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Fritz Walter

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Member since: Sat Mar 21, 2015, 07:08 PM
Number of posts: 4,011

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Stephen Colbert has a question for Drumpf

What a Dirty (Sanchez) thing to say!

"If we elect this cartoon of a human, we will have made a mistake! A straight-up mess!"

Best. Line. Ever. "That guy needs a turd Martini."

Nice try, Professor!

It's finally dawning on some members of the Fourth Estate that they're culpable for much of the havoc that the Mangled-Apricot-Hellbeast (AKA Drumpf) has wreaked over the past year. True, there are some who have been consistent in telling us that this short-fingered vulgarian has no clothes -- and I apologize for that mental image -- but they have been and continue to be marginalized.

Eleven days ago, well before the RNC dumpster fire in Cleveland, the Columbia Journalism Review published an article written by David Mindich, a professor of media studies, journalism, and digital arts at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and former assignment editor for CNN: "For journalists covering Trump, a Murrow moment." He references Edward R. Murrow, the CBS News journalist who exposed Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950:
“This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent—or for those who approve,” he said. “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”


After months of holding back, modern-day journalists are acting a lot like Murrow, pushing explicitly against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. To be sure, these modern-day Murrow moments carry less impact: Long gone are the days in which a vast majority of eyeballs were tuned to the big-three television news programs. But we nonetheless are witnessing a change from existing practice of steadfast detachment, and the context in which journalists are reacting is not unlike that of Murrow: The candidate’s comments fall outside acceptable societal norms, and critical journalists are not alone in speaking up.

Yeah, professor. A handful of critical journalists have been speaking up. But the Drumpf still scores front-page headlines and top-story newscasts every time his stubby, little fingers tap out a Tweet. I guess old habits are hard to break. Instead of focusing our attention on the blatant racism, sexism, xenophobia and unvarnished hatred contained within the Republican Party's platform, they point us to the shiny objects: Melania's cribbing a few lines from FLOTUS Michelle Obama's speech eight years ago; Raphael Cruz's non-endorsement.

The good professor waxes nostalgic about the good old days:

The American journalistic goals of detachment and objectivity are long held. Until the mid-19th century, most newspapers were directly funded by political parties. As that started to change and the commercial model began to emerge, newspapers started to shed their partisan baggage. For much of the last 150 years the trade-off was a good one: Journalists would avoid taking sides, and they would be given access to newsmakers—and news consumers—from both parties.

Yeah. Right!

Today, instead of political parties directly funding newspapers, we have that power concentrated into a handful of massive corporations, who are totally committed to their financial reports' bottom line, and a return-on-investment for their shareholders. Responsible journalism -- with solid commitment to the concepts of accuracy, objectivity and balance -- has been supplanted by infotainment, and an obsession with ratings with their correlated advertising revenue streams. These same corporate entities are major donors to candidates and PACs, thanks to SCOTUS for Citizens United. Not quite full-circle, but pretty close.

Still, it's an interesting read, especially since he mentions Steven Colbert's diagram on The Late Show. I imagine Mr. Murrow must be up to 500 RPM in his grave by now. In classic pedantry, Mindich cites:
...a theoretical construction of objectivity by a leading journalism historian, Daniel Hallin, who sees the world of political discourse as falling into three concentric spheres: consensus, legitimate controversy, and deviance.

We call them "bubbles" in the real world, professor.

Let's see how the coverage of the DNC unfolds next week, shall we?

Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump

Garry Trudeau, creator of the Doonesbury comic strip, has been satirizing the mangled apricot hellbeast for three decades, and his book, "Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on {Drumpf}," hit the shelves in bookstores -- and, of course, on Amazon -- Tuesday.

WaPo ran an opinion piece on the book, featuring an interview with Garry, and one quote nailed this particular cult of personality:

Here’s what the people who love Trump don’t understand: He doesn’t love them back. I figured they’d be on to him by now. These are folks who feel anxious and left behind by the new economy. Many are struggling. Trump has a word for such people: losers. And he’s never had time for losers. He doesn’t have time to sit in their kitchens and go to their barbecues and listen to their problems. True, losers in the aggregate — say 12,000 at a time — get him to where he wants to be. But he’s always one squirt of Purell away from getting back on his plane so he can sleep in his penthouse. Never has an electorate been held in more contempt by its putative champion.

As much as I despise and abhor the aforementioned hellbeast, I might add this book to my collection, or at least check it out from my public library.
Posted by Fritz Walter | Thu Jul 7, 2016, 07:13 AM (3 replies)
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