At First, the Old, White Sportswriters Didn’t Get It

AP Tally Puts Clinton Over the Top for Nomination

Trump Tells Supporters to Call Reporters Racists

. . . BuzzFeed Pulls $1.3M in Ads, Citing Trump

25 at N.Y. Times Record Weekend of Chicago Crime

‘Roots’ Wins Respectable Ratings, Prompts Debate

Short Takes

“The image of Muhammad Ali that appears on TIME’s new cover commemorating the boxing legend was taken in 1963 by Philippe Halsman, one of the most prolific portrait photographers of the 20th century,” the magazine said.

At First, the Old, White Sportswriters Didn’t Get It

The old white sportswriters said the flicking, shying kid with the silly doggerel would get knocked into the ringside seats with one punch,” Sally Jenkins wrote Saturday for the Washington Post.

“It was 1964, and Cassius Clay hadn’t yet butterflied into the mythic champion Muhammad Ali. He was still incubating in a sweltering Miami Beach gym, where the aging opinion-makers in their narrow neckties watched him work out, disapprovingly, as he rapped out verses on the heavy bag with his light gloves, whap-whap-whap-wump.

“The rumor was that he was hanging around with Malcolm and the Muslims. But even worse was the way he fought. The kid ran from a punch.

“He was still emerging, just a nascent 22-year-old ‘whose face turned to cameras as flowers answer to the sun,’ as his biographer Dave Kindred would write. For just 25 cents, anyone could go watch him work at the 5th Street Gym, an airless, low-ceilinged hotbox up a wood staircase in a slummy part of Miami Beach.

“Somehow with just 19 pro victories he had quick-lipped his way into a world-heavyweight bout with Sonny Liston, the gangsters’ pal with the truncheon fists, against whom he was an 8-1 underdog. ‘He was box-office sacrifice,’ remembers Robert Lipsyte, then a 26-year-old sportswriter sent to cover him by the New York Times, because the main boxing writer considered him too insignificant to bother with. . . .

Jenkins also wrote, “Almost nobody believed in the challenger, or understood who he was. Nobody. The promoters had such trouble selling tickets to the fight that they cautioned Clay to keep his Muslim conversion quiet. Talk got around anyway that Malcolm X was coming to Miami and there was someone in his camp from the Nation of Islam, which only made the older white sportswriters more suspicious.

“Red Smith didn’t like those ‘unwashed punks’ of the counterculture. Joe Louis was the right kind of dignified black champion; he kept his mouth shut and called columnist Jimmy Cannon ‘Mister.’ . . .”

Still, Neil Best wrote Saturday for Newsday, “Muhammad Ali was not the first athlete to understand and exploit modern media hype, but no one came close to mastering the art in its early form quite like the famed boxer, who died Friday night at age 74.

“Some journalists of the era were baffled by him. Others were offended, a common occurrence for unconventional public figures of the 1960s as society underwent radical upheaval and generations clashed.

“But for those who got Ali’s jokes, and who accepted his serious side, he was a media gift that kept on giving and who did well by his chroniclers. . . .”

In death, early fears that Ali would be sanitized and deracinated were unrealized. African American writers, particularly, emphasized his racial pride but also his imperfections.

Hillary Clinton emerged as her party’s presumptive nominee and the first woman to lead the ticket for a major U.S. political party.

Hillary Clinton emerged as her party’s presumptive nominee and the first woman to lead the ticket for a major U.S. political party. (Credit: hillaryclinton.com)

AP Tally Puts Clinton Over the Top for Nomination

Hillary Clinton secured the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination Monday night, according a tally by the Associated Press (accessible via search engine), crossing a historic milestone as she campaigned in California and pushed to end a long presidential primary campaign on a high note,” Colleen McCain Nelson reported Monday for the Wall Street Journal.

“Mrs. Clinton, who was only 23 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed for victory after Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary, received commitments from additional delegates late Monday. Just a day before Tuesday’s contests in California and five other states, Mrs. Clinton emerged as her party’s presumptive nominee and the first woman to lead the ticket for a major U.S. political party.

“The former secretary of state had been expected to win the delegates needed to secure victory in Tuesday’s primaries, but a last-minute show of support from a number of superdelegates pushed her across the finish line a day earlier. . . .”

Trump Tells Supporters to Call Reporters Racists

An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question the judge’s credibility and impugn reporters as racists,” Kevin Cirilli, Michael C. Bender and Jennifer Jacobs reported Monday for Bloomberg.

” ‘We will overcome,’ Trump said, according to two supporters who were on the call and requested anonymity to share their notes with Bloomberg Politics. ‘And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.’

“There was no mention of apologizing or backing away from his widely criticized remarks about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing cases against the Trump University real-estate program.

The reporters also wrote, “A clearly irritated Trump told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge.

” ‘The people asking the questions — those are the racists,’ Trump said. ‘I would go at ’em.’

“Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize television reporters. ‘I’d let them have it,’ he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites.”

. . . BuzzFeed Pulls $1.3M in Ads, Citing Trump

BuzzFeed has pulled out of an advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee over objections to Donald Trump’s rhetoric,” Hadas Gold, Mike Allen and Alex Spence reported Monday for Politico.

“The buy was for $1.3 million, a source close to BuzzFeed told POLITICO. The source said that the main consideration was the site’s employees — that BuzzFeed could not countenance ‘having employees make ads, or working at the company and having our site promoting things, that limit our freedom and make it harder for them to live their lives.’ . . .”

 Julia Rhoden was sitting on her bed watching television when she was hit by one of six shots fired outside, the New York Times said. (Credit: Todd Heisler/New York Times)

Julia Rhoden was sitting on her bed watching television when she was hit by one of six shots fired outside, the New York Times said. (Credit: Todd Heisler/New York Times)

25 at N.Y. Times Record Weekend of Chicago Crime

It’s a common rite of journalistic passage: the night cops beat,” John Eligon wrote Saturday in the New York Times’ Race/Related newsletter.

“Many news reporters have started out working overnights tethered to a police scanner and telephone, ready to march to the latest crime scene.

“Last week, I joined about two dozen of my New York Times colleagues to take this practice to the extreme.

“A team of reporters, editors, photographers, videographers and social media experts gathered in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend to document how Chicago was grappling with its intractable problem of street violence.

“Here is the project, just published: [A] Weekend in Chicago. Here is a separate essay on the photography, some of which can be found below. (And here is our story, from Friday, about Chicago’s release of videos and other materials from 101 cases in which police officers injured or killed civilians.)

“The Times, of course, has had a bureau in Chicago for decades. Our bureau chief, Monica Davey, is a daughter of the city who has regularly covered some of the maddening, high-profile cases of senseless violence there. But this time we set out to go beyond individual incidents; we joined Monica to collectively explore the trickiest question of all: Why?

“Working shifts that spanned around the clock, we dispatched journalists to every report of someone being shot. We monitored the police scanner and social media. At each scene, we sought to talk to the people involved in the shooting, the people who live in the neighborhoods and, when we could, the emergency responders.

“Our goal was to stitch together an on-the-ground account of what this tragic violence looks like — to bring readers with us and connect them to the emotion and the experience, even if they’ve never visited Chicago. . . . ”

'Roots' premiered just within the window of Emmy eligibility. Emmy voting begins off June 13.

‘Roots’ premiered just within the window of Emmy Award eligibility. Emmy voting begins June 13. (Credit: Steve Dietl/HISTORY)

‘Roots’ Wins Respectable Ratings, Prompts Debate

Roots had a respectably steady four-night run, despite ample competition from the NBA and the start of broadcast’s summer reality blitz,” Michael O’Connell reported Friday for the Hollywood Reporter.

The reimagining of the 1977 miniseries also prompted opinion pieces after rapper Snoop Dogg called for a boycott in an expletive-filled selfie video, saying, “I don’t understand America. They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But guess what? We’re taking the same abuse. Think about that part. When you all going to make a (expletive) series about the success that black folks is having. The only success we have is Roots and 12 Years A Slave?”

O’Connell continued, “The miniseries, simulcast on sister networks History, A&E and Lifetime, concluded Thursday night with 4.2 million viewers. No same-day showing matched Monday’s 5.3 million-strong premiere, but the interim marked a very stable string for the eight-hour event. Tuesday’s installment averaged 4.6 million viewers, while Wednesday climbed back up to 4.8 million viewers. . . .”

O’Connell also noted, “the project is also a prestige play — premiering just within the window of Emmy eligibility. Emmy voting kicks off June 13, with nominations for the 2016 show set to be announced July 14. . . .”

Short Takes

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