• Ryan Offended by ‘You Don’t Know Much About Me’
  • Coates: I Didn’t Have the Luxury of Avoiding Racists
  • Camille Cosby: Media Too Easily Believed Accusers
  • Reporters Link Some White Nationalists to Military
  • Hostility Toward Press Found Worsening in U.S.
  • Pair Create Positive Space for Black Millennials
  • Coping Advice Offered for Career Women of Color
  • Sun-Times to List ‘31 Ways to Stem the Bloodshed’
  • Short Takes

April Ryan recounts her encounter with Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Don Lemon Thursday on “CNN Tonight.” (video)

Ryan Offended by ‘You Don’t Know Much About Me’

White House correspondent April Ryan taunted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday, accusing Sanders of playing ‘street politics.’ Joe Concha reported for the Hill.

April Ryan and Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Screenshot: Fox News

The accusation came after Sanders used the phrase “You don’t know much about me” in an exchange with Ryan. The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase “ya don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout me” as “a comeback to douche-y comments or rude gestures.” It is also rendered as “you don’t know nothing about me” or “you don’t know anything about me.”


Concha reported, “The commentary from Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, came after she said Sanders was blindsided by Rudy Giuliani’s admission during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Wednesday night that President Trump reimbursed his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair with the president.

Image: shinzoo.com

“Giuliani contradicted both the president’s and Sanders’s past statements about being unaware of the payment from Cohen to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. . . .”

Tonja Renée Stidhum wrote for blavity.com, “Sanders previously repeated Trump knew nothing about the payment. At the White House press conference on May 2, she said she learned it was not true while watching Fox News.


“Ryan noted if Sanders had learned about the repayment on the news, then she had been ‘blindsided’ by the revelation. Sanders denied specifically using that term.

“ ‘Well, I said it. But you were blindsided, from what you said,’ Ryan remarked.

“ ‘With all due respect, you don’t know much about me in terms of what I feel and what I don’t,’ retorted Sanders. ‘I think we’re done.’ . . .”


Concha continued, “ ‘It was a moment. She took this personally [being accused of being blindsided] and it was not a personal attack,’ Ryan said in a CNN interview that followed a testy exchange during Thursday’s press briefing. . . . And for her to say something like, ‘You don’t know me’ — that was very street,’ Ryan said.

“ ‘I know there are street politics here but that was very street. I’ve been here 21 years from this White House, from the second term of Bill Clinton until the first term of Donald J. Trump. I’ve seen impeachment, I’ve seen war, I’ve seen peace. So I understand the process. I’m not a dummy and do not discredit me. That’s what my comeback was,’ Ryan said. . . .”


Meanwhile, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway weighed in on “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel, Marie Solis reported Friday for Newsweek.

‘Everybody should think about the difference between trying to go viral and starting an argument, and trying to get information,’ Conway told Fox & Friends hosts Friday morning, referring to Ryan, the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. ‘Your job is to get information, not confrontation,’ Conway said. . . .”


Fox News had a different view of what took place. Its story by Brian Flood was headlined, “CNN’s April Ryan misquotes Sarah Sanders to imply she wanted physical fight: ‘It was street’.

Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg and national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates
Screenshot: The Atlantic

Coates: I Didn’t Have the Luxury of Avoiding Racists

So the genesis of me as a journalist is like, mid-’90s — I got my first writing job in ’96 — and a big ideas magazine at the time was The New Republic,” Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for the Atlantic, said in a question-and-answer session in front of the company’s staff. Coates and the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, spoke on April 6, a day after the magazine announced that it was cutting ties with conservative writer Kevin Williamson.


“The impetus for his departure was the revelation that Williamson actually believed the things he had said in the past — namely his 2014 comments that women who have abortions should be hanged,” Ashley Feinberg reported Thursday for HuffPost, which viewed a video of the off-the-record session and produced a transcript.

In the Q-and-A, Coates explained that he had long had to work with colleagues with racist views.


Coates continued, “No black people worked there. I’ve actually verified this. No black people worked there at all. And to my mind — other people will probably feel quite differently about this — but as far as I was concerned, it was basically a racist publication. And that was how I perceived it. But nevertheless, I had to read it. I had to read it because I wanted to do what they did. And there weren’t — and I don’t know how to put this without sounding like an asshole — but there was no me to learn from. In other words, there was no ‘Case for Reparations’ for me to read and say, goddamn, I want to go do that. I mean, maybe there was some of that, but it really was not in the ethos.

“There were certainly black writers who would be brought in. They would come into places like the New Republic, New Yorker and sometimes even The Atlantic, and they would give a view of black life that I felt like very few black people actually would recognize themselves in their own private spaces. I got, I think, incredibly used to — and I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I guess for a long time I probably thought it was a good thing, but this week it made me think I don’t know whether it is or not — but I got incredibly used to learning from people.”And studying people. And feeling like certain people were even actually quite good at their craft, who I felt, and pardon my language, were fucking racist. And that was just the way the world was. I didn’t really have the luxury of having teachers who I necessarily felt, you know, saw me completely as a human being.


“This extends not just from my early days as a journalist, but if I’m being honest here, from my early days at The Atlantic. You can go into The Atlantic archives right now, and you can see me arguing with Andrew Sullivan about whether black people are genetically disposed to be dumber than white people. I actually had to take this seriously, you understand? I couldn’t speak in a certain way to Andrew. I couldn’t speak to Andrew on the blog the way I would speak to my wife about what Andrew said on the blog in the morning when it was just us. . . .”

Camille Cosby: Media Too Easily Believed Accusers

Camille Cosby, the wife of the disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, disparaged the media, Mr. Cosby’s accusers and his prosecutors in a caustic statement released Thursday, her first public comments since Mr. Cosby was convicted of sexual assault last week,” Sopan Deb reported for the New York Times. “She called for a criminal investigation of the Montgomery County district attorney and repeatedly suggested that Mr. Cosby was targeted because of his race.

Bill and Camille Cosby
Screenshot: KYW-TV

“In a three-page release, Mrs. Cosby explicitly blamed the media for Mr. Cosby’s fate in court, citing what she called a ‘frenzied, relentless demonization of him and unquestioning acceptance of accusers’ allegations without any attendant proof.’ She went on to say, ‘Bill Cosby was labeled as guilty because the media and accusers said so.’ . . .”


Meanwhile, Solomon Jones, writing Tuesday in the Philadelphia Daily News, reported, “I’ve witnessed the black community having an intra-racial conversation that is rare in its candor — yet also filled with a rancor that threatens to divide us at a time we need unity.

“In discussing the Cosby case across social media and beyond, some black women have demanded that black men acknowledge their male privilege. Conversely, some black men have blamed the rise of feminism for Cosby’s conviction. The result is a community that is fighting itself, even as the larger society attacks us in every conceivable venue — from golf courses to the voting booth. In my view, the black infighting over the Cosby case must stop, because a house divided against itself cannot stand.


“But the complexities of this case demand a robust discussion. . . .”


Reporters Link Some White Nationalists to Military

The 18-year-old, excited by his handiwork at the bloody rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer, quickly went online to boast. He used the handle VasillistheGreek,” A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston and Jake Hanrahan wrote Thursday for ProPublica, in partnership with PBS’ “Frontline.”


“ ‘Today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself,’ the young man wrote on Aug. 12, 2017.

Vasillios Pistolis had come to the now infamous Unite the Right rally eager for such violence. He belonged to a white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen Division, a secretive neo-Nazi organization whose members say they are preparing for a coming race war in the U.S. In online chats leading up to the rally, Pistolis had been encouraged to be vicious with any counterprotestors, maybe even sodomize someone with a knife. He’d responded by saying he was prepared to kill someone ‘if shit goes down.’


“One of Pistolis’ victims that weekend was Emily Gorcenski, a data scientist and trans woman from Charlottesville who had shown up to confront the rally’s hundreds of white supremacists. In an online post, Pistolis delighted in how he had ‘drop kicked’ that ‘tranny’ during a violent nighttime march on the campus of the University of Virginia. He also wrote about a blood-soaked flag he’d kept as a memento.

“ ‘Not my blood,’ he took care to note.

“At the end of the weekend that shocked much of the country, Pistolis returned to his everyday life: serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.


“Of the many white supremacist organizations that have sprung up in the past few years, Atomwaffen is among the more extreme, espousing the overthrow of the U.S. government through acts of political violence and guerrilla warfare.

“Journalists with ProPublica and Frontline gained insight into Atomwaffen’s ideology, aims and membership after obtaining seven months of messages from a confidential chat room used by the group’s members. The chat logs, as well as interviews with a former member, reveal Atomwaffen has attracted a mixture of young men — fans of fringe heavy metal music, a private investigator, firearms aficionados — living in more than 20 states.


“But a number are current or former members of the U.S. military. ProPublica and Frontline have identified three Atomwaffen members or associates who are currently employed by the Army or Navy. Another three served in the armed forces in the past. Pistolis, who remains an active-duty Marine, left Atomwaffen in a dispute late in 2017 and joined up with another white supremacist group. Reporters made the identifications through dozens of interviews, a range of social media and other online posts, and a review of the 250,000 confidential messages obtained earlier this year. . . .”


Hostility Toward Press Found Worsening in U.S.

Journalists and news organizations in the U.S. face a range of intensifying challenges that threaten their right to freedom of the press, according to a report launched today by international press freedom and free expression advocacy groups to mark World Press Freedom Day,” the Committee to Protect Journalists reported on Thursday.


“The report is based on the unprecedented press freedom mission to the U.S. that took place in January, which was organized by CPJ and IFEX, and included ARTICLE 19, Index on Censorship, International Press Institute, and Reporters Without Borders.


“It shows that an already hostile environment has worsened since the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January 2017, with government officials refusing interviews, denigrating the press, and obstructing access to information. . . .”

The International Press Institute added:

By openly and aggressively accusing journalists and media outlets of lying and producing ‘fake news’, the current US administration risks undermining the First Amendment and creating a culture of intimidation and hostility where journalists find themselves less safe.


“However, the report also identifies threats to the media that pre-date Trump.

“Many of these threats were present under the Obama administration, which used the Espionage Act 1917 to bring a record number of whistleblower prosecutions.


“Other major threats to media freedom in the US include:

  • “A failure by law enforcement officials to recognize the rights of journalists to report freely on events of public interest. Journalists have been arrested and even assaulted by law enforcement officials at a local and state level, while covering protests.
  • “An increase in border stop and searches. Journalists have been asked to hand over electronic devices, detained or even denied entry to the US. . .”
  • “A slow and unresponsive freedom of information system, which is preventing the release of information that is in the public interest. . . .”


The Triibe stop by Illanoize Radio
Photo: Illanoize Radio

Pair Create Positive Space for Black Millennials

Every time they saw a story about Chicago, Tiffany Walden and Morgan Elise Johnson — best friends and sorority sisters from Northwestern University — were heartbroken and angry,” Jackie Spinner reported Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.


“Headlines and news coverage didn’t reflect the Chicago they knew: a city of young entrepreneurs and music stars, of people whose grief and despair deserved more than the journalistic hit-and-run that mainstream news too often delivered from black neighborhoods in Chicago.

“While the city’s top papers wrote about every murder in the city, less attention was paid to the lives of everyday people in those communities where violence occurred, even with reporters like Lolly Bowean on the beat at the Chicago Tribune. To Walden and Johnson, their city had become a political symbol of brokenness; black people were held up as the shards. . . .”


Spinner also wrote, “Johnson says she and Walden first envisioned The Triibe as ‘a digital hub to help black [millennials] find events’ — some of which, she says, are underground.

“Since its inception, however, The Triibe has expanded beyond events. It now publishes stories about creating a safe space for women DJs of color, black restaurants, and the importance of music videos in Chicago’s increasingly prominent rap scene. . . .”


Coping Advice Offered for Career Women of Color

Compared to most women, minority women face far greater challenges in their careers, including isolation, discrimination, and low self-esteem,” Hira Ali wrote April 23 for Forbes.


“However, despite some overwhelming odds, there are strategies that minority women can undertake to not only survive but also succeed as leaders in their careers.

  • “Know that not everyone will open up to you. . . .
  • “Communicate. . . .
  • “Deal with discrimination, but avoid being too easily offended. . . .
  • “Leverage your uniqueness at work. . . .
  • “Display confidence and make yourself heard. . . .
  • “Don’t be afraid to ask for more. . . .
  • “Bond and network. . . .
  • “Develop a sense of humor. . . .
  • “Don’t be the ‘Yes’ woman. . . .
  • “Stay visible by promoting yourself. . . .
  • “Get a sponsor. . . .”

Ali is chief executive officer of “Advancing Your Potential & Revitalize and Rise” and the founder of the Career Exceler For Trailblazing Women.


Sun-Times to List ‘31 Ways to Stem the Bloodshed’

We were talking with an acquaintance the other day, Joe, whose teenage son had skipped that big national school walkout a couple of weeks ago to protest gun violence,” the Chicago Sun-Times editorialized on Monday.

Illustration: Design by Ogilvy

“Joe asked why. His son said he had thought about walking out, but couldn’t see the point. What difference would it make? How would walking out do anything to stop shootings in schools?


“Joe’s son needed more information. He wanted to understand how a young person like himself, just 17 years old, could do something concrete and specific — something more substantial than a symbolic walkout — to reduce gun violence in schools and everywhere else.

“Joe’s son is not alone. Millions of American teens, as well as millions of adults, are horrified by the gun violence in our country, especially when it comes crashing through the classroom door. They want it to end, and they want to do their part to make it end.


“But they don’t know how.

“To provide answers to that question, and to do our own direct part in fighting the gun violence that is destroying our country in every way, the Chicago Sun-Times today is announcing a campaign called ‘31 bullets.’ Beginning with this editorial, along with a video that you can view below or share on YouTube, we will in the next month identify 31 ways to stem the bloodshed.


“In each case, we will include a specific action that all of us, of any age, can take to make that happen. . . .”


Short Takes

Kenneth Walker and Charlie Ball
Photo: George Washington University Hospital
Credit: Metro.co.uk

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Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.


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