In full preacher mode, President Obama delivered riveting television Friday when he eulogized the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator, rising political star and one of the nine people killed last week at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
"President Barack Obama used his eulogy for a slain pastor to deliver an unvarnished lecture on America’s racial history Friday, and then boldly sang 'Amazing Grace,' a spiritual meant to summon hope in the darkest of times," Meg Kinnard, Jeffrey Collins and Jonathan Drew wrote for the Associated Press.
The event touched them as black men, CNN's Don Lemon and Van Jones said in analyzing the president's remarks immediately afterward. They were joined by Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, another African American, and finally by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who is white and who rebuffed a point Lemon made, giving viewers even more riveting television.
The Associated Press story also reported, " 'We do not know whether the killer of Rev. Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history,' the president said. 'But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arsons and shots fired at churches; not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress.'
" 'An act that he imagined would incite fear, and incrimination, violence and suspicion. An act he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation's original sin,' Obama continued, his voice rising in the cadence of the preachers who preceded him.
" 'Oh, but God works in mysterious ways!' Obama said, and the crowd rose to give him a standing ovation. 'God has different ideas!' . . .
"The president wrapped up the four-hour funeral in song, belting out the first words of 'Amazing Grace' all by himself. Ministers behind him quickly stood up and began singing, too, and the choir and organist and many in the audience of thousands joined in. . . .
"Throughout the four-hour ceremony, the 'Mother Emanuel' choir, hundreds strong, led roughly 6,000 people through rousing gospel standards between speakers. A banner alongside Pinckney's closed coffin declared that the killer picked the 'WRONG CHURCH! WRONG PEOPLE! WRONG DAY!' . . ."
On Twitter, NPR's Michele Norris, curator of its Race Card Project, tweeted, "Perhaps we should finally put to rest the notion that this President does not feel comfortable talking about race."
ABC's John Karl told viewers that it was "the most powerful speech I've heard him speak as president of the United States. This was also a call to action."
CNN's Jones left the Obama administration in its early months after attacks by conservatives. He and Lemon told CNN viewers that they had never heard a president speak that way. "He knows this is his legacy . . . I've never heard an organist come into a presidential speech," Lemon remarked.
Lemon turned to Jones and asked, "How did you feel watching it as a black man?"
"I was proud, and I was terrified," Jones responded. "I was afraid he might have some people terrified. Is somebody going to say, 'He's going to play the race card at a funeral'?"
Lemon replied, "I was saying, 'go on, brother, if you don't say it, nobody is going to say it, ' adding that he felt the same way as Jones.
Jones said Obama started his presidency as a bridge builder, then became a pinata and is now trying to be fearless. "Do we believe this level of candor?" Jones asked. "This is the most Christian speech I've heard." He said its religiosity was bound to give pause to the "secular left."
Brazile joined the conversation by phone, saying of the president, "He went someplace inside of his being where I've never seen him go. . . . I've been in enough black churches, never in my life would I have thought a president would do this. We must be honest with each other. This is who he is. He is a man of peace. He has spoken his truth."
While this conversation continued on CNN, MSNBC was busy with interviews; Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace had changed the subject to Benghazi and Hillary Clinton's emails; and the broadcast networks and TV One had returned to regular programming. BET was still showing "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins," a Martin Lawrence movie.
On CNN, as Josh Feldman reported for Mediaite, "At one point, Brooke Baldwin brought on Jake Tapper to analyze the president's comments too.
"Tapper recalled similarly moving speeches Obama gave going all the way back to 2007, when he was running for president and talking about race issues. And so this really reminded Tapper of Obama speaking at black churches on the campaign trail.
"Lemon offered a small note of disagreement, saying that back in those days, Obama always had to 'hedge' because of the next election or legislative battle, but now he has the freedom to 'not care anymore.' To Lemon, Obama's eulogy was a clear indication of the president 'preaching to the country,' which represents a stark difference.
"Tapper then said, 'I'm just going by reporting, I covered him on the campaign trail for two years and then at the White House for four, so, I mean, Don can think whatever he wants'."
Lemon attempted to smooth things over. "I agree with Jake," Lemon said. "He said the same words, but it can be different depending on your motivation."
Feldman continued, "but then his mic was cut and Tapper continued speaking with Baldwin. . . ."
Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Nightly News Expands to An Hour; Dawn ’til (Past) Dusk for David Muir
Editorial, Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.: Our nation mourns together
David Hudson, White House Blog: In Charleston, President Obama Honors the Life of Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney
Corey Johnson, Marshall Project: Bryan Stevenson on Charleston and Our Real Problem with Race
Justin Pryor, WCCB-TV, Charlotte, N.C.: Mary C. Curtis Discusses The Political And Personal Nature Of The Events In Charleston
Ravi Somaiya, New York Times: At Charleston Newspaper, Covering the News, and Choking Back Tears
As the move to take down the Confederate battle flag gained momentum this week, a countervailing argument was gaining traction:
That the statues and monuments similarly canonizing the Confederacy should be left alone because they are not as "in your face" as a flag and are "a part of our history."
"So that's the distinction. The markers and monuments that pay tribute to our country's history stay," Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak wrote on Friday. "Symbols of hatred go."
A Post editorial Monday said, "Civil War memorials to fallen Confederate soldiers dot old battlefields on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, and statues of rebel soldiers stand tall on city streets as nearby as Alexandria. But monuments that were erected long ago now do little more than acknowledge that past. As historical artifacts, they lack the political potency of the Confederate battle flag.
"Unlike memorials and statues, flags can become rallying cries for people — in this case, people like suspected shooter Dylann Roof — who believe in what they stand for."
Confederate monuments and street names celebrate the same mindset, however. As President Obama said of flags in his eulogy on Friday, "For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens.
"It's true, a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge — including [South Carolina] Governor [Nikki] Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise — as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride. For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now. . . ."
On the "Diane Rehm Show," an NPR program that originates at WAMU-FM in Washington, Isabel Wilkerson, author and black journalist, answered the argument that these symbols represent "heritage." "What about the parks? What about the statues? What about the other symbols of the Confederacy that are around the country?" Rehm asked.
"Well, again . . . these are ways of . . . celebrating the subjugation of African Americans, of a huge population, a huge segment of the South," Wilkerson replied. "I mean, we sometimes forget that African Americans are Southern, too. The South does not just include white Southerners. It is a very large region, and . . . there are many other ways to celebrate and recognize Southern identity than to celebrate a bruising war in this way. . . ."
Kirk Savage, an art historian who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, told Journal-isms last month, "The monuments helped consolidate white supremacy across the South. They were the cultural arm of a political campaign that is still bearing its terrible fruit in Ferguson, Baltimore, and on and on. The monuments worked by uniting whites around the banner of the Lost Cause, rewriting the history of the Confederacy, and erasing the memory of Unionism and slavery and everything else that didn't fit the Lost Cause picture. . . ."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called this week for the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in that city. He explained that musician Wynton Marsalis helped persuade him. " 'I don't like the fact that Lee Circle is named Lee Circle,' Landrieu recalled Marsalis saying," Robert McClendon reported Thursday for nola.com and the Times-Picayune.
"When the mayor asked why, Marsalis responded, 'Let me help you see it through my eyes. Who is he? What does he represent? And in that most prominent space in the city of New Orleans, does that space reflect who we were, who we want to be or who we are?' "
In an op-ed Friday headlined, "The Robert E. Lee Problem," the New York Times' David Brooks wrote of Lee, "Like Lincoln he did not believe African-Americans were yet capable of equality. Unlike Lincoln he accepted the bondage of other human beings with bland complaisance. His wife inherited 196 slaves from her father. Her father's will (somewhat impractically) said they were to be freed, but Lee didn’t free them.
"Lee didn't enjoy owning slaves, but he was considered a hard taskmaster and he did sell some, breaking up families. Moreover, he supported the institution of slavery as a pillar of Confederate life. He defended the right of Southerners to take their slaves to the Western territories. He fundamentally believed the existence of slavery was, at least for a time, God’s will. . ."
The Dallas Morning News on Friday urged the renaming of Dallas schools named after Lee and Stonewall Jackson. "The time has come to quit flaunting symbols that uphold romantic visions of the Old South. The time has come to quit pretending that secessionist states were driven by noble motives. The Civil War should be seen for what it was — a brutal, wasteful war over a southerner's right to own, buy and sell human beings like livestock," the editorial board said.
The board also wrote, "Remember Oak Cliff’s Jefferson Davis Elementary School, named for the Kentucky-born president of the Confederacy? [The Dallas Independent School District] renamed the campus in 1999 for the late Texas congresswoman and civil rights leader Barbara Jordan."
Associated Press: Lawmaker wants to rename Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service: Washington National Cathedral May Remove Confederate Windows
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Confederate Flags and Institutional Racism
Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press: Confederate heritage group loses its Southern influence
Lee A. Daniels, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Emmanuel AME and the Buoyancy of Hope
Damon Darlin and Jeremy B. Merrill, New York Times: Honors for Confederates, for Thousands of Miles
Wayne Dawkins, Politics In Color: Delusion, hubris and Confederate flags
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Mitch Landrieu, Lee Circle and the work of racial reconciliation
Editorial, the Diamondback, University of Maryland: Remove the Confederate flag
Editorial, Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.: McConnell's change of heart
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Louis Farrakhan Wants to See the American Flag Go Down Too
Chris Frank, KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kan.: Debate continues over Confederate flag flying over Veterans' Memorial Park
Sam Fulwood III, Center for American Progress: Race and Beyond: Taking Down a Symbol of Hate
Gwen Ifill, "Washington Week," PBS: On Flags, Forgiveness and Fairness: Charleston Lessons
Rodger Jones, Dallas Morning News: Where Anderson Cooper might have misjudged New Orleans' tolerance for Confederate past
Andrew Kirell, Mediaite: Richmond's Jefferson Davis Statue Vandalized with '‘Black Lives Matter'
Chris Lebron, New York Times: Time for a New Black Radicalism
Robert McClendon, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Mitch Landrieu on Confederate landmarks: 'That's what museums are for'
Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Pride and prejudice and other hurdles on the way to a more perfect union
Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: The 'Cause' is Lost — Torch the Confederate Flag
Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Retiring flags and symbols of the Confederacy: Editorial Board Roundtable
Michael Pope, WAMU-FM, Washington: Former Home State Of Confederate Capital Confronts Awkward History
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: 150 years later, America is still battling the Confederate mentality
Jim Salter, Associated Press: Vandals Target Confederate Monuments in Half-Dozen States
Crystal Shepeard, care2.com: That Time California Banned the Confederate Flag
Brent Staples, New York Times: Alabama's Confederate Flags 'Needed to Come Down'
John Ziegler, Mediaite: How Confederate Flag Controversy Shows We've Gone Nuts as a Culture
"As soon as the news of a tragic racist murder in a South Carolina church broke last Wednesday night, social media got busy — hating on the mainstream media," Liza Featherstone wrote Tuesday for the New York Observer.
"The night of the shooting, actor Rob Lowe tweeted just after midnight, 'The media should be ashamed. 3 hours to get on air and then gives detailed suspect description WITHOUT mentioning his race.' The same night, in another tweet typical of left social media’s response, someone going by the handle 3ChicsPolitico agreed: 'I am furious w/ the media. A mass shooting at a black church … & no coverage. ?#BlackLivesMatter dammit!'
"But how did Lowe and other keyboard warriors know that a white man had killed nine black people in Charleston, anyway? From the evil mainstream media so intent on concealing it, of course.
"In fact, the race of the shooter, and his racist motivations, were reported quickly — and widely — along with the evidence of [suspect Dylann] Roof's attraction to white supremacist ideologies.
"And why wouldn't those details be reported? The killing of nine respectable, church-going Americans, during Bible study, by an unsympathetic, racist white thug is just the kind of story the mainstream media can do well.
"The media may struggle with explanations of how institutionalized racism and poverty persist in South Carolina (or Ferguson or New York), or even to report, without bias, on police violence against individuals lacking social power, like Michael Brown or Freddie Gray.
"But the shooting in Charleston was not like these stories. It required neither an understanding of political economy nor the desire to transcend the politics of respectability. Give the media a clear moral narrative with good guys and bad guys — and with emotional resonance to most middle-class news consumers — and we are there. The shooting in Charleston was just such a story. . . ."
Tamara Jeffries, Poynter Institute: Opinion: On Meta-bias at USA Today
Michael I. Niman, artvoice.com: Last week in black and white
The battle of ideas over how to remember the Confederacy is also one of language, as Harold Meyerson, a Washington Post op-ed columnist, noted on Wednesday. He discussed the recent book "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism" by Cornell University history professor Edward E. Baptist.
"In the early decades of the 19th century, as the tobacco fields of Virginia and Maryland played out, and Native Americans were forcibly expelled from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, more than 800,000 slaves, largely from the Mid-Atlantic region, were sold to the cotton planters who'd taken the Native Americans' lands.
"Those relocated slaves — their families sundered — invariably spoke or wrote, when they were able to leave recollections behind, of how much harsher and more systemically violent was the regimen inflicted on them after they were forced to move to the Deep South cotton belt (most frequently on foot, in chained processions).
"Nor was the violence random: Lashings and beatings were characteristically inflicted on slaves who failed to meet their daily quotas of pounds of picked cotton.
"Baptist buttresses those recollections with numbers. The cotton-harvesting productivity of the individual slave more than doubled between 1820 and 1860. In the first decade of this period, a strain of cotton that was easier to pick was introduced, but most of this productivity revolution occurred after it became commonplace — and in the absence of any technological innovation that would have made the cotton-picking easier or faster.
"Combining these numbers with the testimony of slaves and visitors to the pre-Civil War South, Baptist concludes that this productivity revolution was the result of the routinization of extreme physical violence on slaves. At the center of the antebellum economy, Baptist writes, was 'the threat of torture.'
"Baptist acknowledges that 'torture' is not a word we usually associate with American slavery, but he makes a convincing case that we should. His other neologistic innovation is his substitution for the word 'plantations.' He calls them 'slave labor camps,' and on a moment's reflection, it's hard to see why his usage shouldn’t become ours as well. What's a plantation, after all, but a slave labor camp with a big house built by slave labor? . . ."
Albert Butler, Ebony: White Racist Violence Is Terrorism
Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: A petition asking journalists to stop using the term 'officer-involved shooting' has more than 42,000 signatures
"For the second morning in a row the news networks went into overdrive as the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling: same sex marriage is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution," Chris Ariens reported Friday for TVNewser.
"At 10:01, a breathless Shannon Bream on Fox News was handed the decision: 'Here. Here. Here we go. We have got it.'
"NBC's justice correspondent Pete Williams got choked up reading the decision in an NBC News special report at 10:02. 'For the first time the Supreme Court has said there is a constitutional right — excuse me — to same sex marriage.'
"On CNN, Wolf Blitzer anchored a global special report for CNN networks at 10:02, but, like yesterday, they delayed reporting the actual decision, even while people outside the court, in a CNN split screen, celebrated the ruling.
" 'It's over. The long constitutional debate over whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry is over. And the answer is yes,' said ABC's Terry Moran in a network special report anchored by David Muir at 10:03.
" 'You cannot imagine the roar of the court when the decision was announced,' said Jan Crawford reporting a special report for CBS News, also at 10:03. . . ."
Zeba Blay, HuffPost BlackVoices: We Can't Even With The Irony Of Clarence Thomas's Marriage Equality Dissent
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: A Supreme decision on gay marriage
Joseph Coco, HuffPost BlackVoices: Under The Rainbow — Black, Queer And Not in The Mood For Pride
Emil Guillermo, NBC Asian American: How Injustice Led to Asian America's Early Support for Same-Sex Marriage
Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas Morning News: GOP presidential hopefuls behind the times on gay marriage
Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Cable Newsers React to Supreme Court's Ruling on Marriage
National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association: Open Letter: Covering Marriage and the SCOTUS Decision
"A sharply divided Supreme Court on Thursday preserved a key tool used for more than four decades to fight housing discrimination, handing a surprising victory to the Obama administration and civil rights activists," Sam Hananel reported Thursday for the Associated Press.
"The justices ruled 5-4 that federal housing law allows people to challenge lending rules, zoning laws and other housing practices that have a harmful impact on minority groups, even if there is no proof that companies or government agencies intended to discriminate. . . ."
The editors of ProPublica reported the decision and added, "ProPublica in 2012 detailed how the U.S. government rarely enforced the many provisions of the Fair Housing Act. And earlier this year, we looked at the issues at stake in the 'disparate impact' case decided Thursday. . . "
ProPublica reposted its Oct. 29, 2012, report by Nikole Hannah-Jones, now with the New York Times Magazine.
Gregory Barber, Mother Jones: America Sucks at Affordable Housing. The Supreme Court Might Make It Even Worse.
Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Investor purchases of foreclosures intensify housing crisis?
Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: ACA gets another nod from the Supreme Court
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Conservatives attack, rescue Obamacare
Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: Justice Kennedy Emerges As Important, Complicated Voice on Race in Fair Housing Case
"Donald Trump's fight with Univision is heating up. On Friday he published an anchor's personal phone number, called for the resignation of a top executive and banned all of the channel's executives from using Trump's golf course in Miami," Tom Kludt and Mark Mooney reported Friday for CNNMooney.com.
Kludt and Mooney also wrote, "Univision fired back on Friday, sending out a memo to its employees that they 'should not stay at Trump properties while on company business or hold events/activities there.'
"The war began after Trump made offensive statements about Mexicans, including calling them 'rapists,' while announcing he was running for president.
"In response, Univision, the largest Spanish language network in the country, broke off its deal to air the Miss USA Pageant, which is partially owned by Trump.
"Trump also lashed out at Univision President Alberto Ciurana who apologized to Trump after he posted a photo comparing Trump to the Charleston gunman who killed nine people.
Harry Jessell, TVNewsCheck: NBCU Should Tell Donald Trump: You're Fired
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Trump deserves the Latino backlash
Janie Velencia, Adriana Useo and Christine Conetta, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Latinos Probably Don't Love Donald Trump
"Kenji Kawano is perhaps best known for his photographs of the Navajo code talkers recruited by the Marines to communicate military orders in their own language in World War II, baffling the Japanese," Monica Almeida reported Thursday for the New York Times "Lens" blog.
"Around 400 young men, who had never been away from the reservation, served in some of the bloodiest battles in the South Pacific and are credited with helping win the battle of Iwo Jima.
"As a Japanese native, and thus a 'former enemy,' Mr. Kawano might have seemed an unlikely candidate to tell the code talkers' story. But his background is what helped him bond with the Navajo veterans who had remained silent for so many years. Soon after he had settled into the Navajo Nation in 1974 to work on a project, he was struggling to learn the language. . . ."
"A new Horowitz Research study highlights the very important role that multicultural users are playing in driving over-the-top (OTT) and streaming video usage, with Hispanics, Asians and blacks being much more likely to be heavy OTT users than whites," George Winslow reported Friday for Broadcasting and Cable. Horowitz found that 51 percent of Hispanics, 46 percent of Asian Americans and 45 percent of blacks were spending more than 20 percent of their total TV viewing time watching content on over-the-top services.
"Lawmakers in Washington are calling for an apology and 'restitution' for thousands of U.S. World War II veterans who were exposed to mustard gas as part of experiments meant to test gas masks,body suits and even the theory that dark-skinned men were more resistant to chemical weapons," Al Jazeera America reported on Wednesday. "The calls follow reports this week by National Public Radio (NPR) that revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) never made good on promises to locate some 4,000 veterans who were subjected to the experiments and compensate those who suffered permanent injuries. . . ."
Patty Talahongva, multimedia journalist, Phoenix-based community developer and a past president of the Native American Journalists Association, was featured Saturday on NPR's "Morning Edition." "From 1891 until 1990, just shy of a century, Phoenix Indian School boarded students from Navajo, Apache and other tribes across the Southwest," Christopher Livesay reported. "Patty Talahongva is a Hopi who went to Phoenix Indian until 1979. By then, attendance was voluntary. That wasn't the case for generations of students before her. . . ." [Added June 27]
From a White House advisory for Monday: "The First Lady will deliver remarks at MORE Magazine's first-ever MORE Impact Awards Luncheon at the Newseum. In her remarks, Mrs. [Michelle] Obama will speak about the Let Girls Learn initiative and the importance of expanding access to education for adolescent girls around the world. The event will celebrate four exceptional women, chosen by MORE editors, who have made a significant impact in the areas of women's and girls' rights, health, veterans and military families, and education, both domestically and internationally. Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will also deliver remarks. This event coincides with the release of MORE Magazine's July/August issue, which was guest-edited by the First Lady." The event is to be live streamed.
"It's a classic cautionary tale for journalism in the digital age and the era of social media," Rem Rieder wrote Wednesday for USA Today. "A Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter goes for the fake while doing a piece on Dylann Roof, accused of murdering nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church. She's taken in by a 16-year-old in England who has decided to dupe the news media. . . ." Rieder also wrote, "The passage in question appeared in a story by Frances Robles that was posted on nytimes.com on Saturday. The anatomy of how the hoax was perpetrated was outlined in an article on fusion.net. . . ."
"The Washington Informer lost one of its own on June 18, when senior editor Denise Wall Barnes died following a long illness," the Informer said in an editorial on Wednesday. "Barnes, 58, spent much of her adult life in the news business, including the Washington Star, NPR and the Washington Times. She is remembered as a meticulous, dogged, old-school editor who demanded that her reporters go the extra mile, ask one more question and check, double-check and check facts one more time – right up until the time that the paper went to press. . . ." Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes wrote that people sometimes confused the two. "We even predicted the confusion folks would have when either of us died," the publisher told Journal-isms in an email. Denise Rolark Barnes was elected chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association at its recent meeting in Detroit.
"An Al-Jazeera cameraman was killed today while covering clashes between regime forces and rebels in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, the pan-Arab broadcaster reported," according to a report Friday from the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Mohammed al-Asfar is the second Al-Jazeera journalist to be killed in the province since December. . . ."
The Committee to Protect Journalists said it "condemns the excessive damages imposed on Monday by a Moroccan court on a news website convicted of defamation and call on authorities to reverse the conviction on appeal. The Casablanca court convicted the privately owned news website Goud on civil defamation charges in connection with an article it republished on its website that accused the king's private secretary, Mounir el-Majidi, of corruption and mismanagement of funds, according to news reports. El-Majidi denied the allegations. . . ."
"The Wall Street Journal is shuttering its India site," Chris O'Shea reported Friday for FishbowlNY. "According to MediaNama, wsj.com/india will shut down next Tuesday, but the blog India Realtime will continue to publish. . . ."
"The attorney for a Zimbabwe journalist says his client was convicted of publishing a newspaper in a southern town without government permission and sentenced to eight months in prison," the Associated Press reported Friday. "Several newspapers and radio stations have already been closed under Zimbabwe's harsh media laws and dozens of journalists have been arrested over the past 15 years. . . ."