A lengthy cover story in New York magazine makes the argument that Roger Ailes, who heads Fox News, badly wants to play Republican kingmaker for the 2012 presidential election and that his ideal candidate is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"A few months ago, Ailes called Chris Christie and encouraged him to jump into the race," Gabriel Sherman wrote Sunday. "Last summer, he'd invited Christie to dinner at his upstate compound along with Rush Limbaugh, and like much of the GOP Establishment, he fell hard for Christie, who nevertheless politely turned down Ailes' calls to run. Ailes had also hoped that David Petraeus would run for president, but Petraeus too has decided to sit this election out, choosing to stay on the counterterrorism front lines as the head of Barack Obama's CIA. The truth is, for all the antics that often appear on his network, there is a seriousness that underlies Ailes's own politics. He still speaks almost daily with George H.W. Bush, one of the GOP's last great moderates, and a war hero, which especially impresses Ailes."
Why Christie? "Obama versus Christie is a producer's dream: black versus white, fat versus thin, professor versus prosecutor," says Sherman, who has written about the media for the New York Observer and New Republic.
Sherman's piece also reports on Ailes' dissatisfaction with Glenn Beck, the popular 5 p.m. host who is giving up his daily Fox show, and on efforts to inject political points of view into the network's programming.
"Ailes is the most successful executive in television by a wide margin, and he has been so for more than a decade. He is also, in a sense, the head of the Republican Party, having employed five prospective presidential candidates and done perhaps more than anyone to alter the balance of power in the national media in favor of the Republicans. 'Because of his political work' — "Ailes was a media strategist for Nixon, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush — 'he understood there was an audience,' Ed Rollins, the veteran GOP consultant, told me. 'He knew there were a couple million conservatives who were a potential audience, and he built Fox to reach them.' "
Sherman also writes, "With an actual presidential election on the horizon, the Fox candidates' poll numbers remain dismally low (Sarah Palin is polling 12 percent; Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively). Ailes's candidates-in-waiting were coming up small. And, for all his programming genius, he was more interested in a real narrative than a television narrative — he wanted to elect a president. All he had to do was watch Fox's May 5 debate in South Carolina to see what a mess the field was — a mess partly created by the loudmouths he'd given airtime to and a tea party he'd nurtured. And, not incidentally, a strong Republican candidate would be good for his business, too."
As Reuters has written, "Christie, a former prosecutor, has been seen as a rising Republican party star since taking office last year and pushing a lean-government, low-tax agenda. But he has said he did not think he was ready to be president and did not plan to run in 2012."
In the Star-Ledger of Newark, Ginger Gibson reported Monday, "Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' announcement this weekend that he isn't running for president once again revved up Republican talk that Gov. Chris Christie should jump into the race.
"But the governor's political advisers today said he's still not interested."
* Betty Winston Bayé, Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal: Why did Donald Trump end his campaign? A new theory
* Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Newt Wrong to Back Down From GOP Critics
* Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Newt Gingrich's meltdown on the launch pad
* Cynthia Tucker blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Newt Gingrich plays the race card
* Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Former RNC Chair Michael Steele Named MSNBC Contributor
"Jurors began deliberations Monday in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial, following two months of testimony from dozens of witnesses," Thomas Peele wrote from Oakland, Calif., for the Chauncey Bailey Project.
"The jury of five men and seven women received the case shortly after Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum gave an hourlong rebuttal to defense attorneys' closing statements. Krum emphasized what she said was ample evidence that former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV ordered Bailey, a local journalist, and two other men killed nearly four years ago.
"Bey IV and his co-defendant in the triple-murder trial, bakery member Antoine Mackey, listened intently as Krum spoke, sometimes whispering to their attorneys and scribbling notes. Defense attorneys told jurors last week that their clients must be acquitted, saying Krum hasn't proven her case beyond a reasonable doubt. Her star witness, confessed killer Devaughndre Broussard, is a seasoned liar whose testimony can't be believed, they said.
"Bey IV is charged with ordering the deaths of Bailey, 57, editor of the Oakland Post, and two other men in summer 2007: Odell Roberson, a 31-year-old homeless man who was related to a man convicted of killing Bey IV's older brother, and Michael Wills 36, a sous chef shot and killed on his way to a local convenience store.
"Mackey is charged with killing Wills on July 12, 2007, and helping Broussard kill Bailey and Roberson, who was shot July 8, 2007.
"Bey IV and Mackey, both 25, have pleaded not guilty. They face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
"Broussard, 23, confessed to shooting Bailey and Roberson and is expected to receive a 25-year sentence in exchange for his testimony."
* Bob Butler blog: Jury Deliberations Begin In Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial
"Even though about 20 Joplin Globe newspaper employees lost their homes during Sunday evening's deadly tornado, news staff went into the newspaper office and produced the Monday edition complete with stories, first-hand accounts and photographs," the Enid (Okla.) News and Eagle wrote about its sister paper in Joplin, Mo.
"The Missouri Press Association has established a disaster fund within the Missouri Press Foundation to help Missouri newspaper employees impacted by Sunday's tornado in Joplin," the St. Louis Business Journal reported. At least 116 people died as a result of the tornado, according to local news reports.
TVNewser and the Hollywood Reporter reported that the network news organizations were sending their top anchors to the city, including NBC's Brian Williams, Harry Smith and Chris Wragge of CBS, and Diane Sawyer of ABC.
"On Monday morning, Al Roker broadcast his cut-ins on NBC's 'Today' show in the small town, which is about 150 miles south of Kansas City. There, he broadcast while standing amidst wreckage and spoke about how the infrastructure, including the local medical center, had been destroyed," Lindsay Powers wrote in the Hollywood Reporter.
Like the majority of newspapers responding from Missouri, the Joplin Globe reported no journalists of color in the 2011 diversity survey of the American Society of News Editors. ASNE reported that 441 newspapers responding to its census had no minorities on their full-time staffs.
* Julie Moos, Poynter Institute: Joplin Globe reporter on covering tornado aftermath: 'I have an awful job to do'
* Todd Spangler, Multichannel News: How Cable Operators Respond When Major Disasters Strike Their Communities
* Neal Ungerleider, FastCompany: After Joplin Tornado, Social Media Helps Victims Piece Together Lives
Wonya Lucas, most recently executive vice president and chief operating officer for Discovery Channel and Science Channel, has been named to succeed Johnathan Rodgers as president and CEO of TV One, the company announced on Monday.
Unlike Rodgers, Lucas does not have a background in news. Spokeswoman Lynn Reynolds said Lucas was not prepared to discuss what role, if any, news would play under her leadership.
"As you know - programming decisions aren't made in a [vacuum[, so she really wouldn't be comfortable making comments about any specific programming decisions without having the fuller knowledge and information she'll have once she comes on board and gets immersed in the business," McReynolds told Journal-isms via email.
Lucas starts Aug. 8. Rodgers announced his retirement effective July 31.
At Discovery, Lucas was responsible for strategy and operations for the Discovery Channel and Science Channel and their research and marketing departments. She joined Discovery Communications in 2008 as chief marketing officer.
Before joining Discovery, Lucas was executive vice president and general manager of the Weather Channel networks.
"Wonya Lucas is the perfect choice to help us build on the terrific success we have achieved at TV One over the past seven years," Alfred Liggins, TV One chairman and Radio One president and CEO, said in the release.
"Her successful career as a top-level, mainstream cable programming executive will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow the network and the company. Her expertise in marketing some of the best brands in television will also be a tremendous plus as we continue to define and strengthen TV One's brand in a constantly evolving media marketplace."
"The good nature and overall warmth of Obama's one-day trip was great for Ireland, for the US and possibly for his future re-election," Laura Marlowe wrote Tuesday for Ireland's Irish Times.
" … Every gesture seemed pregnant with meaning. Of the three Irish children who rang the Peace Bell at the Áras, one was of African origin, one a Traveller. The frame for the bell was carved from two trees, one from the North, the other from the Republic. The president shoved earth on to the roots of an Irish oak that will be moved to a permanent place near a tree planted by John F. Kennedy.
"Although Mr. Obama didn't make it to Glasnevin Cemetery, he paid ample homage to Daniel O'Connell and Frederick Douglass, 'America's Black O'Connell', in his speech.
"He greatly admires Douglass, who like him was 6ft 4in tall. [Obama is generally believed to be 6 foot 1.] Both had one black parent, one white, and both were abandoned by their fathers. Both revolutionised the way the US views African Americans.
"A resin copy of a statue of Douglass was moved into Farmleigh for the meeting between [Irish Prime Minister Enda] Kenny and [President] Obama. The sculptor, Andrew Edwards, modelled the statue's outstretched hand after the hand of Obama. The Irish and American leaders were photographed standing beside Frederick Douglass. Don Mullan and Kristin Leary, who campaigned for Obama to commemorate Douglass on the visit, also got what they wanted."
Douglass, the 19th century abolitionist and publisher of the North Star newspaper in Rochester, N.Y., is also the namesake of the highest award bestowed by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Obama's remarks in Dublin included:
"When we strove to blot out the stain of slavery and advance the rights of man, we found common cause with your struggles against oppression. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and our great abolitionist, forged an unlikely friendship right here in Dublin with your great liberator, Daniel O'Connell. (Applause.) His time here, Frederick Douglass said, defined him not as a color but as a man. And it strengthened the non-violent campaign he would return home to wage.
"Recently, some of their [descendants] met here in Dublin to commemorate and continue that friendship between Douglass and O'Connell.
"When Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve our young union, more than 100,000 Irish and Irish Americans joined the cause, with units like the Irish Brigade charging into battle — green flags with gold harp waving alongside our star-spangled banner. …"
* Dermot Bolger, Herald.ie: Obama's real link to Ireland is ex-slave inspired by O'Connell
* Barnaby ffrench, Galway Advertiser, Ireland: Obama, O'Connell, and Douglass
* Patrick Smyth, Irish Times: The escaped slave and the Irish 'Emancipator'
* Gary Younge, Guardian, Britain: Europe's Obamaphilia says more about its own weakness than the US president
The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has reaffirmed that a journalist can report rumors about a public official's government duties without investigating the truth of those rumors, Douglas E. Lee reported last week for the First Amendment Center.
In the case, Little v. Consolidated Publishing Co., the court granted summary judgment on May 13 to the publisher of the Anniston (Ala.) Star on claims brought by Benjamin Little, an Anniston city councilman and minister. 'Little sued the newspaper after it reported a new councilman's complaint that a human-resources audit recommended by Little and obtained by the city had been conducted poorly. The new councilman, John Spain, also questioned whether Little had a personal relationship with Yolanda Jackson, the human-resources consultant who performed the audit.
" … Key to the court's holding was the U.S. Supreme Court's 1968 ruling in St. Amant v. Thompson, in which the court stated that constitutional malice is shown only if the reporter 'in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication.' "
In December, the court "said that Little's claims that the newspaper waged a racist campaign against him, constituting 'the tort of outrage,' were not supported by his claims that The Star printed his name more frequently than those of his fellow councilmen. The court wrote that 'Little has not presented substantial evidence to support his theory,' " the Anniston Star reported.
About 400 people attended services Saturday for Richard Gregory "Greg" Lewis, the self-described "strictly old school" newspaper journalist who worked at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and earlier at the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle.
Lewis, who worked at the Maynard Institute in the early 1980s, died May 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at 57 after battling prostate cancer.
Segun Adeoye, an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow from Nigeria who is a visiting journalist at the Sun Sentinel, wrote about the service on his blog. He said he had never met Lewis.
"The pictures of Greg Lewis in the eight-page pamphlet, was all I had in memory of him. The photos, providing a brief insight into his life showed he was a man who chooses to see the glass half full rather than half empty. He had a toothy smile that was disarming. The type of smile that portrayed him as a man with a large and caring heart for everyone he met, irrespective of race," Adeoye wrote.
* Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Florida Journalist Leaves Legacy in Detroit
* Demian Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle: Gregory Lewis, former S.F. dailies reporter, dies
* "The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community," Sam Stein reported for the Huffington Post. " 'This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response,' read an internal memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, provided to The Huffington Post."
* "LIN TV Corp. will carry Bounce TV, the first over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African-American audiences, in five markets when the network launches this fall, it will be announced Tuesday," Mark K. Miller reported Monday for TVNewsCheck.com. As part of the multiyear agreement, Bounce TV will be seen on LIN stations in these markets: Indianapolis; Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; Norfolk, Va.; Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola-Fla.; and Dayton, Ohio.
* "Bloomberg Businessweek announced Monday that Romesh Ratnesar will be joining the magazine as deputy editor," Talking Biz News reported. ". . . Ratnesar joins Bloomberg Businessweek after more than a decade at Time, where he was most recently a contributing editor-at-large and foreign affairs columnist for Time.com."
* "British Columbia journalist Dorothy Parvaz said she plans to head back to the Middle East to report for television network Al Jazeera after a couple of weeks at home in Vancouver," Tracy Sherlock reported in the Vancouver Sun. "Parvaz made headlines after she was detained April 29 while attempting to get into Syria and then deported days later to Iran. Her disappearance prompted a flurry of appeals — from Canadian and U.S. government officials, journalism organizations, human rights groups and Facebook groups — to set her free."
* "ESPN's Spanish language affiliate ESPN Deportes is partnering with Time Warner to launch a new L.A.-centric sports site: ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com. Say that three times fast," Matthew Fleischer wrote Monday for FishbowlLA. "The site promises Spanish-language blogging for local teams as well as more in-depth coverage from across the Latino sports universe. Longtime LA sports reporter Rafa Ramos will help lead the site's coverage, while Enrique Rojas from ESPNdeportes.com will also be contributing a baseball and local sports news column."
* Kenneth Li, who has been Reuters.com's editor-in-charge of the technology, media and telecoms reporting team, will become global editor, Reuters announced in an internal memo. Li replaces James Ledbetter, who as op-ed editor "will create a stable of top thought leaders from around the world who will weigh in on news stories in a timely fashion on various Thomson Reuters platforms."
* The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch on Sunday ran an editorial-section tribute to retiring editor Glenn Proctor from his boss, Tom Silvestri. The tagline read, "Tom Silvestri heads the Richmond Media Group, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This commentary was not edited by Executive Editor Glenn Proctor. Two reasons: One, he would have had a conflict. Two, he would have spiked it."