Journalism?

I am back from my hiatus and thought I would start off slow. I usually don’t write about this kind of stuff but I just ran across an article in The Washington Post that I must share with you folks. It is an article about John Karr and is written by Hank Stuever. Mr. Stuever is allegedly a "Washington Post Staff Writer". Here is the first paragraph from the article:

So you’ve maybe got a famous murderer in the family. Or you were married to one. He’s extradited, he’s very much in the news, and he’s just as creepy as you remember him. You’d like to smack him upside the haid. You’d also like to prove to the world what a complete, dweeb-faced liar he is.

And here are the last few paragraphs:

So you may have a murderer in the family.

Well, you’ll show him. You’ll show CNN, too. You’ll go through every one of these shoeboxes, and then everyone will see how right you are.

An alibi: It can be such a nice thing to have, in most families.

The trash between the first paragraph and the last few I quoted above are of the same caliber. My question is this: Is this kind of article considered journalism? You will remember a few months ago that the Washington Post Ombudsman, Deborah Howell, raised a big stink about Dan Froomkin being confused for a reporter when in fact he was a columnist. Why is this clown, Hank Stuever, masquerading as a "staff writer" when he is not reporting but writing opinion pieces? What is Deborah Howell going to do about it?

With reporting like this its no wonder the Bush Administration had no trouble hoodwinking the American public into a war with Iraq. I suspect with reporting like this it won’t be long before we are told that Iran has made a pact with the Devil and must be destroyed.

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25 Responses to Journalism?

  1. Greg Michael says:

    Did you have a point? So did John Mark Karr do it in your opinion? What kind of meds should you be taking? Did you run out on your vacation to Fire Island?

  2. Mash says:

    Greg, I am sorry that my point was not sufficiently sharpened for a savvy “20-year veteran of the media” like you. =p~

    If you came here looking for clarity on the JonBenet murder I am afraid you will be disappointed. I wanted to make the narrow point about a sloppy piece in the Washington Post that tries to pass itself off as reporting. But, oh well, you had to go bring up my meds.

    Don’t you know its not polite to talk about other people’s medication. But since you asked I have decided to stop taking the happy pills and the kool-aid that is served up by the “stay the course” community because you know…one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small and the ones that mother gives you
    don’t do anything at all. @-)

    And why this fascination with Fire Island Greg? Are you afraid of gay people? Truman Capote rub you the wrong way? Why do you hate America Greg?

    Why would you think I went to Fire Island on my “vacation”? What an odd thing to say…especially in light of the fact that the previous post tells you that I didn’t go anywhere at all. But then again, why let facts get in the way of your fantasy…just stay the course. :(|)

  3. Robbie says:

    He writes! Glad to see you coming back to form, Mash. I get your point loud and clear. This garbage belongs on the opinion page, or better yet on its own Blogger weblog.

    As for me, I’m not paying attention to the John Mark Carr situation because the whole media circus is a diversion, something to keep the mainstream media focused away from issues that really matter.

    For (expletives) and giggles, I had to cut and paste that “article” into Microsoft Word and use SpellCheck. I’ll give the “author” credit for not using passive voice, but for readability it sucked. Not quite up to William F. Buckley standards (keep your dictionary/thesaurus handy for his screeds), but his writing is unreadable.

  4. Greg Michael says:

    Dr. Strangelove,

    You are a much better writer than 95 percent of the professionals. I apologize for my sarcastic comments. I was assumeing you were a Koolaid drinking liberal.

  5. James says:

    Greg,

    Whereas being a kool-aid swilling conservative is much better huh?

    See, that is the problem with wing-nuts like you: you are all reactionary. You are either too lazy, or stupid to actually pay attention to silly things like..oh…facts.

    You need to stop masturbating to your pics of Bill O’Reilly with a falafal, and start paying attention. I know you do not like to think for yourself and do actual fact checking.

    Cheers.

  6. Mash says:

    James, why did you have to ruin my Sunday? I now have this image of wingnuts masterbating to the Big Giant Head to contend with all day.

    EEEK! :-&

  7. Yohay Elam says:

    This surely isn’t journalism. This kind of material is more appropriate for a personal blog than an honorable paper such as the Washington Post.
    I agree with Greg:

    You are a much better writer than 95 percent of the professionals.

  8. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    I for one stay away from all this JonBenet crap. It’s just another reminder that criminal cases should be tried in the court, not in the newspapers.

    I don’t know, maybe it was the fact that the Ramseys exploited their child as they did, for beauty contests etc., that made everyone so ready to assume they were murderers…but bad (or creepy) parenting is a big step away from murder. While I never quite bought the assertion that the Ramseys murdered their daughter, I have to admit that the main reason I didn’t was the old saw that “you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.” I SHOULD have been convinced solely by the fact that the media was practically convicting these people with no access to the real evidence, and with no evidence tying them directly to the crime…I’m ashamed to say I doubted for the most cynical, and wrong, of reasons.

    As for the other “koolaid” crap: won’t dignify with a comment. Mash, love ya big guy (not of course in a Fire Island kind of way, before any conservatives get their hidden, pink lacy underthings in a bunch), glad you’re back.
    :)>-

  9. Greg Michael says:

    Dr. Strangelove,
    You really are a great writer. You use examples from your personal experience to illustrate a story. Masturbation, wing-nuts, pink, lacy undies, strangelove, all points of reference that you are familiar with. And it shows.

  10. Bengali Fob says:

    Why do these types of people always resort to name calling, Mash? Can’t they ever argue their position without being so sarcastic and mean?

    People are so mean and rude… 🙁

  11. Bengali Fob says:

    Oh yeah, welcome back Mash. =d>

    One more thing. Did you see the poem Rezwan at Third World View posted by Kazi Nazrul Islam?

    http://rezwanul.blogspot.com/2006/08/shammyobadi-egalitarian.html

    It’s pretty great.

  12. Mash says:

    Greg, first off, don’t leave…you are livening up this blog! <: -p Since we are factanistas, we should attempt to be precise. You say:

    You use examples from your personal experience to illustrate a story. Masturbation, wing-nuts, pink, lacy undies, strangelove, all points of reference that you are familiar with. And it shows.
    But a careful review of the past comments will show that “masterbation” and “wing-nut” were brought up by James; and, “pink, lacy undies” were brought up by the venerable Group Captain. No doubt that I do call myself “strangelove”, so I will claim that one (although Peter Sellers might have a thing of two to say about that – RIP).

    But in their defense, I will say that masterbation is a healthy part of life, wingnuts taste a little salty around the edges (chewy center though), the pink lacy undies I can’t talk about because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and love is kind of strange between a man and his macaca. :(|) 😡 :(|)

  13. Mash says:

    Robbie, Mandrake and Fob, thanks. Its nice to start writing again. I am working on a post on Iran that will go up tonight.

    Mandrake, I think you hit a nerve with those pink lacy undies! 😮

    Fob, thanks for the link to Rezwan’s post. My mom used to sing his songs when she was young. I have rather fond memories of those days. I have my mom’s copy of the book of his complete poems on my bookshelf. Its one of my fondest keepsakes from my mom’s life.

  14. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    LOL…and what happens in the War Room DEFINITELY stays in the War Room. :-“

  15. Robbie says:

    Greg,

    I noticed on your blog you have a twisted obsession with Hugo Chavez and Citgo. With all this talk about pink lacy underthings and masturbation, I’d hate to see what you do with your spare time, especially with certain petroleum-based products. :-&

  16. Greg says:

    You guys are weird. Good writers non the less. Citgo promotes itself as a good ol’ boy gas. Ever hear of the Citgo BassMaster cup? They promote the Green Bay Pakcers, baseball, and have been in NASCAR for years. The funny part is that 100 percent of the profits go to PDVSA — the state-owned oil company of Venesuela, whose president is Hugo Chavez. The last time hundreds of thousands of his people protested he had nine shot outside the palace by his police. :d

  17. Glad ta see we finally got sum reel men on this hyar site…Men that aint asceered of th’ taste of kool aid and stackin men in pyramids, shovin lite sticks up thar butt and makin ’em masturbate…in a hetero way…~:>

    Cuz gays is a abomination I tells ya! But not torture…it is refreshin’ when you is sceered we is all gonna die!! :-ss

    Anywho, I got a cure fer yor blues Mash…You dont need any of that thar doctor medicine (caint afford it no ways) When I git down I use Ronald Reagan…It wurks ever time…=))

    Like when he set all them thar mental patients loose frum the “soft bigotry of low expectations” and hospitals! Now wwhen I see them on th’ street a pissin themselfs I shout, “Thank you RR..I feel better knowing they is people that is wurse off than me!”

    Nuthin like the taste of bootstrap ta cheer ya up boy!

    BTW who is that thar Jon binet you all is talkin about?

  18. James says:

    Wow, you really are a fucking moron, Greg.

    Those people who were shot, were PRO-Chavez, after the attempted coup by Pedro Carmona. They were executed BY Carmona. A pro-american businessman Bush and his morons supported.

    Holy fuck, you are stupid. You cannot even get history right from 4 years ago.

  19. Mash says:

    Greg, you will have to forgive James, my highly agitated friend. He was just turned down for a speaking role in HBO’s “Deadwood” :d

    Yet, I must agree with my Deadwood-reject friend. I think those deaths in Venezuela had more to do with Otto Reich’s lust for all things bloody than anything else.

    As for Citgo, they are doing what all good capitalist oil companies do – they are marketing to their customers. If you would like to see the flipside of this, visit any third world country and see how “native” the American multinationals pitching their wares can become. If you are ever in India, try the “Chicken Maharaja Mac” or the “Chicken McCurry Pan” or even the “McAloo Tikki” at your local McDonald’s. If you are looking for a Big Mac, you will not find one. :-”

    There are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on Chavez – but Citgo’s marketing strategy is hardly leftist and is not one of them.

  20. Alfredo says:

    Welcome back, Mash!

    Regarding the new visitor to your blog — Greg Michael — one should take his posting here as a sure sign that your blog is becoming highly relevant and influential, offering many an inopportune truth to the American discourse. Otherwise, he — as would others his type — would not bother posting his petty attacks.

    Which brings to mind today’s NYT op-ed piece by guest columnist Frank Rich, Defunders of Liberty. In it, he lays bare the vicious tactics used by Repugs such as Abramoff against progressive causes since the early 1980s. As Rich points out, these tactics, in their very essence, are not about arguing or debating, but about damaging.

  21. Alfredo says:

    Sorry for going off-topic earlier. Returning to the current matter:

    It is truly disheartening to see the crap (no other way of describing it) that gets printed in many of major and, arguably influential, newspapers such as The Washington Post. Mr. Keuver’s article is but one of many examples and I am frankly astonished that crap like this continues to make it to print.

    The Economist ran a special report this week on the future of the newspaper industry. While the report mainly analyzes the challenges & opportunities faced by traditional newspapers from alternative forms of media (online and free dailies), it briefly looks at the issue of journalism. Those who care about sound content will not be encouraged by the report’s conclusions.

    Personally, I would feel the least regret if content like Mr. Steuver’s article accelerates, rather than slows down, the demise of newsprint.

  22. Zebster says:

    Hey Mash, glad you’re back too, though I’ve been so gone lately I didn’t notice. :-”
    Speaking of undies, amazing how high and might folks can get when it suits them. Ever wonder what the reaction would’ve been to a Republican Prez getting an extra hummer? Something like “you go, George!”
    Love how you deftly got the macaca in there.
    Sometimes I wish I didn’t love Nascar so.

  23. Mash says:

    Alfredo and Zeb, I’m glad to be back. I’ve been so busy with real life that I have not been able to make my daily rounds of my favorite blogs for a couple of weeks. I hope to be back to reading again soon.

    I don’t know if you guys noticed, but our friends on the right have a strange fascination with odd sexual acts. They love to write novels involving such novelties as bear on child sex, they love to gossip about the many uses of falafel, etc.

  24. Alfredo says:

    They sure do, don’t they? I don’t mean to put them on the couch, but I’d bet that their odd sexual fascinations are an inevitable upshot of their adherence to rigid Christian codes.

    Imagine growing up feeling an unbearable sense of guilt each time you get an erection? Or having to constantly suppress your sexuality as sinful rather than embracing it as simply another element of who we are as human beings?

    It’s no coincidence that their minds are as rigid as their hips. 😉

  25. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    Repression breeds perversion. I’m wondering how long it will be before someone discovers: 1) pics of Rick Santorum in a compromising position with a latex-clad golden retriever; or 2) Ralph Reed locked in a cheap motel room with a naked 12-year-old boy, half a jar of Marshmallow Fluff and a cattle prod. 8-}

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