Thursday, December 8, 2016


"You're an improbable person, Eve, and so am I.  We have that in common."

~~  Addison DeWitt, in All About Eve


During our recent presidential election campaign, the word "deplorable" was deployed, perhaps too casually, then picked up and criticized, attacked, buoyed up, and shrieked about, and redeployed...  Lately I've been thinking less about the word "deplorable" and more about the word "improbable."

The improbability of what has occurred.

What is the answer?  Maybe I will no longer believe or listen to any negative stuff (covering ears with hands, "Lah-lah-la-la-la-la!...) about any politicians.  Memo to politicians:

"You may speak positive, but no negative."

Or -- toward achieving same objective --

"You may speak of yourself, but not about your opponent.  You may speak of your own political party and platform, but not the other one."

(We'd get us some silence, then!)

In Joshua Green's Oct. 8, 2015, Bloomberg News article, reference is made to "the early 20th century press barons" who realized many readers want to experience news emotionally, "as an ongoing drama, with distinct story lines, heroes, and villains," and that this format could sell.

And in his 2006 book President Obama mentions it, too:  "As others have noted, this style of opinion journalism isn't really new; in some ways, it marks a return to the dominant tradition of American journalism, an approach to the news that was nurtured by publishers like William Randolph Hearst and Colonel McCormick."

I'm not familiar with (nor have I the energy, right now, for) Colonel McCormick, whoever that may be -- but when I was a child, I'd definitely heard of William Randolph Hearst was a known name, and not necessarily in a good way.

The Free Encyclopedia says, -------------------------- [excerpt] ----------------- William Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 - August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper publisher who built the nation's largest newspaper chain and whose flamboyant methods of Yellow journalism influenced the nation's popular media by emphasizing sensationalism and human interest stories. ----------------------------- [end, excerpt]

(The who?  And the what?)

Flamboyant:  strikingly bold or brilliant; showy
Conspicuously dashing and colorful
Florid; ornate; elaborately styled

Yellow journalism:  journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration

Sensationalism:  the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement

----------------------------- The movie Citizen Kane was based on Hearst's life story.

Our high school journalism teacher, Mr. Thomas, would never have approved of yellow journalism; when I was a student in his class, silly stuff that we know isn't true, or is presented with "spin" as Obama calls it, was not even discussed -- that was "the past." 

In modern, post-1960s America, we do things the right way, professionally, presenting the public with the factual story to the best of our ability. 

That was the attitude.

So why go backwards, now?  Because someone saw a market, and potential profits.  Not truth, or helpfulness for American society, but personal profits.   


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