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Archive for June 2008

Covering Tim Russert’s death: As journalist? Or celebrity?

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On Jan. 15, Carsten Thomassen, a 38-year-old Norwegian who worked for the Oslo daily Dagbladet, died in a suicide bombing at a hotel in Kabul.

On Feb. 27, Shihab al-Tamimi, head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, died after being shot in Baghdad.

On March 29, Carlos Quispe Quispe, a Bolivian journalist for a government-run radio station, was severely beaten by protesters demanding the ouster of the local mayor and died.

On April 25, Jassim al-Batat, a correspondent at Al-Nakhil TV and Radio, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in a small town north of Basra.

On Friday, NBC News journalist and commentator Tim Russert died while doing voice-overs for his Sunday news program.

I — we— have obviously heard of Mr. Russert. But I had never heard of journalists Thomassen, al-Tamimi, Quispe, and al-Batat until I visited the Web site of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks deaths, injuries, and disappearances of journalists worldwide.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 14, 2008 at 1:01 pm

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Quotabull

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You want a dark, Goth version of Tweety Bird? Have at it.

— Lisa Gregorian, executive vice president for worldwide marketing at Warner Brothers Television, in a story about “[a]n unusually large number of classic characters for children … being freshened up and reintroduced — on store shelves, on the Internet and on television screens — as their corporate owners try to cater to parents’ nostalgia and children’s YouTube-era sensibilities”; June 11.

Your eminence, you’re looking good.

— President Bush, addressing Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican; June 13.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 13, 2008 at 2:20 pm

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Quotabull

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We were just having fun making posters. There was no time to think about what we were doing. It was a furious time, but I think most great art is created in a furious moment.

— Stanley Mouse, artistic partner of Alton Kelley; the pair created hundreds of classic psychedelic rock posters and threw “the world’s first psychedelic dance-concerts at Longshoreman’s Hall in September 1965, essentially starting the San Francisco scene”; Mr. Kelley died this week at age 67; June 3.

When it comes to issues like this, [corporations] don’t want to be anywhere near them and they will cave very, very quickly — anything to stop the pain, anything to stop the press from calling.

— Eric Dezenhall, the head of the crisis public relations firm Dezenhall Resources, on Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to remove an ad from its Web site featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray after conservative bloggers complained her scarf resembled a keffiyeh, labeling it “jihadi chic“; May 30.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

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My congressman’s ‘best’ idea: a legislative game show

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My Republican congressman, in the spirit of fully representative democracy, has discovered how to best serve his constituents: Let ’em vote on what he ought to do.

Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, R-N.Y., has sent his constituents a franked, four-color mailer announcing the “Fix Washington Project”:

Congressman Kuhl wants to hear from you. Between May 16th and July 18th, Congressman Kuhl is seeking your input and ideas regarding any federal issue. Residents of the 29th district can e-mail, call or fax their ideas to the Congressman’s office. Once all of the ideas have been submitted, five will be chosen and posted on Rep. Kuhl’s website to allow his constituents to from the list of five. The idea that gets the most votes will be introduced on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. [emphasis in original; press release]

Rep. Kuhl’s mailing says, “Now is the time to fix Washington.” Now? He’s been in office for 43 months and he’s just figured out now is the time?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm

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