Black Fox News Staffers Sound Off About 'Difficult' Work Environment

Harris Faulkner, host of the Fox News Channel show "Outnumbered," atop Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network, who said that he could do push-ups with Faulkner on his back. (Faulkner is not named in complaints about Fox News
Fox News Screenshot
Harris Faulkner, host of the Fox News Channel show "Outnumbered," atop Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network, who said that he could do push-ups with Faulkner on his back. (Faulkner is not named in complaints about Fox News
Fox News Screenshot

Network Blasts Observation by Former NABJ President

"African-American Fox News staffers find it 'very difficult' to work at the network, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists Bob Butler told TheWrap on Thursday," Jordan Charlton reported for


" 'I've talked to some folks who work there and it's very difficult, especially when you have all the hit pieces that are done on Obama,' Butler said.

"His comments come as Rupert Murdoch continues to face criticism over a controversial tweet on Wednesday that insinuated President Obama isn't 'a real black president.' Murdoch apologized on Thursday.


"But those disillusioned staffers also told Butler, 'Look, this is a job, I have to do it, and sometimes you have to just hold your nose and do what you have to do to collect a paycheck.' Butler, who served as president of the NABJ from 2013-2015, said those employees are good producers who pride themselves on covering news.

"Regarding Murdoch's comments suggesting the president isn't an authentic black president, a dumbfounded Butler wondered 'what does that even mean?'

"He's not surprised Murdoch isn't a fan of Obama judging by the editorial policies of his properties, but wouldn't call him a racist.

" 'I always stop short of saying someone is being blatantly racist,' Butler continued before saying it's troubling for Murdoch, who isn't black, to be deciding who is 'black enough. '. . ."


"Sarah Glover, current president of the National Association of Black Journalists, declined TheWrap's request for comment."

Charlton followed up with an update: "A spokesperson for Fox News said in a statement to TheWrap, 'We find it extremely suspect that Bob Butler, with whom we had nothing but a good relationship during his two-term tenure as President at the NABJ, would choose now to come out publicly with complaints of the network.


"He had ample opportunity to voice concerns as President, and now that his platform is gone, it seems these comments are nothing more than a bid for attention.' "

Butler served one term as NABJ president after two terms as vice president/broadcast. 


Alan Rappeport of the New York Times wrote Thursday of the Murdoch flap, "The media mogul set off a firestorm on Wednesday night after Ben Carson, the Republican presidential candidate, appeared on Fox News. Praising the performance of the retired neurosurgeon, who is black, Mr. Murdoch wrote on Twitter that he might be better suited than the president to heal America's racial divide.

"The backlash ensued quickly, with people accusing Mr. Murdoch of being racist and questioning his qualifications to pass judgment on someone's 'blackness.'


"Mr. Murdoch followed up by pointing to a recent New York magazine article that addressed the question of whether Mr. Obama, the country's first black president, has done enough for the African-American community during his time in office. . . .

"Realizing the anger that he stirred, Mr. Murdoch said on Thursday that he was sorry and that he finds both Mr. Obama and Mr. Carson to be 'charming.' "


Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Rupert's "real black", and Emerge magazine is back.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: With Ben Carson, the Doctor Is Always Out

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Rupert Murdoch doesn't know black

Joe Concha, Mediaite: Vaguely Anti-Semitic, Ratings-Challenged Trevor Noah Laughable in Lecturing Murdoch


David A. Graham, the Atlantic: A Short History of Whether Obama Is Black Enough, Featuring Rupert Murdoch

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: How Ben Carson, Whom Murdoch Calls a "Real Black President," Will Govern


Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Carson's gunning for a scary America

Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Ben Carson, Brother From Another Planet


Damon Tweedy, Washington Post: Ben Carson inspired a generation of black doctors. Now we don't know what to make of his second act.

Fox Story on Dearborn Prompts Calls to Bomb City

"A woman was stoned in Dearborn last year, an unidentified man said on Fox News' top rated show," Ali Harb reported Wednesday for Arab American News, referring to the Detroit suburb. "If you did not hear about the incident, it is because it never happened. The claim was one of many false allegations in a Fox report on Arabs and Muslims in the city.


"The video segment aired on the O'Reilly Factor Monday night; a day later, close to a dozen calls for bombing Dearborn surfaced on Fox News's Facebook page. City officials and community activists condemned the news network for its inaccurate portrayal of the city.

"Calling Dearborn the 'Arabic [capital]' of North America, Fox reporter Jesse Watters falsely alleges Muslims control the city council and the police chief is Muslim. Chief Ronald Haddad is Christian, and only two out of Dearborn's seven-member city council identify as Muslim.


"In the report, Watters interviews several Arab American residents asking short, insolent questions with a broad smile, quickly moving the microphone, as to appear funny.

"His hard-hitting journalism included questions like:

" 'Do you like Christmas?'

" 'Which way is Mecca?'

" 'Do you miss the desert?' . . ."

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Some would prefer that Muslims not use Wichita State chapel


Is Editorial Cartoon on Gun Violence Too Crass?

"I did not choose the editorial cartoon for Monday's paper without some reflection," Allen Johnson, editorial page editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., wrote Tuesday.


"Was it crass or distasteful?

"Was its humor too dark with the wounds still fresh from yet another mass shooting?


"After some additional reflection, I chose to publish it, to the chagrin of some outraged readers.

" 'Who is responsible for the disgusting weather cartoon?' one reader seethed in a morning email.


" 'So insensitive and disgraceful. Shame on the N&R !!! This is more reason to stop my subscription which I have been thinking about lately.'

"Only a few minutes later came an irate phone call.

"(What is it they say about rainy days on Mondays?)

"Here was my reasoning, I explained: I saw the cartoon as a commentary on how common mass shootings have become.


"The true insensitivity, as I see it, is the lack of any collective will in this country to address the problem. . . ."

There was more to come. On Friday, Jim Mitchell, editorial writer at the Dallas Morning News, blogged, "Now this Friday, more deaths from gun violence. The first at Northern Arizona; the second at Texas Southern University.


"I am not thrilled by the president going around Congress, but as a nation we have choices to make. Either do something about gun violence, be it on the streets of Chicago or against students or parishioners. Or we pretend that gun violence is just something, we are destined to live with, or more to the point, die from. . . ."

Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Violence an unavoidable aspect of America

Justin Glawe, Daily Beast: America's Mass-Shooting Capital Is Chicago

Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: A welcome Democratic duel over gun control (accessible via search engine)


Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Hatred in White American DNA

Jeff Yang, CNN: Make gun owners get mandatory insurance

Mizzou to Require Campus-Wide Diversity Training

The University of Missouri, which houses one of the nation's most prominent journalism schools, "will require all students, faculty and staff to take diversity and inclusion training," Kasia Kovacs reported Thursday for the Missourian in Columbia, Mo., a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students.


"For students starting at MU in the spring semester, the training will begin in January. For current students, faculty and staff, the timeline is uncertain.

"The training program is in response to instances of people using racist slurs on or near campus over the past month, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced in a statement to the MU community Thursday morning.


"The program will teach students about racism concerns at MU, inform them of diverse organizations and resources on campus and emphasize the role of inclusion at the university, the chancellor's message said.

"Students who do not successfully complete this training will not be eligible to enroll in classes. . . ."


Kovacs also wrote, "Loftin had at least two private meetings with students and faculty Wednesday morning, after he returned from an international trip. One was [with] the Rev. Carl Kenney, an adjunct journalism faculty member and a columnist for the Columbia Missourian, and Craig Roberts, a plant sciences professor at MU and a member of the Faculty Council committee on race relations. Another meeting was with student members of the Legion of Black Collegians (LBC), who were recently the targets of racist slurs. . . ."

Emil Guillermo, NBC News Asian America: New Maynard Director: Newsroom Diversity Requires Effort


Dexter Thomas, Los Angeles Times: Forbes deleted a white tech writer's article that called Silicon Valley a 'meritocracy'

Benét J. Wilson, #MediaDiversity – The Struggle Continues

2 Investigations Find Courts Used Unfairly Against Debtors

"On a recent Saturday afternoon, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city's first black mayor," Paul Kiel and Annie Waldman reported Thursday for ProPublica.


"On the screen was a list of every debt collection lawsuit against a resident of her city, at least 4,500 in just five years. Henderson asked to see her own street. On her block of 16 modest ranch-style homes, lawsuits had been filed against the occupants of eight. 'That's my neighbor across the street,' she said, pointing to one line on the screen.

"And then she saw her own suit. Henderson, a single mother, fell behind on her sewer bill after losing her job a few years ago, and the utility successfully sued her. . . . "


Kiel and Waldman also wrote, "The story is the same down the road in Normandy and in every other black community nearby. In fact, when ProPublica attempted to measure, for the first time, the prevalence of judgments stemming from these suits, a clear pattern emerged: they were massed in black neighborhoods.

"The disparity was not merely because black families earn less than white families. Our analysis of five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — showed that even accounting for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones.


"These findings could suggest racial bias by lenders or collectors. But we found that there is another explanation: That generations of discrimination have left black families with grossly fewer resources to draw on when they come under financial pressure.

"Over the past year, ProPublica has investigated a little-known but pervasive shift in the way debt is collected in America: Companies now routinely use the courts to pursue millions of people over even small consumer debts. With the power granted by a court judgment, collectors can seize a chunk of a debtor's pay. The highest rates of garnishment are among workers who earn between $25,000 and $40,000, but the numbers are nearly as high for those who earn even less. . . ."


The story was co-published with Marketplace.

Meanwhile, Kendall Taggart and Alex Campbell reported Wednesday for BuzzFeed, "A BuzzFeed News investigation into Texas judicial practice found that with no public defenders present, traffic court judges routinely flout the law, locking up people for days, weeks, and sometimes even months because they did not pay fines they could not afford. The result is a modern-day version of debtors prison, an institution that was common two centuries ago but has been outlawed since the early ’70s.


"Unpaid fines are a vexing problem for municipalities across the country, and uninsured drivers can indeed be a hazard, but Texas law leaves no doubt as to how courts must handle someone who has been arrested for unpaid fines. And it provides an unambiguous, step-by-step process that includes an alternative punishment for those too poor to pay their fines. . . ."

Paul Kiel and Annie Waldman, ProPublica: How We Analyzed Racial Disparity in Debt Collection Lawsuits


Body Cameras Capture Dramatic Footage of Undocumented

"Last month's dramatic rescue of nearly 40 undocumented immigrants in the back of a sweltering 18-wheeler was captured by the body cameras worn by Frio County sheriff's deputies," Jessie Degollado reported Wednesday for KSAT-TV in San Antonio. The footage made it onto network news programs on Friday.


"Deputy Aaron Ramirez and Sgt. Jerry Reyna were the first to arrive Sept. 18 at a truck stop north of Pearsall after a caller reported to 911 about seeing a driver allegedly telling the people to get out, only to tell them to get back in the trailer. They said it had no refrigeration, only a small door in the back.

" 'I could only see arms sticking out of it,' Ramirez said.

"Reyna went to speak to the driver who the witnesses had pointed out.

" 'The driver was just standing there, not a care in the world,' Reyna said.

"Yet on Wednesday, Drew Christopher Potter, 33, of Watuga, outside Fort Worth, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of conspiracy to smuggle and transport 39 undocumented men and women, including four minors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. . . ."


Meanwhile, "news media that speak to the populist base of the Republican Party" are losing interest in front-runner Donald Trump, whose campaign "is focused almost entirely on stopping illegal immigration," Ashley Parker and Amy Chozick reported Wednesday for the New York Times.

"Though many of the mainstream outlets favored by the Republican establishment — most notably the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal — have always greeted Mr. Trump's candidacy with a critical, if not disdainful eye, that discomfort has spread to the news media that speak to the populist base of the Republican Party, whose anger at Washington has helped fuel Mr. Trump's rise," they wrote.


"Fox News opinion commentators no longer go on breathlessly about Mr. Trump's antics, and conservative talk-radio programs have moved on to fawn over Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. . . ."

Elizabeth Elizalde, CNN: Millennials: What they want from the candidates

Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Fusion to Assign Reporters to Issues, Not Candidates

Cristina Lopez, Media Matters for America: Fox Sports Ignores Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Of Trump To Promote U.S. vs. Mexico Soccer Match


For Some, the Day Will Honor Indians, Not Columbus

"When Columbus Day comes around each year there is consternation in the Native American community across America. Columbus Day parades, particularly the one held in Denver, are disrupted by militant American Indians," Tim Giago reported Tuesday in his "Notes From Indian Country" for the Huffington Post.


"On some Indian reservations black armbands are worn to recognize what the indigenous people consider a 'day of infamy.' "

"But who would have 'thunk' that in [a] state Indian activists once called 'The Mississippi of the North' we would be the only state in the Union that chose not [to] celebrate Columbus Day," Giago continued, referring to South Dakota.


"How could such a state, condemned by activists for years, have risen above the fray and distinguished itself as a leader in white/Indian relations? The credit must go to the power of the Indian press. Here is how it happened. . . ."

Nick Estes, Victory! Albuquerque Declares Indigenous Peoples Day


Kris Lane, Washington Post: Five myths about Christopher Columbus

Valerie Taliman, Indian Country Today Media Network: California Native American Day Celebrates Cultural Pride and Tribal Partnerships


Native Magazine Won't Ask for Your "Colonized" Name

"No one knows better than Indigenous people that names are important. Sacred even," Taté Walker wrote for the September-October issue of Native Peoples magazine.


"Names, especially traditional ones, are given with careful thought and purpose. Sometimes, children wait years before receiving a traditional Native name from elders who want to ensure a proper fit. These names have value. They are real.

"We've experienced how destructive names can be, like those of certain sports teams or those forced upon our ancestors and our land by colonizers. We've also seen the pride associated with having traditional names recognized and honored, as with the recent federal name change of Alaska's Mt. [McKinley] to Denali, and the 2008 federal decision to change Squaw Peak in Arizona to Piestawa Peak.


"I have gone my whole life fighting for the acceptance of my name, Taté, Lakota 'wind' (as in the weather). It is my legal middle name. More importantly, it's the name my loved ones gave me and call me. For many, however, including past employers, doctors and teachers, the name is 'weird,' 'hard to pronounce,' or 'different.' In other words, it doesn't fit their colonized mindset of how a name should look or sound and these people have often said they would call me by my first name (Jonnie, after my father, John), because it was easier. This is the definition of microaggression and cultural erasure.

"At Native Peoples magazine, we are fully aware of the importance of names and do our best to be fair and accurate to all our sources. We would never ask sources to identify themselves by their 'English' or 'Christian' or 'colonized' names. Ever. . . ."


. . . White Teacher Has Empathy for Unique "Black" Names

"What's wrong with black names anyway? What about them is so unacceptable?" Steven Singer, a white teacher and education activist, asked last month on his gadflyonthewallblog blog.


"We act as if only European and Anglicized names are reasonable. But I don't have to go far down my rosters to find white kids with names like Braelyn, Declyn, Jaydon, Jaxon, Gunner or Hunter. I've never heard white folks yucking it up over those names.

"I can't imagine why white people even expect people of color to have the same sorts of names as we do. When you pick the label by which your child will be known, you often resort to a shared cultural history. My great-great-grandfather was David, so I'll honor his memory by calling my firstborn son the same. Jennifer is a name that's been in my family for generations so I'll reconnect with that history by calling my daughter by the same name.


"Few black people in America share this same culture with white people. If a black man’s great-great-grandfather's name was David, that might not be the name he was born with — it may have been chosen for him — forced upon him — by his slave master. It should be obvious why African Americans may be uncomfortable reconnecting with that history.

"Many modern black names are, in fact, an attempt to reconnect with the history that was stolen from them. . . ."


TMZ: Raven-Symone Getting Ripped for Refusing to Hire 'Black' Names


Project to Report on Missing "Ghost Boat" of 243 Africans

"The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014 set off a worldwide search for the missing plane," Laura Hazard Owen reported Wednesday for NiemanLab. "How could a flight carrying 239 people just go missing? The mystery dominated news cycles for months. (In July 2015, a piece of the plane’s wing was found on an island in the Indian Ocean


"But just three months after Flight 370 went down, another group of passengers went missing — 243 men, women, and children. The passengers were refugees, mostly from the severely repressive African country of Eritrea, fleeing the country in the hopes of reaching Italy. The boat they took from Libya disappeared in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. This time, nobody noticed, except for the families of those missing.

"Bobbie Johnson, a senior editor at Medium and cofounder of the Medium publication Matter, had been thinking for a while about the migration crisis and feeling powerless.


" 'As a European, I have been watching the refugee crisis and wondering how people can really understand what's going on and make a tangible difference,' Johnson told me. 'Finding out what happened here seems to be one way of doing that.'

"On Tuesday night, Medium launched Ghost Boat, a new series that aims to find out what happened to the boat and its passengers. Readers will be included in the investigative process. . . ."


Owen also wrote, "Over the next couple of months, Medium will run weekly posts exploring and following the case. The lead reporter, Eric Reidy, is an American journalist based in Tunisia. He's working with Meron Estefanos, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist and human rights activist who publishes the radio show Voices of Eritrean Refugees.

"The first 'episode' is here. For at least eight weeks, Medium will run feature-length Ghost Boat stories along with running commentary of evidence and updates. . . ."


Scott Simon with Eric Reidy, "Weekend Edition Saturday," NPR: In Search Of A Ghost Boat And The 243 On Board (Oct. 10)

Short Takes

"The family of Walter Scott will get a settlement of $6.5 million from the city of North Charleston, the largest such payout in the recent high-profile killings of black men by police officers," Brenda Rindge reported Thursday for the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. "With members of Scott's family seated in the audience, City Council unanimously voted Thursday to approve the settlement, which City Attorney Brady Hair called 'the largest settlement for this type of case in the state of South Carolina,' adding that he feels it's in line settlements on similar cases nationwide. . . ."


"After announcing a change in programming priorities in September, the Doral-based Fusion, a joint venture between Univision and the Walt Disney-owned ABC News, has revamped its overall television schedule and laid off 30 full-time employees," Rene Rodriguez reported Wednesday for the Miami Herald.

"The McClatchy Company, a chain of more than 30 U.S. newspapers, is expected to close its foreign bureaus by the end of 2015, according to sources familiar with the plans," Michael Calderone reported Friday for Huffington Post. "Following rumors in August that McClatchy might shutter its five bureaus — Beijing, Mexico City, Istanbul, Berlin and Irbil, Iraq — Chief Executive Pat Talamantes told Politico that no final decision had been made. But on Friday, Dion Nissenbaum, a former McClatchy reporter who now covers national security for the Wall Street Journal, seemed to confirm the speculation on Twitter. . . ."


"Crowdfunding is an option more and more organizations are turning to to support Aboriginal reporting — for good reason," H.G. Watson wrote Thursday for the Canadian Journalism Project.

"The controversy wracking Wesleyan University's campus in response to Bryan Stascavage's Sept. 14 Argus opinion piece criticizing Black Lives Matter has culminated in a student-government resolution to divert a bulk of the newspaper’s printing budget to work-study positions at various campus publications," Tara Jeffries reported Wednesday for the Student Press Law Center. ". . . The work-study positions would be aimed at increasing diversity in the campus' student publications, which are predominantly white. . . ."


"Newsweek announced Thursday that it has hired Seung Y. Lee to work as a consumer tech reporter for the weekly magazine," Chris Roush reported Thursday for Talking Biz News. "Lee will be based in San Francisco. He has previously worked at the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Magazine. He has also written for Vice Magazine and Popular Science. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he speaks fluent Korean. But Lee considers himself a lifelong Californian, having grown up in inner-city Los Angeles and graduated from Cal-Berkeley with a degree in political economy. . . ."

"impreMedia is undergoing a top management change. Francisco Seghezzo, who has led the company since 2012, will leave the post to return to LA NACIÓN in Argentina," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for her Media Moves site. "He'll be replaced by Gabriel Dantur as impreMedia's new CEO, effective January 1st, 2016. LA NACIÓN acquired impreMedia in 2012. . . . "


"For the first time since 2008, Iraq isn't at the top of Committee to Protect Journalists' annual Impunity Index. The annual report details countries where journalists are killed with no resulting convictions. This year, the top spot went to Somalia," the Shabelle Media Network in Mogadishu, Somalia, reported Thursday. "The report, which was released Thursday, includes 14 countries where at least five journalists were murdered and no one was convicted of those murders. . . ."

"Gunmen have shot dead a television journalist in northern India, the latest in a string of killings in recent months of reporters in the country, police said Monday," Agence France-Presse reported Monday. The reporter, Hemant Yadav, who worked for Hindi news channel TV 24, "was returning home from a market in Uttar Pradesh state on Saturday night when he was shot by unknown assailants on a motorbike. . . ."


Referring to Guinea, Reporters Without Borders said Friday that it "strongly condemns the severe beating that journalist Thierno Amadou Camara received from members of the ruling RPG Arc-en-ciel party in the eastern city of Siguiri on 5 October, six days before Sunday’s presidential election. A reporter for the online daily Guinée Matin (, Thierno Amadou Camara had gone to Siguiri to cover the tension between rival ruling party factions and was interviewing the city's mayor when he was assaulted and repeatedly hit by party activists armed with stones and clubs, who seized his camera and threatened to kill him. He is still in a state of shock. . . ."

The International Press Institute said Wednesday that it had "joined 14 other non-governmental organisations in a statement supporting a recent European Parliament resolution that criticised the human rights situation in Angola. The resolution, adopted on Sept. 10, highlighted in particular the 'increasing shrinking space for freedoms of expression.' In May IPI condemned the suspended six-month prison sentence handed to Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais over his book outlining human rights abuses connected with the country's diamond mining industry, saying the verdict represented a 'cynical abuse of law.' . . ."

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