Crown thy good with brotherhood

Opinion By William A. Babcock The more things change, the more they remain the same. That’s particularly true of America’s not-so-beloved song and lyrics the United States has had as its National Anthem since 1931. Francis Scott Key’s poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was set to the tune of “To Anacreon in Heaven” some 200 years ago.  …

A media holiday wish

Opinion By William A. Babcock The New York Times is to be commended for its in-depth, ongoing reporting of sex abuse. Beginning with its reporting of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults on women and following up with stories of a string of similar activities by men in high places, the Times has done a great service to…

Xi and the media: strange bedfellows

By William A. Babcock Opinion China’s 19th Party Congress has concluded. As expected, Xi Jinping was confirmed for a second five-year term. But just as his re-election was expected, China’s media coverage of the event was predictable. Not only was China Daily News’ English-language coverage of the Conference predictably positive, but all other media here,…

The Gray, Grey Lady mucks up

by William A. Babcock Media — it’s a plural. Medium is the singular. Grammar 101. Clear. Simple. No question. Unless you’re the New York Times, which inexplicably and regularly refers to “media” as a singular, as in “the media is.” That newspaper argues that usage has made it so, much in the same way the…

“Dewey Defeats Truman” – again

In the just-published, most recent print Gateway Journalism Review, my editor’s column opined it now was time, in the wake of the Cleveland Indians winning baseball’s 2016 World Series, for the media to stop using the name Indians and the team’s offensive Chief Wahoo logo. In the column I said the Cleveland Indians “might best celebrate…

RIP the Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo

A new age is dawning, clearly. The Cleveland Indians have won their third Major League Baseball World Series. First time was 1920; second time 1948. (World Series losses in 1954, 1995 and 1997 now seem but bad memories.) Time to celebrate. And the Cleveland Indians might best celebrate by turning over a new leaf and…

Killing the messenger

When a general overseeing a battle in ancient Persia was approached by a scout reporting that the conflict was going badly, the commander, in a fit of rage, killed the person who had delivered the bad news. Or at least that’s the story that’s been passed down for centuries and in recent decades has resurfaced…

Ginsburg and ethics

There’s ethics, and then there’s ethics. Ethics of the first order – legitimate ethics – have a solid philosophical basis. Ethics of the second order often have little to do with ethics, but instead are client and/or financially driven. True ethics often center on Immanual Kant’s “categorical imperative,” or duty, to be true to one’s…