Recommended reading

6 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute

Happy Saturday, Roadies, and enjoy this roundup of good blog posts from around the Net this week.

Matt Lambros takes wonderful photographs of decrepit old theaters. This week he shared photos from inside the Pantheon Theatre in Vincennes, a very old town in southwest Indiana. Below: my photo of its exterior from my US 50 tour several years ago. Read Pantheon Theatre — Vincennes, Indiana

Pantheon Theatre

It’s been a rough time for bricks-and-mortar retail as chain after chain shutters stores. The latest, Payless Shoe Source, got Nick Gerlich to thinking that this year might mark the end of traditional retail as we knew it. Read Broken Record

Dilbert creator Scott Adams writes a smart blog. The post I’m sharing is actually about something not truly related to why I found it interesting: he points out slant among the major news organizations being a matter of what they cover and how, and calls it a form of manipulation. Is anybody else saying this? If so I haven’t encountered it. Read How a Hypnotist Sees a Verbal Slip


6 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. billeccles Avatar

    Hi, Jim,

    I’ve thought for a very long time that, while most news organizations cover what they cover reasonably well and perhaps without bias, what they cover shows an amazing amount of bias. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to prove this sort of bias.

    Thanks for pointing out Scott’s ‘blog,

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I happily read the NYT and WaPo, and listened to NPR, before the election. Since the election, the NYT has shown me its biases in what and how they cover this administration, and I struggle to trust them now. WaPo too, but they’re not as obvious about it as the NYT. NPR’s straight-on news coverage is fairly unbiased. The rest of their programming definitely plays to their base, which definitely leans left. But of all news sources I follow, I mistrust NPR by far the least.

  2. N.S. Palmer Avatar

    My take on Rice’s statement was a little different from that of Adams, maybe because I worked on Capitol Hill.

    I pay attention to the exact words used by political reptiles. When they think they might get exposed later, they try to mislead without technically lying.

    The classic example was Bill Clinton’s deposition about his relation to Monica Lewinsky. He said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” As soon as I heard the phrase “sexual relations,” I knew he was using it with a very specific, dictionary meaning of sexual intercourse but was misleading the public into thinking he meant something more general. The same principle often applies when people use terms like “hacked” or “sexual assault:” they’re trying to imply something without technically saying it, so that they can later deny they meant any such thing.

    Rice said, “I leaked nothing to nobody.” As writers, we know that her statement is a double negative, meaning at least that “I leaked something to somebody.” But most people don’t pay attention that closely, so her statement sounds like a denial. I think that Ms. Rice probably knows what a double negative is and used it intentionally.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I remember well Bill Clinton saying “that woman.” I recognized it as a carefully worded half-truth even as he said it. Rice’s “nothing to nobody” smelled fishy in the same way. You’re wise to take literally what politicians say.

  3. Kevin Thomas Avatar
    Kevin Thomas

    I started noticing this in the early 80’s – the major news media would primarily talk about only what they wanted to. i’ve also been involved in a few incidents or projects that got into the news, and in every single case the reporters got things – sometimes major parts of the story – wrong. I stopped trusting the news a long time ago.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I think the advent of cable news has only accelerated and magnified this. News programming is now primarily about telling a story that keeps you watching, which means that every news station has a metanarrative they work from. They tell all their stories against that metanarrative.

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