Category Archives: Media

Breaking News

The Hill: John Bolton: ‘I will not be shaving my mustache’


Breaking News

Politico: Trump says he will hold press conference soon

A Really Slow News Day

Headlines from some of today’s most-read stories at Politico:

Bo Obama turns 7! A look inside the first dog’s fetching life

The GOP Is Throwing Away Millions of Dollars
(trillions is more accurate – ed.)

And one story that would make for a rather speedier news day if the headline was literally true:

Chris Christie returns from the dead

The Politics of SpongeBob

Two unrelated news stories caught my eye this morning that capture the depth of today’s political discourse. The first is a Politico story explaining, apparently in all seriousness, why SpongeBob Squarepants is becoming a Republican icon. In the name of balance, the story even includes a negative quote from Al Sharpton, presented without irony.

In the second story, a wit presented HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with a copy of Websites for Dummies at an event, as a tactful reminder of the difficulties her department has had getting various insurance exchange websites to work properly.

This is why I work in policy, and not politics.

How Not to Write a Lede

In journalism, the lede is the first sentence or two of a story. It’s spelled that way to disambiguate it from the various meanings of the word “lead.” The lede’s job is to summarize the story as succinctly as possible while inviting the reader to read further. Some ledes, however are better than others:

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council will discuss a proposed ordinance that would make unlawful public exposure a criminal misdemeanor on Monday night.

Taken literally, if you feel like engaging in some good-old-fashioned public nudity in Spokane, don’t do it on a Monday. Wait until Tuesday. Or, if it’s Sunday night, hurry up and get out there! Unfortunately for exhibitionists, one doubts this was the reporter actually meant to say.

Getting Buchanan Wrong

The New York Times obituary for James Buchanan is up. The opening paragraph contains a whopper of an error:

James M. Buchanan, a scholar and author whose analyses of economic and political decision-making won the 1986 Nobel in economic sciences and shaped a generation of conservative thinking about deficits, taxes and the size of government, died on Wednesday in Blacksburg, Va. He was 93.

The author of the piece, Robert McFadden, might be surprised to learn that in 2005 Buchanan wrote a book titled Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism. McFadden also might be surprised to learn that there are more than two political philosophies. Just because someone is not progressive doesn’t mean, therefore, they are conservative. Buchanan self-identified as a classical liberal, which is a philosophy distinct from both progressivism and conservatism, and has roots reaching as far back as ancient Mesopotamia.

The strict binary view of politics held by most journalists might be convenient for creating compelling election campaign stories. But it is sorely incomplete, and does readers no favors as far as imparting any actual understanding of the issues.

Slow News Day

Politico: Report: Bush takes up painting