Fox Ad Asks How Rivals Could "Miss" Protest
Friday, September 18, 2009
Competitors Call Full-Pager "Blatantly False" and More
A full-page ad by Fox News Channel in three newspapers on Friday asks how its competitors could "miss this story," showing an image of the "Anti Tax, Anti Big Government Tax Payers March" in Washington last Saturday.
"How did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN miss this story?" asks the ad, which ran in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Post, concluding, "We cover all the news."The news outlets Fox named devoted considerable resources to covering the event, and a YouTube video of CNN's coverage, showing marchers loudly shouting "go home, CNN" and chanting the name of Fox News host Glenn Beck, appeared Monday in Journal-isms.
Fox News, asked to explain the ad, said in a statement from Michael Tammero, Fox News vice president of marketing, "Generally speaking, it's fair to say that from the tea party movement - to Acorn - to the march on 9/12, the networks either ignored the story, marginalized it or misrepresented the significance of it altogether."
The statement did not explain why that specific message was not included in the ad.
Asked why the Washington Post ran it, Kris Coratti, director of communications, said:
"The Post will not reject an advertisement based on its content or sponsor, unless the ad is illegal, false, advocates illegal actions, or is not in keeping with standards of taste. When we do not see anything in a particular ad that is contrary to these standards, we will not place limits on speech or content. That was our review and judgment in this case."
Jeffrey W. Schneider, a spokesman for ABC News, said he e-mailed the Post that it had exercised "zero due diligence" in assessing the truth of the ad and that it "should have been rejected according to your professed standards. Now the Post should make it right by apologizing quickly and recognizing that it made a grave error that tarnishes the reputation of five other news organizations."
Coratti said the Post does not disclose how much such advertisements cost.
The other two papers - the New York Post and Wall Street Journal - are, like Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, and Emily Edmonds, a spokeswoman for the Journal, said, "We don't comment on our advertisers."
Asked their reactions to the Fox ad - but not knowing how Fox was explaining its message - the competing networks were not shy in detailing their Saturday coverage.CNN spokeswoman Edie Emery said, "Fox News' ad today is blatantly false regarding CNN's coverage of the 9/12 rally."
"CNN provided live coverage of the rally in Washington throughout the day Saturday, Sept. 12. CNN dispatched more than a dozen personnel, multiple camera crews including the CNN Express to cover the event.
"CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser was live at Freedom Plaza, CNN correspondent Kate Bolduan live from the West Front of the Capitol and roved the crowd, CNN's Jim Spellman provided live hits all day after traveling for weeks on the actual Tea Party Express, and CNN's Lisa Desjardins was live from the National Mall. CNN's coverage included numerous live shots and interviews with protesters and newsmakers, including Sen. Jim DeMint who spoke at the rally and Art Gerhart, an activist, who was on the set with Don Lemon to discuss the rally."
She went on to outline further coverage on Sunday.
On Friday night, according to Media Matters for America, CNN responded with its own ad accusing Fox of "distorting, not reporting.""CBS News had multiple crews on site with our Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes reporting. It was the lead story on the CBS EVENING NEWS; CBS Radio News provided hourly reports throughout the day and CBSNews.com reported on it as well," CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said. "Also, CBSNews.com had the story in its rotating lead all day. They processed the Nancy Cordes video and linked it all over the site."
"Just like every network, we covered the story," said Jeremy M. Gaines, a spokesman for MSNBC.
Lauren Kapp of NBC said, "We had crews on the mall and Tom Costello live reporting" for "NBC Nightly News," where it was the lead story. "Also, the Today show covered Sunday morning."
Kapp said the Saturday "NBC Nightly News" delivered 5.238 million total viewers, its best total viewer delivery since April 11.
ABC's Schneider referred to march organizer Matt Kibbe, the president of Freedom Works, who said ABC's "coverage that day was fair and honest.'
An ABC News radio correspondent was on the Mall for several hours Saturday, broadcasting reports at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. "In addition. . . . the story was told by our newscasters with soundbites collected by our radio and TV microphones on the mall every hour, throughout the day and the following morning," he said.
He also cited coverage on ABC-TV on Sunday and Monday.
Even some correspondents were defending their coverage. ABC's Jake Tapper wrote on Twitter, "In short: to say ABC News 'missed' covering rally = LIE."On CNN, anchor Rick Sanchez said, "They are using a lie to try and divide people into camps. And, you know, Americans are starting to get tired of this."
"Look at the bottom of the ad there where it says 'we cover all the news.'
"Really, you do?
"What, we don't?
"You know, that's an offense to myself and to my colleagues, who risk their lives for our viewers in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world to bring the news. You're actually telling people that we didn't cover a rally on Washington.
"Rog, roll the tape."
- Afro-American newspapers: Tea Party Goers Take Issue with AFRO coverage
- Catharine Richert, "PolitiFact," St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: "Tea party" photo shows huge crowd - at different event
Wells Fargo helped finance "State of the Black Union" for Tavis Smiley, front row, center.
Tavis Smiley Says He's Cut Ties With Wells Fargo
Commentator Tavis Smiley said Friday he has severed all ties with Wells Fargo & Co., owner of Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., until charges that the company unfairly steered African American borrowers into costly subprime mortgages are resolved.
[Clarification: He called attention to a statement he posted earlier this year on his Web site in which he said, referring to the Tavis Smiley Group:
["Wells Fargo currently is not a sponsor of TSG or Tavis Smiley Foundation programs or events and will not be a sponsor for SOBU for 2010."] [Added Sept. 21.]
Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley's radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-Span-televised "State of the Black Union" conference that Smiley organizes.¬†
"I cut everything off with Wells Fargo," Smiley declared. He said the move cost "a lot of money"; he said he did not know how much.
Smiley spoke as an article by Mary Kane in the Washington Independent, a Web-only project of the Center for Independent Media, circulated. It began, "As the housing market began booming in mid-2000, Wells Fargo & Co. teamed up with prominent African American commentator and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley and financial author Kelvin Boston, the host of 'Moneywise,' a multicultural financial affairs show, to host something called 'Wealth Building‚Äù seminars in black neighborhoods.'"
It continued, "But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the 'Wealth Building' seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
"Wells‚Äô plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank‚Äôs overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said."
"I was never a spokesman for Wells Fargo," Smiley said. "I hate payday loans. My role in these seminars was about financial literacy and wealth building."
Smiley first responded to the allegations with a note posted on his Web site after the NAACP filed suit earlier in the year.
Referring to the Tavis Smiley Group, it says, "Our mission at TSG is to empower and speak for the underserved. As such, TSG always will support any official and credible investigation of allegations of any company accused of disrespecting communities of color with discriminatory practices. It is our hope that in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever, communities of color will get the respect they deserve."
Lawsuits against Wells Fargo and HSBC Mortgage Corp. were filed in Los Angeles on March 13. "San Francisco-based Wells and London-based HSBC issued heated denials and said they would defend themselves aggressively," E. Scott Reckard wrote then for the Los Angeles Times.
The NAACP had also filed discrimination lawsuits against Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric Co.'s subprime lending unit, WMC Mortgage.
Smiley said his relationship with Wells Fargo was a "package deal." In return for the company helping to finance his radio show and the State of the Black Union conference, he went on the road for Wells Fargo. He said he owns his own radio and television show and while that arrangement frees them from network control, it also requires him to come up with his own financing.
- Sam Fulwood III, theRoot.com: More Money, More Problems
Journalism Jobs Eroding at Faster Pace Than Others"Since the Lehman Bros. collapse last September, the journalism industry lost jobs at almost three times the rate of jobs lost in the economy each month," Unity: Journalists of Color said on Thursday.
"UNITY's 2009 Layoff Tracker Report shows an average 22% increase in journalism jobs lost each month from September 2008 through August 2009. In contrast, the economy shed jobs at an average pace of plus 8% each month during the same period.
"'The news industry has been hemorrhaging jobs long before the economic crisis began last year,' said Onica N. Makwakwa, executive director of UNITY. "These numbers confirm that the economic downturn has hit the news industry very, very hard."
"The news industry has shed 35,885 [jobs] since Sept. 15, 2008, and 46,599 jobs since UNITY began tracking job losses on Jan. 1, 2008.
"Industry layoffs hit a peak in December 2008 when 7,398 jobs were lost. Since January 2008, 201 media outlets have closed."
Wilson Chairs Corporation for Public Broadcasting"The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's newly elected chairman, Ernest Wilson III, says he doesn't want to dance on the graves of old media. But he thinks a multiplatform, locally-focused noncommercial media have an opportunity to fill a journalistic vacuum created by the decline of traditional news outlets," John Eggerton wrote Thursday for Broadcasting & Cable.
Wilson, who has been on the corporation's board since 2000, on Wednesday was elected the board's first African American chairman. He is dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.
The CPB "helps support the operations of more than 1,100 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services," the organization says.
Wilson told Eggerton, "At a time when the legacy print media is literally disappearing before our eyes, and the legacy broadcast media is cutting back on investigative reporting and long-form reporting, now is a tremendous opportunity ‚Äî and I would say obligation ‚Äî for public service media to help fill that gap, especially at the local level.
"Because in a lot of these cities, the local newspapers have died. Without those public broadcasting systems stepping in to fill that gap, I'm not sure who is going to do that. What about local commercial TV news operations? If you look at studies indicating the amount of time devoted to actual hard news on the local commercial station, it is going down. Same way for their international coverage, which has been slashed to the bone at the largest commercial stations. NPR, by contrast, has been building up its international coverage. In many ways, NPR has become the gold standard for national and international reporting."
He also said:
"Our ideas of diversity are being exploded and expanded in ways that I think are really invigorating and very, very exciting. We are becoming a gumbo nation. My own background as an African American informs my identity, but it is certainly not the only thing.
"The board had a very long discussion about the values of diversity, the importance of diversity in terms of age and race and national background. And I sat there and didn't have to say a lot because it was a very rich conversation by the members around the table, who were deeply committed to this idea about making public service media reflect and give access to a variety of rich voices."
Michael Eric Dyson Show Gets Funding from CPBWEAA-FM in Baltimore has received $505,000 to continue production of "The Michael Eric Dyson Show," Louise Filkins, spokeswoman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said on Friday.
‚ÄúCPB is committed to a diversity of voices in public radio and this grant to Dr. Dyson‚Äôs program is an investment in that commitment and an expansion of the relationship between public media and diverse audiences,‚Äù Pat Harrison, president and CEO of CPB, said in a news release.
As reported last week, Dyson, a prominent social critic who teaches at Georgetown University, hasn't hosted the one-hour talk show for more than a month, and WEAA, based at Morgan State University in Baltimore, had stopped carrying it.
Participating stations were told there might be a change in hosts, and for the time being, Tony Cox, a veteran of "The Tavis Smiley Show" in its National Public Radio days and of its successor, "News & Notes," was hosting the program from the NPR West studios in Culver City, Calif. The show was also being produced from there.
In the release, Dyson said, ‚ÄúI am extremely gratified to receive the support and commitment of CPB in the effort to expand the reach and audience of The Michael Eric Dyson Show. I am very proud to team with LaFontaine Oliver, one of the most gifted and brilliant radio executives in the business, to bring high quality radio to the airwaves as we explore the pressing social and political issues of the day.‚Äù
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre very pleased that CPB is investing in WEAA‚Äôs national production capacity,‚Äù said Oliver, general manager of WEAA, in the release. ‚ÄúAnd we‚Äôre excited about bringing Michael Eric Dyson‚Äôs exploration of important issues to a national audience through HBCU and other public radio stations.‚Äù
[He told Journal-isms on Monday, "We do not have a set date yet for his return."] [Updated Sept. 21]
Rape Hoax Raises Race, Gender, Journalistic IssuesThe New York Post on Friday published a front-page photo of a teenager who made up a story of being raped by five black and Latino men at Hofstra University, raising but not necessarily resolving a number of journalistic issues.
One is the reporting of police accounts.
"An 18-year-old Hofstra University student trying to retrieve a stolen cell phone was lured into a dormitory men's room and sexually assaulted by five men, police said Tuesday," the Associated Press originally reported on Tuesday.
"Four suspects, including one Hofstra student who worked part-time with campus security, have been arraigned on rape and other charges. A fifth suspect was still at-large Tuesday."
Turns out the police were wrong.
As Newsday's Zachary R. Dowdy reported on Thursday, "Hofstra students who punched on their cell phones to read their text messages last night reacted with shock after reading university officials' alert saying the reported gang rape of a Hofstra student ‚Äî a report that put the campus on edge this week ‚Äî wasn't a rape at all.
"'They had us scared to death on campus and now we find this out,' said Tiffany Grimes, 20, a junior studying education. 'Somebody is not telling the truth.'
"The message, from Vice President for University Relations Melissa Connolly, said: 'We have been notified by the Nassau County District Attorney's Office that the young woman involved in the alleged rape incident has recanted her claims against the five young men.'"
Another issue is reporting the suspects' names but not the accuser's, a time-honored practice of news organizations because rape victims are considered stigmatized. But what of the falsely accused?
"Yesterday at the Taveras home in Brentwood, a FedEx truck motored up the street and delivered another letter to Kevin Taveras. This one was from Cablevision, his employer," read a story in Newsday Friday by Keith Herbert, with Sumathi Reddy and Daniel Edward Rosen. "It announced that he had been fired from his job as a dispatcher because of the 'seriousness of the charges,' the letter stated.
"'Sad,' Kevin Taveras said, holding up the letter.
"Taveras said he was intent on trying to get his job back ‚Äî and apparently now he will.
""Frankly, I just don't know how this will affect him in the future,' said Carlos Cruz Jr., an attorney who represents Jesus Ortiz, 19, of the Bronx, who was also released from jail. 'He is clearly upset and his family is very upset about what's occurred. We're not that removed from the Duke incident.'
"Cruz was referring to the controversy that erupted at Duke University in March 2006 when a woman hired to dance at a Duke University lacrosse team party falsely accused men on the team of raping her. Investigators eventually dropped criminal charges against the players, and the men were declared innocent by state prosecutors."
The New York Post's publication of the accuser's name and photograph helped resolve one issue ‚Äî that of race.
On Salon.com, Amy Benfer wrote Thursday, "I don't know if the men's accuser is white, but we certainly know that there is a long and shameful history of stereotyping black men as sexual predators that dates back centuries, and I would even go so far as to argue that, in the absence of any racial identification of the victim, the iconography of a white woman brutalized by a black man goes so deep that it may account for the viciousness of some people's response."
It turns out this is not one of those cases, owing to the New York Post. But in the absence of explicit statements or images to the contrary, Benfer's impression could have remained.
After all, as Leonard Pitts Jr. pointed out in July in his syndicated Miami Herald column, University of Florida law professor Katheryn Russell-Brown, author of "The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroagressions,‚Äù documented 92 incidents between 1987 and 2006 of black men as victims of racial hoaxes ‚Äî "white liars blaming black men for things that did not happen," in Pitts' words.
Even so, in the Duke University case, some news outlets still have not named the false accuser, maintaining that she is troubled and identifying her would serve no good purpose. That may be similarities here. The New York Post story said, "The Hofstra freshman who had a raunchy restroom romp and then cried rape made up the twisted tale because she didn't want her schoolmates ‚Äî particularly her new boyfriend ‚Äî to think she was easy, the beau told The Post yesterday.
"'I think she needs a psychologist. She probably felt like, "They'll think I'm a slut,"' her boyfriend, who asked not to be identified, told The Post."
Is this a situation where the accuser's race is relevant to the story? "I'm not sure whether we do more harm than good by perpetuating racial identifiers," Newsday reporter Martin C. Evans told Journal-isms. "I grew up at the tail end of the age when a newspaper would write stuff like 'In Milford last night . . . a negro was arrested for breaking into a house.'"
Racial Inequalities Add to Health Care Costs, Study Says"Racial inequalities in health care access and quality added more than $50 billion a year in direct U.S. health care costs over a four-year period according to a study released today by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington-based think tank," the Joint Center announced on Thursday.
"In this study, researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland found that over 30 percent of direct medical expenditures for African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics were excess costs linked to health inequalities. Between 2003 and 2006, these excess costs were $229.4 billion.
"Further, the researchers estimated that the indirect costs of racial inequalities associated with illness and premature death amounted to more than a trillion dollars over the same time period. Eliminating these inequalities would have saved the U.S. economy a grand total of $1.24 trillion dollars. The study noted that this four-year $1.24 trillion expenditure is more than the annual gross domestic product of India, the world‚Äôs 12th largest economy."Meanwhile, National Public Radio begins a nine-part series on Sept. 21, ‚ÄúAre You Covered?‚Äù "The series will air on the NPR newsmagazines 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered' with multimedia material at NPR.org, and is being produced in partnership with the nonprofit news service Kaiser Health News," NPR announced.
The series "presents the different experiences of individuals and families with varying types and levels of insurance. Through nine vignettes and online profiles at NPR.org, the series examines how these Americans are dealing with a specific situation and how it shapes their views of whether or not to change the system. The profiles focus on the following circumstances: uninsured, underinsured, Medicare, Medicaid, not wanting insurance, buying their own insurance, having the best insurance available, having the same federal insurance as Congress and getting insurance through an employer."
4 to Graduate From Fox Apprenticeship ProgramFour students are to graduate from the Roger Ailes Apprenticeship Program on Wednesday, according to Fox News, describing a project created in 2003 by Ailes, chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group, "in an effort to provide minorities entering the media industry an opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes experience, and mentoring, while working at a cable network."
"Candidates for the Roger Ailes Apprenticeship are usually chosen from college graduate interns or entry level Fox News employees and are recommended by Fox News staffers for positions as apprentices. Executives, if their nominee is accepted in the program, become a mentor to that apprentice for the year of the program. Since 2003, 18 apprentices have graduated from the program and moved on to more high-profile positions, this graduating class of four on September 23, 2009 will bring the total to 22 graduates in the five years of the program," the network said.
The four are:
- Erika Garcia, hired in October 2005, who works in the tape library. When the channel converted to digital, she "immersed herself in the new technology and officially earned a spot as a Digital Librarian in October 2008." Originally from Medellin, Colombia, she went to Queens College.
- Jessica Sanoh, hired in August 2007 as part of the Fox Business Network launch team, gained control-room skills, field produced in Washington for President Obama‚Äôs Inauguration, and has been a mentor for interns. She previously worked at BET.
- Chanelle Wright, hired as a production assistant for the Fox News Edge distribution service in June 2008. She is also a morning DJ for WHOV-FM's ‚ÄúGospel Express" at Hampton University.
- Matt Egan, hired in September 2007 to help launch foxbusiness.com, who is a business news breaking news writer who previously wrote for the Trenton (N.J.) Times.
- The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association has established a special "Friends Membership" rate for people who have lost their jobs this year. "It's $25 for a year, and it gives them access to the job board, our professional development training, the listservs and most important the networking that has become so important when looking for jobs & new opportunities," David A. Steinberg, national president, told Journal-isms.
- "In a challenge to the big Spanish-language networks, Estrella TV, Liberman Broadcasting‚Äôs new Spanish-language TV network, launched nationwide Monday (Sept 14), reaching 68 percent of U.S. Hispanic TV households," Katy Bachman reported for Media Week. "The network has been cleared on mostly digital multicast channels in 24 markets, including the main signals of seven of LBI Media‚Äôs owned-and-operated stations, giving the network presence in nine of the top 10 Hispanic markets."
- "After nearly 20 years as primary news anchor at Tribune's WGN-9-CW in Chicago (Market #3), Allison Payne is being reassigned to what will be a two-hour 11 a.m. newscast, where she will be reunited with her long-time 9:00 p.m. co-anchor, Steve Sanders, who moved to middays last year after the station signed former WFLD-32-Fox anchor Mark Suppelsa," Mike James reported on his subscription-only NewsBlues site. "She'll be replaced by Micah Materre on the late news. Payne's contract was due to expire in March but was extended by two years. Plagued by recent health problems, she called the schedule shift 'a mutually agreed-upon scenario that was initially brought up by me.'"
- "Guy Rawlings considers himself one 'lucky guy' for a near two-decades-long career in television that has led him to Orlando," Shannon J. Owens wrote Wednesday for the Orlando Sentinel. "Rawlings, 40, is one of the newer faces delivering local sports news to Central Florida fans since he joined WESH-TV in 2006 alongside veteran anchor Pat Clarke." Rawlings has slipped capital femoral epiphysis, in which the thigh bone continues to slip from the ball of the hip joint. A bad hit or fall could knock his hip socket out of place, Owens wrote.
- "Juan Mart??n del Potro‚Äôs upset of Roger Federer at the United States Open on Monday has prompted a strong reaction among tennis fans, not only because he dethroned a five-time champion, but also because of the awkward moments after the match," the New York Times reported. "The main source of discussion was del Potro‚Äôs request to address the crowd in his native language. As the announcer Dick Enberg listed the prize money, Del Potro tapped Enberg on the arm and quietly asked, 'Can I speak in Spanish?' "Only after Del Potro asked the same question again did Enberg and his producers relent."
- "'Where Hope Begins' author Alysia Sofios, a television reporter for a Fox News affiliate in Fresno who covered the Marcus Wesson murders, knew she was crossing a journalistic ethical line when she invited members of the Wesson family to live with her," Julian Guthrie wrote Monday for the San Francisco Chronicle. "In June 2005, Marcus Wesson was found guilty of killing nine of his children in his Fresno home the year before. He had fathered them with his wife, daughters and nieces. The victims were each shot once in the eye and stacked like kindling in a back bedroom."
- "Two Los Angeles police officers have been placed on paid leave as part of an ongoing investigation into how a photo showing the battered face of Rihanna appeared on a celebrity website after the singer was assaulted by her former boyfriend Chris Brown, four law enforcement sources familiar with the case told The Times," the Los Angeles Times reported last week.
- The International Center for Journalists is partnering with Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to provide community radio journalists in the United States and Latin America with a new Web-based service to share and rebroadcast stories across borders. "The partnership is part of a two-year program, funded by the McCormick Foundation, to train journalists from Latin America and Spanish-language media in the United States to use multimedia platforms to enrich coverage," the group said.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's attention to threats received by three Congolese women journalists: Delphie Namuto and Caddy Adzuba of the U.N.-sponsored broadcasting network Radio Okapi and Jolly Kamuntu of local station Radio Maendeleo. One received a text message: "You have a bad habit of interfering in what does not concern you to show that you are untouchable. Now, some of you will die so that you shut up."
- "After two years in exile and journeying thousands of miles, Eritrean journalist and academic Tedros Abraham has posted an account of his odyssey online," Reporters Without Borders said. "It began in November 2007 when he and two colleagues set off on foot from Asmara and, after an exhausting six-day walk through the desert, crossed into Sudan. It continued in Wedisherifay, a refugee camp just a few miles from the border, and then in Khartoum. Finally Tedros is free of his fear of being sent back to Eritrea, after being resettled by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Norway, where he is starting a new life."
- Richard Prince discusses Wednesday's "Journal-isms" with Keith Murphy on XM satellite radio's "The Urban Journal" here, in Part 1.
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