How RNC Fared Versus 'Honey Boo Boo'

Ryans, Romneys (Getty Images)
Ryans, Romneys (Getty Images)

Reality Show Tops Any Cable Channel's RNC Coverage

"Mitt Romney has always had to work hard to prove himself to the heart of the Republican Party, but more than 25.2 million people tuned in to the major networks and cable news stations to witness his well-received acceptance speech, making his the most watched hour of the convention, according to Nielsen Media Research," Jeff Labrecque reported Friday for Entertainment Weekly.


"Enthusiasm — at least from a television perspective — continued to lag behind 2008, when John McCain and Sarah Palin were on the Republican ticket. McCain spoke to almost 39 million television viewers when he accepted his party's nomination four years ago. This isn't the 2008 election, which was unusual and highly contentious, in part because it was the first election that did not feature an incumbent or sitting vice-president in 40 years and in part because it featured two trailblazing candidates: Palin and Barack Obama. It will be interesting to see how the softer ratings impact the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. next week."

There's also this: " 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,' TLC's controversial reality show about a self-proclaimed 'redneck' family and their Toddlers and Tiaras daughter, hit another ratings high Wednesday night," Michael O'Connell reported for the Hollywood Reporter.

". . . The half-hour series' showing among adults 18-49 bested all other cable outings for the night — including coverage of the Republican National Convention — to pull a 1.3 rating," although "aggregate coverage of the RNC across networks obviously eclipsed Honey Boo Boo considerably."

U.S. Appeals Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

"A federal appeals court in Washington Thursday struck down the Texas voter ID law requiring photos for voters at the polls, calling it racially discriminatory," CNN reported.

"The decision is a major victory for the Obama administration and its Democratic allies, which had challenged the law.

"Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott promptly announced the state will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.


"Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the voter ID measure into law last year, but it had yet not gone into effect because the federal Voting Rights Act requires changes in Texas voting laws to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department. Voter ID law goes to court

"Attorney General Eric Holder denied the pre-clearance of the measure in March, concluding that Texas failed to show the law will not have 'the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race.'


"The three-judge panel agreed."

Meanwhile, "A federal judge on Wednesday said he was prepared to grant a permanent injunction that would block controversial restrictions on voter registration groups passed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) last year," Nick Wing reported Wednesday for the Huffington Post.


"Federal Judge Robert L. Hinkle had earlier put a temporary hold on the measure, declaring that it put 'harsh and impractical' restrictions on civic groups focused on registering new voters. In his latest order, Hinkle stated that he intends to permanently block the law, pending the case's dismissal from a Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs and the state of Florida have reportedly agreed not to appeal Hinkle's ruling."

In Ohio, "A federal judge ruled Friday that Ohio must allow in-person voting on the weekend before the presidential election, a victory for Democrats who claimed Republican efforts to close down early voting were aimed at discouraging voters most likely to support President Obama," Robert Barnes reported for the Washington Post.


* Suevon Lee, ProPublica: Voting Rights Act: The State of Section 5

* Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Voter ID laws: Will Republicans succeed with Jim Crow lite?

* Adam Shah, Media Matters for America: George Will Attacks The Voting Rights Act for Helping "Government-Approved Minorities"

British Paper Finds Paul Ryan's Black Ex-Girlfriend

Just when the buzz had ebbed about Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., having had a black girlfriend in his younger days, Britain's the Daily Mail found out her name, tracked her down and on Thursday, published an interview with her. The website TMZ quickly followed in the United States on Friday.


"The cheerleader who Paul Ryan dated in college and helped forge his uncompromising opposition to racism says that she may not be a Republican but still supports the 'nice guy'," began the 2,600-word story by the Mail's Belinda Robinson, Emily Anne Epstein and Toby Harnden.

"Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Deneeta Pope said she met the future vice presidential candidate through friends at Miami University some 20 years ago.


"Pope, 40, said: 'Paul is a very nice guy, a kind guy and a family guy. He's very approachable and a very likeable person.'

"The relationship and the negative reaction he said he suffered from his so-called friends were a formative experience in the political evolution of the VP pick who described himself as a 'big, big fan' of Martin Luther King and is a staunch advocate of civil rights."


On Sunday's "Reliable Sources" media show on CNN, host Howard Kurtz asked Keli Goff of, who wrote a column Aug. 20 on the interracial relationship, why it mattered.

". . . I think it's fascinating," Goff replied. "He's the first major presidential party ticket candidate to have admitted to interracially dating.


"It says something about being part of Gen-X. It's a fascinating anecdote, just like being — him liking Rage Against the Machine. So I'm surprised people found it offensive or uncomfortable."

Goff later participated in a "confab" on with Staff Writer Jenée Desmond-Harris, Contributing Editor David Swerdlick and Assistant Editor Akoto Ofori-Atta "about whether it's racist to discuss Paul Ryan's black ex-girlfriend."


On NPR on Tuesday, Karen Grigsby Bates took a broader view. "With the rise of interracial relationships in the past 20 years, everything from marriage to trans-racial adoption, the news that Paul Ryan says he had a black girlfriend really is non-story. The question a lot of people, especially people of color, have is does having had a relationship with someone of another race or ethnicity make you more sensitive to those cultures," Bates said.

She continued, ". . . Edgy comedians long have poked fun at liberal white folks who offer the lone black friend as testimony to their open-mindedness. Lenny Bruce did it in the '50s and Chris Rock is doing it today."


TMZ picked up the Daily Mail story on Thursday and then interviewed Pope on Friday.

"We spoke with Pope a few minutes ago and she could not have been clearer — she does not want to become an issue in the election," TMZ reported.


"Pope said, 'I'm not interested in talking. I don't know why everyone is calling. I'm newly married and would just like to be left alone.' "

* Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Women of color in a strange place.

* Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review: The Wall Street Journal lets Paul Ryan go all but unchecked

* Salvatore Colleluori, Media Matters for America: Toledo Blade Covers For Small Business Owner Who Didn't "Build It" Alone

*Michael H. Cottman, Going Nuts

* Davey D blog: Reporting Live From Tampa the RNC Wrap Up: Clint Eastwood Steals the Show in a Bad Way

* Eric Deggans blog, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: The GOP + Clint Eastwood + 15,000 social media snarkers = a boatload of bizarre at RNC in Tampa

* Gene Demby, HuffPost BlackVoices: At The Republican National Convention, Many Black Faces On The Stage, But Few On The Floor

* Peter Eisner, #Romney and #Ryan: "Don't Know Much About History."#RNC

* Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune: Edits scrub mention of race in Mia Love's speech

* Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund:  Eastwood's chair: People of color as invisible as Obama at the Republican National Convention

* Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press: RNC platform confirms party's rightward lurch

* Nat Ives, Newsweek's Anti-Obama Cover Set to Be a Newsstand Hit

* Allen Johnson blog, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Off-stage ugliness in Tampa

* Susan Jones, Fox News's Juan Williams Calls Ann Romney a 'Corporate Wife'

* Bill Keller, New York Times: Lies, Damn Lies and G.O.P. Video

* Bryan Llenas, Fox News Latino: Republican National Convention: Fox News Latino Reporter's Notebook

* Myriam Marquez, Miami Herald: Balancing the GOP tripwire on immigration

* Caroline May, Daily Caller: Former RNC chairman Michael Steele 'annoyed' by employer MSNBC's racism charges at the GOP

* Rod McCullom, HATER PLAYER: Artur Davis, GOP Black Gold

* Aaron Morrison, It's Hard Out There for (Young) Black Members of the GOP

* Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Who's Playing 'The Race Card' Now?

* Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Republican Political Delirium is Deceptive

* Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: One subject Ryan could help milk

* Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Romney's tin ear for humor

* Pew Research Center: Romney in a Word: 'Honest,' 'Businessman,' 'Rich' — His Image Changes, but Remains More Negative than Positive

* Rem Rieder, American Journalism Review: A Watershed Moment for Real-Time Fact-Checking

* Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Chris Christie announces for 2016 race . . . Oh, and he endorses Mitt Romney, too

* Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Clint Eastwood and Marco Rubio Are Not Enough

* Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Chris Christie's failed advertisement

* Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The GOP's steady diet of whoppers

* Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post: President Obama hits Reddit on 'Ask Me Anything'

*Erik Wemple, Washington Post: CNN nuts incident and 15,000 useless reporters

* Elon James White, Condoleezza Rice Addresses Us Like We're Adults

* DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: Romney's opportunity to clarify his brand


How Univision Reported From Storm Without Satellite

"We've been bringing you daily updates from our crew in New Orleans. We followed their trip from Florida to [Louisiana] as they chased hurricane Isaac, their first encounter with the storm and their adventures as they report from the ground," Conz Preti wrote Wednesday for Univision News.


"Today the storm is so strong our crew has been left without a satellite to transmit from. Ricardo Arambarri shows us in the video . . . how they are able to get footage into the air."

* Andrew Beaujon, Poynter Institute: As Hurricane Isaac hits New Orleans, Times-Picayune prints in Alabama

* Eugene Kane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Katrina's racial, political lessons linger as Isaac arrives

* Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth: Isaac conjures memories of Katrina and Texans' caring spirit


Gabriel Escobar Returning to Philadelphia Inquirer

After a little more than a year as an editorial writer at the Dallas Morning News and a journalism instructor at Southern Methodist University, Gabriel Escobar is returning Tuesday to the Philadelphia Inquirer as deputy managing editor for news, Escobar said on Friday.


In a memo to the Inquirer staff, Editor William K. Marimow said, " . . . Gabe will oversee the City, South Jersey and Pennsylvania suburban staffs, the online breaking news team and also manage our recruiting and internship programs. Gabe spent four very successful years as Metro Editor here at the Inquirer before joining The Dallas Morning News in August 2011.

"While in Dallas, Gabe has been an editorial writer and blogger for the state's largest paper and also a journalism instructor at Southern Methodist University under a joint appointment with Belo Corp., the parent company of the Morning News.


"At SMU, he taught the 'West Dallas Beat' class, pairing journalism students with nonprofit organizations; the nonprofits then introduced students to life in the largely Hispanic and African American neighborhoods across the Trinity River from downtown Dallas. Students profiled neighborhood leaders, explored the challenges posed by development and learned how to use local resources to advance and illuminate reporting."

Escobar told Journal-isms, "It's been a short but wonderful ride here in Dallas." He saidthat his job in Dallas had no time limit and that he was leaving to take advantage of the Philadelphia opportunity.


"Obviously we are disappointed because he had made a significant impact on the students in the reporting class he taught with us," Tony Pederson, the Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism at SMU, told Journal-isms by email.

Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor at the Dallas Morning News, said she was seeking a replacement. "Of particular interest is a skilled critical thinker with special expertise in Latino issues, ranging from education to immigration. Sound judgment, persuasive writing skills and digital dexterity required," she said by email. She urged those interested to send a bio and three or four examples of commentary as soon as possible to bonnieb (at)


Marimow explained that Mike Leary, the Inquirer's deputy managing editor for metro and investigations, left last month to become senior vice president and editor of the San Antonio Express-News. "So Gabe is succeeding Mike in the metro arena, and Gabe will also have some responsibilities that Mike did not have. In effect, he's succeeding Mike, but not in each and every way," Marimow said.

Court Rules Newspaper Can Sue Sheriff Arpaio

"Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio might want to get ready to spend more time in court defending himself," Elise Foley reported Wednesday for HuffPost LatinoVoices.


"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that two news executives for the Phoenix New Times can sue the Maricopa County sheriff's office for their 2007 arrests.

"The men, newspaper co-owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, were arrested at their homes in the middle of the night after their publication reported the sheriff's office planned to use a subpoena to figure out who was talking to journalists about Arpaio. Arpaio's allies drafted subpoenas that 'demanded that the paper reveal its confidential sources as well as produce reporters' and editors' notebooks, memoranda, and documents' related to stories about Arpaio, according to the court ruling. The New Times refused, leading to misdemeanor charges against Lacey and Larkin of disclosing grand jury inner workings. The charges were dropped the next day."


Dennis Wagner, JJ Hensley and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez reported Friday for the Arizona Republic, "Federal prosecutors closed an exhaustive four-year FBI criminal investigation and grand-jury probe targeting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their top deputies, saying there will be no indictments.

". . . Ann Birmingham Scheel, acting on behalf of U.S. Attorney John Leonardo . . . listed the allegations that were investigated — civil-rights violations, misuse of public money, perjury — and said prosecution was declined because of a lack of evidence or an insurmountable burden of proof."


Incoming Knight Fellow "In a Real Fight for His Life"

Kevin Weston, a new media entrepreneur in Oakland, Calif., who was about to start a journalism fellowship at Stanford University, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia and is "in a real fight for his life," Sandy Close, executive editor and director of New America Media, told colleagues on Friday.


"NAM's long-time colleague Kevin Weston is in the ICU at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, fighting a very severe bacterial infection in his throat called necrotizing fasciitis," Close wrote in an email. "In the course of diagnosing and treating the infection, the doctors discovered Kevin has acute leukemia. All this comes on top of his diabetes. So he is in a real fight for his life. With the love of his partner, Lateefah Simon, their daughter Lelah, his mother and his many friends, he has a powerful will to live. He reached out to grab my hand when I saw him late last night, and nodded his head to let me know he could hear me.

"I know that many of you will want to share your thoughts and prayers with Lateefah directly or through us. Please know we'll carry your messages to the hospital room. Kevin was soaring when this illness struck, about to start his Stanford Knight Fellowship and building his own [501(c)3] youth hub in Oakland. Jim Bettinger and Dawn Garcia at the Knight Fellowship at Stanford are providing tremendous support.


"Send any emails or questions to Sandy Close [sclose (at)] or Dana Levine [dlevine (at)] directly. Here's the additional information you may want to have:

"Kaiser Permanente, 710 Lawrence Expressway, Santa Clara, CA 95051, Room 2302 of the ICU, 408-851-1000."


Short Takes

* "American freelance journalist Austin Tice, who has been unaccounted for in Syria for more than two weeks, has been captured and is being held in Syrian government custody, according to people familiar with the matter, including a senior diplomat," Ernesto Londoño reported Thursday in the Washington Post. "Tice, 31, contributed stories to The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and other publications this summer after crossing into Syria in May."

* "Lucimarian Roberts, the mother of Robin Roberts, the co-host of 'Good Morning America,' died Thursday night in Gulfport, Miss., just hours after Ms. Roberts began a medical leave for a bone marrow transplant," the Associated Press reported on Friday. "She was 88. . . . She made many appearances on her daughter's program and collaborated with her on a book titled 'My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith.' "

* While Robin Roberts is on medical leave from ABC's "Good Morning America," "several famous journalists will be filling in for her, including ABC News colleagues Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, and Elizabeth Vargas," Chris Witherspoon reported Thursday for "Aside from notable news personalities, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Rock, and Kelly Ripa, as well as the cast of ABC's Modern Family, will also be subbing for Roberts."

* "After several weeks of investigating reports from sources in Eritrea and from prison guards who fled the country, Reporters Without Borders has been able to confirm that three more journalists — Dawit Habtemichael, Mattewos Habteab and Wedi Itay — have died in the northeastern prison camp of Eiraeiro. All three had been held since late 2001. Another journalist arrested in February 2009, whose identity has not been established with certainty, has also reportedly died in detention — in his case, in Abi Abeito military prison near the capital, Asmara."

* "An admitted smash-and-grab burglar who targeted two Upper Merion gas stations surrendered Thursday, and he did it at our 6abc studios," Dann Cuellar reported Thursday for WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

* "Yinka Adegoke has been named deputy editor of Billboard magazine. Adegoke comes to Billboard from Reuters, where he served as senior media correspondent since 2006," Chris O'Shea reported Friday for FishbowlNY.

* Former Army Ranger Gary Smith is on trial in the circuit court in the Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md., accused in the 2006 fatal shooting of his roommate, fellow ranger Michael McQueen. McQueen was a son of Mike McQueen, the Associated Press bureau chief in New Orleans who died in 2009. In 2011, Maryland's highest court threw out Smith's conviction, saying that crucial information had been wrongly withheld from jurors. Smith's retrial began Aug. 30, Michael Laris reported in the Washington Post.

* "UNITY Journalists calls for Congress to stop a U.S. Postal Service deal that could cripple the nation's newspaper industry by handing an unfair discount to one of its largest competitors," Valassis Direct Mail, the alliance said on Wednesday. "Cuts to the newspaper industry disproportionately hurt diversity in news coverage and the numbers of journalists of color and other underrepresented groups in newsrooms." The Newspaper Association of America is challenging the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission offer of a reduced mailing rate to Valassis, but NAA spokeswoman Marina Hendricks told Journal-isms by email that NAA had  not sought Unity's endorsement.

* The Washington Informer, a member of the black press, has garnered the support of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council in its quest to continue to be considered a general circulation newspaper in the city, James Wright reported for the Informer on Wednesday. ". . . The Washington Informer lost a District contract worth more than $30,000 to the Washington Times because the Southeast-based newspaper targets 'specific ethnic groups,' " Wright wrote.

*Thursday's "Journal-isms" column, "CNN Camerawoman 'Not Surprised' by Peanut-Throwing," featuring an interview with the camera operator, Patricia Carroll, set a record for unique visitors to the Maynard Institute website. More than 400 websites linked to the site.

* Daisuke Wakabayashi, Mary C. Curtis and Indian Country Today were among the winners of the Association for Women in Communications' 2012 Clarion Awards [PDF]. Wakabayashi was a co-winner for the "Ruin and Rebirth" feature series in the Wall Street Journal on the March 2011 Japanese earthquake; Curtis won for a collection of columns in the Washington Post's "She the People" online section, and Politics Daily; and the Indian Country Today Media Network won for Best Overall External Magazine — Start-up, First Issue — circulation of 100,000 or less, and its "Circle of Violence" series for Magazine Series or Special Section — External Publication — Circulation of 100,000 or less. List of winners.

* Sacramento station KCRA-TV announced Wednesday that Lisa Gonzales will join its news team on Tuesday, Mark Glover wrote Thursday for the Sacramento Bee. "Gonzales comes to Channel 3 after anchoring Sacramento Channel 13 (KOVR) morning and noon newscasts for the past seven years.

* "In the 2010-2011 school year, McCollough-Unis School allowed the Asian American Journalism Association (AAJA) to launch a project from the AAJA's Executive Leadership Program for Unis Middle School students titled 'The Living Textbook,' " Mallory Estepp reported Thursday for the Arab-American News in Dearborn, Mich. "The program is headed by Emily Askari, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, and Joe Grimm, a visiting editor in residence Michigan State University. Both have also reported for the Detroit Free Press."

* "Bolivian authorities must immediately drop a criminal complaint filed against three media outlets in connection with their coverage of a speech by President Evo Morales," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. "The news outlets are being accused of inciting racism and discrimination, according to news reports."


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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education ( Reprinted on The Root by permission.