Friday, April 29, 2011

Better and Smarter

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A Noble Calling

“An honest and intelligent journalism is one of the most potent instruments of constructive service. For, apart from the abstractions of theorists, it is easy to see that education is not a complex matter of academic tools and procedures, but a simple matter of making the members of a community better and smarter. On the basis of this concept, journalism becomes a great educational agency. Journalistic media are more than purveyors of news and comment; they are agencies having policies of their own, responsibilities of far-reaching importance, and worthy missions of great significance.”

—George Fox Mott, journalism professor, 1940


Editorial Comment:
Cue heroic music.

A column for the end of the school year: Go, unlearn the lies we taught you

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Literary Criticism

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Bad Bard!

“As you know, I really don’t care for Shakespeare’s plays. But yours are even worse.”
—Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian author,
to Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), playwright, 1890s.


Leo Tolstoy, left, and his friend and colleague Anton Chekhov

Editorial Comment:
Ouch. Thanks for sharing, Leo.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

’Til Death Do Us Part

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News: Katie Couric Confirms
She’s Leaving CBS Evening News

“There are plenty of commentators who say this is another nail in the coffin for traditional newscasts.

“Uncool as it sounds, I’ll be the guy to say it out loud: the old school network evening newscast still has value. It should be saved.

“On this point, I have a mighty friend: David Letterman. At least, it seemed that way when Katie Couric was on his show, and he couldn’t believe she might bail on her job leading his network’s news division.

“‘It’s not like it’s a temp gig!’ he told her. ‘Look at Walter Cronkite. Look at Tom Brokaw. Look at Brian Williams. Look at Peter Jennings. Look at all these people! They get in it, they saddle up and they ride into the sunset!’

“Dave and I may sound like old fogies in an era of constant iPhone updates and 24-hour cable news, but we’re not the only ones. Last year, an average 21.6 million people watched the three big networks’ evening newscasts every night. That’s four times the number who watched the combined total of the highest rated cable news shows in primetime, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. So if the evening newscast is dying, it’s a pretty slow death.”

—Eric Deggans, TV/media critic, The St. Petersburg Times, “Couric’s Farewell Isn’t The End: How to Save News,” National Public Radio, April 27, 2011

Editorial Comment: Right. Octogenarian audiences demand more mouldering news anchors.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Lie’s Legs . . .

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. . . and Truth’s Footwear

“‘A lie will go ‘round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.’ — Mark Twain

“Just to demonstrate how true that statement is, that statement is false.

“Well, the sentiment expressed can hardly be disproved. But, a mildly diligent Google search undermines the widespread belief that it was ever uttered by the Great American Writer. . . .

“Ideas are cast out upon the sea of human communication, whether by Pony Express or Tweetdeck, and the way they are accepted and internalized is dependent on how each one fits into our preconceived notions of the world. . . .

“Which makes me wonder how anyone can seriously believe some of the garbage that has been turning up in my email recently. It isn’t attributed to Mark Twain, Ronald Reagan, The Salt Lake Tribune, The New York Times, Fox News or the Elves, Leprechauns and Little Men’s Chowder & Marching Society. It just shows up, out of nowhere, with no more sourcing than ‘Lookee here.’”

—George Pyle, editorial writer, “The truth needs help tying its shoes,”
The Salt Lake Tribune
, April 24, 2011

Editorial Comment: Hey, I need help with my socks.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Just the Facts, M'am

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Truth

“It has become fashionable nowadays to speak of the subjectivity or the relativity of truth. I find such talk ridiculous at best. . . .

“There are facts. There is a world in which things happen and the journalist’s job is to figure out what those things are. Anything less, is giving up on the most important task around – separating truth from illusion, truth from fantasy, truth from wishful thinking.”

—Errol Morris, film maker (Thin Blue Line, Fog of War…), author
and New York Times blogger (The Opinionator),
from a
2010 commencement address
to the Berkeley School of Journalism


Editorial Comment: Who, what, where, when, why & WOW!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Censoring Our Kids

.
May 3 Is World Press Freedom Day

“[T]he United States will lack the full moral authority to advocate for world press freedom so long as our laws fail to effectively protect the majority of the Americans who gather and report news each day: Those working for student media.’”
—Open Letter to President Barack Obama, 2011

In Aurora, Colo., Overland High School Principal Leon Lundie is just the latest to try to silence his own students.

“The problem here is bigger than Leon Lundie. The problem is us—all of us, and how we’ve come to shrug and accept the word of high school administrators so uncritically that they think they can get away with anything, and for the most part, they’re right.

“The only accountability for most administrators is what’s written in the press—and the only press covering those administrators on a daily basis is the student press.

“The values conveyed by journalism—attribution, verification, fairness, accountability—are the values that every young person needs as a citizen of the online world. Because the professional news media cannot be everywhere, our society needs candid reports from "embedded" student journalists to tell us what is going on inside of our schools.

“Yet far from embracing the educational benefits of journalism, school after school has done just the opposite.

“Legislators shift more and more authority into the hands of administrators, even proposing they should police what your children do at home. They reduce accountability to nil under a theory of ‘student privacy’ so you can never find out what happens. If there is any hope for accountability, fairness, or truth in public schools, it has to come from the protection of student journalists’ civil rights. And that protection has to come from us.”

—Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate, the Student Press Law Center, “Did Colo. Principal Who Censored Student Newspaper Plagiarize?Huffington Post, April 21, 2011
(Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Goodman)

Editorial Comment: What are they teaching kids these days?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

RIP, Hetherington & Hondros

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A Life, Death of Service

“In light of the tragic news that photographer and film maker Tim Hetherington [and colleague Chris Hondros] were killed today by government shelling in Libya . . . , two suggestions:

“Give an extra thought to members of the much-reviled ‘mainstream media’ who expose themselves to danger and inconvenience to help us understand the world. They are no longer our only ways of gathering such understanding, but they play an indispensable part. Please spare a thought as well for Atlantic reporter Clare Morgana Gillis, captured with several colleagues more than two weeks ago in Libya and still held there.

“Please be sure to see Tim Hetherington’s powerful documentary movie (with Sebastian Junger), Restrepo. . . . To get a further idea of what Hetherington’s work in ‘documenting conflict’ around the world has involved, you can watch this video of his interactions a few years ago with students at a school for the blind in Sierra Leone. Of course, the children had mainly been blinded intentionally by the notorious Revolutionary United Force that had terrorized the country.”

—James Fallows, national correspondent, “To Honor Tim Hetherington,” The Atlantic,
April 20, 2011 See also Hetherington in Sierra Leone.
Image: Film makers Sebastian Junger and Tim Etherington (right)
at Outpost Restrepo in Afghanistan, 2007/National Geographic URL

Editorial Comment: RIP

RELATED
Committee to Protect Journalists: The deaths of Hetherington and Hondros brings to four the number of journalist deaths since the start of the Libya conflict, plus “more than 80 attacks on the press—fatalities, numerous injuries, 49 detentions, 11 assaults, two attacks on news facilities, the jamming of two international television transmissions, at least four instances of obstruction, the expulsion of two international journalists, and the interruption of Internet service. At least six local journalists are missing amid speculation they are in the custody of security forces. One international journalist and two media support workers are also unaccounted for.”
Christian Science Monitor: Dan Murphy, “The Risks Journalists Take,” April 21, 2011.
Tim Hetherington’s last video diary (2010): Hetherington described it as “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ailing

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Wizard of Ooze

“Rotund, bald and ferocious, the Fox television boss Roger Ailes is said to have two speeds – attack and destroy. Every night under his watch, millions of Americans are enthused, engrossed or appalled by a lively diet of angry rightwing rhetoric served up on Fox’s rolling news channel.”

—Andrews Clark
and James Robinson,
Fox hunt: Cracks in Murdoch dynasty as TV news chief finds himself on firing line,”
The Guardian, Jan. 15, 2010

Editorial Comment: Ouch. One of the 7 dwarfs’ blacksheep cousins?

Related: The editors of The Putnam County News & Recorder, owned by Fox News boss Roger Ailes and his wife, Elizabeth, in their rural Hudson River Valley community, recently quit, accusing Ailes of sending Fox security people to spy on them. Great New Yorker piece on the Ailes’ foray into community newspapering in Jan. 21, 2011 issue

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Press-Court Disconnect

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‘Dysfunctional Marriage’

“The media will always need to cover the goings on of the highest court in the land in order to fully report on the richest and most socially significant of the issues of our time. The court will always need the media to write about their opinions in order to convey to their wider and ultimate audience both the immediate substance of their newest opinions and the larger message [supporting] our constitutional democracy. . . .

“Both parties are sure that the relationship is damaged. And each is sure that it is primarily, if not exclusively, the other party’s fault. Neither is willing to acknowledge any personal accountability or responsibility for the difficulties and neither is willing to budge from their longstanding positions that contribute to the dysfunction.

“In thinking of this as a marriage between the Supreme Court and the press, they’re both sort of shouting, ‘Look, the kids are miserable!’ and pointing at the wider citizenry that sort of watches and suffers as the tug of war between them plays out. But each is saying ‘it’s all because of you.’

“In a recent poll, fewer than a quarter of Americans knew how many justices there are on the Supreme Court. There are nine. Although 77 percent of American adults can identify two of the seven dwarfs, only 24 percent can name two Supreme Court justices.”

—RonNell Andersen Jones, constitutional law professor
and former newspaper journalist,
The Blame Game: The People, the Press and the U.S. Supreme Court,”
Morris Media & Society Lecture, Utah State University,

April 14, 2011

Related: See Jay Leno’s scary on-the-street survey of public knowledge on the Supreme Court.

Editorial Comment: Lemme think. Dopey. Stoopid. Doc. Bonehead....

Recommended: Media professionals discuss career flexibility in panel:Moving On: (Re)Inventing Your Media Career.”

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Editors Needed

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Kiss the Editor

“I am sad at what feels like a decline in our public culture. It feels like a personally abusive and textually violent time. . . .

“It’s not so much that American public life is more idiotic. It’s that so much more of American life is public. I think that goes a long way to explaining what seems to be a ‘decline.’ Everything is documented, and little of it is edited. Editing is one of the great inventions of civilization.”

— Jill Lepore, Harvard history professor and author of The Whites of Their Eyes,
in James Fallows, writer & editor,
Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media,”
The Atlantic
, April 2011
(Thanks to alert WORDster Javan Kienzle)
Image: Jesse Lenz

Editorial Comment: Pre-unring the idiot bell.

Recommended: Media professionals discuss career flexibility in panel: “Moving On: (Re)Inventing Your Media Career.”

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Squibs on Writing

.The Muse

“A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”
—Charles Peguy (1873-1914), French poet and essayist



“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
—Ray Bradbury, writer




“Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.”
—Sharon O’Brien, author

“So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than what one has to say, and so often one regrets having marred it.”
—Sir Harold Acton (1904-1994), British writer, Memoirs of an Aesthete, 1948



“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
—Mark Twain (1835-1910), whose advice is usually good

“Let me walk through the fields of paper
touching with my wand
dry stems and stunted
butterflies....”
—Denise Levertov (1923-1997), British-born poet, “A Walk through the Notebooks”


“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
—Elmore Leonard, screenwriter, novelist and crime writer








“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian novelist and playwright





Editorial Comment: Muse on, struggling students as semester nears its end.

TODAY!
Annual JCOM Career Day brings more than a dozen media professionals—most Aggie alumni—to campus for a day-long discussion of the changing media marketplace and one-on-one mentoring.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Radio Nadir

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The Public’s Airwaves

“The tumultuous managerial shakeup at National Public Radio headquarters for trivial verbal miscues once again has highlighted the ludicrous corporatist right-wing charge that public radio and public TV are replete with left-leaning or leftist programming.

Ludicrous, that is, unless this criticism’s yardstick is the propaganda regularly exuded by the extreme right-wing Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. These ‘capitalists’ use the public’s airwaves free-of-charge to make big money. . . .

Why not charge these profitable businesses rent for use of the public airwaves and direct some of the ample proceeds to nonprofit public radio and public TV as well as an assortment of audience controlled TV and radio channels that could broadcast what is going on in our country locally, regionally, nationally and internationally?

Now that would be a worthy program for public broadcasting. Get Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s companies off welfare. Want to guess what their listeners think about corporate welfare?”

—Ralph Nader, social activist and political gadfly,
Cut Limbaugh and Hannity,” ReaderSupportedNews.org, April 13, 2011

Editorial Comment: Fair use.
TODAY! RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus today to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. “The Blame Game: The People, The Press and The U.S. Supreme Court.” Thursday, April 14, 9-10:15 a.m. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

TONIGHT!
Annual Awards Banquet celebrates the best and brightest of the USU Department of Journalism & Communication—2011 graduates, outstanding undergraduates and more than $20,000 in scholarships for next year. Give it up for JCOM students @ USU!

TOMORROW!
Annual JCOM Career Day brings more than a dozen media professionals—most Aggie alumni—to campus for a day-long discussion of the changing media marketplace and one-on-one mentoring.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Buggy Whips

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Good News

“I have been in a number of business turnarounds in my career and I don’t see newspapers as buggy whips. . . .

“What’s at stake here is the local news. Who is going to cover the news in Medford, OR? We know someone will cover the big news, but it’s the community papers that are at risk here. In the short term, they will be OK. But the idea that they might go away is alarming, because I don’t see anything else replacing them.

“Just because digital comes around doesn’t mean the usefulness of the newspaper ends. . . . If they fail, where will people in the United States get quality information? The people in the newspaper business care about their communities and they aren’t going to concede. They are going to keep fighting. And I think that’s a good story.”
—Paul Steinle, retired newspaperman and founder, WhoNeedsNewspaper.org
Story from the Newsosaur, April 11, 2011

Editorial Comment: Read all about it.

BULLETIN! SALT LAKE CITY—For the second straight year and the fifth time in seven years, a Utah State University student has been named the Best PR Student in Utah following an industry-sponsored competition among college and university public relations students from across the state. URL

Coming Thursday:
RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus Thursday to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. “The Blame Game: The People, The Press and The U.S. Supreme Court.” Thursday, April 14, 9-10:15 a.m. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trumpery

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Point-Counterpoint

Gail Collins, New York Times columnist: “Donald Trump has run faux campaigns for president before, flirting with the Democrats and independents. This time, he’s playing a conservative Republican. By 2016, he’ll probably be talking about his affinity for the Alaskan Independence Party or the Whigs.”

Donald Trump, iconic personality: “Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me. Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level. More importantly, her facts are wrong!

Collins: “And, of course, he’s suddenly a birther. ‘This guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn’t,’ he said of President Obama. ‘I didn’t think this was such a big deal, but, I will tell you, it’s turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying: please don’t give up on this issue.’ It was a perfect vocalization of the New York Street: People are calling me up! Don’t believe everything you hear, unless it comes over the phone.”

Trump: “As far as her comments on the so-called ‘birther’ issue, I don’t need Ms. Collins’s advice. There is a very large segment of our society who believe that Barack Obama, indeed, was not born in the United States. His grandmother from Kenya stated, on tape, that he was born in Kenya and she was there to watch the birth.”

Collins: “In a potential Republican field that includes Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, it’s hard to come up with a line of attack loopy enough to stand out from the pack. But darned if Trump didn’t manage to find one.”

Trump: “The term used by Ms. Collins—‘birther’—is very derogatory and is meant in a derogatory way. Had this been George Bush or almost any other President or Presidential aspirant, they would never have been allowed to attain office, or would have been thrown out of office very quickly.”

Collins: “Vote for Donald Trump, the man who can make Bill O’Reilly look like the most sensible guy in the room.”

Trump: “For some reason, the press protects President Obama beyond anything or anyone I have ever seen. What they don’t realize is that if he was not born in the United States, they would have uncovered the greatest ‘scam’ in the history of our country. In other words, they would become the hottest writer since Watergate, or beyond.”

Collins: “During one down period, I referred to him in print as a ‘financially embattled thousandaire’ and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and ‘The Face of a Dog!’ written over it.”

Trump: “Open your eyes, Gail, there’s at least a good chance that Barack Hussein Obama has made mincemeat out of our great and cherished Constitution!”

Gail Collins, columnist and 2000 Pulitzer-finalist,
“Donald Trump Gets Weirder,” The New York Times, April 1, 2011
Donald Trump, businessman and potential presidential candidate,
letter to the editor, “Donald Trump Responds,” The New York Times, April 7, 2011

Editorial Comment: Jane, you ignorant slut!
See classic SNL YouTube

News Note: RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus Thursday to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. “The Blame Game: The People, The Press and The U.S. Supreme Court.” Thursday, April 14, 9-10:15 a.m. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Memo to Washington

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Still Needs A-Changin’

“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.”

—Bob Dylan, philosopher-bard, 1963

Editorial Comment: Plus ├ža change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Related: Debate over Dylan’s China concerts
• Maureen Dowd, The New York Times. “Blowin’ in the Idiot Wind,” April 9, 2011
• James Fallows, The Atlantic. Did Dylan Sell Out? April 10, 2011

News Note: RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus Thursday to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. “The Blame Game: The People, The Press and The U.S. Supreme Court.” Thursday, April 14, 9-10:15 a.m. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Rats

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Crisis Mode

“Scholars and commentators have been talking for some time about how the death of newspapers could have serious consequences for the quality of newsgathering. My research demonstrates a second, largely ignored ramification. The death of newspapers seriously threatens to put an end to some of the most important legal efforts in our democracy. . . .

“For generations, newspapers and newspaper organizations have expended substantial resources to litigate major cases to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that trials are open to the public. They have funded the drafting of virtually every piece of open-government legislation on both a federal and a state level. They have then gone on to fund litigation efforts to ensure that these statutes, once passed, are obeyed by government officials. The death of newspapers can be expected to pose a serious constitutional crisis.”

—RonNell Andersen Jones, BYU law professor and former newspaper editor,
New study IDs threats the ‘death of newspapers’ may have on open government,” March 2011
(See Jones’ research abstract.)

Editorial Comment: You get lotsa rats when the watchdog dies.

News Note: RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus next week to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silversmithing

.
Glenn Revere

“When I took this job I didn’t take it because it was going to be a career for me. Paul Revere did not get up on the horse and say, ‘I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.’ He didn’t do it. He got off the horse at some point and fought in the Revolution, and then he went back to silversmithing. . . . I will continue to tell the story. I’m going to be showing you other ways for us to connect. But I have other things to do.”
—Glenn Beck, TV personality, explaining why he’s leaving Fox later this year. A reported 400 advertisers have boycotted his program.
Glenn Beck explains why he's leaving Fox, compares himself to Paul Revere,”
The New York Daily News, April 7, 2011.

Editorial Comment: Glenn’s next gig? Mucking out Paul Revere’s stable.

Related:
The Washington Post
• “Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled,” Fox News boss Roger Ailes told the Associated Press. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”
The New York Times






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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sprinkle Liberally with Facts

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When the News Goes All Liberal on You

“So what do conservatives really mean when they accuse NPR of being ‘liberal’? They mean it’s not accountable to their worldview as conservatives and partisans. They mean it reflects too great a regard for evidence and is too open to reporting different points of views of the same event or idea or issue. Reporting that by its very fact-driven nature often fails to confirm their ideological underpinnings, their way of seeing things (which is why some liberals and Democrats also become irate with NPR).”

—Bill Moyers, veteran commentator, and Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East,
What the right means when it calls NPR ‘liberal,”’ Salon.com, March 25, 2011
(Thanks to alert WORDster Steve Marston)

Editorial Comment: Facts!? That’s not “liberal”—it’s radical.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Anchors Away!

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News Note: Couric to Quit CBS News

“If the network news is indeed a public trust, deserving of the special place it occupies in our culture, then surely the American public should have a say about who is in charge of its premier product—the nightly newscasts, without which, let’s face it, we could barely call ourselves a nation. They’re our anchors, and it’s time we started choosing them in a truly democratic way, through free and fair popular elections. Anchor elections make good sense….

“The media have had a bad run of scandals, and their public-esteem numbers are riding low. They can recover their reputation by turning TV news into a true republic—a word that comes from the Latin phrase for ‘thing of the people.’ That's what the anchor plebiscite would be, a people thing.”

—William Powers, columnist, National Journal, 3/10/06 URL

Katie Couric is talking about leaving the Walter Cronkite Memorial News Anchor Chair at CBS when her contract expires in June. See David Folkenflik on National Public Radio, and an interview with The New York Times, in which she said these things:

Q:
At your first job at CNN, the head of the network, Reese Schonfeld, famously said you just didn’t possess the gravitas to be in TV news.
A: Which I think is Latin for “testicles” by the way. But to give this some perspective: I was 23 years old.

Q: For the 15 years you co-hosted “Today,” no one seemed capable of writing about you without using one particular descriptor. Tell me about your current relationship with the word “perky.”
A: It used to bother me because I thought there was a sexist undertone to that word. It meant shallow and cute, but not somebody who had any depth. It did become a pejorative word, but listen, it’s better than “bitchy.”

Editorial Comment: I nominate Pat Paulson. He’s dead, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in a network anchor.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Oxygen Needed

.
Revolution by Emoticon? :)

“Yes, people inform one another and inspire one another. But the real revolution is inside their heads. The most profound change is not in how they talk to others but in how they think of themselves. Jerrold Post, a professor of political psychology at George Washington University, says, . . . ‘By interacting, getting a response, being out there, one feels not just (like) a distant individual who can have no impact in the system, but being part of the system — that’s really the profundity of this change.’

“Social media does not cause revolutions. They are caused by experience, by the festering frustrations and thwarted dreams of countless individuals. But social media allows those individuals to connect with one another, to encourage one another, to translate their isolated anxiety into collective action. As one of Steve’s students put it, social media is not the spark of change; it is the oxygen that enables that spark to flare and spread.”

—Cokie and Steve Roberts, syndicated columnists,
“Crowd Power Is Growing,” April 3, 2011 URL

Editorial Comment: I dunno. A lot of social media seems kind of oxygen-deprived.

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