There Were ‘Cases of Guards Ripping Out Dreadlocks’ via

"The racism can be felt from the moment black inmates enter New York’s upstate prisons," Michael Schwirtz, Michael Winerip and Robert Gebeloff reported Saturday for the New York Times.

"They describe being called porch monkeys, spear chuckers and worse. There are cases of guards ripping out dreadlocks. One inmate, John Richard, reported that he was jumped at Clinton Correctional Facility by a guard who threatened to 'serve up some black mashed potatoes with tomato sauce.'


“ 'As soon as you come through receiving, they let you know whose house it is,' said Darius Horton, who was recently released from Groveland Correctional Facility after serving six years for assault.

"Most forbidding are the maximum-security penitentiaries — Attica, Clinton, Great Meadow — in rural areas where the population is almost entirely white and nearly every officer is too. The guards who work these cellblocks rarely get to know a black person who is not behind bars.


"Whether loud and vulgar or insinuated and masked, racial bias in the state prison system is a fact of life.

"It is also measurable.

"A review by The New York Times of tens of thousands of disciplinary cases against inmates in 2015, hundreds of pages of internal reports and three years of parole decisions found that racial disparities were embedded in the prison experience in New York.


"In most prisons, blacks and Latinos were disciplined at higher rates than whites — in some cases twice as often, the analysis found. They were also sent to solitary confinement more frequently and for longer durations. At Clinton, a prison near the Canadian border where only one of the 998 guards is African-American, black inmates were nearly four times as likely to be sent to isolation as whites, and they were held there for an average of 125 days, compared with 90 days for whites. . . ."

Michael Winerip, Michael Schwirtz and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times: For Blacks Facing Parole in New York State, Signs of a Broken System


Michael Schwirtz, Michael Winerip and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times: Governor Cuomo Orders Investigation of Racial Bias in N.Y. State Prisons

Fox News Latino posted this graphic on its site.

Fox to Disperse Its Fox News Latino Content

The Fox News Latino website, a Fox News attempt to appeal to Hispanics that differentiated itself from the conservative outlook of Fox News Channel, will see its content dispersed to other parts of Fox, according to an announcement on the site posted Thursday.


The three-paragraph notice did not indicate any reason for the change or say what would happen to the website's founder, Francisco Cortés. Representatives at Fox could not be reached for comment.

The notice read:

"On Dec. 8, Fox News Latino (FNL) content will be made available across a wider range of the website.


"The FNL team’s reporting will be published in relevant sections — including US, World, Politics, Opinion, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Health, Science and Tech. This will allow more FNL stories to be seen by the larger Fox News audience across all platforms — including Fox News mobile, apps, Apple News, and Facebook Instant Articles.

"Existing original FNL stories will be redirected to their new home on Visitors to, meanwhile, will be redirected to a collection of Latino-focused content published across Fox"


Writing about the site in 2012, two years after it launched, David Folkenflik reported for NPR, "The site started up in late 2010, with a push from Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. Fox News Latino Director Francisco Cortes was rising through the ranks — from an apprenticeship named for Ailes to a senior producer for Fox's news programming — when he was summoned by his bosses."

Folkenflik also wrote that "some Hispanic activists and critics on the left say there is a pronounced divide between their treatment on the Fox News Latino website and on Fox News itself, especially on the cable channel's highly rated opinion shows. . . ."


Still, the site bore the Fox name, and that prompted a protest in 2014 when the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored the site. At the closing gala of that year's convention, 84-year-old co-founder Charles Ericksen called it "kind of a farce" for the association to honor Fox News and other media companies when the number of employed Hispanic journalists had declined in recent years.

Hugo Balta, then NAHJ president, apologized to Cortés, who accepted an NAHJ Media Award on behalf of Fox News Latino.


". . . Fox News Latino deserves this award. Frank Cortés was the first Latino to be named VP at Fox. Fox is the reason why we're here . . .," Balta said, apparently referring to the participation of Fox News Channel and Fox News Latino as convention sponsors.

Oakland Fire Called a Disaster Waiting to Happen

"The Instagram post conveyed the pain: 'MISSING! Please any information on my brother and Michaela. Please god let these 2 be ok and let us know please,' ” the East Bay Times, which absorbed the Oakland Tribune in April, editorialized Sunday.


"And with it, a photo of a handsome young couple dressed for a special night, him with a boutonniere in his lapel, her with a wrist corsage.

"The anguish, terror and fear is not limited to the family of this pair. Thirty-three were confirmed dead by Sunday afternoon and officials did not know how many more victims they would find in the remains of what may be the deadliest structure fire in Oakland history. . .


The editorial said, "From what we know so far, this was a disaster waiting to happen. . . .

"So many questions. We await the findings of the investigations. And we mourn for the tragic loss of life that was, by all accounts so far, preventable."


PolitiFact Calls Carson’s Statements ‘Mostly False’

"Pulitzer Prize-winning website [PolitiFact] examined 28 public statements from neurosurgeon/former Presidential candidate/future Sec. of HUD Ben Carson and found that none of them are 100 percent true," Beth Spotswood reported Monday for the San Francisco Chronicle.


"Occasionally touching upon 'mostly true', Carson's claims generally garner a [PolitiFact] ranking of 'mostly false' to 'pants on fire.'

"For example, Carson quoted Communist dictator Joseph Stalin as saying, 'If you want to bring America down, you have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality.'


"There is no evidence of Stalin ever saying anything like that — ever. . . ."

Rekha Basu, Des Moines Register: Will the press be allowed to do its job under Trump?


Hadas Gold, Politico: How Donald Trump and 'Morning Joe' made up

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Daily Beast: The Intra-Latino Rifts Revealed by the Election—and by Castro


Andrew O'Hehir, Salon: It can happen here: But has it? The 1933 scenario is no longer hypothetical (Nov. 26)

Adam Ragusea, ‘The Pub’ #86: Journalism and diversity under the Trump presidency (podcast)


Slate: Hate in America

Eric Umansky, ProPublica: How Journalists Need to Go Beyond Fact Checking Trump

Charlie Warzel and Lam Thuy Vo, BuzzFeed News: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Jeffrey Lord re-ups with CNN for 2017


(Credit: Washington Post)

Standing Rock Demonstrators Celebrate Victory

"In a remarkable feat of organisation on Sunday, thousands of people joined hands and formed a ring, a 'prayer circle' around a camp at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers," Daniel Lak reported Monday for Al Jazeera.


"They were there to pray and show their support of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and other Plains Native tribes who objected to plans to put a crude oil pipeline across the Missouri.

"The sun blazed on a snowy landscape and flags fluttered from hundreds of native tribes, activist groups and supporters from as far afield as the Canadian Arctic, Peru and Palestine. Then something remarkable happened.


"A ring of people several kilometres long started cheering and raising their linked hands in celebration. The tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, Dave Archambault, had just accounted the decision by US Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit to put the pipeline under the river, at least in the current spot.

" 'This is it, this is why we've come,' shouted Mary from Minnesota, a teacher. Arnie, a pigtailed member of the Ojibway tribe from the same state, said his prayers had been answered. . . ."


Canadian Seeking to Cover Standing Rock Blocked

"Ed Ou, a Canadian freelance photojournalist, spent 10 years covering the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. He endured aggressive interrogations at border crossings in some of the world’s most authoritarian nations," Daniel Victor reported Friday for the New York Times.

Ed Ou

"But he says a recent confrontation at the United States border has left him shaken. The incident has been criticized by advocates of privacy and press freedom.


"Mr. Ou, 30, said he was detained on Oct. 1 for more than six hours when he tried to fly from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Bismarck, N.D., to cover the protests of an oil pipeline project near the Standing Rock reservation.

"He was ultimately denied entry, and he said though he was not given a reason, he was told his name matched that of a 'person of interest.' During the hours of detention, he was asked to describe how and why he had traveled to each country he had visited in the past five years, and questioned about whether he had seen anyone die. . . ."


Rekha Basu, Des Moines Register: Facing arrest, pipeline protesters stick to principles

Kim Bellware and Damon Dahlen, Huffington Post: This Is What Victory Over The Dakota Access Pipeline At Standing Rock Looks Like


Brandon Ecoffey, Lakota Country Times: Media gets it wrong on Dakota Access frontlines

Elizabeth Jensen, NPR: Pipeline Protests Prompt Calls For More Coverage

Robin Levinson-King, BBC: Canadian reporter Ed Ou barred from entering US

(Credit: CNN)

Specials to Evaluate Administration, First Lady

"CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, moderator of the network’s Sunday flagship global public affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, will host a two-hour special global simulcast presentation of 'The Legacy of Barack Obamafor Wednesday, Dec. 7, beginning at 9:00pm on CNN/U.S. and CNN International," CNN announced on Monday.


"The special will encore on CNN/U.S. on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 12:00am. All times Eastern.

"Zakaria asserts that President Barack Obama brought dramatic policy changes to the American landscape, and he argues that the ambitious Obama Presidency may be among the most consequential in history. . . ."


Meanwhile, "CBS and OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) are teaming up to give America the final one-on-one interview with Michelle Obama in the White House," Oriana Schwindt reported Monday for Variety. "Oprah Winfrey will conduct the interview with FLOTUS, which will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 19 at 8/7c and have a second airing on OWN on Dec. 21 at 9/8c.

"In 'First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House — An Oprah Winfrey Special,' Winfrey will speak to the First Lady in the First Family’s private residence about life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and her eight years as First Lady of the United States, the legacy she’ll leave behind, and her plans for the future. . . ."


In another development, "CNN will air The Messy Truth, a special program hosted by CNN Political Commentator Van Jones, at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 6," CNN announced on Thursday.

"One month after election night, Van Jones will explore how voters are feeling about the unprecedented election of Donald Trump. The program will include Van’s conversations with Americans from across the political spectrum and special guests including former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, documentary film maker Michael Moore, and CNN Political Commentator and republican strategist Ana Navarro.


"During the one-hour live special, Jones and the special guests will take questions from a live studio audience at the Time Warner Center in New York. The program will also feature Van’s interviews with Trump supporters in Ohio, where he traveled earlier this week. . . ."

(Credit: Palm Beach Post)

Stark Display Highlights Deaths From Opioids

"THE PALM BEACH POST made the bold decision to profile all 216 people who died of an opioid overdose in its coverage area last year, risking the wrath of victims’ families, some of whom were horrified to have their private pain publicized," Susannah Nesmith reported Friday for Columbia Journalism Review.


"The stark display of photos of each of the dead, accompanied by brief profiles, effectively served The Post’s goal—drawing attention to the magnitude of the crisis in a way statistics simply could not, while bringing addiction out of the shadows.

"The 'Generation Heroin' project, rolled out last month, was motivated by the reporters’ discovery that many people were overdosing inside controversial sober homes where they had gone to get better. When the reporters dug deeper, they realized the sheer scope of the problem was far worse than they had imagined: More people died in Palm Beach County from heroin, fentanyl, or illicit morphine overdoses in 2015 than in car accidents. . . ."


Among the Post's findings:

"Of all those who died, 95% were white. (scroll down)

"Nearly eight in 10 were men.

"More than half were 35 and younger. . . ."

Short Takes

The "Journal-isms" "Stay Woke" fund drive, which officially began on last week's "Giving Tuesday," continues to be "trending," with $7,245 raised from 77 people as of Monday night. Many add comments extolling the site's value. The overall goal is $50,000. List of supporters.


"Police investigating a notorious gang in a city on California's central coast issued a fake press release that the chief credited with saving two men by deceiving gang members who wanted to kill them, but the ruse was criticized by news organizations who reported it as fact," Brian Melley reported Friday for the Associated Press. "Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin defended the rare tactic this week when it came to light, saying he had never done such a thing in his 43-year career, but he wouldn't rule out doing it again. . . ."

The death of PBS' Gwen Ifill from cancer last month was stunning. "However, her loss is especially profound for African-American journalists, especially women," Yanick Rice Lamb wrote Sunday for the Women's Media Center. "The pool of black journalists covering national politics is small, and it’s even tinier for coveted beats like the White House and presidential campaigns, of which Ifill covered seven. . . ." Sheree Crute wrote about Ifill Nov. 21 for under the headline, "Gwen Ifill: Still Teaching Us Valuable Lessons."


"Texas A&M University has announced it will hold an event to highlight diversity and unity at the same time a white nationalist is set to speak at the College Station campus in December," Juan A. Lozano reported Nov. 30 for the Associated Press. "The 'Aggies United' event was put together after Richard Spencer, who is a leader in the 'alt-right,' — a movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism — was invited to speak on Dec. 6 by a former student. . . ."

TV One announced that "Texas A&M Class of ’91 Alumnus Roland S. Martin will host his TV One daily news program, NewsOne Now, live from campus on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7-8 a.m. ET/6-7 a.m. CT). Martin, who is also a featured speaker at the university’s upcoming 'Aggies United' event, will conduct his regular news program and provide an overview and recap of the community gathering." Martin said in a news release, "As a black journalist and a proud Texas A&M alumnus, it is important we stand together and call the ‘alt-right’ movement what it is: white supremacy. . . .”

Liberty Zabala

Liberty Zabala, a reporter and multimedia journalist for KNSD-TV in San Diego, has won the Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield National Security Reporting Fellowship from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, the organization announced on Monday. "Some of her most memorable stories include leading breaking news coverage of the Central American immigration crisis, covering the May firestorm that burned across San Diego county and most recently, covering the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. . . ."


"While journalists, and those connected to Hispanic audiences in particular, had a busy 18 months covering the presidential election, the real work starts in the coming weeks, said Maria Elena Salinas, anchor at Noticiero Univision," Michael Malone reported Monday for Broadcasting & Cable. "Salinas was a keynote speaker at the B&C/Multichannel News Diversity Discussion." Malone also wrote, "She mentioned a sense of betrayal among some viewers, who felt that the network’s push to get people to vote would elicit a different result. . . ."

The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists observed its 40th anniversary Saturday with a celebration recognizing four journalists. It "turned out be a reunion of lots of old friends. Friends who were involved in both broadcast print public and media relations some for 4 decades," one veteran wrote on Facebook. President Aja J. Williams told Journal-isms that approximately 150 attended. In advance, the St. Louis American reported on Nov. 28, "SLABJ will recognize Bonita Cornute, a reporter for FOX 2/KPLR 11, with its most prestigious honor, the Living Legend Award. It will recognize Mary Cannon, retired director of Community Affairs for KMOV Channel 4, and Bernie Hayes, Webster University media professor and author of “The Death of Black Radio,” for their long-time contributions to journalism. Donald M. Suggs, publisher and executive editor of the St. Louis American, will receive its inaugural Trailblazer Award. . . ."


"The Veracruz government won't reveal how much money it has paid the press, but newspapers themselves have said it can be hundreds of thousands of dollars per month," Katherine Corcoran wrote from Mexico Thursday for the Associated Press. Corcoran was reporting on the unsolved killing of death of reporter Regina Martinez. "Jorge Morales of Veracruz's Commission for the Attention and Protection of Journalists says these contracts obligate reporters 'to write lies, to manipulate information and to do things that aren't ethical.' " Martinez was honest. "Among the 18 killings of journalists in the last six years under Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte, "hers resonates most, even four years later, as the consequence in Mexico for speaking truth to power. . . ."

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