Media postsTuesday April 16, 2013
Going About My Business After Boston
I have no insight, no wisdom, about the bombings that took place at the Boston Marathon yesterday. I heard about it relatively early, followed it for about an hour, then did what we all have to do: I went back to work. I continued to write. I did the laundry. I changed those two light bulbs in the kitchen. I fed Jellybean at 6 and again at 8. I read my friend John Rosengren's biography of Hank Greenberg.
Monica Guzman, columnist with The Seattle Times, tweeted about the bombings yesterday at 2 pm. She'd just heard. She was horrified. An hour and fifteen minutes later, she tweeted this:
No answers from the president's briefing. We still don't know who, we still don't why...— Monica Guzman (@moniguzman) April 15, 2013
“Still.” We want zip-zip in this culture. The future is now and now is so 10 minutes ago. We keep trying to keep up with the nothing that's yet to happen.
But there are obvious dangers in rushing to answer. Here's the initial report from The New York Post:
The Post ran other headlines: “Authorities ID suspect as Saudi national...” They kept these headlines up long after we knew that 2 (later 3) were dead and the Saudi national wasn't a suspect.
For a time, people thought the JFK Library had been attacked, too. That was an electrical fire, apparently.
I tend to slow down in moments like these. It seems like the rest of the world gets frantic and angry and demands answers while I just slow down and get sad. I know I'm far away from the scene. I know I'm just experiencing all of it through media. I know real tragedy is happening to real people, as it does every day, but I'm here, viewing it through a screen, and can't help. Wringing my hands doesn't help. So I go back to work. I follow the directive of the cop at the scene: I go about my business.
I know the answer to the question that everyone is asking, WHY?, a word the Reno paper splashed across its front page, will come to us eventually. I also know, as we all know, that that answer will be sad, and small, and stupid. We're just waiting to find out what kind of sad, and small, and stupid.
Founding Dish Member
In case you haven't heard, Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish is creating his own business model.
What writing, in the digital age, is worth paying for? Sullivan's, I would argue, so I signed up. Even though I could still read most of his blog without paying a dime. There will be no paywall. But I figure I already owe him that much. $19.99 for a year? Please.
The New Yorker, too, is worth paying for, despite their new online love for Andy Borowitz, and I'm already paying for that. Ditto The New York Times. I'd pay for Joe Posnanski if he asked. Maybe I'll buy him a beer when he's in town. Let me know, Joe.
What about you?
Brave new world that has such blogs in it. You can sign up for Sully here.
Your Liberal Media at Work: The Times' Awful Puff-Piece on the New Mitt Romney--Annotated
The following is courtesy of that liberal rag, The New York Times, and its journalist Michael Barbaro:
From the moment that Mr. Romney ended his first bid for the Republican nomination, he complained to friends, advisers and family that he had felt cheated out of a chance to explain himself to the country. He had emerged from his debut on the national political stage, he told them, as a caricature he did not recognize: emotionally uncaring, intellectually inauthentic, ideologically malleable. As opposed to now?
Over the next three years, a little-examined period in his life, he sought to reclaim his public identity with the self-critical eye, marketing savvy and systematic rigor of the corporate consultant that he once was. Permission to throw up, please?
When Willard Mitt Romney, 65, delivers his acceptance speech Thursday night in Tampa, Fla., reveling in his success at winning over a fractious party and endeavoring to sell himself anew to Americans, he will owe the moment in no small measure to what he did during this time. Or in large measure to the fact that every other GOP nominee was a loon.
It was a restless period when he labored to persuade voters to see him as he saw himself: a man of deep convictions and big ideas, a credible party leader and inevitable presidential nominee. I see few convictions, old ideas, lots of money, and a man who desperately wants to be president.
He coolly (coolly, Gracie?) assessed the failings of his 2008 campaign and undertook an intensive yearlong tutorial on everything from the tax code to global jihadism. He wrote a book laying out his vision and values to answer conservative doubters and counter charges of flip-flopping, elbowing aside a ghost writer who he felt could not accurately channel his voice. Well, he does like firing people. He bought good will in his party by crisscrossing the country to raise money for hundreds of candidates, even cutting a check for one lawmaker’s portrait in the New Hampshire State House. The GOP: party of good will.
Mr. Romney returned as a far stronger candidate — a crisper debater, a more decisive manager, a better strategist and a stick-to-his-message campaigner whose chief selling point this time around, his business expertise, was well suited to the political moment. Didn't he just change his message again? Completely? And isn't his business expertise in taking over and breaking up businesses, and sending jobs overseas?
Etc. This is the biggest pile of horseshit I've read in a long time. It's typical of the genre, the lack of success that led to the present success, “the turnaround,” but it makes up for its lack of meat with a whole messa adjectives and adverbs. It's basically saying that after 2008, Romney, retrospective, changed himself from an emotionally uncaring, intellectually inauthentic, ideologically malleable losing candidate to the winning candidate we see today: who is emotionally uncaring, intellectually inauthentic, ideologically malleable. Thanks, Times.
The new Mitt Romney: Now with more whitener.
Quote of the Day
“I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn't ever have to rely on the press for my information.”
--Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
How the Daily Beast Screws Up Its Articles
I saw this article the other day on The Daily Beast. I was there for Andrew Sullivan but saw this.
Didn't click on the link but questions were inevitably raised about the use of (I assume) Paris Hilton:
- Does she represent the media's depiction of girls?
- Does she represent girls?
- Is she there because she's hot, you'll notice, possibly click on the link, and help the bottom line of the Daily Beast?
I'm guessing a bit of 1) but mostly 3).
Seriously, it's dopey enough having a media site like the Daily Beast talk up the problems of “the media.” But for the Daily Beast to then offer up the very thing it's condemning is a sign either of schizophrenia or a vast, horrible unscrupulousness.