Cosby: CNN’s Upcoming Special About Beverly Johnson’s Accusations Is Not Balanced

Bill Cosby; Beverly Johnson
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images; Angela Weiss/Getty Images
Bill Cosby; Beverly Johnson
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images; Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Beverly Johnson Charges Surface Talk of Lies, Death Threats

CNN replied Monday to a scathing letter from Bill Cosby's lawyer accusing the network of unethical reporting tactics with a scathing letter of its own.


The network's lawyer ripped into the character of a former boyfriend of supermodel Beverly Johnson, who, following accusations by other women, has accused Cosby of drugging her in the 1980s.

CNN also said Johnson has no memory of a man who claimed to be Johnson's manager. Cosby's lawyer held up both as men whom CNN should have interviewed and presumably would uphold Cosby's position.

The CNN lawyer, David Vigilante, additionally scolded Cosby's lawyer, Marty Singer, for communicating with CNN employees, such as CNN President Jeff Zucker, and expressed displeasure that the letter from Singer was leaked to the celebrity gossip site TMZ.

As first reported Saturday by TMZ, Singer wrote "a scathing letter to CNN Prez Jeff Zucker, claiming his reporters are out to get Cosby in a special the network is doing with model/actress Beverly Johnson.

"Johnson claims Cosby drugged her in the mid '80s at his NYC home. Singer says in his letter — obtained by TMZ — he contacted the CNN reporters and told them they should get in touch with Mark Burk, who was Johnson's live-in boyfriend from 2006-2009.

"Singer says Burk told CNN reporters Beverly 'never said a negative statement about Bill Cosby throughout their entire four year relationship.' Singer goes on, 'Burk told CNN that to the contrary, Ms. Johnson stated that she was an admirer of Bill Cosby and only said great things about Mr. Cosby.'


"According to Singer, the reporters tried to pressure and manipulate Burk to corroborate Johnson's claims. He says when Burk stuck to his guns, the reporters abruptly terminated the conversation. . . ."

TMZ published Singer's letter [PDF], which also states, "We continue to be shocked by CNN's outrageous ongoing refusal to investigate and run balanced stories about my client.


"While airing untested stories from accusers who have seemingly been subject to little or no vetting, CNN takes the opposite approach with anyone who comes forward with relevant information undermining accusers' claims or with relevant information supporting Mr. Cosby. Sources with information supportive of my client are entirely ignored or, worse still, are met with hostility when they fail to go along with the narrative being perpetrated by CNN. . . ."

On Monday, CNN pushed back with a letter from Vigilante.

"Your letter is remarkable in its dishonesty," it said.

"I have reviewed the transcripts of the Burk and Gibble interviews and they show that your characterization of CNN's conduct and the discussions themselves are demonstrably false." Gibble is not fully identified, but the letter says he claims to have been Johnson's manager.


"With respect to Mr. Burk, what becomes clear both from the interview and from our research is that 1) he had no specific knowledge of Ms. Johnson's claims and did not know Ms. Johnson during the time period when she claims she was assaulted and 2) he is far from a disinterested observer.

"Mr. Burk essentially says he has no recollection of Ms. Johnson ever mentioning any incidents to him during the time he knew her. He offers generalized statements that Ms. Johnson spoke in support of many different prominent African Americans in their business pursuits, including sometimes Mr. Cosby.


"What you neglected to inform CNN about Mr. Burk is that he has a history of threatening and abusive behavior toward Ms. Johnson.

"Indeed, he is the subject of multiple restraining orders relating to her. This includes choking Ms. Johnson and even threatening to kill her, for which he pled guilty, was convicted and a criminal protective order was issued.


"Burk suggested to CNN that this conviction was subsequently vacated, but a review of the docket shows only that it was affirmed several months later. CNN even had a California attorney search the docket for anything that supported Burk's claim. No record of the conviction being vacated was found.

"In assessing Burk's credibility, it is also notable that he filed a legal action seeking 'palimony' from Ms. Johnson. The lawsuit was dismissed because the court found him to be a vexatious litigant. As I'm sure you already know, a vexatious litigant is someone who the court determines repeatedly makes meritless or false claims


"We also talked with Mr. Gibble and looked into his background. Ms. Johnson says she has no memory of this man who claims to have managed her from 1992-1994. Mr. Gibble was unable to provide any documentary evidence that such a relationship existed. Mr. Gibble gave us the name of a casting agent he said could corroborate his claims but, despite multiple attempts, using multiple numbers over the past two days, CNN has been unable to reach her.

"As with Mr. Burk, Mr. Gibble admits he did not know Ms. Johnson at the time the alleged incident occurred. And like Mr. Burk, our research shows Mr. Gibble also has a criminal history. Indeed, he is a convicted felon — a detail you again omitted in your prior correspondence. CNN learned around the time period he claims he was managing Ms. Johnson, Gibble was tried and convicted for receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit the robbery of a former client, for whom he spent two years in prison . . . "


Vigilante also wrote, "In sum, at your request we contacted Mr. Burk and Mr. Gibble. Neither person had any specific knowledge about the claims Ms. Johnson is making. Both have a history of criminal behavior and engaging in acts involving dishonesty and moral turpitude. None of this information was disclosed by you.  . . ." 

Nancy Dillon, Daily News, New York: EXCLUSIVE: Bill Cosby accused of raping ex-girlfriend of Sammy Davis Jr.


Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: Histories Of Several Cosby Accusers Cast Doubt On Tales (Dec. 12)

James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: The Cosby saga: Has America’s Dad become its deviant uncle? (Dec. 12)


T.J. Holmes Joins ABC News as Full-Time Co-Anchor

T.J. Holmes, the former CNN anchor who survived a doomed attempt at a late-night show at BET and went on to freelance and substitute anchor positions at other networks, has been hired as a co-anchor at ABC News, the network announced on Tuesday.


"I'm thrilled to announce that T.J. Holmes is officially joining America This Morning and World News Now as co-anchor," ABC News President James Goldston said in a note to the staff. In addition to his anchor duties, he will also report across our all broadcast and digital platforms.

"T.J. has impressed us all for the past few months with his vibrant storytelling, engaging style, and quick wit.


"An award-winning journalist, he has reported from around the world on some of the most important stories of our day.

"T.J. was live on the scene following the Virginia Tech campus shootings, the devastating tornados in Joplin, Missouri, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; and in 2009 covered the first presidential debate between then-Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. His contributions to the coverage of the oil spill and the Presidential campaigns garnered CNN two prestigious Peabody Awards. . . ."


Holmes left CNN as a weekend anchor in December 2011 and joined BET, which promoted his "Don't Sleep" as a late-night Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert-inspired show for an African American audience. The show debuted in October 2012 and was applauded by the National Association of Black Journalists as a positive move by BET. But the show was said to have never received the full backing of BET's top management and lasted only until December of that year.

Holmes did freelance work for CNN, MSNBC and ABC News. There, he filled in overnight starting in September and did reports for "Good Morning America" when stories broke overnight. [Added Dec. 23.]


Byron Pitts Replacing Dan Abrams as "Nightline" Anchor (Dec. 19)

Milwaukee Cop Won't Be Prosecuted in Black Man's Slaying

As New York reeled from the slaying of two police officers by an assailant said to be mentally unstable, the district attorney of Milwaukee County, Wis., announced that another white police officer will escape charges in the fatal shooting of a black man.


"Dontre Hamilton's family waited eight months for justice, but they won't receive it: A Milwaukee police officer will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Hamilton in Red Arrow Park last spring," James E. Causey, an African American columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote Monday.

"And I can't say I'm surprised.

"The decision, announced by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm on Monday, didn't surprise me or any of my African-American friends because white police officers are rarely, if ever, found guilty in the death or mistreatment of black men and women.


"Almost every week, it seems, there are more police killings or beatings of minorities. Many are caught on video. It is why the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign has swept across the country.

"Between 1968 and 2011, black people were eight times more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 76 black men and women have been killed in police custody since 1999, according to the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. . . ."


Causey also wrote, "According to the report released Monday . . . officer Christopher Manney approached Hamilton and the two got into an altercation that ended in Hamilton's death. Based on the evidence and analysis presented to him from federal authorities and an outside expert on the use of force, Chisholm concluded that Manney's use of force was justified as self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Manney with a crime.

"Manney was fired in October by Police Chief Edward Flynn because he did not 'follow department procedures' for dealing with emotionally disturbed people.


"Manney was not fired because he shot Hamilton 14 times, Flynn said. Rather, he was fired because he did not follow department rules in the moments leading up to the shooting.

"Hamilton's death widened the chasm between minorities and law enforcement in Milwaukee. We have to create a system that imposes accountability, creates trust and is transparent. That doesn't exist right now in this city.


"And, after all these months, we are also left with a nagging question: Just what does it take to charge an officer here or anywhere else in the killing of a black man? We still don't know."

Editorial, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Chisholm makes tough decision in difficult and tragic case


NPR, AP Say "Assassination" Doesn't Apply in Cop Killings

Although the New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News followed New York Police Commissioner William Bratton's choice of words in declaring that "No warning, no provocation — they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform," "assassination" is not the right word to describe the killing of two New York police officers, according to NPR and the Associated Press.


NPR Standards & Practices Editor Mark Memmott wrote Monday, "When reporting about the shooting deaths of New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the word 'ambush' does not apply according to the accounts we've seen so far. By definition, an ambush is an attack from a place of hiding. From what's been reported, it appears the officers were shot and killed without warning. But it seems that the attacker did not fire from a place of hiding.

"The words 'assassin,' 'assassination' and 'assassinated' also do not quite fit. Drawing from dictionary definitions, The Associated Press advises that the term assassination is to be used 'only if it involves the murder of a politically important or prominent individual by surprise attack.' An assassin, meanwhile, is 'one who kills a politically important or prominent person.'


"These were 'killings.' The officers were 'attacked.' They were 'shot dead.' Words such as those describe what happened. We do not need to give this gunman the additional notoriety of being an 'assassin.' He was a 'killer.' . . ."

Indeed, "cop killer" was a favorite description used by the tabloids to describe the mentally troubled Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the assailant who then killed himself.


The Daily News was measured in its editorial Saturday night:

"They were executed. They were assassinated. They were ambushed and so they were defenseless. They were targeted for one reason and one reason alone:

"They were deemed worthy for death because they had donned the uniform of the New York Police Department," it began.


The editorial concluded, "Now is the time for New Yorkers, in uniform and not, both critics and defenders of the NYPD, to far more wisely draw lessons that honor the ultimate sacrifice made by these two officers by pulling together with healing resolve."

The New York Times pleaded for unity. "There is no more important job ahead for [Mayor Bill] de Blasio than to lead and unite the city. He cannot allow it to fracture into opposing camps of those who support outraged protesters and those who stand with aggrieved cops. Never has his 'one city' promise been so urgently and so sorely tested. . . .Officers Ramos and Liu were patrolling in Brooklyn not to oppress but to serve and protect. Those who live and work in New York should unite in gratitude for their service and sacrifice, and commit themselves to a city where all feel safe. That is a movement everyone should join."


The New York Post urged readers to see events from the police point of view. "For weeks, our elites have validated the 'anger' of the protesters who have been taking over streets, bridges and tunnels. Given what looks like the explicit assassination of two innocent police officers in revenge for Eric Garner, could those now tut-tutting about disrespect for the mayor not show even a little of the same sympathy for police feelings?"

Meanwhile, asked by NPR to contribute to "7 Stories You Should Have Paid More Attention To In 2014," Mary C. Curtis wrote from Charlotte, N.C., "I think that the name of Jonathan Ferrell, the young man killed by police officer Randall Kerrick in Charlotte, N.C., is too often left off of the sad roll call of unarmed, African-American men shot by authorities. We will certainly hear more in 2015 as Kerrick goes on trial unlike in so many other cases of no indictment. This story also points to how a southern city is ahead of New York in this case, though protests continue and citizens are watching. Stay tuned."


In an op-ed distributed Friday, Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said coverage of the police killings of black men has "been marked by some exceptional journalism on the subject, as well as some alarming narratives from journalistic choices that, while not necessarily intentional, serve to perpetuate stereotypes of Black men as dangerous criminals."

The stories "reaffirm the urgency of more diverse American newsrooms. Look no further than the membership of the National Association of Black Journalists to find many examples of responsible reporting. . . ."


Fox Station Edits Chants to Say "Kill a Cop!," Apologizes

In Baltimore, "WBFF (Fox45) apologized Monday night online and on-air for misleadingly editing and airing a video Sunday of a protest march in Washington to make it seem as if protesters were chanting 'kill a cop,' " David Zurawik reported Monday for the Baltimore Sun.


"What the marchers were actually chanting in response to the lead of a Baltimore woman, Tawanda Jones, was 'We won’t stop. We can't stop 'til killer cops are in cell blocks.'

"That's a very different meaning and representation of what Jones and the marchers were saying.


"Jones appeared on the 5:30 p.m. Fox45 news, where anchorman Jeff Barnd apologized to her on behalf of the station. . . ." WBFF is the flagship station of Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. The apology followed a report by

"What you are hearing there is a protester in Washington, D.C. shout the following chant," "Miserable Shitehawk" wrote Monday for

"We can't stop! (video)

"We won't stop!

'til killer cops are in cell blocks!"

"Not a particularly provocative chant, all things considered: protesters are announcing their intention to continue organizing until murderous police officers are put in jail. Fair enough!


"That is, until Baltimore's local FOX affiliate got their hands on this video. Here's their interpretation of it:

"We can't stop!

"We won't stop!

"So kill a cop!

"By cutting away from the video mid-chant, FOX's segment paints [protesters] as explicitly calling for the murder of police. They've depicted a non-violent protest about accountability for police brutality as a bloodthirsty mob. . . ."


Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Misplaced blame.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Pursuing Justice for All 

Sue Ellen Christian and Herbert Lowe, Ferguson, Journalism, Twitter 


Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America: How Fox News Covers Right-Wing Cop Killers (June 10)

Kevin Clay, The Root: Don't Let Them Make a Cop Killer the Face of the Movement

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson, Huffington Post: No Real Conversation About Race


Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C: In Seattle, a 'Hackathon' on public access to police video

Jerry Large, Seattle Times: 'Data nerd' finds way to help foster more effective policing


Amruta Trivedi, NPR "Code Switch": The Walkout Protest: Past And Present

Morgan Zalot, Philadelphia Daily News: Cartoon of kids asking Santa to 'Keep us safe from the police' draws ire (Dec. 11)


Lemon, Logan, Breitbart on List of Cringeworthy Blunders

CNN anchor Don Lemon, Lara Logan of CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" and made the Columbia Journalism Review list of "this year’s most cringeworthy news blunders," CJR's David Uberti reported Monday.


Uberti wrote:

"When life gives you Lemon

"As one of the most recognizable anchors on CNN, Don Lemon has helped lead the cable network's coverage of the biggest stories of the year. Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon's gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not.


"On March 20, he asked guests whether Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could have been swallowed by a black hole: 'I know it's preposterous, but is it preposterous?' He later compared spanking children to training dogs and probed similarities between the release of US Army POW Bowe Bergdahl and the Showtime series Homeland. When an alleged Bill Cosby rape victim appeared on his show on Nov. 18, he lectured, 'You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it…Meaning the use of teeth, right?' Less than a week later, as protests turned violent in Ferguson, MO, he described the scene: 'Obviously, there's a smell of marijuana in the air.' Lemon's job isn’t easy. But he's earned a DART for going there. Obviously.

"Africa is a country

"The foreign correspondent who parachutes into the developing world, only to speak with fellow foreigners, is thankfully an outdated trope — mostly. CBS' 60 Minutes deserves a DART for 'The Ebola Hot Zone,' a segment on the virus in Liberia where not a single local was interviewed on camera. Reporter Lara Logan visited an American-run treatment center, speaking to a nurse and four doctors, including a virologist and an infectious disease specialist — all from the US.


"While Logan reported that most of the center's staff were Liberian, none of them were interviewed. Other Liberians chant hymns, quietly disinfect vehicles, and dig graves. Or they are patients, including an infected 5-year-old boy and his father who appear onscreen, but whose story is relayed to Logan via an American nurse. As Columbia Journalism School professor and former New York Times Africa correspondent Howard French pointed out on Storify, there was one African who got to speak: the South Africa-born Logan. . . .

"Loretta who?

"A final DART goes to Breitbart News for its absurd response to the fact that the entire premise of its story 'outing' Loretta Lynch, nominated by President Barack Obama for attorney general, as one of Bill Clinton's attorneys in the Whitewater corruption probe, was erroneous. First, wrong Loretta Lynch — Clinton's attorney by the same name was a California Public Utilities Commissioner. But instead of acknowledging the error and taking down the story, they appended a correction to the bottom of the piece, as though they had simply misspelled Lynch's name.


"Finally, after thousands of shares online, Breitbart took down the article, including the correction, leading readers to a '404-not found' error page. A new story on Lynch that carries the correction remains under a different link — a case study in intellectual honesty. . . ."

Elizabeth Spayd, Columbia Journalism Review: 2014 editor's picks

What Smart People Are Saying About 2015

"To close out 2014, we asked some of the smartest people we know to predict what 2015 will bring for the future of journalism," the editors of NiemanLab asked a diverse group of thinkers.


Among those included:

Latoya Peterson: News in a remix-focused culture

Robert Hernandez: Los Angeles is the content future

Alisha Ramos: Reporters, designers, and developers become BFFs

Raju Narisetti: A thaw in the newsroom glacier

Rachel Sklar: Cut the excuses: Diversity takes work

Lauren Henry: Encouraging engagement, accepting anonymity

Dheerja Kaur: Content creators are users too 

Dayo Olopade: Learning from mobile-first markets

Katie Zhu: The news mixtape

Alfred Hermida: The fall and rise of the news bundle

Maria Bustillos: A return to subscriptions

Mira Lowe: Metrics, smaller screens, and race

Matt Thompson: The season of seasons

Trushar Barot: The rise of digital India

Aaron Williams: Security and subtlety

Millie Tran: Smart filters on the rise

S. Mitra Kalita: Authenticity, expertise, and intimacy

Lydia Polgreen: More is less (or too much)

Kawandeep Virdee: Siphoning from social tech

Emi Kolawole: The rise of the jacktivist

Errin Whack: Race is your beat, too

Jason Parham: The rise of the personal-public beef

Aaron Edwards: Diversity: Don't talk about it, be about it

How the Right Photo "Unfolded Right Before Me"

"It was another busy day at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Feb. 14, 2003," Ruby Washington, a photographer who took a buyout from the New York Times, wrote Monday for the Times' Lens blog. "Another day of photographing in a controlled and very restrictive environment. My assignment was to look for a different kind of photograph — to make something interesting.


"That day, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was there to make the case for military intervention in Iraq, even though the arms inspector Hans Blix had cautioned against moving too quickly. I was positioned in a photo booth, just above Mr. Powell's shoulders.

" 'How can I make something interesting out of this situation?' I wondered.

"Mr. Powell fiddled with pencils, took notes, watched dignitaries and passed notes. He whispered and conferred with others. I listened to speeches, all the while thinking, 'I don't yet have a picture.'


"Mr. Powell made his speech, a plea to take action against Iraq. As Julia Preston reported that day, he said: 'We cannot allow this process to be endlessly strung out as Iraq is trying to do right now. My friends, they cannot be allowed to get away with it again.'

"When he finished, I watched as someone passed him a note. I waited in anticipation, hoping that he would open it so I could photograph its contents. It unfolded right before me: A rare opportunity had presented itself.


"The note, presumably from the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, read: “Colin You made a good speech. The British media are reporting you and I as 'fighting back' against the ambiguity of the Blix reports. . . ."

The Lens blog also displayed the work of departing photographers Fred R. Conrad, Ozier Muhammad and Chester Higgins Jr.


"In the coming days, Lens will feature the work of five staff photographers who have decided to retire," the blog announced on Thursday. "Together, they represent 189 years of experience at The Times."

Short Takes

"Al Jazeera America will mark a year since the arrests of Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed with a primetime special, 'Journalism Is Not A Crime,' hosted by John Seigenthaler," Mark Joyella reported Monday for TV Newser. Joyella added, "The special airs next Monday at 9 p.m. ET."


Gabriel Snyder, new editor of the New Republic magazine, long known for its lack of diversity, wrote in his first editor's note Monday, "As we revive one proud legacy of The New Republic — the launching of new voices and experts — those new voices and experts will be diverse in race, gender, and background. As we build our editorial staff, we will reach out to talented journalists who might have previously felt unwelcome at The New Republic. If this publication is to be influential, and not merely survive, it can no longer afford to represent the views of one privileged class, nor appeal solely to a small demographic of political elites. . . ."

Antoine Sanfuentes who a year ago left NBC News is to oversee coverage of the White House and Congress.


"Here's a holiday epiphany: Journalists should never go to Christmas parties at the White House," Ruben Navarrette Jr., columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, asserted in a column Sunday. He also wrote, "I have heard from well-placed sources over the years that White House chiefs of staff or press secretaries are known to keep a list of who has been naughty or nice. Disclosure: I usually end up on the naughty list. That must be why I never get an invitation to the White House Christmas party. . . ."

The late Gerald Boyd, the first African American managing editor of the New York Times, withheld a story from publication after hearing from Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, according to Times reporter James Risen, public editor Margaret Sullivan reported Saturday. The story, about a top Al Qaeda operative being held in a secret Thailand prison, eventually ran the next year. Howell Raines, then executive editor, maintained that he was not consulted on the decision to hold the story.


"One of the consultants helping Sony Pictures recover from a cyberattack is Judy Smith, the woman described as the inspiration for the hit ABC series 'Scandal,' " Brian Stelter reported Monday for CNN. "Smith's web site calls her 'America's number one crisis management expert' and news stories often call her 'the real-life Olivia Pope,' the character played by Kerry Washington on 'Scandal.' . . ."

Wil Haygood is leaving the Washington Post at year's end, Managing Editor Kevin Merida confirmed Monday. Miami University of Ohio announced in March that Haygood would join Miami's faculty in the spring semester of academic year 2014-2015 as the Karl and Helen Wiepking Visiting Distinguished Professor, a one-year appointment. "During academic years 2015-2017, he will hold the position of Distinguished Scholar in the department of media, journalism and film. Haygood will teach courses in media, journalism and film one semester during each of the three years of the appointments. . . . " Haygood came to the Post in 2002 after 17 years at the Boston Globe and saw his 2008 article on Eugene Allen, a butler who had served eight presidents, become the hit movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler."


ABC News has hired Kendis Gibson, a native of Belize, as a correspondent, Mark Joyella reported Monday for TVNewser. "Gibson, who worked for CBS NewsPath before becoming weekend anchor and reporter at ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, was announced Monday morning in an email to staff from ABC News president James Goldston. . . .

In Dayton, Ohio, "Award-winning journalist Marsha Bonhart, a fixture in local television news for nearly 35 years, is leaving WDTN-TV 2," Amelia Robinson reported Friday for the Dayton Daily News. Robinson also wrote, "WDTN is transiting from LIN Media to Media General, which announced it would buy the station last March. Bonhart learned her contract would not be renewed on Dec. 11. . . ."


"When NAJA President Mary Hudetz and AAJA President Paul Cheung approached me about the possibility of becoming your UNITY president, my immediate reaction was no. I'm cool," Russell Contreras, incoming president of Unity: Journalists for Diversity, wrote Friday, referring to the Native American Journalists Association and the Asian American Journalists Association. "Then, I pondered about UNITY's challenges. I thought about the expanding gap between the wealthy and the poor and about our declining numbers in the newsroom. Images returned of mentors losing jobs. I recalled stories we missed because there were not enough of us to cover them, or worse, no one cared. I wanted to see a stronger and reunited UNITY. Only this time, I envisioned UNITY in Alabama, in Oakland, California and on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Yes, I said. Let's do it. . . ."

"Moviegoers filling theaters this week to see 'Selma,' the new docudrama about one of the key battles of the civil rights movement, may come across a name they don't recognize," Leonard Greene wrote Sunday for the New York Post. Greene also wrote, "The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy was a giant in the historic campaign for justice and equality, but history has treated him like a minor footnote. . . . Abernathy, who died in 1990, has never been forgiven for writing about the dalliances of an unfaithful [Martin Luther] King. For destroying the perfect-man myth, Abernathy has been relegated to the historical sidelines of a revolution he was instrumental in developing. . . ."


"Kenya's government is going after the global news network Al Jazeera for running a documentary that exposes widespread government-sponsored violence," Akbar Shahid Ahmed and Ryan Grim reported Friday for the Huffington Post. "According to Kenyan government documents obtained by The Huffington Post, Kenya's ministry of information, communication and technology filed a complaint on Dec. 10 against Al Jazeera's Nairobi bureau chief at the complaints commission of the country's Media Council.. . .

"The International Press Institute said Friday "it was troubled to learn that Palestinian Associated Press (AP) correspondent Mohammed Daraghmeh had been denied entry into Jordan," IPI's Siobhan Hagan reported. Hagan also wrote, "Because of tight travel restrictions between Israel and the West Bank, the eastern border with Jordan offers the only exit route from the region for Palestinians. Daraghmeh has been traveling to Jordan on assignment multiple times a year since 1995 without incident. He said border officials did not give him any reason why he was denied entry for the first time earlier this month. . . ."