Questions Arise After Media Enter Killers' Home

Members of the media at the home of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in Redlands, Calif., on Friday
Micah Escamilla/The Sun, San Bernardino, Calif.

Reporters Film What San Bernardino Couple Left Behind

"This is one of the most bizarre moments in cable-news history," a Vanity Fair headline proclaimed Friday. The story was labeled "Ethics," and the title was "TV Reporters Bumble Their Way Through San Bernardino Shooter's Apartment."

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The Atlantic called it "A baffling, surreal scene" and asked, in its headline, "What the Hell Just Happened on MSNBC and CNN?"

David Folkenflik reported for NPR, "A story about a deadly terrorist attack briefly inspired a frenzied media scrum Friday morning in Southern California when dozens of reporters and TV news crews entered the home of the two shooters in the San Bernardino massacre

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"NPR's Nate Rott spoke to the landlord at the shooters' apartment in nearby Redlands after the scrum began.The landlord says he allowed journalists into the home of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik after it was returned to his control by federal law enforcement officials. Reporters quickly held up photographs to the camera, picked up documents and generally tramped throughout a site that had still been considered part of an active federal investigation just hours earlier.

"While all three major cable networks showed footage, MSNBC was particularly aggressive, claiming it had broadcast an exclusive with its footage, shown only a few minutes before its competitors. Indeed, MSNBC's Kerry Sanders complained that rival news teams were 'a-pushing and a-shoving.'

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"He subsequently held up photographs from the apartment, presumably of family and friends, and even showed a California driver's license of the mother of the male shooter. Her identifying characteristics, including her date of birth, address, eye color and the like, were clearly visible on screen.

"MSNBC issued a statement Friday afternoon apologizing in part for its broadcast: 'Although MSNBC was not the first crew to enter the home, we did have the first live shots from inside. We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review.'

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"It was a notable acknowledgement of the absence of editorial discretion. CNN took a victory lap by issuing its own statement citing a 'conscious editorial decision not to show close-up footage of any material that could be considered sensitive or identifiable.' Fox similarly broadcast images from the shooters' home but did not show images of the IDs.

"Regardless, the scene was chaotic on all the networks, as though they were broadcasting live streams of reporters picking up scattered tiles of a mosaic and examining them one by one, without any hope of context or meaning.

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"People on social media complained in real time, accusing journalists of voyeurism or worse. CNN's Anderson Cooper looked visibly uncomfortable, and Wolf Blitzer later said, 'I've certainly never seen anything like this.' One of CNN's law enforcement analysts watching the video live said, 'I am so shocked I cannot believe it,' though he appeared to be referring as much to the decision by law enforcement officials to walk away from the killers' home as to the reporters' activities. . . ."

At the Poynter Institute, Kelly McBride wrote that television reporters were wrong to broadcast live. "It requires a rigorous reporting and editing process to determine what information is relevant and what additional reporting is required to present that information in a responsible context," McBride asserted. "Broadcasting live precludes that process and makes the reporters more voyeuristic than journalistic."

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In his on-air report, Folkenflik was asked by "All Things Considered" host Robert Siegel whether he would have entered the house.

"I think it would be almost irresistible to go in," Folkenflik replied. "This is something you've wanted for a long time. But let me say two things.

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"First off, it's easy as a radio reporter to go in and decide afterward what to show. We don't broadcast images live. We have a chance to make decisions. TV reporters doing things live don't, and the reason MSNBC made mistakes was they didn't exercise editorial review. I think I would have gone in — I want to be totally candid — and afterward, I'd want to take a long, cold walk and a long, hot shower, because it was a tawdry thing you'd want to get off you."

Karla Adam, Washington Post: How foreign media has covered the San Bernardino shooting: 'Another day, another slaughter' 

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Tommy Christopher, Mediaite: MSNBC's Live Tour of #SBShooting Killers' Apartment is Most Awful Thing Ever

Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times: Media criticized for live TV coverage from home of San Bernardino shooters

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Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: After the San Bernardino shootings, front pages show victims, reactions

Mark Joyella, TV Newser: Networks' Apartment Search Live-Mocked on Twitter

Katherine Krueger, Talking Points Memo: MSNBC Walks Through San Bernardino Attackers' Home In Bizarre Live Shot

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Kia Makarechi, Vanity Fair: TV Reporters Bumble Their Way Through San Bernardino Shooter's Apartment

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Ventura County (Calif.) Star: Terrorism too close to home

Brian Ries, Mashable: Journalists storm San Bernardino shooters' apartment after landlord pries open door

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American Muslims Say Media Aid in Their Demonization

Thursday's New York Post, which reported the San Bernardino massacre story with the headline "MUSLIM KILLERS" before any ties between the accused husband-and-wife suspects and the Islamic State had been established, is being cited as just one piece of evidence that media are playing a role in fanning anti-Muslim sentiment.

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"Arsalan Iftikhar, a human rights lawyer who is working on a book on Islamophobia in the United States, said that headline was evidence of how people jump to conclusions about a suspect in a crime who is Muslim," Kevin Sullivan, Elahe Izadi and Sarah Pulliam Bailey reported Thursday for the Washington Post.

" 'When a Muslim American commits a murder, their religion is brought front and center,' he said. 'With anyone else, [it’s] a crazy, kooky loner.' . . ."

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Columnist Fareed Zakaria added Thursday for in the Post, "It is also important to remember that there are 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. If you took the total number of deaths from terrorism last year — about 30,000 — and assumed that 50 people were involved in planning each one (a vastly exaggerated estimate), it would still add up to less than 0.1 percent of the world’s Muslims. . . ."

The Arab American News, based in Dearborn, Mich., editorialized Friday, "The fear culture that politicians and media pundits have been nurturing for years is turning into an abyss of bigotry and hatred that threatens our communities. We are not guilty, and we should not feel guilty by association.

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"Syed Farook may have had a political agenda, which would make him a terrorist. He is one of too many American terrorists. Violent extremists who hate immigrants and Muslims and women, who have attacked Jews and gays and Sikhs.

"Islamophobia and xenophobia are growing into popular industries. We fear that the profitable hatred that is being spewed against Arabs and Muslims will motivate the likes of Dylann Roof and Robert Dear to turn their guns on us," referring to mass killers in Charleston, S.C., and Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Michael Mroziak, reporting for WBFO-FM in Buffalo, N.Y., quoted Professor Faizan Haq, who teaches at Buffalo State College and the University at Buffalo and runs the website WNYMuslims.org. Haq noted the example of last week's deadly shootings at a Planned Parenthood branch in Colorado.

" 'I would like to know what religious group this person belonged to,' Haq said. 'I would like to know if there's any training going on, or any persuasion going on where people are trying to take such actions against people of different practices.'

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"Because, as leaders add, there are radicals from other faiths who have committed violent acts on U.S. soil. An immediately recalled example was the 1998 shooting death of Western New York doctor and abortion provider Barnett Slepian. His killer, James Charles Kopp, was known to have ties to violently radical Christian organizations including the Army of God and the Lambs of Christ. . . ."

Media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that he saw a growing polarization in the media. He wrote Friday for Fox News, "New York's Daily News used to play it pretty straight — a flashy tabloid, to be sure, but one that kept its opinions on the editorial page.

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"Yesterday's taunting cover, aimed at blaming the Republicans in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, shows how far it's moved left.

"And it kickstarted yet another round of media finger-pointing in the wake of tragedy, just as we saw last week after the killings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. As disturbingly commonplace as these mass shootings have become, so is the media and political blame game that now begins even before the death toll is final.

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"The paper's screaming front-page headline: 'GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS.' There were photos of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Paul Ryan tweeting prayers for the victims. 'As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.' "

Kurtz concluded, "Everyone I talk to is depressed about the rising tide of shootings. Too bad the media are helping to divide us at a very difficult time."

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Kashana Cauley, BuzzFeed: A Black Woman Walks Into A Gun Show

Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Mass killings in U.S. should spur need for more shooting disaster drills at work, school, church, home

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Editorial, Daily News, New York: Battlefield U.S.A.: The San Bernardino mass shooting is the latest in a long line; when will America wake up?

Editorial, New York Times: End the Gun Epidemic in America (first front-page editorial since 1920)

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Editorial, North Dallas Gazette: What should parents say to children about Irving protests targeting Muslims

Paul Farhi, Washington Post: Media fall into pattern with coverage of mass shootings

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Madison J. Gray, Ebony: End of the Amen Corner: It Will Take More Than Prayer to End Mass Shootings

Leonard Greene, Daily News, New York: Blame the public, not lawmakers, for slow progress on gun control

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Alex Griswold, Mediaite: CNN Reporter Presses Earnest on Refugee Policy: San Bernardino Shooter Was Vetted, Too 

Alex Griswold, Mediaite: CAIR Director on CNN: U.S. 'Partly Responsible' For Islamic Terrorism

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Eric Hananoki, Media Matters for America: Fox's Chris Wallace Agrees To Right-Wing Host's Request To Stop Using Term "Assault Weapon"

Ali Harb, Arab American News: Mass Shootings and the Media: What Is Terrorism?

Julie Poucher Harbin, Religion News Service: Muslim civil rights advocates see the limitations of social media activism

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: The San Bernardino Massacre was Domestic Terrorism and Should be Called That

Deepa Iyer, ColorLines: Media and Political Responses to San Bernardino Massacre Reveal Racial Coding and Assumptions of Collective Guilt

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Alex Kaplan, Media Matters for America: Right-Wing Media Use San Bernardino Shooting To Advocate For Profiling Muslim-Americans

Alison Knezevich, Baltimore Sun: Muslim leaders condemn San Bernardino shootings, say communities fear anti-Islam backlash

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John Koblin and Ravi Somaiya, New York Times: A Grim News Playbook in Repeated Mass Killings

Ed Mazza, Huffington Post: New York Daily News Slams 'Terrorist' NRA Boss Wayne LaPierre

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Michael Mroziak, WBFO-FM, Buffalo, N.Y.: Local Muslim leaders respond to San Bernardino, media coverage

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The tragic choice we make about guns

Rubén Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Don't let apathy after shootings become 'new normal'

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Rebecca Traister, New York magazine: Why Do We Humanize White Guys Who Kill People?

Sun-Times Wants Feds to Go Deep in Probing Police

"Out of the horror of 16 police bullets being pumped into a young man who did nothing to deserve to die, Chicago has been given an unprecedented opportunity to transform its chronically scandalized police department," the Chicago Sun-Times editorialized on Thursday.

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"Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he would welcome a broad review of Chicago police practices by the U.S. Justice Department, reversing his view just the day before that it was a 'misguided' idea.

"But the mayor should go it one better. He should shake off every last bit of defensiveness and jump on this one. He should invite in the feds without a hint of reservation, pledge his administration's full cooperation, and hire a new police superintendent who gets it — that this is very good for Chicago.

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"In the last 20 years, the Justice Department has launched at least 65 so-called pattern-and-practice investigations of law enforcement agencies, 32 of which have [led]  to agreements to reform. The process can be transformative — reform on steroids — especially when the local authorities embrace it. Nobody likes a colonoscopy, but smart people get one.

"A proper Justice Department investigation would drill deep into difficult issues such as racial bias within the Chicago Police Department, the appropriate use of deadly force, and a blue code of silence that makes accountability a joke.

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"A Justice Department investigation would incorporate findings from the current federal probe into the CPD shooting death of Laquan McDonald, of course. But it would look at the bigger picture, seeking more fundamental change in a police department that has been rocked by scandal for decades.

"We could cite chapter and verse on scandals going back to the days of Al Capone, but fresh in our mind are the scandals of former Commander Jon Burge, who was accused of torturing more than 200 mostly African-American suspects; and off-duty Officer Anthony Abbate, who felt his badge gave him license to beat up a female bartender; and Officer Jerome Finnigan, who led a group of officers that for years robbed drug dealers and ordinary citizens of money, drugs and guns.

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"In the last 10 years, Chicago has paid $500 million to settle police misconduct cases. . . ."

Meanwhile, "Chicago officials on Thursday evening released more surveillance footage related to the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer [accessible via search engine], including footage from a Burger King with an 80-minute gap around the time of the shooting," Jeremy Gorner reported for the Chicago Tribune.

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"Obtained by the Tribune in response to a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, the recordings include 12 camera angles from inside and outside the Southwest Side Burger King on Oct. 20, 2014. . . ."

On Friday, Spike Lee's "Chi-raq," a movie satire about Chicago's deadly violence, opened nationally. The Tribune's Michael Phillips wrote on Nov. 23 that the film "is destined to make almost everybody angry [accessible via search engine] — not for what it says about Chicago's homicide statistics, especially among young African-Americans, but for how it says it. . . ." Other reviews.

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Lincoln A. Blades, theGrio.com: Rahm Emanuel, Anita Alvarez — where's your resignation?

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Chicanery in Chicago

Editorial, Baltimore Sun: A Chicago police shooting holds lessons for Baltimore (Nov. 25)

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David A. Love, theGrio.com: Why the assassination of Fred Hampton matters today

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Mom says release of video in fatal police shooting long overdue

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Evan F. Moore, Shadow League: Laquan McDonald — Another Death We Can't Unsee or Deny (Nov. 27)

Roland Martin "Crucifies" Pastor Who Met With Trump

"After more than 100 black ministers met with presidential hopeful Donald Trump, one pastor who attended the meeting was crucified by Roland Martin," Cherese Jackson wrote Wednesday for Guardian Liberty Voice. "Pastor Stephen Parson, in an interview with the NewsOne host, attempted to boast about the positive outcome of the meeting, only to be exposed as another leader of the community who lacks urban literacy. . . ."

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On Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote bluntly, "Let's not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.

"Some will think this an outrageous label to apply to the frontrunner for a major party's presidential nomination. Ordinarily, I would agree that name-calling is part of what's wrong with our politics.

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"But there is a greater imperative not to be silent in the face of demagoguery. Trump in this campaign has gone after African Americans, immigrants, Latinos, Asians, women, Muslims and now the disabled. His pattern brings to mind the famous words of Martin [Niemöller], the pastor and concentration camp survivor ('First they came for the socialists…') that Ohio Gov. John Kasich adroitly used in a video last week attacking Trump's hateful broadsides. . . ."

Julie Alderman, Media Matters for America: Conservative Media Defend Donald Trump's Debunked 9/11 Claim

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James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Black pastors get played by The Donald

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Jew talking to me? Donald Trump steps in it, again

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Barbara Ehrenreich, the Nation: What Happened to the White Working Class?

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Rev. Darrell Scott's endorsement of Donald Trump: scripted or real? 

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National Black Church Initiative: National Black Church Initiative is not impressed with Donald Trump

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Unreality TV: 'The Donald' meets 'the blacks'

900 Boko Haram Hostages Freed, to Little Coverage

"Cameroon's army captured a regional Boko Haram chief and freed 900 hostages during a three-day operation near the country's border with Nigeria, the government said," Pius Lukong and Michael Olukayode wrote Wednesday for Bloomberg News, reporting a development about the Nigeria-based terrorist group barely noted in American media.

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"Aladji Gana, a local chief for the Islamist militant group, was seized by the West African nation's forces. About 100 militants were killed during the Nov. 26-Nov. 28 operation and authorities recovered weapons, propaganda materials and jihadist flags, Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The fighters have been cleared from the area, he said. . . . "

Lukong and Olukayode also wrote, "The Nigerian army said on Wednesday in a statement that it's working toward meeting a Dec. 31 deadline set by President Muhammadu Buhari to eliminate the threat of the group, which carries out regular attacks such as bombings and kidnappings."

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Eric Olander and Cobus Van Staden, Huffington Post: How Terrorism Is Affecting China's Africa Agenda

Nick Schifrin, PBS NewsHour: Nigeria: Pain and Promise (series)

"How to Write About the Pope Visiting Africa"

Reflecting on Pope Francis' Nov. 25-30 visit to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, his first to Africa, Jennifer Foth prepared "How to Write About the Pope Visiting Africa," published Wednesday by medium.com.

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"Always use the word 'Africa' or 'slums' or 'war-torn' in your title," she began. "Subtitles may include the words 'abject poverty' or 'developing world' or 'crime-ridden.' Also useful are the words 'ethnic,' 'corruption,' 'religious violence,' 'civil war,' 'tribal,' and 'security risk,' as these are descriptors that apply only to Africa.

"Never feature a picture of the pope with fellow African bishops and priests at the beginning of your article, unless he is visiting South Africa and meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu or any white South African clergy.

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"A church built with generous donations from Western missionary groups; the mud-ridden slum that the Pope plans to visit against the better judgment of his security team; crowds of ululating women in kitenge pattern dresses lining the streets as they await a sighting of this holy figure in white; token Maasai warriors greeting the Pope at the airport: use these images above your lede.

"In your text, describe whichever country the pope is visiting as you would the entire continent: hot, dusty, with rains that come as a 'blessing' to the poor and starving masses. Don't concern yourself with precise descriptions. . . ."

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Marc Herman, Columbia Journalism Review: How a small group of regional experts got a story on track in Burundi

"Corrupt" Mexican Loses Case Against D.C. Correspondent

In Virginia, "a federal court dismissed a defamation suit by Alejandra Sota Mirafuentes, former spokesperson and advisor to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, against Dolia Estevez, a part-time correspondent for Mexican media company Noticias MVS and Forbes contributor," Michael Lambert reported Thursday for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

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"The claim stemmed from a Forbes article written by Estevez titled, 'The 10 Most Corrupt Mexicans of 2013,' in which Sota was included.

"Sota argued her reputation was harmed from the articles because they state and imply she is corrupt and one of the most corrupt people in Mexico.

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"A judge in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed her claim on Nov. 30, finding that the assertion that Sota is perceived to be one of the most corrupt Mexicans in 2013 is an opinion because 'there is no objective test to determine who is the 'most' corrupt.'

"[Additionally], the Court declared that Estevez's decision to put Sota on the list was a 'personal conclusion' formed from two true facts disclosed in the article — the fact Sota was being investigated by Mexican authorities for alleged embezzlement and trafficking of influence and the fact she attended Harvard’s Kennedy School without a bachelor’s degree. . . ."

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Estevez is a native of Mexico who lives and works in Washington, D.C., as a foreign correspondent, according to her bio. "I cover Mexico's billionaires, politics and U.S.-Mexico relations," it says.

Columnist: Pull Honor for Baseball's Color-Line Architect

"His plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y., was in need of amendment, or editing, the moment it was unveiled at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939," Kevin B. Blackistone wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post.

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"To be sure, of the achievements it cited of Adrian Constantine Anson, better known as Cap — 'GREATEST HITTER AND GREATEST NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYER-MANAGER OF 19TH CENTURY . . . .300 CLASS HITTER 20 YEARS . . . ' — it omitted his most remarkable.

"Cap Anson erected the color barrier in baseball.

"His effort to make baseball all white — which, disturbingly, didn't deter us from fondly calling it America's pastime — became the game's hallmark for more than half a century, 60 years.

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"But there is no acknowledgement in Anson's hall of fame display of his role in spearheading racial segregation in baseball, which as this country's bellwether professional sport led our other professional team sports, including the NFL and NBA, as well as popular individual sports, most notably heavyweight boxing and golf, to shun athletes of color as well.

"Princeton University last month was forced to confront its historically sterilized celebration of one of its icons — its alumnus, former university president and 28th U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson. It hadn't adequately acknowledged his past as a maker of racist public policy that had a deleterious impact on countless black citizens.

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"Well, Cap Anson is baseball's Woodrow Wilson problem. And the game ought to take a lead from Princeton on how to correct it. . . ."

Karen Attiah, Washington Post: Woodrow Wilson and Cecil Rhodes must fall (Nov. 25)

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Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: Woodrow Wilson and the Problem of Civic Plunder (Nov. 24)

Laura Kebede, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Support mounts for name change at Harry F. Byrd Middle School

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Capturing the Spirit of the Johnson Publishing Co. Building

"Since February 2013, Barbara Karant has holed up for six hours at a time inside the former Chicago headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company. Armed with lunch, lights, a tripod and her camera, she was there to photograph the building's abandoned interiors," Maurice Berger wrote Friday for the New York Times "Lens" blog.

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"The resulting series of images — '820 Ebony/Jet,' a reference to the company's most popular magazines as well as the building's street number on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Loop — uncannily embodies the spirit of the legendary African-American company that occupied the building for 40 years. . . ."

Berger also wrote, referring to company founder John H. Johnson and building architect John Moutoussamy, "Ultimately, the Johnson Publishing Company building was a daring social statement, a monument to the ingenuity and determination of Mr. Johnson and the people his publications represented. It was also an important showcase for black cultural expression, from Mr. Moutoussamy's vibrant architecture to the corporate collection of African and African-American artists displayed throughout its offices. . . ."

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Short Takes

"If we journalists ever needed to hear diverse opinions and new perspectives, it would be now," Kevin Benz, former chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association, wrote Nov. 24 for the organization. He offered five ideas: "Tune in to your own journalistic skepticism," "Find many diverse voices," "Lead your community's civic dialogue," "Review your own coverage" and "Sponsor community forums with diverse facilitators."

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Tim Tai, the University of Missouri student who stood his ground when protesters wanted him to stop taking pictures last month; Robert Garcia, NPR's executive producer of newscasts; and Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent who has been held captive in Iran since July 22, 2014, are among recipients of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation's First Amendment Service Award, the foundation announced on Thursday.

"Some of the 46 editorial employees laid off by Philadelphia Media Network last month have been asked to stay beyond their scheduled Dec. 4 departure date, Newspaper Guild Local 10 and company sources confirmed," Jeff Blumenthal reported Friday for Philadelphia Business Journal.

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"The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University has released a one-of-a-kind style guide for journalists and professionals who report or write about people living with disabilities," the center announced Thursday. "The guide offers information and advice on nearly 70 commonly used words or terms, from 'able-bodied' to 'confined to a wheelchair.' It is being released to coincide with the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3. . . ."

"Here at The Marshall Project, we are committed to shedding light on the inner workings of the criminal justice system," Bill Keller, editor of the project, wrote Friday. "In that spirit, staff writer Eli Hager has spent the past several months enlisting dozens of writers who are incarcerated themselves — because who better to tell the story of prison life than those who live it? Today we are launching our weekly 'Life Inside' series in partnership with Vice News. . . ."

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"Dr. Michelle Ferrier, associate dean at the Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University recently shared how sustained harassment by a white, male reader nearly drove her from journalism," Tracie Powell wrote Thursday for alldigitocracy.org. "Ferrier talked about how the reader threatened both her and her family, caused the FBI to get involved when local police failed to do enough to help her feel safe, and forced Ferrier to stop writing a news column for the Florida newspaper where she worked. Ultimately the man’s actions helped drive Ferrier into the safety of academia and led to the creation of TrollBusters, an online tool that helps journalists, women in particular, fight back against online harassment, which is particularly prevalent among journalists of color. . . ."

National Journal reporter Eric Garcia is "on the autism spectrum and can fail to pick up on normal social cues," James Warren wrote Friday for the Poynter Institute. Garcia has written "a poignant and revealing but far from self-pitying or sentimental essay, 'I'm Not Broken': If somebody has such difficulties with social situations key to his trade, 'why would he become a reporter, which by definition requires interaction with others?' In sum, the 24-year-old answers his rhetorical question with this: 'Then you also should know that another symptom of being on the autism spectrum is a narrow and sharp interest in subjects that can border on the obsessive. For me, one of those interests is American politics. . . ."

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"Comedian and Oscar winning actress Mo’Nique along with comedian Angelica Mackey took over meteorologist Andrew Kozak's weather forecast this morning on WMC's digital subchannel Bounce Memphis," Kevin Eck reported Friday for TVSpy. "And by weather forecast, we mean she spent the time telling viewers of the Memphis, Tenn. station to 'Take care of your man' and then she 'flew away.' " 

LaCrai Mitchell, a senior broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla., has won the 2015 Michele Clark Fellowship, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation announced on Friday. "RTDNF's first fellowship is named for a CBS News correspondent who was killed in a plane crash while on assignment in 1972. Her family and colleagues at CBS sent money in lieu of flowers to create a fund in her name, endowing a permanent $1,000 award for young, promising minority professionals in television or radio news."

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"It was a year ago Friday that Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bryan Burwell lost his short battle with cancer, dying at just 59," fellow columnist Dan Caesar remembered Friday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

AllDigitocracy.org and the National Association of Black Journalists' Digital Journalism Task Force are holding an hourlong Google Hangout on Monday at 8 p.m. ET "to allow potential applicants to learn more about Nieman Fellowships for journalists at Harvard in the 2016-17 academic year. . . ."

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"An online petition to boycott Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO [has been initiated], saying the Scripps-owned station did 'a horrible thing' in releasing video showing the scene after Cincinnati police officer Sonny Kim had been shot," Kevin Eck reported Thursday for TVSpy. Eck also wrote, "The change.org petition calls for viewers to boycott WCPO for airing the video after the investigation into Kim's death was complete. The petition has 2,724 supporters out of a goal of 5,000. . . ."

"Trials against six Baltimore officers charged in Freddie Gray's death are not being broadcast on television," Sean Welsh wrote Wednesday for the Baltimore Sun. "Maryland's laws prohibit cameras and recording devices from court rooms. . . . Reporters are only allowed to send updates during breaks, or if they are in a media room. The Sun is providing live coverage throughout the case. . . ." 

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Sunday, Dec. 6, marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery in the United States.

Referring to Venezuela, Reporters Without Borders said Friday that it "condemns the communication and information ministry's decision to make foreign reporters sign a pledge ahead of the 6 December parliamentary elections in which they accept that their accreditation could be withdrawn if they fail to comply with certain conditions. . . ."

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