Monthly Archives: January 2018

If everybody were like me, the world would be…

I think a lot of us have this idea in our heads that if everyone in the world were more like us things would generally a lot better. Maybe we’d even have a utopia on our hands.

Sam-against-wall

Mostly we’re delusional, of course. I have one old friend who’d trot out the old “if everybody were more like me” line periodically. In his mind the world would be some sort of Libertarian paradise. If you knew him, though, you had to figure glow-in-dark nuclear holocaust was more likely. Read more

S&R Honors: Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Justice. Fairness. Sacrifice. Service. Humility. Aren’t these qualities on which we Americans pride ourselves?

Few people were more in the news in 2017 than former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the man who touched off a massive cultural battle over his decision to kneel for the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 season. Oddly, he continued to dominate the headlines despite a conscious decision to stay out of the limelight, where he could better focus on his community and charitable activities.

Demonized, misrepresented and targeted with death threats … for what? Read more

Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury: is this the future of journalism?

Murrow-Cronkite-Thompson-Wolff

As corrupt politicians evolve, so also must journalism. It may be ugly, but perhaps it’s necessary.

Scrogue Emeritus Russ Wellen forwarded along Drew Magary’s recent GQ piece on Michael Wolff this morning, and it touched off a bit of reflection on how journalism adapts in the face of an evolving landscape of social, political and economic corruption. Magary says, in part:

Everyone around Donald Trump is too polite to Donald Trump. Democrats, foreign dignitaries, underlings… all of them. And the White House press is perhaps the worst offender. From the media pool playing along with Sarah Sanders during press conferences—conferences where Sanders openly lies and pisses on democracy—to access merchants like Maggie Haberman doling out Trump gossip like so many bread crumbs, too many reporters have been far too deferential to an administration that is brazenly racist, dysfunctional, and corrupt. And for what purpose? It’s clear to me that Haberman and the like aren’t saving up their chits for just the EXACT right time to bring this Administration down. No, the only end goal of their access is continued access, to preserve it indefinitely so that the copy spigot never gets shut off. They are abiding by traditional wink-wink understandings that have long existed between the government and the press covering it.

But Wolff didn’t do that. He did not engage in some endless bullshit access tango. No, Wolff actually USED his access, and extended zero courtesy to Trump on the process, and it’s going to pay off for him not just from a book sales standpoint, but from a real journalistic impact. I am utterly sick to death of hearing anonymous reports about people inside the White House “concerned” about the madman currently in charge of everything. These people don’t deserve the courtesy of discretion. They don’t deserve to dictate the terms of coverage to people. They deserve to be torched.

Magary’s take recalled a fascinating Facebook thread from last week, initiated by Tom Yulsman. Tom is Professor of Journalism in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado and director of the Center for Environmental Journalism. He’s also creator of the ImaGeo blog at Discover. So he might be fairly viewed as having an informed opinion on matters of journalism. Read more