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NBCU Exec Grieves, Estranged Husband Held

Dyson Raises White Privilege After Maher Apology

Big Comey Audience Includes Telemundo Twist

Marker to Honor Slave Who Killed Overseer

Could TV Viewing Be a Factor in Support for Trump?

‘Race Plays a Part in So Many Things. . .’

Excuses for Kaepernick Unemployment Don’t Wash

No Such Thing as Bleeping for This Paper

Venezuelans Deliver News Up Close and Personal

New Grads: Nominate Diversity-Friendly J-Educator

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This photo of Gabrielle White, 7, and her mother, Michelle Hord-White, was included on a GoFundMe page.

This photo of Gabrielle White, 7, and her mother, Michelle Hord-White, was included on a GoFundMe page.

NBCU Exec Grieves, Estranged Husband Held

Stunned friends, neighbors, readers and viewers reacted to the tragic death of the 7-year-old daughter of an NBCUniversal executive Wednesday, allegedly at the hands of her estranged husband, by quickly raising $16,428 on a GoFundMe page created to establish a memorial fund.

Neil White, 47, was being held without bond Friday in the Westchester County, N.Y., jail, charged with second-degree murder in the death of his daughter, second-grader Gabrielle White, who was found dead in a bed inside the home by a sitter.

Gabrielle’s mother, Michelle D. Hord-White, is NBCUniversal vice president, talent acquisition and campus programs.   She was well-liked and respected in the industry after having also worked at ABC News helping to bring more diversity to newsrooms and guiding off-air talent such as writers and producers.

Hord-White also was a senior producer on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” attended Howard University and has been a member of the board of advisers of Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

“No words could sum up all that Gabrielle meant to us but she was our light,” Hord-White and her family said in a statement.

“We are broken and devastated that our sweet little girl is gone but we’re thankful that we had seven wonderful years with her. While we begin to mourn privately, we thank those friends, colleagues, neighbors and strangers for the tremendous support that we’ve already received.”

Chelsia Rose Marcius and Larry McShane reported Wednesday for the Daily News in New York, “Gabrielle White’s mother was in hysterics when she arrived at the home after the sitter, upset by texts from Neil White, rushed to check on the second-grader, police said.

“. . . Neighbor Ron Oliver said Hord-White, 47, was inconsolable when she arrived at the house Tuesday afternoon.

“ ‘She was beside herself,’ said Oliver, 58, who was walking through the neighborhood around 3 p.m. ‘She was crying, “I want to see the baby! I want to see her!” ‘ . . .”

WCBS-TV in New York reported Wednesday, “Why the man would kill the vibrant girl — with her entire life ahead of her — was the question on the minds of a lot of people on Wednesday night. . . .”

Neil White

Neil White (Credit: Westchester County D.A.)

According to their 2007 wedding announcement, White was a freelance journalist, and the two met in 1992 when he was her brother’s resident adviser at the University of Connecticut, the Associated Press reported.

A day before the killing, White had approved a deal to surrender the house to his estranged wife as part of their split, the Daily News reporters wrote, crediting sources.

“She is a woman of great faith. I expect her to get through this. It will not be easy, and will never be over,” the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson told WCBS-TV’s Tony Aiello.

“The family pastor spent Tuesday night with Hord-White after the tragic discovery,” the WCBS account continued.

“Meanwhile, Gabrielle’s babysitter, Tonette Mahon, was shaken and still in shock Wednesday from the girl’s death. . . .”

Matt Spillane reported Wednesday for the Journal-News of Westchester County, “Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said the sitter had exchanged texts with Neil White around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.

” ‘She grew concerned based on the conversations that they had back and forth. So she went to the house to just check on the daughter. She saw Mr. White had cuts to his wrists. She saw some blood. She checked on the girl, and she saw that she wasn’t moving, and she called us,’ he said. . . .”

An NBC Universal spokeswoman referred questions about NBC’s responses to a family spokesman, whose statement included “colleagues” among those who had expressed support.

Hord-White wrote of her job on her LinkedIn page, “In this role I have been responsible for reorganizing the talent acquisition and campus functions from two teams into one. This has included reimaging the roles, goals and collaboration opportunities across nine distinct teams.

“The combined talent acquisition organization is comprised of more than seventy recruiters responsible for inspiring and attracting the best talent to various creative, technical and functional roles across NBCUniversal’s properties in the United States.

“In 2014, the team filled more than 3500 full time and 1600 intern roles across our businesses. . . .”

Michael Eric Dyson with Bill Maher (Credit: screen capture via Raw Story)

Dyson Raises White Privilege After Maher Apology

Bill Maher addressed the elephant in the room Friday on Real Time, apologizing for uttering the N-word on air last week and discussing the controversy he ignited with author and sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson,” Oliver Gettell reported for Entertainment Weekly.

“Entering to considerable applause, Maher said, ‘Thank you for letting a sinner in your midst. Michael Eric Dyson will be here shortly to take me to the woodshed.’

“Maher sat down with Dyson, a longtime friend, a few minutes later and said, ‘I want you to school me. I did a bad thing.’ . . . ”

Gettell also wrote, “Dyson went on to discuss the ‘interesting and tricky’ nature of white privilege, even for someone like Maher. ‘People don’t think, “Oh, Bill Maher is a racist,? ‘ he said. ‘What they thought was, if even Bill Maher can at some level capitulate to a level of unconscious privilege, then the rest of us are in a serious spot.’

“Maher acknowledged the point but defended himself as a comedian. ‘I just don’t want to pretend this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing,’ he said. ‘Comedians are a special kind of monkey.’ ”

Dyson referenced points made in his latest book, “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.”

Later in the show, rapper-actor Ice Cube accepted Maher’s apology as well, but added, “I think we need to get to the root of the psyche, because I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they’re a little too familiar, or they think they’re too familiar,’ ” Gettell wrote.

According to Nielsen ratings, ABC topped all networks on the Comey hearings, bringing in 3.295 million overall viewers, with CBS close behind with 3.286 million viewers. (Credit: CNN)

According to Nielsen ratings, ABC topped all networks on the James Comey hearings, attracting 3.295 million overall viewers, while CBS was close behind with 3.286 million viewers. (Credit: CNN)

Big Comey Audience Includes Telemundo Twist

A congressional hearing rarely attracts much attention, but Thursday’s testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey brought major ratings, with nearly 20 million tuning in on television, not including those who watched online, Hadas Gold reported Friday for Politico.

David Bauder of the Associated Press added, “Besides the traditional networks, Spanish-language station Telemundo aired the testimony with a voiceover translation.

“Telemundo, in the moments before Comey started, also showed a simulated reconstruction of Trump and Comey meeting in the White House, with conversations in Spanish printed in cartoon-like bubbles over their heads. . . .”

In addition, Telemundo spokesman Camilo Pino told Journal-isms by email, “Noticias Telemundo also streamed the testimony doubled to Spanish on its digital platforms (TelemundoNoticias.com and Noticias Telemundo at Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat and Twitter).

“The Facebook Live has reached 2.8 million users. There was also a special program slated from 12PM to 1 with highlights and analysis of the speech.”

Racial issues were not part of the hearing, but at one point Comey mentioned that “I had two one-on-ones with President Obama. One to talk about law enforcement issues, law enforcement and race, which was an important topic throughout for me and for the president. . . . we spoke for probably over an hour, just the two of us.”

Left unsaid was that Obama had summoned Comey to the White House for the conversation on Oct. 29, 2015, after Comey’s unwelcome endorsement of the “Ferguson effect.”

Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Wesley Bruer wrote at the time for CNN, “A year after unrest in Ferguson, Mo., brought increased scrutiny of police, FBI Director James Comey has thrown his weight behind the idea that restraint by cops in the wake of criticism is at least partly to blame for a surge in violent crime in some cities.

As Jordan Fabian reported then for the Hill, “Obama pushed back against that idea, arguing the existence of a violent crime wave is not supported by statistics, even while acknowledging rates are up in some major cities. . . .”

Workers prepare the top of a 38-foot-tall granite monument to the Confederacy in St. Louis to be taken off with a crane on Thursday. the bulk of the memorial may remain in place for weeks. (Credit: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

On Thursday, workers prepared the top of a 38-foot-tall granite monument to the Confederacy in St. Louis for removal with a crane. The bulk of the memorial might remain in place for weeks. (Credit: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Marker to Honor Slave Who Killed Overseer

As opinion writers continue to weigh in on the fate of Confederate monuments, the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., took a middle path last Saturday, arguing for “addition as well as subtraction.

Confederate monuments have an oversized presence on the Southern landscape because, by comparison, there’s very little else. Why?” its editorial asked.

“As [New Orleans Mayor Mitch] Landrieu noted, there is much more to the rich history of the South than the Confederacy. Why the lack of monuments honoring the contributions — and the horrific oppression — of Native Americans? Or the role Quakers in Greensboro played in the Underground Railroad?

“Hence, a planned monument that will honor the heritage of African Americans on the grounds of the North Carolina Capitol is welcome, if overdue. Three Confederate monuments already are there. . . .”

It’s not a monument, but North Carolina Saturday plans to dedicate a historical marker where “In 1834, on a plantation in Edgecombe County, a slave named Will refused to share a hoe he had made with his own hands, an act of defiance that got him shot in the back by his white overseer,” Josh Shaffer reported Thursday for the News & Observer in Raleigh.

“As he lay wounded, Will reached up and fatally slashed his attacker on the hip and the arm, earning himself a trip to the gallows. . . . ” A lawyer persuaded a judge to reduce the charge to manslaughter.

The marker “comes at the request of the Phoenix Historical Society in Tarboro, which called Will’s defense ‘a simple act of resistance to slavery.’ . . .”

Could TV Viewing Be a Factor in Support for Trump?

Twenty years ago, “we conducted studies in the U.S. and Argentina that found that the more you watch television, the more likely you’ll embrace authoritarian tendencies and perspectives,” James Shanahan and Michael Morgan wrote Thursday for theconversation.com.

“Heavy American and Argentinian television viewers have a greater sense of fear, anxiety and mistrust. They value conformity, see the ‘other’ as a threat and are uncomfortable with diversity. . . .”

They also wrote, “In short, television programs often feature an authoritarian ethos when it comes to how characters are valued and how problems are solved.

“Given this, we were intrigued when, during the campaign, we saw studies suggesting that holding authoritarian values was a powerful predictor of support for [Donald] Trump.

“We wondered: If watching television contributes to authoritarianism, and if authoritarianism is a driving force behind support for Trump, then might television viewing – indirectly, by way of cultivating authoritarianism – contribute to support for Trump? . . .”

©2017 Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Reprinted with permission.

©2017 Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Reprinted with permission.

‘Race Plays a Part in So Many Things. . .’

“I drew the cartoon after reading a few stories about how opioids and drug overdoses are the number one killer in the US of people under 50,” Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette told Journal-isms Friday by email.

“In terms of comparing it to the crack epidemic, I wanted to point out how race plays a part in so many things in our society, even in how we respond to this kind of tragic epidemic.

“Comparing it to the crack epidemic illustrates how harsh our drug enforcement has been and how it has adversely affected the African-American community.”

Excuses for Kaepernick Unemployment Don’t Wash

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

We have heard a farcical parade of excuses by NFL owners and executives for why free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed,” Dave Zirin wrote Thursday for the Nation.

“ ‘He’s not 100 percent committed.’ ‘He’s more concerned with activism.’ ‘He’s a distraction.’ ‘He will only sign with a team if he starts.’ ‘He wants too much money.’ Even, ‘I am concerned about his conditioning now that he is a vegetarian’ (Real NFL players, if you haven’t heard, floss their teeth with steak gristle and drink testosterone shakes drained fresh from a bull’s balls.)

“Their foot-massagers in the media — especially much of the team at Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback page at Sports Illustrated — have dutifully repeated these assertions with metronomic regularity.

“Yet as each of these claims has been debunked by journalists actually communicating with Kaepernick and his people, they all continue to be reiterated. In other words, what is happening is a cycle of disinformation, carried out by media members who might as well wear the NFL brand tattooed on the small of their backs. . . .”

No Such Thing as Bleeping for This Paper

A man was recording the aftermath of an initial car crash on Bloomington Ave. and 24th St. in south Minneapolis, which had left one vehicle hung up on the roof of another…,” Mike Mullen reported there Friday for City Pages, “when suddenly, the man was recording a near-miss of a school bus speeding right at another bus, just as another car was approaching in the oncoming lane. . . .”

The short recording, posted by City Pages, is little more than exclamations of the “F-word” and the “N-Word.” A local television station bleeped them.

“Philosophically speaking, as an alternative weekly, we rarely censor language — our writers’ or our sources’,” Mullen said by email. “We never want to use something egregiously or just for shock value, but we don’t want to cut out language when it seems reasonable and appropriate.

“Given that the man who recorded this video had almost just seen two buses collide, I felt his response was easily justified.”

To fight state media censorship in Venezuela, journalists are using cardboard television screens to present news reports on city buses. (Credit: Kejal Vyas/Wall Street Journal)

To fight state media censorship in Venezuela, journalists are using cardboard television screens to present news reports on city buses. (Credit: Kejal Vyas/Wall Street Journal)

Venezuelans Deliver News Up Close and Personal

Journalist Laura Castillo and a group of six writers and artists in Venezuela are fighting censorship here by delivering the news personally to their compatriots,” Fox News reported Friday, crediting a Thursday report from the Wall Street Journal’s Kejal Vyas in Caracas.

“Last month they started riding public buses around the capital city and reading three-minute news broadcasts from behind a square cardboard frame meant to evoke a television set.

“El Bus TV updates its viewers on the country’s economic and social crisis in a way other news sources don’t under President Nicolás Maduro — a former bus driver, incidentally. . . .”

Georgia News Lab students at WSB-TV in Atlanta, 2015. Director David Armstrong, 2106 Bingham award winner, is fifth from left. (Credit: Georgia News Lab)

Georgia News Lab students at WSB-TV in Atlanta, 2015. Director David G. Armstrong, 2106 Bingham award winner, is fifth from left. (Credit: Georgia News Lab)

New Grads: Nominate Diversity-Friendly J-Educator

Beginning in 1990, the Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually granted a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — “in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism.”

AOJ merged last year into the American Society of News Editors, which is continuing the Bingham award tradition.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to “further work in progress or begin a new project.”

Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State University (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003).

Also, Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012); Vanessa Shelton, University of Iowa (2013); William Drummond, University of California at Berkeley (2014); Julian Rodriguez of the University of Texas at Arlington (2015) (video); and David G. Armstrong, Georgia State University (2016) (video).

Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, ASNE Opinion Journalism committee, richardprince (at) hotmail.com. The deadline is June 23. Please use that address only for ASNE matters.

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