Racist Tweets Put Comedian in a ‘Personal Hell’

Fox’s Departing Ailes Has Mixed Record on Race

Jarrett Hill Still Waiting for That Great Job Offer

Where Are Latinos in Coverage of Police Violence?

Latinos Make Big Strides in Going Online

67% of Blacks Say to Watch Potentially Offensive Language; Whites Not So Much

AAJA Gets $400,000 for Criminal Justice Project

Black Media Outlets Find Missed Story Angles

Leslie Jones, shown at right in "Ghostbusters," movie, received a barrage of abusive tweets. (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

Leslie Jones, shown at right in the “Ghostbusters” movie, received a barrage of abusive tweets. (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

Racist Tweets Put Comedian in a ‘Personal Hell’

Twitter is on an anti-hate speech tear, suspending multiple accounts associated with racist and sexist messages targeting Ghostbusters’ star Leslie Jones earlier this week,Lauren C. Williams wrote Wednesday for thinkprogress.org. “Chief among them was conservative critic and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

“Yiannopoulos, who gained popularity during the Gamergate movement, is a polarizing figure known for making blatantly racist and misogynistic comments. Regarding his Twitter suspension, the conservative writer said he was removed because of his sexual orientation and political views.

“ ‘Gays are always canaries in the coal mine. This has given them the excuse they needed because [Leslie Jones] is a black woman,’ Yiannopoulos told CNN Money. ‘Twitter has just died as a free speech platform.’

“Yiannopoulos was no fan of the new Ghostbusters movie, calling it a ‘film acting as standard bearer for the social justice left … full of female characters that are simply stand-ins for men plus a black character worthy of a minstrel show’ . . .

“Jones called out Yiannopoulos for inciting the barrage of abusive tweets Monday after encouraging users to send pictures of apes to her.

“Yiannopoulos’ fans also hacked her account and fabricated homophobic tweets targeting him.

“The breakout star was supposed to be celebrating the movie’s $46 million box office success during its opening weekend. Instead, the comedian has been fending off a barrage of racist tweets.

“But the harassment, which ranged from racial epithets to pictorial comparisons to apes, escalated to the point where Jones felt as if she was ‘in a personal hell,’ and decided to quit the platform altogether. It’s unclear whether Jones will permanently leave Twitter, but before she departed, she articulated a growing frustration with the platform: It does nothing to prevent or protect users from being deluged with hateful messages.

“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted at Jones to let her know that he was monitoring the situation and invited her to direct message him. Shortly after, the site began removing accounts. . . .”

Ailes Apprentice Program graduates for 2015, from left, Danaia Williams, Randall Payton, Shivan Sarna and Mauricio Muñoz. (Ailes Apprentice Program)

Ailes Apprentice Program graduates for 2015 flank Roger Ailes. From left, Danaia Williams, Randall Payton, Shivan Sarna and Mauricio Muñoz. (Credit: Ailes Apprentice Program)

Fox’s Departing Ailes Has Mixed Record on Race

When Roger Ailes leaves Fox News, it will bring an end to an era — an era in which one man utterly reshaped American politics and media; wielded immense control over the Republican party; and, critics often charged, stoked the nation’s political, cultural and racial divides,” Dylan Byers wrote Tuesday for CNN Money.

Byers also wrote, “Ailes, who was a media consultant to three Republican presidents before launching Fox News, is as much a political operator as he is a media executive. Through Fox, he continued to wield significant influence over and in the Republican party, even consulting with presidential candidates like Donald Trump, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and trying to enlist certain people to run for office, including Gen. David H. Petraeus. . . ”

For people of color, Fox News’ significance is not that they watch it, but that it stokes the right-wing leanings of those who do.

Matt Wilstein reported for Mediaite in December 2014, “During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., MSNBC’s audience is 24% black, CNN’s audience is 16% black and Fox News’ audience is just 1% black.

“By comparison MSNBC’s primetime audience is 67% white while CNN’s is 73% white and Fox News’ is 92% white.” The same figures showed its prime-time audience to be 4 percent Asian American and 3 percent Hispanic.

He was arguably the single most important figure in the creation of modern conservatism,” David Greenberg wrote of Ailes Wednesday for Politico. “By fusing television’s power to conjure feelings of anger and resentment to an ideology of cultural populism that demonized liberal elites, Ailes set forth the methods and the message that would help conservative politicians win and maintain power for decades. That is, until Trump, who, this week in Cleveland, officially closed his hostile takeover of the party that Ailes helped build, using the very tactics Ailes had pioneered. . . .”

Ailes also promoted beauty standards that did not favor people of color. “Crusty curmudgeonly white men paired with miniskirted leggy blondes,” as television watcher Andrew Tyndall described the formula on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Ailes declared a commitment to diversity. He wrote that “FOX News is committed to supporting and promoting diversity in broadcast and cable journalism. As part of our ongoing efforts, we have pioneered programs that have enriched careers and have helped to build the next generation of media programming and technical executives as well as anchors and reporters.”

In 2003, Ailes created the one-year Ailes Apprentice Program, which provides diverse participants with a full-time job. “Through hands-on training, comprehensive mentoring, development seminars and partnerships with key universities, we continue our pledge to nurture diverse talent in broadcast and cable journalism,” he wrote.

He said at a 2012 ceremony for the program, “I don’t care about my legacy. It’s too late. My enemies will create it and they’ll push it. What I care about however… what I want to do is expand” the program. “If every company did this, could you imagine what that’d do to minority unemployment and success?,” Chris Ariens of TVNewser quoted him as saying.

In 2010, “As National Public Radio weathered a storm of criticism . . . for its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams for his comments about Muslims, Fox News moved aggressively to turn the controversy to its advantage by signing Williams to an expanded role at the cable news network,Matea Gold reported at the time for the Los Angeles Times.

“Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract . . . in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. . . .”

Harris Faulkner, another African American on-air personality, said she, too, was hired by Ailes.  In 2005, she came to Ailes’ attention while working as a correspondent for the former 21st Century Fox show, “A Current Affair.” “It was a life-changing moment for Faulkner, and she’s been at Fox ever since,” Jacqueline Mroz wrote last September for njmonthly.com.

Francisco Cortes, vice president of Fox News Latino, credits Ailes with the idea for his English-language portal.

He came to me and said ‘we need to do more for U.S. Latinos, and Latinos in general,’ ” Cortes told capitalnewyork.com in 2014. “So he goes, ‘Frankie, would you mind helping me build something, something we can talk to Latinos on,’ and I said absolutely. Lo and behold, with his vision, guidance and support, we were the very first company to build an online portal that targeted U.S. Hispanics in English. That was four years ago. NBC Latino followed, Huffington Post followed, CNN as well. NBC Latino since shut down their doors, CNN Latino shut down their doors. . . .” NBC Latino has  since relaunched.

Some outlets were reporting that Ailes could walk away with millions in a “golden parachute.”

Jim Rutenberg, Ben Protess and Emily Steel reported Wednesday for the New York Times, “Executives at 21st Century Fox decided to end the tenure of Roger Ailes after lawyers they hired to investigate an allegation of sexual harassment against him took statements from at least six other women who described inappropriate behavior from Mr. Ailes, two people briefed on the inquiry said Wednesday. . . .”

On Thursday, Molly Redden of the Guardian raised that number. “More than 20 women have accused Fox News chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment in confidential conversations with the attorneys representing former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, her legal team said on Wednesday,” she wrote from New York.

Jarrett Hill Still Waiting for That Great Job Offer

I would love to get a great job from this, doing something that I love,” Jarrett Hill told Brittny Mejia of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, “but I don’t think I’ve even processed all of what’s happening.” Early Thursday, Hill messaged Journal-isms that the great job offer hasn’t yet happened.

Hill is the laid-off journalist who is credited with first noticing that Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention Monday included passages from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech. A speechwriter for Donald J. Trump’s company took the blame Wednesday and offered to resign, but the resignation was not accepted, as Stephen Ohlemacher reported for the Associated Press.

Hill’s Twitter feed was full of well-wishes from fellow journalists Tuesday and Wednesday. “any job offers yet???? That’s what I want to hear! You are sifting through the offers!” one wrote.

Hill told Journal-isms by email early Thursday, “I’ve gotten a handful of emails of interest, but definitely not the steady stream of big offers I’ve been told I’d be bombarded with. I shouldn’t talk about what they are just yet. But, have I gotten some big network offer or something huge yet? No.”

“Hill, who is from Fairfield, Calif., moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to work in television,” Mejia reported Tuesday. “In 2014, he was hired by ABC Action News WFTS in Florida to work as a producer and a digital on-camera reporter.

“He lost his job in April 2015, less than a week after celebrating his 30th birthday.

“ ‘It was a gut-wrenching loss for sure,’ he said. ‘I moved to Florida for the job and then got laid off eight months after.’

“Since then, Hill has worked with his agent to look for his next full-time job and has freelanced for places like Huffington Post and Independent Television News in Britain. He also runs an interior design business on the side.

“Now, things are looking up for Hill, who pulled up for his next interview in a car provided by CNN. Dressed in a blue blazer and white shirt, he seemed still in shock over the attention his Twitter feed had garnered.

“He has done interviews with outlets that include the BBC, New York Times, Access Hollywood and MSNBC, and estimates that he has dozens of other media requests.

“Hill also received tweets and texts from former colleagues at ABC Action News WFTS,” in Tampa, “congratulating him and requesting an interview.

“He hasn’t spoken to them yet, but said he planned to.

“ ‘I loved a lot of people I worked with there, but I’m a little salty,’ Hill said. “I was really upset to have been laid off the way that I was.”

“ ‘My gut told me I’d come back to that station on a national story someday. No idea it would be like this.’ ”

Andy Lopez, 13, was shot by police in Santa Rosa, Calif., after an officer mistook a toy gun for an assault rifle. (Credit: Latino Rebels)

Andy Lopez, 13, was shot by police in Santa Rosa, Calif., after an officer mistook a toy gun for an assault rifle. (Credit: Latino Rebels)

Where Are Latinos in Coverage of Police Violence?

Is the media to blame for Latinos’ absence in the debate about police-community relations?” Aaron G. Fountain Jr., a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Indiana University-Bloomington, wrote Tuesday for Latino Rebels.

“Recent waves of protests over police killings of African American men have led several journalists to speculate why Latinos haven’t received equal attention.

“The explanations vary, but most center on the black-white binary and the media. Voto Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar argued that ‘I think the media does a great job of wanting to silo who we are as Americans…They’re like, “Oh, that’s the immigrant issue, that’s the African-American issue, that’s the Asian issue.” No, it’s us.’

“Telesur English joined the conversation when it published an article with the headline ‘5 Latinos Killed by US Cops This Week — and Media Ignored It.’ [updated]

“Actress Rosario Dawson commented on the black-white binary, stating, ‘We don’t hear about the many Latinos killed by police because, as a country, we’re used to binary [black-and-white] story lines.’ Actor John Leguizamo talked about the need for Black and Brown unity. Others even have cited statistical limitations.

“All these claims have validity, but they exonerate the complicity within the Latino community that has also led to this neglect. There are three other factors at play.

“First, some major Latino media and political organizations have an abysmal record of covering victims of police brutality and subsequent protests. Second, Latino political advocates’ efforts to portray all Latinos as upward-mobile newcomers undermines problems affecting the large proportion of people who live in poverty. Finally, the newcomer perception, largely enforced by American political culture, erases the history of anti-police brutality activism and urban riots sparked by violent police confrontations in the community. . . .”

Latinos Make Big Strides in Going Online

The long-standing digital divide in internet use between Latinos and whites is now at its narrowest point since 2009 as immigrant Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos make big strides in going online, according to newly released results from Pew Research Center’s 2015 National Survey of Latinos,” Anna Brown, Gustavo López and Mark Hugo Lopez reported for the center on Wednesday. “Meanwhile, broadband use among Latinos is little changed since 2010.

“The story of technological adoption among Latinos has long been a unique one. While Latinos have lagged other groups in accessing the internet and having broadband at home, they have been among the most likely to own a smartphone, to live in a household without a landline phone where only a cellphone is available and to access the internet from a mobile device. . . .”

67% of Blacks Say to Watch Potentially Offensive Language; Whites Not So Much

At a time when the appropriateness of language has become a political issue, most Americans (59%) say ‘too many people are easily offended these days over the language that others use,’ Hannah Fingerhut reported Wednesday for the Pew Research Center.

“Fewer (39%) think ‘people need to be more careful about the language they use to avoid offending people with different backgrounds.’

“A new national survey by Pew Research Center finds substantial partisan, racial and gender differences on this question.

Fingerhut also wrote, “Among blacks, 67% say people should be more careful with language to avoid offending people of different backgrounds, while just 30% say too many people are easily offended by language these days. Among whites, opinions are reversed: 67% say too many are easily offended, compared with 32% who think more care should be taken to not offend others. . . .”

Hispanics were about evenly divided, with 49 percent saying people should be more careful and 47 percent believing too many are easily offended.

AAJA Gets $400,000 for Criminal Justice Project

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) a $400,000 grant to partially fund a new criminal justice reporting project,” AAJA announced Tuesday. “This three-year special reporting series will focus on producing multimedia content on criminal and juvenile justice issues affecting communities of color. The project is scheduled to launch first in the state of New Mexico.

“AAJA will partner with the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to train journalists, with an emphasis on journalists of color, in strong investigative skills and increased knowledge of criminal and juvenile justice issues. The project also hopes to partner with local media to enhance current state coverage of juvenile and criminal justice issues.

“This special reporting project will bridge the gap between the lack of substantive media coverage of these issues and the opportunity for positive change. By educating and training journalists on criminal and juvenile justice systems and on better techniques for covering these topics as they relate to communities of color, AAJA aims to ignite quality media coverage in those areas to support systemic change and ensure authentic stories are included in coverage.

“In addition, the cohort of journalists trained by this project will be able to disseminate these strategies into future jobs in newsrooms across the country. . . .”

Black Media Outlets Find Missed Story Angles

Mainstream interest in the black story has put black media in a tricky position in the battle for audience attention, but they’re not giving up the mantle without a fight,” Carlett Spike wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.

“Black media outlets both digital and analog are responding by finding new story angles, choosing to focus not only on the events themselves but also on the larger context, with honest analysis of what politics and police brutality mean for the future of black Americans, and how they cope with daily life. These outlets are striving for a level of authenticity and trust that still eludes mainstream players — many of which employ few people of color.

“A few examples: A Philly Trib story emphasizes the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the context of a story about the man who killed five Dallas police officers; an Essence piece offers mental self-care tips for coping with the shootings; and an explainer on digital platform The Root shows how to orchestrate a ‘Blaxit’ — ‘its term for the relocation of a black US citizen to another country if Donald Trump wins the presidency.

“ ‘Black media is still shaping narratives that are overlooked, undervalued, and elevating stories,’ says Jonathan Jackson, one of the co-founders of Blavity, a two-year-old digital-native news operation that got its name from the words ‘black’ and ‘gravity’ — which describes how Jackson’s black classmates at Washington University would often find one another and naturally gather together.

“Blavity reaches seven million urban millennials per month, Jackson says, which has helped the site attract the attention of big-brand advertisers such as AT&T and HBO. . . .”

Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates 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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