Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The War on Truth


“‘This is the world of the strong leaders who hate the free press and truth,’ says Can Dündar, who, after being charged with revealing state secrets and nearly assassinated as a newspaper editor in Turkey, fled to Germany.

“That world is led, in some ways, by a U.S. President whose embrace of despots and attacks on the press has set a troubling tone. 

“‘I think the biggest problem that we face right now is that the beacon of democracy, the one that stood up for both human rights and press freedom — the United States — now is very confused,’ says Maria Ressa, editor of the online Philippines news site Rappler. ‘What are the values of the United States?’”

—Karl Vick, reporter, “The Guardians and the War on Truth,” TIME’s Person of the Year 2018.




Editorial Comment: Good question.




PeezPix


Where Poppies Grow










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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Real Fake News


The WORDmeister sez: Many of us — hell, anyone drawing breath — have complained since the start of the Drumpfobscene Era about all the free press the man gets. He’s a canny media manipulator, because Cheetohead knows that if he sneezes or pharts or Tweets that there are cows on Pluto, the press just has to report it . . . because he’s president and Leader of the Free World. By definition, that’s news. 

As Politico points out, many news organization are “still reflexively amplifying his remarks even after he’s made 6,400 false or misleading claims in office.”

But there *is* some push-back. Like last week, when the Tweeter-in-Chief announced exactly the opposite of what happened in the Cohen and Manafort legal filings. When NBC retweeted the false Trump tweet, a few whistles sounded. So maybe there’s hope.


If this isn’t true (it’s not), a news organization should not be repeating it uncritically,” responded New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik. ASU journalism professor Dan Gillmor called the NBC tweet “journalistic malpractice.” And Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) accused NBC of becoming “a vector for an [obvious] lie.”

—“Morning Media” on Politico.com, Dec. 10, 2018.




Editorial Comment: Wait. Cows on Pluto?




PeezPix















FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Monday, December 10, 2018

Bwa-hahahahahahahahaha!!!!


“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” 

—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), novelist, in letter to Sheilah Graham, 1939.












Editorial Comment: Very funny!! he chortled.





PeezPix


Boats Against the Current












FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, December 7, 2018

KIA


“Ibrahim was so quiet, but he had a great eye and developed himself over the years and became one of the best cameramen in the area. When he died, our whole office was devastated. We don’t know who killed him. We can’t be sure, it’s Syria. And Syria is the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist.” 

—Ghaith Hammour, editor at Syrian news organization SY24, remembering Ibrahim al-Munjar, a 26-year-old journalist murdered outside his home in May 2018. More than 30 journalists, including al-Munjar and the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi, were killed in 2018. “‘Killed for speaking the truth’: nine journalists murdered in 2018,” The Guardian, Dec. 5, 2018.




Editorial Comment: Anti-press incitement can be fatal.




PeezPix


Why the long face?














FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Badlands of Writing


“Women come from the badlands of language. Women know a lot about ambivalence and ambiguity — which is why, I think, good, subtle political writing by women novelists is dismissed in Argentina. Women are expected to console, not disturb, the readers.” 

—Luisa Valenzuela, Argentine novelist, “The Art of Fiction No. 170,” The Paris Review, 2001.




Editorial Comment: “Good, subtle political writing.” Ridiculous.




PeezPix


A blossom is hope.








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Facts and Damn Facts


“My old Irish aunt once admonished me, . . . ‘If you want to have people listen to your opinion, become a politician. Otherwise, just stick to some damn facts, Mr. Reporter.’” 

—John Solomon, veteran journalist and executive VP for video, The Hill, “The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting,” Nov. 23, 2018.











Editorial Note: I sure the hell don’t.




PeezPix

Real News You Can Use. Click here for the December Senior News.











FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

H.W.



“George Bush Sr., has died, and our national media have begun the familiar rituals of presidential passings: round-the-clock pieties on cable news, fond tributes from associates, the inevitable softening of the rough edges. This isn’t surprising. There’s ancient wisdom in the Latin aphorism de mortuis nil nisi bonum (speak nothing but good of the dead). The urge to prettify a politician’s legacy upon his demise is understandable and in some ways reflects our finer selves.
 
“Respect for the dead must coexist with respect for the historical record. In the case of George Bush, this balancing act means acknowledging not only his positive qualities and achievements — as so many news outlets have already copiously done — but also what may have been his defining political hallmark: his cynicism.” 

—David Greenberg, Rutgers political historian, “Is History Being Too Kind to George H.W. Bush?” Politico, Dec. 1, 2018.


Editorial Note: We would like to remember it as a kinder and gentler America.




PeezPix

The Catch











FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Monday, December 3, 2018

Thin-Skinned


“[J]ournalists have taken it personally. They’re personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them, and they dive in. And what he’s done well, I think, is he’s appealed to their own narcissism, to their own ego. 

“And the journalists stand up and say, ‘We are noble. We are honorable. How dare you, sir?’ And they take it personally. 

Now he’s changed the conversation to not that his policies are silly or not working or any of those other things; it’s all about the fight. He’s able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on that fight. And he’s going to win that fight.” 

—Jon Stewart, comic oracle, in interview with Christiane Amanpour, “Stewart: Trump will win the ‘fight’ against journalists,” CNN, Oct. 30, 2018. (Start at 1:50)

Editorial Note: Bait and switch, America.




PeezPix
 
Sonoma Street








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, November 30, 2018

Finding Subscribers




“Both the Paradise Post and the Enterprise-Record had a good number of subscribers in Paradise, and now we don’t have a town to deliver it to.”

David Little, editor of the Chico (CA) Enterprise-Record, on continuing to publish after fire has wiped out the town of Paradise, “A California town is scorched and empty, but local journalists still deliver,” CNN, Nov. 24, 2018.





Editorial Note: A very sad paper route.





PeezPix

Buddy









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, November 29, 2018

From the Historical Foresight Department



“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” 

–Western Union internal memo, 1876. Image: Early “selfie.”







Editorial Note: That’s what the European Scribes  & Ink-Stained Wretches Union said about Johann Gutenberg’s crazy “printing press” idea in 1439.



Another Fun TechnoFact: On Nov. 28, 1814, the Times of London was first printed by automatic steam-powered presses built by German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, making newspapers available to a mass audience. The rest, I guess, is history. (Thanks to alert WORDster Kathleen Franklin)



PeezPix


Good Heart, Needs a Little Work









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Go Forth



“If you can just capture the humanity of the people of the stories you’re telling, you then get that much closer to your own humanity. And you can confront your bias and you can build your credibility and hone your instincts and compound your compassion. You can use your gifts, that’s what you’re really here to do, to illuminate the darkness in our world.” 

—Oprah Winfrey, media mogul and commencement speaker, Annenberg School of Journalism, University of Southern California, “Oprah to Graduates: Vote! Vote! Vote!” The Atlantic, May 2018.



Editorial Note: Now, look under your seats . . .



PeezPix

Pelican Patch








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard