• I hope Nelson Mandela is alive and healing when you read this. He’s an old man with a persistent and probably lethal lung problem born from decades in prison. His colleagues in the ANC are preparing the country for his death and the news media are full of calls for prayer, admonitions against futile hopes for recovery, and assurances that Mandela is getting the best care possib...
A press card means we’re special until we
irritate someone who can ignore it or take it away. It doesn’t matter
what level of government is involved; the power to issue a press card is
the power to withhold.
• The Enquirer’s MasonBuzz.com wasn’t honest with readers about the source of its story promoting “National Heimlich Maneuver Day.” It was posted by a reporter but carried the byline of Melinda Zemper. She’s not a reporter and she wasn’t identified as a “contributor.” Zemper is public relations professional whose clients include Hei...
Language abuse — as opposed to abusive language — is as old as language itself.
After 50-plus years of reporting and
editing, I should be used to it, but I’m increasingly irritated by its
deliberate, partisan misuse.
Intruding is something
reporters do. Intrusions can be personal, professional, financial or
commercial. Or more than one of the above. And, yes, despite
inexplicably loud cell phone conversations, awareness of omnipresent
smartphone cameras and overly revealing Facebook posts, many Americans
still assert their right to privacy.
• Some Cincinnati IRS employees violated IRS rules and maybe the law by harassing scores of Tea Party and similar conservative groups seeking vital nonprofit status. As an example of IRS intrusiveness, the Enquirer reports that the Liberty Township Tea Party received a questionnaire demanding information the IRS is not allowed to seek. “The letter was signed by a local IRS...
You want news of a real weapon of mass
destruction? Try ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in tanks in the tiny
town of West, Texas. At least 14 dead. Hundreds wounded. High school
and nursing home blitzed. Dozens of homes destroyed.
• In a disturbing decision, public radio’s Radiolab (WVXU-FM 8 p.m. Sundays) gave Cincinnatian Phil Heimlich critical control over its March 5 program on Phil’s dad, Henry Heimlich. Phil arranged the interview with the aging physician, for whom the Heimlich Maneuver is named. However, producer Pat Walters had to promise to exclude the voice of Phil’s estranged younger brother,...
• Tuesday’s Enquirer abandoned its traditional timidity and published bloody color images of victims of Boston Marathon bombings. Good. I’m sure also there were images too ghastly for the breakfast table, but the shift is welcome. The inside image of an elderly runner knocked down by the blast and framed by Boston cops running toward the explosion was another good decision. He co...