AP Finds Valid Votes Tossed by ID Laws
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Subprime Implosion Could Scar Blacks for Decades
Media Cover Jobless as Political, Not Human, Story
. . . Others Focus on Homicide Rate, Killings by Police
A Shooting in L.A., a Photographer's Flashbacks
NAHJ Candidate Says He Was "Warned" With Bad Info
"When Edward and Mary Weidenbener went to vote in Indiana's primary in May, they didn't realize that state law required them to bring government photo IDs such as a driver's license or passport," Mike Baker reported Monday for the Associated Press.
"The husband and wife, both approaching 90 years old, had to use a temporary ballot that would be verified later, even though they knew the people working the polling site that day. Unaware that Indiana law obligated them to follow up with the county election board, the Weidenbeners ultimately had their votes rejected — news to them until informed recently by an Associated Press reporter.
"Edward Weidenbener, a World War II veteran who had voted for Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest, said he was surprised by the rules and the consequences.
" 'A lot of people don't have a photo ID. They'll be automatically disenfranchised,' he said.
"As more states put in place strict voter ID rules, an AP review of temporary ballots from Indiana and Georgia, which first adopted the most stringent standards, found that more than 1,200 such votes were tossed during the 2008 general election.
"During sparsely attended primaries this year in Georgia, Indiana and Tennessee, the states implementing the toughest laws, hundreds more ballots were blocked.
"The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent. Thousands more votes could be in jeopardy for this November, when more states with larger populations are looking to have similar rules in place.
"More than two dozen states have some form of ID requirement, and 11 of those passed new rules over the past two years largely at the urging of Republicans who say they want to prevent fraud. . . . "
- Associated Press: NAACP head likens fight against voter ID laws to civil rights battles of 1960s
- Cheryl Corley, NPR: Urgency Reigns At Vote-Focused NAACP Convention
- Mary C. Curtis, theGrio: Battleground 2012: Will black women be as energetic for Obama as in 2008?
- Melissa Harris-Perry, the Nation: The GOP's Attack on Voters (video)
- Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle: NAACP pledges to overcome voter ID law
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The GOP's crime against voters
"The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans — one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades," Ylan Q. Mui reported Monday in the Washington Post's lead story.
"At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home. The scores are based on consumers' financial history and suffer when they fall behind on their bills.
"For blacks, the picture since the recession has been particularly grim. They disproportionately held subprime mortgages during the housing boom and are facing foreclosure in outsize numbers. That is raising fears among consumer advocates, academics and federal regulators that the credit scores of black Americans have been systematically damaged, haunting their financial futures.
"The private companies that calculate credit scores say they do not consider race in their formulas. Lenders also say it is not a factor when deciding who qualifies for a loan; federal laws prohibit the practice. Still, studies have shown a persistent gap between the credit scores of white and black Americans, and many worry that it is only getting wider. . . ."
"As the government on Friday released its latest official snapshot of the American labor market — finding that the economy in June added a paltry 80,000 net new jobs, while the unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent — most commentators seized on the data as generic fodder for the unceasing campaign story," Peter S. Goodman wrote Monday for the Huffington Post.
". . . The horrendous job market is not a political story. It is a national emergency playing out in slow motion, a catastrophe that has come to dominate life in millions of American homes. The persistent shortage of paychecks has seeped into our aspirations and made them smaller. It has eroded the basic American understanding about the supposed rewards of trying hard, getting educated and looking for work — a formula too many people have been following only to wind up destitute, discouraged and dispossessed.
"Will the president survive the most punishing job market since the Depression? That's backwards. The real question is whether people like Yvonne Smith can survive the job market.
"Out of work, out of money and running out of improvised solutions to the problems of not being able to afford rent, Smith and her 14-year-old son have been sleeping on the floor of a storage locker in northern Georgia, where they stashed their belongings after being evicted from their rented townhouse in February. . . . "
- Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Jobs Report Covered Through 2012 Election Lens, Media Not Focused On Impact To American People
- Emily Jane Fox, CNNMoney: African-American jobless rate surges
- Sonari Glinton, NPR: Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News
". . . From July 9 to July 15, Politic365 will put special focus and attention on epidemic of violence and death in the city of Chicago," the website announced last week. "As of July 4, 260 people have been killed in Chicago, Ill. Though violent crime rates have decreased other U.S. in recent years, Chicago is a literal war zone with casualty rates surpassing that of our soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012.
"Can the violence be stopped? Have we accepted a certain level of violence? Why isn’t this a national crisis? Should the National Guard be called in? What are [the] solutions?"
Meanwhile, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement published "Report on Extrajudicial Killings of 110 Black People since January 1st, 2012." A release says, "Every 40 hours in the United States one Black woman, man or child is killed by police, and by a smaller number of security guards and self-appointed vigilantes. These are the startling findings of a new report on Extrajudicial Killings of Black People released July 9, 2012. What motivated the round-the-clock research for this new Report? More than two years ago, on New Year's Eve, police killed two innocent men: Oscar Grant in Oakland, Adolph Grimes in New Orleans and shot Robert Tolan in a Houston suburb. Based on research started in 2009 after those murders, we learned there were a lot more killings that had not yet been uncovered. . . ."
It continues, ". . . The corporate media have given very little attention to these extrajudicial killings. We call them 'extrajudicial' because they happen without trial or any due process, against all international law and human rights conventions. Those few mainstream media outlets that mention the epidemic of killings have been are unwilling to acknowledge that the killings are systemic – meaning they are embedded in institutional racism and national oppression.
"On the contrary, nearly all of the mainstream media join in a chorus that sings the praises of the police and read from the same script that denounces the alleged 'thuggery' of the deceased. Sadly, too many people believe the police version of events and the media’s 'blame-the-victim' narratives that justify and support these extrajudicial killings."
" . . . What he saw that Friday morning, Dec. 9, 2011, sticks with him still," Kurt Streeter wrote Sunday for the Los Angeles Times.
"For many, especially those who weren't there, the gunfire and panic will fade into just another senseless killing by someone whose demons nobody fully understands and never will. That's what we do in Los Angeles — we shove many of history's hard moments aside and don't think about them again.
"But not Gregory Bojorquez. He suffers flashbacks and nightmares about blood and death. He thinks he always will."
The story began with Streeter setting the scene:
"Sunset and Vine.
"Cars peeled out of the intersection, some in reverse. Tires shrieked. Gregory Bojorquez smelled the hot, smoking rubber. A man yelled: 'Someone is shooting! Someone is shooting!'
"This isn't East L.A., Bojorquez thought. This is Hollywood. People don't go on shooting rampages around here. Maybe it's make-believe. Maybe someone is shooting blanks. But he heard windows shatter, and then he saw the guy, Tyler Brehm, 26, a dreamer from a small town in Pennsylvania, who had moved here in search of his fortune. 'He had what looked like a .45,' Bojorquez says. 'He was shooting bullets.'
"Bojorquez, 39, is an arts photographer. He pays his bills by making pictures of movie stars and music celebrities. His real passion, though, is documenting Latino gangs and the rough-and-tumble life of East L.A., where he grew up. His camera bag, as usual, was slung over his shoulder. Inside was a Nikon camera so old it still used film. Brehm aimed his pistol wildly, pointing it in Bojorquez's direction and at everything else. Only 120 feet of pavement and a newspaper rack separated the two. Bojorquez began pulling his camera out. . . ."
- Andrew Gauthier, TVSpy: Tulsa News Crew Attacked with Fireworks
Last week, supporters of television reporter Sal Morales of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist's South Florida chapter said the NAHJ elections committee discouraged him from running for the general at-large seat, leaving only one candidate in the contest. She is Elizabeth Alvarez, a member of the HalftimeInNAHJ slate of presidential candidate Russell Contreras. Contreras is NAHJ's vice president/print and chief financial officer.
Soon afterward, another candidate who is not part of the slate came forward. Mekahlo Medina, a tech/social reporter at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, wrote on Facebook:
"I will tell you, as a candidate for VP of Broadcast and as a member working for a legacy media company, I [received] a call from an election committee member WARNING me that my boss was 'unsure' if my organization would support my run. The problem here, my boss was on vacation and NEVER talked to her! Thankfully, I got a hold of him to confirm he never talked with them and he FULLY supported my work with NAHJ. After reading about Sal, it made me question if there was a motive here to discourage me to stay out of the race."
The elections committee member, Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez, did not respond to requests for comment. However, the committee chair, Elaine Aradillas, posted this note on Facebook on Sunday:
"I am out of town on assignment with spotty access to internet, so I'm just now catching up with all of this. Let me start off by saying that I am proud of the work done by the committee. As a committee, we spoke to candidates, their employers and references. We followed the bylaws and the election guide. I am sorry if people feel they were pressured, warned, discouraged, etc. I believe our group has been fair and professional. As for Sal, I spoke with him and he withdrew his nomination. I told him I would keep our conversation private, which I have done."
Thirty-nine "lifetime" members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have been disqualified from voting in the upcoming NAHJ election, Anna Lopez Buck, the NAHJ interim executive director, told Journal-isms on Monday.
"From the 168 lifetime members that we have on our membership roster only 129 are eligible to vote in the upcoming election because they fall under the category of regular or academic members which are eligible to vote as stipulated in our bylaws," Lopez Buck said by email.
She explained last month that the organization was sorting through its lifetime members, many of whom voted in the last NAHJ election two years ago, and disqualifying as voters those whose principal means of support is not "earned in the gathering, editing, or presentation of news."
"Lifetime members that didn't meet the qualifications should not have been voting in the past. That was a mistake that no one caught," Lopez Buck said then. The "lifetime" category was created as a fund-raising device, members have explained.
The editors of Columbia Journalism Review have compiled a diverse list of "20 women to watch: A by-no-means-complete list of eXXcellent talents we'd bet on to map the future of the media business."
Included are Michelle Ebanks, "longtime steward of Essence and now also People en Español"; Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-born Middle East expert; Melissa Harris-Perry, host of her own weekend show on MSNBC; Jennifer 8. Lee, the former New York Times reporter whose "brain often hovers above the intersection of journalism and tech"; Monica Lozano, graphic artist and photographer; Aminda Marques Gonzalez, executive editor of the Miami Herald; NBC's Mara Schiavocampo, "the first backpack journalist to break into the big-time network news ranks"; and Jenna Wortham, an alumna of Wired who "smartly covers the tech-startup scene for The New York Times."
Earlier this year, two different CNN reporters said the N-word on live television while reporting stories about hate crimes, T.J. Holmes, the former CNN weekend anchor now with BET, recalled in an essay Monday for theGrio.
". . . But, if asked to explain why they used the n-word in their reporting, the two CNNers could make their case, agree with it or not. Ask me to explain why I used the n-word 20 times in a conversation with my best friend at dinner last night, I don't have much of a case to make.
"In fact, I don't have any case to make. Yes folks, I too use the n-word, and I assure you I'm not using it in order to put anything in context. I use it casually and sometimes constantly. I have no real logic behind using the word, but for whatever reason, I'm given somewhat of a pass by society because I'm black.
". . . My problem has been that no one ever held me accountable for my, at times, gratuitous use of the n-word. So, while I can toil endlessly about who I do and don't mind saying the n-word, I never stopped to think that maybe there are people who don't want to hear that word from me. There are plenty of black people who don't want to hear fellow blacks use the n-word, but we give each other a pass. Stop.
"Sure, go ahead and hold the two CNN reporters and Gwyneth Paltrow accountable and give them a chance to explain themselves. Ask Ms. Paltrow to explain herself. But, make me explain myself as well. Poet and author Oliver Goldsmith said that 'every absurdity has a champion who will defend it.' Using the n-word 20 times during a casual conversation is absurd. And, I can't defend that."
"So, for all intents and purposes, this will be my last 'ni**a.' "
- "If you were the editor of Utah Valley Magazine, and you needed a headline to accompany your editor's note for the 'Women's Issue,' and you had selected this photograph of your female staffers to illustrate it, what would you pick for a headline?" John Cook wrote for Gawker. "How about the one thing the photo most certainly does not depict? 'Women of Color' is what editor Jeanette Bennett settled on for the July/August issue [of] Utah Valley, which was pointed out to us by a tipster. Because look at all the colors! Red, yellow, green — is that melon? Oh and white."
- Musician Wynton Marsalis, actor Wendell Pierce, Xavier University President Norman C. Francis, journalists Steve and Cokie Roberts; Tulane University President Scott Cowen and other New Orleanians wrote to the Newhouse family, owners of the Times-Picayune, "If you have ever valued the friendship you have shared with our city and your loyal readers, we ask that you sell the Times-Picayune. Our city wants a daily printed paper, needs a daily printed paper and deserves a daily printed paper," Jim Romenesko wrote Monday on his media blog. [Advance Publications president Donald E. Newhouse said there would be no sale, Romenesko reported on Tuesday.]
- "This week, Maria Hinojosa is in DC guest hosting NPR's daily syndicated news program Tell Me More with Michel Martin. Maria will be bringing her unique perspective to the program, which combines daily news with discussions of multicultural life in America," the Futuro Media Group announced Monday. ". . . Maria will be covering stories ranging from Syria to Chicago, 'Mom-preneurs' to music." Hinojosa, a former NPR reporter, hosts public radio's "Latino USA."
- The 2012 Essence Music Festival concluded in New Orleans after four days Sunday "with a once in a lifetime ensemble comprised of Chaka Khan and The R&B Divas who paid tribute to the R&B artists who passed away over this past year." The festival producers created a multimedia news release, and the Times-Picayune dedicated a portion of its website to its coverage.
- Details of FBI spying on Rosetta Miller-Perry, now the 77-year-old owner and publisher of the Tennessee Tribune, an African American newspaper in Nashville, appear among newly released records from the informant file of the late civil rights- era photographer Ernest Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, Marc Perrusquia reported Sunday for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. "The records, 348 pages, were released under court order to The Commercial Appeal, which last year sued the FBI in federal court in Washington to unravel Withers' secret life as a 'racial' informant. The records sketch a 14-year relationship between Withers, a freelance news photographer who took seminal photos of the civil rights movement, and the FBI, which first recruited him in 1958 as the movement gained its initial momentum."
- Liane Membis, who was fired from the Wall Street Journal three weeks into her internship there for making up sources she quoted in her stories, will continue to compete in the Miss Black America contest as Miss Black America - Connecticut, Oulimata Ba reported Friday for the New York Amsterdam News. "At this stage she is still competing," said Aleta Anderson, a representative for Miss Black America.
- Former McClatchy chief executive Gary Pruitt joined the Associated Press Monday as its new president, Jim Romenesko reported on his media blog. "You have my word that I will support our mission to speak truth to and about power, hold governments accountable and show all sides of the story," Pruitt told AP employees. His memo did not mention diversity.
- In South Africa, journalists invited to witness a raid on a food market selling underweight rock lobsters were locked in a freezer by store management for taking photographs of the lobsters, the South African Press Association reported Friday. ". . . Store manager Ben Reuben apparently tried to grab a photographer's camera and a short scuffle ensued. Photographers refused to delete their footage and were released when police arrived at the scene. . . . Sapa camerawoman Khatija Nxedlana tweeted that she was being held inside a 'meat' fridge until she deleted her footage."
- Robin Roberts, the ABC "Good Morning America" host, who announced in June that she had contracted a rare disease called MDS, took Friday off to accompany her sister to the doctor. "My sister, Sally-Ann, went through a lot of tests today in preparation for being my bone marrow donor," Roberts wrote on Facebook. "She was such a [trouper]. A long day and she had a smile on her face the entire time. I, on the other hand, couldn't stop crying. I'm so moved by her unrelentless willingness to do whatever it takes to help me."
- A memorial service for Armando Montaño, the Associated Press intern found dead in Mexico City on June 29, will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 15, at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs, Colo., the National Association of Hispanic Journalists announced on Monday.
- Reflections by Asian Americans on the 30th anniversary of the beating death of Vincent Chin have been compiled by New America Media. The death of Chin, 27, a Chinese-American, in Highland Park, Mich., is credited with galvanizing the coalition now known as Asian Americans.
- Veteran news director Kathy Williams, a former news director for KRIV-TV in Houston and WKYC-TV and WJW-TV in Cleveland is joining WTLV/WJXX-TV, a Gannett owned NBC/ABC duopoly in Jacksonville, Fla., according to agent Rick Gevers.
- In Washington, "WTTG has officially promoted Tony Perkins and Wisdom Martin to morning anchor positions, the Washington, DC Fox O&O announced today," Merrill Knox reported for TVSpy. "Perkins will co-anchor from 7 to 10 a.m. alongside Allison Seymour, while Martin will co-anchor from 4:30 to 7 a.m. with Sarah Simmons. Both Perkins and Martin have held these roles on a temporary basis since earlier this year. . . ."
- A Reporters Without Borders report on the state of freedom of information in South Sudan, which celebrated its first anniversary of independence on Monday, "says that the divorce with Khartoum is not entirely consummated and that independence has brought no significant improvement in media freedom," the press-freedom group said.
- "I'm still here," Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page began a column Sunday about the Tribune's disapproval of a speech he gave in Paris to a dissident group of Iranian exiles. "To those readers who emailed their hopes to me that my backside would be fired, I am not sorry to disappoint you. To the wonderful folks who sent messages of support and, in some cases, bewilderment over why I was in trouble in the first place, I send my warm and humble gratitude."
- "We now have media as this layer that is in every crevice of our lives," NPR's Matt Thompson explains in a video for the Atlantic by Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg. "This ubiquity, he says, is forcing journalists to rethink storytelling in the digital age. From the Aspen Ideas Festival, he weighs in on the challenges and ideas that will shape the industry in the years to come. . . ."
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