“Inviting Diverse New Voices to Table Was a Privilege”
Larry Graham Ousted as Top Sports Editor in San Diego

Melissa Harris-Perry is “grateful for years of support & criticism.” (Credit: MSNBC)

“Inviting Diverse New Voices to Table Was a Privilege”

MSNBC is cutting ties with host Melissa Harris-Perry, an MSNBC spokesman confirmed on Sunday, after she refused to appear on her program Saturday morning, complaining that her show had effectively been taken away from her.

Spokesman Mark Kornblau replied with a simple “yes” when asked whether the network was severing ties.

Harris-Perry tweeted Sunday morning, “Farewell #Nerdland. Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism.”

“Nerdland” is a hashtag that encompasses the essence of both her show and its loyal following, theGrio.com explained.

Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” wrote in an email Sunday to followers of the show, “Harris-Perry told me via text message that her reps are in talks with MSNBC about an exit deal. ‘All negotiations are occurring with third parties,’ she said. “I am not personally in direct communication with anyone employed with MSNBC. The goal of the negotiation at this point is to determine the terms of severance, not reconciliation.’ ”

Harris-Perry wrote in an email to co-workers last week that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives, who are restructuring MSNBC.

“ ‘Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,’ she wrote in the email, which became public Friday,” John Koblin reported Friday for the New York Times. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.’ . . . ”

In the full memo, posted Friday by writer Jamil Smith on medium.com, Harris-Perry added, “Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive. . . .

“I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New “Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage. I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars. . . .”

Fans of Harris-Perry’s show were waiting for the next shoe to drop after Friday’s reports.

Carlos Maza wrote Saturday for Media Matters for America, “With the show’s future uncertain, it’s worth pausing to acknowledge how devastating it would be to lose Melissa Harris-Perry.

“In a cable news environment that too often seems geared to the lowest comment denominator, MHP has always offered something different. While other programs fixated on flavor-of-the-week political controversies and breaking news, MHP was proudly, unwaveringly, a show for nerds — centering on stories and discussions typically passed over by the breakneck pace of the 24-hour news cycle.

“Harris-Perry, a professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University, asked her audience to think bigger, to connect seemingly trivial news alerts to broader discussions about identity, history, representation, and power. . . .”

She also wrote, “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC executives] or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

However, Koblin added, “In the phone interview on Friday, Ms. Harris-Perry clarified her remarks and said she did not think race played a role in her recent absence from the air.

“ ‘I don’t know if there is a personal racial component,’ she said. ‘I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person.’ . . .”

Paul Farhi reported Sunday in the Washington Post, “MSNBC executives said they were surprised by Harris-Perry’s blast on Friday and that it may have stemmed from her perception — incorrect at the time, but now virtually inevitable due to her actions — that her weekend program was about to be canceled. ‘She’s a brilliant, intelligent but challenging and unpredictable personality,’ one executive said. ‘There was no plan to cancel her.’

Farhi quoted an unnamed MSNBC executive as saying her email “is destructive to our relationship.”

Farhi also wrote, “The network earlier faced some outcry on social media over its irregular preemptions of Jose Diaz-Balart, who hosts a two-hour bloc from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays. Diaz-Balart’s disappearance from the air prompted a hashtag — #MasJose — and a petition to encourage MSNBC to feature him on the air more often.

“Diaz-Balart’s hosting duties are also in question at the network. Scenarios under review include extending the ‘Morning Joe’ program into Diaz-Balart’s slot or creating a new program hosted by one of ‘Morning Joe’s’ regular personalities. Diaz-Balart, who also anchors for NBC-owned Telemundo, is based in Miami, which complicates his role anchoring weekday coverage for New York-based MSNBC. He will continue anchoring ‘NBC Nightly News’ on Saturdays.”

Harris-Perry is presidential endowed professor in politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South, and executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute.

Her MSNBC show, which aired Saturday and Sunday mornings, debuted in February 2012.

“The editorial decisions for this show, even with my name on it, are made collectively between me, the senior producer, the executive producer and the segment producers,” she told Janelle Harris of mediabistro.com in a 2012 interview.

“I have veto power and I have been known to veto whole ideas, but I’ve also given my segment producers a great deal of latitude because I trust them. They’re smart, they’re capable, they have great vision. Sometimes what we’ve done has fallen flat — I don’t know if it’s fallen flat in terms of ratings but I’ll come off like, ‘I don’t want to talk about that topic again’ — and other times I’ll come off the set feeling like ‘this is the whole reason I’m doing this show.’. . .”

A 2013 diversity study of cable news shows by Media Matters for America found “Melissa Harris-Perry was the only show to host a majority of non-white guests — 39 percent of guests were African-American, 4 percent were Latino, 4 percent were Asian-American, and 1 were percent Arab-American. . . .”

Larry Graham

Larry Graham Ousted as Sports Editor in San Diego

Larry Graham, one of only four black sports editors at U.S. newspapers, has been ousted as executive sports editor at UT-San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, Graham confirmed to Journal-isms on Sunday.

Graham is being replaced by Jay Posner, who preceded Graham as the top sports editor at the paper.

Posner announced the news in a tweet at 7:11 p.m. Friday. “Very happy and honored to report that after a 3 1/2-year absence, I will be moving across the building to again lead the U-T Sports dept,” he wrote.

Graham, 40, came to the UT-Diego job in 2012 from ESPN, where he was a general editor. Before that, he was sports editor of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer; assistant sports editor at ThisWeek Community Newspapers in Columbus, Ohio; preps copy editor and page designer at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; sports editor at the Lima (Ohio) News; assistant sports editor at the Oshkosh (Wis.) Northwestern; sports reporter at the Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Journal and preps reporter at the Kansas City Star.

On sportsjournalists.com, commenters discussing the change said that Graham was unpopular among the staff .

Graham’s deputy, sports editor Todd Adams, was also ousted.

Graham told Journal-isms by telephone that he was proud of moving the section into the digital age to better compete with local sports websites . It was “a really big job. It was a lot of change in a short amount of time.”  On his way out the door, Graham said, one of his top editors told him, “you transformed a completely analog operation into something digital.”

He said he is proud of the honors his section had received.  U-T San Diego reported Feb. 19, “Competing against a national field of sports writers and publications, U-T San Diego’s Sports Department was honored with four 2014 Associated Press Sports Editors’ (APSE) Awards.

Dennis Lin and Mark Zeigler received Top 10 awards for feature writing and beat writing, respectively, while the U-T San Diego received honorable mentions for both its Sunday Sports and daily Sports sections. . . .”

Graham also said, “We just earned a 2015 honorable mention for best web sites. For 2013, we also won Top 10 for websites and Sunday Sports Section. Both something the paper hasn’t achieved in over a decade.”

Asked what he would do next, Graham said, “I’m just going to relax for a while.”

His departure leaves three African American sports editors at mainstream newspapers: Eric Barrow at the Daily News in New York, Marcus Carmouche, sports manager at NOLA.com |the Times-Picayune in New Orleans; and Lisa Wilson, executive sports editor at the Buffalo News.

When Graham was named top sports editor, UT-San Diego Editor Jeff Light told staff members in a memo, “Larry has run columnists and bloggers at the nation’s top sports dot.com, worked the desk at big metro, ground it out at weeklies and run the show at small dailies. He has seen the tumult of the changing media landscape up close. He has strong opinions about the resourcefulness and determination it takes to succeed.

“You will find Larry to be a creative person with a vision for our multi-media reality. He has the range, the vision and the work ethic that our business today demands.”

A “Silenced” Harris-Perry Refuses to Show Up at MSNBC

Feb. 26, 2016

Host Says She’s Been Sidelined Once Too Often

Rubio Declares GOP ‘the Party of Diversity’

Trump Vows More Winnable Suits Against Media

Fla. Office to ‘Engage’ Latino Journalists on Israel

Federal Judge Limits Right to Photograph Cops

Cruz No Longer Holding Up Flint Aid Package; Town Hall Meeting to Be Televised Nationally

‘Best Thing to Come Out of Black History Month’

Mizzou Fires Professor in Infamous Protest Video

Fred Lozano, San Antonio TV Veteran, Dies at 67

Short Takes

Melissa Harris-Perry wrote, “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC executives] or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

Host Says She’s Been Sidelined Once Too Often

In an unusually public flare-up, one of MSNBC’s television personalities clashed with the network on Friday in a dispute about airtime and editorial freedom and said she was refusing to host the show that bears her name this weekend,” John Koblin reported Friday for the New York Times.

“The host, Melissa Harris-Perry, wrote in an email to co-workers this week that her show had effectively been taken away from her and that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives, who are restructuring MSNBC.

“ ‘Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,’ she wrote in the email, which became public Friday. ‘After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.’ . . . ”

In the full memo, posted by writer Jamil Smith on medium.com, Harris-Perry added, “Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive. . . .

“I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New “Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage. I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.

Koblin’s report continued, “In a phone interview, Ms. Harris-Perry confirmed she would not appear on the show this weekend. She said she had received no word about whether her show, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays, had been canceled, but said she was frustrated that her time slot had faced pre-emptions for coverage of the presidential election.

She said she had not appeared on the network at all ‘for weeks’ and that she was mostly sidelined during recent election coverage in South Carolina and New Hampshire. (She was asked to return this weekend.) . . .”

Josh Feldman of Mediaite reported Friday that his site received a statement from an MSNBC network spokesperson at 4:20 p.m.:

In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including MHP. This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing. Joy Reid hosts from SC this weekend.”


In Thursday’s GOP debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) labeled Donald J. Trump’s failed “Trump University” as a fake. (Credit: CNN)

Rubio Declares GOP ‘the Party of Diversity’

In a Republican presidential debate Thursday that was so animated that the leading candidates came close to insulting one another’s mothers, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida declared, “We are the party of diversity, not the Democratic party.”

Rubio was responding to a question from Telemundo anchor María Celeste Arrarás about whether he and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, both children of Cuban immigrants, were missing opportunities to appeal to Hispanic voters. Rubio said, “We have to move past this idea that somehow, the Hispanic community only cares about immigration.”

Noting that two of the five remaining Republican presidential candidates are Hispanic and one is African American, Rubio said, “We are the party of diversity, not the Democratic Party.”

The biggest issue for Hispanic voters, he continued, is “the burning desire to leave your children better off than yourself. And you can only do that through free enterprise.”

Native American writer Gyasi Ross responded to Rubio’s claim on Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!” Friday by stating the obvious.

f you think about it, he’s actually, on some level, correct. That is, that there are two children of immigrants. There’s an African American male that’s standing on stage. There was previously an Indian American male that was also in the primaries. And there was a white woman. And that is much more diversity, unfortunately, than the Democratic folks have shown on their side during the primaries.

“However — that sounds cool; however, there is the fact that those positions that are espoused by Ben Carson or by Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz are generally not consistent or congruent with the Hispanic population of the United States nor of the African American population of the United States. And so, while there has been a movement for the Republican Party to push those voices to the forefront and to show some diversity on the top end of the Republican ticket, there hasn’t been that corresponding invitation and willingness to have inclusiveness within the actual parameters of the Republican Party proper. . . .”

Rubio made his assertion as Dan Balz and Scott Clement reported in the Washington Post, “Donald Trump has used the issue of immigration to help make himself the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, but his harsh rhetoric also has earned him the highest negative ratings among Hispanic voters of any major GOP hopeful, according to a Washington Post-Univision News poll.”

They also wrote that the Post-Univision survey tested Trump, Rubio, Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich against Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “While all trail badly among Hispanics at this point, Trump does the worst — losing the Hispanic vote to Clinton by 73 to 16 percent. . . .”

On Friday’s “NBC Nightly News,” reporter Cynthia McFadden backed up a debate claim by Rubio, reporting, “a look into the history of the Trump Tower, the crown jewel of the real-estate mogul’s empire, reveals the beginnings of the 68-story building were, in fact, rooted in the back-breaking labor of 150-odd Polish immigrants — most working illegally, some without full pay. . . .”

Commentators on NBC and CBS expressed disgust at the candidates’ conduct. “Every time we think public discourse has hit a new low, it hits a new low,” Chuck Todd said on NBC. “Unpresidential doesn’t begin to describe it.” Bob Schieffer said on the “CBS Evening News, ” “It was like kids out behind the barn, rather than a political debate.”

Trump Vows More Winnable Suits Against Media

During a Texas campaign rally on Friday, Donald Trump told voters that if he is elected president, he will change libel laws to make it easier to win lawsuits against media outlets,” Caitlin MacNeal reported Friday for Talking Points Memo.

“. . . He said he’s ‘going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.’ . . .”

Trump denounced reporting by the networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

” ‘We’re going to open up those libel laws. So that when the New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,’ Trump said,” the story continued.

“Trump told the media that ‘we’re gonna have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.’

“Current libel law dictates that public figures can only win a lawsuit against a media outlet if they can prove that the paper published a negative piece with the intention of malice.”

Fla. Office to ‘Engage’ Latino Journalists on Israel

Fuente Latina — a non-profit and non-governmental organization that intends to remove geographic and linguistic barriers for global Spanish language media covering stories about Israel and the Middle East — has recently open its first United States office in Miami,” Sergio Carmona reported Monday for the South Florida SunSentinel.

“This is the organization’s third office, with the others being in Jerusalem, Israel and in Madrid, Spain.

“This organization’s mission is to provide balanced information about Israel and the Middle East to Spanish language media. It was established in December 2012 out of a growing demand for greater access to information about Israel and the Middle East in Spanish amid developing regional events such as Operation Pillar of Defense and the Arab Spring.

“The organization’s new office engages primarily global Spanish media that is based in South Florida — including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties — and the rest of the state. Its relationships aren’t just limited to media, as it is working closely with local partners.

Leah Soibel, the organization’s executive director and founder, said in an email statement: “The new Miami office marks an important stage in our history, as we are close to reaching three years of work promoting accurate reporting on Israel and the region. We have contributed in awakening an interest among Hispanics about this part of the world and from Miami we will become more of a bridge between Latinos in the United States and Israel, bringing both sides closer together.’ . . .”

The group America’s Voices in Israel has provided Latino journalists with all-expenses paid trips to Israel in an effort to influence the growing U.S. Latino population.

Federal Judge Limits Right to Photograph Cops

Despite what the ACLU has long advised, you do not have the right to take photos or record videos of cops — except when you’re planning to actively challenge police activity with the images,” Brentin Mock reported Wednesday for citylab.com.

“This is what U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney has ruled in a case involving two Philadelphia residents suing city police for using excessive force against them. The two plaintiffs, Richard Fields and Amanda Geraci, both had their cameras taken by police while they observed and filmed the officers’ actions, and both filed suit claiming this was a violation of their constitutional rights.

“But neither had a protected right to film police to begin with, according to Kearney’s February 19 ruling. . . .”

Meanwhile, the Radio Television Digital News Association noted Thursday, “In January, RTDNA outlined its opposition to a bill being considered by the Indiana legislature, which would keep police body camera recordings and other government video secret by default.

“The measure would place the burden of proof on the parties involved, journalists or interested members of the public to obtain a court order to release such videos, and pay the legal costs to do so. That bill, H.B. 1019, passed the Indiana House of Representatives last month. . . .”

However, “Under criticism from RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the Hoosier State Press Association and others, lawmakers in an Indiana Senate committee have amended the bill to shift the burden of proof back on law enforcement. The Senate Committee on Judiciary passed a revised version of the bill this week, which presumes police body camera videos are open to the public. . . .”

“If you’re poor, live in Flint, and want work, your job choices are few, far away, and unlikely to pay a wage that helps get you out of poverty,” Stephen Henderson and Kristi Tanner wrote Sunday in the Detroit Free Press. (Credit: Kristi Tanner and Martha Thierry/Detroit Free Press)

Cruz No Longer Holding Up Flint Aid Package;

Town Hall Meeting to Be Televised Nationally

Ted Cruz won’t block a bipartisan Senate bill that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of aid for Flint, Mich. and other communities that need to upgrade their drinking water infrastructure,” Darren Goode reported Friday for Politico.

Meanwhile, WEYI-TV in Flint, owned by entrepreneur and commentator Armstrong Williams, is staging a town hall on the Flint water crisis Monday that is to be aired live on “All of my and [Sinclair] broadcast group 190 network affiliates 7pm-8pm” and streamed online, Williams told Journal-isms by email on Sunday.

” ‘Cruz has reviewed the bill now and will not prevent it from moving forward,’ spokesman Phil Novack said in an email.

“But Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has a hold on the deal to proceed to votes on the Flint aid alongside a bipartisan energy bill, a Senate aide told POLITICO.

“Cruz had placed a ‘soft hold’ on the aid package to give him more time to study the details of the proposal. . . .” [Updated Feb. 28]

President Obama watches first lady Michelle Obama dance with Virginia McLaurin, 106, in the White House on Feb. 18 before a reception celebrating African American History Month. (Credit: Pete Souza/White House)

‘Best Thing to Come Out of Black History Month’

Consider how much civil rights history 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin has witnessed,” Jim Mitchell wrote Tuesday for the Dallas Morning News under the headline, “This is the best thing to come out of Black History Month.”

“The depths of violent segregation. The Harlem Renaissance. Integration of the U.S. military. The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis experiment. Jackie Robinson and the smashing of the color barrier in Major League Baseball. The rise of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Brown v. Board of Education. The death of Emmett Till and the defiance of Rosa Parks on a bus. James Meredith, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and hundreds of other civil rights icons. Thurgood Marshall, the first black on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. James E. Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, killed while working to register black voters in Mississippi.

“. . . Carl Stokes of Cleveland, the first black mayor of a major U.S. city. Douglas Wilder and Deval Patrick, the nation’s only black governors [after P.B.S. Pinchback of Louisiana in the 19th century]. Colin Powell, the first African-American U.S. Secretary of State.

Robert Lawrence, Jr. the first black astronaut; Guion Bluford, the first black astronaut in space; Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut; and Frederick Gregory, the first African-American shuttle commander. Sidney Poitier and Halle Berry, the first African-American man and woman to win Oscars for Best Actor and Actress. Condoleezza Rice, the first black female U.S. Secretary of State.

“Now she meets the nation’s first black president, something she never imagined, and in Barack and Michelle Obama, she sees the product of individual sacrifices.

“That’s why she’s dancing.”

Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media at the University of Missouri, demands that a journalist leave a student protest area in October. (Credit: Screen shot from video by Mark Schierbecker)

Mizzou Fires Professor in Infamous Protest Video

Assistant Professor Melissa Click, captured on video calling for ‘some muscle’ to remove reporters from a campus protest site, was fired Wednesday by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a prepared statement,” Rudi Keller reported Thursday for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune.

“The board voted 4-2 in favor of termination during a closed session in Kansas City, with Henrickson and curator John Phillips opposing the move, UM System spokesman John Fougere wrote in an email Thursday. Curators David Steelman, Donald Cupps, Maurice Graham and Phil Snowden voted in favor of firing Click.

“Click did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday. The board earlier voted to suspend Click with pay on Jan. 27. . . .”


Fred Lozano

Fred Lozano, San Antonio TV Veteran, Dies at 67

Fred Lozano, a veteran of San Antonio TV news for close to 40 years, died Wednesday morning at the age of 67,” Jeanne Jakle reported Thursday for the San Antonio Express-News.

“The news was greeted with tears and accolades by many of his former colleagues.

“ ‘He was fighting leukemia for over a year,’ said KENS morning newscaster Sarah Forgany, who co-anchored the early news block with Lozano until his retirement in 2012. ‘But he was a private person, so not many people knew.’ . . .”

Hector Saldana reported for the Express-News Thursday that Lozano was known “not only for his professionalism and friendship — but for his great singing voice. Many of his friends and fans probably didn’t know that Lozano played a part in the history of the Chicano rock ’n’ roll and doo-wop bands that sprung out of the West Side and South Side in the 1960s. . . .”

Short Takes

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Richard Prince’s Journal-ismsoriginates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column. 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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