Posts Tagged ‘fickle’

Press Pass

16 July 2008

Dear J-

As the presidential campaign winds on, I wonder if Obama has run afoul of the fickle press; where he used to skate by on charisma and offering vaguely hopeful talk of change, now it seems like his every move is challenged, every breath scrutinized for deeper meaning.  Honestly, it’s probably less the fickle press and more the lesson we the public have taught them:  controversy moves media — hits on websites, copies off newsstands — so give them what they want.  We only have our own trashy appetites to blame for the fare we receive, right?

I doubt it.  If it was, then blaming victims has come back in vogue.  “We’re just giving you what you want” smacks of overconvenient passive-aggressive behavior and a decided lack of anything resembling, say, a spine.  When we rely on the press to ensure transparent government, yet the government, by offering special press access essentially controls that content, where are we headed?

It’s fashionable to deride the press as old-fashioned, and just as easy as it is to dismiss blogs as lacking credibility.  There’s a lot to be learned from both approaches; there’s a lot of room for improvement.  Beware those who’d tell you answers instead of arming you with questions.  Everyone has an opinion that colors the tone of any writing; I was recently reading an article regarding how the FDA was making it more difficult for pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs by requiring additional safety studies, grudgingly admitting that prior standards (thanks, Vioxx!) were a bit lax, and arguing that profits were going to take a hit.  The article was published by the Wall Street Journal — no surprise there — yet published on the front page, rather than as an editorial.  Why should corporate welfare rank so newsworthy?

Mike

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Crushes (man, how unexciting am I)

5 November 2006

This is my favorite post in the series, and actually had names embedded in the HTML comments. J-, you’re on here too, and I don’t think you ever really left, to be honest.

*****

I moved to a different elementary school fairly early on and achieved some of my most visible academic achievements there (“Student is a joy to have in class,” comment code #12, I think). I remember thinking that my second grade teacher was dazzlingly beautiful and pitied the kids in the other second grade for having such a drab teacher. A few years later I had a series of crushes, and I didn’t really know what was going on until about the third or fourth one — before, I just found that I couldn’t look that person in the face before having to turn away, dazzled by glory and beauty and wisdom and the great headiness of keeping an open secret. I decided that the world and I could get along, the way things were going. I wouldn’t feel that way again until my third year of college.

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