Friday, April 17, 2015

Ernie Pyle

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WORDmeister Note: Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the death of war correspondent Ernie Pyle (1900-1945), “slight, graying newspaper man, chronicler of the average American soldier's daily round, in and out of foxholes in many war theatres.”

War Hero

“GUAM, April, 18 – Ernie Pyle died today on Ie Island, just west of Okinawa, like so many of the doughboys he had written about. The nationally known war correspondent was killed instantly by Japanese machine-gun fire. . . .”

“The commanding general of the troops on the island reported the death to headquarters as follows: ‘I regret to report that War Correspondent Ernie Pyle, who made such a great contribution to the morale of our foot soldier, was killed in the battle of Ie Shima today.’”

Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES, Ernie Pyle Is Killed on Ie Island; Foe Fired When All Seemed Safe,” The New York Times, April 19, 1945



Editorial Comment: Yes, there was a time when we loved and respected our journalists.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Pewetole Island










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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
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“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

#Obama

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Socialized

“They say I’m popular on Twitter and Facebook. Or as Sarah Palin says, the ‘socialized media.’”


—President Barack Obama at the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner


Editorial Comment: And when he goes viral? Yup. You’ll need Obamacare.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Seeds










Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Myth Judith

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Memoir of Mass Delusion

“I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me. OK, I had some help from a duplicitous vice president, Dick Cheney. Then there was George W. Bush, a gullible president who could barely locate Iraq on a map and who wanted to avenge his father and enrich his friends in the oil business. And don’t forget the neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon who fed cherry-picked intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, to reporters like me. None of these assertions happens to be true, though all were published and continue to have believers.” 

—Judith Miller, discredited Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, “The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths,” Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2015 Image: Media ARE 

Editorial Comment: Oh, Judy, Judy, Judy.

Related: Steve Buttry, “Jonathan Landay elaborates on Judith Miller’s flawed Iraq Reporting,” The Buttry Diary, April 13, 2015

PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Mill Creek Meets the Sea at Dusk












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GIGO

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Media Effects 

“A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will in time produce a people as base as itself.” 

Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911), press baron who knew whereof he spoke



Editorial Comment: (Garbage In, Garbage Out).



 

PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Boathouse







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Good Citizenship

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Mad as Hell


“Ever since I was in junior high school, I was taught that to be a good citizen meant you needed to know what was going on in your country and in your world. You should read the paper, you should pay attention to the news, that's part of your responsibility of being an American. And the problem, especially in recent years, is the more informed I am, the more despondent I am, because day after day, there is news which drives me crazy and I want to see the public rise up in outrage and say, no, you can't do that . . . .” 

—Marty Kaplan, Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, “Marty Kaplan and the Weapons of Mass Distraction,” Bill Moyers & Co., PBS, 2013 


Editorial Comment: Too late for that. We’ve already amused ourselves to death.

See the “Mad as Hell” speech by Peter Finch, Network (1976)

PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Beach Creek











Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Habit-Forming

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Chewing Gum


“Reading newspapers had turned out to be one of the habits, like gum chewing, that have no really deep hold; people found they could take them or leave them alone.”

—A.J. Liebling (1904-1963), writer, “No Papers,” in “The Wayward Press” column, The New Yorker, 1945 






Editorial Comment: Of course, this was before texting and tweeting.





PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Into the Woods







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Too Graphic?

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Justified Video

“This video goes well beyond its shock value. The public has a need to know that police are acting within the law and this video draws that truth into question. Journalists are in the truth-telling business. Sometimes the truth is hard to watch. But the public has to be able to trust that when police make mistakes, journalists will hold them accountable, just as when the police shoot a suspect out of legitimate fear for their safety, journalists will report that fairly and aggressively, too.”

—Al Tompkins, Graphic New York Times video seems justified,” The Poynter Institute, April 8, 2015 

Editorial Comment: Too graphic? Damn right, when a cop shoots a man in the back as he runs away. This is what the watchdog is supposed to do: Bark his damn fool head off when he sees bad things happening.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Mossy Limbs











Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Selfie for Sports Week

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Run-Away Winner

Words aren’t needed today. Because I think this pretty much speaks for itself.

Photojournalist Troy Wayrynen took 1st Prize in the Sports Feature category of the National Press Photographers 2014 Best of Photojournalism contest with this photo of 17-year-old junior Jacob Gillingham of Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington. (Thanks to alert PhotoWORDster Mark Larson)

Editorial Comment: Now is the dawning of the Age of Self-Absorption.

PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Sand-puppy







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rape on Campus

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Misguided 

“Reporting on rape has unique challenges, but the journalist still has the responsibility to get it right. I hope that my mistakes in reporting this story do not silence the voices of victims that need to be heard.”

—Sabrina Rubin Erdely, contributing editor and author of discredited 2014 Rolling Stone story, “A Rape on Campus,” responding to Columbia University report on the story, New York Times, April 5, 2015 
 
“Rolling Stone’s story, ‘A Rape on Campus,’ did nothing to combat sexual violence, and it damaged serious efforts to address the issue. Irresponsible journalism unjustly damaged the reputations of many innocent individuals and the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone falsely accused some University of Virginia students of heinous, criminal acts, and falsely depicted others as indifferent to the suffering of their classmate. The story portrayed university staff members as manipulative and callous toward victims of sexual assault. Such false depictions reinforce the reluctance sexual assault victims already feel about reporting their experience, lest they be doubted or ignored.”

—Teresa A. Sullivan, president, University of Virginia, in statement on report about the Rolling Stone story, New York Times, April 5, 2015  

Editorial Comment: 1. Tell the Truth. 2. Minimize Harm. The SPJ Code of Ethics.

Related: Rolling Stone’s investigation: ‘A failure that was avoidable,’” Columbia Journalism Review
Analysis: “Rolling Stone’s ‘Rape on Campus.’ Notes and comment on Columbia J-school’s investigation,” Jay Rosen, PressThink

PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Church















Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Journalism 101

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Journalistic Failure 

“Rolling Stone's repudiation of the main narrative in ‘A Rape on Campus’ is a story of journalistic failure that was avoidable. The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking. The magazine set aside or rationalized as unnecessary essential practices of reporting that, if pursued, would likely have led the magazine’s editors to reconsider publishing Jackie’s narrative so prominently, if at all. The published story glossed over the gaps in the magazine’s reporting by using pseudonyms and by failing to state where important information had come from.”


—Sheila Coronel, Steve Coll & Derek Kravitz, authors, “Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Report: An anatomy of a journalistic failure,” Rolling Stone, April 5, 2015 

Editorial Comment: Fine hindsight, but a little late.

Related: Discredited Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s mea culpa, and University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan’s statement, New York Times, April 5, 2015


PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Purple Trillium











Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Higher Math

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Survey Says . . . 


“USA Today has come out with a new survey — apparently, three out of every four people make up 75 percent of the population.”

—David Letterman, late-night host



Editorial Comment: Numbers don’t lie.




PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Easter Echium







Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What a Rush

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Humongous Hypothalmus

“Greetings, conversationalists across the fruited plain, this is Rush Limbaugh, the most dangerous man in America, with the largest hypothalamus in North America, serving humanity simply by opening my mouth, destined for my own wing in the Museum of Broadcasting, executing everything I do flawlessly with zero mistakes, doing this show with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair because I have talent on loan from . . . God. Rush Limbaugh. A man. A legend. A way of life.”

—Rush Limbaugh, the man, the legend, the radio loudmouth, in Richard Corliss, “A Man. A Legend. A What!?” Time, 1991


Editorial Comment: “Fruited plain”? More like plain fruity.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Rose








Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Phoolish

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A Matter of Faith


“I have great faith in fools — self-confidence, my friends will call it.”


—Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), author, from his Marginalia, 1846

  



Editorial Comment: I’ve always had great affection for fools. Shows, doesn’t it?




PeezPix by Ted Pease 


Morning Moon





Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.