Top New York Daily News Editor Portrayed as Vengeful

  • Robert Moore Investigated in Harassment Claims
  • Jemele Hill Leaving ‘SportsCenter’ for Undefeated
  • NABJ Turns Down Facebook Scholarship Project
  • HUD Official Sorry for Calling Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’
  • NPR Host Touts Alternative to CNN Shout Matches
  • Short Takes
Robert Moore receives a Black Media Legend/Trailblazer Award from McDonald’s in 2013. (Michael Feeney/Instagram)

Robert Moore Investigated in Harassment Claims

HuffPost said Friday it had spoken to more than 20 current and former employees of the Daily News in New York and concluded, in the words of the headline, that Head of News Robert Moore, accused of harassment, “Fostered A Culture Of Silence” and “told staffers he would get rid of people who complained about his behavior, sources said.”


“ ‘He’s an incredibly vengeful guy,’ said one of them,” Andy Campbell and Maxwell Strachan reported. “The sources described a wide spectrum of inappropriate and threatening behavior — both in public and in private — by a man who abused his position of power inside the Daily News’ ‘frathouse’ atmosphere in a way that kept many employees quiet. Moore and Tronc,” the former Tribune Co. that now owns the News, “both did not respond to requests for comment for this article. . . .”

Campbell and Strachan also wrote that earlier this week, Tronc “launched an investigation into Moore after NPR asked the company about a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him in December, soon after he reportedly interviewed to become the newspaper’s new editor-in-chief.


“For many people who’ve worked with Moore, the surprise wasn’t that he had come under investigation, but that it had taken so long.

The Daily News loves a good sex scandal.

“ ‘Everyone knew about this — like, everyone,’ said the first staffer.

Moore, they wrote, “has been heard on more than one occasion offering a piece of advice to those around him: Don’t go to human resources to complain about me, or you’re out of here.


“ ‘I heard that with my own ears,’ said a former female staffer. ‘It was like his motto.’

“This wasn’t bluster. This was a tactic. A second former staffer said Moore for years would brag openly about punishing or firing employees who complained about him — specifically as a warning to other would-be complainants. The message was well understood, and it reverberated around the newsroom. New York Daily News employees warned one another not to get on Moore’s ‘bad side,’ said a third former staffer.”


The reporters continued, “ . . . In the office, he had a habit of calling employees over to show them photos of women he’d slept with, according to multiple former staffers. ‘When it came to his sexual harassment, it often consisted of him bragging about his sexual exploits,’ one staffer said. . . . “

In September 2016, Moore received the annual Trailblazer Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists.


This award is important to me personally because I try to be a mentor to young journalists I work with and compete against every day,” Moore told the crowd, according to a report from Leonard Greene and Denis Slattery in the News.

Last year, he accepted the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on behalf of the News along with Sarah Ryley, formerly of the News, and Eric Umansky of ProPublica, for uncovering, primarily through Ryley’s work, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor people of color. The News and ProPublica jointly published the story.


Jemele Hill Leaving ‘SportsCenter’ for Undefeated

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill is leaving the 6:00 p.m. SC6 edition of SportsCenter to join the staff of The Undefeated, the ESPN microsite that fuses sports, race and culture, as well as other additional assignments,” Richard Deitsch reported Friday for Sports Illustrated. “Multiple sources confirmed that Hill asked management for the switch. She is expected to depart SC6 the first week of February. Hill has three years remaining on her ESPN deal. . . .”


Hill confirmed the news on Twitter:


Deitsch continued, “As this column wrote in October when it predicted Hill’s tenure as the co-host of the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter would end, Hill’s departure from SportsCenter will not be a shock to those in Bristol. ESPN management clearly has limits to the speech it will allow from front-facing talent on social media, particularly those representing the SportsCenter brand, and Hill likely did not feel her show had management’s unwavering support given the events of 2017.

“As I wrote then, the SportsCenter that Hill and co-host Michael Smith envisioned — one that included the elements that made their chemistry honest and unique on the ESPN2 show His and Hers and their co-hosted podcasts — had slowly been chopped away at by the addition of segments you see on traditional SportsCenter shows. Those included interviews with reporters in the field and blocks that feature the kind of short, bite-sized takes viewers get on shows such as Around The Horn. Multiple people told me in October that there was an effort to bring in ESPN talent as guests with opinions contrary to the hosts. That also comes with change in the executive branch on those overseeing SportsCenter. . . .”


NABJ Turns Down Facebook Scholarship Project

Sharon Toomer (Sharon Farmer)

The National Association of Black Journalists has declined to join a new Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship program that announced Friday it would begin with 100 individual awards for students who aspire to pursue a career in news and media.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association and National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association have signed up.


“It was a business-based decision,” Sharon Toomer, NABJ executive director, told Journal-isms by email on Friday.

“. . . Staff resources involved in administering the five-year scholarship program, which would not be equitably covered or offset by Facebook, did not make good business sense.


“Still, NABJ and Facebook align on our shared interest in strengthening the pipeline of diversity in journalism.

“We look forward to our continued partnership at our 2018 Convention and Career Fair in Detroit, and in programming throughout the year, as NABJ is the largest member organization committed to diversity, inclusion and equity in journalism and media.”


According to Friday’s Facebook announcement, “Under this scholarship grant, each organization will receive $250,000 in total to award $50,000 across five years; and five awards of $10,000 will be granted to applicants per year.

“To be eligible to receive the scholarship, applicants must be enrolled juniors, seniors, or graduate students at an accredited university in the United States pursuing a degree in digital media/journalism/communications with a commitment to storytelling as demonstrated by completed coursework, clips/work samples and a letter of recommendation from professor or internship supervisor familiar with their work and attesting to career commitment. . . . “


HUD Official Sorry for Calling Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’

A Trump administration official has apologized to Baltimore County resident and journalist April Ryan for comparing her to the plump pink Muppet Miss Piggy,” Mary Carole McCauley reported Thursday for the Baltimore Sun.


“ ‘I deleted my last tweet by choice,’ Lynne Patton wrote on her personal Twitter account.

“ ‘No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan. My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better.’


“Patton is administrator of Region II of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees New York and New Jersey. . . .”

Armstrong Williams, a close friend of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, says Carson is ‘deeply disappointed’ by Patton’s remarks,” Caitlin Yilek reported Thursday for the Washington Examiner.


“Williams said Carson has tried reaching out to Ryan to offer his apologies for Lynne Patton’s derogatory tweet. . . .”

McCauley also wrote, “According to CNN, the deleted Tweet read: ‘I hear #MissPiggys still on a rampage. Gee, I must’ve struck a nerve, @AprilDRyan! #BankruptBlogger.’


“It seems to have been just the latest in an escalating war of words between the two prominent women. The salvo appears to have begun after Ryan reacted to reports Monday that a Michigan man had been arrested for making nearly two dozen threatening phone calls earlier this month to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Michigan allegedly said: ‘Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down.’


“On Tuesday, Ryan tweeted, ‘Words create the atmosphere for this foolishness,’ an oblique reference to those who blame the threat in part on the Trump administration’s inflammatory rhetoric against the press. . . .”

Sam Sanders of NPR says he must take charge of his own career as Joshua Johnson, host of NPR’s “1A,” watches at Tuesday’s Journal-isms Roundtable in Washington. (George Dalton Tolbert IV)

NPR Host Touts Alternative to CNN Shout Matches

You might like listening to people talk over one another on CNN and other cable networks, but Joshua Johnson, host of NPR’s “1A,” successor to “The Diane Rehm Show,” is here to say it doesn’t have to be that way. You can listen to him and to the rest of NPR.


Sam Sanders, host of an NPR podcast after being part of a political reporting unit at NPR, says to those who worried about how his leaving the unit affects its diversity, “I have no hiring and firing power, it’s not my problem. Nobody would ever expect a young, up-and-coming white journalist to not take the next step in their career because of someone else’s diversity issues.”

As for this month’s departure of the much-praised Robert Siegel, who co-hosted “All Things Considered” for 30 years, Sanders wonders whether having the same person in one job for that length of time was such a good idea; whether it might not have been better to have Siegel rotate among different jobs.


Sanders and Johnson, who commemorated his show’s first anniversary this month, were guests Tuesday at the January Journal-isms Roundtable, watchable via Periscope, thanks to Janice Temple. (Sanders starts at 21:35; Johnson at 41:48). They also advocated for the next generation of journalists taking more control of their careers.

The CNN programming strategy came up in a question from Hazel Trice Edney of the TriceEdneyWire.


“Having worked in television, I assure you, nothing on television is by accident,” Johnson said. “They haven’t lost control of anything. They gave it up. They decided that that was the way to keep people watching. The reality is, they’ve lost the acuity, and the skill, for telling stories about our democracy in a way that doesn’t resemble a WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment] match. That’s all they know.

Abraham Maslow once said, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything around you starts to look like a nail.’


“The sad thing about cable news is that that’s what they seem to want. It makes them a lot of money and hey, don’t hate the player. But I don’t play that in my house. You don’t come in my house and disrespect my guests. It’s just like — I invited you; I invited them. And the same door that brought you in — (pause) — you know what I’m saying?

“So that’s their choice. They have made that decision to allow that to happen. I think that is damnable.


Les Moonves, who is the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, before the election, said, ‘Donald Trump may be bad for America but he’s great for CBS.’

“And I can’t really quarrel with that, because he was telling the truth! It doesn’t work for us because it’s not part of our ethos. But here’s the thing: I don’t mind that, because a) I ain’t got no control over CNN. I don’t like what’s on CNN, click! Turn on something else. And b) The presence of programs like that gives me something to be an alternative to. . . .”


Johnson also said, “So most of my job is not really speech. It’s preach. The vast majority of my job is shouting to the nation, ‘It doesn’t have to be this way. We have built you something better. Built it since 1971. Where have you been? Stop whining that this is all there is.

“I’m here to tell you, your friends and neighbors have built a network of a thousand community stations that support this institution called NPR, and we on many different levels are here, waiting for you, just for you to come over and see what we have.


“So check it out, you don’t have to shut off CNN forever, but turn on something else sometimes. And then, when you turn to CNN, that will be the day that you say, ‘what have I been putting in my brain?’ . . . “

Elizabeth Jensen, NPR: NPR’s Staff Diversity Numbers, 2017

Short Takes

Seung Min Kim
Wyatt Tee Walker, left.
  • The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch editorialized Wednesday in favor of replacing a statue of Jefferson Davis on the city’s Monument Avenue with one of the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Walker, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and key civil rights strategist, died Tuesday at 88. “For his civil-rights work, Walker was jailed 17 times — during an era when justice for black men was a cruel joke and those who said so in public risked their lives,” the editorial said. Among Walker’s so-called crimes: using the whites-only entrance to the Petersburg public library. . . . “
  • The NAACP is suing the Trump administration, accusing Homeland Security of discriminating against Haiti’s mostly black nationals in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee . . . “ Roque Planas reported Thursday for HuffPost Latino Voices. “The complaint, filed by one of the country’s most prestigious civil rights groups, also cites a December New York Times report that Trump said Haitians ‘all have AIDS.’ . . . “
  • Roland Martin and the entertainer Mo’Nique exchanged Tweets after Mo’Nique responded Friday to a complimentary tweet from Martin by writing, “Brother Roland please listen we getting ready to do press. I appreciate your fight, however where is your fight for EQUALITY when it comes to your sisters. Let’s talk brother.” Martin replied Friday, “Mo’Nique, the fact that you are even asking the question about what I have done to fight for equality and sisters shows you don’t know. I don’t talk about it. I DO IT. Have done it my whole career. I don’t need to talk. I put in the work.”
  • The Houston Chronicle has no columnist of color outside of Jerome Solomon on sports, but Joy Sewing, senior reporter and editor, wrote an opinion piece Thursday after being moved by author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson’s apology to African Americans while in Houston. “I could not stop crying,” Sewing wrote. “I opened my eyes to see everyone around me — white, black, Asian like my friend, Sydney Dao, who is Vietnamese — crying, too. I nearly collapsed to floor from the emotional weight I was feeling. . . .” A column on the same subject by white writer Erica Grieder provided a contrast in tone and substance.
Walter Middlebrook

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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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