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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 5, 2012/ 12 Adar, 5772

Campaign substance lost in media melodrama

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You've got to have an "able, disinterested, public-spirited press" if popular government is to be something more than "a sham and mockery," Joseph Pulitzer once said. Is there hope?

Well, yes, there's hope, and there are plentiful exceptions to any condemnatory conclusions. But what's missing in too many news outlets this campaign season -- amid the constant analysis of who has fumbled, who might win and what strategies are being employed -- is much of what's worth knowing. When assessing the presidential candidates, the vital questions boil down to character, competence and stands on issues.

The salacious shall be known, and more on the bad side of character if the press finds you less than cuddly. It seldom investigates demonstrated competence to the extent you might want.

But where we really get cheated is in being presented with little more than sound bites about stands on issues. Want to know why? Because many in the news craft believe that delivering detailed reports on speeches and otherwise exploring candidates' policy positions without comment reduces them to plain-Jane stenographers.

They would rather be bold explorers of ulterior motives.

Charlotte Grimes, a Syracuse University journalism professor I know and admire, has written a superb paper (available online) that notes how this near obsession of some was inspired by the work of an exceptional reporter, Theodore White.

He wrote groundbreaking books in the 1960s and '70s about behind-the-scenes strategizing in presidential campaigns. Ever since then, political writers have tried to do a Teddy White strut in their daily copy. Among the problems is too little time to pull it off and sometimes a whole lot less knowledge and talent than the hero.

That's just for starters, though, because rather than dwell on material crucial for understanding what is at stake, many on TV, in newspapers and elsewhere would rather waste your time speculating on what you're going to find out anyway: who is going to win.

Understand that today's guess is often next to worthless and that the need, at any rate, is telling you not how you might vote in a primary or general election, but giving you facts enabling you to vote intelligently.

"Facts." Interesting word, that, and yes, there is such a thing as verifiable information, just as there is such a thing as fact checkers who don't get it that their verdicts of "true" and "false" are many times arguable, extra-factual interpretations otherwise known as opinion.

The worst of the campaign coverage may be bias holding hands with melodrama, as when segments of the press went wild shouting to the nation that millionaire boss-man Mitt Romney had said he liked "being able to fire people." The explicit, perfectly clear, unmistakable context was that people should be able to change their health-insurance companies.

An example of purveying those particular Romney words with no hint of the actual meaning was a piece in The New York Review of Books, which seems worth mentioning because the magazine is considered one of the most prestigious, broadly distributed intellectual journals in America.

The article – a review of two books about Romney – also said his Bain Capital operation existed "to enrich the investor class" without mentioning the massive profits going to union pension funds. It later contrasted the Republican candidate's speaking fees with his father's refusal to accept bonuses as an auto executive. Did the writer know Romney accepted only a $1-a-year salary and no expense account as governor of Massachusetts and no salary for running the Winter Olympics in Utah in 2002, though donating $1 million to the cause?

Pulitzer, the dazzling journalistic innovator whose century-old words I found in the Grimes paper, was himself capable of sensational journalism almost – not quite – that embarrassingly shoddy.

He was nevertheless a crusading proponent of decency, who properly summed up the wages of journalistic sin in a democracy as the sort of terrible government some of us think we have right now in the executive branch in Washington.

Let's pray for journalistic improvement. Meanwhile, may the blessed exceptions bloom.



Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


Previously:


03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
01/04/12: How America smothers itself
12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
12/21/11: A tale of two men
12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest —- or at least shouldn't be
10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
08/03/11: The people who may save America
07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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