managing editor/Money at USA Today and managing editor/Midwest for Gannett News Service from 1986 to 1993.
She added, "I'm looking for exciting, new opportunities."
Robinson, deputy managing editor/Sports before a reorganization, messaged, "After 39 years at Gannett, the last 30½ with USA TODAY, I decided to take the early retirement package. I have had 39 wonderful years in the business, including being a founding member of the USA TODAY staff, and felt the timing was right to take a step back. . . . As for what's next, I have no immediate plans other than to take a month or so to just enjoy the family, visit my aging mother in Florida and then look for my next employment opportunity — or whatever God has in store for me."
The saga of media writer Howard Kurtz, who "parted ways" with Newsweek and the Daily Beast after an embarrassing error this week, was part of the buzz Thursday night at the American Magazine Awards in New York. Jim Nelson, editor-in-chief of GQ, accepted one of the honors.
"Howard Kurtz, who wrongly accused NBA player Jason Collins of not mentioning his earlier engagement to a woman when he came out this week, could have been saved from his mistake by magazine factcheckers, GQ Editor-in-Chief suggested when his magazine won in the reporting category," Nat Ives reported for Ad Age.
For the most part, reconstructions of Kurtz's fall have not addressed the role of the website in failing to catch his errors.
Dylan Byers and Katie Glueck wrote Thursday night for Politico, "At the height of his influence, Howard Kurtz was widely regarded as the most influential media reporter and critic in the country. But in recent years, erroneous reporting and careless errors reduced him to fodder for the media reporters and critics who followed in his footsteps.
"No single event has dealt such a crushing blow to Kurtz's reputation as Thursday's decision to 'part ways' — after a serious mistake in a story about gay basketball player Jason Collins — with The Daily Beast, where he has served as columnist and Washington bureau chief since leaving a long, illustrious career with The Washington Post in 2010. . . ."
They added, "sources at the Daily Beast and CNN, who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity, said there were several reasons for the breakup: For one thing, Kurtz had a string of high-profile mistakes on his record and that had become a source of embarrassment for The Daily Beast. For another, he commanded a hefty paycheck, despite turning out fewer scoops than in the past. . . ."
"But perhaps the main factor that led Kurtz out the door, several sources said, was the same quality that had fueled his rise in the first place decades ago: a hyperactive work ethic that ended up dividing his attentions and ultimately proved unsustainable. . . ."
Andrew Kirk, a spokesman for the Daily Beast, did not respond to a question about whether Kurtz's work went through copy editors. The fateful entry about Collins was described as a "blog post," which at many publications means it is posted without editing.
Meanwhile, CNN has decided not to remove Kurtz as host of his Sunday morning media show. "There has been no status change with Howard Kurtz, he remains the host of 'Reliable Sources'. He will address this issue on the program this weekend," a CNN spokeswoman told inquiring journalists.
Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown tweeted Thursday that Kurtz and the Daily Beast had "parted company ... we wish him well."
"A statement from Brown highlighted moves the website is taking to bolster its coverage of Washington, including with new columnists such as Jon Favreau, Joshua [DuBois] and Stuart Stevens," Ryan Nakashima reported for the Associated Press.
DuBois, an African American, left his position as faith adviser for President Obama in February.
Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Howard Kurtz Had Larger Daily Download Role Than Other Advisory Board Members
Matt K. Lewis, the Week: Let's all stop taking swings at Howard Kurtz
"A few months back, the Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, told USA Today that he thought the first player in the three major sports to out himself would be a baseball player: 'The religious roots are a lot deeper in basketball and football. With that being said, I think baseball players are more open-minded,' " Allen Barra reported Friday for the Atlantic.
"What Ayanbadejo didn't know was that one baseball player already had. This week's coming out by NBA player Jason Collins is momentous, but the Jackie Robinson of gay rights was Glenn Burke, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A's from 1976 to 1979. He tried to change sports culture three decades ago — but back then, unlike now, sports culture wasn't ready for a change.
"Burke made no secret of his sexual orientation to the Dodgers front office, his teammates, or friends in either league. He also talked freely with sportswriters, though all of them ended up shaking their heads and telling him they couldn't write that in their papers. Burke was so open about his sexuality that the Dodgers tried to talk him into participating in a sham marriage. (He wrote in his autobiography that the team offered him $75,000 to go along with the ruse.) He refused. In a bit of irony that would seem farcical if it wasn't so tragic, one of the Dodgers who tried to talk Burke into getting 'married,' was his manager, Tommy Lasorda, whose son Tom Jr. died from AIDS complications in 1991. To this day, Lasorda Sr. refuses to acknowledge his son's homosexuality.
"Burke, who also died of AIDS-related causes in 1995, came out to the world outside baseball in a 1982 article for Inside Sports and even followed it up shortly after with an appearance on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel. But his story was greeted by the rest of the news media and the baseball establishment, including Burke's former teammates and baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, with silence. Even his superb autobiography, Out at Home, which published the year he died, failed to stir open conversation about homosexuality in sports. Practically no one in the sports-writing community would acknowledge that Burke was gay or report stories that followed up on his admission. . . ."
"Out: the Glenn Burke Story," a documentary featuring Burke, debuted in November 2010 in a San Francisco theater, accompanied by a television broadcast the same night on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Silence of opponents illustrates growing acceptance of LGBT rights
Leonardo Blair, Christian Post: ESPN's Chris Broussard: 'Though I'm Getting a Lot of Hate, God Is Being Glorified'
Donna Brazile, CNN: But can the dude play?
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Is Jason Collins the Jackie Robinson of 2013?
Mike Fleming Jr., Deadline Hollywood: Will Gay Hoopster Revelation Drive Home Jamie Lee Curtis-Produced Pic About First Openly Gay Baseball Player?
Justice B. Hill, BET: Why We Should Respect Chris Broussard's Opinion
Reginald Johnson, Metuchen Edison Area Branch NAACP, letter, MyCentralJersey.com | Courier News | Home News Tribune: Tough being gay in sports? Ask Glenn Burke
Saeed Jones, BuzzFeed: Yes, It Matters That Jason Collins Is Black And Gay
John Koblin, Deadspin: Why ESPN's Chris Broussard Came Out As A Bigot
Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle: Film examines struggle of gay athlete Glenn Burke (2010)
Jeff Poor, Daily Caller: MoveOn petition urges ESPN to suspend Chris Broussard
Armstrong Williams, the Shadow League: Jason Collins And The Plague Of Identity Politics
Phillip B. Wilson, Indianapolis Star: Colts notes: Players would accept a gay teammate
"During the past decade I have had several conversations with groups and individuals that eventually landed on use of the term illegal immigrant to describe those who have unlawfully come to the United States," Greg Moore, editor of the Denver Post, told readers Thursday.
"I have heard all kinds of arguments. I always tensed up when someone argued illegal immigrant was the same as racial epithets used to describe blacks and Jews. I still believe those comparisons are wrongheaded. But other examples stayed with me. I remember once being told that a young girl cried upon seeing a relative described as an illegal immigrant.
"Yesterday, I decided The Denver Post will no longer use the term 'illegal immigrant' when describing a person in the country unlawfully. If we know the actual circumstances we will describe them. The word 'illegal' will not be applied to a person, only an action. . . ."
The Denver Post entry on "illegal immigration" now reads:
"Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
"Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals, undocumented aliens or undocumented workers. Use the unmodified word immigrant only for people who have entered the U.S. lawfully.
"Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.
"If possible, specify how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?
"People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story."
Hugo Balta, National Association of Hispanic Journalists: NAHJ Applauds the Denver Post for Its Decision to Drop the I Word
Kevin Bogardus and Russell Berman, African Globe: Caribbean and African Immigrants Getting Blocked in New Immigration Bill
Joel Campbell, Columbia Journalism Review: Four Corners coverage: immigration reform (April 29)
Charles D. Ellison, Uptown: How Black Folks Are Shut Out of the Immigration Debate (April 29)
María Hinojosa with former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, "Latino USA," NPR: Where Is Mexico on U.S. Immigration Reform? (podcast)
Maria Hinojosa, "Latino USA," NPR: Lost Women (podcast)