The Jury Talks Back

12/26/2008

Because I’m clean out of ideas lately…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:39 am

DRJ speaks, and I am compelled to obey her vauge suggestion

JVW wisely says:

Wow! Reading this editor’s note that DRJ linked to is just priceless. If there is a course one hundred years from now on how the mainstream media made itself obsolete, this editor’s note ought to be on the on the reading list. To begin with, how condescending is it to open your piece with the following: “I love our letter writers. Really, I do”? Mr. Bailey might as well have been pictured holding his nose has he repeatedly hit the delete key on his email inbox.

Beyond his inauspicious start, this is a horribly-written piece. Take the fourth paragraph, for instance, which DRJ has quoted: letter writers are warned that you cannot blame Barney Frank or Chris Dodd for the economic meltdown, but apparently it is all systems go for blaming George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, Spiro Agnew, H.R. Hadelman, Joseph McCarthy, or Wendel Wilikie. After all, the editor didn’t say something along the lines of “no one person or party is alone to blame for the recession.” It simply says that you can’t blame the two dinosaur New England Democrats for it. I guess Mr. Bailey has no compunction about declaring on which side he is rowing the boat, though a more clever journalist usually goes farther to hide his biases.

Now check the sixth, seventh, and eighth paragraphs. Is there a better example of bad writing leading to a null declaration? For instance, the sixth paragraph seems to tell us that everyone hates George Bush, but a significant subset of that group also hates Senate Democrats (I guess House Democrats are peachy keen with this group). The seventh paragraph, however, comes up with this puzzler:

What do Obama, Howard Dean, Al Gore and Ned Lamont have that other members of their party lack? The answer — a near-bottomless supply of good will from fellow Democrats, dating back to their early, vocal opposition to the disaster that is Iraq.

Silly me, I would have guessed the answer was that three of the four lost their elections. Mr. Bailey follows-up that howler with the eighth paragraph in which he reminds us that Democrats and Republicans don’t always vote the party line. That would be news to Barack Obama (he of the nearly perfect Democrat voting record), but that is a fight that we have already lost so no sense wasting any more time there.

The rest of his screed is just banal and stupid. Again, when our descendants start researching why the mainstream media died out at the beginning of the 21st Century, they will find a lot of clues in the vapid and dull writing of one Hugh Bailey of the late, unlamented Connecticut Post.

2 Comments

  1. The “letter” is signed, “Hugh S. Bailey is assistant editorial page editor at the Connecticut Post.” Normally, I would have expected an “assistant editorial page editor” to actually be able to write, coherently and correctly.

    The late Mabel Jones, my high school journalism teacher, would have blue penciled that thing into oblivion.

    Comment by The Dana who did not get a journalism degree — 12/26/2008 @ 11:37 am

  2. I always enjoy a good fisking. (I especially enjoyed “three of the four lost their elections.”) Well done, JVW and Scott.

    Comment by DRJ — 12/26/2008 @ 2:25 pm

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