Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

MSNBC Host: I Use Quotas to Ensure Diversity

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hayes Joins Cable Prime Time as O'Brien, Martin Exit 

Bob Teague, Pioneer TV Newsman, Dies at 84

NPR Replacing "Talk of the Nation" With News Program 

Jet Covered Lesbian Wedding in 1970 

NFL Writer Clifton Brown Among Layoffs at Sporting News 

Let Go at CBSSports.com but Optimistic and Grateful 

Who Is Ta-Nehisi Coates' Editor? Atlantic Won't Say 

Blacks, Latinos More Likely to Back Path to Citizenship

40% of Blacks in Poll Say No "Leader" Speaks for Them

Short Takes


MSNBC's Chris Hayes said, "I can’t control my gender, race or sexual orientation. I can control who we have on and what voices we introduce to viewers." Above, a March 17 discussion on the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq. (Video)

Hayes Joins Cable Prime Time as O'Brien, Martin Exit

In an era in which "quotas" is regarded as a dirty word, Chris Hayes, whose new MSNBC show, "All In with Chris Hayes," debuts Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern, has no problem with the concept.

"Earlier this month, after MSNBC announced it was giving Chris Hayes his own daily primetime news show, Media Matters published a chart that showed how his weekend show, Up with Chris Hayes, differed from its cable-news competitors: It wasn’t all white dudes," Ann Friedman wrote Thursday for Columbia Journalism Review.

"Specifically, 57 percent of the show's guests were not white men. (Full disclosure: I have, in the past, been one of the non-dudes featured on said program.) To hear lots of journalists tell it, this is an impossible feat. So I called up Hayes to ask how he and his team created a shining oasis of diversity in a cable-news desert of sameness.

" 'We just would look at the board and say, "We already have too many white men. We can’t have more." Really, that was it,' Hayes says. 'Always, constantly just counting. Monitoring the diversity of the guests along gender lines, and along race and ethnicity lines.' Out of four panelists on every show, he and his booking producers ensured that at least two were women. 'A general rule is if there are four people sitting at table, only two of them can be white men,' he says. 'Often it would be less than that.' "

Hayes told Gail Shister of TVNewser, "I can't control my gender, race or sexual orientation. I can control who we have on and what voices we introduce to viewers.


Roland Martin criticizes CNN executives on "HuffPost Live." (Video)

Meanwhile, "Outgoing CNN pundit Roland Martin said on Thursday that executives who were uncomfortable with hiring black people as hosts had held back his rise at the network," Jack Mirkinson reported for the Huffington Post.

He continued, "Speaking on HuffPostLive, Martin — who was recently let go by CNN — said that he had come to the network with every intention of getting his own show. He added that it was never made clear to him why that wasn't happening, but that he suspected race had something to do with it.

" 'You have largely white male executives who are not necessarily enamored with the idea of having strong, confident minorities who say, "I can do this," ' he said. 'We deliver, but we never get the big piece, the larger salary, to be able to get from here to there.'

"Martin said that he hosted highly-rated specials for CNN, so he didn't understand why he wasn't rewarded.

" 'If it's a ratings game, and we won, how is it I never got a show?' he said."

Martin also appeared Friday on CNN's "Starting Point With Soledad O'Brien" as the host performed her last daily show on the network.


Soledad O'Brien on her final "Starting Point." (Video)

"Paired with friendly jibes, Will Cain and Roland Martin spoke of their good relationship with O'Brien, both personally and professionally, while Ryan Lizza gave 'a shout-out to a year's worth of some of the best interviews with politicians,' " Meenal Vamburkar reported for Mediaite.

"Last but not least, John Berman lamented that 'John Sununu could not be here this morning' — and thanked O’Brien for an 'interesting, fantastic year.'

"O’Brien herself spoke of the chance CNN has given her 'to cover some of the biggest stories' of our time. Specifically, she told an anecdote about Hurricane Katrina coverage, recalling the standing ovation the team received 'because we had covered the story so well.' "

O'Brien told viewers, "Up next for me, I'm going to continue to focus on the 25 girls that we serve — we send girls to college with my foundation. Continue focus too on good journalism, examining the critical issues that our country faces from jobs to poverty and focusing on the people who have stories to tell in this country and often those stories don't get told. . . ."

The departures from CNN of Martin, a black journalist and pundit, and O'Brien, who is black and Latina, are among the reasons the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have questioned new CNN President Jeff Zucker's commitment to diversity.

CNN announced Thursday that Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, both white, will co-host the network's new morning show. However, Michaela Pereira, selected as news anchor, is African Canadian. Her biological mother was a white Canadian and her biological father a black Jamaican.

For all the attention the cable news channels receive from journalists and news junkies, ratings for last week are reminders that they are not most viewers' top choices in the cable universe.

"A slew of entertainment and a relative dearth of news resulted in lower-than normal ratings for the cable news channels last week, while entertainment networks flourished," Alex Weprin reported Wednesday for TVNewser.

"Fox News led the way among the cable news channels, placing 6th in primetime and 3rd in total day among ad-supported cable channels (7th and 4th among all cable channels). MSNBC placed 26th and 32nd among ad-supported channels (27th and 33rd among all channels), while HLN once again rode the Jodi Arias trial to 28th in primetime and 24th in total day. CNN placed 34th in both primetime and total day."

The USA Network was No. 1.

Bob Teague, right, interviews Malcolm X in a clip used Thursday on the
Bob Teague, right, interviews Malcolm X in a clip used Thursday on the "NBC Nightly News." (Video)

Bob Teague, Pioneer TV Newsman, Dies at 84

"Bob Teague, who joined WNBC-TV in New York in 1963 as one of the city's first black television journalists and went on to work as a reporter, anchorman and producer for more than three decades, died on Thursday in New Brunswick, N.J.," Douglas Martin reported for the New York Times. "He was 84.

"The cause was T-cell lymphoma, his wife, Jan, said.

"Mr. Teague established a reputation for finding smart, topical stories and delivering them with sophistication. Though he later criticized TV news as superficial and too focused on the appearance of reporters and anchors, his own good looks and modulated voice were believed to have helped his longevity in the business."

The obituary also said of Teague, "In 1968, he published 'Letters to a Black Boy,' written in the form of letters to his 1-year-old son, Adam, many about race. The letters were meant to be read when Adam was 13.

"At the time he wrote the book, Mr. Teague's views were growing more conservative. 'Government handouts constitute the most damaging assault on black pride and dignity since the founding of the Ku Klux Klan,' he wrote. He generally supported conservative candidates, including Herman Cain for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He retired from NBC in 1991."

David Hinckley added in the Daily News in New York, "His narrative in the book, much of it personal, portrayed television journalism slowly and not always successfully being wrenched from the hands of a small group of white men less concerned with the truth than with an environment in which to efficiently sell orange juice.

"Women at times were openly told they needed to sleep their way to promotions, while the obsession with appearance extended to Roseanne Scamardella's teeth. When she was in line for a promotion, Teague reported, NBC wanted to pay to have her teeth capped."

In 1992, Teague became caught up in a wrongful accusation of sexual harassment when his niece, television reporter Barbara Wood, made that charge against former CBS correspondent Randy Daniels and forced Daniels to resign as media and political adviser to New York Mayor David Dinkins before Daniels could begin the job.

Acting as his niece's spokesman, Teague called Daniels a "monster who preys on young women." Daniels sued Wood, and she recanted most of the allegations, prompting discussion about the ability of such charges to ruin reputations. Daniels went on to become New York secretary of state and is now vice chairman of a real estate investing firm.

NPR Replacing "Talk of the Nation" With News Program

"NPR announced Friday morning that it will no longer produce the Monday-to-Thursday call-in show Talk of the Nation," David Folkenflik and Mark Memmott reported for NPR.

"It will be replaced by Here and Now, a show produced in partnership with member station WBUR in Boston. Reported stories will be part of the show's format.

"Neal Conan, Talk of the Nation's host, will depart after more than three decades with the network. His past positions include stints as bureau chief in New York and London and as NPR's foreign editor, managing editor and news director.

"NPR executives said public radio has a glut of vibrant call-in shows involving national issues — and that they sought a newsmagazine with a mix of interviews and prepared stories to bridge the hours between Morning Edition and All Things Considered."

They added, "Here and Now is on far fewer stations than Talk of the Nation — 182 versus 407 — but it has been growing. NPR executives hope stations that previously carried Talk of the Nation will pick up its replacement."

Asked about the participation of journalists of color, NPR spokeswoman Cara E. Philbin told Journal-isms by email, "As it is now, Talk of the Nation employs 3 journalists of color, out of a staff of 11. Here and Now currently employs 2 out of a staff of 11, with Meghna Chakrabarti making 3 as the program’s primary back-up host.

"With its upcoming expansion, Here and Now has 6 new positions to fill and is eager to look for candidates from every background." Philbin said she could not name the three journalists of color and that the new positions have not yet been defined. However, Folkenflik and Memmott reported that executives said they "intend to offer jobs to every staffer working for Talk of the Nation."

"Talk of the Nation" first aired in November 1991, when right-wing talk radio was flourishing and other broadcasters were seeking talk-show alternatives. "As it happened, science correspondent Ira Flatow wanted to start a science roundup — say, two hours, at the end of the week," according to "This Is NPR: The First Forty Years." "Then news director Bill Buzenberg remembers making a deal with Flatow: 'If you can raise the money for 'Science Friday,' I'll find funding for the other four days.' " He did.

Past regular hosts have included John Hockenberry, Ray Suarez and Juan Williams.

Jet Covered Lesbian Wedding in 1970

"Here's a gem from the Jet Magazine archives:" Saeed Jones wrote Wednesday for BuzzFeed. " 'Two women, Edna Knowles and Peaches Stevens, were wed in Liz's Mark III [Lounge], a gay bar on Chicago's South Side, before a host of friends and well-wishers.' The article, titled 'Two [Females] 'Married' In Chicago — To Each Other' appeared in a 1970 issue of Jet, a popular black magazine based in Chicago.

"The article went on to say, 'The Illinois attorney general's office explained to Jet that there is no state statute that either bans or sanctions such marriages. Although the duo has a type of 'marriage license' in their possession, the state's official marriage license bureau reported it has no record of their license."

"The fact that Jet covered a lesbian wedding at all is a bit awe-inspiring, but it's important to note the use of quote marks throughout the article around words like 'bride' and 'groom' and 'married.'"

NFL Writer Clifton Brown Among Layoffs at Sporting News

Clifton BrownClifton Brown, "whose most recent column and mugshot are on the front page of the Sporting News right now," is among several staffers laid off at the Sporting News, Jason McIntyre reported Wednesday for the Big Lead.

Brown, who covered the NFL, joined Sporting News in 2007 from the New York Times. He covered golf, the NFL and the NBA for the Times after arriving there in 1988 from the Detroit Free Press, where he had worked since 1983. Before that, he was at the Boca Raton (Fla.) News.

Brown told Journal-isms Friday that he was not sure what he wanted to do next. "I'm open to all possibilities," he said by telephone.

McIntyre also listed these other layoffs: "Brian Straus, the site's soccer writer, who last week scored a big scoop on the US Men's National Team"; "David Whitley, of Colin Kaepernick tattoo fame"; "Steve Greenberg, who has been writing about the NCAA tournament for the Sporting News"; "Lisa Olson, one of the last remaining members of the AOL [FanHouse] 'merger' from 2011; "Stan McNeal, their baseball columnist whose prediction column went up today"; and "Matt Crossman, who wrote one of the stronger Honey Badger columns of 2012."

Adena Andrews, center, as a fellow in the Associated Press Sports Editors Divers

Let Go at CBSSports.com but Optimistic and Grateful

In September 2011, Adena Andrews, then a contributor to women-focused espnW, was one of the first four journalists of color selected to inaugurate the Associated Press Sports Editors' nine-month program to train mid-career women and journalists of color for sports department leadership positions.

Today she is looking for work, told this week that her job as a blogger for CBSSports.com is ending.

"On the evening of Tuesday, March 26th I was notified via phone by Mark Swanson, Managing Editor of CBSSports.com that I was going to be let go from my position as a CBSSports.com writer due to 'communication issues,' " Andrews, 27, told Journal-isms by email.

"This came as a total shock to me considering I received no warning or notion that there were any issues. In fact, up until I got the call, I was preparing to cover a marquee CBS event, the Final Four, as a credentialed member of the media. I'm disappointed, of course, but must say that working with CBS Sports talent behind the scenes was a life-changing experience for me all the same. Seeing the inner workings of a company like that gave me all types of knowledge and connections I couldn't get anywhere else."

She continued, "I am extremely grateful for the opportunities given to me at CBSSports.com especially being able to cover my first Super Bowl. As an inaugural APSE diversity fellow, a board member of the NABJ Sports [Task Force] and a proud graduate of the University of Southern California I know there are nothing but blue skies ahead for me."

Rosabel Tao, who heads communications for CBSSports.com, has a different interpretation of events. "Adena Andrews was a temp contracted through an agency and worked with CBSSports.com since December 2012. She was informed that her contract will not be continued," Tao said by email. She added that the position was eliminated.

Who Is Ta-Nehisi Coates' Editor? Atlantic Won't Say

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is picking up fans with each blog posting for the Atlantic. "At 37, Mr. Coates is the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States," Jordan Michael Smith wrote this month for the New York Observer.

But Coates doesn't get the editing appropriate to such a distinction.

Back in 2008, a piece about Sarah Palin included "quizz," "most crassest" and "I wish she had have mined it."

Last week, this sentence appeared: "But people were as people usually are — kind. I expected less black folks. . . " rather than "fewer" of them.

And this week: "I watched a group of high school kids and thought of my son, who would have saw them here trading coffee, cigs and laughter . . . " rather than "seen them."

Asked whether Coates' blog is copy edited, Natalie Raabe, the Atlantic's communications director, replied that the magazine would correct the errors in the recent postings — and did — and explained, "At the speed at which folks work on the web, things sometimes slip through."

Any copy editing is "handled by his editor," Raabe added. She did not respond when asked who that is.

Blacks, Latinos More Likely to Back Path to Citizenship

More blacks and Hispanics than whites believe that immigrants in the country illegally should be provided a way to secure legal status, according to a national survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

"Support for granting legal status to illegal immigrants is wide ranging," the center said. "Eight-in-ten non-Hispanic blacks (82%) and Hispanics (80%) say those in the United States illegally should be allowed to stay if they meet certain requirements; about half of blacks (52%) and Hispanics (49%) say illegal immigrants should be able to apply for citizenship.

"Two-thirds of non-Hispanic whites (67%) say illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country legally, while 31% say they should not. Four-in-ten whites say people in the United States illegally should have the chance to apply for citizenship if they meet certain requirements.

"Among whites with no college degree, 61% favor allowing those in the U.S. illegally to stay legally, while 37% disagree. There is more support among white college graduates for permitting illegal immigrants to stay in the country legally (81% say they should, while just 17% say they should not). . . . "

40% of Blacks in Poll Say No "Leader" Speaks for Them

"Is there a leadership crisis in black America? A new poll suggests African-Americans think so," David A. Love wrote Wednesday for the Grio.

"The poll was commissioned by BET founder Robert L. Johnson, also the chairman of The RLJ Companies, and was released by Zogby Analytics. And the results are shocking.

"According to the online survey of 1,002 African-Americans, when asked the question 'Which of the following speaks for you most often?' 40 percent said that no one speaks for them, while 24 percent said the Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and MSNBC speaks for black people, and 11 percent said the Reverend Jesse Jackson of Rainbow PUSH.

"Meanwhile, 9 percent of black respondents named Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), 8 percent said NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous speaks for them, and 5 percent mentioned Assistant Democratic Leader, Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC). Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele each received 2 percent. . . ."

Short Takes

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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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