Some days I hate to tell anyone that I am a journalist. The field of news reporting has changed so much since I worked at newspapers and magazines, I hardly recognize it at times. The latest fiasco is about Brian Williams, anchor for NBC News, and his “embellishing the facts” in some news reports. Public response is varied. Some folks think he should be fired by NBC, while there are some who have a very cavaleir approach. One man wrote in a letter to the editor in The Dallas Morning News that “his story was kind of true” so why is this a big deal?
Umm… Sorry. Kind of true doesn’t cut it. And the folks at Truthout agree:
Thanks to NBC’s Brian Williams, the principle of truth in journalism is once again a hot topic for discussion. So can we expect the mainstream media to change their misleading ways any time soon?
Will Fox News ever run a story letting their viewers know that, actually, Muslim extremists aren’t on the verge of taking over the United States in a violent coup? What about the many mainstream media outlets who’ve scaremongered about Social Security and the deficit, who’ve apologized for torture and war crimes, who’ve smeared whistleblowers and protesters? Any chance of corrections being issued about any of that – or about the reality of climate disruption?
We doubt it. Nor do we expect the corporate news channels and publications who cheered on the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq to come forward with a simple “our bad.” At the end of the day, they just don’t respect their audience enough.
The other evening the news from sports centered around only two stories. One was about Adrian Peterson and whether he will return to the Minnesota Vikings after his suspension for abusing his 4 year old child. The other was about “Johnny Football,” and speculating about the chances of Manziel returning to the Cleveland Browns when he is released from rehab. The media is dancing around about what kind of “treatment” Manziel is undergoing, but it is most likely alcohol and drug treatment. It is well known that he partied too much between his college career and starting as a pro.
I thought it a bit sad that these were the only two stories that were worthy of time on the news. I also think it is terribly sad the way professional athletes behave sometimes, and the concern is always, “when will they get to play again.”
Okay, enough of the rants. Let’s have some fun.
This first one is from Shoe by Gary Brookins & Susie MacNelly: Cosmo and Shoe are at a press conference with the Senator. Shoe says, “Senator Belfry, a federal investigation into your relationship with certain corporations has been completed.
“It has concluded that you have been taking bribes from two companies…
“With completely opposite positions on legislation you proposed…
“How do you explain that, Senator>”
“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand was taking.”
Okay, that could still be a rant. Koch brothers, anyone? (smile) Here’s a joke that my sister sent to me.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, ‘When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah’.
The teacher asked, ‘What if Jonah went to hell?’
The little girl replied, ‘Then you ask him’.
“A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe’s will impress upon the mind a more vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry chapters of a bulky textbook.” H. P. Lovecraft: Advice to Aspiring Writers (1920)
What do you think? Does the writing advice still apply?
Have a great weekend.