Radio Ads Try Shaming Washington Redskins

Oneida Nation Buys Time in Cities Where Team Will Play

Opponents of the Washington Redskins team name are opening a new front in their battle. The Oneida Indian Nation plans to run radio ads in the Washington market Sunday and Monday, and in the markets of the opposing team when the NFL franchise plays its eight road games, Erik Brady reported for USA Today.


The media offensive follows efforts to revoke the team's trademark, supportive commentaries by newspaper columnists, irate statements from journalist of color groups, a bill in Congress, backing from D.C. government officials and refusal by some radio stations to say the name on the air.

"But you won't hear the ads on the station owned by team owner Daniel Snyder," Brady reported.

"WTEM, also known as ESPN 980, rejected the ad in one minute, according to an email stream that the Oneida Nation shared with USA TODAY Sports. Lewis Schreck, the radio station's senior vice president, used two words and seven exclamation points: 'No way!!!!!!!' "

Brady also reported, "The advertisement, which is timed for the Washington team's opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, closes with these words: 'We do not deserve to be called "redskins," we deserve to be treated as what we are — Americans.' "

The story continued, "The ad that airs this weekend begins with the voice of a narrator, who says: 'When a Philadelphia Eagles player used a racial slur to describe African-Americans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did the right thing. He said that racial language is, quote, "obviously wrong, insensitive and unacceptable." ' "

Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter "speaks next: 'I applaud Mr. Goodell for his actions. He is absolutely right; this kind of bigotry has no place in America. Now, with the Philadelphia Eagles playing Washington in the NFL's first Monday night football game, the commissioner has the opportunity to stand up to bigotry again.


" 'He can denounce the racial slur in the team name of the Washington Redskins. That word, "redskins," is not a harmless term. The commissioner can, and should, use the same words he used to describe the Eagles player, because the term "redskins" is obviously wrong, insensitive and unacceptable.'

"Goodell called the Washington team name 'a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect' in a June letter to 10 members of Congress who'd urged him to reject the name. . . ."


The story continued, "The Oneida Indian Nation, based in Central New York, gave Cooperstown High School $10,000 earlier this year toward the purchase of new uniforms after the school changed its name from Redskins to Hawkeyes, a nod to Natty Bumppo, hero of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales series."

The issue of stereotyping can cut different ways in the controversy.

"In yesterday's Washington Post, a story appeared about Chief Zee, the African-American Redskins fan who has been the team's semi-official mascot for 35 years," the Indian Country Today Media Network reported on Thursday, describing 72-year-old Zema Williams. "The profile was written by Mike Wise, a clear advocate of changing the Washington team's name and a thorn in the side of the fans who are dead-set against the change."


The piece suggested that "Wise's story is rife with remarks that could be taken as playing on stereotypes of black Americans. On the ever-lively Washington Post comments section below the story, Zee's defenders are calling the article a racially-charged hit piece on a 'sick old man' (Williams is undergoing cataract surgery) whose intention has always been to 'make people smile.' Zee's critics counter that one ethnic minority parodying another (Zee freely uses the word Injun) is old-timey minstrelsy times two. . . . "

Polls have established that the general public gives Zee and the Redskins name a pass. In May, an Associated Press-GfK poll showed that nationally, nearly four in five Americans don't think the team should change its name. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren't sure and 2 percent didn't answer.


Writing for Forbes, media writer Jeff Bercovici noted Wednesday that "Slate, the New Republic and Mother Jones are among those who say they’ll no longer print 'Redskins,' considering it an offensive racial slur. So is The MMQB, the Sports Illustrated spin-off site anchored by influential football writer Peter King."

Bercovici added, "Realistically, there aren't many news organizations whose shunning could put meaningful pressure on an NFL franchise, and none of them are left-wing political journals or upper-middle-brow websites." The New York Times and the Associated Press said they would continue to use the name, and "Don't expect the television networks, all of whom have to deal with the league as a corporate partner, to lead the charge, either."


Mark Edwards, Anniston (Ala.) Star: It's time for Redskins to give in on name

Ex-Captive Journo on Syria: Report About the Moderates

David Rohde, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who was held captive by the Taliban for seven months while reporting for the New York Times, chronicling his daring escape in 2009 in a five-part series, was asked about Syria Wednesday and the unintended consequences of military intervention.


"Personally, David, does it almost jar you that you now see after all you've been through, that military intervention, a strike is kind of the way forward?" Marco Werman of Public Radio International asked Rohde, now a columnist for Reuters, on "The World."

"I think the best solution is working with moderates in the Syrian opposition," Rohde replied. "I think we should have started that earlier. There are moderates in Afghanistan that I escaped with an Afghan journalist who was kidnapped with me. There was a moderate Pakistani army captain who took us onto his base and saved our lives. And you know, we're all a product of our personal experiences, so I saw Jihadists. I lived with them. They are a threat. I see another side in the region. I understand that many Americans don't.


"I wish the US media reported more about moderates, so I don't think the answer is American military force. I think it's a much more patient, long term US policy of strengthening moderates in the region, and engage in non military ways – economic ways, you know, training, education. And I again, I know there's huge cynicism about this, but I think we have to find new ways and simply declaring everything another Iraq, it's not realistic. There's more than we can do than massive ground invasions or nothing at all."

Rohde was participating in the national debate President Obama said he hoped to spark when he asked for congressional authorization to undertake a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack.


Van Jones, who was "green czar" early in Obama's administration, responded to a question about Syria during a conference call with reporters promoting Monday's debut of CNN's revamped "Crossfire," in which Jones is one of four hosts.

"For me, the best I can tell, the president was trying — he spent about two years trying to not talk about Syria," Jones responded to a question from Lee Bailey of "He had a few other things to deal with. I think he did a brilliant job with Libya. He's contained Iran. He's got two wars going down on the flight path there, but I don't think he prepared the American people to understand Syria, and you can't start a car in fourth gear, and that weird sound you hear in Washington, D.C., the president trying to start a car in fourth gear when it comes to Syria."


On his radio show, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera declared that while he regrettably supported President George W. Bush on Iraq, he won't be doing the same for Obama and Syria. "The rebels are just as bad, just as vicious, just as anti-American as the dictator Bashar Assad is," Rivera said, according to Matt Wilstein, reporting for Mediaite. "They're fanatical religious rats, they're brutal, they hate the West, they hate democracy, they’re Al Qaeda creeps."

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson was sympathetic toward Obama's predicament, according to columnist Mary Mitchell, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times.


"We are focused on losing the 1,300 [people estimated to be killed by the chemical attack], when we could lose a million more," Jackson told Mitchell.

"What I would hope would happen in the interval while the president is putting pressure on the international community, is that an aggressive diplomatic effort gets under way that tries to avert this. No rock should be left unturned."


The Arab American News, based in Dearborn, Mich., outside Detroit, noted in an editorial, "Anti-war Congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minnesota) said military intervention in Syria would cost $500 million to launch, and $1 billion per week to maintain." It added, "We know all too well that Detroit, which just filed for bankruptcy, and whose residents are suffering every day, as a result of understaffing in the police and fire departments, in addition to lack of basic city services, could use that money. So, instead of using our resources to destroy Damascus, we ought to use them to save Detroit and get it out of bankruptcy. . . ."

Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Why the Congressional Black Caucus could determine if the US strikes Syria


Charles M. Blow, New York Times: The Era of Disbelief

Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Dumb Into Damascus

Fox News Latino: Syrian Refugees Flock To Latin America As World Ponders Taking Action Against Assad


Leo Hornak, "The World," Public Radio International: You Should Really Hear the Arab Perspective Before you Debate the Syrian Conflict

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: President Obama's Syria Strike Poses Major Challenge to Backers


Esther Iverem, Movies, Marching, Mayhem

Nation of Islam: Farrakhan delivers warning against Syria military strike, sends letter to congressional leaders on errant U.S. policy


Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Attack on Syria would be latest bad idea

Reuters: Journalist Spotlight: Khaled Yacoub Oweis reveals how he scored exclusive on Syrian army moving missiles to avoid strike


Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Not This Time. Not in Syria.

David Rohde, Reuters: For Obama, a contradiction too many

David Rohde, Reuters: The debate we should be having on Syria

Marco Werman, "The World," Public Radio International: Many Syrian-Americans Support a US Military Strike, but not Salah Asfoura


Armstrong Williams blog: A folly of Syria

"The New York Times has come under fire in the past for agreeing to government requests to hold back sensitive stories or information, but it bucked such requests in publishing a front-page article in Friday's paper," Margaret Sullivan, the paper's public editor, told readers.


"The executive editor, Jill Abramson, told me that while she and the managing editor Dean Baquet went to Washington to meet with officials and gave them 'a respectful hearing,' the decision to publish was 'not a particularly anguished one.'

"The article says that the National Security Agency has the ability — and uses it — to break the encryption used in a great deal of Internet communication. It's an important part of a continuing set of stories on the N.S.A.'s surveillance and its implications for privacy, the early ones of which have been published largely in The Guardian and The Washington Post, as a result of a huge leak by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.


"Top editors at The Times listened to government officials' concerns over national security but decided to publish despite their request, because it was in the public interest to do so.

" 'Our default position is to inform the public,' Ms. Abramson told me. 'Publishing information in the public service is our mission in our democracy.' The balance between national security and the public's right to know must be considered, she said. In this case, the latter clearly prevailed. . . ."


Stephen Engelberg and Richard Tofel, ProPublica: Why We Published the Decryption Story

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchiera, Mashable: NSA Becomes Household Name After Snowden Leaks


Robert Siegel with Stuart Millar, U.S. deputy editor for the Guardian, "All Things Considered," NPR: NSA Has Cracked Much Of The World's Computer Encryption

"August 1 began far from normal for WJLA anchor Leon Harris," the Washington television station reported Thursday. "He woke up but couldn't follow his normal routine of taking his dog for a walk, going to the gym and heading to work. He was feeling an acute pain in his stomach and even vomited several times.


"The pain became so bad that he could barely move. His wife Dawn found him curled into a fetal position in their Potomac, Md. house. After dressing him, Dawn rushed him to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

"The stomach ache Harris felt that August day was soon diagnosed as a life-threatening case of necrotizing pancreatitis, or a severe inflammation of the pancreas. The health crisis put Harris in the intensive care unit for almost two weeks, led to partial kidney failure and even caused his heart to stop beating on two separate occasions.


" 'I feel like I got a second chance,' says Harris, 52, who hasn't appeared on-air in more than a month. He's set to return to WJLA on Monday, Sept. 9. . . ."

Harris came to Washington in 2003 after 20 years at CNN's Atlanta headquarters, where he co-anchored "CNN Live Today" and "Prime News," and hosted "CNN Presents" and "American Stories."


Allbritton Communications is selling WJLA, an ABC affiliate, and the cable station NewsChannel 8, Washington's only 24-hour, local news channel, to Sinclair Broadcasting, which hopes to reposition NewsChannel 8 as a national franchise.

Ohio Prison Suicide Called "Escape Hatch From Justice"

The prison suicide of Ariel Castro, "who was sentenced for life plus 1,000 years for kidnapping, raping and holding Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry captive for years in his ramshackle house in Cleveland," amounts to "an escape hatch from justice," the Plain Dealer editorialized on Thursday.


"The word monster should be used sparingly but Castro, who prattled on during his sentencing about the 'harmony' of his household of coercion and violence, surely fits the bill. Still, taxpayers should ask hard questions about just how Castro was able to hang himself Tuesday night with what the Franklin County Coroner said was a bed sheet at the Correctional Reception Center outside of Columbus.

"He's not the only high-profile inmate to die recently by his own hand in an Ohio prison cell. . . ."


Jarvis DeBerry, | The Times-Picayune: Ariel Castro's suicide must frustrate both sides of death-penalty debate

Merrill Knox, TV Spy: Tip Gives WOIO Jump on Castro Coverage

Cliff Pinckard, Northeast Ohio Media Group: Ariel Castro's death brings swift reaction in news and social media (slideshow and video)


Inquiring Minds Had Questions of Post's New Owner

Black journalists were among those who asked questions of Jeff Bezos, incoming owner of the Washington Post, when the Amazon CEO held a "town meeting" with newsroom employees on Wednesday.


"I said, 'I'm Gene Robinson. I'm one of your columnists. What do you think about columnists, anyway?' That got a laugh, and he said, 'Don't be boring,' " Robinson told Journal-isms by email. "Then I asked my real question, which was about his idea that the print newspaper is a 'bundle' of stories, pictures, ads, etc. that people gladly pay for, or used to; and that to succeed on the web we have to sell an analogous 'bundle' of our work, rather than just have people consume our journalism one story at a time through Drudge links.

"I said that Amazon originally was just a seller of books, then it became a seller [of] everything, and now it's a place where not only Amazon sells stuff, but other people sell stuff as well. I asked whether he envisioned our bundle as including just our stuff, or whether it would be part of a larger bundle. He said it might indeed be part of a larger bundle; he didn't know."


Metro reporter Hamil Harris messaged Journal-isms, "I did ask a question that went like this: 'One special thing about Donald Graham was that he worked hard to build relationships. He was even a beat police officer. I know that you said it's about the readers. If you could walk across this city, it was [as] if you could walk across America. How important will building relationships be whether it is at the White House or across the Anacostia River?" Graham is chairman and CEO of the Washington Post Co.

"His response was sincere; 'No Matter how hard I try, I couldn't be Don. He knows everybody. I am Jeff.' He did say that he wanted to build relationships, he wasn't specific . . . he also talked about how he probably would only be [in] the DC area quarterly. He seemed very genuine and sincere."


Jillian Jarrett, who covers suburban Prince George's County, Md., messaged, "My question was about his views on local news and how he planned to grow readership locally in addition to nationally and internationally. He said that he thought the updates to our website and mobile/tablet would open up the market for all areas."

Keith Alexander, metro reporter, echoed others' approval. "His words were exciting and inspirational. A powerful charge for the newsroom, and quite frankly, for the industry," he told Journal-isms.


Other journalists of color interacted with Bezos in smaller group meetings.

Bezos Meets Washington Post Staff; Diversity Not a Topic (Sept. 4)

Jim Romenesko blog: Jeff Bezos tells Washington Post staffers: 'Don't be boring' (Sept. 4)


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Jeff Bezos and the Internet's aggregational appetites (Sept. 4)

Women Invested in Success of Ifill-Woodruff Team

"Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff didn't think much about the milestone upon being appointed the first women to co-anchor a national daily news program on television  — until flowers began filling their offices and strangers offered congratulations," David Bauder wrote Wednesday for the Associated Press.


"The veteran journalists are the regular co-hosts of PBS' 'NewsHour,' effective Monday. They will be the faces for a newscast known for many years as the home of founders Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil.

"Two days earlier, PBS will premiere a new weekend edition of 'NewsHour,' based in New York instead of Washington. Hari Sreenivasan will be the host.


"In 2006, Katie Couric at the 'CBS Evening News' became the first woman to solely anchor a national newscast. Ifill said she was surprised by how many people made a big deal of two women anchors when PBS announced the change in early August.

" 'I'm very touched by that,' she said. 'I'm most touched by young women who stop me on the street and tell me how happy they are about this. I'm amazed at the investment people have in this.' . . . "


After First Week, Al Jazeera America Faces Serious Hurdles

"Al Jazeera America's ratings were unimpressive in its first full week after launch," Toni Fitzgerald reported Thursday for


"Though it takes months to establish a new cable network, it's clear that AJAM has serious viewership, advertising and distribution hurdles to resolve.

"The network averaged 23,000 total viewers in primetime for the week ended Sept. 1, according to Nielsen, and 18,000 in total day.


"That was up from 18,000 in prime and 14,000 in total day during the previous week, when it launched on a Tuesday and did not get a full week's worth of numbers in.

"But AJAM ranked 97th out of 100 networks in prime last week and 100th out of 102 in total day. Among adults 25-54, it managed only 10,000 in primetime.


"AJA took over for Current TV, the Millennial-targeted progressive network co-founded by Al Gore. Current averaged 33,000 total viewers in primetime last summer and 26,000 in total day. . . ."

Short Takes

"The Florida defense attorney who was the public face of George Zimmerman's legal team has signed on to be a legal analyst for CNN," the Associated Press reported Friday. "Mark O'Mara appeared Friday morning on CNN's 'New Day' program, where he was announced as the network's newest analyst by host Chris Cuomo. O'Mara's spokesman confirmed the role. . . ."


Psychologists at Stanford University in California have found that racial prejudice can be reduced if members of different racial/ethnic groups participate in the other group's cultural activities," the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported on Tuesday. " 'We found that even a brief opportunity to take part in another group's culture can improve intergroup attitudes even months later,' stated Tiffany Brannon, a doctoral student in psychology at Stanford and the lead researcher on the project. . . . "

"All Don Lemon wanted to do on Tuesday was show off his brand new haircut," Jack Mirkinson wrote Thursday for the Huffington Post. "Too bad the world wasn't ready to let the CNN anchor's tweet be the end of the story. Twitter was agog, simply agog! It was so agog that Bossip compiled loads of reactions to what it called Lemon's 'struggly high-top Boosie fade.' . . ." Commenters started the hashtag #donlemonlookslike.


"Farhad Manjoo is joining The Wall Street Journal as a columnist covering 'technology companies, issues, people, products and trends,' according to the paper," Chris O'Shea reported Wednesday for FishbowlNY. "Manjoo most recently penned columns for Slate. Prior to Slate, Manjoo covered the tech world for Salon and Wired. His work has also appeared in The New York Times. . . . "

The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists is sponsoring a Philly Freelancer/Communications Job Fair on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 217 of the Howard Gittis Student Center on the campus of Temple University, 1755 North 13th St., Philadelphia. "Though it may lead to one, this job fair is not a fair for persons seeking full-time employment. However, it's a great place where job seekers can make a solid start in building their careers, earn college credit, make extra money, and/or volunteer." Admission is free.


"Let The Fire Burn," a documentary about the 1985 bombing by Philadelphia police of a house occupied by a black group living communally called MOVE, opens Oct. 2 in New York at the Film Forum, and on Oct. 18 in Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart Theatre. A national film release will follow, Alexis Garrett Stodghill reported Thursday for the Grio. Eleven people died. "Sixty-one homes were destroyed in the resulting fire, which gutted a city block." The film is directed by Jason Osder, assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and president of Amigo Media, a postproduction and consulting company.

Journalism & Women Symposium has scheduled its annual conference for Oct. 25-28 in Essex Junction, Vt. "Highlights include three days of tech training for beginning and advanced users, a keynote address by [New York Times] Executive Editor Jill Abramson and panels on data visualization with the Sunlight Foundation, interviewing techniques, and tips for doing better multimedia storytelling," board member Mary C. Curtis told Journal-isms. "We will also have a timely discussion about journalism and feminism 50 years after the 'Feminine Mystique' was published, with panelists Dori Maynard, Peg Simpson, Lynn Povich and Jenn Mattson. . . ."


In Liberia, "President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has disappointed the Liberian people on her zero tolerance for corruption promise," the Liberia Observer said Friday. "She has not shown the willingness, courage and resolve to go after her officials suspected of corruption — those who cannot account for missing public funds and other resources, or who show signs of having built themselves mansions and acquired bank accounts and farms from unexplained resources." However, the newspaper also said, "to pursue persons in reckless abandonment of the rules and ethics of journalism; to insult anyone — man, woman or child — of whatever status in society is also a corrupt practice. Two wrongs do not make a right. . . ." As the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Monday, "This month, a [judgment] imposing excessive libel damages forced the closure of the leading independent newspaper FrontPageAfrica and the imprisonment of its managing editor and publisher, Rodney Sieh. . . ." 

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