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Telenovelas Trump State of the Union

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Univision, Telemundo Won't Bump Popular Dramas

Christopher Dorner Manhunt Echoed Hollywood Crime Tale

Time Inc., Publisher of Essence, People Magazines, for Sale

Will Church Seek New Pope Outside of Europe?

"Lincoln" Movie to Be Shown in Middle, High Schools

"Lower-Income Americans Are Shut Out of Journalism"

Respecting and Disrespecting Black History

One Columnist Who Doesn't Look Good in Blue

Short Takes

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., rehearses the GOP response to President Obama’s State

Univision, Telemundo Won't Bump Popular Dramas

The two best-known Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, decided to air novelas instead of President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, and Univision was rewarded with a ratings victory.

"On a night littered with reruns leading into the State of the Union address, there was only one original show on the Big Four networks," Toni Fitzgerald wrote Wednesday for Media Life Magazine.

"That paved the way for a rare weeknight victory for Univision, which also won every hour of the evening with its original telenovelas." Fitzgerald cautioned that the figures could change later in the day.

Univision's “Amores Verdaderos” was the night’s top show. (Credit: Univision)

The audience for the State of the Union speech was split among the various networks that carried it.

CNN en Español, a third Spanish-language network, did carry the speech live. It was followed by a Republican response from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who had also prepared a Spanish-language version of his remarks. "Actually we [pre-empted] our 9 pm show called Cala. We aired it on CNN en Español and on CNN Latino," spokeswoman Isabel Bucaram told Journal-isms by email.

Representatives of Univision and NBC-owned Telemundo were quick to point out that they carried the annual presidential address on other platforms.

"We aired the State of the Union and the response live on Galavision (this is the second year we do this) and then re-aired both later on Univision, in addition to streaming both the State of the Union and the response," Monica Talan, senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations at Univision, told Journal-isms by email. Cable, which carries Galavision, has a fraction of the audience of broadcast television, which transmits Univision.

Asked the reason for not pre-empting the telenovelas on the main Univision channel, Talan replied, "This the second consecutive year we aired on the #1 Spanish-language cable network and later on the Univision Network."

Camilo Pino, a spokeswoman for Telemundo, which aired the telenova "La Patrona," emailed, "We video-streamed both speeches at President Obama's SOTU was dubbed in Spanish. Rubio's was the one he originally delivered in Spanish. We also showed highlights from both speeches last night on a special news program from D.C. hosted by Jose Díaz-Balart ('Estado de la Nación' at 11:35pm/10:35 c). 'Estado de la Nación' featured commentary and analysis by Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Ileana Ross Lehtinen (R-FL) as well as reactions by young 'dreamers.' By the way, we also had Rubio on our morning show today."

Meanwhile, members of the media said that Obama delivered an “effective” State of the Union address that ended with an emotional turn with an emphasis on gun violence, Mackenzie Weinger reported for Politico.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 53 percent of viewers had a "very positive" reaction to the Obama speech, 24 percent said they had a "somewhat positive response" and 22 percent said they experienced a negative response, Politico's Katie Glueck reported.

CBS reporter Carter Evans was caught in the middle of a shootout between police and the man officers believe was suspected killer Christopher Jordan Dorner Tuesday. (Video)

Christopher Dorner Manhunt Echoed Hollywood Crime Tale

"With elements echoing many of the fixtures of Hollywood's fictional crime tales, Tuesday's showdown with real-life fugitive Christopher Dorner brought the conflicting agendas of law enforcement and the media into sharp relief, spotlighting the challenges — and pitfalls — of such immersive live coverage," AJ Marechal reported Tuesday for Variety.

"Uncensored obscenities made it on the air, phone conversations interrupted live coverage and journalists were asked by authorities to restrict their coverage to avoid tipping off the suspect.

"The confrontation featured aspects that viewers have seen often in the reporting of real-life incidents (swarms of helicopters, roadside checkpoints) as well as fictional onscreen tales ranging from 'The Negotiator' and 'The Fugitive' to 'High Sierra,' (rogue cops seeking to clear their name, a multi-jurisdictional manhunt playing out in a remote locale). . . . "

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday, "Charred human remains have been found in the burned cabin where police believe fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was holed up after trading gunfire with law enforcement, authorities said.

"If the body is identified to be Dorner’s, the standoff would end a weeklong manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant who is believed to be responsible for a string of revenge-fueled shootings following his firing by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago. Four people have died, allegedly at Dorner’s hands. . . ."

The saga was fraught with racial implications. "Fugitive and suspected murderer Christopher Dorner may have been found dead in a burned-out cabin in Big Bear, Calif., on Tuesday evening, ending a weeklong manhunt," Hillary Crosley wrote Wednesday for the Root. "However, for many the story of the former Los Angeles police officer and Navy reservist gone rogue isn't a clear-cut one of death and destruction, but rather of race, police brutality and the blue wall of silence. . . . "

Coverage bumped up against President Obama's State of the Union message. Wayne Bennett, who blogs as the Field Negro, wrote Wednesday, "As one of my tweeter fam said, it's the 'state of the Dorner coverage' on the news tonight. Sorry Mr. President, but this is like a real live Hollywood movie playing itself out in SoCal.

"I know that a lot of my cousins are cheering for Dorner because dude is getting Robin Hood love from certain quarters, but I hope that these folks remember that he started his killing spree by killing a brotha. . . ."

Time Inc., Publisher of Essence, People Magazines, for Sale

"Time Warner is in talks to shed much of Time Inc., the country's largest magazine publisher and the foundation on which the $49 billion media conglomerate was built, according to people involved in the negotiations," Amy Chozick and Michael J. De La Merced reported Wednesday for the New York Times.

"Time Warner is in early discussions with the Meredith Corporation to put most of Time Inc.'s magazines — including People, InStyle and Real Simple — into a separate, publicly traded company that would also include Meredith titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal."

Time Inc. is also the parent company of Essence magazine, the leading magazine for African American women; and People en Español, which launched in 1998, the result of suggestions from Latino employees of Time Inc. Essence debuted in 1970 under black ownership. In 2005 Time Inc., which had acquired 49 percent of Essence Communications, bought the rest of the company.

While Meredith does not publish any titles targeting African Americans, it has created Meredith Hispanic Ventures, which produces the successful Ser Padres and Siempre Mujer magazines. Last year Ser Padres, a parenting publication, increased its advertising pages by 28.8 percent while most other magazines were losing pages.

Will Church Seek New Pope Outside of Europe?

Roman Catholic worshippers and clergy in Africa and Latin America, where the church is rapidly growing, greeted Monday's news of Pope Benedict XVI's impending retirement with surprise, respect, and a question: Could the next pontiff be from their continent? Jon Gambrell wrote Tuesday for the Associated Press.

The Rev. M. Dion Thompson

Some African Americans and Latinos wondered the same thing, including two journalists-turned-clergy members who shared their thoughts with Journal-isms.

". . . the catholic church's biggest areas of growth and numbers are in south america and africa," the Rev. M. Dion Thompson, a former reporter at the Baltimore Sun, told Journal-isms by email. "however, choosing a pope from those areas is a long shot. it's as if the old guard cannot and will not step aside."

Thompson, rector at the Church of the Holy Covenant in Baltimore, continued, "i'm an episcopalian, part of the anglican communion, and we had a similar situation when our most recent leader, the archbishop of canterbury, retired last year. nigeria has the largest number of anglicans. however, once again, the archbishop came from the british isles.

"sometimes these leadership changes provide insight on a church's thinking as well as power concerns."

The Rev. Susan Smith

Dan Amira wrote Monday for New York magazine, ". . . so far, overseas bookmakers are picking two black cardinals, Ghana's Peter Turkson and Nigeria's Francis Arinze, as the front-runners. . . But don't get too excited just yet. The bookmakers don't really have any idea what they're talking about. . . ."

Of the 118 cardinals eligible to be the next pope, 14 are from Latin America, including three from Brazil, three from Mexico and two from Argentina, Mimi Whitefield and Jim Wyss reported Monday for the Miami Herald.

"Some are on the papal shortlist, but it may be premature to think of a New World pope, said Father Hermann Rodriguez, the dean of theology at Bogotá's Jesuit Javeriana University," the story by Whitefield and Wyss continued.

". . . The pope did not do much in the area of race relations, which is [a] disappointment," the Rev. Susan Smith, another clergy member, told Journal-isms by email.

". . . the words of Jesus (as opposed to Christian doctrine) point to the equality of people, no matter their race, religion or gender. Pope Benedict did not step out of his comfort zone and try to lead priests worldwide to a new consciousness about the need for Christians to embrace racial equality and dignified treatment of all people, since all people were created by the one God of us all."

Smith is senior pastor at Advent United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio. She worked for newspapers in Baltimore and Texas, and as a radio and television talk-show host in Baltimore and Columbus.

Not all the concerns are racial. Marlene L. Johnson, a former editor at the Washington Times who is a 2007 graduate of Howard University School of Divinity, earning a masters of arts in religious and social ethics, had these questions she said she'd want to see answered in the coverage:

"Will the conclave's process will be different because of the unexpected resignation of the Pope and how the selection will be handled," she asked by email. "Also there's a looming question of whether the conclave will hesitate to select one of its older members and opt for a younger one. And what systems are in place to accommodate the physical frailties of the Pope in terms of the demands on his time and his travel itineraries. What will be the impact on conclave members and lay Catholics in the interim in view of the looming religious, spiritual and social issues that require leadership from the top?"

"Lincoln" Movie to Be Shown in Middle, High Schools

When historical films take license with the facts to fit a filmmaker's narrative, critics are usually admonished with, "It's only a movie."

Daniel-Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln (Credit: Dreamworks Pictures)

But what if the movies are shown as part of students' education?

"Steven Spielberg's biopic of Abraham Lincoln is to be sent to schools across the US to be used as a teaching aid," Ben Arnold reported Wednesday for the British version of Yahoo News.

"DVD copies of 'Lincoln', starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the American president, will be sent to high and middle schools as part of a campaign called 'Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln'."

While the "Lincoln" movie was critically praised and considered an odds-on favorites to win Academy Awards for its principals, it has been criticized for downplaying the role of blacks in their own liberation, along with the role of abolitionists.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner wrote in a letter to the New York Times, ". . . The 13th Amendment originated not with Lincoln but with a petition campaign early in 1864 organized by the Women's National Loyal League, an organization of abolitionist feminists headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

"Moreover, from the beginning of the Civil War, by escaping to Union lines, blacks forced the fate of slavery onto the national political agenda. . . . "

On Tuesday, Lincoln's birthday, the Los Angeles Times editorialized about the film's decision to incorrectly portray the Connecticut congressional delegation as voting against the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery.

". . . Of course, 'Lincoln' is not a documentary. It's historical fiction,' the editorial said. "Spielberg and [screenwriter Tony] Kushner were within their rights to take what artistic license they felt was needed, and they did: Dialogue has been created; encounters have been imagined. Nevertheless, the challenge of good historical fiction is to tell a compelling story in the context of history. . . ."

"Lower-Income Americans Are Shut Out of Journalism"

"Employees of The McClatchy Company, which operates The Miami Herald and dozens of other newspapers, will not receive 401(k) matching funds for 2012 — a repeat of what happened to them in 2011," Ned Resnikoff wrote Tuesday for His essay was headlined, "How lower-income Americans are shut out of journalism."

" 'We often get asked when the 401(k) match will be reinstated,' said a Monday email to the company’s staff obtained by [media blogger Jim Romenesko]. 'Although reinstating a company match is a priority, the company's financial performance must improve before we can start making matching contributions once again. For now, we will continue to closely monitor the company's profitability to determine when we can reinstate the 401(k) match.'

"McClatchy made the decision to withhold 401(k) benefits in response to falling earnings, an epidemic across the traditional newspaper media. But while much has been said and written about the difficulty of turning a profit in today's journalism world, the labor side of things has been largely ignored. The news media's current economic climate doesn’t just shrink newsrooms and kill magazines: it also reifies professional class barriers, making it tougher for aspiring journalists from working-class backgrounds to obtain steady jobs or big soapboxes. . . . "

Whitney Young

Respecting and Disrespecting Black History

Two ways to observe Black History Month via the media:

"When a rapper says he's gonna 'pop a pill' then 'beat that p*ssy like Emmett Till,' that’s when we know that he might have gone just a little bit too far," Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote in his syndicated column. "But that’s just what happened this week, and the Till family isn't happy.

Mamie Till Mobley weeps at her son's funeral on Sept. 6, 1955, in Chicago.

"Lil Wayne and Future, two very talented hip-hop artists, have decided to push the envelope of disrespect by releasing a song called 'Karate Chop.'

"In the song, Lil Wayne takes the liberty of turning the mutilated face of Emmett Till into a weary s*x organ, ridiculing the agony experienced by this young man many years ago. The matter is made is even sadder by the fact that Till’s legacy was trampled by Lil Wayne, Future and Universal Records right in the middle of Black History Month. . . . "

On Wednesday, Epic Records apologized "and said it was looking to pull all traces off the Internet of the so-called unauthorized remix . . ." Natalie Finn reported for E! Online. ". . . Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version," the company said.

By contrast, Bonnie Boswell Hamilton, niece of Whitney M. Young Jr., the underappreciated executive director of the National Urban League during the crest of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, has produced a film about her uncle that is to be shown on PBS this month.

"We just had a terrific launch party at the Ford Foundation in NYC," Hamilton wrote via email. " '60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl moderated a panel following the screening with Ken Chenault, Vernon Jordan, Richard Parsons and Jeanette Takamura." The men are African American business executives; Takamura is dean of Columbia University's School of Social Work.

The film's website says, ". . . During the turbulent 60s, he was a diplomat between those in power and those striving for change. Young had the difficult tasks of calming the fears of white allies, relieving the doubts of fellow civil rights leaders, and responding to attacks from the militant black power movement. This complex tale explores the public and private trials of the man at the center of the storm. . . "

"The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight For Civil Rights" premieres on "Independent Lens" on Monday at 10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), narrated by Alfre Woodard.

Barry Saunders of the News & Observer roots for the University of North Carolina, not Duke. (Credit: News & Observer)

One Columnist Who Doesn't Look Good in Blue

"Our Guide to Giving challenged News & Observer readers to give at least $58,000 in donations to the charities on our holiday wish list last year," the Raleigh, N.C., newspaper told readers on Tuesday. "If that happened, we promised that columnist Barry Saunders — a true-blue UNC fan — would don the gear of rival Duke. Readers ultimately gave more than $67,500. . . . "

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 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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Black Apologists for Immigration

Immigrants often reflect the ugly attitudes of America toward diversity and parity. The politically correct narrative is that Black Americans should embrace immigrants while ignoring the reality of racism and unemployment which accompanies waves of immigration. Black immigrants of course get marginalized yet many in this bandwidth also mirror tragically the same contempt for Black Americans. We need informed and balanced information about this issue not the slanted views of Black apologists. Immigration, gun policy, foreign affairs and other national topics must include our voices and not just the usual Black media narratives.

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