Condoleezza Rice: ‘Enough!’; Michael Steele Gloomy

Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump during the GOP debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 16, 2015. (Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump during the GOP debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 16, 2015. (Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Condoleezza Rice: ‘Enough!’; Michael Steele Gloomy

Dr. Ben Carson, who with boxing promoter Don King and Theresa “Omarosa” Manigault is vying for the title of Donald J. Trump’s most conspicuous African American supporter, wrote Saturday that the release of lewd comments by Trump is part of a conspiracy by progressives.

The surgeon and former GOP presidential primary contender said he believes that the progressives plan to release more damaging material.

Friday’s revelation of the 2005 Trump videotape — in which Trump talks in explicit sexual terms about women — has caused some Republicans to denounce the nominee and others to distance themselves.

By midday, no fewer than 21 Republican members of Congress and governors who had backed Mr. Trump disavowed his candidacy, an unprecedented desertion by the institutional Republican Party of its own standard-bearer,” Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman reported Saturday for the New York Times.

They were later joined by Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state. Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an African American as is Rice, was pessimistic about the GOP’s chances going forward.

David Corn of Mother Jones said he contacted Steele Saturday afternoon.

Trump’s declaration aside, the question of the day is: Is it over for the reality TV celebrity? Has he unintentionally fired himself?” Corn  wrote.

“Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican Party, believes it is. On Saturday afternoon, I asked him for his reaction to the Trumpocalypse under way. He cut to the chase:

“This is a devastating blow to the Trump campaign and to the party, and there is not much either can do to salvage it. It almost doesn’t matter what Trump does in the next debate.”

In a story Saturday headlined, “Black Republicans torn over Trump as party leader,” Alva James-Johnson of the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga., quoted Nate Sanderson, a black Republican who is a former president of the local NAACP branch, saying he could no longer support his party.

“He’s alienated every social group, ethnic group — I mean, you name it,” Sanderson said. “He’s practically offended every group, except white males. You pick a group, and he’s said something about it, even white females.”

In a statement appearing Saturday in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, Carson said he deplores “any form of disrespect toward women,” but wrote, “I feel fairly certain that the progressives have had knowledge of this conversation for a long time and dropped it at this point in time in an effort [to] obscure the release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton and her desire for open borders.”

The latter is apparently a reference to hacked emails made public Friday by WikiLeaks in which “Clinton’s paid closed-door speeches to Wall Street banks apparently included her dreams of ‘open trade and open borders,’Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger reported Friday for the Washington Post.

Jennifer Yingling, deputy managing editor/special projects director of The Hill, told Journal-isms by email Saturday that her publication merely published Carson’s statement, which was not written specifically for The Hill.

Carson also wrote of the progressives, “I believe that they have more material that they will release periodically up until the election to keep a negative focus on Donald Trump. They do not want to discuss the vital issues that are destroying our nation and the future of our children, because they do not have logical solutions and offer more of the same that has gotten us into this precarious situation.

“Those of us who do not want to see America fundamentally devolve into something worse must be wise enough to recognize the scheme that is being played out here. We must demand not only that the issues be discussed but also that we make our decisions based on issues and not on personalities or decade old statements and behavior by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. . . .”

In fact, according to a report Friday by Paul Farhi in the Post, the story developed after “Reporter David Fahrenthold got a phone call around 11 a.m. Friday from a source with a tip about Donald Trump. The source asked: Would Fahrenthold be interested in seeing some previously unaired video of Trump?”

Farhi also wrote, “As it happens, Fahrenthold was racing to produce his story in competition with ‘Access Hollywood’ itself. The syndicated show, owned by NBC Universal, had found the Trump recording in its archives and was preparing its own story. NBC News, tipped by “Access Hollywood,” was also aware of the tape and was preparing a story, which it intended to broadcast after the entertainment show aired the recording. . . .”

Black ISIS Member Deceived News Outlets

October 7, 2016
Video Shows Fighter Lied in Saying He Did Not Kill

AAJA Invites Fox to Town Hall as Outrage Spreads

Climate Change Must Be Part of Storm Coverage

. . . On Haiti, a Plea for Local Control of Recovery

Editorial: Race Is at Heart of Clinton-Trump Choice

‘A Community Built From the Ground Up’

Columnist Weathersbee Moves to Memphis

Activist Editor Led Protest of First ‘Birth of a Nation’

Baltimore Library Adding ‘Wickham Collection’

Short Takes

Video Shows Fighter Lied in Saying He Did Not Kill

Since escaping from Islamic State-controlled Syria, former militant Harry Sarfo, a German-born black man of Ghanaian descent who moved to England with his family as a teenager, has told German authorities and at least half a dozen media organizations that he witnessed ISIS atrocities but refused to take part in attacks.

Sarfo was arrested while trying to return to Germany in 2015 but, in exchange for his cooperation, is serving only a three-year sentence on a terrorism charge.

But in depicting himself as a disillusioned fighter who refused to commit violence, Sarfo left out some potentially incriminating scenes,” Souad Mekhennet and Greg Miller reported Tuesday for the Washington Post.

“Previously unreleased video shows Sarfo moving doomed hostages into position for a public execution in Palmyra last year, and then apparently firing his own weapon at one of the fallen men.

“Rather than resisting involvement in the gruesome propaganda spectacle, Sarfo is shown shouting Islamic State slogans to whip up the gathering crowd, pledging his loyalty in a pre-execution huddle and raising his fist in celebration at the burst of machine-gun fire.

“The footage is at odds with almost every account Sarfo, 28, has given of his time in Syria, including his statements to German authorities that he merely ‘stood on the side’ while the shooting took place and adamantly ‘said no to the killing.’ . . .”

Harry Sarfo was featured prominently on the Aug. 4 edition of the New York Times.

Harry Sarfo was featured prominently in the Aug. 4 edition of the New York Times.

News organizations that interviewed Sarfo and published his comments are on the spot.

A large photo of Sarfo dominated the front page of the Aug. 4 edition of the New York Times over the headline, “A Global Network of Killers, Built by a Secretive Branch of ISIS,” and story by Rukmini Callimachi.

Michael Calderone reported Thursday for the Huffington Post, “Since the Post’s report contradicted Sarfo’s portrayal of himself, several prominent journalists, including The Times’ C.J. Chivers and Ben Hubbard, questioned his credibility on Twitter.

“Times international editor Michael Slackman told HuffPost that Sarfo ‘was one source in the story’ and ‘where we quoted him on the internal operations of ISIS, that information was corroborated by multiple sources.’ ”

Calderone also wrote, “Though the Post’s report never specifically said Sarfo misled the Times, Callimachi pushed back aggressively on social media over questions about her report given the new revelations about its most prominently featured source.

“On Wednesday night, she questioned whether the media publishing this new ISIS video was ‘complicit’ with the terrorist group in trying to discredit Sarfo.

“ZDF deputy editor-in-chief Elmar Thevessen asked in response if journalists ‘should sway facts under [the] carpet, if they come from extremists. . .”

“. . . Callimachi later tweeted that she ‘got a bit carried away earlier’ and didn’t mean to suggest the Post’s piece ‘wasn’t a legitimate one to do.’ . . .”

Callimachi reported Tuesday on the video delivered to the Post.

In the video, Mr. Sarfo can be seen shouting and cheering as he and other militants drive into a Syrian city. Later, he and others can be seen rounding up prisoners, who are forced to lie on the ground. He is standing to the side as the other jihadists open fire. Then Mr. Sarfo appears to cock his handgun and shoot, though the scene is partially blocked.

“In interviews with German officials and news organizations, including The New York Times in August, Mr. Sarfo said that he never killed anyone during his time in Syria. That and his cooperation were factors in officials’ decision to sentence him to only three years on a terrorism charge after he was arrested while trying to return to Germany in 2015. . . .”

Although ISIS members are most often portrayed in the news media as Middle Eastern, “there’s a lot of blacks in ISIS. You would be very surprised,” counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance, author of “Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe,” told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday.

“The Muslim world is without color. Their [ISIS’] advertisements make them look like the United Colors of Benetton.” The Islamic State counts among its members the Boko Haram in Nigeria, Somalis, Malians, Sudanese and Chadeans, he said, as well as some Somali-Americans, one of whom, Abdirahmaan Muhumed, was killed in action.

“There is no such thing as ‘I didn’t participate in murder in ISIS,’ Nance continued. “Once you go through your indoctrination, you must kill people.”

The best way to ensure that Sarfo does not return to ISIS after serving his sentence, Nance said, is to “burn the hell out of him” — advertise that he has become a German and U.S. asset.

Nance also predicted that the ISIS self-declared caliphate, based in Raqqa, Syria, “will die in six to 12 months.” It is surrounded, he said.

He said he agreed with the approach of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said during the September presidential debate that the U.S. must “support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIS in Raqqa.”

AAJA Invites Fox to Town Hall as Outrage Spreads

Elected officials and activists staged a protest outside the Manhattan headquarters of Fox News on Thursday over a segment in which a correspondent conducted a series of mocking interviews of Asian-Americans in New York City’s Chinatown that critics said trafficked in stereotypes and veered into racism,” Liam Stack reported Thursday for the New York Times, one of several mainstream news outlets reporting on the controversy.

“The correspondent, Jesse Watters, who has been accused of stalking and harassment for his ambush-style interviews on the street, expressed ‘regret’ late Wednesday after provoking a storm of criticism for the segment that was broadcast on Monday.

“Mayor Bill de Blasio called the segment ‘vile.’ And Councilman Peter Koo said in a statement: ‘Passing off this blatantly racist television segment as “gentle fun” not only validates racist stereotypes, it encourages them. The entire segment smacks of willful ignorance by buying into the perpetual foreigner syndrome. . . .”

Meanwhile, the Asian American Journalists Association, which on Wednesday said it “demands an apology from Fox News to our community” said that David Tabacoff, executive producer of “The O’Reilly Factor,” on which Watters’ segment appeared, invited AAJA President Paul Cheung to appear on Friday’s show to discuss AAJA’s concerns.

Instead, AAJA invited Fox News staff members “to participate in a conversation with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at a town hall to be held in New York’s Chinatown. We encourage Jesse Watters, his producers and other Fox News staff members to attend,” AAJA said in a statement.

“The town hall will take place Sunday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Museum of Chinese in America in Chinatown; additional details will follow.”

There were no indications that Fox News had accepted the invitation.

Climate Change Must Be Part of Storm Coverage

Hurricane Matthew was reportedly the strongest hurricane to hit Haiti since 1964, and the National Hurricane Center is now warning that there is ‘a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast and Georgia coast,’ ” Andrew Seifter wrote Thursday for Media Matters for America.

“Alerting the public to the threat and urging people to take all precautions necessary to stay safe are the top priorities for reporters covering this historic storm. But media outlets should also keep the broader climate change context in mind as they report on Hurricane Matthew in the coming days.

“When record-breaking rainfall and flooding struck Louisiana in August, major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post addressed how the devastation was in line with the predicted impacts of a warming planet, but the major TV networks’ nightly newscasts did not.

“As CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter noted at the time, it’s essential for media to explain that extreme weather events ‘are happening more often due to climate change and are more extreme due to climate change,’ particularly in the ‘early stages’ of covering a weather disaster.

“Time will tell if the major television networks cover the relationship between climate change and Hurricane Matthew, but the scientific evidence is clear. . . .”

. . . On Haiti, a Plea for Local Control of Recovery

Days after Hurricane Matthew lashed Haiti, leaving widespread devastation, the death toll has climbed over 800,Ada Carr wrote Friday for the Weather Channel. “After being unable to establish communication with some of the hardest-hit towns, aid is finally beginning to pour into the affected areas.”

Matthew clobbered the Caribbean country on Tuesday. That night, Mark Schuller, associate professor at Northern Illinois University and affiliate at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, l’Université d’État d’Haïti, wrote for Common Dreams about the “disaster narrative” he hoped would not be repeated.

Aside from random notes trickling in here or there, the coverage has been minimal. This is in direct contrast to the earthquake that rocked the country on January 12, 2010,” Schuller wrote.

“Anthropologist Gina Athena Ulysse has inspired a generation of scholars, challenging us with a deceptively simple call: ‘Haiti needs new narratives.’ The coverage of this storm is an urgent case for why.

“Disaster aid is [faciltiated] by media coverage. An article in Disasters demonstrated a correlation in the amount of seconds allocated on prime time news to a particular disaster and the generosity of the response. However, the Haiti earthquake’s high media profile — and the generosity it inspired — came at a price.

“With stories of devastation, appearing to many foreign observers as hell on earth with phrases like ‘state failure’ often repeated, foreign media coverage also naturalized foreign control of the response.

“The media coverage — then and now — highlights the importance of what can be called ‘disaster narratives.’ What is covered, what is not, who is hailed as a hero, whose efforts are ignored, shape the results. . . .”

Schuller continued, “Many people, including Haitian scholars, journalists, and social movements, have taken stock of the lessons learned from the humanitarian aftershocks.

His list of seven points began with, “Support the initiatives led by Haitian people and groups . . .”

Schuller concluded, “The storm will leave, the flood waters recede. I hope the world’s attention span will last at least a little longer, so that we will finally apply lessons at least Haitian people learned.”

Editorial: Race Is at Heart of Clinton-Trump Choice

The problem with this election isn’t that Donald Trump is racist. The problem is that we are,” the Hartford Courant editorialized on Friday in endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

It is among the few editorials from a mainstream news organization that put race at the center of issues separating Trump and Clinton.

“Now, before everyone gets all nervous and defensive, pause a moment,” the editorial continued. “It’s not that most Americans are hateful or narrow-minded. We believe that those who promulgate bigotry and divisiveness are a small — if loud — segment of the population.

“But race is so deeply woven into the fabric of the national conversation that it is all but impossible not to see the world through the prism of color. Like it or not, we all bring our preconceptions and prejudices and fears to that debate.

“The question is what do we do with them? Do we allow those fears to rule our actions and words — or do we admit that part of the mission of being an American is, to echo the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to look beyond the color of our neighbors’ skin and understand and appreciate the content of their character? This is a battle so many of us struggle with — admit it or not.

“Donald Trump is dangerous because it’s a struggle he wants you to lose. . .”

The result of Annabelle Marcovici's photos at the Standing Rock encampment "is a portrait of everyday life under extraordinary circumstances, behind the public rallies and ceremonies. . . . ." (Credit: Annabelle Marcovici)

The result of Annabelle Marcovici’s photos at the Standing Rock encampment “is a portrait of everyday life under extraordinary circumstances, behind the public rallies and ceremonies. . . .” (Credit: Annabelle Marcovici)

‘A Community Built From the Ground Up’

The unprecedented gathering here, near the Standing Rock Sioux Nation — with some 300 tribal nation flags flying and 3,000 people on the ground — stands along a lonesome stretch of High Plains prairie framed by buttes and big sky, where the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers meet,” Evelyn Nieves wrote from Cannonball, N.D., Thursday for the “Lens” blog of the New York Times.

Nieves also wrote, “Two months into the mass pilgrimage near Cannonball, with tribes from across Indian Country and all over the world, the stand at Standing Rock still captures national media attention. Journalists, photographers and videographers document the goings-on, from prayerful ceremonies to direct actions at construction sites met by SWAT teams and tanks. (Or, in one infamous instance, by private security guards with attack dogs and Mace.)

“But largely lost in the coverage of how big #NoDAPL is growing is how deep the cause is to thousands of Native Americans. Men and women with jobs and school and children to attend to have upended their lives. Ask for how long, and all say the same: for as long as it takes to stop the pipeline. . . .

The photos are from Annabelle Marcovici, a 24-year-old freelance photographer from Minneapolis, is one of them. She first visited the camp in June, “when it was still tiny. She had no idea what she would find or do. . . .”

“. . . . During her trips to the encampment — she intends to keep returning — Ms. Marcovici spends most of her time not taking pictures. ‘I talk to people,’ she said. ‘I help sort supplies. I’m another person in the community that’s formed at these camps, not just a passing observer.”

“The result is a portrait of everyday life under extraordinary circumstances, behind the public rallies and ceremonies. . . . In total, they show a community being built from the ground up. . . .”

Columnist Weathersbee Moves to Memphis

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis has hired Tonyaa Weathersbee, for many years a local columnist at the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, the newspaper announced Friday.

Tonyaa Weathersbee

Tonyaa Weathersbee

Weathersbee, who is to write about local issues, will be the first columnist of color in the news section since Wendi C. Thomas resigned abruptly in 2014 after 10 years in that role.

Memphis, the core of the Commercial Appeal’s circulation area, was 63.3 percent black or African American in the 2010 U.S. census. African Americans Jerome Wright, editorial page editor, and Otis Sanford, former editorial page editor, write in the opinion section.

Mark Russell, the Commercial Appeal’s managing editor, told Journal-isms by telephone that he had followed Weathersbee’s work for years and sought her out while at the Orlando Sentinel, where he worked from 2004 to 2013, the last three years as editor.

Russell said he renewed his quest when Weathersbee completed a master’s degree in mass communications in April. Her local column will appear three times a week in print and another two times online, he said.

“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Weathersbee said on Facebook. “Not only will I get the chance to shape community conversations in another major city, but I will get to produce multimedia products to complement my column voice.”

Activist Editor Led Protest of First ‘Birth of a Nation’

In his directorial debut dramatizing the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831, Nate Parker has grabbed for his own film the title of D.W. Griffith’s three-hour epic ‘The Birth of a Nation’ from a century ago,” Dick Lehr wrote Thursday in the Boston Globe. “It’s Parker’s way to call out the legendary Griffith’s smash hit, a racist-driven re-telling of the Civil War and Reconstruction .. .”

William Monroe Trotter

William Monroe Trotter

Lehr is a journalism professor at Boston University whose “The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War” is the basis for an upcoming PBS documentary.

Lehr reminded readers that the protest of the original “Birth of a Nation” was led by William Monroe Trotter, “a prominent civil rights leader and radical newspaper editor who, in the early 1900s, was as well known as other, more widely recognized leaders from that time, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Ida B. Wells.

“Trotter, who grew up in Hyde Park, was Harvard’s first black member of Phi Beta Kappa, class of 1895. He founded his newspaper, The Guardian, to challenge Booker T. Washington’s control of the national civil rights conversation and to promote his view that a more in-your-face, direct-action approach should replace Washington’s failed policy of accommodation. . . .”

Lehr also wrote, “By June [1915], Trotter and NAACP leaders had staged some 18 mass rallies, involving between 500 and 2,500 protesters at each, or many thousands of agitators in total, often getting front-page coverage in the city’s seven daily newspapers. It was the kind of outpouring of black power that no one, not Trotter, Du Bois or the NAACP leaders had ever witnessed before — certainly more evocative of the 1960s than the year 1915 in terms of the country’s collective memory.

“In the end, the protest actions, legal and otherwise, failed to run Griffith’s movie out of town. . . .”

Jackie Jones, chair of multimedia journalism, and DeWayne Wickham on Thursday. (Credit: Diane Harris)

Jackie Jones, chair of multimedia journalism, and DeWayne Wickham on Thursday. (Credit: Diane Harris)

Baltimore Library Adding ‘Wickham Collection’

DeWayne Wickham, longtime USA Today columnist and dean of the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University, commemorated his donation of 30 years of columns, interviews and other materials to the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore on Thursday, joined at the library by about 120 colleagues and supporters.

Vivian Fisher, manager of the African American department at the library, told Journal-isms by telephone Friday that the idea for a collection of Wickham’s work came to her about four years ago from Carla D. Hayden, then chief executive of the Pratt library and now the librarian of Congress.

The Pratt library houses the work of H.L. Mencken, the “sage of Baltimore” and a Baltimore Sun columnist, and Fisher said that Wickham’s work would be a fitting complement.

“We consider ourselves the people’s university” she said. “People who have an impact on public [life], it is important that they keep their work so younger generations can see what was going on and how it impacted their lives.”

Wickham is another Baltimore native son. Fisher said his work will be available to the public after the library creates a searchable database for it. That might take a year or two, she said.

In 2012, Philadelphia journalists Acel Moore, who died this year, and Sandra Long Weaver, co-founders of the National Association of Black Journalists, announced they were donating their papers to the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University.

In 2011, as part of the University of Georgia’s 50th anniversary of the school’s desegregation, Charlayne Hunter-Gault donated her papers to the university’s Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

Duke University holds the papers of editor and columnist Chuck Stone. Covering the years 1931-2007, they document Stone’s journalism career and writings, his political career and relationship with Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and his role as an educator, the university says.

The University of Southern California acquired the papers of revered Los Angeles Times reporter Ruben Salazar in 2011.

Short Takes

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