busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, November 8, 2018

    i wrote this two years ago, it’s spooky to read it today 

    november 7, 2016

    Shout out to the journalists, particularly those on the trail who covered this insane race and who found themselves surrounded by ignorance, hate, confederate flags, and bombarded with so many lies every day it must have been tough some days to figure out which flaming bag of poop to step on.

    Shout out to the journalists who didn’t make it this far. 56 journalists around the globe were killed this year while doing their jobs.

    Most people don’t like public speaking, writing essays, doing research, or calling someone they know won’t talk to them. Journalists do all of that every day, on deadline, for far less money than you would guess. They work long hours, holidays, nights, and weekends. They are often split apart from their families and miss recitals and baseball games: all so you can be smarter than your friends.

    Oh and also, so they can make the world a better place.

    The Wells Fargo Scandal, where it was discovered that the giant bank committed enormous fraud didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Journalism exposed it.

    So when Donald Trump supporters suggest stringing up journalists for doing the unthinkable – writing down the things their candidate says into a microphone – think about the other nations who ban, kill, and imprison reporters.

    Those are the least-American places in the world… probably because there are fewer journalists around there to shine a light on it.

    If you know a journalist or run into one, hug them.

    They probably could use it.

  2. Friday, November 2, 2018

    when you let people coast, you are selling them out 

    the job of a coach, a manager, a boss, a friend

    is to push.

    there are mean ways and nice ways to push.

    not everyone responds with negative reinforcement, some people will bloom when they’re told how great they are because some people have never been told how great they are.

    or they just need it so badly. you can be that sunlight.

    other people have been stroked for so long that they might not know how dull their edge is. those people need prodding, sometimes even shoving.

    the great jockey Willie Shoemaker used to talk about “showing the whip”. his theory was any jockey can whip the crap out of a horse on the home stretch, but a wise jockey knows that the whip will only work a few times and then the horse either wont respond or it will slow down as a fuck you.

    so what Willie would do is he would show the whip by moving his whip hand really close to the horse’s eye and then giving him a quick snap where he can feel it. then through out the race, any time he wants a little more from the steed he will simply

    show the whip and see what happens.

    if the horse speeds up, perfect. thats what he wanted. that was the message and the message was received.

    when the home stretch happens, old Willie would show the whip and if the horse ignored it he would show again and smack him to remind him what the whip was all about. sometimes he would do it on the other side of the horse after showing it on that eye.

    willie won a lot of horse races.

    my favorite manager of all time was Billy Martin. he was all whip. he burned out pitching staffs, he burned bridges, he got fired 4 times from the same boss, but he won and won and won

    with style. and excitement.

    some people forget that part of some jobs is to provide a bit of a show.

    ask hunter s thompson. writers have a great opportunity to also be showmen.

    anyways because Billy didn’t understand the nuance of showing the whip, his effectiveness was only about 2-3 years and the players would realize oh this guy really isnt gonna punch me in the face, so fuck him, i wanna be traded anyways.

    my problem with many so called leaders is they’re just there for the ride. they don’t want to even show the whip. they wanna hang on for dear life and coast.

    the horse is not going to win if you just let it coast. which means you’re not going to win and the audience is ripped off from the show they paid good money for.

    the coach, the manager, and in some rare instances, the fans, are there to motivate the star to shine its brightest

    and often that comes from explosive friction.

    if you can’t handle the heat, get used to mediocrity.

  3. Thursday, April 6, 2017

    some dude tried to diss me because i blog 

    i wanted to say caucasian, please.

    theres something about me that should probably change. i get into internet fights alllll the time.

    i cant help it. people say stupid fucking shit and i  am overwhelmed with the desire to let them know that the universe (of which I am a part) heard them and disagree!

    but thats when disappointment kicks in. rarely is there an interesting back and forth. it’s always some nonsense that has nothing to do with the original point. it’s always omg youre a liberal or youre living in california or youre

    omg a blogger?!?!!

    i want to say, no i am the manager of the chicago cubs. i live in a mansion in maui surrounded by orphans and topless hula nurses. im only in california because the cubs have a perfectly good manager. and im trying to find a girl who loves me for me and not my tropical paradise

    DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS TO FIND RANDOM DUDE IN THE COMMENTS OF A FACEBOOK GROUP?

    theres this great story about these kids at a high school who work at at the school newspaper, who got a new principal. so they decided to write a little feature about her, and while they were researching her past they discovered that she had totally lied about her education. one thing led to another and the principal immediately resigned.

    how many times have i stressed the importance of teaching kids journalism and how necessary school papers are in college and high school? millions.

    not just because the kids will often get to the bottom of things, but because through journalism you learn how to write and argue like an adult.

  4. Thursday, September 29, 2016

    why journalists shouldnt worry about how many friends they have online 

    banksy

    this week i saw people who have 60,000 twitter followers who averaged 2 likes on each of their tweets

    and i saw a couple of people with 500 followers who had a tweet retweeted 8,000 times.

    there is a quiet elegance about what happens on twitter where

    you have to produce.

    just because youre someones favorite tv star or soccer player or dumbass

    people arent going to retweet you unless they love what you said and they want their friends to see it.

    thats it.

    so even if marilyn monroe was around, people might “like” a tweet she put out there, even if it was crap

    but if she totally busted with some wisdom

    or posted a picture of a particularly adorable kitten

    she’d get some damn retweets.

    journalists should worry about doing their job first and foremost.

    then they should tweet it out 3 or 4 times with a variety of super fascinating headlines.

    one of em will catch if it’s a good story.

    and guess what, if no one is retweeting your stuff,

    don’t worry about it. some people are working and dont have time for fucking twitter.

  5. Thursday, August 18, 2016

    another news site who never cared about its commenters kills comments 

    NPR commentsmy kingdom for a news outlet who would just own up to the fact that they fucking hate their commenters and thats why they are going to do the absolute worst thing to their website and kill the comments section.

    once upon a time if you wanted to express yourself to your news outlet you had to write a letter, put it in an envelope and mail it in. only the very few would see their complaint or compliment published in the newspaper or read aloud on tv.

    but then the Great Equalizer, the Internet, reared its ugly head and OMG teh Trollz pounced on ridiculous news stories and blog posts and ruined EVERYTHING.

    did the newspapers, magazines, and radio stations pay money to Community Managers who knew how to “engage” the readers and steer conversations and referee and ban people and lift people up?

    not really.

    did the newspaper implement the worst commenting systems they could possibly create or buy – systems clearly written by teenage Russians for pennies on the dollar?

    oh you’ve seen Tronc’s commenting system circa 2016?

    did NPR, who probably has the smartest, brightest, most college educated audience in all of history hire anyone to show them exactly HOW they could take that priceless audience and figure out what Digg, Reddit, Metafilter, Gothamist, Reason, every serious sports blog and gads Gawker learned long ago: that sometimes the comments are the best part.

    WHY WOULD THEY? DONT YOU KNOW, THE ON AIR PERSONALITIES ARE ALL THAT MATTER AND IF YOU UPSET THEM WITH FACT CHECKING AND CRITICISM THEN DOWN  DOWN DOWN GOES THE SHIP.

    all of these comment quitters took their cues from their high school crush, the New York Times, who never wanted online comments to exist in the first place and were quick to remove comments from delicate articles which would attract the most heated discussions. so today they figure if the Gray Lady could do it, then they could – and should – as well. but thats even more bullshit because, again, who is more educated than the regular reader of the Paper of Record?

    the catch is: who has a thinner skin than the editors and writers of the NYT who FOR SURE do not want hoards of unwashed desk jockeys telling them that they suck in between bababooeys right beneath their six month feature about the unrest in the Middle East.

    too bad, journalists. too fucking bad.

    do you think Magic Johnson looked forward to being booed in Boston and NY and Detroit and Chicago after running up and down basketball courts in those tight shorts? After years of working out and watching tape and figuring out defensive schemes? After hours of practice and conditioning, fighting through injuries and mother fucking HIV?

    the answer is YES!

    Magic Johnson absorbed the boos of tens of thousands at the Garden because Magic Johnson is a G.D professional and he knows that those people are the ones who paid for his many mansions and the best way to shut them up is to fucking rule.

    Or in the case of the ultra sensitive journalists: don’t read the damn comments.

    Or in the case of the fuckit we didnt want it anyway editors of web sites: learn how to turn those lemons into champagne.

    Reddit’s entire world is comments, why can’t you figure it the fuck out?

    Answer: because you are lazy and Web 0.2 and hate your commenters and all you really want to do is talk AT your audience, not with them, and you should really just admit it and quit being lying liars.

  6. Friday, June 3, 2016

    Tribune changes its name to tronc 

    tronc

    as you know i grew up reading the Chicago Tribune

    it’s a major reason i wanted to be a writer and go into journalism.

    never did i think that i would ever become either of those things, but it happened.

    during my time at the Tribune-owned LA Times i had lots of ideas.

    most of them were rejected either directly or indirectly by “Chicago” aka Tribune.

    little did i know that all i had to say was

    yo, you should change the name of the company to tronc.

    so the lesson i learned yesterday was

    keep being creative, keep pitching ideas, shake off the rejections

    one day they’ll say yes

    tronc yeah they will

  7. Saturday, April 30, 2016

    why this headline should say “Uber Driver’s Family Gets $500k” 

    uber driver

    Journalists aren’t the only ones who don’t know how to deal with Uber, cops need help too.

    Over the past two years that Uber has been a household word, news stories about Uber Driver This and Uber Driver That get published breathlessly every week in coverage that no other transportation sector attracts.

    No matter if the suspected criminal was actually ridesharing at the moment of the crime or not, the word Uber somehow gets popped in the headline.

    Unless something good happens, and then it miraculously disappears from the headline and the fact that ridesharing Actually was the reason something happened is the also buried into the tale.

    Look no further than this story. An Uber driver was involved in an accident in 2014 in Santa Clara. He had a dashcam. He had the damaged car towed to his cousin’s house and went home with the dashcam.

    st. claraTurns out the Uber driver didn’t own the car. The owner of the car showed up to the cousin’s house to look at the car and get the dashcam. When he was told it wasn’t in the house, the owner called the cops, who a few days later searched the house and then much later took a battering ram to the house looking for the camera.

    The cousin then sued the cops for super totally overreacting and said they did so because he was Muslim. This week the city settled with the cousin for a half million. $150k going to his lawyers and $350k going to him. Oh yeah, and he works for for the border control for Homeland Security.

    So are we to believe that cops went aggro at the residence of, basically, one of their own, because he was Muslim? In Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is home to many many peaceful and law-abiding Muslims?

    No. The cops went aggro because in 2014 Uber was new and unproven. Cops are leery and would die to be one of the first to reveal OMG video of an Uber car getting into a crash. Imagine the potential handwringing!

    So they huffed and they puffed and knocked down dude’s door. Who knows what other Uber-related incriminating evidence could be in there?

    Tell me that’s not more believable than: OMG I CANT STAND THOSE MUSLINS LETS HARASS THEM IN BROAD DAYLIGHT SURROUNDED BY ALL THEIR MUSLIN FRIENDS

    In Santa Clara? Named after a saint?

    Santa Clara’s State Rep is a Democrat who has served since 2007, its State Senator is a Democrat who replaced a previous Democrat who was termed out. Santa Clara’s US Rep is a Democrat who has served for three years who replaced a long time Democrat who had just retired.  I’m not saying a heavily Democratic area can’t have some bad cops…

    But I am saying, what is far more likely is even though technically the gentleman had the type of job that would usually shield him from such police aggression, it was probably not because of his religion that the officers were so intensely motivated, it was the evidence they were seeking, namely that it would be negative towards Uber.

    And that’s why we need Uber drivers in every newsroom.

    Or better yet, journalists to admit that they too overreact when a negative so-called Uber story appears and clam up when a positive one pops up. Or so it seems in their papers and websites.

  8. Thursday, January 14, 2016

    the starmen, theyre just like us 

    bowie

    one of the unexpectedly great parts of working at the times when i did was getting to work with sooo many talented writers and editors.

    one of the coolest was the very laid back dean kuipers, who i knew had previously worked at spin, my favorite magazine, but it wasn’t until tonight that i learned that he worked at Raygun, which for a while was the coolest mag in the world.

    naturally dean had befriended David Bowie back in the day and the pair were working on an avant garde movie(?!?!) when this fascinating exchange happened, dean writes in today’s times:

    On the second day of working together, with no one else in the room, Bowie took a long look at me and said, “Dean, do you think my work is still relevant?”

    My heart broke. He worried that his surreal vision was too obscure, his many personae too fragmented. I reassured him that when your art is one of the root references of the present, you are always relevant.

    “I wonder,” he said, unconvinced.

    so yes, even david bowie, the man we are all remembering fondly, and missing, and fawning over

    had real self doubts about the one thing he had been doing beautifully his whole life.

    im so grateful dean wrote about this today.

  9. Monday, December 7, 2015

    these were the headlines in the paper last week 

    LA Times headlinespretty dramatic

    and definitely the way a certain type of serious newspapers handles a mass shooting.

    the new york daily news’ front page has been a little more dramatic, if you can believe it

    and the new york times put a damn opinion piece about gun control on their front page.

    when i was at the LAT i was surprised at how much they looked toward NY a North Star of journalism.

    it actually turned me off. why look at someone else when you know in your heart how to do it.

    also, why look East if you’re not going to take what they’re doing to the next level.

    if anything it seemed like what the LAT did was do a watered down version of what the east coast papers did,

    and whats the value of that?

    so as dramatic as these headlines were, they were, in retrospect simply Journalism 101 compared to the advanced studies that the Daily News and NYT.

    so that makes me sad.

    at some point the LA Times will be punk rock.

    that time is not now.

    at some point the pain of the violence that has spread this country which includes Isla Vista and San Bernardino will be accurately reflected in the greatest paper west of the Mississippi

    and not just be screaming AP headlines in giant point size.

    If you’re going to write a scathing editorial deep inside the paper,

    is it really that terrible if you seriously go for it on the front page?

    This was the most shared image last week among the people i follow on Facebook

    NY Daily News

    and this is how they followed it up today

    NY Daily News

    During a time when you’re having a hard time selling newspapers, LAT,

    maybe doing the same old same old expecting different results is insane.

  10. Monday, November 16, 2015

    last night i saw “Spotlight” 

    Spotlight the Movie

    i was underwhelmed.

    it had gotten some good reviews. there were a few good performances.

    mark ruffalo was fantastic.

    the dude from Mad Men made me miss Mad Men.

    other than that there werent that many surprises because we all know what happened.

    i didnt think it was shot with much artistry.

    i may be its only current critic as it’s getting a whopping 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes

    id give it a b- or c+

    but the one really good thing about it is it shows how important long form investigative journalism is.

    newspapers continue to struggle, so i would be interested to see if television news rooms will pick up the slack and start delivering the type of scoops that newspapers have given us over the years.

    i hope so