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Journalism

Connoisseurs of the Obvious Department

In an afterword to an old edition of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury wrote of things that were so obviously banal it "wouldn't make a sub-moron's mouth twitch."  The headline writers at New York Times are doing their best this week to live up to Bradbury's sneer.

First on Wednesday, the Times informed us: "Biggest Obstacle to Global Climate Deal May Be How to Pay For It."  No?  You don't say?  What next: "Biggest Obstacle to Human Flight May Be Gravity."  "Biggest Obstacle to Redskins' Super Bowl Title May Be Other Teams."  

Then today (Saturday), the Times delivers another stop-the-presses headline: "$1.4 Trillion Deficit Complicates Stimulus Plans."  Wow.  I'm sure this will get a Pultizer Prize.  (Why not: they give away Nobel Peace Prizes these days just for general awesomeness.)

With this in mind, don't miss the Daily Show's takedown of the antediluvian character of the Times ("Like a walking Colonial Williamsburg. . .  Charming, but not profitable. . .  Why is aged news better than today's news?. . .   To editor Bill Keller: "What's black and white and red all over?"  Keller: "A newspaper."  DS reporter: "No.  Your balance sheet.")

I prefer the headlines of the New York Post, which contain more news value, such as their classic: "Headless Body in Topless Bar."  Now that's news you can use!
Categories > Journalism

Discussions - 7 Comments

You borrowed the same phrase several years back in another piece where you bash the non-Fox media (which, it should be noted, has been giving you a lot of attention lately - NYTimes and MSNBC included - despite its "liberal bias").

Back then you just attributed it to an "old critic."

http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2006/01/msnbc-beyond-dreadful.php

In both instances, however, you misquote Bradbury, making his positive a negative and, further, I think, twisting his point. This is what he said, referring to overzealous and politically-motivated editing:

"Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito—out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron's mouth twitch—gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer—lost!"

The whole thing's here:
http://www.cabrillo.edu/~jhancock/coda.html

That article was insane. There was so much misleading information in there I can't even begin to imagine the mentality of the writer. I would be laughing as I typed. The planet is cooling due to sun activity, co2 is what humans exhale and its not a pollutant(although Captain planet probably would have been a more interesting cartoon if it was as he and the gang could have saved the earth via global genocide), the UN giving funding to the developmental world actually means that they act as loan sharks and simply take over once the debt can't be paid, the article assumes cap and trade will happen and does not even bother to discuss how that will go down and the effects it will have on productivity and energy cost. If I have to explain this time period to my grandchildren someday I think I will say that people simply lived in two different worlds. Most people happily digested lies via a media that was controlled by the same people who's money elects our government.
I think you are better than border line trolling Craig. At least relate the individual attacks to what they are posting so there is somewhere to go with a discussion. What would an a response to what you just posted be? Hey, he's a hypocrite....Burn him.

Brutus, don't you wonder what editor lets such stuff pass?

Craig, why have you got against recycling?

Ecclesiastes 1:9 -- That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

I think you have taken that as your motto.

The post reminds me of the daily compilation of absurdities in James Taranto's "Best of the Web" which is always good for a laugh, although after a long day of grading Freshman Comp. papers that say things like, "Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a good book about good and evil in man." which at least has the benefit of good spelling. Although, my current student favorite is "There is also a format that you must fallow and that format is instated by the Modern Language Association (M.L.A) they say that all papers have to be written in a cretin form." and I couldn't agree more. Of course, we should not compare student writing to that of the New York Times, as those headlines mentioned above and others of the sort that so frequently appear in "The Best of...." are practically an art form in comparison. However, after a long day of grading, reading such extra helping of banality is either stomach-turning or liable to fill me with a bad case of the giggles.

Craig, make that a "what" and pass me an editor.

I don't wonder. A story like that is little more than a psyop coming from the top down. Here is what i mean:
Use NBC as an example

NBC: The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices in Burbank,California. It is sometimes referred to as the Peacock Network due to its stylized peacock logo, created originally for color broadcasts.

The General Electric Company, or GE (NYSE: GE), is a multinational American technology and services conglomerate incorporated in the State of New York.[5] In 2009, Forbes ranked GE as the world's largest company.[6][7][8] The company has 323,000 employees around the world.


CEO
Jeffrey R. Immelt
Jeffrey R. Immelt is the current chairman of the board and chief executive officer of GE. He was selected by GE's Board of Directors in 2000 to replace John Francis Welch Jr. (Jack Welch) following his retirement. Previously, Immelt had headed GE's Medical Systems division (now GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO. He has been with GE since 1982 and is on the board of two non-profit organizations.

His tenure as the Chairman and CEO started at a time of crisis — he took over the role on September 7, 2001[13] four days before the terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed two employees and cost GE's insurance business $600 million — as well as having a direct effect on the company's Aircraft Engines sector. Immelt has also been selected as one of President Obama's financial advisors concerning the economic rescue plan.

He is also an at large member of the Business Roundtable, a group of CEO's from large corporations that write on their website, "“in a pluralistic society, the business sector should play an active and effective role in the formation of public policy.”


This is why mussolini wanted to call fascism corporatism. The government and the media are simply employees of an elite band of people who want to control the world. None of this is breaking news, but i think it helps to realize what the "news media" really is.

About what you say on the topic of Mussolini and corporatism, I offer this, http://www.publiceye.org/fascist/corporatism.html, which is nothing like proof, but makes sense to me because Mussolini did not know the modern corporation.

Are you saying that the diminishing role of newspapers is good, because it indicates a failure of the elite band of people who want to control the world? Or are you say that said failure is a delusion propagated by that elite band?

This morning I am thinking that I would not mind the sort of world domination by the people you are talking about if they weren't so darned incompetent. If such people were capable of world domination, would there be so many huge disruptions, both economic and political, all over the world?

I can find tons of articles on their vision of the new world order and I can't believe its something that you would like. The gist of it is that the new world order has to be tyrannical, standards of living for average to the middle upper classes goes down, the thing we call liberty ceases to be. On paper you would assume that one government means no wars, however, they maintain control via war and fear so that won't happen. The economic collapse was not a random bit of incopetence, it was driven by folks who have owned us since the creation of the federal reserve. You can find a lot of articles from the UN or rountable groups saying that in order to get the new world order the United States must fall economicly. They say its for the environment. I am glad to see the newspapers failing, and I think it is a sign that people are loosing faith in them, however, it is a very dangerous time because the false prophets or sorts will find many people receptive. I don't know what you linked to but it came up error, mabye it was proof ;) Has the corporation changed that much?

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