A month after the attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in a three-day jihadist assault that, in all, left 17 people dead, a racial split has emerged over whether the magazine should have published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, according to the Pew Research Center.
"While seven-in-ten whites who have heard about the attack support Charlie Hebdo's decision to publish the cartoons, this is true of just 37% of non-whites," Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel reported for Pew on Jan. 28. "Instead, about half (48%) of non-whites decry the cartoons — saying it was not okay to publish them.
"Men are more likely than women to support the publishing of the cartoons, with two-thirds (67%) of men who heard about the attack saying it was okay to publish, compared with about half (52%) of women. Women, on the other hand, express more opposition to the cartoons (33%, versus 24% among men). . . ."
The Pew team also wrote, "the most common reason offered by those who say it was not okay to publish the cartoons is religious tolerance and respect.
"About two-thirds of those who disapprove of publishing the cartoons named some aspect or variation of tolerance and respect; 35% say that religious beliefs should be respected, and 31% say the cartoons were offensive, politically incorrect or inappropriate. . . ."
While American media groups and others around the world, including the U.S a journalist of color associations, sported "I Am Charlie" slogans and saw the issue as one of freedom of expression, others saw an issue of power.
Writing in the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, Robert Azzi, a writer and photographer living in Exeter, N.H., told readers on Jan. 11, "Today, let's be clear: The attack on Charlie Hebdo was both a barbaric criminal act and a betrayal of Islam." Yet, Azzi added, "It's equally important to acknowledge that Charlie Hebdo's right to be offensive, sexist and racist comes from a privilege based within its white European tradition. If we offend ourselves out of privilege, we understand it — it's our privilege — but that's different than privileging ourselves to attack and offend the Other, who often have no way to respond. . . ."
Laurence Dodds added Tuesday in the Telegraph of London, "France's commitment to 'free speech' has never been absolute. The country bans holocaust denial, hate speech, and, since last November, incitement to terrorism."
Dodds was writing about Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, a firebrand French comedian born in the western suburbs of Paris to a Cameroonian accountant and a white French sociologist. He went on trial Wednesday in France for glorifying terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
John Lichfield wrote Wednesday for the Independent, "The comedian, who has three previous convictions for making anti-Semitic remarks, is the most high-profile defendant so far in a series of prosecutions on the basis of 'apology for terrorism' since the jihadist killings in Paris almost a month ago," Lichfield reported. "According to figures released today, 41 people have been tried and 18 of them have received short prison sentences."
Dodds also wrote, "If Dieudonné is found guilty . . . his supporters will only see that as evidence that he really is being persecuted. It will also give ammunition to those who claim that France's defence of free speech only extends to voices it is happy to hear — especially when Hebdo's own cartoons have been criticised as racist and inflammatory towards Muslims. . . ."
Clarence Page, the syndicated Chicago Tribune columnist who is African American, wrote on Jan. 20, "Dieudonne M'bala M'bala was arrested for a Facebook post. 'Tonight, as far as I'm concerned,' he wrote, 'I feel like Charlie Coulibaly."
"He was reacting to the popular 'Je suis Charlie' ('I am Charlie') slogan by inserting the name of Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at the kosher grocery store and a police officer the day before.
"Dieudonne, as he prefers to be called, says his tasteless remark was no worse than the often tasteless cartoons of Charlie Hebdo. On that narrow issue, he may have a point. Charlie Hebdo proudly calls itself a 'journal irresponsible' and is widely defended for carrying on the French tradition for unshackled iconoclasm.
"But as the French see it, the right to free speech is protected, not the right to hate speech. After the pain of World War II, France, Germany and some other European countries have passed laws against denying the Holocaust and against any other speech that appears to attack people, not just ideas.
"Yet, even by that narrow standard, angry Muslims are not the only folks who detect a double standard. Is it what Dieudonne said that counts, they ask, or who is saying it? . . ."
Page previously wrote, "Je ne suis pas Charlie.
"I am not Charlie, although they have my sympathies and support. . . . As Twitter activist Dyab Abou Jahjah said in a tweet that has gone around the world in retweets, 'I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.' " Ahmed Merabet was a French policeman in Paris who was also Muslim. He died when gunmen struck the Charlie Hebdo magazine's offices.
Meanwhile, Charlie Hebdo "has delayed publication of its next two issues because staff are grieving and exhausted, a spokeswoman said," F. Brinley Bruton, Nancy Ing and Ed Kiernan reported Saturday for NBC News. " 'Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and writers are not ready — they need some time, need to consult, need to settle in,' " Appoline Thomasset of Majorelle PR & Events, which represents the magazine, said on Saturday.
"The Jan. 7 attacks left 12 dead at the magazine and terrorized France. Charlie Hebdo's one post-attack publication depicting a weeping Muhammad on the cover sold millions of copies. A normal run for the magazine was previously about 50,000 copies. The editorial team are grieving, tired, have been overexposed to the media and need time, French newspaper Le Parisien quoted Anne Hommel, the publication's publicist."
Adam Chandler, the Atlantic: #JeSuisAhmed: The Muslim Victim in the Paris Massacre (Jan. 8)
International Federation of Journalists: Charlie Hebdo, one month after: a tribute from the IFJ
Henry McDonald, the Guardian, Britain: Sale of Charlie Hebdo in Ireland will test blasphemy law for first time (Feb. 5)
Padraig Reidy, London Telegraph: Will anyone stand up and say: Je suis Dieudonne?
Amanda Taub, vox.com: #JeSuisAhmed: a crucial message that everyone should hear (Jan. 9)
Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post: An editor who printed a Charlie Hebdo cartoon is so scared she's now wearing a burqa
TheWhy.com: Charlie Hebdo Attack: Je suis Ahmed (Jan. 11)
"Fox News aired graphic images from the new video released Tuesday that appears to show the Islamic State burning alive Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh," Catherine Taibi reported Wednesday for the Huffington Post.
"Anchor Bret Baier warned viewers on 'Special Report' Tuesday evening that the pictures were coming, adding, 'We feel you need to see it.'
" 'Tonight, we are going to show you some of the images ISIS has put out,' he said. 'The images are brutal. They are graphic. They are upsetting. You may want to turn away. You may want to have the children leave the room right now.'
"The Fox News anchor added that the network decided to air the horrific images in order 'to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism."
Taibi added, "Earlier on Tuesday, however, Fox News' Shepard Smith chose not to show the video or any images from the video, but rather to give viewers an extremely detailed verbal account of what happened.
"Other networks took a different stance. CNN announced that they would not be showing any of the pictures. . . ."
In print and online, "The Daily News in New York published an image of the flames appearing to engulf Lieutenant [Kaseasbeh]. And BuzzFeed posted a series of images, following the flames as they approached him," Ravi Somaiya reported Tuesday for the New York Times.
"But most other outlets chose to use images from earlier in the 22-minute video. The New York Times initially showed Lieutenant [Kaseasbeh] standing outside the cage in an orange jumpsuit, with militants behind him. Online, The Washington Post published a photo of him in his uniform. The paper's editor, Martin Baron, said by email that he would probably settle on an image similar to the one used by The Times: 'Outside the cage and before any flame. That's in line with what we've done previously with the beheadings.' . . ."
Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Al Jazeera: Jordan pilot's murder and the banality of evil
CNN: CNNI boss explains not airing ISIS video (video)
Seán D. Naylor and Lara Jakes, Foreign Policy: Can the Islamic State's Last Hostages Be Saved?
Rod Nordland and Ranya Kadri, New York Times: Jordanian Pilot's Death, Shown in ISIS Video, Spurs Jordan to Execute Prisoners
"Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he' seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility," Brooks Boliek and Alex Byers reported Wednesday for Politico, "matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.
"The move, which Wheeler announced in an online op-ed in Wired magazine, is expected to meet heavy resistance from the GOP Congress and Internet-service providers, which warn it will lead to burdensome regulation and hinder investment. AT&T has already said it will challenge such rules in court.
"Wheeler's plan would prevent broadband providers from engaging in pay-for-play deals with companies for faster delivery of their content to consumers. It would also extend net neutrality rules to mobile devices and give the agency new authority over 'interconnection' agreements between ISPs and companies like Netflix aimed at unclogging network congestion. The full five-member commission is slated to vote on Wheeler's plan on Feb. 26. . . ."
Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican, announced he would oppose Obama's plan, "which will raise consumers' broadband skills, slow broadband speeds and reduce competition."
Malkia A. Cyril, HuffPost BlackVoices: We Speak for Ourselves: Black Digital Power in the 21st Century
Timothy B. Lee, vox.com: The FCC's chairman just proposed the strongest network neutrality rules yet
National Hispanic Media Coalition: NHMC Commends FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's Network Neutrality Proposal
Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute: What journalists need to know about the FCC chairman's net neutrality recommendation
Tom Wheeler, Wired: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality
Gilbert Cruz, editorial director of New York magazine's Vulture.com, is joining the New York Times in the newly restored position of television editor, the Times announced on Tuesday.
The move means Cruz would supervise Alessandra Stanley, the Times television critic whose piece calling television series creator Shonda Rhimes an "angry black woman" created a firestorm in September.
Danielle Mattoon, the culture editor who announced Cruz's hiring, said of the Stanley controversy then, "This is a signal to me that we have to constantly remind ourselves as editors of our blind spots, what we don't know, and of how readers may react."
Cruz did not respond to an inquiry seeking to verify his ethnicity, but the Bronx-raised editor joins a staff where Latino editors are underrepresented. Public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote last year, "The Times has significant diversity among its high-ranking editors and prominent writers, but it's troubling that with 20 critics, not one is black and only two are persons of color." The Times reported a staff 4.5 percent Latino in last year's American Society of News Editors census.
"I'm delighted to announce that Gilbert Cruz will be our new Television Editor," Mattoon said in a Times Co. news release. "Gilbert comes from New York Magazine, where he has been running Vulture, the culture machine that has kept me and every other arts editor in America in a constant state of 'Why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?' dismay. He is fluent in all aspects of pop culture, but especially film and — most relevant here — the sprawling universe of television, which he oversaw and brought to order at Vulture.
"Before New York he was at Time, where he launched and edited Time.com's entertainment vertical and developed Populist, an ASME-winning iPad app. He also did a stint as education reporter and ran the magazine's Briefing section.
"Talk to former colleagues of Gilbert's, as I have, and a note of envy enters their voice. His writers miss him and old bosses want him back. He's full of ideas, vision and energy, all of which he is eager to bring to our television coverage. . . ."
Cruz tweeted Tuesday, "Starting new job tomorrow as TV Editor at the NYT. I have about 20 hours to catch up on approximately 17 shows." In a second tweet, he said, "But before catching up on TV, I'm gonna finish reading @thedissolve's 50 Best Films of the Half-Decade."
On Wednesday, he tweeted that he was watching the Fox hip-hip drama "Empire." "Hakeem is such a clown. I love him. #Empire."
Clover Hope, Jezebel: Oops, Alessandra Stanley Misgendered the Lead Character of Transparent (Jan. 12)
"NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was forced to make an on-air retraction Wednesday night — on one of his own stories," Ginger Adams Otis reported Wednesday for the Daily News in New York.
"The 55-year-old newsman was red-faced after being forced to admit that his oft-told tale of riding in a military helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003 was a high-flying lie.
" 'I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,' Williams said, near the end of NBC's 30-minute national news broadcast.
" 'I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by (rocket propelled grenade) fire. Instead, I was in the following aircraft,' the anchor said, looking earnestly at the camera while also reading off a teleprompter. . . ."
Don Kaplan, Daily News, New York: Brian Williams delivers blow to journalists by lying
"Don Lemon relentlessly courts controversy whether it's his reporting from Ferguson, or driving around in his 'Blizzardmobile.' Is his natural home Fox News, rather than CNN?," a headline in the Daily Beast asked Tuesday.
"Say what you will about Don Lemon — and clearly there's no stopping you — but he has swiftly become, if not the face of CNN, then one of the more recognizable figures on the 'Go there' cable news outlet," Lloyd Grove's report began.
"Considering the pugnacious yet camera-friendly nature of Lemon's budding celebrity, it wouldn't be a shock if his next contract negotiation lands him at a cash cow of a cable network where he might find a warm and lucrative welcome. . . ."
Grove compared Lemon with Fox News' Geraldo Rivera. "Like Rivera, who is proudly a member of two traditionally liberal minorities — Puerto Rican and Jewish — Lemon likes to spout counter-intuitively conservative beliefs with which even a white Mike Huckabee supporter might agree," Grove wrote.
"So I like to think of Lemon as Geraldo 2.0. . . ."
Inside Cable News wasn't buying Grove's contention, writing Wednesday, "This is a strawman issue. It isn't about whether Don Lemon courts controversy or not. Most anchors will get embroiled in controversy at one point in their careers…some more than once. No, this is about whether Lemon is a loose cannon who shoots from the hip yet still manages to wing himself and whether the dubious spectacles he's known for overshadow anything positive he does and all this reflects badly upon his network. . . ."
Grove's defense was further undermined. "The Internet pounced on CNN anchor and frequently mistaken newsman Don Lemon after he tweeted a shirtless photo of himself on Monday night to tease an upcoming segment on vaccinations," Brendan Jones reported forTalking Points Memo.
"Lemon showed the world his '#measles shot scar from childhood,' in a tweet promoting an interview on vaccinations to air that night. 'Do we still need it?' he added.
"Lemon then received hundreds of replies to his tweet pointing out that the scar was likely from a smallpox shot, not a measles vaccination. . . . Lemon later admitted it was a smallpox scar."
Joanna Rothkopf, Salon: Don Lemon tweets shirtless selfie of "measles shot scar" — and gets mercilessly mocked
News organizations such as the Washington Post played it straight, with headlines such as "After 20 years, Vanity Fair has perfected the formula for its Hollywood issue cover."
But given Vanity Fair's history, Fishbowl NY went a different route. Its headline was, "Vanity Fair: Hollywood is Just a Bunch of White People."
Chris O'Shea wrote, "Vanity Fair's foldout cover for its annual Hollywood Issue reveals that about 99 percent of actors are indeed white. Sorry, everyone else. Better luck next year.
"Ha! We kid! We kid! You have no shot next year either."
The Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday that it had called on Nigerian authorities to ensure that international journalists are allowed access to cover the country's elections this month.
"Nigeria's presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 14, while state elections are set for February 28. President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking re-election amid an insurgency by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, which has taken over territory in the country's northeast. International observers have called on Nigeria to ensure a free and fair election, while some analysts have warned of low turnout amid fears of violence, according to news reports," the press freedom group said.
It also reported, "Geoffrey York, Johannesburg-based correspondent for the Canadian daily newspaper Globe and Mail, wrote on Twitter last week that Nigeria had blocked at least 40 journalists from entering the country to cover the elections. The Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa issued a statement on Friday saying many of its members had been denied visas or accreditation.
"Journalists at one international news outlet — who asked that the outlet not be named as it continues to seek access to cover the elections — told CPJ that it had made eight different visa requests from locations including Paris, London, Nairobi, Dakar, and Johannesburg. All of the applications, submitted between December 2014 and January 2015, had been delayed by embassy officials requesting additional paperwork, the outlet said.
"However, some international journalists have been granted access. Journalists from The New York Times, BBC, and the Netherlands-based television channel RTL Nieuws told CPJ they had visas approved.
"Difficulty in getting visas may be compounded by discrepancies in the application process from embassy to embassy and between embassies and the Nigeria Immigration Service. . ."
A delegation of journalists from the U.S.-based National Association of African Journalists arrived in Nigeria last month.
Benjami Edokpayi, alldigitocracy.org: Who Reports the African Perspective?
"BuzzFeed has had a goal for the past year: Grow its Latino audience," Joseph Lichterman wrote Tuesday for NiemanLab. "Its mix of content did better among young whites than non-whites, and it was showing up in its traffic. The site decided to take action, and a year later, it's seen results — results that could have lessons for others hoping to reach an underserved demographic group. Its main method was a simple one: publishing more content that's relevant to that audience, editor Ben Smith said today in a memo to BuzzFeed's staff. . . ."
"For years and years, broadcast television has been as white as a marshmallow," Toni Fitzgerald wrote Wednesday for medialifemagazine.com. "But this season there's been a sudden change. People of other races are headlining new shows, with the latest example 'Fresh Off the Boat,' which premieres tonight [Wednesday] at 8:30 p.m. on ABC, followed by a special second episode at 9:31 p.m. . . ." Phil Yu added on his Angry Asian Man blog, "Among other milestones, the show heralds the screen debut of Hudson Yang, the eldest son of my good friend Jeff Yang, as young Eddie Huang. . . . Here, Jeff makes an appeal — as Asian American culture watcher, and as a proud dad — asking you to give Fresh Off The Boat a chance. An open letter in comic form . . ."
"A courthouse building, a newspaper office and a maintenance barn were all set on fire in Concho in Canadian County, according to authorities," KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City reported on Tuesday. "The governor of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes on Tuesday said fires set at tribal buildings were a 'heinous crime' and an attack on the tribe," Andrew Knittle and Jonathan Sutton reported Tuesday for the Oklahoman.
"On the morning of Jan. 11, Watani Stiner, 68, was released from San Quentin on parole. Almost no one knew," Tammerlin Drummond reported Wednesday in her Oakland Tribune column. She also wrote, "His release comes 46 years after his involvement in the murders of Black Panther Party leaders John Huggins and Alprentice 'Bunchy' Carter on the UCLA campus. Stiner granted this newspaper an exclusive interview, his first since his release. . . . The absence of publicity around Stiner's parole is in sharp contrast to the media frenzy that surrounded the Huggins and Carter killings and the trial that sent Stiner and his brother to prison for seven years to life on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy — though neither man fired a weapon. Stiner has steadfastly maintained his innocence. . . ."
The Detroit Free Press story about James Robertson, who commutes about 21 miles a day on foot to and from work, has prompted donations of more than $254,000 as of late Tuesday, Bill Laitner reported Monday for the Detroit Free Press.
"Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has tapped Felipe Luciano, an activist who helped former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani facilitate a relationship between residents and the police, to lead the city's communications department," Naomi Nix reported Jan. 22 for nj.com. Nix also wrote, "Luciano, 67, who was born and raised in East Harlem, has worn many hats from convict and revolutionary to journalist and politician. . . .Luciano worked as a reporter for NBC, Essence T.V., CBS and Fox. . . ."
"This month, three books are being published that recount the experiences of three pioneering African-American journalists — Alice Dunnigan, Ethel Payne and April Ryan — who covered the White House and the political arena from the mid-20th century through the 21st century," The Root wrote Wednesday in a headline over a review by Todd Steven Burroughs. "Combined, these books provide a fascinating timeline of history to enlighten a generation that takes it for granted that a black woman can be the most powerful media personality in the United States or a confidant to a sitting president and first lady," Burroughs wrote.
Ken Jobe, who left as news director at Cox-owned Memphis FOX affiliate WHBQ in December, started work Tuesday as press secretary for the Tennessee House Democrats, State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday. "As you know, WHBQ was a FOX O&O that was part of a station trade with Cox Broadcasting," Jobe told Journal-isms in December. "The Boston O&O and WHBQ in Memphis were traded for Cox's San Francisco duopoly. Cox decided to make a change in leadership and I'm now on the market. . . ."
"Stephen A. Smith has signed a new multi-year deal with ESPN where he will continue to be seen and heard across a variety of platforms, particularly as a featured commentator on ESPN2's live weekday morning debate show, First Take," the network announced Tuesday. "Smith will also continue to serve as a major contributor to SportsCenter, as well as other ESPN shows and properties. . . ."
"Roberto Ruiz has been named anchor of Azteca America's 'Hechos Nacional Tarde,' airing at 6:30 pm EST, and 'Hechos Nacional Noche,' airing at 11:00 pm EST," Veronica Villafañe reported Tuesday for her Media Moves site. "Both newscasts, produced from Mexico, will be aired exclusively in the United States and focus on the national and international news and events that affect U.S. Hispanics. . . ."
"Instagram is looking to hire former journalists to identify and popularize budding Instagram stars. (The editorial — or community management — team is actually part of Instagram's marketing division) . . .," John McDermott reported Tuesday for digiday.com.
"The Plain Dealer's decision to cut its reader representative position is drawing criticism from local media and veteran journalists in Cleveland who say it reduces valued self-criticism," Joe Strupp reported Monday for Media Matters for America. "Ted Diadiun, who has held the post since 2005, wrote on Saturday that he is giving up the position in order to join the paper's editorial board. He added that editor George Rodrigue and Chris Quinn, vice president of content for the Northeast Ohio Media Group," a sister company to the Plain Dealer, " 'will provide insight and response in columns' in the event 'larger journalism issues need to be addressed.' . . ."
"CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette Jr. thinks his own part-time employer can be biased against Republicans," Andrew Kirell reported Monday for Mediaite. In an interview with Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg, Malzberg said of NBC and CBS, "A lot of people, including me, would say they're totally biased against Republicans." " 'I would agree with that as well,' Navarrette replied, but then he went a step further: 'I think CNN also fits that category as well at times.' CNN's bigger problem, he suggested, was 'covering the wrong stories.' . . . " Kirell reported.
"Former Razorback and NFL player D.J. Williams has joined KARK's morning show," Gavin Lesnick reported from Little Rock, Ark., Monday for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "Williams was announced as a new addition to KARK Today, which typically airs Monday through Friday, during a special broadcast Sunday kicking off a block of Super Bowl pre-game programming. . . ."
"Toluse Olorinnipa, the Florida correspondent for Bloomberg News for the past two years, has moved to its Washington, DC bureau," Chris Roush reported Tuesday for Talking Biz News.
After 11 years in television news, Rochelle Ritchie, a reporter at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, is leaving to become director of communications for the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, Ritchie announced on social media Wednesday.
"The Tanzanian government's closure of The EastAfrican newspaper has been broadly condemned by international press organisations, writes Jake Evans," the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers reported. That group, "the Committee to Protect Journalists, Nation Media Group, the International Press Institute and prominent African journalist Joseph Odindo support The EastAfrican, and say that even if the closure — based on a technicality — is true, it is an unnecessary move by the Tanzanian government. . . ."
"The television network Al Arab appeared well equipped to muscle its way into the Middle East's crowded market of satellite news channels: top talent, backing from a fabulously rich Saudi prince and permission to broadcast from the island kingdom of Bahrain," Ben Hubbard reported Monday for the New York Times. "But less than a day after it began, the channel suspended broadcasting on Monday, apparently forced to stop by the authorities in Bahrain after it gave airtime to an opposition leader who criticized a recent government decision. . . ."