Right-Wing Media 'Lied' During Campaign

Cozy Ties With GOP Raise Questions of Integrity

"On Election Night, I tweeted that Republicans shocked about Mitt Romney's loss Tuesday should be angry at a conservative media that misled them about the former [Massachusetts] governor's chances," Adam Serwer wrote Thursday for Mother Jones.


"In the waning days of the race, much of this manifested in raising doubts about the polls and comical exaggerations about the possibility of a Romney landslide. Rush Limbaugh told his millions of listeners that 'everything except the polls points to a Romney landslide,' but the problem went beyond mavens like Limbaugh to afflict more well-regarded political analysts like Michael Barone and George Will.

". . . Analysts like Karl Rove — who through his stewardship of outside spending groups had a clear financial interest in giving upbeat assessments of Romney's chances — were given prominent perches to hoodwink the viewers of Fox News and the readers of the Wall Street Journal. And as Media Matters' Simon Maloy documents, Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post's pro-Romney blogger, expressed a far less sanguine view of campaign events after the election than she did when she covered them in real time.

". . . Conservative media lies to its audience because much of its audience wants to be lied to. Those lies actually have far more drastic consequences for governance (think birthers and death panels) than for elections, where the results can't be, for lack of a better word, 'skewed.' "

On Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," conservative Newsweek columnist David Frum, who served as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, called Republican leaders "cowards" and said "Republicans have been fleeced, exploited and lied to by the conservative entertainment complex." A surprised host Joe Scarborough agreed and said it reminded him of French generals in World War II who kept reassuring British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that "they were putting up brave defenses when they knew they had already lost."

Serwer also noted, "Much of the conservative media is simply far more cozy with the Republican Party than its Democratic counterparts (as exemplified by the numerous Fox hosts and contributors who moonlight as Republican fundraisers), which makes necessary detachment difficult."

Exhibit A has been Rove, the GOP fundraiser and strategist who is also a Fox News Channel analyst. The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters Wednesday revisited Election Night on Fox News, when the network called Ohio for President Obama. "Karl Rove stood just off camera, his phone glued to his ear. On the other end was a senior Romney campaign official who insisted that the network had blown the call," Peters wrote.


"What followed — an extraordinary on-air confrontation between Mr. Rove, a Fox commentator, and the network's team of voting analysts — drew renewed focus on the Republican operative's complicated and conflicting roles in this presidential campaign.

"What role was Karl Rove playing when he heatedly contradicted Fox News?

"Was he acting as the man who oversaw the most expensive advertising assault on a sitting president in history, unable to face his own wounded pride? The fund-raiser who had persuaded wealthy conservatives to give hundreds of millions of dollars and now had a lot of explaining to do? Or the former political strategist for George W. Bush, who saw firsthand how a botched network call could alter the course of a presidential contest?"


"The Most-Liked Photograph of All Time"

"Photojournalist Scout Tufankjian has been chronicling the political career of Barack Obama on and off since 2007," Slate magazine said Thursday. "During the 2008 campaign, she worked as a journalist for various outlets and shot a book's worth of photographs.


"This time around, she was hired by the campaign itself, coming on board in August 2012 as one of two photojournalists on Obama's campaign team. Her image of the president hugging his wife went viral on Tuesday night when the campaign tweeted it — along with the phrase 'Four more years' — after news came that he'd won re-election. The post went on to become the most retweeted in Twitter history, and the image quickly became Facebook's most-liked ever."

Julia Turner conducted a Q-and-A with Tufankjian for "The Real Story of the Most-Liked Photograph of All Time."


Stats Show Newspapers Look "A Lot" Like GOP

When this column noted Wednesday the parallels between the racial composition of the Republican base and the racial makeup of the news media, Journal-isms had no idea that a research company had validated the comparison.


But the validation is there, Ken Doctor wrote Thursday for the Nieman Journalism Lab.

". . . In what seems like another lifetime, I co-chaired a Knight-Ridder (b. 1974, d. 2006, rest in peace) task force on young readers," Doctor wrote. "This was in the early '90s, I recall. Yes, all those elusive audiences: 'young people' (meaning those under 50), women, ethnic 'minorities.' The industry has always had problems with those 'underserved' groups. For reasons of both business success and doing the right thing, newspaper companies announced effort after effort to do better.


"I'd lost track of how they'd done, in the great washout of digital disruption. I checked in with Scarborough Research, the U.S. newspaper industry's go-to source for readership, both print and digital.

"The Scarborough data [paint] an unmistakable portrait: When it comes to audience, the American newspaper industry looks a lot like the Republican Party. Consequently, its business reversals parallel the deepening Republican national electoral woes. The newspaper audience looks remarkably like the arithmetic that put Mitt Romney on the losing end Tuesday and is forcing Republicans to self-assess how to move forward. The math is the math.


"We can look at the data in three segments: print audience, digital audience, and combined audience.

". . . The conclusion: The daily industry is doing okay with older, white people — mildly overperforming in print, digital, and combined.


"Among all other ethnic groups except Asian-Americans — off the charts with high overperformance for online news usage — newspapers are underperforming. They, like Mitt Romney, aren't getting their share of the fastest growing population slices in the U.S. . . . ."

Clamor for Obama Front Page Doesn't Match '08

Barack Obama's victory in 2008 produced a surprise run on newspapers that reported the historic triumph, as readers sought tactile souvenirs. Obama's reelection victory Tuesday brought a spike in sales, but not as much.


"Sales were up, but nothing like four years ago," John Murray, vice president of audience development for the Newspaper Association of America, the newspaper publishers trade group, told Journal-isms by email.

"We did see increased demand yesterday on single copy sales," Eileen Murphy, spokeswoman for the New York Times, messaged on Thursday. "Hard to tell exactly how big the sale was until we get all returns back, but certainly a much bigger day than usual in terms of single copy sales."


"We saw an uptick in sales consistent with what we normally see the day after a general election," Gary Weitman, spokesman for Tribune Co., said. "Nothing like what we saw after the President was elected in 2008."

"There was a spike, but we don't have final numbers yet," said Kris Coratti, spokeswoman for the Washington Post, said on Thursday. "I can tell you that we printed double our normal single copy run."


Nevertheless, news outlets produced souvenirs. Newsweek/Daily Beast announced a partnership to produce ebooks, digitalbookworld.com reported, starting with "Why Romney Lost: And What the GOP Can Do About It" by David Frum, Newsweek contributing editor and author.

The Washington Post released its own ebook, "Obama vs. Romney: 'The Take' on Election 2012," a collection of dispatches from the campaign trail by chief political writer Dan Balz. It also offered souvenir copies of its election edition.


"Time released a special commemorative election cover that captures President Obama celebrating his reelection at a rally early Wednesday morning at the Chicago convention center," Michelle Manafy reported for minonline.com. ". . . Time also released a bonus tablet-only election issue for subscribers Wednesday morning. . . . Non-subscribers can purchase the tablet edition for $2.99 in the iTunes store."

The Times invited readers to "Commemorate President Barack Obama's re-election with a front-page reprint from The New York Times on a rustic 8” x 8” marble tile." At $59.95, each is custom made; an easel is an additional $18.95.


West on Obama: "Rockefeller Republican in Blackface"

The reelection of Barack Obama won't change Princeton Professor Cornel West's posture toward the president, West indicated Friday on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!" Appearing with his good friend and fellow Obama critic Tavis Smiley, the media figure and activist, West called Obama "a Rockefeller Republican in blackface."


" . . . I think that it's morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion — poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people," West said.

"So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems — ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it's very sad. I mean, I'm glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.


". . . our battle is just beginning. We have yet to take off the gloves. You know, we've been fighting intensely."

In 2011, West was criticized when he called Obama a "black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats."


Michael H. Cottman wrote in May for Black America Web, "It's unclear why West feels so compelled to lash out at Obama and why he needs to evaluate Obama through the media. Some of his criticism has been bitter — and downright hateful."

Monroe Anderson, the Root: GOP Awakens the Sleeping Black Giant

Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: President Obama's re-election victory cements historic accomplishment


Mark Charles, Indian Country Today Media Network: My (Native) Vote

Ada M. Alvarez Conde, Latina Lista: Whatever the outcome, Puerto Rico forges new political path


Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Will President Obama get the respect he deserves now?

Jarvis DeBerry: NOLA.com | Times-Picayune: Barack Obama two, birthers zero.

Jarvis DeBerry: NOLA.com | Times-Picayune: Voter fraud may not have happened, but it could have


Addisu Demissie, the Grio: Obama 2012 reinvented campaigning; but can the model be duplicated?

Jason Easley, politicususa.com: Mitt Romney Blames Hurricane Sandy for Losing the Election


Timothy Egan, New York Times: The Boss Delivers the White House

Peter Eisner, worlddesk.org: Latino Power: Even George W. Bush Heard About It

David Folkenflik, NPR: Some In GOP Criticize Fox For Failing Its Audience

John W. Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: Racism: the drunk we try to ignore

Juan González, "Democracy Now!," Pacifica Radio: Critical Role in Obama's Re-Election Heralds New Era of Decisive Latino Vote in U.S.


Patricia Guadalupe and Myrna Perez, "Latino USA," NPR: Ballot Trendsetters

Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press: A big win for Obama — but perilously high stakes for 2nd term


Liz Hester, talkingbiznews.com: The next four years for business journalists

Alessandra Hickson, NBCLatino: Analysis: Puerto Ricans turned Florida blue

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: How President Obama Can Now Govern

Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: How did Obama do this?

Bryan Johnson, Latina Lista: Push Obama to Expand Deferred Action

Erik Kain, Mother Jones: The Republican Party Needs to Ditch Fox News If It Wants to Win


Keith J. Kelly, New York Post: Post-election push as publishers rush to press

Jerry Large, Seattle Times: A change has come and it's deep

Latina Lista: The GOP's journey to find root cause of their presidential defeat lies with Mexican American Latinos


Jed Lewison, Daily Kos: Karl Rove explains what went wrong

Sandra Lilley, NBCLatino: Why some polls got the Latino vote wrong

Ashley Lopez, Robbie Harris and Peter O'Dowd, "Latino USA," NPR: Elections Nationwide


Clarence Lusane, Huffington Post: The New Supermajority: Latinos and People of Color

Julianne Malveaux, syndicated: Black Unemployment Still Needs to be Addressed

Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: GOP Voter Suppression Fueled Black Turnout

Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: Voting on same-sex marriage, with Leviticus ringing in my ears


Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Loyalty elected Smith, Jesse Jr.

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Will President Obama do more for African Americans?


Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Who's Afraid of the Coming White Backlash?

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: A loyal, not logical, constituency


Ngoc Nguyen, New America Media: Increasingly, New Face of Asian American Electorate is a Democrat

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Lucky for Gipper he can't see today's GOP

Brooke Obie, Ebony: NAACP President Ben Jealous on Obama's Re-Election

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: With Obama's win, voters said No to 'politics of pitchforks'


Joy-Ann Reid, the Grio: How voter suppression backfired on the GOP

Joy-Ann Reid, the Grio: Politico's definition of presidential mandate diminishes women, minorities


Rem Rieder, American Journalism Review: The Nate Silver Election

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Voters reject hate with Obama win

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: A new America speaks

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Republicans need to rethink future; Latinos are here to help


David Swerdlick, Daily News, New York: Gay rights are Obama's and Biden's civil rights legacy

Wendi C. Thomas, Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.: Gays, geeks and gals won with Obama


Mark Whitaker, CNN: Letter from the editor: Election night was about the facts

Francis Wilkinson, Bloomberg: Asian Voters Send a Message to Republicans

Women's Media Center Calls Out Sexist Coverage

"The Women's Media Center celebrated the end of election season on Thursday by giving out awards for sexist coverage of female politicians through WMC's 'Name It. Change It' project, Sara Morrison wrote Friday for Columbia Journalism Review.


" . . . Most sexist insult: Goes to Fox News's The Five anchors Greg Gutfeld and Kimberly Guilfoyle for repeatedly calling Florida congresswoman/DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz 'Frizzilla.' Clips were shown of both anchors using the term and then smiling in a way that would suggest that they thought they were very clever to criticize a woman's hairstyle.

"Most sexist debate question: Moderator and Capital Tonight host Liz Benjamin, noticing that both New York senate candidates happened to be female, just had to ask them if they'd read 50 Shades of Grey yet. They said no. Candidate Wendy Long later said the question was 'out of left field, out of touch, and outlandishly sexist.' She forgot to say 'ridiculous' and 'totally irrelevant to the candidates’ abilities to do the job.' . . . "


N.Y. Daily News Could Be Out of Offices for a Year

"It could be up to a year before the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report are allowed back into their 4 New York Plaza headquarters, which were 'wiped out' by Hurricane Sandy, Mortimer B. Zuckerman said today," Al Barbarino reported Thursday for the Commercial Observer.


"Like many companies in Lower Manhattan, both publications were forced to relocate after 11-foot tidal surges caused flooding and electrical outages in the area."

Andrew Beaujon of the Poynter Institute added Friday that "Newsweek's staff, too, is working in borrowed digs as work continues in the basement of its West Side offices, spokesman Andrew Kirk tells Poynter in an email. The staff is working out of the Met Life building currently, he says."


Project Publicizes Contributions of Black Men

"Black men from all walks of life are gathering next Tuesday, November 13, in Baltimore, Detroit and Philadelphia as part of BMe — a growing community that encourages black men to 'lift up their voices' and tell others about the positive contributions they make in their communities, according to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


"Teams of videographers are fanning out across city neighborhoods over the next eight weeks, and more than 1,700 men are expected to record videos about special projects and everyday actions they take to strengthen their neighborhoods and help others."

". . . Events are being held on Tuesday, November 13, in those three cities to issue a 'call for stories' that will be featured on the BMe website. Early next year, participants will be able to apply for grants to support their community work."


A conference call for reporters is scheduled for 1 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EST/Noon-12:30 CST. Journalists may contact Jenn Henrichsen at <bmepress2.0 (at) gmail.com> for log-in details for the call.

Short Takes

In a story Friday about the success of Al Sharpton's "PoliticsNation" on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Allison Samuels quotes an unnamed member of President Obama's inner circle. "Sharpton says things we can't always say. Sharpton can talk about issues relating to race in a way the White House just can't. Sharpton understands that well, and we appreciate it."


"ABC News has hired Gio Benitez as a New York-based correspondent reporting for all platforms. He will start at the bureau in early 2013," Andrea Morabito reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable. "Benitez joins ABC from CBS owned station WFOR in Miami where he previously covered the 2012 presidential election, the Trayvon Martin case and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti."

"Former Omaha television anchor and congressional candidate Michael Scott was arrested Thursday on suspicion of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge," Todd Cooper reported Friday for the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. "His estranged girlfriend — a 38-year-old Omaha woman originally from Los Angeles — alleged that Scott choked her, hit her in the eye, ripped off two of her fake fingernails and told her 'tonight was the night I was going to die like O.J. & Nicole.' " Scott, who had worked in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City and Charlotte, N.C., was ousted in 2008 from his anchor job in Huntsville, Ala., after an exchange in which he reportedly called an African American producer the N-word. Scott denied doing so. He has been working as shoe salesman.


Janet Cho, chair of the Unity Name Task Force, has extended the deadline for receiving suggestions on a new name for Unity, the alliance of Hispanic, Asian American, Native American and lesbian and gay journalists associations. Suggestions will be accepted at <UNITYname (at) gmail.com> until Thursday, Nov. 15. To the dissatisfaction of some, the board of the former Unity: Journalists of Color changed its name to Unity Journalists when it admitted the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

"Asked how long he wants to continue in sports broadcasting, Charles Barkley told SI.com something shocking: He's almost done," Richard Deitsch reported Monday for Sports Illustrated. " 'I love my job,' Barkley said. 'I love the people I work with. And I'm going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it's going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years. I really don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I need something more, or something else to do to be honest with you.' "


Daralene Jones is joining WCAU, the NBC O&O in Philadelphia, in January, Merrill Knox reported Friday for TVSpy. "Jones will move to Philadelphia from Orlando, where she has been a general assignment reporter for ABC affiliate WFTV since 2007."

Gregg Welk, a KPIX-TV news cameraman, was punched and robbed during a live broadcast outside an Oakland high school, the latest in a spate of holdups targeting the media, police said Thursday, Henry K. Lee reported for the San Francisco Chronicle. As reporter Anne Makovec "was finishing her report, police said, five men rushed up and grabbed a $6,000 camera from the tripod. Viewers saw the live picture being jarred and turned sideways for about two seconds."


"An amendment to Kansas court rules now lets journalists use laptops and cell phones to report from the courtroom," Lilly Chapa reported Thursday for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. "Reporters still need permission from the presiding judge, but the recent amendment to Rule 1001 clarifies that such devices may be used by journalists."

Wayne Bennett, who writes the Field Negro blog, was among those duped by a story claiming that "Conservative political pundit Pat Buchanan stoked controversy today by asserting that Barack Obama's reelection has 'killed White America'." The story ran on dailycurrant.com, which calls itself a satirical website whose "mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress, and promote intelligence — which presses forward." The Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald Thursday called attention to another dailycurrent.com hoax that claimed that George W. Bush accidentally voted for Obama.


A collection of work by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor, cultural critic and editor of the Root, among other pursuits, is reviewed by Angela P. Dodson in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. "The reader, edited by Harvard literature professor Abby Wolf, serves as a reminder of how accessible, informative and, yes, often funny Gates' writing can be, particularly compared to other academics," Dodson wrote Friday.

A sold-out screening of Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal, written, directed and edited by Stephen Vittoria, is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at SVA Theatre (School of the Visual Arts Theatre), 333 West 23rd St. in Manhattan. Abu-Jamal, a onetime president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, has spent 30 years in prison for the killing of a policeman. A question-and-answer with Vittoria and co-producer Noelle Hanrahan is to be moderated by Juan Gonzalez of "Democracy Now!" and the Daily News in New York.


In "21 Things About Malcolm Gladwell," the New Yorker writer and best-selling author, Beth Callaghan of All Things D asks Gladwell, "If you could meet any historical or fictional person, who would it be?" Gladwell responds, "Marie Curie. She lived in a time when not only did no one think that she had a brain, no one thought her entire gender had a brain. But she accomplished extraordinary things nonetheless, and she won two Nobel prizes."

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