As you read news, be hyper-aware of passive voice headlines

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The New York Times tweeted this over the weekend: At this moment in time, there are hidden stories in the choices that headline writers write. An active voice headline tells who did what. Two of these headlines are passive. A passive voice headline tells what happened, but hides the who. Minneapolis: A photographer was shot … Continued

Inside the New York Times Editorial Board presidential endorsement

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What follows is a transcript of a secret recording of the meeting last week of the New York Times Editorial Board as it discussed who it will endorse for President in 2020. Moderator: Okay, everyone, settle down. We have a momentous responsibility today. As you know, all the best people who are deciding who to … Continued

A stupid column about Jewish geniuses

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Are Jews smart? This is a really stupid question, but New York Times columnist Bret Stephens asked it anyway. His December 27 column “The Secrets of Jewish Genius” puts forth the theory that Jewish geniuses are different from other geniuses because of their Jewishness. It included a link to a racist and discredited study that … Continued

Note to FedEx: schoolyard taunts are a poor PR strategy

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On Sunday, the New York Times published a critique of the way that the shipper FedEx cut its federal tax bill to zero. Rather than defending itself, FedEx lashed out at the finances of the Times. While such tactics may be working for politicians, they’re no way for a public company to behave. Here’s the … Continued

How should the president tweet?

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Sunday’s New York Times included a fascinating print and interactive section on the president’s Twitter Feed. However you feel about this president, you must agree that his tweets have been an effective if incendiary communications tool. The next president will use Twitter, but how? Based on observing not just Trump but other politicians and authority … Continued

The New York Times colludes with Mark Zuckerberg on shameless op-ed

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Sunday’s New York Times featured an op-ed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, titled “Facebook Can Help the News Business.” It’s an outrageous ad masquerading as content — and demonstrates Zuckerberg’s arrogant attitude towards how Facebook has decimated the news business. Why is the New York Times publishing a product announcement as editorial content? The purpose … Continued

Some better questions for Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow

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The New York Times interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO of the $250 million wellness site Goop. She’s a charlatan selling snake oil, but the Times can’t decide whether to call her on it or be nice. I can. So I wrote my own interview questions. David Gelles’s interview for the “Corner Office” column highlights CEOs. Because … Continued

How not to plagiarize like Jill Abramson in “Merchants of Truth”

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Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, published a book on media called Merchants of Truth. Many passages appear to be plagiarized. I’ll explain why authors do this and how you can make sure you never do. I can already feel your outrage. Plagiarize? I would never do that! No respectable author … Continued