Miami Herald Reporter Held in Venezuela
Friday, November 8, 2013
Detaining Journalists Has Become "Recurring Practice"
Dolphins' Jonathan Martin to Tell Story to NFL Investigator
Obama Said to Throw Defenders in Media Under the Bus
In TV Ads, Only McAuliffe Sought Hispanic Vote in Va.
Orange County Register Says It Won't Use "Redskins"
Blackistone Decries "Star-Spangled Banner" at Games
This Much Whiteness Is "Not Healthy for the Field"
Africans, Asians, Latin Americans More Upbeat on Future
"Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald's Andean bureau chief, was detained by Venezuelan authorities Thursday while reporting on the country's chronic shortages and looming municipal elections," Andrew Rosati reported Friday from Caracas, Venezuela, for the Herald. "Wyss remained in custody Friday afternoon.
"According to local sources, Wyss was initially detained by the National Guard then transferred to Venezuela's counter military intelligence, Dirección General de Inteligencia Militar (Dgim), in San Cristóbal, Táchira.
" 'We are very concerned,' said Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, the Herald's executive editor. 'There doesn't seem to be any basis for his detention and we’re trying to figure out what's going on. We are asking that Jim Wyss be released immediately.'
"Herald editors have spent much of Friday talking to various Venezuelan government officials to secure his release.
"Some journalists in San Cristóbal said they saw Wyss in custody on Friday.
" 'I was able to see him and he looked all right, but they [authorities] wouldn't let us close,' said Lorena Arraiz, a journalist at El Universal, who was investigating the incident.
" 'But he's been in there over 12 hours and he's still stuck in custody,' she said.
"Officials at Venezuela’s Ministry of Information (MinCi) declined to comment on why Wyss was detained.
"Press freedom groups denounced the detention and said holding journalists has become 'a recurring practice here.' . . . "
Agence France-Presse added, "The United States and Venezuela have been without mutual ambassadors since 2010, and Caracas kicked out the US charge d'affaires in October, leading Washington to reciprocate.
"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who faces a key test of his fledgling presidency in December, is a firebrand anti-US populist in the mould of his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez."
|On ESPN, Adam Schefter reacts to the report that Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland said Jonathan Martin should have punched Richie Incognito before Martin left the team. (video)|
"Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin will tell his story to the NFL's special investigator next week," Jim Axelrod reported Friday for CBS News.
"Martin quit the Dolphins amid allegations that he was harassed by a teammate, Richie Incognito. However, the abuse may have been worse than previously thought. . . ."
The Dolphins story was the most talked-about from the sports world in the past week, incorporating such hot-button subjects as sports, manhood, bullying and race. Incognito allegedly extorted money from and texted racist insults to Martin, a younger teammate, along with death threats.
In one animated commentary, Jason Whitlock wrote Friday for ESPN, "Mass incarceration has turned segments of Black America so upside down that a tatted-up, N-word-tossing white goon is more respected and accepted than a soft-spoken, highly intelligent black Stanford graduate.
"According to a story in the Miami Herald, black Dolphins players granted Richie Incognito 'honorary' status as a black man while feeling little connection to Jonathan Martin," Whitlock continued.
"Welcome to Incarceration Nation, where the mindset of the Miami Dolphins' locker room mirrors the mentality of a maximum-security prison yard and where a wide swath of America believes the nonviolent intellectual needs to adopt the tactics of the barbarian.
"I don't blame Jonathan Martin for walking away from the Dolphins and checking himself into a hospital seeking treatment for emotional distress. The cesspool of insanity that apparently is the Miami locker room would test the mental stability of any sane man. Martin, the offspring of Harvard grads, a 24-year-old trained at some of America's finest academic institutions, is a first-time offender callously thrown into an Attica prison cell with Incognito and Aaron Hernandez's BFF Mike Pouncey. Dolphins warden Jeff Ireland and deputy warden Joe Philbin put zero sophisticated thought into what they were doing when they drafted Martin in the second round in 2012. . . ."
Mike Freeman, writing Wednesday for the Bleacher Report, offered a perspective from the locker room: "If it is true that Ritchie Incognito left a racist voicemail for Jonathan Martin, why would black Dolphins players support Incognito?
"The reason is because of the racial openness of the locker room. Whether you think the N-word should be used or not, it is. In NFL locker rooms, rap music containing the word are blasted on radios. Black players call each other that word in front of white teammates." Freeman quoted veteran Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, who is white. "I've had more honest race conversations in an NFL locker room than anywhere else," Feely said. "The best part about being in the NFL is getting to know people of other races."
Freeman continued, " 'That word should never be used, as far as I'm concerned,' said Feely. 'But when black players use it, it becomes desensitized.'
"Then, because it's been desensitized, white players start to use it. Soon, white players are calling black players the N-word, and black players are calling white players the N-word. Or using other racial slurs for whites. We saw this in Detroit where tight end Tony Scheffler, who is white, would say to Louis Delmas, who is black: 'How's my n----?' And Delmas would say to Scheffler, 'Hey, cracker.' . . . "
Writing on Friday for the Shadow League, J.R. Gamble offered the episode as proof that the N-word has been mainstreamed.
"Slavery ended almost two hundred years ago," Gamble wrote. "We unfathomably have a black president at the helm. So why do brothers still have to hear a white dude calling him the N-word?
"As the Incognito situation is revealing, the use of the N-word—once totally unacceptable in any context — has become so layered, multi-purposed and confusing that people don't even throw the same hissy fits about the use anymore. . . ."
Yet Jason Reid wrote in the Washington Post, "It seems the Dolphins could benefit from a refresher on how hard civil rights leaders of the 1950s and ’60s worked to make it socially unacceptable to say the racial slur Incognito is alleged to have used at least twice. . . ."
- Phil Beebe, Muncie (Ind.) Star Press: Michigan's Brady Hoke, ESPN's Jason Whitlock pay for Ball State students to make road trip
- Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: He ain't my brother.
- Thomas Boswell, Washington Post: Richie Incognito bullying allegations are the latest in long list of NFL problems
- Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: You Don't Want to Fight an NFL Lineman — Stop Talking Like You Do
- Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": Dolphins' Story Is About Race And Bullying, But Not The Way You Think
- Editorial, Chicago Tribune: The NFL's dirtiest player
- Editorial, USA Today: Football hazing and other NFL failures: Our view
- Ricardo A. Hazell, the Shadow League: Fight or Flight: Why Didn't Jonathan Martin Defend Himself?
- Rebkah Howard, Fox Sports: Race isn't something that is bestowed
- Don Lemon, "The Tom Joyner Morning Show": Too Big To Be Bullied?
- Lydon Murtha, Sports Illustrated: Incognito and Martin: An Insider's Story
- Maria Burns Ortiz, Fox News Latino: Is The NFL A Breeding Ground For Bullying? Incognito Story Reveals Bigger Problem
- Brian Phillips, Grantland: Man Up
- William C. Rhoden, New York Times: Dolphins Fail the Test on Bullying, and Now It’s Up to the Commissioner
- Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press: Richie Incognito, Dolphins episode exposes true, ugly NFL
- David Steele, Sporting News: Dolphins proof the NFL under Roger Goodell's watch is out of control — and getting worse
- James Walker, ESPN.com: Pro-Incognito Fins leave no room for Martin
"Many were hurled under President Barack Obama's bus on Thursday night when he told NBC News reporter Chuck Todd that he was 'sorry' those who were losing their health insurance coverage were shocked by this eventuality because of repeated 'assurances' he made to the contrary," Noah Rothman asserted Friday for Mediaite. "The president's supporters in the media were first among those to take a dive under the wheels of the president's forward-moving signature policy achievement.
" 'Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don't want,' the New York Times editorial board declared on November 2. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.'
" 'Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that,' the Times editors continued, unconcerned with the damage they were doing to their institution’s credibility.
"The editorial board then launched into a thorough defense, not of the president's promise, but of the correctness of the Affordable Care Act's desired and intended effect of forcing insurance companies to terminate low-cost catastrophic coverage plans. . . ."
In Todd's interview with the president, he quoted a column from Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, headlined, "The truth? Obama told a whopper."
"You've been getting some tough criticism on this quote," Todd said, according to the transcript.
"Clarence Page, your hometown newspaper, The Chicago Tribune, this is not— not . . . White House. He's been pretty supportive of what you said. He characterized this as a political lie. He called it a sort of— 'the sort of rosy promise politicians sometimes make with such passion and confidence that they actually may have convinced even themselves that it is true.' Did politics play a role and you felt as if as the Republicans were throwing stuff at the law that you're trying to pass it. You're trying to do this, that you shorthanded this?
Obama replied, "No, I— I think we, in good faith, have been trying to take on a health care system that has been broken for a very long time. And what we've been trying to do is to change it in the least disruptive way possible. I mean, keep in mind that there were folks on the left who would have preferred a single payer plan. That would have been a lot more disruptive. There were folks on the right who said, 'Let's just get rid of — you know, employer deductions for health care. And give people — a tax credit and they can go buy their own health care in their own market. That would have been more disruptive.
"We tried to find — a proven model. We've seen it work in Massachusetts. That would be as — as undisruptive as possible. And in good faith, tried to write the law in such a way that people could keep their care. Although we really believe that ultimately, they're going to be better off when they're buying health care through the marketplaces. They can — access tax credits. And they're benefiting from more choice and competition. But obviously, we didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law. And, you know, that's something that I regret. That's something that we're going to do everything we can to get fixed. In the meantime — . . ."
- Charles D. Ellison, The Root: If You Love It, Stop Calling It 'Obamacare'
- Fox News Latino: Republicans Eye Obamacare Glitches As Chance To Win Over Latino Millennials
- Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review: The Big Boys: Are insurers stoking the fires of consumer discontent?
- Joe Pompeo, Capital New York: Abramson on today's Page One: Obama apology was an 'everyone has it' story
- Jeffrey Young, HuffPost BlackVoices: The Obamacare Sign-Ups No One Is Talking About
"Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial election was ground zero for partisan strategists hoping to gain enough momentum to carry their party through the 2014 midterms and beyond," Peter Olsen-Phillips reported Wednesday for the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group.
"Outside groups spent furiously, as a win in the truly 'purple' Commonwealth would serve as a springboard for future electoral victories. Two of the biggest storylines in the Virginia race (aside from the much-publicized scandals) were the role of women and Hispanic voters. Ads from Planned Parenthood and Democrat Terry McAuliffe's campaign blasted Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli (currently the state's attorney general) for his stances on abortion, contraceptives and divorce. Interestingly, less money appeared to be devoted to wooing Hispanics, at least when it comes to TV ads.
"Ad files collected by Sunlight from the largest Spanish language TV station in the Washington area — the state's largest media market, and the one with the highest percentage of Hispanic viewers — suggest there was little competition for the state's burgeoning Latino vote. As of the week before the election, there were only three ad buys for the gubernatorial race in WFDC's 2013 political ad file (compared to scores for other area stations). All were in support of McAuliffe. . . ."
- Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Lesson for Democrats in McAuliffe win: Bet on black
- Suzanne Gamboa, NBCLatino: Analysis: Christie win with Latinos will be tougher nationally
- Diana Marszalek, TVNewsCheck: Hispanic Audiences Fueling TV News Growth
- Domenico Montanaro, NBC News: Black voters were a big reason McAuliffe won in Virginia
"Like several other media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated's 'MMQB' website, the Orange County Register has decided to discontinue using the nickname 'Redskins' in reference to Washington's NFL team," Michael Lev reported Thursday for the Register.
"Said Register sports editor Todd Harmonson: 'We examined the issue and understand that, to many, Washington's nickname is deeply offensive. It is the Register's policy to avoid using such slurs, so we will not use this one, except in stories about the controversy surrounding its use.' "
Meanwhile, in the Twin Cities, "Washington's professional football team showed up at the Metrodome on Monday night, greeted by a torrent of protest over its nickname, the Redskins, that included a march by 700 demonstrators and demands to scrap the name by Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges," Randy Furst reported Friday for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Furst wrote that "political opposition to the nickname has swelled in Minnesota."
- DJ Dunson, the Shadow League: Why Diddy Should Buy The Washington Redskins (Oct. 22)
- Lateef Mungin and Michael Martinez, CNN: Group demands California high school change 'Arab' team name, mascot
- Theresa Vargas and Susan Svrluga, Washington Post: NFL executives meet with Oneida Indian who supports Redskins name
"Appearing on ESPN this week, journalism Professor Kevin Blackistone railed against the military influence on professional sporting events, decrying 'The Star-Spangled Banner' as a 'war anthem' that should be abandoned along with other military-style icons of pre-game ritual," Andrew Kirell reported Friday for Mediaite.
"Blackistone made the comments during an Around the Horn segment on Northwestern University's controversial new uniform prominently featuring the American flag. Along with this new uniform, the guest said, people should reject 'the rest of the military symbolism embraced in sports: whether it's the singing of a war anthem to open every game, whether it's going to get a hot dog and being able to sign up for the Army at the same time, whether it's the NFL's embrace of the mythology of the Pat Tillman story.'
"He added that the national anthem has been sung before every game since the 1917 World Series, but 'it's time for people to back away.' . . ."Blackistone made the same argument in a February 2011 column for AOL Sports.
Blackistone told Journal-isms by email, "Much of the reaction was the same then as it is today. My email box is inundated with racial epithets and other name calling, calls to leave the country and demands are made of my employers to cut me loose.
"The difference this time is I've been elevated to a bull's eye by http://www.breitbart.com/ and the #tcot movement that has taken to Twitter to equate my comments with an attack on the country, veterans, Wounded Warriors, God, etc. Part of the campaign has reached this crescendo on Twitter:
" 'Truth Rules @PCtypesCanSukit 12h
" '@KMSSTV Someone should get a rope & string Kevin Blackistone up to a tall tree. If he doesn't like the National Anthem then move to Africa.'
"This all because I've come to believe through study and observation that the now routine use of so much military symbolism in sport, especially that which is commercial and promotional, desensitizes us to war and elevates sport to a gravity that is untrue. I actually spend a few days in my JOUR458G class discussing nationalism and militarism in sports with readings by Michael Butterworth (Ritual in the 'Church of Baseball': Suppressing the Discourse of Democracy After 9/11), Samantha King (Offensive Lines: Sport-State Synergy in an Era of Perpetual War) and Kyle Kusz (From NASCAR Nation to Pat Tillman. Notes on Sport and the Politics of White Cultural Nationalism in Post-9/11 America).
"Then there is the small matter of the uniforms at my alma mater, Northwestern, which spurred this debate, being in violation of the US flag code which seeks to protect the dignity of the flag and those who uphold it around the world. I suspect I should've pointed that out to the legions of vile critics. . . ."
Blackistone's LinkedIn profile describes him as a panelist on "Around the Horn," occupant of the Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, and an occasional contributor to Politico, NPR and PBS. He was a sports columnist for the Dallas Morning News from September 1990 to September 2006 and AOL Sports from October 2007 to March 2011.
Apoorva Mandavilli is internship coordinator at the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Department at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.
Last weekend, she went to Gainesville, Fla., for a joint meeting of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.
Did she stand out?
"If you're a young, white science journalist with good taste in eyeglass frames and dirty-blond hair, congratulations! You could have walked into any conversation in any room at the conference and felt instantly at home," Mandavilli wrote Friday for medium.com. "I was born and raised in India, and look the part, so I wasn't engaged in any mirroring. I had one brief conversation at the conference with a male journalist of Indian descent, and a longer one with an Asian-American one. I spotted a couple of East Asian women, and heard rumors of an African-American woman.
"Did I mention there were nearly 500 journalists at the conference?
"Perhaps to you all this seems normal. But I live in New York, where all colors, races and classes mingle constantly, and where this degree of — I'm just going to say it, 'whiteness' — is just not normal. More to the point, it’s not healthy for the field.
"To stay relevant, science journalism needs fresh ideas — and the homogeneous group I saw at the conference is inherently limited in the ideas it can offer. Newsrooms everywhere are grappling with this problem, and we can learn from them what's working and what's not. But first, we have to acknowledge that this is a problem.
"Without diversity in newsrooms, what you get is a small group of (mostly privileged) people writing for another small group of (mostly privileged) people. Entire stories are missed, and those that do get written have the same, tired perspectives, missing nuances of color, race, class, gender and ethnicity. . . ."
"Even though many in Africa continue to face serious financial adversity, their economic outlook is more positive than many others around the world, and they are hopeful about their children's future," the Pew Research Center reported on Friday. "Overall, Africans, along with Asians and Latin Americans, tend to express more positive views about economic conditions than do Europeans and Middle Easterners. Similarly, optimism for the next generation is higher in Africa, Asia, and Latin America."
The report, part of a 39-nation survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, also found that "by many measures the economic outlook is far more grim in other parts of the world. In particular, most Middle Eastern and European publics surveyed offer overwhelmingly gloomy assessments of their economic situations — less than 5% describe economic conditions as good in Spain, Italy, and Greece – and in both regions there is relatively little optimism about the next generation's economic prospects. In contrast, Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans tend to believe today's children will be better off financially than their parents. . . ."
- "Demolition on the former Channel 41 Univision TV station downtown was halted Tuesday morning due to a court order," Joey Palacios reported from San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday for Texas Public Radio. "Demolition began at 5:30 p.m. Monday, shortly after the West Side Preservation Alliance was denied an appeal that afternoon to contest a previous decision that blocked a historic designation. By the time the building was torn apart, about 50 percent of the building was torn apart." The structure housed the first full-time Spanish-language television station in the United States.
- "The New York Post ran a story yesterday about a Chinese court siding with 'fuming hubby' Feng Jian, who sued his estranged wife for not telling him about her plastic surgeries and giving birth to an ugly child," Jim Romenesko reported Friday on his media blog. The story also ran on Yahoo's Shine site (since removed), crediting RT.com, which ran the story in October 2012. The tale was apparently one of those too good to check. Snopes.com labels the story "probably false" and said it has "been circulating on the Internet for the better part of a decade."
- Wednesday's "Short Takes" section contained an item about Preston Gannaway, a staff photographer at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, who undertook a year-long project photographing Tavaris 'Teddy Ebony' Edwards. Edwards is a 21-year-old gay man living in public housing in Chesapeake, Va., who came out when he was 16. He represented several demographics rarely covered in the paper — gay, black, poor. But the project never made the print edition of the Virginian-Pilot "because it wasn't ready to be published," Editor Denis Finley messaged Journal-isms on Friday. "The story about Teddy was unfocused and needed a better story line. Preston's photos, however, were published later as a personal essay on our website. That disappointed Curtis Tate, president of the D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Tate said by email, "At our convention in Boston this summer, NLGJA honored Preston Gannaway's outstanding work on this series with an Excellence in Journalism Award. While we're pleased that her photos of Tavaris Edwards have received widespread attention and acclaim in numerous online publications across the country, we're disappointed the project wasn't printed in his hometown newspaper, the place where it would have the most impact."
- Rosy Chu, director of community affairs and public service at KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif., announced Friday that she will retire from the Cox Media Fox affiliate in December after more than 42 years with the station, TVNewsCheck reported. Chu got her start as a secretary in the art department, then moved on to a number of producer roles. She has hosted and produced a variety of public affairs programs and was the first Asian American woman to host and produce a regularly scheduled talk show, "All the People," in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chu was on the founding member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and was the first Asian American on the Board of Governors for the San Francisco Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
- Among the Sunday talk shows, the program with the most growth continues to be Univision's "Al Punto" with Jorge Ramos, Merrill Knox reported Thursday for TVNewser. It is up 58 percent in total viewers and 62 percent in the 25-54 demographic compared with the same week last year.
- Mary Hudetz, Phoenix-based West Regional Desk editor at the Associated Press and president of the Native American Journalists Association, is the new editor of Native Peoples Magazine. She starts Monday. "I will oversee production of the magazine's editorial content. It is a bimonthly publication, coming out every other month," she told Journal-isms by email. "I am very much looking forward to growing the magazine's online presence over the next year, and also looking forward to working with writers on stories about Native cultures and people. The magazine is now in its 27th year."
- In Britain, "Pat Younge, the BBC’s most senior black executive, has said he would have had a better and more lucrative career in television in the United States," John Plunkett reported Friday for the Guardian, "because its television industry is more favourable to ethnic minorities. . . ."
- "The International Press Institute (IPI) has stepped into controversy by publishing a guidebook for journalists who cover the Middle East's central conflict," media blogger Roy Greenslade reported Friday for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "The book, Use With Care: A Reporter's Glossary of Loaded Language in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, is aimed at finding neutral descriptive terms to balance media coverage." Six anonymous Israeli and Palestinian media veterans spent a year helping to compile the guide, but "does anyone really believe that journalists on either side will be convinced of the need to adopt more impartial and neutral terms of reference?" Greenslade asked.
- "The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, expressed its annoyance concerning the ongoing attacks on media freedoms by the Egyptian authorities, particularly after [the arrest of] Ahmed El-Swefi, a journalist of Al-Ahram newspaper and head of Cairo office of the Iranian channel 'Al-Alam', without clear reasons," ANHRI said Thursday in a news release.
- In Sierra Leone, "After 19 days of prison detention, Managing Editor and Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper [Messers.], Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay were granted bail on November 4, 2013 by a Freetown-Based High Court," the Media Foundation for West Africa reported Thursday. "The granting of bail to the journalists followed a series of joint protests and appeals by the MFWA and Sierra Leone Journalists Association (SLAJ) that the two be granted bail and their rights respected. . . ."
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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