Category Archives: Media

The red badge of reportage

Posted by lex, on October 25, 2006

Michael Fumento is an embedded reporter working in al Anbar, western Iraq. Indian country. Most of his colleagues – the ones whose daily reporting from within the Green Zone so influences our perspective on the war – are not embedded. Some go so far as to call embeds “jock sniffers.”

Which is a psychologically revealing choice of words, it seems to me.

But Fumento doesn’t take it lying down, penning a hard-edged comparison that will likely get him plucked off of many a J-school Christmas card list:

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Is it the Tale?

Or the telling?

By Lex, on Sun – August 7, 2005

 

I’ve often wondered. Larry McMurtry writes what I believe to be wonderful westerns , even though I’m not a particular fan of the genre. He loves words, clearly, and uses them like precision instruments, and if you don’t find yourself falling (in a completely heterosexual way, if it do ya) for Captains Gus and Call of the Texas Rangers, then I don’t know what it might take. Colmac McCarthy has a new book out that I can’t wait to read – well, once it comes out in paperback that is – it’s not that he doesn’t deserve to have it read in hardback, it’s just that, well – I’m cheap, that way. His “All the Pretty Horses ” told another evocative tale of the American west, updated to the middle of the 20th century. The reading of it, and the falling in love with his talesmanship caused me to run through his entire back list a few years ago. I’ve read the late Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin series about the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars straight through more times than I’d care to admit, and laughed at all the usual places every time. And right now, I’m running through Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times ,” and I’m loving every moment of it – except that, coming in at almost 900 pages, it has become obvious to me that Mr. Johnson has found a great deal more to write about in his chosen era – the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Cold War – than I have found time in which to indulge him. And so I am occasionally distracted by Mark Helprin’s “The Pacific,” a collection of short stories suitable to modern attention spans (I do not exclude myself) having learned to love his writing in a book called, “A Soldier of the Great War ” – perhaps the greatest war novel I have ever read, and one I loved so dearly that for years I gave copies as gifts to the friends I loved the most.

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Gotcha!

By Lex, on October 19, 2010

 

I don’t frankly carry any water for Christine O’Donnell, but I do wonder whether the media treatment  * on her “gotcha” moment debating Chris Coons today is entirely fair:

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Friday Musings 04-15-2005

By lex, on Fri – April 15, 2005

 

Well.

Here we are again.

(But it’s Saturday!)

Feh – he has a social life, you know.

Sometimes.

So.

Nobody cared for yesterday’s commute, eh? Did everyone click “read more?” You know that’s where the treasures are hid. There was some good human interest stuff in there – polio, WWII, the Holocaust, etc. Imagery too, if I’m not mistaken. No. Take that back – it’s short on imagery. Anyway.

Don’t tell me – I know what it is: Tell us more sea stories, Lex.

Gotcha. Give the audience what they want. Only, you had a pretty good run of sea stories last week, and there are only so many in a single lifetime.

So.

Don’t get greedy.

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Trumping Time

Posted by lex, on July 30, 2009

 

The web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia has its detractors: Political controversies remain controversial behind the curtain, and articles about the arcane or esoteric tend to be populated by niche enthusiasts. For all that, the Wikipedia editors make a sincere attempt to present information fairly and accurately.

For example, in the sometimes confusing arena of military aircraft procurement costs, Wikipedia’s standards are clear and sensible:

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So, now it’s news?

Posted by Lex, on August 8, 2008

 

Well, John Edward’s sordid little tale can apparently now be told by the mainstream media, now that hizzoner has opened up and admitted to the truth of the basic allegation. While continuing to deny parentage of his so-called “love child” with a former campaign worker.

The story – first exposed by the National Enquirer in late July- was deemed not newsworthy by most of the major media outlets until today, whether for its suspiciously middlebrow provenance or simply for the pain it might inflict on Edwards’ long suffering, cancer-stricken wife. Although that second rationale seems rather self-serving: The gentlemen of the press are more considerate of the former presidential candidate’s wife than the gentleman himself. And this despite the fact that Edwards remained a contender for a cabinet post, if not the actual VP nomination, at least until this story that no one would talk about broke. I mean, there were actual pictures.

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Special Planes

By lex, on March 26th, 2011

Embedded within this otherwise unexceptional article about a young F-16 pilot’s first look at the wolf was this curious quote:

Captain Thulin and his squadron mates studied photographs of possible targets — from several types of tanks to artillery pieces — and how they would look from 20,000 feet using infrared targeting sensors. The pilots also pored over information about Libya’s surface-to-air missiles, including deadly SA-5 mobile launchers.

“We were studying the terrain, what buildings were made of, what it looks like over the desert using night-vision goggles or during the day,” said Captain Thulin, a native of Lake Orion, Mich., who mentioned the differences between Libya and verdant northern Italy, where the squadron normally trains. “We were preparing so when in combat, it’s more of a reflex.”

Late last Saturday night, Captain Thulin got the call he knew would be coming: his mission was scheduled. By 2 a.m. Sunday, his F-16 roared down the runway at Aviano heading for Libya. Twice during the flight to his destination, Captain Thulin refueled in midair with special planes. He was in constant communication with air traffic controllers as well as intelligence analysts updating him on potential targets.

This is the Gray Lady, the New York Times, containing “all the news that’s fit to print.” Writing about air refueling tankers as “special planes.”

Honestly. It is to weep.

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