Questions are popping up this morning about something I blogged about yesterday: Why in the world is Laura Ingraham’s “Obama Diaries” on the New York Times non-fiction list?
The Times itself referred to it as fiction elsewhere so what’s it doing on the wrong list?
My (unrelated) colleague John Robinson in Greensboro pursues the question, too.
I’m very glad to see an editor bucking the trend toward eliminating copy editors as unnecessary redundancies and acknowledge an increase in errors. And work toward a solution.
Hooray for the leadership at the News Tribune. Karen Peterson deserves applause. She’s moving in the opposite direction from this guy.
And are we ready for a rebound?
Josh Marshall raises a good semantics question: Are the sessions two veteran members of Congress face legitimately called “trials” or are they hearings? I thought hearings, too. Here’s CQ’s description, and doesn’t mention the word trial. But The New York Times likes it. “Trial” certainly seems to have some extra weight to it.
The problem with this cover is not the stark image—it shows the brutality that women face in Afghanistan. The issue is the headline: it suggests this imagery is what we can expect should American forces leave after nine years. The problem is, it’s what is happening NOW, with us in the country.
I am not naive. Things will not go well for a lot of people when American forces leave. Women, in particular, face a very rough road. We have examples from our prior wars to learn from, including Vietnam and Cambodia, Somalia and others. And I have no idea if we have a plan to rescue some people, to bring out the schoolteachers, translators and aid workers who most helped the American side. But the cost the people of Afghanistan will pay has to be weighed against what they are paying now for our presence, including bombings, raids, etc.
Time magazine may not have intended to make a political statement with its choice of images, but it certainly did with its words.
Greg Mitchell’s thoughts.
Oh, this is interesting. In an article about jobs for people with autism/Asperger’s, journalism and copy editing come up. I’ve always wondered about quirks and obsessions (I know that isn’t limited to autism).
We’ve all seen reporters and editors with strong likes and dislikes about how they work. When I was first starting out in the business and using a typewriter, I would and could not turn in a story with a typo in the lede, even if I’d XX’ed it out. The lede graf had to be clean or I’d type it 40 times until it was right. (I accidentally just wrote “write.” Computers make everything so easy!)
I have no idea how much time I wasted after late-night Vermilion Town Council meetings trying to type the lede correctly.
The same people who brought us the fake “documentary” used to dismantle ACORN have succeeded in once again making someone look stupid.
Thanks to the foolish response of a Democratic congressman (if the video hasn’t been edited improperly, that is), Andrew Breitbart’s little band of provocateurs look like victims. I won’t argue the politics here and only hope that the congressman in question takes a serious look at his own actions.
But there are several weirdnesses here at the intersection of politics, activism and journalism. It would appear that Breitbart’s crew takes on the image of journalism—approaching a political figure on the street and asking only slightly loaded questions (less loaded than, say, some of Bill O’Reilly’s ambush squad) while playing by a very different set of rules that only they know.
But they refuse to identify themselves and they refuse to add context. They simply walk up, call out a question, and, when asked, will say no more than they’re working on “a project.” That’s bound to irritate people. If someone did the same thing to me, I’m not sure how friendly I’d be, either. If someone waves a microphone in your face and demands an answer, it’s sort of nice to know who you’re talking to. Or at least who they represent. (I’m not defending the congressman, who foolishly responded by grabbing the guy’s arm and not letting go. At one point, it almost looks as if he’s going to put the guy in a headlock.) But the truly weird part is that the guy’s face is blocked out by the video editing, as if he were a young child being taken away from an abusive parent.
What? So what are you guys? Do you think you’re entitled to the protections of the First Amendment? ( I do.) Do you think a congressman walking on the sidewalk should answer any and all questions whenever you demand it? (Maybe, may be not.) And do you think you should identify yourselves? (Yes). Sorry, felt the urge to answer all the questions for you.
This won’t be the last. Theater is now part of our political/journalism nexus and it will only get worse.