Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It’s All Just Luck


“I have tried simply to write the best I can; sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

—Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), pretty successful writer.


Editorial Comment: Pretty good fisherman, too.



PeezPix

Bench People
 







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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, October 16, 2018

IQ Test



“Fox News’ greatest achievement is also its most despicable: it pioneered modern fear-mongering, leveraging bloviation, false equivalencies, reverse-spin, and plain ol’ lying to Keep America Stupid and scared of everything from gays to Muslims, feminism to gun control, a black president to improved women’s rights. It’s the ‘Sharknado’ of media, the shiv in the gut of intellectual curiosity. Its demise would raise the national IQ 50 points, instantly.”

—Mark Morford, columnist, “Good riddance, Confederate flag. Now here’s five more toxic symbols America can do without,” SFGate.com, June 26, 2015.





Editorial Comment: Must be a Rachel Maddow fan.



PeezPix

Sea? Weed.

 







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, October 15, 2018

Bean Counters



“Newspapers are always dying, and someone is always killing them. Radio was supposed to bury them. So was television. So was their aging readership. So was USA Today. So was the Internet. The latest murderer: the corporate bean counter. He breaches the Chinese Wall between business and editorial, cares more about the stock price than about the front-page lead, favors stories that focus groups want to read, and talks constantly about ‘product.’”




Editorial Comment: Is it cynicism or just irony that you’re reading this sad tale online?



PeezPix

Hmmmm. Let me think.

 












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, October 12, 2018

Too Late


“One of the saddest sentences I know is, ‘I wish I had asked my mother about that. I wish I had asked my father about that.’ Writers are the custodians of memory so it’s extremely important to get to people, interview your parents, your grandparents. Don’t worry what anybody else thinks. The important thing is to be a recorder of the past. But it’s very important work, I think, writing family history, whether anyone ever sees it or not.”

—William Zinsser (1922-2015), writer and writing teacher, author of On Writing Well, from NPR interview, 2006.




Editorial Comment: Now we’ll never know.



PeezPix

Good night

 










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, October 11, 2018

A Fine Line



We are at peril and at risk if we don’t know the difference between truth and lies. Truth and lies are the only thing that separates us from democracy and dictatorship.”

—Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international correspondent*, “Media flocks to Austin,” Politico, March 12, 2018. (*now host of Amanpour and Co. on PBS)



Editorial Comment: By the way, Truth ≠ Belief.



PeezPix

March On

 





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, October 10, 2018

Who’s In Charge Here?


“The media are far more powerful than the president in creating public awareness and shaping public opinion, for the simple reason that the media always have the last word.”

Richard Nixon (1913-1994), 37th president, whose misdeeds helped Woodward & Bernstein invent modern journalism. Image: Nixon has had enough of UPI’s Helen Thomas, Salzburg, Austria, 1972/Stars and Stripes.







Editorial Comment: That was then. . . . But some things never change:















PeezPix

E-great

 






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, October 9, 2018

Information Cocoon


“Computers analyze the data to look for patterns that might not be obvious, such as curly fries pointing to higher intelligence.

“Chris Wylie, a Cambridge [Analytics] co-founder who left in 2014, said the firm used such techniques to learn about individuals and create an information cocoon to change their perceptions. In doing so, he said, the firm ‘took fake news to the next level.’

“‘This is based on an idea called ‘informational dominance,’ which is the idea that if you can capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what’s actually happening,’ Wylie said.”

, reporters, “How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation,” The Associated Press, March 19, 2018.






Editorial Comment: I wish someone would change my perception of what’s actually happening.




PeezPix

So Dewy

 







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, October 8, 2018

Bias


“Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley . . . does not think much of how the [Brett] Kavanaugh nomination has been covered. The Republican senator lashed out at reporters during a press conference, saying, ‘I would never use the word “fake news.” I consider you folks policemen to our democratic system of government, but I want to show you where some of you have bias.” 

—Jason Schwartz, reporter, Morning Media, Politico, Oct. 5, 2018.




Editorial Comment: From his expression, even Orrin Hatch is having trouble following this.




PeezPix

Memorial Lighthouse
 







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, October 5, 2018

Obsesser in Chief


“‘He reads the ink off The New York Times,’ a former White House official told POLITICO, noting the product of Queens has always considered the Grey Lady ‘the big leagues of American journalism.’ 

“Before Trump came to dominate The Times’ news and opinion pages, he kept count of the number of times he appeared on its front page. He was known to clip out and mark up its articles in felt pen, scrawling messages of approbation, or abhorrence, before sending them back to their Times authors.” 

—Chris Cadelago, reporter, “New exposé raises stakes in Trump’s love-hate affair with New York Times,” Politico, Oct. 3, 2018.




Editorial Comment: What a “Distractible Doofus” (see this WORD).




PeezPix

Plate Face #71
 











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, October 4, 2018

Job Security



“If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.” 

He also removed the editor title from his Twitter bio, changing it to read: “Just a guy sitting at home watching journalism being choked into extinction.” 

—Jim Rich tweeted his new status upon losing his job as editor in chief of the New York Daily News on the day parent company Tronc cut the news staff by 50 percent. July 23, 2018.






Editorial Comment: A lot of us are doing that job these days.



PeezPix

Here We Come, Halibuts!
 












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, October 3, 2018

We’re Doomed



“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.

—Jim Acosta, CNN reporter, in Tweet after being heckled with “CNN sucks!” at Drumpf rally in Tampa, July 31, 2018. Watch Acosta’s cellphone video here. It’s scary.




Editorial Comment: As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”



PeezPix

I prefer dogs
 












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, October 2, 2018

Undercover


“My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does.” 

Joan Didion, journalist and author, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968. (Image: Jill Krementz, 1972)







Editorial Comment: But well groomed. That counts for something.



PeezPix 

Violet Evening
 












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