President Obama Slams Fox News

President Barack Obama
MSNBC Screenshot
President Barack Obama
MSNBC Screenshot

President Underscores His Animus on Twitter

"With the ongoing ISIS and Ebola crisis, President Obama surely has a lot on his mind," Jordan Chariton wrote Thursday for TVNewser. "And yesterday, apparently Fox News was too.


"In two separate speeches, the president cited the network during stump speeches.

" 'There's a reason, fewer Republicans, you hear them running around about Obamacare,' Obama said during a speech at Northwestern University. 'Cause good, affordable health care might seem like a fanged threat to the freedom of the American people on Fox News, it turns out it's working out pretty well in the real world' (watch Greta Van Susteren react . . .).

"To hammer home the point, the president leveraged social media.

"Later in the day, Obama was at it again, this time invoking one of the network's primetime hosts.

" 'You already know how powerful the Latino vote can be,' President Obama said in front of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's gala on the subject of immigration reform. 'In 2012, Latinos voted in record numbers. The next day, even Sean Hannity changed his mind and decided immigration reform was a good idea.' . . ."


Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post Writers Group: The monolith myth (Sept. 26)

Latino Rebels: What The President Said Tonight to Latino DC & the Activist Who Interrupted Him


Adriana Maestas, President Obama addresses Latino politicians, as protests against deportations continue

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: A new divide on immigration (Sept. 24)


Amanda Sakuma, MSNBC: Obama vows to keep his word at Congressional Hispanic Caucus gala

Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: Texans should celebrate Hispanic culture (Sept. 27)


Tanya Somanader, the White House Blog: "A New Foundation Is Laid": President Obama on America's 21st Century Economy

BuzzFeed, Columbia Plan Fellowship for Journalists of Color

"In March, everything Mark Schoofs had been noticing about all the white guys in journalism came together in one place — the Pulitzers," Kristen Hare reported Thursday for the Poynter Institute.


"Schoofs, investigations and projects editor at BuzzFeed News, was on the jury for the investigative reporting category of the Pulitzer Prizes. He read about 80 entries.

" 'It was overwhelmingly white and, by the way, overwhelmingly male,' said Shoofs, (who himself is a white guy who has won a Pulitzer.) And he thinks he knows why.


" 'What happens, I believe, is that all of the forces in our society that limit opportunities for people of color accumulate the higher up the ladder you go,' he said in a phone interview. 'Rightly or wrongly, investigative reporting is considered a plum job, so I think it’s whiter than "regular reporting." '

"On Thursday, BuzzFeed and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism announced a new fellowship to try and start changing that. Here's the quick sketch:

"It's a one-year investigative reporting fellowship for a journalist of color.

"You need at least five years experience.

"The position is based in New York.

"The fellow will work with Schoofs.

"He or she can audit classes at Columbia.

"The fellow will earn $85,000 'plus benefits and related expenses for one year,' according to the press release. . . ."


Meanwhile, "Journalism minority advocates praised BuzzFeed Wednesday for releasing internal statistics on its staff diversity, along with a 'rough and evolving' hiring guide to ensure minorities are better represented in its future hires," Rose Creasman Welcome wrote Thursday for American Journalism Review.

Post-Dispatch Backs Redress for "Driving While Black"

"There's an old lawyer joke that, with a slight adjustment, helps explain why a plan by the city of St. Louis offers a level of amnesty to thousands of traffic offenders," began an editorial posted Friday by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


" 'What do you call 220,000 outstanding warrants at the bottom of the ocean?'

"The punchline: 'A good start.'

"On Oct. 1, the city of St. Louis Municipal Court canceled about 220,000 outstanding arrest warrants for certain nonviolent municipal offenses, many of them traffic violations. The unprecedented 'amnesty' program was a response to the situation in Ferguson, and the ongoing attention on the difficulty facing poor people, particularly people of color, who are often [disproportionately] targeted for traffic offenses. . . ."


The editorial also said, "While amnesty will be offered to offenders regardless of race, the argument for it stems from a history that shows municipal and judicial systems in the St. Louis region regularly violate the civil rights of black drivers. It starts with racial profiling, a well-documented problem in the state of Missouri over the past 14 years. In 11 of those years, the racial profiling statistics gathered by the state attorney general's office showed an increase in the disparity between traffic stops among whites and blacks. In most of St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities, blacks are significantly more likely than whites to be stopped and searched, based on their percentage of population.

"Driving While Black isn't a joke: The statistics in St. Louis and Missouri show that it is a very real thing.


"Add to that a system in which municipal courts charge fines for traffic offenses beyond the ability of poor people to pay, stacking one fine atop another. Some of those courts, primarily in north St. Louis County, threaten those who can’t pay with jail time, even though that’s illegal. . . ."

Michael H. Cottman, Ferguson Cops Should Be Fired for Wearing 'Wilson' Bracelets, Covering Name Tags with Black Tape


Boston Herald's Gaffe Coincides With Scant Diversity

The Boston Herald's apology over a racially insensitive cartoon this week might be the latest example of what can happen when a news organization employs so few culturally sensitive journalists.


As CBS News reported on Wednesday, "The cartoon shows the president brushing his teeth in a White House bathroom with a surprised look on his face as a white man sits in the bathtub behind him, asking [President] Obama, 'Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?'

"The caption reads, 'White House Invader Got Farther Than Originally Thought.'

The cartoon, by Jerry Holbert, was a commentary on the failures of the Secret Service. It got by all the editors at the Herald, but was questioned by the company syndicating the cartoon.


"Sue Roush, the managing editor of, told CBS Boston, the Holbert cartoon 'was reviewed by an editor here, as all our content is, before being sent to syndication clients and posted on our GoComics website,' " the CBS report said.

" 'The editor suggested to Jerry that the use of watermelon as a toothpaste flavor could inject a racial subtext that would distract from the point of the cartoon,' she said. 'Jerry agreed and happily replaced it with raspberry.' . . ." Holbert said he regretted not calling the Herald to let them know about the syndicate's objection.


The Boston tabloid did not participate in the latest diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, and Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca, a former political reporter and columnist, did not respond to an inquiry Friday about the paper's diversity. Other Boston journalists said they were hard-pressed to think of journalists of color who worked there, though after reflection, came up with one or two possibilities. 

When Kimberly Atkins left the paper in 2006, this column reported, no journalists of color remained in the newsroom. [update: Atkins has returned as chief Washington correspondent and columnist.]


In 2010, the tabloid ran a front page with the headline, "Mass. Cracks Down on Illegals," with a photo showing "No Tuition" stamped on the head of an apparent Hispanic man, "No Medicaid" on an Asian man and "No Welfare" on a black woman. The national associations of black and Hispanic journalists protested.

Peter Baker, New York Times: Some Blacks See Secret Service as Flawed Shield for the President


Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Watermelons, toothpaste, and conservative newspapers.

Owen Boss, Boston Herald: Herald cartoonist apologizes for Obama cartoon

Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: How The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig Broke Open The Secret Service Scandal


Wayne Dawkins, Surreal-yet-real security lapses call for Hollywood ending

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: Racist cartoons then and now

Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Secret Service: You Can't Slip Up With This President


Hannah Groch-Begley, Media Matters for America: Politico Lets Discredited Gossip-Monger Suggest Obama's Assassination May Be Needed To Reform Secret Service (Updated)

Dan Kennedy, WGBH News: Why Rupert Murdoch Could Buy The Boston Herald Again — And Why He Probably Won't (June 25)


Don Lemon, Blame Obama Is Not A Joke Anymore. It's Dead Serious

NewsOne: [Watch] Whoopi Defends Racist Obama Cartoon, Uses Watermelon Toothpaste


Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Secure the people's house, but don't obscure it

NAACP Lawyer Succeeds David Honig at MMTC

David Honig, co-founder and 28-year president of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which lobbies for minority broadcast ownership and trains potential owners, has stepped down and Kim M. Keenan, general counsel and secretary of the NAACP, has succeeded him as president and CEO, the organization announced Friday.


Keenan said in a news release, "I am thrilled to join the MMTC staff and to pursue my passion in media and telecommunications law, where I started my career. I have always admired the way MMTC advocates for diversity and inclusion in the most important industries in the world, and I embrace this opportunity to contribute my experience and vision to their work."

Honig has assumed the role of president emeritus and general counsel and will continue to lead MMTC's media and telecom brokerage operations and advise on certain FCC matters, the release added.


Honig told Journal-isms by email that the succession plan was two years in the making. "Idea was to pass the baton to a new generation of leadership before I turn 65. We just made it (I'll be 65 in December). I'll still be fulltime, handling our FCC rulemaking docket, the station group and the media/telecom brokerage, so I won't be going very far. And Kim Keenan is amazing. We [couldn't] have chosen a better leader. The nation's top civil rights attorney! Just what we needed."

Before her NAACP service, according to the announcement, Keenan "was the principal of her own law firm and served in the litigation practices of two nationally recognized law firms for more than eighteen years. After law school, she served as law clerk to the Honorable John Garrett Penn in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. A top litigator and civil rights attorney, Keenan is a past president of the 100,000 member District of Columbia Bar, as well as the National Bar Association, the nation's oldest and largest association of lawyers of color in the world. . . ."


NBC Cameraman With Ebola Virus Heads Back to U.S.

"An American cameraman helping to cover the Ebola outbreak in Liberia for NBC News has tested positive for the virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment," David Bauder reported Thursday for the Associated Press.


"NBC News President Deborah Turness said Thursday the rest of the NBC News crew including medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman will be flown back to the U.S. and placed in quarantine for 21 days 'in an abundance of caution.'

"NBC identified the freelance cameraman on its website as 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo. He has been working in Liberia for three years for Vice News and other media outlets, and has been covering the Ebola epidemic, according to the network. He began shooting for NBC on Tuesday. . . ."


Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Ashoko Mukpo, NBC News Ebola Patient, to Return to U.S. Sunday For Treatment

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: Ebola outbreak doesn't compare with our epidemics of yellow fever


Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ebola arrives: The U.S. is not Africa and panic is not warranted

Faith Karimi, CNN: NBC cameraman diagnosed with Ebola: 'I have seen some bad things'


Cyril Ibe and Eyobong Ita, all 7 Ways US Journalists Can Cover the Ebola Epidemic Better (Sept. 24) Storify of Twitter chat

Tom Kent, Associated Press: Some guidance on Ebola and enterovirus coverage

Robin Marty, 4 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About an American Ebola Outbreak


Reuters: Liberia Imposes Media Restrictions On 'Invasive' Ebola Coverage

"Comics Journalism" Can Be More Memorable Than Words

"For much of last year, Darryl Holliday worked the 'crime and mayhem' beat at DNAinfo Chicago, documenting the consequences of violence on the city's South Side," Rui Kaneya wrote Sept. 19 for Columbia Journalism Review.


"That's how he stumbled upon the story of Nortasha Stingley, whose daughter, Marissa, was gunned down in June 2013. Holliday wrote a straightforward article about the family's search for clues in Marissa's killing, but he didn't drop the story there.

"Over the next five months, Holliday and his collaborator, E.N. Rodriguez, kept in touch with Stingley, and eventually produced a follow-up — this time, as a cover story for the Chicago Reader.


" 'How to Survive a Shooting' chronicled Stingley's story: coping with the loss of her daughter, being a loving mother to her two sons, and becoming an anti-violence activist in the face of apparent apathy. In a sense, it was a dismayingly familiar narrative — in a city plagued by violence, we've heard similar tales before. But Holliday and Rodriguez sought to bring the story to life through their choice of format: 'comics journalism,' the shorthand term for reported nonfiction told through sequential art.

"They nailed it. Stingley's words, rendered alongside Rodriguez's illustrations, are heartbreaking in a way few written articles or even videos achieve; a panel about her being woken from a dream about her slain daughter by the barking of the family dog is indelible. The piece received tons of attention, and eventually snagged a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia in the category, 'Outside-the-Box: Innovation/Format Buster.' . . ."


Short Takes

In a 1997 study, online journalists ranked the top three skill sets that journalists use in their current job responsibilities as spelling, grammar and punctuation. In a newly released 2013 study, online journalists ranked the top three as digital news writing, copy-editing and social media [PDF], according to a Dow Jones News Fund survey of DJNF Digital Workshop alumni released Friday.


"The New York Post has settled a defamation lawsuit over a cover three days after the Boston Marathon bombing that featured a photo of two Massachusetts residents with the headline 'Bag Men,' " Denise Lavoie reported Tuesday for the Associated Press. "Neither side would disclose terms of the settlement. . . . " Clay Calvert of University of Florida in Gainesville wrote Friday for the Huffington Post, "at least two legal lessons can be taken away from the case: 1) Sensational tabloid covers, replete with screaming headlines juxtaposed next to photographs, can indeed be defamatory; and 2) tiny cover-page disclaimers won't always get tabloids like the New York Post off the hook."

"James Lawrence, who has led the Editorial Page at the Democrat and Chronicle for 22 years, is retiring," Tom Tobin reported Thursday for the Rochester, N.Y., newspaper. Lawrence has worked for the Gannett Co. for 28 years. His departure leaves eight African American editorial page editors at mainstream newspapers: Nancy Ancrum, Miami Herald; Rick Christie, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post; Tara Trower Doolittle, Viewpoints editor at the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Vanessa Gallman of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; ; Andre Jackson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Stephen Henderson at the Detroit Free Press; Harold Jackson at the Philadelphia Inquirer; and Allen Johnson at the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. A June count by the Association of Opinion Journalists found two Latinos in that position, Brian Calle of the Orange County (Calif.) Register and John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle. No Asian Americans or Native Americans were identified.


Aliya S. King, former Vibe senior content producer, has been named Ebony magazine's new entertainment editor, Ebony announced Thursday. "Prior to joining the EBONY staff, King was responsible for news, trend-pieces, celebrity coverage and video production across platforms for Vibe and," the announcement said. "In that role, she assigned, edited and top-edited features and cover stories. King also held editorial positions at Billboard, The Source, Upscale, Giant, and america. . . ."

"Fusion Editor-in-Chief Jane Spencer announced that Dodai Stewart, a founding member of Jezebel's editorial team, is joining Fusion as Director of Culture Coverage," the network announced on Friday. " . . . These latest additions come on the heels of several other key hires including — Senior Correspondent Tim Pool (Vice), Digital Voices Editor Anna Holmes (Jezebel founder), and Senior Editor Felix Salmon (Reuters) as well as Digital Editor-in-Chief Jane Spencer (WSJ, The Daily Beast), Vice President of Digital Monetization Jorge Urrutia (Huffington Post), and Chief Technology Officer Hong Qu (Upworthy, YouTube) to name a few. . . ." Peter Sterne added for, "Stewart said she plans to hire a staff of culture reporters: 'I'm a pop culture junkie, and the culture will be covering music and TV and movies and Vine and Youtube, street art, photography, dance, all that stuff,' she said. . . ."


"In a happy turn of events, a 10-year-old boy missing since 4:00 p.m. Thursday was found Friday morning by ABC Action News reporter Cameron Polom," the WFTS Webteam reported in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 16. The story also said, "Polom, who was covering the story early Friday morning, was walking through the neighborhood when he spotted the missing Kimball Elementary School student standing alone by a fence. 'I said, "Have you been missing?" I said, "Come here, buddy, and I just picked him up and I said would you mind if I lift you up?" ' Polom said. 'And I just said come with me, I just held his hand and walked him over to you guys. It's crazy.' he said. . . ."

In Orlando, "Former WESH-Channel 2 anchor Wendy Chioji has let friends know, via Facebook, that she has made it into clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute," Hal Boedeker reported Friday for the Orlando Sentinel.


Veteran celebrity reporter Flo Anthony is heading a publication called New York Post Publishing Inc., which is currently online and plans to expand to newsstands free of charge this month. Anthony is deputy publisher. The publisher is Steven J. Hoffenberg, who owned the New York Post briefly in 1993. He sold the printing presses to Rupert Murdoch, but not the name "New York Post Publishing Inc."

Award-winning Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz is among five Latino writers on the 13-episode Fox network comedy "Bordertown," which he describes as a historic step for Latinos in American television, Ramón Rentería reported Sept. 26 for the El Paso Times. "This is the first time that Latinos are going to play at least half the characters on a primetime animated show," Alcaraz said recently before speaking to students at the University of Texas at El Paso. "We finally have an actual mainstream show that treats Latinos with respect." The series is scheduled to air next spring. The writing team also includes Gustavo Arellano, editor of California's OC Weekly who writes the nationally syndicated column "¡Ask a Mexican!"


In Orlando, "Jessica Sanchez is stepping down as WKMG-TV Local 6's Morning News traffic reporter," the station reported on Thursday. "Many Central Floridians may remember that Sanchez was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March of last year and won her battle, becoming cancer-free this past January. . . ."

In New York, "City investigators have opened an inquiry into Rachel Noerdlinger, the chief of staff to Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, over her failure to disclose during a background check that she shares a home with a boyfriend whose criminal record and statements against law enforcement have become the subject of controversy, according to a person with knowledge of the matter," Michael M. Grynbaum, William K. Rashbaum and Nikita Stewart reported Thursday for the New York Times. On Friday, the three wrote that "the mayor’s office issued a statement saying that the Investigation Department had 'found no evidence of intent to deceive the mayor or City Hall' on the part of Ms. Noerdlinger, and pronounced the matter effectively closed." Noerdlinger is familiar to many reporters as a public relations person for the Rev. Al Sharpton.


"Gone With the Wind, the epic film of love and war set against the backdrop of a doomed Southern slavocracy, is turning 75, with special screenings in movie theaters around the nation and an airing on TV, too," E.R. Shipp reported Sunday for The Root. Shipp also wrote that in 1939, "The film that went on to win 10 Oscars — including the first for a black performer — and that the American Film Institute considers one of the best films ever made, created nearly as much havoc in the equivalent of black Twitter — the black press — as General William T. Sherman's march through Atlanta during the Civil War. . . ."

The NPR show "Snap Judgment" hit its $150,000 Kickstarter goal with eight days to spare, the fifth-highest podcasting/radio broadcasting campaign ever, the show's publicists said Friday. "People want and support story-telling formatted radio," they said in an email message.