How motivational platitudes are undermining America

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More than 300,000 people follow the Twitter account Motivational Tweets. You can really appreciate the vacuity of motivational platitudes when you get them multiple times an hour, interrupted only by ads for horoscopes and diet plans. Reviewing this feed has shown me why our country is a mess. Sayings like this are a pernicious assault on reality. … Continued

What advertisers said (and didn’t say) about the now radioactive “The O’Reilly Factor”

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According to The New York Times, five women have accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment or similar behavior and received $13 million in settlements. Some “O’Reilly Factor” advertisers have pulled their advertising; others haven’t. But what these advertisers share is their mealy-mouthed, platitudinous statements. Here’s what they are actually thinking — and how they should permanently … Continued

Cision publishes the most vacuous, fluffed up press release you ever saw

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Cision, which makes tools for PR professionals, will become a $2.4 billion publicly traded company through a maneuver with a capital company. They’re holding a call to explain it Monday at 11. If you read those 31 words, you know everything you need to about this news. Press releases tend toward fluff. But this one — … Continued

The true meaning of the generalities in the Trump speech to Congress

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Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was typical of such addresses. It was unusual for Trump in that it was clear, well-structured, and got most of the facts right — but like the average State of the Union, it was a mixed bag of gritty legislative proposals and pabulum. Let’s take a look at … Continued

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: many words, hardly any meaning

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Roger Goodell gave his “State of the NFL” press conference yesterday in the run-up to Super Bowl LI. Reporters asked difficult questions, and he gave mealy answers. If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to not answer questions, this is your chance to learn a lot. I’ll translate for you. (Based on the NFL’s transcript, … Continued