60% of Hispanics Agree in New Poll

Media Turn to Puerto Rico Despite Logistical Issues

Lauren Williams Named Editor-in-Chief at Vox.com

Jemele Hill Says She Let Down Her Colleagues

Some in NFL Protest Fear Message Is Being Lost

Expanded Duties for Rob King at ESPN

First-Time TV Directors of Color Double

Blacks Less Likely to Find Relief From Bankruptcy

Jared Kushner’s Md. Tenants File Class Action Suit

Macron, at U.N., Backs Journalist Protections

Support Journal-isms

(Credit: PerryUndem)

(Credit: PerryUndem)

60% of Hispanics Agree in New Poll

A nearly unanimous 94 percent of African Americans think Donald Trump is unfit to be president, according to new polling, with 60 percent of Hispanics and 50 percent of whites agreeing, the Quinnipiac University national poll said on Wednesday.

In a separate survey of African Americans, conducted in July and August, 84 percent said they feel the country is on the wrong track and around two-thirds said they feel worried about President Trump and fear his policies will negatively affect black people.

That poll, “The Lives and Voices of Black America,” was conducted by PerryUndem and administered by the University of Chicago’s NORC AmeriSpeak panel, with funding from the Ford Foundation.

“The poll was commissioned by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and included questions about access to birth control and factors in deciding whether to have a child. Those answers also reflected anxiety about the administration,” Tara Bahrampour reported Tuesday in the Washington Post.

“It is striking that this new poll finds such large shares of black Americans saying it is a bad time to be a black man or woman in the U.S. today, while our earlier polls found much larger shares saying it was a good time to belong to one of these groups,” said Liz Hamel, director of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Bahrampour reported.

(Credit: MinnPost photo by Ibrahim Hirsi)

(Credit: MinnPost photo by Ibrahim Hirsi)

Meanwhile, a new poll released Monday by Latino Victory Project, Latino Decisions and America’s Voice found that “an overwhelming majority of Latinos — 76 percent — disapprove of President Donald Trump’s performance and 7 out [of] 10 believe the Republican Party doesn’t care about or is hostile toward Latinos.

“Additionally, for the first time in polling Latinos, racism and race relations rated as one of the most important issues facing our country,” Latino Decisions reported.

Though Latinos may have had low expectations of Trump given he launched his campaign by saying Mexico sends rapists and criminals to the U.S, the poll found that 59 percent of the
respondents think Trump is doing even worse than they expected,” Stephen A. Nuño wrote Monday for NBC Latino.

The PerryUndem poll found African Americans looking back to the Obama administration for trustworthy voices. Asked, “do you personally trust any of these people or groups to work on issues important to you?” the highest ratings went to former first lady Michelle Obama, former president Barack Obama, the NAACP, Black Lives Matter and the YMCA/YWCA.

While black voters are the racial demographic group with the strongest disapproval of Trump, they are by no means alone.

There are deep party, gender and racial divisions on whether President Trump is fit to serve,” the Quinnipiac University Poll found.

“Trump is not fit, Democrats say 94 – 5 percent and independent voters say 57 – 40 percent. Republicans say 84 – 14 percent that he is fit.

“Men are divided 49 – 49 percent, as women say 63 – 35 percent he is not fit.

“White voters are divided as 50 percent say he is fit and 48 percent say he is not fit. Trump is not fit, black voters say 94 – 4 percent and Hispanic voters say 60 – 40 percent.

“American voters disapprove 62 – 32 percent of the way President Trump is handling race relations. Disapproval is 55 – 39 percent among white voters, 95 – 3 percent among black voters and 66 – 28 percent among Hispanic voters. President Trump is doing more to divide the country than to unite the country, American voters say 60 – 35 percent. . . .”

Farmer Victor Lozada searches Friday for items that can be salvage from his shed in Puerto Rico that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. (Credit: Carl Juste/Miami Herald)

Farmer Victor Lozada searches Friday for items that can be salvage from his shed in Puerto Rico that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. (Credit: Carl Juste/Miami Herald)

Media Turn to Puerto Rico Despite Logistical Issues

After criticism that the news media were neglecting the hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico in favor of President Trump’s salvos at the National Football League and the congressional health-care efforts, the island has returned to the top of the news. Newspaper editorials helped push it there.

Reporting from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been one of the toughest assignments for journalists, as the island is grappling with damaged infrastructure, limited commercial flights and spotty electricity and cell service,” Hadas Gold reported Wednesday for CNNMoney. “And yet, nearly every major American English and Spanish-language broadcast, cable network and national newspaper [has] correspondents on the ground.

“The networks have not necessarily deployed their big name anchors as they did for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the storm and its aftermath [are] not attracting the same wall-to-wall coverage. Nonetheless, intrepid journalists are still getting to the story, and sometimes become the first outsiders to reach remote areas on the island.

“Some reporters were in place before the hurricane hit last Wednesday. But many more have just started arriving in the past few days on the few commercial flights available, or tagging along with rescue missions and military transports. Reporters on the island are resorting to filing stories using satellite phones by dictation, relying on the few places with generators, whatever cell service and WiFi they can find (especially in the capital San Juan) and other broadcasting services like LiveU and FlyAway to get their stories online and on air.

” ‘Most of the team is staying at hotels without electricity and water. They have relied on the local station for water and power. Needless to say, gas, food and cash are hard to get,’ said Telemundo spokesperson Camilo Pino.

“Spanish language networks have gone all in on the coverage to cater to their Spanish-speaking viewers, many of whom may have family ties with those on the island. Telemundo sent three correspondents and one host, in addition to dozens of producers, cameramen and fixers who are working closely with the local affiliate, Pino said.

“Univision has 35 people on the ground and a remote FlyAway studio for transmission, a network spokesperson said. . . .”

Vox executive editor Allison Rockey, left, editor-in-chief Lauren Williams, editor-at-large Ezra Klein. (Credit: Joss Fong/Vox)

Vox executive editor Allison Rockey, left, editor-in-chief Lauren Williams, editor-at-large Ezra Klein. (Credit: Joss Fong/Vox)

Lauren Williams Named Editor-in-Chief at Vox.com

Lauren Williams, a veteran of TheRoot.com, Mother Jones and AOL Black Voices, has been named editor-in-chief of vox.com, where she was executive editor, co-founder Ezra Klein, the previous editor-in-chief, announced on Tuesday.

The promotion stands in contrast with the start-up’s image when it launched in 2014, when it was a lightning rod for complaints that Internet startups were devoid of racial diversity.

“Effective immediately, Lauren Williams will be Vox’s new editor-in-chief. Allison Rockey will be our new executive editor and director of editorial strategy. And I’ll be Vox’s editor-at-large,” Klein told readers.

“These are big changes, and they’re the product of many months of thinking about how Vox needs to be structured to thrive amid the pressures of this news era and to take advantage of the huge opportunities that lie before us.

“Soon, we’ll be launching our most ambitious foray into audio journalism yet: a daily explainer podcast, staffed by a dedicated six-person team and tasked with bringing our core approach to the news to a whole new audience.

“After that, we’ll be launching our most ambitious video project yet: Next year, Vox will bring its explanatory journalism to TV. . . .”

Brian Stelter added for CNNMoney, “Vox bills itself as a destination for explanatory journalism. It has been a closely watched venture since Klein left The Washington Post to launch it in 2014. Its parent company, Vox Media, also operates The Verge, SBNation, Eater, and other titles. . . .”

Williams had been story editor at Mother Jones, associate editor and deputy editor of The Root and lifestyle editor at AOL Black Voices before Klein “reached out to me” in 2014, she told Journal-isms then.

Jemele Hill Says She Let Down Her Colleagues

Jemele Hill (Credit: Allen Kee /ESPN Images)

Jemele Hill (Credit: Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

I had not felt that way since … until two weeks ago when I was sitting in ESPN president John Skipper’s office having the most difficult conversation of my career,” ESPN host Jemele Hill wrote Wednesday for the Undefeated, describing some of the fallout from her  tweeting Sept. 11 that President Trump was a white supremacist.

“It was the first time I had ever cried in a meeting. I didn’t cry because Skipper was mean or rude to me. I cried because I felt I had let him and my colleagues down.

“Since my tweets criticizing President Donald Trump exploded into a national story, the most difficult part for me has been watching ESPN become a punching bag and seeing a dumb narrative kept alive about the company’s political leanings. . . .”

Hill also wrote, “Still, Twitter wasn’t the place to vent my frustrations because, fair or not, people can’t or won’t separate who I am on Twitter from the person who co-hosts the 6 p.m. SportsCenter. Twitter also isn’t a great place to have nuanced, complicated discussions, especially when it involves race. Warriors player Kevin Durant and I probably need to take some classes about how to exercise better self-control on Twitter. Lesson learned.

“Also, let me be clear about something else: My criticisms of the president were never about politics. In my eyes, they were about right and wrong. I love this country. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t want it to be better. . . .”

Some in NFL Protest Fear Message Is Being Lost

As Week 4 of the NFL is set to begin on Thursday night in Green Bay, Wis., the question in locker rooms on Wednesday was simple: What next?,” Lindsay H. Jones wrote Wednesday for USA Today.

“More than 200 players took a knee or locked arms during the national anthem before games on Sunday and Monday, a united front in response to comments from President Trump that attacked individual players and the game at large. . . .”

Jones also wrote, “When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first player to protest during the anthem in August 2016, he did so with the intent of using his platform to raise awareness about police brutality and other social injustices. Other players, such as 49ers teammate Eric Reid, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall and Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, joined him in either kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem.

“Now some of those players are concerned that Trump’s comments, including those made on Wednesday when he said the NFL business would ‘go to hell’ if the league didn’t change its rules regarding protests during the anthem, have obscured the meaning of the protests.

“ ‘We can’t get lost in what Trump’s said,’ Marshall told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. ‘We have to try to change the narrative back to what the original message was about.’

“Others agree. . . .”

Expanded Duties for Rob King at ESPN

Rob King

Rob King

The Big Lead has obtained a memo, printed in full at the bottom of the page, in which ESPN has just informed its employees of another executive reorganization,” Ryan Glasspiegel reported Tuesday for the Big Lead.

“The biggest changes are that Norby Williamson will now be overseeing SportsCenter. Rob King, who previously oversaw SportsCenter but took on the digital oversight roles of departing executive John Kosner in June, will now newly be overseeing 30 for 30 and ESPN Films, which were previously under Williamson’s purview.

“King will also now be overseeing the ESPN Stats & Information department. Essentially, he is now in charge of news and original storytelling on all of ESPN’s television and digital platforms. He will also oversee the editorial direction of the ESPN app.

“Both King and Williamson will continue to report to ESPN content chief Connor Schell. . . .”

First-Time TV Directors of Color Double

The pipeline of new episodic television directors grew larger than ever before and became markedly more inclusive in the 2016/17 television season — with the percentage of ethnic minority first-time TV directors more than doubling since 2009/10 and the percentage of women nearly tripling — according to a report published today by the Directors Guild of America,” the guild reported Wednesday.

“ ‘Finally, after years of our efforts to educate the industry, hold employers accountable through our contracts, and push them to do better, we’re seeing signs of meaningful improvement,’ said DGA President Thomas Schlamme.

“The move toward inclusion — after years of glacial progress — suggests that qualified people who have previously been overlooked because of their race or gender are beginning to get recognition and opportunities commensurate with their talent. . . .”

Lynn Elber added for the Associated Press, “The expanding world of TV has brought more opportunity overall, with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu joining broadcast and cable platforms to push the combined number of TV series to 400-plus and counting. An all-time high of 225 first-time directors were hired last season by studios, networks and executive producers, a 42 percent increase over the previous season, the study found. . . .”

Blacks Less Likely to Find Relief From Bankruptcy

Black people struggling with debts are far less likely than their white peers to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy, according to a ProPublica analysis,” a ProPublica headline said Wednesday in introducing a report by Paul Kiel with Hannah Fresques, co-published with the Atlantic. “Primarily to blame is a style of bankruptcy practiced by lawyers in the South.”

"Too Broke for Bankruptcy"

“Too Broke for Bankruptcy”

In a piece accompanying “Too Broke for Bankruptcy,” Kiel and Fresques wrote, “In this analysis, using a national dataset of bankruptcy filings, we document the scope of racial disparities in bankruptcy filings and outcomes. These disparities are large, pervasive and remain even when considering a host of factors, including income, assets, and the court districts where debtors lived.

“Specifically, we found that for people residing in majority black zip codes who file for bankruptcy, the odds of having their cases dismissed (and failing to attain lasting relief) were more than twice as high as those of debtors living in mostly white zip codes.

“The main driver of this disparity is chapter choice. Black people struggling with debts are choosing to file under Chapter 13, as opposed to Chapter 7, at much higher rates. Unlike Chapter 7, which in almost all cases provides permanent debt relief within a matter of months, Chapter 13 is a particularly risky choice for these debtors, because Chapter 13 usually requires five years of payments before any debt is wiped out, and black Americans are much less likely to have the resources to run this gauntlet. . . .”

Fontana Village, a Baltimore-area apartment complex owned by Jared Kushner’s real-estate company, Kushner Companies (Credit: wm-fontanavillage.com)

Fontana Village, a Baltimore-area apartment complex owned by Jared Kushner’s real-estate company, Kushner Companies (Credit: wm-fontanavillage.com)

Jared Kushner’s Md. Tenants File Class Action Suit

Baltimore-area tenants of the apartment company owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to President Donald J. Trump, filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging the firm has been charging improper fees and threatening eviction to force payment,” Doug Donovan reported Wednesday for the Baltimore Sun.

“The two tenants who filed the lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court Wednesday morning are Tenae Smith, who lives in the Dutch Village apartments in Northeast Baltimore, and Howard Smith, who lives in the Carroll Park apartments in Middle River.

“The tenants are asking the court to certify the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of all tenants living in the 17 apartment complexes in Maryland owned by the Kushner Cos. and managed by its affiliate, Westminster Management.

“Westminster Management manages nearly 8,800 units in Maryland. . . .”

In May, ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis reported that Kushner quietly bought-up thousands of modest and run-down apartment units in Essex and other Baltimore suburbs, whose tenants complain of poor maintenance, harsh rent collection techniques, and relentless pursuit of old and sometimes dubious debts generated after tenants moved out.”

By email, MacGillis then gave Journal-isms his “rough sense” of the racial breakdown of the affected tenants:

“Four of the 15 complexes are virtually all black.
“9 or 10 of them are mixed white and black, in varying degrees. Most of those are probably still majority black.
“1 or 2 have quite a few Hispanic residents mixed in as well.”

Macron, at U.N., Backs Journalist Protections

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly” on Sept. 19, “French President Emmanuel Macron backed a call by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and a coalition of more than 130 NGOs and media outlets for the creation of a concrete mechanism to enforce international law regarding the protection of journalists,” the press freedom group reported.

“RSF has been calling for the creation of this mechanism for the past two years as part of the #ProtectJournalists campaign.

“After defending press freedom in his address, President Macron said: ‘I call for the appointment of a special representative of the United Nations secretary-general for the protection of journalists throughout the world, because the fight against terrorism and the harsher world we are living in should under no circumstances justify any reduction in this freedom.’ . . .”

Reporters Without Borders also wrote, “At least 780 journalists and media workers have been killed in connection with their work in the past ten years, despite strong resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council. No fewer than 78 journalists were killed worldwide in 2016 alone. At least 35 journalists and media workers have been killed since the start of 2017. . . .”

 

Support Journal-isms

Facebook users: “Like” “Richard Prince’s Journal-isms” on Facebook.

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter @princeeditor

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.
Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince at journal-isms-owner@yahoogroups.com

To be notified of new columns, contact journal-isms-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and tell us who you are.

About Richard Prince

View previous columns (after Feb. 13, 2016).