Monday, March 17, 2008

Today's Word—Recipe

Take 1 Tbsp. pitbull, add 2 C. public interest…

“The recipe for an effective journalist, then and now, is 1 percent vocational training, 9 percent intelligence, talent and experience, and 90 percent attitude. The proper attitude? Picture a touchy pit bull that pulls his chain off the ringbolt every time he smells smugness—privilege without humility—and mendacity. A real journalist, we were taught, only unsheathes his pen in the public interest, defending the social contract and protecting the citizen without leverage, the underdog. If you don’t believe that, you can write like E.B White and appear in 400 newspapers, and you're still a publicist to me.”
—Hal Crowther, journalist, INDY, the Independent Weekly in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC (3/14/07) (See “Remembering Molly Ivins”)


  1. I loved this definition, Ted! As a journalism teacher and former reporter, I've seen a waning interest in the pit-bull mentality. If journalists are not there to defend the "little guy," then who in the world will champion their cause? Also, any quote that can effectively use the word "mendacity" is a winner in my book! Denise

  2. This one's a real bracer! Off the mark about E.B. White, however, who was a skilled, consummate, and gracious wordsmith; a true and rare class act. In short: the antithesis of a publicist. ;)