The ‘enemy of the American People’ doesn’t work at your local newspaper

It engenders anger to know the president of the United States says that what I did for a living for 20 years — and what I’ve spent 25 years teaching — represents the acts of “an enemy of the American People.”

CATEGORY: JournalismPresident Donald, titularly “the most powerful man in the world,” will eventually learn not to pick fights with people who buy ink in 55-gallon drums — and have plenty of digital and video ink to spare.

He’s awakened a slumbering watchdog. Recall journalism’s reactions to President Nixon’s overt and covert deceits. The nation’s best newspapers rose to challenge the president — and Nixon lost. Trust in the executive branch withered. Remember, too, the swell of entrants to the nation’s journalism programs (well, after “All the President’s Men” hit the big screen). Will that happen again in President Donald’s first term?

President Donald’s fortunate in the timing of his presidency. The last 20 years have left journalism in a weakened, altered state. Reasons are many — management reacting too late to the challenge of the internet, a decline in interest in the field among the young, and massive losses of revenue prompting executives to pare the workforce of daily print journalists by 20,000 positions, about 39 percent.

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State of Emergency! Ferguson battens hatches

And who can blame Governor Nixon for that?

Like most folks who keep up at least a little with the news, I’ve heard a thing or three about Ferguson. Of late, I’ve actually stopped keeping up with news in general to the extent I used to. Partly that’s burnout. Partly it’s that I’ve found a few other things to keep me fiddling while Rome burns. But I still scan the headlines at least a few times a week. Maybe it’s like a junkie getting a half-assed fix. Maybe it’s just a good idea to keep some fresh idea of what’s going on in the world. Anyone blow up Russia yet? Has the ebola outbreak spread to my neck of the woods? What about Kim Kardashian’s ass? You know, the usual important stuff. Continue reading

Nota Bene #124: I'm a Doctor, Not an Engineer

“I don’t believe in this fairy tale of staying together for ever. Ten years with somebody is enough.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #103: Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse

“To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker—that’s like an aberration. I know there’s some young actor sitting in New York or L.A. who’s spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft but isn’t going to get his opportunity because of some ‘actor’ who’s been created.” Who said it? Continue reading

ArtSunday: Amalgam

Here follow many of my favorite painters, illustrators and photographers. This comprehensive list
was lovingly compiled—be sure to click on the images or names to see and learn more. Enjoy! ∞

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Nota Bene #99: Heed the Peace Gnome

“You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you’ve got music.” Who said it? Continue reading

What if — Obama logic applied to presidencies past

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Obama and think his best days are still to come. But his administration has so far been a strange collection of backtracks, waverings, retreats, retreads, flip-flops, cricket chirps and sellouts, with a few successes here and there.

Friend of mine saw a link somewhere that wondered what it would be like if Team Obama applied its logic on health care to other progressive battles in history. He lost the exact link, which I don’t have either, so I hope my list below isn’t copycatting someone else too closely (email or comment if so, esp. if you have the link in question).

Anyway, here are a few headlines from history, if Obama logic was at work… Continue reading

An open letter to Scott McClellan on dealing with the world's Lamar Smiths

by JS O’Brien

Dear Mr. McClellan:

Let me just start by saying that I don’t like you.  You are part of a fraternity of yes-men, mouthpieces, and belly-crawling boot-lickers spawned by Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, the father of public relations, and author of the seminal work, Propaganda.  Like you, Bernays helped some of the most despicable organizations and people get their way by manipulating public opinion

So, now you’re repentant, are you?  I suppose that’s something.  It doesn’t absolve you any more than it absolved Lee Atwater when he apologized on his death bed for being one of you, but it probably drops you a notch below Joseph Goebbels in the Public Relations Society of America’s Hall of Heroes.  Maybe if you devote the rest of your life to good works, you’ll come back as E. coli.Â

It’s the most you can hope for. Continue reading

Is the end near for Darth Cheney?

darth_cheney-thumb.jpg By Martin Bosworth

The hot-off-the-presses announcement that the Senate Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed testimony about the Bush warrantless wiretapping program, and asked for a massive document dump, isn’t just significant for its surface reasons. In my view, it’s the latest signal that the reign of Dick Cheney as shadow president is coming to an end. Continue reading