‘I’m in Fear for the White Man,’ Supporter Confesses

Trump Breaks Tradition, Leaves Reporters Behind

Elite Media Said to Define Diversity Too Narrowly

Trump 5th to Lose Popular Vote but Win Presidency

Alma Newsom, Trailblazing Broadcaster, Dies at 70

Short Takes

In a little-noticed juxtaposition, a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. overlooks President-Elect Donald J. Trump as he meets with President Obama in the White House on Thursday.

‘I’m in Fear for the White Man,’ Supporter Confesses

Race was not high on the list of concerns listed in analyses of Donald J. Trump’s victory Tuesday, but the self-described only black reporter who covered Trump in the field wrote Wednesday that, to her, the subject was omnipresent.

As the only black reporter who covered Trump in the field (except for the last week of the election), I lived in a nebulous space,” Candace Smith, a reporter for ABC News, wrote in a “Reporter’s Notebook” on Wednesday. “I was a reporter and, by virtue, derided by crowds.

“In this, my experience was not unique. Nearly all those who covered Trump have been booed, given the middle finger, told we are ‘s—.’ At rallies, people have called for us to be killed, along with Hillary Clinton.

“Social media was much worse. My Jewish colleagues were the recipients of horrifying memes that digitally placed them in gas chambers. In Phoenix a protester chanted at the press pen to which we all were relegated, ‘JEW-S-A,’ as spittle from his mouth fell on us.

“On Twitter, I’ve been called a ‘n—–,’ a ‘c—‘ and, at times, a combination of the two. Also, one person who claimed to be Christian — as I am — tweeted, ‘You are a Hillary WHORE and, thus, can NOT possible be saved by Grace. Grace wouldn’t have a whore like you.’

“In person, I was met by a strange mix; my blackness was not unnoticed, but people seemed genuinely open to speaking with me, respectful. There was the elderly white woman protesting Trump in Wisconsin who asked me ‘what the coloreds think about Trump.’ There was the white man in a sweltering New Hampshire gymnasium who asked me which race had been created first and told me, of my education, that I had ‘learned everything wrong.’

“But conversations with over 100 Trump supporters, all white, revealed a darker truth: that they may like me as a person, but were concerned more holistically what black and brown people were doing to this country and worried about a changing nation that no longer looked like them.

“ ‘I’m not afraid to say that I’m in fear for the white man. I’m in fear,’ Brian Patterson told me in North Carolina. He had voted for President Obama but worried about racial tensions, feeling Obama had exacerbated them. Jayna Knowlton, who confided in me that she had been called a bigot and racist, said she merely wanted her country back. . . .”

Alec Tyson and Shiva Maniam wrote Wednesday for the Pew Research Center, “White non-Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton by 21 percentage points (58% to 37%), according to the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool. [2012 presidential candidate Mitt] Romney won whites by 20 percentage points in 2012 (59% to 39%).

“However, although Trump fared little better among blacks and Hispanics than Romney did four years ago, Hillary Clinton did not run as strongly among these core Democratic groups as Obama did in 2012. Clinton held an 80-point advantage among blacks (88% to 8%) compared with Obama’s 87-point edge four years ago (93% to 6%). In 2008, Obama had a 91-point advantage among blacks. . . .”

Stephen Colbert presents the presidential election results in the Showtime special, “Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?” To Colbert, Donald Trump’s quest began with President Obama’s barbs at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (Credit: YouTube.com)

Trump Breaks Tradition, Leaves Reporters Behind

Donald Trump is keeping Americans in the dark about his earliest conversations and decisions as president-elect, bucking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on its new leader,” Kathleen Hennessey reported Friday for the Associated Press.

“Trump on Thursday refused to allow journalists to travel with him to Washington for his historic first meetings with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. The Republican’s top advisers rebuffed news organizations’ requests for a small ‘pool’ of journalists to trail him as he attended the meetings.

“The decision was part of an opaque pattern in Trump’s moves since his victory Tuesday. He was entirely out of sight on Wednesday. His aides said he was huddled with advisers at his offices in New York. His team has not put out a daily schedule, or offered any detailed updates on how he has spent his time. They have not acknowledged phone calls or other contact with world leaders. . . .”

Hennessey also wrote, “The White House Correspondents’ Association, which coordinates press pools and advocates for transparency at the White House, urged Trump to allow journalists to cover his meetings and other movements.

” ‘This decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis,’ said Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters and the group’s president. ‘Not allowing a pool of journalists to travel with and cover the next president of the United States is unacceptable.’ ”

On Wednesday, members of the NBC Latino team discussed the significance Latino voters played in the election of Donald Trump and in historic down-ballot races.

Elite Media Said to Define Diversity Too Narrowly

Donald Trump won, and the media is grasping for answers as to why we didn’t predict it,” Hamilton Nolan wrote Thursday for Deadspin. “Already, you can see the seeds of many bad solutions forming. . . .”

Nolan also wrote, “What does the media need? Diversity. Period. Diversity in the newsrooms, diversity among editors, diversity among executives. All news publications are ultimately the product of the collective lived experience of the people who put them out.

“There is no super-intelligent omniscient robot deciding what goes in the New York Times; it is the product of a bunch of people sitting in a room, using their own best judgment. Their own best judgment is shaped by their own lives. If you do not have people in that room who lived a very wide array of different types of lives, your publication will have holes. This is why the New York Times can write very credible analyses of barbecue restaurants in Williamsburg, yet a trip to Kansas City comes off as the equivalent of a trip to the moon.

“Of course, every media outlet will tell you they value diversity. The deeper problem is what places like the New York Times think diversity is. The Times’s approach to diversity is to hire a black person who went to Columbia Journalism School and a woman who went to Princeton and someone who grew up in rural West Virginia who went to Harvard. This is not what diversity means. . . .”

Nolan also wrote, “The ‘elite media,’ to the extent such a thing still exists, must recruit young writers who are not fucking Ivy League graduates, who may not be friends with people who already work there, and who may not be wealthy enough to run in the same social circles.

“These are the writers who will bring a true diversity of lived experience to your publication, which will translate into a true diversity of stories, and will hopefully prevent you from sounding ridiculous when you cover certain people, places, and things. And this diverse staff must constantly be replenished. Once someone has spent a decade working for the New York Times, they have probably ceased to provide a lot of economic diversity. . . .”

Additional observations by black journalists Roger Witherspoon and Tom Jacobs are in the “Comments(scroll up) section below.

Mandate? What mandate?

A “mandate?” (Credit: Rick Horowitz)

Trump 5th to Lose Popular Vote but Win Presidency

“The states voted for him. The people voted for her.” It’s a good meme for those reporting on the “mandate” delivered to Donald Trump or considering a declaration that “the American people have spoken.”

As if to underscore the point, thousands of anti-Trump protesters filled the streets of cities nationwide Thursday for a second night, David Caplan reported Friday for ABC News, a seemingly unprecedented phenomenon after a presidential election.

There are still more votes to be counted, but it looks almost certain that despite losing the presidency, Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote,” Zachary Roth reported Thursday for NBC News.

“And likely by a million or more votes — a much larger margin than Al Gore enjoyed in 2000, when he too was denied by the Electoral College even though he had more votes.

“Put more starkly: It appears Americans chose Clinton, but got Trump.

“Trump’s popular vote loss likely won’t constrain his effective power as president, especially with unified GOP control of Congress — just as it didn’t seem to hem in George W. Bush.

“But if the candidate who got fewer votes wins the White House for the second time in five elections, it could put a new spotlight on the peculiar way that America picks its presidents — one not shared by any other democracy.

” ‘It certainly is going to bring this back into the forefront of public discussion,’ John Koza, the founder of the National Popular Vote campaign, which aims to effectively get rid of the Electoral College, said Tuesday night as the results rolled in. . . .”

Interestingly, when Gore won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral college, Clinton, then a new senator, called for direct elections of the president, Mario Trujillo recalled for the Hill 11 days before the 2012 election. “She argued the country has changed since the Electoral College was put in place.

“ ‘We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago,’ Clinton said at a news conference.

“ ‘I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.’ ”

Alma Newsom, Trailblazing Broadcaster, Dies at 70

Alma Joy Newsom, a trailblazing news reporter who was among the first black women to anchor a Houston television broadcast, died Nov. 2 of unknown causes at her home,” Blake Paterson reported for the Houston Chronicle. “She was 70.

Alma Newsom (Credit: C-SPAN)

Alma Newsom (Credit: C-SPAN)

“Passionate about diversity in media, Newsom relentlessly mentored countless Houston journalists over 14 years at KHOU (Channel 11) and later sought to educate reporters on how to accurately cover minority communities.

” ‘She launched the careers of hundreds of broadcasters,’ said Carolyn Campbell, who worked for Newsom at KHOU. ‘She really had a special passion that women and people of color were represented in the industry.’

“Born in Simonton in 1945, Newsom was a prolific speaker and community activist. She graduated from Jack Yates High School, in Houston’s Third Ward, and later attended Texas Southern University.

“She began working at KHOU in 1971 and was one of only a handful of black employees at the largely white, male station. Before leaving in 1984, Newsom worked in a number of positions, including community affairs director, program manager, talk show host, reporter and news anchor.

“Unflappable in the face of adversity, Newsom was regarded by colleagues as a source of guidance and inspiration, offering encouragement while remaining firm about her standards.

Paterson also wrote, “After leaving KHOU, she served as communications director for U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland. Newsom updated a concerned nation in a 1989 televised news conference following the plane crash in which the Houston congressman died.

“Following her stint in Washington, Newsom returned to Houston in 1990 and started the Newsom Communications Group. Newsom sought to bridge the divide between diverse communities and media organizations. . . .”

Short Takes


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