Michael Steele Cancels NABJ Appearance
Friday, July 30, 2010
GOP Chairman Michael Steele, shown on a "Meet the Press" appearance in January, came down with food poisoning, according to the Republican National Committee.
The advance team for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told the National Association of Black Journalists on Friday that Steele was canceling the panel discussion scheduled later in the day at its convention in San Diego because of food poisoning, NABJ announced.
An RNC statement said, "While traveling out West the Chairman came down with a bad case of food poisoning. He is disappointed to miss the opportunity to take part in this valuable dialogue and looks forward to engaging with NABJ in the very near future," according to NABJ.
"Steele was scheduled to appear at NABJ one day after former USDA Regional Rural Director Shirley Sherrod indicated that she will take legal action against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who she said caused her to lose her job. Sherrod, who appeared before hundreds of journalists at the NABJ Convention yesterday, was forced to resign after Breitbart posted a video excerpt of a speech she gave to the NAACP and accused her being a racist.
"Steele is scheduled to appear at a RNC fundraiser with Breitbart in California next month."
Asked by Elise Durham, the convention chair, "if there was any relationship between his cancellation and the fundraiser, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Joey Smith said, 'We don't comment on our finance events and never have,' " the NABJ statement continued.
In an interview with Daniel Stone of Newsweek, Breitbart said, "If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me" and that "This thing has gotten to a place that's far beyond where it should be," adding, "I'd be more than happy to meet with her in private and have a discussion with her." Yet he said that if Sherrod does sue him, "there will be a legal team."
NABJ had advertised that Steele "will answer questions about his often controversial statements and other issues as TV One personality and CNN contributor Roland Martin go one-on-one." He was also scheduled to meet with the Trotter Group of African American columnists.
Steele was sure to be asked about the Breitbart connection.
"Unlike Michelle Obama's appearance at the NAACP convention, Breitbart's name is not buried among the assorted GOP luminaries scheduled to participate at the event" in California, syndicated columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote on Tuesday. "Not only is he billed as one of the headliners, he and Steele will host the opening-night reception. His name even appears ahead of Steele's on the announcement.
"So why is that? Is it Breitbart's name and fame, the controversy and curiosity he invariably arouses, the media attention he draws, his staunch GOP troublemaking credentials - and the fact that might be good for a few more bucks in the till - that compel Steele and the RNC to make him the star of their show? The answer, of course, is all of the above. And this makes Breitbart an even more disgusting choice to headline a major event by a major party that claims it is poised to make major gains in the midterm elections and possibly take back the House."
Earlier this month, some Republican leaders called for Steele's resignation after Steele said on July 1 that the war in Afghanistan is "not something that the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." Steele later revised his remarks.
Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com: A Conversation on Race? Sherrod's Leading It
- Jennifer H. Cunningham, thegrio.com: Black journalists react to Sherrod vs. [Breitbart]
- Joe Davidson, Washington Post: More diversity might have served USDA well in Sherrod fiasco
- Joe Davidson, Washington Post: Political appointees like Sherrod deserve due process
- Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: Tired in private but [feisty] onstage, ousted USDA official Shirley Sherrod vows to educate President Obama and sue Andrew Breitbart
- Dan Farber, CBSNews.com: Does Shirley Sherrod Have a Solid Legal Case Against Breitbart?
- Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: With the conversation turning to race, Obama and Steele need to talk
- Richard Prince discusses Thursday's column with Keith Murphy of XM/Sirius Radio: The Urban Journal (Go to "Pt. 1" for "7/30")
- Sam Stein, Huffington Post: Sherrod's Suit Against Breitbart May Be Hurt By Her Quickly Repaired Reputation
- Joe Strupp, Media Matters: Legal Experts: Sherrod Lawsuit Against Breitbart Has Merit
- Ryan Tedder, queerty.com: How Shirley Sherrod Ending Up At Prop 8-Loving Doug Manchester's Hyatt Hotel
- Shannon Travis, CNN: Poll suggests pessimism over race as NABJ opens
- Twitter feeds from the NABJ convention
"American Spectator columnist Jeffrey Lord, who wrote a stinging piece this week attacking Shirley Sherrod for saying that a brutally murdered relative was 'lynched,' says he did so' to point out her highly political approach,' Joe Strupp reported Friday for Media Matters for America.
"He also told Media Matters that criticism of the piece from several American Spectator columnists and other conservative writers does not faze him. He cited a past experience with racism in Virginia as a youth as proof that he had true knowledge of racism in America and is qualified to speak about it."
Lord was described as a former Reagan White House political director and author who writes from Pennsylvania.
- Chris Ariens, TVNewser: 'There's No Mention of Shirley Sherrod. No Playing of the Clip'
- Betty Winston Bay?©, Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal: The trashing of a good woman, Shirley Sherrod
- Stanley Crouch, New York Daily News: What Sherrod says about us: The right was quick to see anti-white bias
- Mary C. Curtis, Politics Daily: Shirley Sherrod Has Her Say About Obama, Fox News and Andrew Breitbart
- Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Making sense out of Breitbart's bum story
- Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Separate fact from prejudice
- Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: From NABJ: Shirley Sherrod speaks
- Rose Russell, Toledo Blade: Sherrod endures the unfairness she shunned
- Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: 'Post-racial America' is an obvious term of fiction
- Bob Ray Sanders, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: White farmers are the bright spot in new 'Mockingbird' story
- DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: Obama administration 'a basket case' on issues of race
People of color comprise more than one-third of the U.S. population, but only 12.6 percent of newsroom managers in television news, according to a study of 151 television stations, the National Association of Black Journalists said on Friday.
NABJ reported on the results of its third annual Television Newsroom Management Diversity Census.
"Out of 815 executive producers, assignment managers, managing editors, assistant news directors, news directors and general managers at the ABC, CBS, Cox, FOX, Gannett, Hearst Argyle, Media General, Meredith, NBC and Tribune stations 713 (87.9%) are White, 64 (7.8%) are African American, 24 (3%) are Hispanic/Latino, 13 (1.6%) are Asian and only 1 is Native American," the association said. "The management teams at 82 of the stations are all White.
" 'It is disheartening in 2010 that four of the media companies in the report have no African American news directors and so many of the companies have no black news director in some of the most diverse cities in America,' said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. 'It's time for African American viewers to reconsider their support of media companies that do not appreciate or make diversity a priority.'
"NABJ first began conducting its annual census as a way of encouraging broadcasters to commit to hiring more people of color for editorial positions. Still, the association believes true progress cannot be made unless the companies fully commit to developing talent who can then be promoted from within.
" 'We began meeting with media company executives shortly after the first report was released in 2008,' said study author and NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Bob Butler. 'Some of these companies are now reaching out to NABJ for candidates to fill management openings in their newsrooms.'
"NABJ also applauds NBC television stations for most closely reflecting the diversity of the nation with people of color comprising 24.2% of the company's newsroom managers.
"That compares favorably to Meredith Corporation where non-Whites comprise only 6 percent of all newsroom managers. Meredith owns 12 stations, some in diverse cities such as Atlanta, Hartford and Kansas City.
"Without commenting specifically on the numbers, Meredith Broadcasting Group President Paul Karpowicz said the company is very supportive of NABJ.
" 'We'd be happy to work with NABJ and we'll be in San Diego recruiting for when positions open up in our newsrooms.'
"The organization is launching its own Executive Training Program at the San Diego Convention to prepare the next generation of resourceful and innovative newsroom managers and station leaders."
"President Barack Obama's Thursday appearance on The View drew a total of 6.59 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode in the talk show's 13 years on the air. The episode, which marked the first time in history that a sitting U.S. president has visited a daytime talk show, was up nearly 7% from its previous [peak] delivery on the day after the 2008 Presidential Election," Andrea Domanick reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable.
" 'A historic interview leads to historic ratings,' said President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group Brian Frons. 'It was wonderful to have Barbara Walters back for the interview with President Barack Obama, her first interview since her heart surgery, and together all five co-hosts did what they do best, ask the questions that are on our viewers' minds.' "
- Kevin Allocca, TVNewser: Elisabeth Hasselbeck Talks Obama 'View' Appearance on 'Hannity'
- Kevin Allocca, TVNewser: Obama Talks News Media on 'The View'
- Helena Andrews, theRoot.com: Single-Minded: The President and the Ladies of 'The View'
- Cord Jefferson, theRoot.com: Obama Strikes Back and Defends His Educational Initiative
- Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: A good 'View' for Obama
- Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Finally, Financial Reform
- Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: President Barack Obama is not Moses
- Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: The Latino-Obama Quandary
- Valerie Strauss, Washington Post: Civil rights groups skewer Obama education policy
- Konrad Yakabuski, Toronto Globe and Mail: Obama puts race card face up on the table
"The Obama administration, anticipating that Congress might not pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, is considering ways it could act without congressional approval to achieve many of the objectives of the initiative, including giving permanent resident status, or green cards, to large numbers of people in the country illegally," Marcus Stern reported Thursday for ProPublica.
"The ideas were outlined in an unusually frank draft memo prepared for Alejandro N. Mayorkas, director of the federal agency that handles immigration benefits, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). The memo lists ways the government could grant permanent resident status to tens of thousands of people and delay the deportation of others, potentially indefinitely."
- Craig Harris, Arizona Republic: 'Republic' photographer detained during immigration protest
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: In the short term, immigration ruling is a gift for the GOP
- Gregory Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times: Immigration facts, figures ‚Äî and thoughts
- Albor Ruiz, New York Daily News: Hate finds a home on Staten Island as effects of Arizona's law are felt at home
Hispanics value higher education more than Americans as a whole, with 87 percent of respondents stating that a college education is extremely or very important, compared with 78 percent of the overall population, a Univision-Associated Press poll found on Thursday.
But "enthusiasm about higher education hasn't been matched by results," Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Trevor Tompson wrote for the Associated Press.
"Census figures show that only 13 percent of Hispanics have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 30 percent among Americans overall.
"The poll revealed some of the roadblocks: Latinos don't have enough money, yet many are reluctant to borrow. Family obligations intervene. Parents and teachers provide only lukewarm support.
"Fifty-four percent said their own parents either did not expect them to go to college, or did not care either way. . . .
"In the next decade, U.S. companies will have to fill millions of jobs to replace well-trained baby boomers going into retirement. As the nation's largest minority group, Latinos account for a growing share of the pool of workers, yet their skills may not be up to par. Aware of the challenge, some California State University campuses are reaching out to Hispanic children as early as the fourth grade," the story said.
Univision Networks President Cesar Conde said the findings "reinforce the importance of our 'Es El Momento' campaign and our focus on empowering Hispanic parents and children with relevant information and connecting them with the resources they need to succeed."
The AP story explained, "The AP-Univision Poll was conducted from March 11 to June 3 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Using a sample of Hispanic households provided by The Nielsen Company, 1,521 Hispanics were interviewed in English and Spanish, mostly by mail but also by telephone and the Internet. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
"Stanford University's participation in the study was made possible by a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."
Univision said the series "began with a story examining the diversity, views and experiences of Hispanics, followed by a story on the economy, politics and today‚Äôs piece on higher education. Subsequent articles will follow focused on religion, media consumption and Hispanic identity."
The decision by Essence editor Angela Burt-Murray to hire a white fashion director continues to draw commentary. Among them are pieces on MediaBistro and on Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog for the Atlantic.
On MediaBistro, Pandora Young wrote, "All of the major fashion magazines are for white people.
"Allow me to underscore this point with a quick racial analysis of the August issue of Elle. Counting all the images of women's faces that appear in the magazine, 370 were white, 5 were [L]atino, 9 were [A]sian, 6 were of indeterminate race, and 15 were black. And included in that 15 was Mariah Carey.
"White people make up 75% of the American population ‚Äî but in Elle they were 91%. Blacks are . . . 12.4% of the population. In Elle, only 3.7% of the images were of black women ‚Äî and one of them was Mariah Carey.
"It's less obvious but just as bad on the mastheads of fashion publications, and that is why a magazine for black women needs a black fashion editor. Because until the fashion world starts giving black women the same opportunities they afford whites, black women need to create them for themselves.
"This is not to single out Elle ‚Äî any of the other major fashion mags would have yielded similar results."
On Coates' blog, a writer who uses the initials G.D. wrote, "I think there's a problematic tendency to conflate the health and robustness of black institutions with the welfare of black people in general. The travails of Essence, or a specific HBCU," a historically black college or university, "get used as shorthand for larger issues affecting black folks.
"So Essence hires a white woman in a prominent role, and black people can't never have nothin' for themselves.
"Essence, of course, isn't some kind of co-op, nor are its readership and subject matter representative of the diversity of black women and their concerns. But since it's been out there more or less alone, its importance is perhaps dangerously inflated in the larger cultural conversation."
G.D. referenced Michaela angela Davis, a former fashion director at Essence who is credited with raising the issue of the new director's race via postings on her Facebook page.
"There's no reason there can't and shouldn't be other dynamic voices in the conversation so that Essence (and its readers) don't feel like it needs to be all things to all black women at all times. The paucity of black women in positions of authority at prominent 'mainstream' magazines and in fashion, which Davis alludes to, is a really serious issue. But we should also be asking why there aren't more prominent, black-targeted publications around to hire fashion directors to begin with. No one mag should have all that power."
BET officials say that Tracey Cooper, a senior consultant for BET.com, will oversee the "On TV" and News sections of BET.com in the wake of a reorganization that saw six people, including Editor Tanu Henry, laid off this week.
Cooper has been director of content for Interactive One, a division of Radio One Inc., and group director of content and brand development for Community Connect, Inc., which operates three sites, BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com and AsianAve.com. It is now owned by Radio One.
A memo went to BET staffers Wednesday, signed by Denmark West, president of digital media operations, and Martez Moore, vice president for strategy and business development. It said, "As you know, we have created a growth strategy for Digital. As of January of this year, we have been keenly focused on a plan that will allow us to deliver significant growth in traffic and revenue.
"Simultaneously, we have been reviewing our structure to ensure that we have an organization that is best positioned to meet the growth objectives and to provide the best content. As a result of this organizational review, we have restructured Digital to allow us to meet our content, traffic and revenue objectives. We want to underscore that we arrived at these decisions carefully and that we gave considerable thought to how each function, channel and individual would be impacted.
"Given these changes, in the interim the Entertainment and Lifestyle team will report to Martez. Kim Osorio will lead Music and Tracey Cooper will oversee On TV and News. As we mentioned earlier this week, beginning August 2nd, Mimi Vald?©s will lead our content efforts as Vice President of Digital Content."
BET.com is the top-rated Internet site catering to African Americans, according to ComScore, an Internet ratings service. It received 3.5 million unique visitors in June, compared with 2.9 million for AOL Black Voices, 2.3 million for Media Takeout and 1.7 million for Black Planet.
- "One of the many victims of Andrew Breitbart's ACORN video hoax is finally striking back in court, against pseudo-pimp James O'Keefe and pseudo-ho Hannah Giles if not Breitbart himself," Joe Conason reported on July 14 for Salon.com. "Former San Diego ACORN office employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was falsely portrayed in a heavily edited videotape as conspiring with O'Keefe and Giles to traffic underage girls across the Mexican border, is suing both of the right-wing filmmakers, seeking $75,000 in damages under California's privacy statutes. Filed last week in the U.S. District Court in San Diego, Vera's brief complaint claims that O'Keefe, Giles and up to 20 unnamed parties violated his 'reasonable expectation of privacy' by conspiring to secretly videotape him and then posting the tapes on the Internet without his consent, causing him to lose his job and other damages."
- TV One's "Washington Watch with Roland Martin," created in response to the low African American participation on the mainstream networks' Sunday talk shows, is taking the summer off. It is "on hiatus until the fall, with the exception of a special episode that will air on Sunday, August 29 on the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina," an advisory said last week, just after the Shirley Sherrod story broke. [Martin said on Saturday, "Like any growing network, we have finite resources. We budgeted 40 episodes of Washington Watch. As TV One continues to grow in size ‚Äî we're currently at 50 million subscribers ‚Äî we will certainly grow our budget and revenue streams. But I certainly am appreciative to having 40 episodes of Washington Watch than having just specials or nothing at all."]
- Rick Rodriguez, the former editor of the Sacramento Bee and a former president of the American Society of News Editors, has launched a cross-disciplinary specialty in reporting on Latinos and U.S.-Mexico border issues. He is a Carnegie Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University‚Äôs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "Rodriguez is optimistic about news coverage of immigration issues. The shrinking news industry certainly doesn‚Äôt stoke his hopeful outlook, but college student journalists do," Lydia Lum wrote Monday for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
- "At a time when journalists are targets of organized crime and violence against reporters goes largely unpunished, declaring an editorial war against corruption and drug trafficking seems suicidal, Ingrid Bachmann wrote Monday for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. "According to Prodavinci‚Äôs Oscar Medina, this is precisely the journey upon which the weekly Tijuana-based news magazine Zeta has embarked. The current editor, Adela Navarro, took over the position after her predecessor, Francisco Ortiz, was shot to death (the crime remains unsolved)."
- "Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukadous has been in extremely poor health since police arrested him on 15 July to begin serving a four-year jail sentence for covering protests in the Gafsa mining region in the spring of 2008 for the international satellite TV station El Hiwar Ettounsi," Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday. "Boukadous, who suffers from acute asthma attacks and was undergoing medical tests when police arrested him, is being held in a cell in Gafsa prison, in the middle of the desert, where the temperature can rise to 50 C," or 122 degrees Fahrenheit. "His days could be numbered if he continues to be denied appropriate medical care."
- "A showdown between a Chinese business reporter and local police who put him on a wanted list for articles criticizing a local company ended with city officials ordering the police to apologize, in an episode viewed as a victory for the country's increasingly feisty media," Loretta Chao reported Friday for the Wall Street Journal.
- "Hugh Hefner isn't one of the names you usually think of when you hear the words 'civil rights pioneer'," Janice C. Simpson wrote for theRoot.com. "So I was more than a little dubious when I got invited to a screening of 'Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel,' the newly released documentary that, the publicist promised, would show how the founder of Playboy magazine had been in the vanguard of the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s. . . . I came around as race men such as Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown and Dick Gregory popped up among the documentary's talking heads to testify about the many things Hefner had done to help advance the movement of African Americans into the U.S. mainstream."
- "Diddy is one of the most money-earnin' moguls in entertainment and the star doesn't think anybody should question how he spends his green when it comes to his kids," Mawuse Ziegbe wrote Wednesday for MTV.com. "In the August/September issue of Vibe magazine, the Bad Boy boss sounds off about a June 'Nightline' interview with ABC News reporter Martin Bashir, during which the journalist grilled him about lavishing his son with an expensive ride for his 16th birthday. 'The whole thing about giving a Maybach to my son, that's really like a racist question,' Diddy tells the mag. 'You don't ask white people what they buy their kids.' "
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. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince.
To be notified of new columns, contact email@example.com and tell us who you are.
- Books to Ring In the New Year
- Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2012
- In-Your-Face Holiday Reads
- Fishbowl Interview With the Fresh Prince of D.C. (Oct. 26, 2012)
- NABJ to Honor Columnist Richard Prince With Ida B. Wells Award (Oct. 11, 2012)
- So What Do You Do, Richard Prince, Columnist for the Maynard Institute? (Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA Aug. 22, 2012)
- Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2011
- Who Am I? What's Race Got to Do With It?: Journalists Explore Identity
- Catching Up With Books for the Fall
- Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2010
- Richard Prince Helps Journalists Set High Bar (Jackie Jones, BlackAmericaWeb.com, 2011)
- 10 Ways to Turn Pages This Summer
- 7 for Serious Spring Reading
- Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2009
- Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2008
- 7 Candidates for the Journalist's Library
- 9 That Add Heft to the Bookshelf
- Five Minutes With Richard Prince (Newspaper Association of America, 2005)
- 'Journal-isms' That Engage and Inform Diverse Audiences (Q&A with Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter Institute, 2008)
Sign up for our Newsletter and get job tips
and the latest on diversity in the media
and the latest on diversity in the media
Find us on Facebook
Richard Prince Journal-isms Archive
Dori Maynard tweets on Diversity, Media & More
@brokeymcpoverty You can probably end that sentence at Maury.
Black man is hero. News media, nation seem mystified. It flies in the face of usual distorted media depiction #Ramsey http://t.co/RerQL9WEGG
@SherriEShepherd Childless by choice & always happy 2 help those w/kids before going to my quiet house Thx for keeping the human race going!