Bad news for the republic.

The ombudsman’s column in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram makes it all clear for you:

The “Commentary” label that runs beneath news-page columnists’ mugshots and names has been changed. From now on, it’ll say, “In My Opinion.” That should make it as clear as possible that columns by Bud Kennedy, Monica Anderson, Bob Ray Sanders, Jim Reeves and others are strictly those writers’ opinions.

So much for literacy.

Posted at 1:32 pm in Uncategorized |

21 responses to “Bad news for the republic.”

  1. John Ritter said on November 3, 2003 at 1:37 pm

    Is this any different than Fox News nearly suing Fox TV over a fake news crawl on a Simpson’s episode? Are today’s people too thick to grasp what is real and what is a cartoon (or opinion)? Or perhaps they are merely distracted by incessantly ring cell phone.

  2. alex said on November 3, 2003 at 1:53 pm

    Speaking of Fox News, now billing itself in commercials as the lone fountain of truth or some such, I’m not so sure people really do grasp what’s real and what’s not. And if anyone should know, it would be Fox News.

  3. Mindy said on November 3, 2003 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, the agony. How much longer until every newspaper adopts this policy is anyone’s guess. So much for literacy, indeed.

  4. Nance said on November 3, 2003 at 5:09 pm

    Plus, it’s just so damn clumsy. Lots of columns have voice and point of view, but they’re not “in my opinion” pieces. Ugh.

  5. ashley said on November 3, 2003 at 6:37 pm

    Damned opinions. What we need are more charts and graphs, and less of those little squiggly things between all the pictures.

  6. alex said on November 3, 2003 at 6:45 pm

    If I ran a paper, I’d tack on a disclaimer with the old chestnut “opinions are like assholes.” And I’d publish only people like Mona Charen and Uncle Tom Sowell and Betsey Hart and Robert Novak�just like all the big dailies nowadays.

  7. Nance said on November 3, 2003 at 6:48 pm

    The thing is, the ombudsman’s decision, while pretty dumb, was probably necessary. When I was in school, I had several units, in various grades, on understanding newspapers and other news media. We looked at the elements of the front page, learned about wire services, etc. It was basic social studies. And yet I still meet readers who don’t understand the difference between a news story and a column about a news story.

    It makes me better understand one of my neighbors in the Fort, a house painter, who said that by high school he was basing his attendance decisions on what was for dessert in the cafeteria that day. If only apple crisp had been on the menu more often, he might have been college material.

  8. Nance said on November 3, 2003 at 6:49 pm

    Oh, don’t get me started, Alex. Syndicated op-ed writers are the biggest Academy of the Overrated you can assemble.

    Betsy Hart

    Mona Charen

    Kathleen Parker

    Molly Ivins (to show my bias isn’t political)

    I could go on and on…

  9. deb said on November 3, 2003 at 6:50 pm

    it is clumsy, but the plain truth is that most readers — even well-educated ones — don’t know the difference between an editorial and a column of personal opinion (or even a news report). i’ve often heard people refer to front-page stories as “editorials.”

    the other day, an extremely intelligent, well-read friend urged me to read a certain “editorial.” it was a column. if she doesn’t get the distinction, joe lunchpail probably doesn’t, either.

  10. alex said on November 3, 2003 at 7:33 pm

    Yeah, can’t forget that Molly Ivins, now. Even though so few papers carry her anymore. But some still do throw her in for good measure whenever on a given day a dozen other harpies on the same page are all pontificating about “liberal media.”

  11. Dan McAfee said on November 4, 2003 at 7:49 am

    Matt Groening admitted making up the Fox News suit against the Simpsons… he was just pulling the interviewer’s chain.

  12. Bob said on November 4, 2003 at 8:00 am

    A few years ago in a checkout line at a supermarket in a part of Fort Wayne where many residents have made the first step away from the trailer park, I overheard an exchange between a woman and her man.

    She asked him for fifty cents for a newspaper, and he responded, “You don’t need no goddamn newspaper! Everything you gotta know is on the TV!”

    It’s a disconcerting recollection on election day.

  13. michael golden said on November 4, 2003 at 9:07 am

    I like Molly Ivins. When I read her chronicles of the Texas Legislature I don’t feel so badly about the California Legislature.

  14. michael golden said on November 4, 2003 at 9:09 am

    By the way, am I the only one who finds “USA Today” absolutely unreadable?

  15. Paul said on November 4, 2003 at 9:30 am

    Yes. It’s the perfect newspaper for a) reading before you’ve had coffee and b) keeping up with “Bennifer” gossip.

  16. Dan McAfee said on November 4, 2003 at 10:33 am

    It’s really rather breathtaking. The gall it takes to label Thomas Sowell an “Uncle Tom” because his viewpoint is conservative. I think I understand… some won’t put down their fifty cents for any thought that doesn’t agree with their perception of how the world should be. Everything they need to know is in the NYT. They live in an intellectual trailer park.

  17. alex said on November 4, 2003 at 10:51 am

    C’mon, Dan. I wouldn’t say the same of Clarence Page. But then he isn’t shilling so transparently for massa. He’s a genuine, thoughtful conservative�which is to say a moderate�since the conservative mantle has been so successfully coopted by radicals.

    I’d rather live in my intellectual trailer park than your anti-intellectual country club, thank you.

  18. Dan McAfee said on November 4, 2003 at 3:03 pm

    It’s seems we agree. You’ll only let a Black person wander a certain distance from the plantation before the racial insults begin. You could disagree with Sowell’s ideas, cut them down with logic, instead you put him in his place. How many Caucasions with Doctorates do you cut down with the logic that ‘White people ought not think that way.’ No, because Whites are allowed to think any way they want & you have to deal with their ideas. A Black man can’t even be considered ‘thoughtful’ when he disagrees with you.

    So who’s really shillin’ for the massa, the Black who votes Republican or the Black who votes Democratic?

    Answer: Neither. Black Americans have no masters and can vote any way they damn well please, think any thing they damn well want.

  19. alex said on November 4, 2003 at 3:30 pm

    Well, I’d never hesitate to criticize the caucasians with doctorates at the Heritage Foundation. Or the blacks who would sell out their own and everybody else by working for them. That doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me a patriotic American.

  20. Dan McAfee said on November 4, 2003 at 3:47 pm

    You miss my point on purpose.

    Nobody cares if you criticize Thomas Sowell or the Heritage Foundation. But why don’t you criticize the white folk at the Heritage Foundation by saying, “Real White people don’t think that way.” or “Real White people don’t say those things.” You don’t because it’s not true and doesn’t get you anywhere.

    But you find it perfectly OK to criticize a Black person in that manner. Why? Because it keeps all the other Blacks in their place. Even though it isn’t true that Thomas Sowell is an Uncle Tom, you use the argument that he is because race baiting works; it puts the fear of God into any other Black person who might speak in agreement.

  21. alex said on November 4, 2003 at 4:03 pm

    You miss my point.

    Real intelligent people–the kind worthy of doctorates–don’t think that way. And any black person who’d work for them gets no more respect from me than would the Jews for Jesus.