September 16, 2020

Good morning, everyone. Tom Jones is on vacation, but the team at Poynter is keeping tabs on the latest media news and analysis. Here’s what you need to know today.

Someone at the Miami Herald screwed up big time. The Herald, which is owned by McClatchy, pulled a weekly Spanish language supplement called Libre after a reader complained.

Editors told readers, “We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement.”

Editors noted after a review “multiple instances of anti-Semitic and racist commentary since January — content that would never meet our editorial standards at el Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald.” They will launch an investigation and intend to publish a story about what happened.

In April, The Sacramento Bee, also owned by McClatchy, apologized for publishing an anti-Semitic Easter ad.

Other newsrooms have had to answer for racist content from their editorial departments in the last few months, including through editorial cartoons in Missouri and North Carolina that both led to the resignation of top newsroom leaders.

Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs will answer questions under oath about Fox’s reporting on the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Conspiracy theories about Rich’s 2016 death found mainstream supporters in 2016, fanned in part by reporting from Hannity and Dobbs. Their deposition is part of a lawsuit that Rich’s parents filed against the network for emotional distress and tortious interference. At issue, The Daily Beast reported, is Fox’s “debunked reporting on Rich, which falsely claimed that he had leaked thousands of Democratic emails to WikiLeaks — a leak, they suggested, that led to his politically-motivated murder.”

Carol Marin poses after appearing at “The Late Late Show” with Tom Snyder on CBS on May 5, 1997 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese)

Chicago TV news icon Carol Marin announced she is stepping down as the political editor at WMAQ-TV and also as correspondent for WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” after the November election. Chicago media critic Robert Feder reports that Carol says she is not retiring, but has not said what her next chapter will be.

“It’s time to get off the stage,” she told Feder. “Everybody needs to know the time for the last performance. I’ve had a great run, but I want to walk off the news stage when I feel great about it still, when I’ve got great relationships still, and when I feel the work is solid.”

As always, where she goes, investigative producer Don Moseley goes, too.  The two have worked side-by-side for decades and both still lead the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence at DePaul University.

Marin and Moseley leave WMAQ after 48 years in the television news business. Marin and another iconic anchor, Ron Magers, resigned their anchor jobs in 1997 when the station hired Jerry Springer as a commentator. She moved to CBS News, produced stories for “60 Minutes,” then came home to Chicago to try to reinvent local TV news with investigative and long-form stories.

Frank Whittaker, WMAQ station manager and vice president of news, sent a memo to staff saying, “Carol Marin and Don Moseley are the gold standard for doing things the right way. For journalism at its finest. For asking the tough questions and expecting accountability from those who are given the public’s trust. That includes their fellow journalists. They’ve made us better too.”

Should newspapers stop endorsing presidential candidates? That’s the case made by Tara D. Sonenshine, currently a distinguished fellow at  Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. In The Hill, she writes, “Newspaper endorsements are not only less impactful now, but they can sometimes confuse matters. Many were critical of the New York Times last year when it seemingly could not decide which candidate to endorse in the 2020 Democratic primary and ended up breaking tradition by endorsing two people: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — neither of whom broke out of the pack.”

In contrary but related news: Scientific American endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in 175 years — Joe Biden.

CNBC anchor Jim Cramer tried to walk back and explain an insulting nickname that he used for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an interview with her Tuesday morning. While discussing a new coronavirus stimulus bill, Cramer said, “What deal can we have, crazy Nancy?” He immediately apologized, saying, “I’m sorry, that was the president. I have such reverence for the office. I would never use that term.” Pelosi replied, “But you just did.”

The BBC has given pay raises to more than 700 female employees in the wake of a 2017 salary scandal. When a salary list for on-air stars who earn more than £150,000 annually was released that year, women accounted for just a third of the list. The Guardian reported that BBC sources said the latest report will show that 45% of those top-earning presenters are now women.

The hosts of “Fox & Friends” seemed confused Tuesday morning when President Donald Trump told them he’d be appearing on the show on a weekly basis. Trump made a similar statement at the end of his 47-minute interview, to which host Steve Doocy replied, “You may want to do it every week, but Fox is not committed to that. We are going to take it on a case by case basis. And Joe Biden is welcome to join us for 47 minutes like we just did with the president.”

Need a new subject to doom scroll? Check out these climate maps from ProPublica which show how climate change will transform the United States. Missouri will feel like Louisiana, for instance, and wildfires could spread to Florida and Georgia.

The Washington Post launched a new section that will chronicle “America’s journey to a post-pandemic life and a new normal.” The Road to Recovery includes a wide variety of stories, including about Sonoma wineries embracing online sales, immunocompromised students finding a new normal online, and how people are using the MLB’s cardboard audience to honor family and friends who have died.

Today’s Poynter Report was written by Kristen Hare, Al Tompkins and Ren LaForme.

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