Curtis Dahlgren
Journalistic malpractice? What difference does it make?
By Curtis Dahlgren
May 31, 2014

"Hollywood is where if you don't have happiness, you send out for it." – Rex Reed

"I can get a better grasp of what is going on in the world from one good Washington dinner party than from all the background information NBC piles on my desk." – Barbara Walters

OH REALLY? Your average journalist can't grasp what's really going on in the world with or without parties or the Wednesday night Bible study at the White House (er, I mean celebrity bash). And the President learns more just listening to himself give one speech than from all the Intel they put on his desk (who writes that stuff, just the CIA?).

The merry month of May was certainly no slow news month. It must be difficult deciding what to cover and what to bury (cover up). I can just imagine an NBC producer now, trying to decide the lead story from a list of options he just wrote out:

AGW or V.A.? The IRS or ICE? NSA, F&F, BG or BH? The NBA or GLBT?

"Global warming? Not a bad idea now that's winter's over." [My take: Smoky Bear says that 9 out of 10 wildfires are started by humans, but FEMA always says they were caused by lightning. Either way, lack of good logging roads out West, plus "natural forestry" make fire fighting a deadly business.]

"Veterans Affairs? Nah. That story might remind people about waiting lines for government-run health care." [Me: Especially if you're on the "wrong list" (Republican and old). They might cover veterans' affairs if it involves some General and a hooker.]

"The IRS scandal? Nah – might make people think about government." [And about "wrong lists" again. Dittoes.]

"ICE? Nah; don't even want to touch that story." [Refers to Immigration releasing thousands of illegal alien criminals, and they hardly covered that one when it happened!]

"NSA? Nah. Spying on Americans will never be a big story unless a Republican wins." [Wins by suppressing voter turnout?]

"Fast and Furious? Nah!" ["Old news" but some of those guns probably ended up not just in Mexico but in Chicago or Detroit.]

"Boko Haram? Nah – old news. [Might give extreme Islamists a bad name.]

"The NBA? One of the top two stories, but I'm not sure." ["Basketball has done a lot for us, but – ?"]

"The LGBT movement? Bingo! Lead story: 'Senator Hatch says gay marriage is here to stay.'" [Me: A reach across the aisle a bit too far. BTW, the homosexual population may be almost 2 percent and if half of that number don't want to marry, all this hoopla is about one percent of the population. Shucks, we have about that many working farmers, but they're not getting any attention (or water in California). Oh well, it's only FOOD, eh? The real minority, though isn't gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender; it's "none of the above" (total abstainers).]

P.S. I'd love to write more of this stuff, but you'll have to excuse me. I have to go check my blood pressure. If you haven't gotten your daily reading "fix" yet, you might search my columns for "The graduation speech you haven't heard this year," or the "Verboten topics" of journalism. Or search for "College Orientation Week 101." Or search for some of the Global warming stuff.

PPS: The ice on our local lake didn't break up until after Easter this year. There was no egg-rolling in the parks around here! Swim at your own risk if you have a tolerance for cold water!

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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