Florida Killer Not in White-Power Group After All

  • How Supremacist Trolls Spread Rumors to Media
  • Modern-Day Redlining Found in 61 Metro Areas
  • AP’s Holland Shares in ‘Black Panther’ Phenomenon
  • FCC Watchdog Investigates Chairman’s Sinclair Ties
  • NBC Insists on Own Pronunciation of ‘Pyeongchang’
  • UNC’s Invitation to Tucker Carlson Draws Scorn
  • Laura Ingraham to LeBron: ‘Shut Up and Dribble’
  • Columnist Says Black History Month Has Failed
  • Lerone Bennett Jr. Services Scheduled Feb. 24
  • Short Takes

Florida school shooting victims are identified as families, community grieve. (Credit: ABC News)


How Supremacist Trolls Spread Rumors to Media

Following misrepresentations by a white nationalist leader and coordinated efforts by internet trolls, numerous researchers and media outlets spread a seemingly false claim that the man charged with killing more than a dozen people at a Florida high school belonged to an extremist group,” Shawn Musgrave reported Friday for Politico.


“Law enforcement agencies say they have no evidence so far to support this claim, and the rumor appears to have been perpetrated by white nationalist trolls themselves.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League reported that a white supremacist group claimed ties with Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to the shooting spree that killed at least 17 people, including many high-school students, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Nikolas Cruz was taken into custody. (SunSentinel)

“ ‘A spokesperson for the white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF) told the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday, February 15, that Nikolas Cruz [....] was associated with his group,’ the ADL reported. The ADL quoted a man named Jordan Jereb, who runs the small group, which is based in Tallahassee.


“ ‘Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or wanted Cruz to do anything like the school shooting,’ the ADL wrote in a blog post that was quickly picked up by ABC News and The Associated Press, and later percolated through dozens of other media outlets. Even The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, picked up the claim

“Some outlets reported they had their own conversations with Jereb or classmates of Cruz who allegedly corroborated the association of Cruz with ROF.


“But a few hours later, after law enforcement agencies said they had no evidence linking Cruz to ROF, Jereb said his identification of Cruz was a ‘misunderstanding’ and that he, too, had been the subject of a ‘prank.’ On online forums and Twitter, trolls and white nationalists gloated at the disinformation they had sowed.

“ ‘All of our evidence seems to point to the ADL getting this wrong,’ said Joan Donovan, a researcher who tracks online misinformation campaigns for Data & Society, a think tank in New York City.


“The ADL subsequently revised its report, as did many news outlets. . . .”

Associated Press: White nationalist leader walks back comments that shooting suspect was group member


Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune: The numbing effect of multiple school shootings

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Trump shoots blanks: He offers condolences but empty platitudes in the wake of South Florida’s school massacre


Editorial, Miami Herald: Yes, ‘it’ happened here. There’s been a mass school shooting in Florida — now what?

Editorial, South Florida SunSentinel: Warning signs everywhere before school shooting, but then what?


Free Speech TV: White Supremacy, Patriarchy and Guns: FL Shooter Had Record of Death Threats, Violence Against Women

Cristina López G., Media Matters for America: Chronicle of a white supremacist PR crisis and the making of a hoax


Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times: A Familiar Editorial Split After Parkland Shooting, but Not Everywhere

Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Who is crazier? The gunman, or those who let him buy an AR-15 rifle?


Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Mr. President, you can shape gun policy and make a difference

Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association: Covering School Shootings? First, ‘Do No Harm.’ (Jan. 23)


Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: What do most of America’s mass shootings have in common? White, male culprits

Melissa Batchelor Warnke, Los Angeles Times: Mass shootings are now a part of our daily life. The media needs to learn to cover them respectfully

“Millions of mortgage records analyzed by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting show that the legacy of redlining persists 50 years later: In dozens of cities across the country, African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans remain more likely to be denied a conventional mortgage than whites.”

Modern-Day Redlining Found in 61 Metro Areas

Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts,” Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez reported Thursday for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.


“This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to a mountain of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

“The yearlong analysis, based on 31 million records, relied on techniques used by leading academics, the Federal Reserve and Department of Justice to identify lending disparities.


“It found a pattern of troubling denials for people of color across the country, including in major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio. African Americans faced the most resistance in Southern cities – Mobile, Alabama; Greenville, North Carolina; and Gainesville, Florida – and Latinos in Iowa City, Iowa. . . .”

Glantz and Martinez also wrote, The analysis – independently reviewed and confirmed by The Associated Press – showed black applicants were turned away at significantly higher rates than whites in 48 cities, Latinos in 25, Asians in nine and Native Americans in three. In Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, Reveal found all four groups were significantly more likely to be denied a home loan than whites. . . .”

In Washington, D.C., fifth-graders Kemari Starks and Daymon Dimson discuss the Black Panther story as part of an increasingly popular all-boys book club at the Truesdell Education Campus. (Tyrone Turner/WAMU-FM)

AP’s Holland Shares in ‘Black Panther’ Phenomenon

Jesse J. Holland, author of ‘Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther?,’ has a lot in common with the titular meta-human of the Marvel Comics universe he chronicled in the book,” Karu F. Daniels reported Thursday for NBCBLK.


“Like T’Challa Udaku, the character who rules the futuristic African nation of Wakanda and also fights evil villains as a superhero, the Holly Springs, Mississippi, native does double duty as a journalist for an international newswire service.

“Based on the 2005 comic run by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr., Holland’s take on the story is a richly layered, fleshed out prose adaptation of the story of warrior king T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther, who finds himself in a battle against an army led by the man who killed his father. . . .”

Jesse Holland with lead actor Chadwick Boseman (Twitter)

Daniels quoted Holland, “ ‘One of the things that I have learned throughout this process is that the world has such rich stories that haven’t been told yet,’ he said. ‘One of the things that writing these books does for me is it reminds me when I go to work every day that what we do as journalists is that we tell stories. We bring the hidden to light.


“Just like the ‘Black Panther’ movie and this novel does, they’re bringing the character to light that some people knew about, and some people appreciated, but now through this novel and the movie, the entire world gets to know about it.’

“ ‘. . . So, it just reminds me of how important our jobs are and how lucky we are as journalists to be able to do it.’ “


Tom DiChristopher reported Friday for cnbc.com, “Boxoffice.com is currently forecasting the movie will haul in $190 million to $215 million over the long weekend. The website projects it will earn $178 million over three days.

“That would be enough to put it in the upper range of the top 10 highest grossing openings for a superhero movie. At that level, Black Panther would top heavyweights such as Batman, Superman and Spider-Man and take aim at the best-ever debut for a superhero movie focused on a solo character.


“Strong reviews, outstanding pre-sales and a holiday weekend release underpin the bullish forecast, but it might be the revolutionary nature of the film that pushes it beyond consensus estimates, said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at boxoffice.com. . . .”

Gene Demby, NPR “Code Switch”: Can Marvel’s New Superhero Bear The Weight Of Representation?


John Eligon; Kwame Opam; Carvell Wallace; Crystal Martin; Walter Thompson-Hernandez; Mekado Murphy; Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott; Brooks Barnes and Jon Pareles, “Race/Related” newsletter, New York Times: The Pride of “Black Panther”.

Kate McGee, WAMU-FM, Washington: Superheroes Like Us: Boys Of Color At D.C. School Excited About ‘Black Panther’


Natalie Moore, Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Black Panther’ inspires ideas of ideal life in black Chicago

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: ‘Black Panther’ a watershed in cultural history of African Americans


FCC Watchdog Investigates Chairman’s Sinclair Ties

Last April, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, led the charge for his agency to approve rules allowing television broadcasters to greatly increase the number of stations they own,” Cecilia Kang reported Thursday for the New York Times.


“A few weeks later, Sinclair Broadcasting announced a blockbuster $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media — a deal those new rules made possible.

“By the end of the year, in a previously undisclosed move, the top internal watchdog for the F.C.C. opened an investigation into whether Mr. Pai and his aides had improperly pushed for the rule changes and whether they had timed them to benefit Sinclair, according to Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey and two congressional aides. . . .”


NBC Insists on Own Pronunciation of ‘Pyeongchang’

NBC doesn’t seem to be budging from its mispronunciation of ‘Pyeongchang,’ “ Kimberly Yam reported Thursday for HuffPost.


“Despite guidance from the Asian American Journalists Association, among others, that confirms the Olympic host city is pronounced ‘Pyeong-ch-ah-ng’(like the ‘ah’ sound you make at the doctor’s, according to the video), NBC is sticking with the incorrect pronunciation ‘Pyeong-ch-ay-ng’ (rhymes with slang).

“The outlet reportedly discussed the pronunciation internally, settling on the mispronunciation because ‘it’s cleaner,’ Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, told Sports Business Journal in November. A network spokesperson did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.


“NBC’s deliberate mispronunciation isn’t sitting right with the Asian community and journalists on social media, who have criticized the network for disrespecting the host city. . . . “

Luis Gomez, San Diego Union-Tribune: How is Pyeongchang pronounced? People at the Winter Olympics are saying it wrong


Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: US boasts diverse class of Olympic medalists

UNC’s Invitation to Tucker Carlson Draws Scorn

Tucker Carlson

Fox News TV commentator Tucker Carlson will be the featured speaker in a distinguished lecture series at the UNC School of Media and Journalism in April — a choice that has drawn scorn on social media,” Jane Stancill reported Thursday for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

“Alumni and others bombarded the school’s Twitter account with reaction to the announcement that the conservative Carlson, who hosts the primetime show ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ on Fox News, would deliver the Roy H. Park Lecture on April 12.


“ ‘With so many journalists doing admirable work to discover and disseminate truth, you select an unabashed propagandist?’ tweeted alumna Anna Hester. ‘This J-School alum is disappointed and ashamed. You can do better @UNCMJschool’

“ ‘This makes me want to turn my diploma around to face the wall,’ Leslie Cohig Gura chimed in. . . .”


Stancill also wrote, “Critics contend Carlson has become a favorite of white nationalist groups, praised, for example, by [a] former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

“The outcry this week prompted UNC journalism faculty member John Robinson to write a blog post entitled, ‘Tucker Carlson will speak at UNC-Chapel Hill, and everything will be all right.’ . . .”


Michael Calderone, HuffPost: Tucker Carlson Doesn’t Care What The Media Think (2013)

Cristina Lopez G., Media Matters for America: Fox’s Tucker Carlson Attacks Black And Hispanic Journalist Associations (2016)


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Tucker Carlson: Forget Gianforte. The ‘progressive left’ is America’s violent threat. (2017)

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Fox News’s Tucker Carlson demagogued a rape case involving immigrants. Then they were cleared. (2017)


Laura Ingraham to LeBron: ‘Shut Up and Dribble’

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham has responded in a statement after she came under serious criticism for her remarks last night on LeBron James,” Josh Feldman reported Friday for Mediaite.


“Ingraham, to recap, mocked James for recent comments he made about politics and President Trump.

“She said, ‘Millions elected Trump to be their coach. Keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.’


“Ingraham got a lot of blowback over this, including from Dwyane Wade and Chris Long. . . .”

Heather Dockray, Mashable: LeBron fires back on Instagram after Laura Ingraham tells him to ‘Shut up’


Martenzie Johnson, the Undefeated: What Laura Ingraham’s attack on LeBron James really means

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune: Kyle Long claps back at Fox News’ Laura Ingraham for LeBron James criticism


Columnist Says Black History Month Has Failed

Black History Month wasn’t created for white people, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that it has colossally failed to foster a broader understanding and appreciation among whites for how African Americans helped make this nation great,” Harold Jackson, editorial page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote in a column Friday.

Harold Jackson

“But that doesn’t make it less disappointing.

“Historian Carter G. Woodson came up with the idea of Negro History Week in 1926. He chose the week that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 12, and Frederick Douglass, Feb. 14.


“Initially, only North Carolina, Delaware, West Virginia, Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C., signed on to the idea — and only for their black schools, which is exactly what Woodson wanted.

“Segregation, by law or tradition, was prevalent in the 1920s. Woodson never envisioned white students learning black history. His concern was that black students, deprived of a thorough education about their ancestors, would grow up accepting the yoke of inferiority that white people insisted they wear. . . .”


Jackson also wrote, “Negro History Week was ours alone, but Black History Month became something else. Inspired by the black power movement, black students at Kent State University organized the first Black History Month in 1970. The idea caught on and in 1976 President Gerald Ford included Black History Month as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration.

“With segregation gone, more schools reserved time each February to study the contributions of prominent African Americans in history — from Denmark Vesey to Thurgood Marshall to Barack Obama. But unfortunately, learning names, dates, and events was typically as far as their studies went. Too often the necessary attention to context and relevancy was missing from the lessons.


“That lack of historical context was evident in the results of a study released in January by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which showed only 8 percent of high school seniors knew slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Two-thirds didn’t know it took a constitutional amendment to end slavery. That’s a sorry testament to how history is being taught in America’s schools.

“Instead of going beyond Woodson’s original idea to focus on the positive contributions of individual African Americans, too many schools use Black History Month as a vehicle to teach a catalog of events and people without making tangible connections to the status of black Americans today.


“One result is white Americans who don’t believe slavery has anything to do with today’s United States. Neither their regular history classes nor any additional study they may have done during Black History Month helped them connect the dots among slavery, segregation, and the poverty found in too many black communities today. . . .”

David W. Blight, New York Times: How the Right Co-Opts Frederick Douglass

Denise Clay, Philadelphia magazine: Reggie Bryant: The Trailblazing Broadcaster Who Spoke Truth to Power


Catherine Lizette Gonzalez, ColorLines: New Book Breaks Down the History of African American and Latinx People Joining Forces to Fight Racism (Feb. 2)

Mohamed Hamaludin, South Florida Times: Journalism pioneer Bea Hines honored on her 80th birthday


Frederick Melo, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Black history is Minnesota history. How a shoe shiner and elevator operator changed our state

Sameer Rao, ColorLines: #TBT: How Harry McAlpin Broke the White House Press Corps Color Barrier (Feb. 8)


Lerone Bennett Jr. Services Scheduled Feb. 24

Lerone Bennett Jr. (Washington Interdependence Council)

Services for historian and Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett Jr., who died Wednesday at age 89, will be held in the same church where he and his late wife, Johnson Publishing Co. journalist Gloria Sylvester, were married in 1965, their daughter, Joy Bennett, said Friday.

The funeral is scheduled for Feb. 24 at St. Columbanus Catholic Church, 331 E 71st St., Chicago, Ill. 60619.


A visitation is to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday at A.A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Home, 318 E. 71st St., Chicago. Visitation is to continue at the church at 10 a.m., with the service at 11 a.m.

Bijan C. Bayne, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education: Leading Historian and Author Lerone Bennett, Jr. Dies At 89


Stacy M. Brown, National Newspaper Publishers Association: The Black Press Remembers “Before the Mayflower” Author, Freedom Fighting Journalist Lerone Bennett Jr.

Neil Gezlinger, New York Times: Lerone Bennett Jr., Historian of Black America, Dies at 89


Bob Goldsborough, Chicago Tribune: Lerone Bennett, historian and former executive editor of Ebony magazine, dies

Ricardo A. Hazell, Shadow League: Black History Month In Focus: Lerone Bennett Jr


Imani Josey, granddaughter, Instagram: “A few other facts that Google can’t provide”

Maureen O’Donnell, Chicago Sun-Times: Lerone Bennett dies at 89; historian, journalist, writer chronicled black history


Short Takes

Elizabeth Warren addresses National Congress of American Indians (indianz/com)

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