Monday January 16, 2006

Weenies and meanies

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Sunday’s Miami Hurled carried commentary by Clark Hoyt, Knight-Ridder’s Washington editor, regarding the Senate Republican Conference’s characterization a K-R story analyzing Judge Samuel Alito’s record. “Neither objective nor accurate,” is one neat summary. “Illiterate” a funnier one.

Hoyt’s approach is to sketch the parameters of the controversy, stating K-R’s position, best summarized by one paragraph: “Our job is to be neither with them nor against them. It’s to find out the facts, as best we can, and to report them as fully, fairly and accurately as we can”. He invites readers to examine the article for themselves, and provides a website to review other commentary.

Nice, neat, fair, measured, balanced, and professional, yes? Also, corporate, bland, bloodless, obsequious, testosterone-free, and dull.

This precisely exhibits the problem with contemporary mainstream journalism, and any more it’s the rule, not the exception. If he’s proud of the piece and has confidence in his correspondents, then K-R’s top dog needs to come out with six-guns blazing. He needs to tell the Senate Republican Conference and its hired stooges to go to hell and die. He should flame their asses purple, deride the frauds and mountebanks out there blowing smoke, defy them to refute his findings, and defend his position as a soothsayer; all the while exposing their prejudiced agenda. He needs to call a spade a spade, not act spayed (yeah, I know).

But most of all, he needs to do this with lucid, compelling, and inspired prose that rivets readers’ attention, not only to his argument here, but to the entire issue that gave rise to it. This is the journalist’s real job: keeping contemporary audiences informed and entertained with the words he writes and the thoughts they provoke.

But not only won’t you won’t find that in the Miami Hurled, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it anywhere else in MSM. And we’re all the poorer for it.

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  1. H.L. Mencken    Mon Jan 16, 11:00 PM #  

    And we’re all the poorer for it.”

    Amen.



  2. Mister E    Tue Jan 17, 11:14 AM #  

    Do you miss the clip-clop from horse-drawn carriages over cobblestones, too? Get over it. You’ll never find the writing you want in your morning paper again, so stop looking for what isn’t there. And quit complaining.



  3. Miami Harold    Tue Jan 17, 05:23 PM #  

    If Knight-Ridder really wanted good writers,

    they’d be hired for tomorrow’s edition.

    Good writers are littered all over the landscape:

    shake any tree and dozens descend like autumn leaves.

    Just read the posts on this very blog!

    But why bother? Who’s reading? Who cares?

    Why pay dearly for something nobody wants

    when you can scrape by cheap

    and pocket more profit for stockholders?

    So Mister E up there is dead-on target,

    and I second with sadness H.L.Mencken’s prayer.



  4. Sean    Wed Jan 18, 02:39 PM #  

    Closest you’ll find in this country is Maureen Dowd of the NY Times. And it’s not just cuz she’s Irish, but that helps!