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Four strikes for mainstream media in the week that changed America.

Why it matters: The protests are raising not just assaults on journalism from outside, but also long-standing problems about the lack of diversity from within the ranks of journalists and power structure dominated by white men. 

1. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is accused of barring two African American journalists from covering protests in the city because of "apparent bias":

  • Photojournalist Michael Santiago, part of a team that won a Pulitzer for the paper in 2019 for covering the Tree of Life synagogue massacre, tweeted that the P-G is silencing two of its most prominent black journalists "during one of the most important civil rights stories that is happening across our country!"
  • "The controversy publicly kicked off Friday," the WashPost reports, "when Alexis Johnson, another black Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalist, reported that the newspaper’s management had barred her from covering local protests Monday after a tweet from her went viral."
  • Colleagues — including Santiago, who took the photos — have repeatedly reposted it with: "I stand with @alexisjreports."
  • P-G managing editor Karen Kane told AP that the paper can't comment on personnel matters.

2. The headline on the New York Times op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that ignited a newsroom revolt ("Send In the Troops") was written by ... The New York Times.

  • I know that because I read it in The New York Times. His op-ed wasn't published in the Sunday paper, as had been planned. But a 300-word editors' note has been added: "[T]he tone of the essay in places is needlessly harsh. ... Editors should have offered suggestions to address those problems. The headline — which was written by The Times, not Senator Cotton — was incendiary and should not have been used."
  • Cotton's Senate campaign yesterday blasted out a fundraising email boasting: "I’ve caused a total meltdown from the media."

3. Stan Wischnowski, 58, executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, resigned yesterday "after discontent among the newspaper’s staff erupted over a headline on a column about the impact of the civil unrest following the police killing of George Floyd," The Inquirer reports.

  • Tuesday's print paper carried the idiotic headline "Buildings Matter, Too" on a column by Pulitzer-winning architecture critic Inga Saffron.
  • With the grace and deftness that only legacy media can muster, that headline was replaced with: "Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift."
  • Wischnowski apologized to readers and staff.

4. Fox News apologized for a graphic Friday that tried to correlate the performance of the S&P 500 with the deaths of George Floyd, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Go deeper

Jul 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Press freedom incidents have surged during police protests

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There have been over 546 total press freedom incidents in the U.S. in the past few months, with roughly 137 — over 25% — coming from law enforcement, according to new data from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

The state of play: Of the 125 physical attacks on the press during the recent protests, 77 have come from law enforcement.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.