Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Um, Wednesday words, take two

A couple of words that jumped out at me while listening to the radio's discussion of our current national insanity:

"Activist"--a noun that has been adjectived, always used to describe a judge whose opinions run contrary to your personal interpretation of the law on your pet issue.

"Special Interest"--any cause or party or category that is not yours.

Note that your favorite impartial jurist is someone else's activist, and that your personal favorite recipient of justified governmental beneficence is a special interest.

UPDATE 13 November...

"Objective reporting"--reporting that agrees with my editorial slant.

I was just reading my college alumni magazine.  The magazine reliably brings at least two articles worth deeply reading, which generally have some social significance; the following issues of the magazine just as reliably have at least a half-dozen letters about each article, and they will reliably represent a range of views from the farthest left to the hardest right.  The last issue had an article about the ethics of objectivity in election reporting.  The author boldly (and dubiously) argued that objectivity in political reporting should not be a goal.  This provoked strong responses from left and right, but the one that prompts this update is as follows, a representative gem from the angry right alumni of the 60's who provide much of the fill of the letters pages:

[...]it seems that responsible reporting must be editorialized.  That's probably because most of us Americans are too dumb to handle or interpret facts.
A decade or more ago I dumped Time, U.S. News and World Report and the New York Times after years of subscribing.  Now I just read the Economist.  Those silly folks report a lot of facts, and when they editorialize, they tell you.  Imagine how careless, lazy, and naive!

I snorted when I read this; I dropped my subscription to the Economist a few years ago because, while I appreciated their coverage of the world, the reportage--not the editorial writing--was shot through with a very conservative slant.  You could see this in the choice of language, choice of attention, and a general sense of tut-tutting whenever those uncivilized savages in India or Colombia did anything with the faintest odor of socialism.


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