Despite CNN Role, Lewandowski ‘Back in the Fold’

Kaepernick’s Hometown Not With Him on Protest

Obama Becomes First President to Edit a Magazine

Venezuela Denies Entry to Miami Herald, Others

Social Network Tackles Users’ Racial Profiling

Vicki Jones Dies, Produced Public Affairs Shows

Short Takes

Candidate Ditches His Press Corps for Mexico Trip

Donald Trump went to Mexico City without his press corps on Wednesday, leaving media organizations scrambling to get reporters on the ground to cover his joint press conference with the Mexican president,” Dylan Byers reported Wednesday for CNN Money.

“And then Trump took just two questions from the press.

“Following a toned-down statement in which an uncharacteristically accommodating Trump stressed the benefits of U.S.-Mexican cooperation, Trump was asked if he and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had discussed who would pay for Trump’s proposed wall between the two countries.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, left, with Donald J. Trump (Credit: NBC News)

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, left, with Donald J. Trump (Credit: NBC News)

” ‘Who pays for the wall, we didn’t discuss,’ Trump said.

“It was a long way for the likes of ABC’s Jon Karl, CNN’s Jim Acosta and others to travel for such few questions. But Trump’s campaign had forced media outlets to scramble after leaving his press corps stranded in Phoenix Tuesday night, then promising a press availability in Mexico on Wednesday.

“The trip, Trump’s first foreign meeting with a head of state as Republican nominee, was announced late Tuesday night while Trump and the press corps were in Seattle. But when Trump’s plane left for Los Angeles, en route to Mexico, the press charter instead went to Phoenix, where Trump will give an immigration speech upon his return to the U.S.

“It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, just hours before the meeting, that Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway confirmed that there would be a press availability following the meeting at which reporters would be able to ask questions.

“That left many of the reporters who normally travel with Trump seething. . . .”

Trump “clarified his views on immigration in a speech Wednesday in Phoenix, saying the country needs a wall on the southern border, extra agents patrolling it and an aggressive system to urgently expel 2 million immigrants with criminal ties, Ronald J. Hansen reported for the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

Despite CNN Role, Lewandowski ‘Back in the Fold’

As Donald Trump arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a rally a week ago, he stepped out of his motorcade and was greeted by a familiar face: Corey Lewandowski’s,John Santucci reported Monday for ABC News.

“Lewandowski was fired as Trump’s first campaign manager on June 20. Faced with internal fighting, Trump’s losing ground in the polls and the candidate’s and his family’s alleged lack of confidence in Lewandowski, the campaign cut him loose.

“He was escorted that day from Trump Tower in New York by the very security detail that had helped him check for hidden listening devices in the campaign office weeks earlier.

“Now, a few weeks and a lucrative cable network contract later, he is back in the fold, according to multiple campaign sources. They describe his relationship with the candidate as stronger than ever. . . .”

Brendan Karet wrote Monday for Media Matters for America, “CNN has been roundly criticized for ethical issues surrounding the hiring of Lewandowski and the subsequent nightmare he has caused the network. CNN has given Lewandowski a platform to defend Trump at every turn, while Lewandowski travels with the Trump campaign and receives paid severance from Trump , while having a non-disclosure agreement with the Trump campaign.

“And despite persistent calls for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, the network has stood by him as a contributor. . . .”

Media Matters has started a petition for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski.

Lewandowski tweeted on Aug. 25, “Up in Manchester, New Hampshire joining @realDonaldTrump & his team for the afternoon. #MAGA

Buffalo Wild Wings on the edge of town is the lone spot Colin Kaepernick's jersey can still be found hanging in public in his Turlock, Calif., hometown. (Credit: Courtney Cronin/Bay Area News Group)

Buffalo Wild Wings on the edge of town is the lone spot where Colin Kaepernick’s jersey can still be found hanging in public in his Turlock, Calif., hometown. (Credit: Courtney Cronin/Bay Area News Group)

Kaepernick’s Hometown Not With Him on Protest

Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem during a preseason NFL game has become the subject of water-cooler conversation, commentary from pundits and a trending topic on social media. But Marcus Thompson II, columnist for the Bay Area News Group, went a step further Wednesday with a visit to Kaepernick’s California hometown.

Turlock (population 72,292) looks like the kind of place that would take severe offense to Kaepernick’s political statement,” Thompson wrote. “The way the American flag is plastered everywhere suggests not standing for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ would be an unforgivable sin in these parts. Everything here is first dipped in a red, white and blue fondue.

Marcus Thompson II

Marcus Thompson II

“Which is why the same people who once cheered him on as a standout scholar-athlete in baseball and football are no longer vouching for him as their own. The same fans who followed his trek from the state championship to the Super Bowl have chosen not to stick by Kaepernick on this one. . . .”

Thompson concluded, “That people aren’t willing to investigate why Kaepernick would go to such lengths, not even in Turlock, only proves he is right.

“If he were indeed family, the struggle that must be going on within him would be more relevant. He is the adopted son of a white couple, whose hearts are apparently carved from rubies, who raised him in Turlock after leaving Wisconsin. So Kaepernick’s upbringing was apple pie and fireworks and prep football.

“He learned to appreciate his hometown’s work ethic, kindness and resolve, and by extension, the country that gave birth to such attributes.

“But something has washed off the fondue for Kaepernick. Something has pricked him to stare that existence down and challenge it to be better, knowing he would pay a price for doing so.

“It seems that price includes Turlock.”

Obama Becomes First President to Edit a Magazine

WIRED HAS HAD some amazing guest editors over the years,” Robert Capps reported Tuesday for the magazine. “J.J. Abrams on magic, mysteries, and puzzles; Bill Gates on solving the world’s biggest problems; Christopher Nolan on space, time, and multiple dimensions; and, most recently, Serena Williams on equality in the digital age. This November we will add President Barack Obama to our guest editor ranks — the first time WIRED (or any other magazine) has been guest-edited by a sitting president.

“The theme of the issue: Frontiers. Like WIRED, our 44th president is a relentless optimist. For this completely bespoke issue, he wants to focus on the future — on the next hurdles that humanity will need to overcome to move forward. . . .”

Venezuela Denies Entry to Miami Herald, Others

Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald’s Andean bureau chief who traveled to Venezuela to cover a massive protest rally in Caracas, was detained by Venezuelan immigration authorities Wednesday evening,” Mimi Whitefield reported for the Miami Herald.

“Wyss arrived in the Venezuelan capital very early Tuesday and entered the country with a journalist visa valid through October. However, he emailed the newspaper at 5:21 p.m. Wednesday, saying: “Am being detained … by immigration.”

“After not hearing from him for four hours, his editor received an email from him Wednesday night saying he was well and being put on a plane to Panama. He said he had been detained because he wasn’t registered to be a journalist in Venezuela. He said he had filed all the required paperwork, but he was being expelled from the country.

“The day Wyss arrived in Caracas, two journalists from Al Jazeera and other news organizations had been turned away when they tried to enter the country. The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday that Venezuela has denied entry to at least six journalists who wanted to cover a protest scheduled for Thursday to demand a recall referendum on President Nicolás Maduro. . . .”

The six included John Otis, a freelancer who frequently works for NPR, Isabel Lara, spokeswoman for NPR, told Journal-isms.

Social Network Tackles Users’ Racial Profiling

Almost everyone who uses the social network Nextdoor to connect and communicate with their neighbors knows the platform has a very serious problem: racial profiling,” Ethan Chiel wrote Aug. 23 for Fusion.

“The network’s role in crime-spotting has been celebrated as its ‘killer feature,’ but many users are too eager to associate ‘suspicious behavior’ with the color of people’s skin. Nextdoor has been trying to figure out how to discourage racial bias from manifesting on the platform and is now rolling out changes it hopes will do that. . . .”

Chiel also wrote, “Nextdoor has become a lens for the racial bias of its users. As Pendarvis Harshaw reported for Fusion last year, black friends visiting a white friend in Oakland were reported by neighbors on Nextdoor as ‘suspicious’ and ‘sketchy’ because they were waiting around while trying to find the house. And when a community meeting was set up to deal with the issue of racial profiling on the site, the meeting was only open to white people.

“Nextdoor is in the difficult position of trying to engineer its users to be less biased. Now, thanks to an NPR interview with [Nextdoor CEO Nirav] Tolia, we have a little more information on how it’s doing that. In a “pilot project running in select neighborhoods across the U.S.,” if someone reports a suspicious person and includes their race, they have to fill out a couple of other descriptive fields, like what clothing they’re wearing or what shoes they have on.

“Then, it goes to an algorithm:

“An algorithm under development spot checks the summary of the suspicious activity for racially charged terms, as well as for length. If the description is too short, it is presumed to lack meaningful detail and is unacceptable.

“If a draft post violates the algorithm’s rules or the form’s mandatory fields, the user has to revise. Otherwise, it’s not possible to post. . . .”

Vicki Jones Dies, Produced Public Affairs Shows

Victoria Jones, a producer of African American-oriented public affairs shows at Boston’s WHDH-TV who was president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists in the 1980s and, in the late 1990s, a board member of the National Association of Black Journalists, died Tuesday at her home in Aurora, Colo., Stephen M. Hamm, her partner of 24 years, told Journal-isms on Thursday.

Victoria "Vicki" Jones

Victoria “Vicki” Jones

She was 71 and had been battling uterine cancer for three years.

Jones was executive producer of “Urban Update” and “Boston Common” on WHDH until the NBC affiliate announced in 2001 that it planned to cancel several shows focusing on news in the city’s communities of color. The station saved “Urban Update” but canceled “Common,” a Sunday public affairs show, and cut staffing. Jones moved on.

She had been at the station for 20 years, winning acclaim for such programs as “The Question of Race,” an hour-long news program that discussed diversity and race relations, a one-hour prime-time special in 1988 on the tumultuous 350-year history of blacks in Massachusetts, narrated by reporter Rehema Ellis, and an hourlong special in 1986 on the dilemma involved in drug testing — that is, the need to reduce drug abuse in the workplace without violating the civil rights of workers.

“By focusing on court cases pending in Boston, Georgia and San Francisco, host James Farentino and producer Victoria Jones make a persuasive argument that the civil rights of workers are being violated in many cases because employers are hysterically aggressive about testing for drugs, because the test itself is sometimes manipulated to punish employees, and because the results may be inaccurate,” wrote Jack Thomas, the Boston Globe’s television critic.

Jones was vice president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists in 1985 and president from 1986 to 1988. She was on the NABJ board, representing New England, from 1995 to 1999.

She was also active in TransAfrica and Free South Africa and was one of the founding members of the Boston chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women. Before helping found the Boston chapter, Jones had been a member of the New York chapter of the coalition, working at WABC-TV in that city.

In 1998, Jones staged a yoga workshop at the Boston Coalition of 100 Black Women Conference. Vanessa Williams, who served with Jones on the NABJ board, wrote on Facebook, “She was feisty, wise and funny. But what I recall most about her was her spirituality, not so much religious as in tune with the world around her, especially the natural elements that affect our lives. I’m sure her soul is soaring.”

After leaving WHDH, Jones ran the Strand Theater, which is owned by city of Boston, but she was jumping from the frying pan into the fire, Journal-isms reported in 2004. “Vicki Jones is doing the best she can with what most believe is a nearly impossible job,” Boston Herald columnist Howard Manly wrote then.

In 2011, Jones and Hamm moved to Colorado, where she taught in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Denver. Her friend and fellow journalist Kenneth J. Cooper recalled that Jones was a Denver native and Harvard graduate who attended at the same time as Benazir Bhutto, who became prime minister of Pakistan.

In addition to Hamm, Jones’ survivors include a daughter, Lisa Jones, of Aurora, Colo. Hamm said a memorial service is planned this month in Aurora. [Updated Sept. 2].

Family obituary in Comments section below [Added Sept. 13]

Short Takes

Jayanta Jenkins

Jayanta Jenkins