Monthly Archives: August 2005

The rest of the story

“I have consolation in knowing my son died a hero. And also we have a volunteer Army. No one came and forced my son, no one came and forced Casey. They volunteered for the mission. They were trained soldiers. They knew they weren’t going to Boy Scout camp. They knew. They had all written their wills. We said the I love you’s and be safe, don’t be a hero, and come home.”

That’s gold star mother Diane Ibbotson, of Albion, IL, talking to a Chi Trib editorial writer.  Her son died while trying to save Casey Sheehan, who had died trying to save others in the Baghdad Sadr City battle.  She has another way of grieving, helping her husband work their farm, volunteering at a church and nursing home.  Watching the History Channel account of  D-Day, she and her husband “take comfort in the idea that one day the battle that claimed the lives of their son, Sheehan’s son, and other sons will be remembered.”

The rest of the story

“I have consolation in knowing my son died a hero. And also we have a volunteer Army. No one came and forced my son, no one came and forced Casey. They volunteered for the mission. They were trained soldiers. They knew they weren’t going to Boy Scout camp. They knew. They had all written their wills. We said the I love you’s and be safe, don’t be a hero, and come home.”

That’s gold star mother Diane Ibbotson, of Albion, IL, talking to a Chi Trib editorial writer.  Her son died while trying to save Casey Sheehan, who had died trying to save others in the Baghdad Sadr City battle.  She has another way of grieving, helping her husband work their farm, volunteering at a church and nursing home.  Watching the History Channel account of  D-Day, she and her husband “take comfort in the idea that one day the battle that claimed the lives of their son, Sheehan’s son, and other sons will be remembered.”

Half full vs. half empty

Here’s a tale of two cities’ newspapers:  In Wash Times we read this head-plus-lede graf about Iraqi constitution:

Many hurdles ahead for Iraqi constitution
By David R. Sands
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published August 30, 2005

Iraq’s draft constitution faces a tricky but not impassable road to ratification in an Oct. 15 referendum that is seen as critical to the country’s political future and to the U.S. military mission.

Chi Trib did it this way:

IRAQ IN TRANSITION
Charter finished without Sunni OK
Shiites, Kurds risk rejection by voters

By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published August 29, 2005

BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers finished drafting their country’s new constitution Sunday, ending a rancorous process that laid bare sectarian divisiveness impeding the country as it tries to forge a new democracy.

Do I detect a little pessimism here?  “Tricky but not impassable road to ratification” vs. “rancorous process that laid bare sectarian divisiveness”?  Which paper leans toward the dark side of the story?

Half full vs. half empty

Here’s a tale of two cities’ newspapers:  In Wash Times we read this head-plus-lede graf about Iraqi constitution:

Many hurdles ahead for Iraqi constitution
By David R. Sands
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published August 30, 2005

Iraq’s draft constitution faces a tricky but not impassable road to ratification in an Oct. 15 referendum that is seen as critical to the country’s political future and to the U.S. military mission.

Chi Trib did it this way:

IRAQ IN TRANSITION
Charter finished without Sunni OK
Shiites, Kurds risk rejection by voters

By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published August 29, 2005

BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers finished drafting their country’s new constitution Sunday, ending a rancorous process that laid bare sectarian divisiveness impeding the country as it tries to forge a new democracy.

Do I detect a little pessimism here?  “Tricky but not impassable road to ratification” vs. “rancorous process that laid bare sectarian divisiveness”?  Which paper leans toward the dark side of the story?

Blago and the gas pumps

Meanwhile, gas prices rise, but it’s Blago to the rescue:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday asked Illinois’ attorney general to investigate possible price gouging at gas stations as Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, a crucial area for U.S. oil and natural gas operations.

More:

“While losing a significant portion of our nation’s domestic oil production will likely cause an increase in oil prices, it is critical that we ensure that no one be allowed to use this natural disaster as an excuse to exploit consumers,” Blagojevich wrote to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also a Democrat.

But what are Blago and Lisa going to do about it?  Supply down, demand up, and prices with it.  Would they have us ignore that law?  Or don’t they believe in it.

I have a law that ought to be passed: all governors should take Economics 101 at the state campus nearest their home.

Blagojevich said that while most gas stations won’t use a natural disaster as an excuse to raise prices, “there are always a few bad apples.”

“Unfortunately, the actions of a those few bad apples could mean higher gas prices for drivers,” he said.

Well for cry-eye, it’s a few gas stations he’s worried about?  Why all the fuss?

That media love of regulation

“I think I know why” media ignore the “scandal” of lives lost in the wake of fuel efficiency on autos, writes Jay Ambrose for Scripps-Howard News Service. 

I think the fault lies with a widespread news-media mindset in which regulations are almost always the good guys riding down the hill to rescue the citizenry from that villain of villains: dastardly business practices. It’s very nearly unfathomable to some reporters that no matter how well-intentioned, sweeping governmental interventions in the world of manufacturing and commerce can do more harm _ snuff out more lives _ than any dozen corporate CEOs on the greediest, most callous or negligent day they have ever had.

What we need are more reporters, editors, and publishers who are sceptical of bureaucrats’ ability to decide what’s good for us — as opposed to ourselves acting in a free market.

Blago and the gas pumps

Meanwhile, gas prices rise, but it’s Blago to the rescue:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday asked Illinois’ attorney general to investigate possible price gouging at gas stations as Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, a crucial area for U.S. oil and natural gas operations.

More:

“While losing a significant portion of our nation’s domestic oil production will likely cause an increase in oil prices, it is critical that we ensure that no one be allowed to use this natural disaster as an excuse to exploit consumers,” Blagojevich wrote to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also a Democrat.

But what are Blago and Lisa going to do about it?  Supply down, demand up, and prices with it.  Would they have us ignore that law?  Or don’t they believe in it.

I have a law that ought to be passed: all governors should take Economics 101 at the state campus nearest their home.

Blagojevich said that while most gas stations won’t use a natural disaster as an excuse to raise prices, “there are always a few bad apples.”

“Unfortunately, the actions of a those few bad apples could mean higher gas prices for drivers,” he said.

Well for cry-eye, it’s a few gas stations he’s worried about?  Why all the fuss?

That media love of regulation

“I think I know why” media ignore the “scandal” of lives lost in the wake of fuel efficiency on autos, writes Jay Ambrose for Scripps-Howard News Service. 

I think the fault lies with a widespread news-media mindset in which regulations are almost always the good guys riding down the hill to rescue the citizenry from that villain of villains: dastardly business practices. It’s very nearly unfathomable to some reporters that no matter how well-intentioned, sweeping governmental interventions in the world of manufacturing and commerce can do more harm _ snuff out more lives _ than any dozen corporate CEOs on the greediest, most callous or negligent day they have ever had.

What we need are more reporters, editors, and publishers who are sceptical of bureaucrats’ ability to decide what’s good for us — as opposed to ourselves acting in a free market.

Writing long

This in PR Week is on the mark for other papers too, with hat tip to Poynteronline:

NYT[imes] business reporter Alex Berenson says: “I think the Times needs to be a lot more careful about what we demand from our readers, and how much time we ask that they spend with us every day. And I think we write too much and too long often, and I’ve tried increasingly to be conscious of that in my own stories, that there’s no reason to write 1,200 words when 800 will do. … You should save the length for the stories that really deserve it. I think that that is going to be a big cultural change at the Times in the next few years, and younger people hopefully will have an easier time with [it].”

Write tight.

Writing long

This in PR Week is on the mark for other papers too, with hat tip to Poynteronline:

NYT[imes] business reporter Alex Berenson says: “I think the Times needs to be a lot more careful about what we demand from our readers, and how much time we ask that they spend with us every day. And I think we write too much and too long often, and I’ve tried increasingly to be conscious of that in my own stories, that there’s no reason to write 1,200 words when 800 will do. … You should save the length for the stories that really deserve it. I think that that is going to be a big cultural change at the Times in the next few years, and younger people hopefully will have an easier time with [it].”

Write tight.

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