10 August 2015


Nobody learned anything at the Heffalump Press Appearance and Pseudo Debate Extravaganzas last week. At least, nobody who had been paying attention prior to then. Moving right along...

  • Journalists (and their employers) are at least as capable of stupid knee-jerk reactions as anyone else. I've not yet read the Pentagon document... but unlike "The Editorial Board" of the New York Times, I actually have substantial experience dealing with the balance between "open press" and "actual — not just imposed by politicians — security needs of military forces operating outside the US." (Aside: That ascription to an anonymous management collective is one of the reasons that military officers distrust the press — whatever relationship we built up with a particular journalist can, and usually will, be overruled by someone on the basis of a far-off profit motive.)

    I'm all for more openness. I'm all for thorough reporting on structural problems, such as sexual misconduct at the military academies and corruption in procurement and contracting and political interference with tactical decisionmaking and equipment. Indeed, we need more of that. The mistake that the NYT has made here is the assumption that all journalists act with the integrity demanded (if sometimes not achieved, as demonstrated by Mr Glass not too long ago) by its own standards... and that's just concerning the US-based press. Acting otherwise in the field leads to (correct) charges of favoritism.

  • Kris Rusch offers some thoughts of her own on high discounting and the effect on royalties, which is rather superciliously (and not quite condescendingly) "refuted" in the comments by the president of a mid-major single-industry publisher. I reject the "refutation"... with an example from last year. Bluntly, this is an ongoing publishing-industries-accepted scheme, along with dubious export-import schemes, to deprive authors of money in the name of the managerial cost-control meme.
  • Mr Stewart, your shift at Arby's begins at 3pm this afternoon. Please be on time and conform to the grooming standards in your employee handbook. Make certain that you know how to make all of our off-menu items — especially the Daily Deli.
  • It could, I suppose, be much worse than Arby's. We could worry about fatbergs and sewers... and note the problem with "privatizing everything" implied in the article.