Sanchez, Contrite, Returns to Diversity Issue
Friday, October 8, 2010
Rick Sanchez told George Stephanopoulos, "I was a little bit angry, and look, I will be honest with you. I hope you don't mind my saying, but I'm just going to go ahead and say it. If you look right now in our media, in prime time, there's not a single Hispanic, not a single African American."(Video)
"I Went Into the Interview With a Chip on My Shoulder"
Ousted CNN anchor Rick Sanchez appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday and said his controversial comments last week were wrong and offensive, but added that "I went into the interview with a chip on my shoulder" because of the lack of Hispanics, Asian Americans or African Americans hosting prime-time news shows on the mainstream cable networks.
"I was looking at the landscape," Sanchez told host George Stephanopoulos. "I was wrong to scapegoat Jon Stewart."
Stephanopoulos played a clip of Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes saying that Sanchez might "someday" be hired back by CNN or one of Time Warner's other channels. Sanchez said he would go back in a minute because CNN "is a wonderful, wonderful organization. CNN didn't screw up. Rick Sanchez screwed up," he said.
In a Sept. 30 interview for a satellite radio show, Sanchez excoriated Stewart for hailing from a middle-class background that Sanchez said made Stewart unable to "relate to a guy like me." Sanchez went on to answer a question about whether Stewart, as a Jew, shouldn't also be considered a member of an oppressed minority group.
His response: "I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah.' " Many reported the response as anti-Semitic.
"First of all, that's not what I meant," Sanchez told Stephanopoulos. "It was wrong, and I shouldn't have been so careless. What I was feeling got in the way of what I should have said."
He said he was fatigued and impatient, explaining that "I was working 14 hour days for two and a half months" and that "my daughter had a softball game that I desperately wanted to go to."
Stephanopoulos parried with Sanchez when the former CNN anchor said, "I was a little bit angry, and look, I will be honest with you. I hope you don't mind my saying, but I'm just going to go ahead and say it. If you look right now in our media, in prime time, there's not a single Hispanic, not a single African American."
Stephanopoulos: Liz Vargas.
Sanchez: In prime time hosting a prime time show, in the United States.
Sanchez: There's that "20/20." I'm talking about newscasts in cable news.
Stephanopoulos: Liz Vargas
Sanchez: That's true, that's fair. I'm referring to cable newscasts. Straight newscasts, not magazine shows. There's not a single Hispanic, a single Asian American or a single African American.
Stephanopoulos: Connie Chung did have a show at CNN.
Sanchez: There's a lot of people who've had shows a little bit in the past. I'm talking about right now, though, George. And I think it's significant, you know, that we do have some representation.
Stephanopoulos: So you do think you're a (victim) of prejudice.
Sanchez: Well, it's interesting the way you put that. No. I was wrong to say that. And I was wrong to scapegoat Jon Stewart.
I was filling a little bit put out. And I was feeling a little sensitive. And I was looking at the landscape and I was seeing that. And I externalized the problem and I was putting it on Jon Stewart's shoulders, and I was wrong to do that.
Sanchez went on to praise Stewart, saying that when he called the comedian, Sanchez asked why he was always singled out.
"Because you're the one I like," he said Stewart told him.
- Rick Sanchez interview with George Stephanopoulos (video)
- Complete Rick Sanchez interview with Pete Dominick (audio)
- Ed Koch, Huffington Post: On the Firing of Rick Sanchez by CNN
- Steve Krakauer, Mediaite: Rick Sanchez Tells Mediaite: “I Got Greedy And I Got Mad And I Got In Trouble”
- Ruben Navarrette, Washington Post Writers Group: Rick Sanchez's Burden
- Brian Stelter, New York Times: Fired CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez Calls His Remarks ‘Careless’ [Richard Prince quoted]
- Hunter Walker, the Wrap: Fox News, MSNBC 'Not Interested' in Rick Sanchez, Even Post-Apology
- Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Talks CNN, Rick Sanchez and Jon Klein Departures… On Fox News
Philadelphia Daily News reporters Barbara Laker, left, and Wendy Ruderman, and Daily News Editor Michael Days react in April to the news of their Pulitzer Prize for investigative work. (Credit: Sarah J. Glover/Philadelphia Daily News)
Michael Days will "absolutely" remain editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, the CEO of the paper's new owners told Journal-isms on Friday, even though Days' counterpart at the Philadelphia Inquirer, William K. Marimow, is being demoted.
"Michael and I have had lots of conversations," said Gregory J. Osberg, president and chief executive officer at Philadelphia Media Network Inc., the new owner of the Inquirer, the Daily News and the website Philly.com.
"I've found him to be creative," good with his staff and "very open to experimentation with respect to how philly.com and the Daily News can operate in an integrated operation," Osberg told Journal-isms.
Days, 57, a Philadelphia native, is among the handful of African American top editors at daily newspapers. He joined the newspaper more than 20 years ago and was named editor in 2005. This year, two Daily News reporters, Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series on allegedly corrupt narcotics cops. "The series would NOT have happened without Michael Days," Ruderman told Journal-isms afterward.
"The company's new management told Marimow that despite his national reputation as an outstanding print journalist, he did not have the background in digital media necessary to lead the paper going forward," Christopher K. Hepp wrote Thursday in the Inquirer.
"Marimow, 63, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, will continue at The Inquirer as an investigative reporter.
"Stan Wischnowski, The Inquirer's deputy managing editor/operations and vice president for shared services, was named acting editor. He will be among the candidates to fill the open position, said Gregory J. Osberg, chief executive officer for Philadelphia Media Network Inc., the new owner of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the website Philly.com.
"The demotion of Marimow and appointment of Wischnowski came as Philadelphia Media Network prepared to finally take control of the local media company.
"Philadelphia Media Network, owned by 32 financial institutions, purchased the papers and website at auction Sept. 23. The new company emerges from a 20-month bankruptcy Friday.
"Osberg said there were other executive-level dismissals Thursday. They included Richard Thayer, executive vice president for finance, and Scott Baker, general counsel."
Marimow's name has appeared in this column largely in connection with a dispute over sports columnist Stephen A. Smith. Marimow kept Smith out of the paper for two years after demoting him from sports columnist to general assignment reporter. Smith, backed by the Newspaper Guild and eventually an arbitrator, refused to accept the demotion. Smith's $225,000 a year was too much money, Marimow said.
Smith finally left the paper in June by mutual agreement. He did not respond to messages on Friday.
Bill Ross, executive director of the Newspaper Guild/CWA of Greater Philadelphia Local 38010, told Journal-isms via e-mail:
"Under the prior ownership, former CEO and Publisher Brian Tierney laid off over 200 Guild members, many of them reporters. I'm thrilled to get former managers back into the Newspaper Guild. Especially a former 2 time Pulitzer Prize winner when he was an investigative reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Marimow has already signed his Guild membership application to rejoin the union, and seemed thrilled to join the ranks again."
- Brian P. Tierney, Philadelphia Media Holdings: Notes on the end of an era
- Philadelphia Newspapers and Philly.com Successfully Emerge From Bankruptcy (News release)
"Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa — author of some of the most celebrated literature in Latin America and a beloved figure in Miami, a city he has often visited — won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday," as Fabiola Santiago wrote Thursday for the Miami Herald.
"In elegant and clear prose, Vargas Llosa chronicled the machinations of power and the powerful in Latin America in narratives that engrossed readers in the most intimate details of a character's life."
Nina Larson of Agence France-Presse added, "Unlike other literary figures who seek to avoid the limelight, Vargas Llosa embraces contemporary affairs with gusto. He writes regularly for newspapers and magazines, and travels frequently for research and to deliver lectures."
She said, "Early on he became a journalist, moving to France in 1959 where he worked as a language teacher and as a journalist for Agence France-Presse as well as for French television before establishing his reputation as an author."
Santiago wrote on Friday, "Vargas Llosa received an honorary degree from Florida International University in 1990 and taught a humanities course for graduate students in 1991. His son, Alvaro, also lived in Miami and was El Nuevo Herald's editorial page editor.
Santiago quoted Eduardo Gamarra, a politics and international relations professor at FIU: " 'Vargas Llosa's books are really shrewd and sophisticated political analysis,' said Gamarra, whose FIU office was next to Vargas Llosa's. 'He moved from his origins as an analyst on the left of center to the most intellectually coherent perspective on the right in the world today; profoundly democratic but firmly on the right.'
"Gamarra pointed to Vargas Llosa's column in Madrid's El País," for whom he wrote regularly, "on Sunday as an example of the shift.
" 'His criticisms of Chávez and Castro are not knee-jerk,' Gamarra said, referring to leaders Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro of Cuba.
" 'They are intellectual indictments with a profoundly theoretical base.' "
- Committee to Protect Journalists: China seeks to block news of Liu's Nobel
Hundreds of pages of e-mails released to at least three news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act show that Obama administration officials knew they did not have all the facts last summer when they rushed to dismiss Shirley Sherrod from the Agriculture Department after learning of a video that painted her as a bigot.
"The e-mails, some of which were redacted by the Agriculture Department, do not show whether the White House ordered the dismissal, long a point of speculation," Peter Nicholas and Kathleen Hennessey of the Tribune Washington Bureau wrote.
"Sherrod has said that when department Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called and asked her to resign, Cook told her the White House wanted her out, but USDA and White House officials have said the decision was made within the agency.
"However, the e-mails suggest the White House was watching with interest. 'Just wanted you to know that this dismissal came up at our morning senior staff meeting today,' Christopher Lu, who serves as Obama's liaison to the Cabinet, wrote to top Agriculture officials early July 20, the morning after Sherrod was ousted. 'Everyone complimented USDA on how quickly you took this action,' he wrote, adding that it would stop an 'unpleasant story' from getting 'traction.' 'Thanks for the great efforts.'
"Within the USDA, the messages show, government officials had moved at breakneck pace to try to beat the news cycle, leaving little time to ask questions, seek legal advice or consider Sherrod's side of the story."
"There's no doubt that the reported $6 million a year Dobbs raked in while bashing undocumented immigrants at CNN has helped him amass real estate and boosted his family's profile in the elite world of horse shows," the Nation said about Lou Dobbs, center. "But without undocumented immigrants, just who would look after Dobbs's properties?" (Video)
Lou Dobbs defended himself Thursday and Friday "after a Nation magazine article claimed that the vocal critic of illegal immigration has relied on undocumented immigrant labor on his properties, including stables where the Dobbs Group owns horses," Michael Calderone reported for Yahoo News.
"On his radio program, Dobbs slammed the Nation's one-year investigation as 'a fairly typical hit piece' and a 'smear piece' before speaking with its author, Isabel Macdonald. He also described the liberal political magazine as a 'left-wing activist attack publication.'
"During the interview with Macdonald, the former CNN host repeatedly asked her if he or his company had ever hired illegal immigrants. 'The truth is,' he said at one point, 'I have never, nor has the Dobbs Group, at any time, hired an illegal immigrant.'
"Macdonald acknowledged that Dobbs himself hadn't, but countered that illegal workers tended to his grounds and looked after his show horses for four years. She claimed that the contractors and trainers whom Dobbs hired then employed illegal workers."
Ken Tucker reported Friday for Entertainment Weekly, "Lou Dobbs is under siege, taking to news shows ranging from 'Good Morning America' to MSNBC’s new 'The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell'. . . ."
- Ralph De La Cruz, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting: Lou Dobbs and His Transformation
- Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: Is Lou Dobbs an illegal immigration hypocrite or liberal hit piece target?
- Isabel Macdonald, the Nation: Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite
- Marisa Treviño, Latina Lista blog: Revelation about Lou Dobbs underscores reality in U.S. economy that can't be ignored any longer
Tamron Hall is hosting a new hourlong political news show on MSNBC, "NewsNation," starting Monday at 2 p.m. She becomes the only journalist of color hosting a show on the cable network.
"We recently added Richard Lui to our list of anchors, but he is reporting for Chris Jansing's show, 'Jansing and Co.,' so it's not technically his. Martin Bashir will also be starting his own show at some point, but it will not likely be for a couple of months," MSNBC spokeswoman Weesie Vieira told Journal-isms on Friday.
An announcement said, "Her new show will feature in-depth coverage of the day's biggest political news, as well as interviews with pundits and policy-makers. Hall has been with msnbc since July of 2007, where she has served as an anchor on our dayside programming, host of a 2009 'Dateline' series titled, 'You Might Be Rich,' and has filled in for Ann Curry and other anchors on NBC's TODAY.
"Her new show will feature in-depth coverage of the day's biggest political news, as well as interviews with pundits and policy-makers."
"Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, defended the controversial article by Dinesh D'Souza that wrongly reported numerous facts, has drawn criticism from even one Forbes columnist, and required two corrections after the fact," Joe Strupp reported Friday for Media Matters for America.
"Speaking to Media Matters for America late Thursday, Forbes said the article's essential analysis was correct and the post-publication corrections were not a big deal. . . .
"At issue was D'Souza's claim in the Sept. 9 cover story that President Obama's policies should be understood as a manifestation of his African father's 'hatred of the colonial system.' Forbes had said it 'stands by the story' and that 'no facts are in contention,' but D'Souza's article contains numerous falsehoods and distortions that Media Matters has revealed."
The Washington Post published an op-ed piece by D'Souza advancing the same argument on Friday.
Asked why, Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt replied:
"D'Souza's theory has sparked a great deal of commentary, from potential presidential candidates as well as from commentators on our own pages. Here are links to some of the criticism we have published:
"Under those circumstances, I thought Post readers, many of whom may not read Forbes magazine, might welcome a chance to read and evaluate for themselves what D'Souza is saying."
Clockwise, from left: entertainers Usher, Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson, Nia Long and Samuel L. Jackson appear on Ebony's 65th anniversary cover.
"Johnson Publishing Co.'s new CEO Desirée Rogers plans to reach out to historically black colleges, sororities, fraternities and churches to help reverse the circulation slide of the company's flagship magazines, Ebony and Jet," Lynne Marek reported Monday for Crain's Chicago Business.
"Currently, the average age of a Jet reader is 37; the average age for Ebony is 41. Ms. Rogers wants content of the magazines to expand their appeal to younger readers by incorporating more social media and interactive options, she says.
"Ms. Rogers, who took her post at the Chicago-based media and cosmetic company in June after leaving her job as White House social secretary in February, aims to beef up the iconic African-American magazines' content, web presence and events. She'll seek new advertisers at a time when the industry is trying to stem the flow of ad revenue to alternative Internet options.
- In "New U," a Ford Foundation-funded program for journalists of color who want to become entrepreneurs, 16 participants attended two-day "boot camps" over the summer to learn business skills and how to pitch ideas to mentors and financial experts. "Pitches were video recorded, and starting today, UNITY asked members to vote (http://unityjournalists.org/NewU) for the best business concept. Voting will be allowed for two weeks. UNITY alliance partner membership, while encouraged, is not required to vote," Unity: Journalists of Color announced on Tuesday.
- In Chicago, a contract stalemate has led to the cancellation of a television talk show on Tribune Co.-owned CLTV hosted by Garrard McClendon. "Covering topical issues, 'Garrard McClendon Live' left the air last week after a run of a little more than two years," Bob Kostanczuk reported Oct. 1 in the Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune. "The dismissal of talk-show host Garrard McClendon prompts me to question the media's commitment to diversity," columnist Mary Mitchell wrote in her blog Tuesday for the Chicago Sun-Times. McClendon was last in Journal-isms when his parents were found shot to death a year ago near Calumet City, Ill.
- "KCET, the Los Angeles PBS member station, has decided to break away from the public broadcasting network and become an independent station," the Los Angeles Times reported. It intends to replace such PBS shows as "NewsHour" and "Sesame Street" with feature films and with news and documentaries from other countries. "The Tavis Smiley Show" is produced at KCET. The Smiley Group told Journal-isms, " 'Tavis Smiley' on PBS is independently owned and produced by TS Media, Inc. This decision by KCET in no way interrupts or impacts the ongoing production of the series. We have known of this possibility for some time and we remain committed to PBS and our loyal audience."
- "Steve Gray, who has performed superbly as the bureau chief of Assignment Detroit over the past year, will join our Washington team in November, covering politics and policy. Living at our house in Detroit, Steve has been a one-man band of journalistic and managerial roles: correspondent, spokesman, conference planner, and dinner host," Rick Stengel, Time managing editor, announced to staffers on Thursday. A year ago, Time bought a house to provide "flood the zone" coverage of Detroit with coverage across Time Inc. properties. Gray is Time's sole black correspondent or reporter.
- "New MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell has issued an apology for a segment earlier this week in which he invoked the imagery of slavery while introducing Michael Steele, the African-American head of the Republican National Committee," EURWeb reported. O'Donnell had said, "As the first congressional election during his party chairmanship approaches, Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can, trying to charm independent voters and tea partiers while never losing sight of his real master and paycheck provider the republican national committee," according to Betsy Rothstein at Fishbowl DC.
- "Collette Wood, a former journalist and columnist with The Hollywood Reporter who covered theater and television, died Oct. 1 at her home in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 70," Mike Barnes reported Wednesday for the Hollywood Reporter. "Wood worked at THR for four years in the 1970s at a time when few African-Americans were covering the arts in Los Angeles and became president of the Hollywood/Beverly Hills chapter of the NAACP."
- Bobbi Bowman, diversity consultant for the American Society of News Editors, has become editor of the Patch.com hyperlocal website for McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington. "They saw what I was doing with the McLean Ear and offered me a job," she told Journal-isms, speaking of the website she started this year. "I'll do the same thing" for Patch.
- "John H. Bustamante, who worked long hours to boost minorities in Cleveland and beyond as a lawyer, publisher, lender and leader, died Tuesday," Grant Segall reported Wednesday for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Needing little sleep, he formed First Bank, headed the Call & Post and represented everything from small businesses to Rev. Jesse Jackson's causes. He chaired Central State University, helped clean up its ledgers and closed it during a riot. He helped lead many businesses and nonprofits." Bustamante was 81.
- The Institute for Justice and Journalism invites journalists nationwide to apply for its 2011 fellowship program, "Immigration in the Heartland." Selected Fellows will participate in a weeklong conference in Oklahoma and Texas starting March 5. The program plans to explore immigration issues being played out across the nation, including state legislative actions and education and legal topics. Application deadline is Nov. 30.
- Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry provided riveting radio Friday as he visited the "Politics Hour" of "the Kojo Nnamdi Show" (audio) on Washington's WAMU-FM to denounce an essay Nnamdi wrote for the Washington Post on the outcome of last month's D.C. mayoral primary. Neither man changed his position as Nnamdi tried to maintain his host posture while defending his essay. Barry supported City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, who defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary. In one passage challenged by Barry, who is now a City Council member, Nnamdi wrote, "If the template, in 2010, for black Mayors who connect favorably with black voters is Sharpe James [of Newark] and Marion Barry, even after their jail terms, then maybe Vince Gray needs to hurry up and get himself locked up so he too can 'keep it real.' "
Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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