Magazine

TWM

As an occasional participant in big-think conferences bemoaning the downward drift of contemporary journalism from its former Olympian heights, I can furrow my brow, sadly shake my head and invoke the sainted memory of Walter Lippmann and Edward R. Murrow with the best of them. But as adept as I am at the public rituals… Read more »

TWM

It’s progress that most of us no longer view journalism as simply the gathering of facts. Some facts are more important than others. We know that what readers should get isn’t the facts but the story. A newspaper should help us decide what events mean, and to do this, writers and editors have to interpret,… Read more »

Jesse’s Victory

If all this seems a funny political sideshow, it isn’t. Ventura’s election carries important implications for politics in Minnesota and the nation as a whole. His triumph seems so beyond the pale that a lot must be happening in our politics to cause it. And a lot is. Jesse’s ascendancy underscores the great and growing… Read more »

TWM

One of the most enduring visual images of the news business is the “zipper” – the electronic display belt (most famously in Times Square) that relays breaking news to passersby. “Pearl Harbor attacked,” “FDR dead” “Space shuttle launched” – the zipper has always been concise, clear, and as “objective” as it is possible to be…. Read more »

TWM

is a senior editor of The New Republic, a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and author of Beside Still Waters: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt. In a bid to curry favor with powerful insiders, Gregg Easterbrook today sent Charles Peters an article telling him what he wanted to hear about trends… Read more »

TWM

The problem the Monthly‘s getting at is not confined to news stories with loaded lead-ins. (“Dogged by criticism of his role in the Lewinsky case, President Clinton today raised a man from the dead with the slightest touch of his hand.”) It’s just as common, and has an even longer history, in the portentous-sounding but… Read more »

TWM

It is endearing of Charlie Peters to sponsor a symposium calling for more objective, less opinion-laden journalism. Can this be the same beloved, raccoon-eyed editor who used to hector his editors when they offered up an overly fact-laden piece: “Where’s the gospel?” The same man who infuriated dozens of America’s leading journalists by writing his… Read more »

TWM

All magazines aspire to be factually accurate. Beyond that, their goals vary. Some claim and even actually try to be totally “objective,” eschewing all opinion or, as Newsweek used to claim years ago, separating fact from opinion. This is a futile goal (are you going to be objective and avoid any opinion about child molesting?),… Read more »

TWM

The problem with the more subjective elements in journalism today, in my view, is not inventiveness per se but cynicism. During the ’80s it became extremely unfashionable to believe in anything or anyone who had anything to do with political life. It was as if the slightest taint of hope or admiration, or of in… Read more »

TWM

Washington, December 7, 1941 – Ever since last week’s disclosure of wheelchair-bound President Roosevelt’s dalliance with social secretary Lucy Mercer, the President has been seeking to keep the country’s attention on the mounting threat to America’s overseas allies. Today was no exception to this public relations strategy, advisers say. Even though it was a Sunday,… Read more »