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Anothe sexual predator exposed: Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually harassed them — with nudity, groping and lewd calls

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Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain report in the Washington Post:

Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS, also co-hosts “CBS This Morning” and is a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents. Three of the eight spoke on the record.

Five of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Rose’s stature in the industry, his power over their careers or what they described as his volatile temper.

“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.

“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”

Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them. Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party.

Reah Bravo was an intern and then associate producer for Rose’s PBS show beginning in 2007. In interviews, she described unwanted sexual advances while working for Rose at his private waterfront estate in Bellport, N.Y., and while traveling with him in cars, in a hotel suite and on a private plane. . .

Continue reading. There’s a lot more, and all of it damning.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 November 2017 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Law, Media

Yet another: NYTimes White House correspondent Glenn Thrush’s history of bad judgment around young women journalists

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I think there will be a lot more names to come. Some men are probably getting nervous. Laura McGann reports in Vox:

Sexual harassment claims against yet another powerful man in media inspired New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush to post an impassioned note on his Facebook page in October, calling on his fellow journalists to stand by women entering the field.

In the post, which linked to an article about the latest accusations against political journalist Mark Halperin, Thrush wrote, “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”

It was a noble statement — but some Washington journalists I spoke to say it rings hollow, given Thrush’s own behavior with young women in the industry.

“He kept saying he’s an advocate for women and women journalists,” a 23-year-old woman told me, recounting an incident with Thrush from this past June. “That’s how he presented himself to me. He tried to make himself seem like an ally and a mentor.”

She paused. “Kind of ironic now.”

Thrush, 50, is one of the New York Times’s star White House reporters whose chronicles of the Trump administration recently earned him and his frequent writing partner Maggie Haberman a major book deal.

Thrush and the young woman met at her colleague’s going-away party at a bar near the Politico newsroom, she told me, and shared a few rounds of drinks in a booth. The night, she said, ended on a Washington street corner, where Thrush left her in tears after she resisted his advances.

The encounter was troubling enough to the woman that her friend Bianca Padró Ocasio, also 23 and a journalist, confronted Thrush about his behavior via text message the next day.

“I want to make sure you don’t lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again,” she texted. “So help me out here. How can I do that?”

Thrush was apologetic but defensive.

“I don’t lure anybody ever,” he wrote, according to screenshots provided by Padró Ocasio. “I got drunk because I got some shitty health news. And I am acutely aware of the hurdles that young women face in this business and have spent the better part of 20 years advocating for women journalists.”

If Thrush is acutely aware of what young women face in the business of political journalism, he should also know it’s because he himself is one of the problems women face. Five years ago, when Thrush and I were colleagues at Politico, I was in the same bar as Padró Ocasio’s friend — perhaps the same booth — when he caught me off guard, put his hand on my thigh, and suddenly started kissing me. Thrush says that he recalls the incident differently.

Three young women I interviewed, including the young woman who met Thrush in June, described to me a range of similar experiences, from unwanted groping and kissing to wet kisses out of nowhere to hazy sexual encounters that played out under the influence of alcohol. Each woman described feeling differently about these experiences: scared, violated, ashamed, weirded out. I was — and am — angry.

Details of their stories suggest a pattern. All of the women were in their 20s at the time. They were relatively early in their careers compared to Thrush, who was the kind of seasoned journalist who would be good to know. At an event with alcohol, he made advances. Afterward, they (as I did) thought it best to stay on good terms with Thrush, whatever their feelings.

“I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately. Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable,” Thrush said in a statement emailed to me on November 19.

In interviews with about 40 people in and around media who know Thrush, I got a picture of a reporter whose title doesn’t capture his power and stature. People who’ve worked with him say he can get a writer’s name in front of the right editor, if he wants. Newsroom leaders care what he thinks. Some reporters said Thrush had used his connections to help them land jobs or develop new sources.

The downfall of Hollywood titan Weinstein has been a catalyst for a movement to stamp out workplace harassment, particularly the variety to pits powerful men against much less powerful women. They are facing consequences for their behavior like never before, including men in media. Halperin lost a coveted book deal. NPR news chief Michael Oreskes resigned. Leon Wieseltier lost funding for his new magazine. And Lockhart Steele, the editorial director of Vox Media, Vox’s parent company, was fired for misconduct.

Thrush wasn’t my boss at Politico. He was a reporter and I was an editor. We were on different teams and hardly crossed each other’s paths. But he was an incredibly influential person in the newsroom and in political journalism, a world I was still trying to break into in a meaningful way at the time.

It wasn’t that Thrush was offering young women a quid pro quo deal, such as sex in exchange for mentorship. Thrush, just by his stature, put women in a position of feeling they had to suck up and move on from an uncomfortable encounter.

On that night five years ago,  . . .

Continue reading.

Update: NY Times suspends Glenn Thrush.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 November 2017 at 9:04 am

Why has Fox News abandoned Benghazi?

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Eric Wemple writes in the Washington Post:

It was December 2012, just a few months after terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya. Sean Hannity of Fox News was continuing his extensive coverage of the attack, as well as his denunciations of what he viewed as less inquisitive media peers. “We will continue to follow the story that the mainstream media ignores. We have four dead Americans, including two SEALs and the first ambassador killed in 30 years. And, obviously, a cover-up. And we will get to the bottom of it,” he said.

The fiery Fox News host now has an ally in that noble pursuit. There’s a trial well underway at the D.C. federal courthouse in which Libyan Ahmed Abu Khattala stands accused of conspiracy to support terrorism, among other charges, in the September 2012 attacks that quickly became a divisive political issue in the United States, with then-President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, pilloried for various alleged acts of incompetence and deception.

Truth is dribbling out of the now-six-week-long trial. We’re discovering that the United States paid a Libyan informant $7 million to secure key information from Khattala. The relationship between informant and suspect developed over many months and proved critical in assisting U.S. forces in capturing Khattala. Under the pseudonym of Ali Majrisi, the informant spoke at trial of how Khattala intended to kill “everyone there” at the Benghazi installation, a bloody ambition that extended to a rescue force that U.S. officials had sent that night from Tripoli. In other testimony, CIA officers detailed efforts to rescue U.S. personnel under attack in the Libyan city.

Good thing Fox News is there to finish the obsessive work it started, to provide a day-by-day narration of U.S. law enforcement bringing American justice to an alleged terrorist.

Um, actually: Those trial updates cited above come from Adam Goldman of the New York Times and Spencer S. Hsu of The Washington Post, both of whom have filed dispatches over the course of this lengthy trial. As for Fox News, there was this dispatch on the trial’s opening statements. There was this Associated Press story on about the trial’s possible impact on proposals to send terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay. And another dispatch, also from the APAnother dispatch, also from the AP. (There’s been other coverage of charges against another suspect in the attacks, Mustafa al-Imam.)

Fox News, outsourcing its Benghazi reporting to the AP? This is the same AP, mind you, that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes disparaged years ago. “It tips left all the time now,” said Ailes, who was bounced from Fox News over sexual harassment claims in 2016 and died this year.

As far as TV coverage, a Nexis search for “Benghazi and Khattala” over the past three months yields just one small mention — four sentences — on the Oct. 2 edition of “Special Report with Bret Baier.” (Nexis covers mostly prime-time shows). If Fox News’s trial coverage were consistent with its previous volume, it would be doing hourly updates from the trial, live blogs and promos, plus round-the-clock commentary on its opinion shows.

Instead, we’re stuck with the “cover-up” gang, as Hannity might say. The New York Times’ Goldman says, “I think the New York Times and The Washington Post and the mainstream media recognized the importance of covering this trial. It was a devastating terrorist attack. Four American lives were lost. We should cover this for the public. So I’m a little surprised that other American media outlets aren’t covering this trial to provide their readers or viewers with real facts.”

The drop-off is stark and inexplicable. In the 20 months following the attacks, Fox News ran in excess of 1,000 segments on Benghazi, according to a September 2014 report by Media Matters. The focus remained intact even after that, spiking upon the release of the “13 Hours” book and movie — a compelling account from the security operators who saved many American lives that night. “This movie, if it’s really popular, is going to force [Hillary Clinton] to answer some questions,” said Steve Doocy on “Fox & Friends” about the movie, which premiered during the 2016 presidential primary season.

So, why would Fox News go nuts about a Benghazi movie in early 2016, yet yawn over a Benghazi trial in 2017?  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 November 2017 at 1:08 pm

Posted in GOP, Media, Terrorism

White Male Terrorists Are an Issue We Should Discuss

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Lincoln Anthony Blades has a good article in Teen Vogue:

Since September 11, 2001, preventing terrorism in the United States has become one of the main concerns of citizens, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies. Leaders believe that battling “terror” isn’t just done by waging war on jihadists themselves, but also on their ideology. When an attack whose perpetrator is affiliated with Islam occurs on American soil, the nation collectively recoils in horror at the audacious attack, mourns for those we’ve lost, and then subsequently doubles down on rooting out any semblance of pro-extremist thought in our society.

When the assailant is identified, intelligence agencies conduct a thorough investigation into the subject’s known terror ties. These ties are provided to outlets that, in real time, condemn the violent extremism that animated the subject. When bad actors align themselves with extremist Islamic ideology, information about those who propagate this dangerous dogma is eagerly consumed because we deem it essential — not to just know what happened, but everything and every person that may have influenced what happened. Yet when it comes to domestic terrorism carried out by white men, such thorough accounting lacks.

Last week, America found itself in a terrifying and simultaneously familiar place: mourning the loss of life after a mass shooting. On Sunday, April 30, Monique Clark, a 35-year-old mother of three daughters, was killed after a gunman opened fire at guests at a poolside party inside an apartment complex. In addition to Clark, six other people — mostly black and Latinx — were injured in the shooting spree by a 49-year-old white male named Peter Selis. In the wake of the attack, witnesses and victims attested that race was a prominent factor in the shooting. Yet San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said just one day after the shooting that there was “zero information” that race contributed to the attack. (Navy Lt. j.g. Lauren Chapman, one of the attendees of the party, said she felt “heartbreak” at the police’s dismissal of this motive, which witnesses say was a major factor.) The shooting received such little immediate coverage that people took to social media to blast major networks and politicians for their lack of reporting, and terror context. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 November 2017 at 10:44 am

Twitter Has A Harassment Problem In India, And Targets Say The Company Isn’t Doing Much To Fix It

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Twitter management is starting to seem criminally irresponsible. Pranav Dixit reports at Buzzfeed:

Dhanya Rajendran, the editor-in-chief of an influential Indian website called The News Minute, is used to being trolled on Twitter. Still, she wasn’t prepared for what happened on a Sunday evening in August. A few minutes past 6, a coordinated deluge of rape and death threats flooded Rajendran’s Twitter mentions. One of the abusers wanted to penetrate her with a metal rod. Another wanted her to be a part of a gang bang.

Rajendran’s crime? Tweeting about how she had walked out of a movie starring Vijay, a South Indian superstar.

Within minutes, more than 31,000 notifications crashed Rajendran’s phone. Trolls had orchestrated the harassment campaign using a hashtag, #PublicityBeepDhanya (replace “beep” with an expletive of choice), which became one of the top five trends in India for hours.

The fact that a hashtag crafted specifically to abuse someone trended for hours becamenational news in India. Vijay, whose fans started the campaign, condemned the incident. The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), an organization that aims to promote gender equality within the Indian media, urged Twitter India to be “more sensitive to online abuse, specifically of women.”

And from Twitter? Dead silence. In fact, the social network did nothing about the hashtag until Rajendran picked up the phone and contacted a personal connection at the company, a member of Twitter India’s public policy team who offered to “put a word in,” Rajendran told BuzzFeed News. An hour later, Twitter India removed the hashtag from its list of trending topics (Twitter’s rules say the social network “may prevent certain content from trending,” including content that incites “hate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease”).

Abuse and harassment have been a global problem for Twitter for over a decade. Just last Friday, women around the world called for a Twitter boycott for a day to protest the social network’s inaction on harassment, prompting Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to unleash yet anothertweetstorm about how the company was going to be “more aggressive” about curbing harassment on its platform. Over the years, Twitter has introduced new safety features such as keyword filters, and established a Trust and Safety Council. But, say targets, none of this has been very effective in developing markets like India, which the company claims is its fastest growing market in the world.

BuzzFeed News’ interviews with more than a dozen people who are regularly harassed on Twitter in India reveal that the social network isn’t doing enough to address harassment concerns. In the trolls’ crosshairs are not just high-profile women, but Indian cricketersmale television anchors, and singers. In many cases, convincing Twitter to take down abusive accounts or remove obscene and abusive hashtags from its trending column has required harassment targets to ask favors of Twitter India employees they know personally.

And the fact that India has 22 official languages — of which Twitter supports six — complicates matters further. Twitter’s inability to deal with local language abuse in India typifies how American tech companies with global ambitions often stumble in unfamiliar international territories. After all, it’s hard to know from your San Francisco headquarters whether people responsible for reading abuse reports from India in Tamil and Bengali are doing a good job, especially since Twitter told BuzzFeed News that it’s focusing more on improving its abuse-filtering algorithms rather than hiring more humans to check multilingual harassment.

After several high-profile abuse incidents on Twitter in India over the last year, the conversation around trolling and harassment on social media has reached a fever pitch in the country. In July 2016, right-wing trolls targeted Neha Dixit, an independent journalist, after she published a story about the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a hypernationalist Hindu organization, in child trafficking. Trolls published Dixit’s street address on Twitter, and one of them threatened to rape her with a “thorny bush.”

In February this year, trolls threatened Gurmehar Kaur, a 20-year-old Delhi University student who had criticized the right-wing student organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), was so afraid of their retaliatory rape threats that she left Delhi for a few days. And in August, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 October 2017 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Media, Technology

Analysis of 141 hours of cable news reveals how mass killers are really portrayed

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Youyou Zhou has an interesting piece (with charts) in Quartz:

Less than 12 hours after the news of the Las Vegas shooting broke, the sheriff in charge of investigating it described the gunman as a “lone wolf.”

In short order, that terminology was denounced as a proxy for white privilege.

Shaun King writing for The Intercept, said that the language perpetuates a double standard: when the mass murderer is identified as white, he is seen as an individual (and called a lone wolf); when the killer is black or Muslim, the entire race or religion bears the blame. The sentiment echoed across social media as well.

Are there ingrained racial biases that surface when TV news outlets report these tragedies? Is this double standard persistent, or merely anecdotal?

Keen to answer these questions, Quartz reviewed the language used to describe the killers of 27 mass shootings in the US, beginning with the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.

To do this, we used a list of mass shootings maintained by Mother Jonesand included only those killers where the race was ultimately identified. We then looked at transcripts from six cables news stations related to these shootings in immediate two-day period after the news broke.1

Although the term “lone wolf” was mainly reserved for white killers, it was also used in Baton Rouge police shooting in 2016 when the killer was black, and in the military recruitment center shooting in Chattanooga, Tennesee in 2015 when the killer was an American with Middle Eastern roots.

And of course, that’s not all.

A single shooter, multiple descriptors

To understand the term “lone wolf,” it’s useful to know that it was first used by FBI solely to denote a terrorist back in the early 1990s.

Mark Hamm, a criminology professor at Indiana State University, told Quartz that the use of “lone wolf” among the law enforcement community linked it strictly to terrorism. It was used to describe a single perpetrator–without help from a third party–committing violence to advance political or religious purposes. Under this framework, he says, the Las Vegas killer doesn’t qualify for the label, as at this point no clear political or religious motivations have been determined.

Our analysis shows, however, that the media often adopted a more liberal definition of the term when calling a mass killer a lone wolf. And more often than not, TV news used other terms to describe a single-shooter situation. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 October 2017 at 10:31 am

Posted in Media, Terrorism

Kellyanne Conway denies ever saying ‘fake news’ as Trump attacks NBC

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Is it an actual requirement that White House aides continually lie? Judy Kurtz reports in The Hill (and there’s a video at the link):

Kellyanne Conway claims she doesn’t use the term “fake news,” saying her beef with the media is “incomplete coverage.”

“I’m a person in the West Wing who’s never actually uttered the words ‘fake news,’ ‘enemy of the people,’ ‘opposition party,’” Conway, a White House senior adviser, said Wednesday during a discussion at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women summit in Washington.

“I don’t speak that way,” Conway said, responding to a question from Fortune’s Pattie Sellers about whether President Trump’s tweeting has added to “division and rancor” across the country.

Trump, who has used “fake news” to describe media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, has recently turned his ire on NBC News following its reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillersononce referred to him as a “moron.”

After NBC published a follow-up story on Wednesday claiming the insult came when Trump told officials he wanted to increase the military’s nuclear arsenal tenfold, the president lashed out on Twitter, going so far as to suggest challenging NBC’s license to broadcast.

“I think we need a full and free press in our nation, of course,” Conway said.

“But with that freedom comes responsibility,” she said. “So my grievance is never about fake news. I talk about incomplete coverage.”

“What I’m concerned about is that this president — and I hear this from people who did not vote for him and from people who don’t always cover him fully and fairly either — so there is a concern they’ve literally never seen a president covered this way,” Conway said.

When pressed on whether she’s ever used the term “fake news” — a phrase made famous by Trump on the campaign trail to rail against media coverage — Conway repeated, “I don’t speak that way.”

Conway has, however, classified at least a few stories as “fake news,” writing on Twitter last year and in March:

And also:

Written by LeisureGuy

11 October 2017 at 1:50 pm

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