The Public Theater’s classy response to critics of its “Julius Caesar”

The Public Theater, producer of Shakespeare in the Park, justified its production of a Donald Trump-tinged Julius Caesar. Unlike its departing sponsors, Delta and Bank of America, The Public Theater defended its decision front and center on its website, and with a short speech before a performance. This is the right way to respond to an attack. … Continued

How Delta and Bank of America justified dumping Shakespeare in the Park

The Public Theater had a cool idea: stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in modern dress, with Caesar played by a Donald Trump impersonator. (Perhaps you recall that the play includes a bloody assassination.) Now Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorships, but their statements dance around their real justifications. While liberals are calling … Continued

How Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz uses words to create a biased perspective

The statement from Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s lawyer, regarding former FBI director James Comey’s testimony yesterday was, basically, “see, there’s nothing there.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post had this headline: “Comey testimony threatens to deepen political crisis engulfing White House.” The difference reveals how what you think depends on which facts and statements you want to concentrate on. As … Continued

James Comey’s statement is totally believable, but it won’t matter

In advance of his testimony before the Senate today, former FBI head James Comey released a written statement. In it, he describes his interactions with President Trump regarding the FBI’s investigations into Russian interference in the US election. The statement is vivid, consistent, and appears free from bias. Comey wrote memos after each interaction with Trump, … Continued

How my unknown wellness nonprofit scored a $100,000 grant

Tomorrow night, I’m going to be smiling ear-to-ear along with my nonprofit partners and the principals of a major foundation. We’ll be celebrating getting a $100,000 grant from The Cummings Foundation of Greater Boston. I’d like to explain how we got here, because if you’re seeking grants, our story might help you . . . and … Continued

Why I write about politics on a blog about writing

Yesterday, a commenter on this blog wrote, “I am not interested in your personal views about the President of the United States.” Why the political analysis in a blog about writing? Because my focus on clear writing and clear thinking demands that I take on whatever writing is in the public eye — and that includes … Continued

Why I wish the US had a leader like UK Prime Minister Theresa May

The leader of the UK, Theresa May, is a fearsome figure. She has a number of hateful opinions. But she also appears to be capable of logical reasoning, which makes it possible to understand her positions and argue with her. That’s not possible with the incoherent and contradictory positions that our own leader has here … Continued

Paul Romer set out to reform writing at the World Bank. He lost his job.

Paul Romer ran research for the World Bank. He took aim the bank’s impenetrable writing style, known as “Bankspeak,” asking for shorter, more pointed reports. That cost him his management position. I’ll explain what he was right about, why it didn’t work, and what it really takes to fix a writing culture like this. Romer’s objections … Continued