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Photog Arrested in Chicago Protests

May 21, 2012

teaserJoshua Lott, Getty freelancer, at NATO demonstrations; NABJ says convention sponsorship exceeds 2011; reporter's career is as dead as Tupac and Biggie; rush to Latino programming could feed isolation; Limbaugh took ratings hits over "slut" remark; invoking Wright could make Mormonism an issue; "SNL" does Stephen A. Smith (5/21/12)

Joshua Lott, Getty Freelancer, at NATO Demonstrations

NABJ Says Convention Sponsorship Exceeds 2011

Reporter's Career Is as Dead as Tupac and Biggie

NABJ Says Convention Sponsorship Exceeds 2011

When the National Association of Black Journalists pulled out of the Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc., coalition last year, some convention supporters said they would not be part of NABJ's stand-alone convention, scheduled for this coming June 20-24 in New Orleans.

NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr.'s own employer, the New York Times Co., was one of them. Lee works at the Boston Globe, a New York Times Co. property. The Globe will be at the convention, he said, but Desiree Dancy, the parent company's vice president, diversity and inclusion, told Journal-isms then, "We are supporting Unity. We're disappointed in the fact that NABJ pulled out of Unity and yet this is a time where the organizations are needed to come together more than ever."

Asked Monday how registrations and sponsorships are in place a month from the convention, Lee gave Journal-isms this statement; by email:

"I am happy to report that the 2012 NABJ Convention planning is going well. Because we are in the middle of processing registrations while closing out the pre-registration deadline which ends Friday, I am not releasing any registration counts at this time. However, I am pleased to say that our hotel room block is nearly sold out with almost 3400 room nights booked to date. Our Career Fair and Exhibit Hall is sold out completely and our sponsorship levels have already exceeded our 2011 numbers. We could not ask for more.

"Journalists and vendors are excited about the convention. If the hotel bookings and vendor participation [are] any indication, this year will be another exciting year. I can say with certainty that our volunteer convention and programming chairs, and their committees, along with our staff are working day and night to ensure that members are enthused about registering and attending this year's convention."

Unity Journalists, the new name for the reconfigured Unity coalition, did not respond Monday to a similar request for a report on the progress of its convention, scheduled for Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas. On a floor plan for its exhibition space, red areas appear to show spots that have been sold, yellow those "reserved" and blue those unsold. (Move mouse over the areas to see specific sponsors).

[Onica Makwakwa, executive director of Unity Journalists, said by email on Tuesday, "With regards to the convention, at 70 days out, we are about 60% to our overall projected goals for revenue. We have a registration deadline in 37 days so it's a little premature to tell where our attendance numbers will fall."]

The NABJ home page features a list of its sponsors.

Reporter's Career Is as Dead as Tupac and Biggie

"A remarkable essay has been published on the Village Voice website," Richard Horgan wrote Sunday for FishbowlLA. Under the headline 'Tupac Shakur, the Los Angeles Times, and Why I’m Still Unemployed: A Personal History by Chuck Philips,' the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist details for the first time his version of the events leading up to, and following, March 26, 2008.

"That's the day The Smoking Gun exposed as fake court documents For years, Chuck Philips produced some of the best reporting on the shooting deareferenced in a Calendar front-page story by Philips about a 1994 assault in Queens, NY on rapper Tupac Shakur. He says it was not his idea to web-publish and liberally source the FBI-302 documents, but rather that of his LAT editor and the paper’s lawyer. Philips also accuses the paper of failing to properly support one of their own by refusing to litigate against the target of his piece (and subsequent accuser) James 'Jimmy Henchman' Rosemond:

" 'Lawyers and editors rejected my recommendations, arguing it would be foolhardy to fight the case. The Times refused to defend the story in court. Instead, the paper crafted a retraction that sounded as if I had made up the entire story and sneaked it into print behind management's back, without the knowledge, consent or guidance of senior editors and lawyers directly involved in its publication. . . . ' "

The Voice reported that the L.A. Times replied in a statement, "We retracted Chuck Philips' March 17, 2008, article concerning an attack on rap star Tupac Shakur because we learned that documents and sources he relied on didn't support the article. Specifically, supposed FBI documents regarding the 1994 attack on Shakur turned out to be forgeries. The man who supplied the documents, James Sabatino, also provided significant additional information that was included in the article, attributed to an anonymous source. As Chuck and his editors later discovered, what Sabatino had told him was fabricated.

"Under these circumstances, we had no alternative but to acknowledge the mistake, apologize to our readers and retract the article. Nothing has happened since then to warrant withdrawing or revising the retraction. No new information has emerged that bears on the mistakes for which we apologized and which we retracted."

Rush to Latino Programming Could Feed Isolation

"As recently as five years ago, I was gnashing my teeth because the television networks catering to Hispanics in the U.S. were offering only Spanish-language programs, further isolating a population that many Americans thought didn’t care about fitting in enough to bother learning the language," Esther J. Cepeda wrote for NBC Latino.

"Today I fear the pendulum is swinging too far to the other side. I worry that the proliferation of advertising, entertainment and news organizations hoping to engage predominantly English-speaking Hispanics will also isolate a continuously assimilating community from a mainstream that seems to view Latinos as newcomers who don’t quite want to blend into the crowd.

"The list of news and entertainment companies jumping into bilingual or English-only programming aimed at Latinos is long and ever-growing, the two most recent examples being Cosmopolitan magazine and Univision-ABC News. . . ."

Limbaugh Took Ratings Hits Over "Slut" Remark

"Rush Limbaugh took a significant ratings hit in some key radio markets last month in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy, Dylan Byers wrote Monday for Politico.

"The conservative radio host's ratings fell 27 percent in the key 25-54 demo in New York City, 31 percent in Houston-Galveston, 40 percent in Seattle-Tacoma, and 35 percent in Jacksonville, according to a selection of the March 29-April 25 Arbitron ratings provided by an industry source.

"Limbaugh's detractors attribute the losses to a rejection of the show following his controversial comments about the Georgetown law student.

" 'Clearly Sandra Fluke isn't the only one who didn't like Rush calling her a "slut" given how many viewers that comment incinerated,' one radio insider said.

"But defenders say that what looks like a decline actually represents a leveling out following increased attention from the controversy. In late March, Limbaugh boasted that his ratings had increased by as much as 60 percent in the month since he had called Fluke a 'slut' and a 'prostitute' on air."

Two weeks ago, David Hinckley of the Daily News in New York quoted Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey, as saying the spring's advertiser boycott of Limbaugh over the Fluke controversy cost Cumulus Media "a couple of million dollars." Cumulus owns just 38 of the more than 600 stations that carry Limbaugh, suggesting that the impact of the boycott was much greater.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told reporters that a proposed ad featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright would be the "wrong course." (Video)

Invoking Wright Could Make Mormonism an Issue

"CNN political analyst Roland Martin says the GOP will make Mormonism's treatment of African-Americans fair game for criticism if it [pursues] a new line of attack against President Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright," Dylan Byers reported Thursday for Politico.

"The new proposal, commissioned by conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts, aims to link Obama to Wright's controversial statements about race relations. But Martin said the proposal is one Romney, whose own religion has historically excluded African-Americans, would want to avoid.

" 'If Ricketts wants to do that, if the GOP they want to do that, you're now putting Mormonism on the table. You're now putting on the table how African Americans were treated by the Mormon religion,' Martin said. 'I don't think Mitt Romney really wants to have that conversation, considering he was an elder and his dad was an elder, and they really did not embrace African Americans. It is a ridiculous conversation.' "

As Beth Fouhy and Philip Elliott reported Thursday for the Associated Press, ". . . Romney pushed back against a proposal being weighed by a conservative super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, to run a $10 million ad campaign drawing attention to racially provocative sermons Wright delivered at a church Obama attended in Chicago. But with super PACS operating under significantly looser campaign finance restrictions than in past presidential contests, there was no guarantee Romney's words would be heeded by other groups eager to make Wright — and, by extension, race — a factor in the campaign.

" 'I want to make it very clear: I repudiate that effort,' Romney told reporters after a campaign stop in Florida. 'I think it's the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can be respectively about the future and about issues and about vision for America.' "

"SNL" Does Stephen A. Smith

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith received the "Saturday Night Live" treatment over the weekend in an impersonation by Jay Pharoah, who is in his second season on the NBC show. Pharoah is most known for his impressions of such celebrities as Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and Kanye West. (Video)

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