President Obama talked sports for a 25-minute podcast with ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons, editor-in-chief of the Grantland Web site and author of “The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy.”
Simmons wrote that in a White House interview, the two “covered a bunch of sports-related topics, including how the President manages to make time to follow sports; his feelings on Linsanity and the Bulls’ title chances; whether he considered getting involved with the NBA lockout; the wisdom of a college football playoff system; his feelings on concussions and the NFL; what it’s like to throw out the first pitch before baseball games; his favorite White House visits from championship teams; coaching his daughter’s basketball team; the pearls of wisdom he recently dispensed to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin; and his answers to two ‘greatest ever’ questions (one basketball, one television).”
Among Obama’s comments: “I am very proud of the fact I do not cheat when I’m playing golf” and that he knew about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin “before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my Secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team.” [Podcast] [Transcript] [March 1]
“This is far from over,” Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, wrote Wednesday after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edged former senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in Michigan’s Republican presidential primary.
Romney, “. . . a guy with a lengthy record of competent, even heroic, management in the public and private sectors, is still struggling to get decisive separation from a pack of much weaker candidates. He’ll hobble into the Super Tuesday contests with wins here in Michigan and in Arizona, but without the kind of momentum that suggests he’s close to putting the others out of reach.
“It has been bizarre, and troubling, to watch.
“. . . It is troubling because that dynamic in the GOP race, playing out over and over again, is whittling the party’s base to the narrowest of interests and minds, alienating broad swaths of both independent voters and a significant portion of more mainstream or moderate card-carrying Republicans.
“. . . A clearly exasperated Romney said Tuesday that he wouldn’t light his hair on fire to appeal to hard-right conservatives, but he clearly did just about everything else to secure the win.
“And judging from the challenge still before him, he may not want to toss the matches just yet.”
Final Michigan results showed Santorum and Romney evenly split Michigan’s 30 delegates, even though Romney got more overall votes, CNN reported on Wednesday.
Michigan has the nation’s greatest number of Arab Americans. On Friday, the Arab American News, based in Dearborn, endorsed Ron Paul, who came in third.
The paper “sees Dr. Paul’s refreshing, forthright foreign policy philosophy as one of his greatest strengths at a time when the specter of a potentially catastrophic war looms over festering, misunderstood and misreported conflicts in the Middle East,” it said in an editorial. “His positions are perhaps the best hope for even a remotely balanced policy in the troubled region that we’ve seen in decades.
“Paul has also been the only major Republican candidate to resist the type of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant demonization, fear-mongering and pandering to ultra-conservative voters in his party that has become pervasive in the post-9/11 climate, despite continued studies showing that terror threats posed by such groups have been greatly exaggerated coming to light along with polls reaffirming the groups’ affinity for American ideals and patriotism.”
In Arizona, where Romney scored a 20-point win and captured all 29 delegates, exit polls showed that Romney and Santorum “each captured about one-third of the Hispanic vote, with Gingrich and Paul splitting the rest,” Jeri Clausing and Paul Davenport of the Associated Press reported, referring to former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
“Gingrich has been considered the favorite for Hispanics on the issue of immigration, as he was the only candidate to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.
“But fewer than one in 10 voters were Hispanic, and political watchers said many voters here have grown weary of the rhetoric that has dominated state politics and early debates in the race.”
- Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Obama the “snob”?
- Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Romney Debases the G.O.P. Base
- Paul DeMain and Mark Trahant discuss the primaries: Native News Update
- Steven Gray, theRoot.com: Back to the Future, Starring Rick Santorum
- Emil Guilliermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Leaping to Super Tuesday
- Michael E. Ross, theRoot.com: A Cultural Divide for Romney
- Chris Savage and Dawud Walid with Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, Pacifica Radio: Slim Romney Win Signals GOP Challenges in Reaching Michigan’s Working Class, Arab-American Voters
- Shushannah Walshe, ABC News: Santorum Focuses on Reaching Out to Women; Adviser Says They Are a ‘MacGyver Campaign’
- Tonyaa Weathersbee, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Is Pookie from the ‘Hood Advising Santorum?
In Los Angeles, “a coalition of Blacks in radio broadcasting, media and business met Monday with KFI 640 AM’s station management and show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the ‘John and Ken Show’ to discuss their calling of music icon Whitney Houston a ‘crack ho’ three days following the legendary singer’s death,” the eurweb.com site reported.
Meanwhile, referring to the shock jocks, Greg Braxton reported in the Los Angeles Times Wednesday, “the episode may have cost them their nightly gig at KTLA-TV Channel 5.” The two returned to the radio station after a seven-day suspension, but were “the team was missing Wednesday from its usual nightly simulcast spot during KTLA’s 6 p.m. newscast, and sources say they have been absent from the newscast all week.”
EURWeb.com said of Monday’s session, “Among those who met with the station’s General Manager Greg Ashlock and program director Robin Bertolucci were: Kevin Ross, host of the syndicated television program ‘America’s Court with Judge Ross,’ and former KABC and KFI host; Lee Bailey, 30-year radio broadcasting pioneer, founder and CEO of the Electronic Urban Report (EURweb); Dominique DiPrima, talk radio veteran and host of the Front Page on KJLH 102.3 FM; Isidra [Person- Lynn], former talk radio host, producer and public affairs director; L. C. ‘Chris’ Strudwick-Turner, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Los Angeles Urban League; . . . and journalist and communications strategist Jasmyne Cannick.
” ‘Systemic change has to happen,’ said Strudwick-Turner of the Los Angeles Urban League. ‘They have to come back to us with a solid plan to improve this situation.’ “
“Cannick added, ‘KFI has 14 shows, and 13 of them are hosted by white males. There are no blacks in their newsroom. This fosters an environment where negative comments can happen. And they are not living up to [parent company] Clear Channel’s statement of a commitment to diversity.’ ”
The story said KFI management promised to get back to the group within 72 hours with a plan to address these concerns:
- “1. The hiring of more Blacks as on air talent — Full time, weekends, fill-in hosts
- “2. Similar to cable outlets, the station should feature paid KFI contributing commentators who can discuss issues with the on-air from different perspectives
- “3. Clear Channel must employ more blacks behind the scenes such as producers, engineers, sales representatives, professionals in marketing and promotions, as well as college interns of color. This is not limited to KFI.
- “4. KFI specifically needs to collaborate with online news and entertainment sites owned by African Americans and broaden the listening audience through community outreach events and public affairs”
On FishbowlLA, Marcus Vanderberg wrote, “Call me cynical, but I’m not holding my breath that any of these changes will be implemented at KFI. I think it’s going to take more than a John and Ken suspension to get the point across to Clear Channel management.”
- Barbara A. Reynolds, Washington Post: Whitney Houston’s death, a reminder of alcohol and drug addictions
- TVNewsCheck: Mags Soar On Whitney Houston Coverage
“Members of the Mormon Church last year posthumously baptized Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to records uncovered by a researcher in Utah,” Michael Levenson reported Wednesday for the Boston Globe.
“Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon who combs through the church’s archives, said that records indicate Pearl, who was Jewish, was baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011 at a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“Mormons baptize deceased Jews and members of other religions as part of a rite intended to give them access to salvation.
“But the practice has stirred outrage among some Jewish leaders. In 1995, the church, after meeting with Jewish leaders, agreed to stop baptizing Holocaust victims. Current church policy encourages church members to baptize their ancestors, but does not explicitly forbid the baptism of deceased Jews and people of other faiths.
“A former reporter at the Berkshire Eagle, Pearl was 38 when he was abducted while reporting in Karachi, four months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“Pearl’s parents, Judea and Ruth, said it was ‘disturbing news’ to learn that Mormons had baptized their son, in a rite that they understand was meant to offer him salvation.”
“Bob McManus, editorial page editor of the New York Post, blasted the Associated Press on Tuesday, suggesting that the news organization cares more about winning a Pulitzer Prize than the threat of terrorism,” Michael Calderone reported for the Huffington Post.
” ‘It will win its prizes, or not,’ McManus wrote. ‘But to the extent its activities undermine a great city’s will to protect itself from proven enemies, it may someday have much for which to answer.’
“McManus’ attack was just the latest journalistic broadside against the news organization in response to its ongoing investigation of the NYPD’s widescale surveillance of Muslims in New York City, several neighboring states and on over a dozen college campuses across the northeast.
“. . . The AP’s latest revelations have triggered different responses on either side of the Hudson, with political leaders and their local newspapers taking opposite corners in New Jersey and New York. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Robert Menendez and Newark Mayor Cory Booker have expressed concerns with the surveillance program, while the state’s editorial boards have condemned it. In New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have offered unwavering support to the NYPD, just as the city’s two most boisterous tabloids — similarly quick to defend last year’s NYPD crackdown on journalists — continue to offer a full-throated defense of Commissioner Ray Kelly and his department.
“The Post and the Daily News, which slammed the AP during the start of the series last August, have defended the NYPD, while simultaneously taking shots at the news organization and those raising important questions about civil rights being trampled through a secret spying program.”
“Overall, social media has revitalized traditional journalism,” veteran journalist Ronnie Ramos, now managing director of digital communications for the NCAA, wrote Wednesday for the National Sports Journalism Center.
But Ramos, who has been an editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Times in Shreveport, La., and the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., nevertheless maintained that “traditional journalism has let social media hurt its franchise.
“Here are four areas where social media has been a problem for journalism,” he continued:
- “Lowered the standards. It used to be that newspapers, large and small, shared a common set of standards for what journalists would and wouldn’t do. . . . .
- “Anyone is a journalist. . . . Many traditional journalism outlets have contributed to the bankruptcy of the term journalist by altering their hiring standards and practices. People who have no fact-gathering experience are now blogging for major outlets. And other outlets have acknowledged, quoted and otherwise legitimized reports from websites, blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages they would have never relied on before the advent of social media. . . .
- “The tarnished credibility of traditional journalists. . .
- “Blurring the line between opinion and fact. The biggest myth in traditional journalism is that there is separation between fact and opinion. Reporters write fact and columnists write opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Ramos promised a follow-up next week with more on “how social media has blurred the line between opinion and fact.”
- Barry Petchesky, Deadspin: “Twitter Is Not Your Personal Playground,” ESPN Reminds Its Employees
- Ronnie Ramos, National Sports Journalism Center: Why the sports world should embrace social media as a customer service tool
- John L. Robinson blog: Pull that ripcord!
“In the midst of the media hullabaloo over ESPN’s ‘Chink in the armor’ headline about Jeremy Lin, I had a conversation with a journalism professor at the University of Colorado, where I work as staff adviser to the CU Independent, the student-run news website for the Boulder campus,” Gil Asakawa wrote Wednesday on his “Nikkei View” blog.
“. . . In today’s snip-and-share media world, context gets lost, and so can the historical meaning of words even if they started out as hate language. Just because someone doesn’t know the origins of a phrase like ‘Me so horny, me love you long time,’ or any of the words I heard growing up, or they think it’s OK because they didn’t mean it as a racist slur, doesn’t make it acceptable.
“I have one rule for slurs: IF someone somewhere finds something offensive, then it’s offensive and I’ll go out of my way to avoid it. It’s not a matter of being overly sensitive or too P.C. — it’s a matter of being respectful.”
- Esther J. Cepeda, NBC Latino: What we can learn from Jeremy Lin
- Sam Fulwood III, theGrio.com: Why some ‘Linsanity’ misses the mark
- Emil Guillermo, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education: Jeremy Lin Phenomenon Shows Us We Don’t Know Asian Americans
- Eugene Kane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lin battles stereotypes in hoops hype
- Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Lin creates an opening for the NAACP
- Touré, Time: Jeremy Lin’s Triumph Over Stereotype Threat
- Sam Wong, William Wong and Brian Weller: A Jeremy Lin Conversation (audio)
- “On Tuesday, March 6, TV One Cable Network’s chief political editor Roland S. Martin will host a special Super Tuesday edition of his news show, Washington Watch with Roland Martin, from Howard [University' s] School of Business Theatre, 2600 Sixth Street, broadcasting live on the web from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST. This event is free and open to the public,” Martin announced on Wednesday. Martin has appeared on CNN during big political nights, but CNN suspended him on Feb. 8 over tweets that the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found objectionable. He has apologized.
- “I didn’t see ‘Undefeated’ win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature,” Jason Smith wrote Tuesday for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. “I wanted to watch, but oddly enough the power went out at my house just moments before the Academy Awards ceremony began Sunday night. Then, at 8:43 p.m. and with the power still out, my phone started ringing. First, my mom called. Then my dad. Then my aunt, and after her my grandmother. They were calling to congratulate me for writing The Commercial Appeal story (‘Raising O.C. — Three families have arms around this top prospect,’ 2009) that inspired the film. As far as my family was concerned, I had won the Oscar.”
- “. . . those who knew her best wondered whether her brutally direct manner would fit here,” the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C., wrote Wednesday about Julianne Malveaux, who is stepping down as president of Bennett College for Women, it was announced Tuesday. The editorial concluded, “In substance, if not always in style, she’s been fit for the task.”
- “Of articles published by The Atlantic in 2011, 64 were by women and 184 were by men. In the Boston Review, the ratio was 60 to 131; in Harper’s, 13 to 65; in the London Review of Books 30 to 186; in The New Republic, 50 to 118; in the New York Review of Books a truly embarrassing 19 to 133; the New Yorker published 165 stories by women to 459 by men; and the New York Times Book Review printed 273 articles by women to 520 by men.” The figures come from Vida, an organization devoted to examination and discussion of the roles women play in literature, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote Tuesday for thinkprogress.org.
- “Raymond Mesa, who was named news director at KWHY-22 in Los Angeles in October of 2011 after 9 years as an anchor at the station, was laid off this past Friday,” Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves site. “I’m also told sports anchor Diana Alvarado was given a pink slip.”
- Brandon Southward of Oregon State University and Tyree Harris of the University of Oregon, who have become the first black editors-in-chief of their college newspapers in a state that has a black population of less than 2 percent, were interviewed Wednesday by host Michel Martin on NPR’s “Tell Me More.”
- Evangelist Franklin Graham, who had been accorded deference as a spokesman for Christianity on CNN and ABC News, “apologized Tuesday to President Obama for questioning his Christian faith and said religion has ‘nothing to do’ with Graham’s decision not to support Obama’s re-election,” Adelle M. Banks reported Wednesday for Religion News Service. The apology came after Graham received an “open letter” from the NAACP and black religious leaders.
- Johnson Publishing Co., in its ongoing revitalization of its brands, announced Wednesday that Fashion Fair Cosmetics is partnering with radio’s syndicated “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” On the “Locate Your Love Dating Game,” contestants are to receive “first date makeovers” and beauty tips from Fashion Fair makeup artists before going on their dates.
- “Senegalese authorities to thoroughly investigate recent attacks on the media and ensure that the press is able report freely on the country’s presidential election results and potential run-off. CPJ has documented at least 12 incidents of threats and physical harm against journalists reporting on the campaign, Sunday’s vote, and its aftermath. Most of the incidents involved security officials or ruling party members.”
- In Somalia, “Unidentified gunmen today assassinated a veteran journalist who had been trying to relaunch a radio station that extremist group Al-Shabaab had shut down and looted in 2010, local journalists said,” the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Tuesday. “Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, nicknamed Kadaf, the former director of the private station Somaliweyn Radio, was shot five times in the head and chest around 6 p.m. local time at his home in Wadajir district in the capital Mogadishu, local journalists told CPJ.”
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