Journalism Reborn, On Our Own

Journalist. What does it mean? As one, I don’t know for sure. I started out thinking it was about truth, the truth we ignore because we’d rather not hear it. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, and all that jazz. But I do know the meaning of journalism has changed a lot in the last several years. For the better? I don’t know that either. Certainly not in the hands of the comfortable. I do know whatever future we have it’s likely to be on our own. Kudos to Andrew Sullivan for declaring independence. I set out on my own a while ago, haven’t regretted it. I like working for my readers, best bosses I’ve ever known.

Don’t know if this is rebirth or last breaths. We’ll see.

Good luck Andrew.

Andrew Sullivan — If this model works, we’ll have proof of principle that a small group of writers and editors can be paid directly by readers, and that an independent site, if tended to diligently, can grow an audience large enough to sustain it indefinitely.

The point of doing this as simply and as purely as possible is precisely to forge a path other smaller blogs and sites can follow. We believe in a bottom-up Internet, which allows a thousand flowers to bloom, rather than a corporate-dominated web where the promise of a free space becomes co-opted by large and powerful institutions and intrusive advertising algorithms. We want to help build a new media environment that is not solely about advertising or profit above everything, but that is dedicated first to content and quality. (And notice I’ve even finally managed to spell “advertising” right in this post.)

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138 thoughts on “Journalism Reborn, On Our Own”

  1. I wish to thank all who commented when Craig headlined my sobriety post…it means a lot to hear that many people understand this topic and support my decision that maybe I should lave the booze alone.

    A blog I go to everyday just happens to have this Andrews Sullivan topic as a thread-lede right now, a brand new thread. Nancy Nall is the long-time journo who was a bright media star in Fort Wayne, Indiana for years, and now lives near Detroit, and is a blogger and teacher these days in Detroit and Lansing. Take a look at what she writes about the Sullivan decision:

  2. Dex, glad to see you up and running. Yep I know Andrew is controversial. I agree with him about 40 percent of the time, maybe less. But I still think he has been a leader and visionary for journalists like myself who plow through the crap to make our own way, thanks to the internet.

  3. The quality of independence was almost wholly left out of the human race. The scattering exceptions to the rule only emphasize it, light it up, make it glare.

    – Mark Twain

  4. “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”
    Jonathan Swift

    Maybe this is why the dunces I know attack me: I am a genius! 😆

    I am a Time Warner subscriber and I cringed when I heard Al Gore had sold Current TV to al-Jazeera, because, well, I am a Time Warner Cable subscriber. I just KNEW TWC would never add al-Jazeera America. And in the same sentence, the newswoman said “Time Warner has already cancelled Current TV.” And…at 9:00 AM sharp , January 3, boom…gone. Bill Press had the last show I think.
    I got on the phone and ripped into the first live voice at TWC, just urging them to pass my thoughts on to the program directors. The person I talked to was more of an automaton than a human, but at least I vented. I frequently check al-Jazeera online for content, and anyway, the dish companies are going to accept the switch from Current to al-Jazeera. And so, Time Warner ruined my morning…and then I had to make three trips to two rural junk yards to find a mirror for my wife’s car, which a mall-parker in Columbus hit-and-ran and left her mirror on the ground. Who was more surly, the junk yard people or the TWC phone-contact? It was a total tie…all of them, 100 per cent a&&H0les.

  5. thought i’d see how wiki defines it:

    Journalism is the activity or product of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make public things that would otherwise be private.

  6. The internet business model is vexed indeed. I have been involved with the delivery of internet services and products since about 1992 when our computer shop began providing online services. I have seen many ideas come and go. Yahoo is a good example of a great idea that was corrupted by success and lost its way. Google and Facebook will go that way too when someone else comes up with an even better idea. Some make money, others barely subsist. Craig from Craig’s List is a good example. Wikipedia is another. Great ideas, lots of subscribers but little generated cash flow.

    So what works and generates lots of cash flow?

    Not the internet per se. It is a great store window to display goods but like a shop display, it generates little to no income. Very few people pay to see a store front and yet they are integral to the sales process.

    One of the big success stories was a small Czech anti virus software company AVG. They gave away their program to everyone and anyone who would download it. If you liked the program, you could upgrade it. If you liked their service, they could design and administer your security systems remotely from Prague. They have made a squillion through the value added services. They had a good product which proved invaluable to the needs of business. They show cased it through a brilliant marketing campaign and ripped all the market from Norton.

    Similarly and Estonian company produced the amazing product called Skype. Free to everyone. This company sells telephony services but showcases its product through free give aways and a free Skype to Skype contact service. The down side of VOIP is the explosion of Indian Call Centres who ring us at all times of the day.

    How does this relate to journalism?

    Every way and all ways.

    The blog is not the source of the income and never will be regardless of all the good will in the world of the subscribers. Any business plan based upon subscribers is one which has little chance of success. I have seen better and comprehensive products produced online with the owners gasping for cash in short order. It just never has and never will generate sufficient cash flow to survive as a business.

    But it does show case the ability of the principals in the business. From this, with an aggressive marketing campaign as providing reliable information resources to government agencies, politicians, think tanks, lobbyists and the like, that is where the dollars lie for suitable cash flow. An interactive blog is a great place to market test information and extract critiques of that information and thus refine the value added product. This is not to suggest a cynical manipulation of the members because they will soon suss this out but an honest exposure of an argument to an unrestrained audience who has no vested interest in the commercial outcome of the thesis. Honest and reliable information is what people cry out most for so they can make good decisions in their lives.

    And so we come to this particular site.

    Craig has created a media persona for himself as reliable and honest in his mission. I think they call that “street cred”, which is a commodity with a high good will element. This is an economically tradable commodity in the markets mentioned above.

    I wish Andrew Sullivan well but I suspect his business plan, as laid out above, can only be sustained if he is independently wealthy.

    Anyway, that is my two quids worth on the subject. Shan’t say anymore.



  7. I’m waiting to hear from my son, in west Texas. He reads Andrew religiously, and I assume he’ll kick in a little extra. Twenty bucks sounds reasonable, but I’m reminded of an elderly woman’s comment in a small town where I used to live, “Hookers couldn’t make any money around here. There are too many people giving it away.”

  8. Oh, to be further along in p/t and able to sit on a plane.
    Alas, I’m just not there yet.
    Put me down for your 10th anniversary party instead. :)

  9. Journalism will transform itself, once again, in ways we can not yet imagine.

  10. I know that from time to time I sound like the old guy in the corner who is continually shouting, “I don’t do change well.” What can I say, I’m a bit of a traditionalist.

    What I do find comforting about this new type of journalism, is it’s ability to take those important stories that were usually buried in the back pages of news papers, written and researched by really competent and thoughtful people, and move them to the cyber front page, above the fold.

    Traditional media, for reasons known only to themselves still cover events, simply as events, mostly devoid of either causes or ramifications.Left to them our knowledge of these events, would include , when they happened and how many people were killed, and very little more.
    Fracking, climate change, BP oil spills,
    the Koch brothers, voter suppression legislation, the list is endless, all needed a new type of journalism in order to flesh out and give life to the stories. Traditional news sources either could not or in many cases would not tell the story.

    If we as consumers of news and opinion, have to pay or donate to have these options then it is money well spent, and if the need for advertisers is such that their presence on the screen will continue to ensure access to the types of news and opinions that we seek then it is a small price to pay.

    Besides, where else can your letter to the editor, be submitted and published in the same day? 😉

  11. Journalist. What does it mean?

    I don’t think it means sitting on the computer, opining. A journalist should be out on the streets, digging and skulking.

  12. Well, yes, and that could be done at home, with a cigarette, in a darkened room with the shades drawn, the steady rain beating against the window panes like a soft drumbeat, the sounds of a saxophone echoing slightly in the still, musty air, a loaded .45 on the desk for a writing partner, the only real company you’ve had in a long time, at least the only company you could trust…

    Wait, maybe I was thinking of “gumshoe”. I suppose a journalist could just sit at home.

  13. Fine, I can’t wait here all morning waiting for someone to post the final scene from “Chinatown”. A good day to all you independent peoples.

  14. Newt should be feeling pretty good right now, we’re headed towards 2.50 per gallon. 😉

  15. “‘Middle Ground with Craig Crawford: a career journalist skulks about middle America, digging for the issues that matter to everyday citizens. Only on the ‘Crawford News Network'”

    …might have to clear that last part with Legal.

  16. I LOVE blogging… however, I agree with Champ. I don’t consider what’s happening here as “journalism”. IMO… it is opinion. Nothing wrong with that. But things such as Deep Throat and the 47% video were brought to us via traditional outlets. And IMO, we still need them.

    As for actually making a living as an independent blogger… I don’t see it either. It’s extremely hard to make money as an independent craftsperson. That’s why I joined my guild. It’s been my experience that having an organization that is promoting you is worth every penny and/or inconvenience.

    just my 2 cents…

  17. Got a call from the doctor, the good news is I get to keep my kidney, The bad news is it isn’t much of a kidney anymore so I really only have one kidney now.

    And from the life in the modern world column, I blew through my $3000 deductible about 2 hrs into the new year with the test that gave me all that information.


  18. wiki’s take:

    Journalism is the activity or product of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make public things that would otherwise be private.

  19. I recall seeing PJ O’Rourke on Bill Maher last year expounding on how much he hated the internet because it had made people used to getting the written word for free.

    I’m not sure what the answer to that is. I know I did it. I was reading the Boston Globe sports section for free, and when they started to charge, I went over to

  20. more wiki:

    A journalist collects, writes and distributes news and other information. A journalist’s work is referred to as journalism.

    A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, and reports information to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, and make reports. The information-gathering part of a journalist’s job is sometimes called “reporting,” in contrast to the production part of the job such as writing articles. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom and going out to witness events or interview people. Reporters may be assigned a specific beat or area of coverage.

    Depending on the context, the term journalist may include various types of editors, editorial writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).

  21. nice breakdown here, from text for elementary school students:

    Journalism comes in several different forms:

    I. News
    A. Breaking news: Telling about an event as it happens.
    B. Feature stories: A detailed look at something interesting that’s not breaking news.
    C. Enterprise or Investigative stories: Stories that uncover information that few people knew.

    II. Opinion
    A. Editorials: Unsigned articles that express a publication’s opinion.
    B. Columns: Signed articles that express the writer’s reporting and his conclusions.
    C. Reviews: Such as concert, restaurant or movie reviews.

    Online, journalism can come in the forms listed above, as well as:

    Blogs: Online diaries kept by individuals or small groups.

    Discussion boards: Online question and answer pages where anyone can participate.

    Wikis: Articles that any reader can add to or change.

    The best journalism is easy to read, and just sounds like a nice, smart person telling you something interesting.

  22. I don’t know how much I’ve fed TM over the past year. This I’m certain, it’s a helluva lot more than $19.95, and I still feel guilty that I haven’t chipped in enough.

    Along with the monetary contributions, I’ve tried to be supportive of everyone’s well reasoned thought–even if I don’t come to the same conclusions.

    I’m always happy when Ping and Jax show up; they give me needed reality checks. Besides, they’re nice fellers.

    And, goodness knows, one stretch of CBob’s free thought is worth 8-inches of interminable quoting from an external source.

    And how could I open my eyes in the morning without coffee and some of Sturgeon’s doggerel?

    I sense post-election that we’ve become much more judgmental of Mr Obama’s perceived inability/unwillingness to seize the mace that his victory provided him. Surely he should have taken that mace and smote the shit out of every Republican in sight. Right?

    Well, in our dreams. The several of us here who have been elected to public office know that is not the way it works. At least if you’re an honest-to-God-Democrat.

  23. Wondering out loud here.

    Perhaps it is best that we not get to hung up on definitions. Journalist, journalism, reporter and the like. Too much overlapping.

    One of my favorite journalists of all time was Winston Churchill. He was an excellent journalist/historian. To be sure he was probably not an unbiased reporter, but he told an important story as he saw it.
    It appeals to me personally because it it comports with my view of the history of the time. Others will find it not to be so good.
    So probably I will continue on like most, seeking the news and opinion that appeals to me on some level. The internet has provided a limitless number of choices in that regard.

    I may not be entitled to my own facts, but I am entitled to have those facts presented in a way that is most suitable to me. As is everyone else. 😉

  24. The best newspaper that I read is the Journal. I’ll continue supporting it as well as my local Rag.

  25. First on Sullivan, I wish him well. I won’t be one supporting him as I long ago found him to be limited and shallow with a great propensity to get lost out in the weeds. From which he returns apologizes, asks for forgiveness and assures his readers he will never get that lost again. Then turns around and starts wondering off again. So I soon just got bored and haven’t read him in years. But he has his supporters and he may make money at it but I suspect he will get bogged down in the business end and his writing will suffer.


  26. Jace,

    When was he a journalist? As a correspondent in the Boer War? Did that teach him so much about journalism as war?

    I think the latter.

    My memory is foggy. In the period leading up to WW-2, weren’t is relations with Lord Beaverbrook somewhat strained? Or am I all wet on that.

    Churchill, of course, is one of my heroes. I wonder how he would have turned out had his mother been British?

  27. I think that blogs have provided us with an opportunity to tilt at windmills when we feel the need. It is a worthwhile endeavor.

    Craig has provided us a fantastic arena for such combat, and for better or worse, society has provided us with a ‘windmill rich’ environment. :smile:

  28. Jace… good advice not getting hung up on definitions. The definition of journalism seems to be very broad.

    Flatus… I remember many moons ago a certain faction in town getting one of it’s members elected to the local school board. This fella was going to cut costs, change the curriculum, and clean up all and every mess the other board members had ever made of education. Once he took office, he found out how hard it was to actually govern. I mean, like… there were actual laws and statues all board members had to follow.
    I was at the table behind him in the local cafe as he was trying to explain things to some who had worked to get him elected. Needless to say, he was on the board for only one term.

  29. Jack, I’m glad you’re on the mend!

    My brother, who died yesterday of heart disease, was born with one kidney. He lived a long life. So, the moral of that is, take care of the good one you have! :)

  30. Several threads ago, B.I.Dallas posted this re Al Jazeera buying Current:

    …Al Jazeera would open more bureaus and would double its U.S.-based staff to more than 300 employees.

    Faux Noise must love this story; it gives them something to stir up paranoia in their demo, which will keep them glued to their TVs.”

    It’s not well known, but Faux Noise’s parent, NewsCrap, is controlled by the saudi royal family, Prince alaweed ibn talal being their front man. The murdurous murdochs and jolly roger ailes merely manage the infomercial empire for the saudis. This makes Fakes News the first Arab & Muslim propaganda outlet in the USA. If Fogs wants to attack Al Jazeera, they’ll have to risk being revealed and reviled as foreign agents themselves.

  31. these days anybody with a smart phone can be a journalist

    Craig… thanks for that… reading some of those definitions you gave made me think… “Ha! I could start a blog and call myself a journalist”. As always… thanks for the interesting and thoughtful discussions you give us.

  32. I think a great number of people are missing the real value of the internet. It is a great way to turn dimes into dollars.

    I read the article, not the publication. As I currently read it would be prohibitive for me to subscribe to all the different publications. But I would pay a fee to a good aggregator of articles who in turn would pass on a fee for those articles I use. That is the current way I find most of my stuff on the internet.
    I think there is a good business model to be had there

    This place is like a coffeeshop where the patrons set around and gossip and swill coffee. Most coffee shops in real life don’t make any money of the coffee drinkers. So to here. I’m not sure you can make much money on a virtual one either. Most places like this seem to be a sideline for other business.


  33. Flatus,

    You are correct, he was never a ‘journalist’ in the sense we now use the word. His relationship with Lord Beaverbrook was indeed strained, and I don’t think that the fences were ever completely mended.

    That said his writing of history as he saw it and based on either his recollections and or notes of events, resulted in an excellent if occasionally self serving commentary of those events. In that regard I think that he might well be referred to as a journalist. His writing skills didn’t hurt either. 😉

    Like you, he has been and remains one of my historical heroes, warts and all. :smile:

  34. Flatus,

    I just ran right past your 12:02 earlier.
    Sorry to hear about your brother.
    My condolences.

    Was this unexpected?


  35. Flatus… I am so sorry about your brother… you have had too much heartache the last several years, my friend… please take care.

  36. No, Jace, he was on borrowed time. He opted for a series of heroic surgeries in October with a touch-and-go recovery. He never returned ‘home’.

    I think he achieved his goal in prolonging his life in that he was able to reunite all his children who had drifted apart over the years. Beyond that, the extraordinary care he received was, IMO, futile.

  37. Cbob- You might be hearing from a friend of mine soon- she makes sea salt and being a solar dried purist production stops in the winter. Sent her your way – thought Maria would help her with small batches and that you would know best if it is possible to make a larger oven. She is very cool- you will like her.

  38. Flatus–
    “So, the moral of that is, take care of the good one you have!”

    Yep, that is what the doc said we are going to do.
    He is a great Doc, didn’t trip one of my BS meters, as far too many of them seem to do

    He does look really young and comes off as really smart. The great thing is he listens and asks questions.


  39. “I think he achieved his goal in prolonging his life in that he was able to reunite all his children who had drifted apart over the years.”

    Perhaps then it was worth it to your brother. Who can say?

    My greatest fear is that when my time comes, all the loud protestations I have made to the contrary will go right out the window,and that I will hang on for all I am worth, even though I know or knew better.

    Be well and take care.


  40. in my thinking and reading today on journalism future, came across this Einstein quote: “Information is not knowledge”

    Had never pondered that distinction, and it’s a big one — reporting the facts is important, but getting from there to knowledge is the real challenge

  41. Skulking, meaning to shirk from a duty, or hide out in a cowardly fashion?

    I don’t think so.

    Perhaps one means hack, as in “fogs news hacked the phones of the FBI agents investigating the murdochs.”

  42. Jace,
    Every time I have a general anesthesia, before I go under, I, one more time, brief everyone in the suite my desires, where the documents in which those desires are memorialized reside, and what will happen if my wishes are not carried out.

    They express thanks at my clarity and thoughtfulness in relieving them of the responsibility of having to guess as to my intentions.

    Likewise, I have told Toots, “Don’t you dare substitute your judgment for mine on end-of-life matters so far as they pertain to me.”

    She was disappointed that I didn’t talk Kumcho into having another round of open heart surgery.

    I could have coerced her into having the surgery, but she would have hated me for having done that. That’s no way to end a love affair.

  43. Data is not the same as information.

    Information is not the same as knowledge.

    Data is not the same as knowledge.


  44. Flatus, sorry to hear about your brother, but happy to hear you think he achieved the goal of getting his family back together. Sounds like he chose his time and went when it arrived. Not a bad way to go.

  45. Flatus,

    Thank you, I am defiantly going to consign those wishes to paper.
    Cheryl and I have had this discussion but that is as far as it ever went.

  46. Craig

    That’s a key element of the intelligence mission–gathering tidbits of information from all sources and fusing it into meaningful knowledge.

    That’s why I so dislike what is happening now; there is no transparency in the fusion process. Just because 10,000 bloggers post an item based on the same juicy tidbit doesn’t add any credibility to the substance of the original tidbit because only 5 of the bloggers bothered to identify the original source.

  47. Well, it’s 3:25 PM. Might as well take my morning shower and get dressed and get ready for dinner.

  48. Addison and Steele are long dead. So are Nellie Bly, Nat S. Finney, and Edward R.Murrow.

    We seem to be left with newsmax, ‘human’ events, the weasely standard, beck, the mclaughlin geriatrics, and faux.

    However, there is still The Court Circular. Therefore accurate, if selective, journalism abides in this world.

    To get fair and balanced view, always follow your perusal of The Court Circular with a perusal of Trail Mix.

  49. jace 01/04/2013 at 11:40 AM

    Churchill … told an important story as he saw it.

    I suppose it is easy to say this if you never had to live with the consequences of the incoherent propaganda which you describe as an “important story”. In Oz, he is seen in a remarkably different light.

    By default he created the circumstance of the Anzac Legend and Australian sense of nation through the Gallipoli invasion. 25 April is an annual Australian and New Zealand national day of mourning whose origin is laid directly at the feet of Churchill. 2 March is an annual Turkish Victory and day of mourning day for the same reason. The deaths of 200,000 men plus the maiming of a further 500,000 can be laid directly at his feet in 1915.

    And from that, General Hunter-Weston became the model for Colonel Blimp.

    During WW2 while Churchill was giving all his valiant speeches that inspired the Americans, Australian and New Zealand troops were used to shore up British needs rather than protect the nation from the Japanese. Australia was pretty well defenceless when the Japanese came on their advance. We were basically abandoned by Britain, and “btw, thanks for you 100,000 troops. Write to you real soon.” Our PM, John Curtin, a fellow Sandgroper, basically ordered these troops home. Sadly 10,000 were lost in Singapore.

    And who defended Oz in those dark hours?

    Our good friends the Americans with the aircraft carriers that were not destroyed at Pearl Harbour. And then, a Brigade of “Dad’s Army” soldiers who were sacrificed on the Kokoda Trail to hold back the Japanese invasion while our soldiers dribbled back to Oz, retained and re-equipped for jungle warfare.

    We have never forgotten our US friends. Regardless of our feelings of the merits surrounding a conflict, we have stood shoulder to shoulder. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Cyprus. Iraq 1 and 2. Afghanistan. And these are just the well known.

    Churchillian propaganda cost our nation dearly. In contrast, despite all the ructions that go on in the US, there is a belief that an open society will always allow the truth to percolate to the surface, and we are proud to be called friends knowing that our friendship is based upon mutual respect. As a nation, we have done very well with this ideal.

    Apart from a few historians and nostalgic Brits in Oz, Churchill is not thought of in any glowing terms. Respected may be but not embraced.



  50. There was a commentary on Charlie Rose last night about Social Media that people tweet, circulate, share etc. that eventually the medium form of journalism will disappear. People are already starting to ask for depth and accuracy, but they like the immediacy of news and information. End result: Tweet “It’s Happening” whatever “it” is and then go read the links that tell you the old journalistic standard of who, what, where, when, and why.

  51. Wikipedia does an NPR type fundraiser at regular intervals with a banner at the top of the page. I always toss in $10 every time that happens. If the readership here increases, that could well happen here. I try to tweet the link daily if only to draw in as many new people as possible even if they don’t comment (Shout out to lurkers – almost none of us bite).

  52. This is my first post from the shiny new iMac Rick bought me for Xmas. Apple put most of it’s production into the mini iPad and new iPhone. They were surprised at the number who still wanted a desktop… so I had to wait while they produced more to fulfill all the Xmas orders. It arrived this morning.

    CBob… I wish that you, most of all, could see this incredible machine.

    ps… this is now the first site in my new bookmarks…

  53. I need to read up on Gallipoli again but last time I was reading about it I do remember thinking I wanted to remember to have some reservations about the honor and wisdom of churchill .

  54. Traditional left or right outlook newspapers are a thing of the past. It made sense when most cities had at least two newspapers and readers could get both sides of every issue. But it hasn’t been that way in years. First the swallowing of smaller newspapers by media companies, and then swallowed again into HUGE companies that own newspaper, tv stations, radio stations, and internet access companies. They control the media and therefore control knowledge. Those low-info Fox viewers are reading low-info newspapers, going to low-info websites. It’s frightening.

    BUT — on to better things! I am more than willing to donate to a good cause (Craig’s particularly!). Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2013 brings many good things, particularly a lovely wedding in Washington! Oh, I too got a lovely new machine, but mine’s a Toshiba. It zips like a Formula 1 car, and I’m very happy. Congrats, RR!

    I shall link to your site every day, Craig. We have the best online community!

  55. Bill
    It was our great privilege to come to the defense of the Kingdom of Oz. And we continue enjoying the privilege of serving ‘shoulder to shoulder’ around the world. May we never take that privilege for granted.

    Americans’ knowledge/involvement with Churchill begins in the years immediately before our entry into WW-2.

    In that period, it was his rhetoric that resulted in our furnishing the Brits war materiel under the so-called Lend-Lease program.

    And, he helped us view the Nazis for who they were so that when war was declared, we were motivated to enter with maximum effort.

    Without his voice, we would not have been able to fight from the British Isles; they would have been defended by the Luftwaffe.

    Concurrently, we were faced with retrograde operations in the Philippines and our wonderful Pacific islands. Fortunately, MacArthur was able to get some troops to Australia, but many others were lost.

    Even while we were trying to reconstitute what was left of our Pacific Fleet, we were training Doolittle’s Raiders. (Damn, he was a little firecracker!)

    I bet it gave you folks Down-Under a lift when the news of the raid arrived!

    Please understand, it was Churchill’s voice that helped keep our merchant marine convoys sailing through the U-Boat infested waters, and our arms factories working around the clock seven days a week.

    Harbor this as satisfaction: As victory was certain, the Blokes sent him packing to Chartwell. :)

  56. Oh my, sorry I missed the post. So sorry to hear of your brother’s passing, Flatus. May he rest in peace and may Light Perpetual shine upon him.

    I’ve caught up on Dexter’s post as well. Brave man!

  57. one of my first memories from the television (early fifties) was someone doing an impression of churchill’s voice. Don’t remember the circumstances and was too young to know whose voice it was or what it was saying, but that voice registered. I remembered the voice long enough until I eventually came across whose voice it was, what was being said, and about what. Came to read a few of his books (he always came off pretty well in his books, you could depend on that). So that was my impression of him until I came across a cursory and fleeting introduction to the gallipoli thing. and then from the movie which i didn’t pay much attention to at the time I remember the broke-leg asses in the water. So since then I’ve been meaning to look into it deeper some, but haven’t yet. Flatus is correct about his contribution to the outcome of WWII, and I guess lots of things happen when one is younger and these things should not necessarily be considered the full measure.

    Still, I mean to look into it some.

  58. Bill,
    Great post on how Churchill is viewed in Australia. Your sentiment is shared by many. My father loathed him because of Gallipoli. But Dad also knew Britain would have fallen during WWII without Churchill. This is the love/hate relationship many have with the man.
    Many of the right people at the right time were total bastards. The historical luck of the draw is having the better bastard than the other side. It took a Churchill to stand against a Hitler. Thank goodness for that.

  59. Jamie 01/04/2013 at 4:16 PM

    Thanks for that … hard to hear the song with a dry eye.

    Written by Eric Bogle, a Pom, and yet it encapsulated the Anzac tradition. The historical lyrics are inaccurate but the sentiment cuts to the core.

    Eg: “They gave us a tin hat” – the Brodie was not introduced until April 1916, well and truly after Gallipoli.

    “Suvla Bay” – no Australians were at Suvla Bay during the British landings of August 1915.

    The clip itself introduces the song with the words: “… remember the 50,000 Australian soldiers who died in the Battle of Gallipoli against Turkish Troops during World War 1″. Not quite sure where this came from. Over 8,000 Australians died at Gallipoli but 61,000 died during the Great War. More soldiers under the French flag (they were French colonial troops from Senegal, Morocco, Algeria etc rather than from France) died at Gallipoli than those from the British Empire – 36,000 British origin troops as opposed to 40,000 French. The Turks count some 84,000 KIA.

    For those interested in seeing the film clips of Australian troops at Gallipoli, at the request of some Turkish historian friends, I have uploaded Ashmeed-Bartlett’s movie on Youtube. There are four clips in this series.


  60. US – Australian relations.

    As two nations, we found each other with common interests in 1908. Same fears and same interests.

    In that year, the Naval visit to Melbourne and Sydney was a big impact which was well celebrated. We also gained quite a few new Australian citizens of American origin – although not necessarily with the agreement of the USN. 😆

    Personally, I think it has been a great relationship and long may it stay that way.

    Just occasionally we have to prod Washington to let everyone know that we are here.

  61. Journalism utilises the same tools as jurists. Indeed, the two rely solely upon the veracity of evidence. I have a great belief that Journalists should be completely familiar with “Cross on Evidence” as part of their training. I studied evidence under Justice Wells of the South Australian Supreme Court. Judicial review coupled with Cross provides a clear notion of evidence and the weight given to that evidence for consideration in producing a report.

    For those who want to see “Cross on Evidence” in daily action, sit down and watch a season of Judge Judy. She is a brilliant jurist and has probably one of the keenest abilities to apply Cross in real, live circumstances. Journalists can learn much from this woman regarding sources.

    This understanding of sources allows us to discern between the crap poured out by thousands of wanna be, blog (muppet) journalists to those with actual ability. And the key to good journalism is quality sources.

    Matt Drudge reports hearsay. Total waste of space apart from its pornography of titillation.

    The ability to get sources to reveal information of their own knowledge and then cross reference that evidence with other sources to ascertain veracity is an important skill. Those who do it well prosper.

    The rest is all commentary.

    Understand this and you have acquired your degree in Journalism.

  62. And now you know why I met Mr. Woerlee as he corrected me on all things Australia about the film Australia and certain characters in and around WW I & II. You really should visit his site of unbelievable font of information. Australian Light Horse Studies

  63. such a captivating thread today, what a delightful bunch of eclectic eccentrics we are. the Churchill discussion really interesting

    but Flatus let me add my good wishes, just can’t fathom all the loss you have too recently experienced. luv ya

  64. And I didn’t even mention my sister who died in Vermont scarcely a month after Kumcho. I figured enough was enough.

  65. Bill Woerlee,

    Did not mean to resurrect bad memories, and I am aware of Churchill’s shortcomings, especially as they pertain to Gallipoli. It was the memory of that episode that caused many in England to be very reluctant to entrust him with the reigns of power in 1940.

    I am just now reading about another great man who had more than his share of warts and played a role in the deaths of countless thousands of men, his name was Abraham Lincoln.
    I revere him as well. 😉

  66. Why Susan Rice, why Chuck Hagel?

    For a guy that doesn’t much care to fight, Obama sure picks a lot of them. 😕

  67. Flatus 01/04/2013 at 5:08 PM:

    I bet it gave you folks Down-Under a lift when the news of the raid arrived!

    You betcha!


    jace 01/04/2013 at 7:22 PM

    Did not mean to resurrect bad memories …

    It’s just history mate and a particular historical view point. No personal feelings one way or t’other.

    As for Lincoln, I am reminded by the iconoclastic comment by my hero Tom Lehrer: “Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

  68. “As for Lincoln, I am reminded by the iconoclastic comment by my hero Tom Lehrer: “Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?“

    Bill Woerlee,
    I had forgotten that. LOL

    Beer on screen, Good on you. 😆

  69. Journalism Reborn,…….

    It seems Andrew Sullivan was never a page in the US Senate , he was an outside set of eyeballs.

    Writing #101 –
    Write about what you know.

    What I know –
    Shell Oil has drilling rig on a beach in Alaska, they were moving it to avoid state taxes.

    While the river appears to be shrinking faster than some expected, some short-term rain is in the forecast – which could delay a potential shutdown. But many are expecting an eventual halt to shipping soon. “There’s a very real risk of a shutdown for six to eight weeks,” Fruin says.

    Read more:

    (Reuters) – Brazil’s Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural frontiers.

    Lack of rain has hurt corn and cotton crops, left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures and wiped some 30 percent off sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil’s cane output.

    Thousands of subsistence farmers have seen their livelihoods wither away in recent months as animal carcasses lie abandoned in some areas that have seen almost no rain in two years.

  70. Craig –
    You could come stay with all of us. Not forever, but as a writing project.

    That would be real slick.

    Over time, ………… not an ABC event. Start with Sturg , go spend 3 or 4 days , then go see Old Sea. We’ll all put you up and feed you.

    “Meeting the People We’ll Never Meet”. …….. 8 Years of Social Media
    Better book title that one about a 400 year-old dead Italian.

  71. Reality Quibbles

    1. Ozzies couldn’t have stood beside us in Cypress against the Greek terrorists cuz we weren’t there.

    2. Ozzies might not have wanted to get into WWII to rescue the Pommies, but after 12/7/41 (7/12/41) and the loss of Ozzie citizens and Ozzie ships and other property in Philippines, Malaya, and HongKong, neutrality would have remained impossible.

    Canadian PM Mackenzie King wired PM Neville Chamberlain that Canada would not go to war unless the British homeland was attacked. Despite that the Canadian Parliament voted for war six days after the British Parliament had.

    I presume Oz would have responded to the King’s Address in the same way.

    3. Re macarthur : If he’d tended to business in 1941, instead of wasting time in S&M sessions with Philippine prostitutes, he could have put together a formidable defense against Japanese attack. IMO, macarthur should either have been put in charge of ROTC as a Colonel or cashiered. One or the other. IMO.

  72. Jack,

    I am sorry about your busted kidney, and hope that your good kidney stays good.

  73. Flatus,

    I am sorry about the deaths of your brother and sister.

    I am glad you have Toots and Adam. Everyone should have a Toots and an Adam.

  74. Andrew Sullivan:

    “The View from your window”

    I never made that file, and the best thing about his work.

  75. Andrew Sullivan:

    “The View from your window”

    I never made that file, dead pecan trees and track housing in Lubbock, are not the Isle of Malta.

  76. Einstein quote: “Information is not knowledge”

    Craig, he also said: ““Imagination is more important than knowledge”

    Is it the journalist’s job to report ‘all’ the facts and the readers job to interpret them? It seems like facts should also include varying expert opinions (although not necessarily). That would probably require investigation.

  77. Heyyy if he’s going up to the Cape he might as well keep coming north to Montreal! ooh lala!

  78. Bill, you said “Matt Drudge reports hearsay”. I don’t think he reports it so much as ‘links’ it (and therefore always credits the source). The benefit in that, as I see it, is that you get to quickly review many other points of view. I normally get all the info. I need just from the headings and I do find them humorous most of the time. Have to admit it does have a tabloid feel to it, but think that’s what’s made it so popular.

    I think he’s been very successful financially, but I don’t know for sure.

  79. Heyyy if he’s going up to the Cape he might as well keep coming north to Montreal!

    Wait till he gets to Renee’s spare room , and hunting Moose in Maine, CT’s fish camp, Rez Dog’s house.
    Wait till he gets to Lubbock, and I pass him off to the West.

  80. Chloe:

    I don’t think he reports it so much as ‘links’ it” – and that is hearsay.

    … and therefore always credits the source…” else it would be outright plagiarism.

    Drudge made his bones through Monica Lewinski and now earns his cash through value added services to the media and other people who want to pay him for his work or (gasp) opinions. 😉

  81. I tried AVG years ago, because it was free, but never found it to be very effective.

    Microsoft puts out a very effective virus protection program called: Microsoft Security Essentials and it’s free. Only makes sense that they should offer something free, since it’s basically their problem that their programs are being hacked.

    Before it was called “Windows Security Essentials”.

  82. “Drudge earns his cash through value added services to the media and other people who want to pay him for his work or (gasp) opinions.”

    I agree Bill, but weren’t we talking about ways of making money on internet reporting. I’ve even seen fiction political movies where the political operatives ask: “..Has Drudge gotten ahold of the story yet?!!”

    Even Craig is linked from Drudge.

  83. It’s not a bad idea folks.
    We pass Craig and David across the country. House to house. If they ever make it here, I can drive them to Blonde Wino in New Mexico.

    Maybe we get the Daily Beast to pay for fuel between towns.

  84. “… and therefore always credits the source…” else it would be outright plagiarism.

    Of course, but I thought I read in some of the comments that many sites were reporting other peoples stories as though they were fact. I hear it all the time.

    Isn’t that outright plagiarism. There’s no way to link and not credit the source.

  85. You’ve got to admit his headlines (with the accompanying picture) are often downright hilarious.

    I’m not trying to say he’s credible, but he manages to get an unbelievable amount of hits.

  86. Ya know, back when I went to J-school, we were taught all kinds of things, like principles of Journalism, ethics, political science, sociology, geography, humanities (in my case it was world religions), I wonder if students are still taught those things?

  87. Craig –
    It’s not a stupid idea , everybody here loves you guys. And we just sign up to host our part of the tour. I have a 3 bedroom house, and I sleep in front of the TV.
    We all have a spare room. And we all cook.

  88. Tylenol, I think they probably are taught those things. I know most here were talking about Journalism, and trying to figure out what exactly the new expectations are, or at least how to make money from their efforts.

    I think the best way to do that is to look at the most successful money making news reporting sites on the internet today.

    A good source of attention grabbing, well written journalistic pieces is the New York times. The best of their work can grab you in the first paragraph. But I’m not taking about the opinion pages.

    The Wall Street Journal is another source, imo.

  89. Flatus, I’ve been away from my computer all day, and have been trying to catch up.

    I am so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your brother and your sister. It’s hard for me to even imaging how you dealt with so much loss, and all in such a short period of time.

    I love you too, as the others all do.

  90. ““I don’t think he reports it so much as ‘links’ it” — and that is hearsay.”

    Bill, you know I love ya, but I rarely hear the idea of “hearsay’ except in a court of law. And that is usually decided by a judge. When we’re talking about ways of making a profit while doing what we love, then we have to talk about what works.

  91. “I blew through my $3000 deductible about 2 hrs into the new year”

    Jack, the upside of that is that the rest of the year should be free. When that happens, it’s good to go out and have every test possible done before your new deductible starts next year. When you mention your plan to do this to your doctors, they seem anxious and willing to help you accomplish that. Then, maybe next year will be free. I’ve done that before, and was able to not go to the doctor at all the following year. They’ll even write you a years worth of prescriptions (if you have any) during the last month of your current year, before your deduction resets. Works like a charm.

    I, too, am sorry about your kidney problems. Has the doctor reassured you that your other kidney is doing fine?

  92. Chloe, I hear you and understand what you are saying. All of what you say is correct regarding Drudge.

    My thoughts were this: if you want to make your name as a respected journalist with gravitas and be paid accordingly, then you need to fundamentally understand the concept of evidence.

    The comment about Drudge was to illustrate the worst sort of “journalism”. Entertaining he is, but credible, no. He is not credible because he is a link muppet – links appear because someone said something and he is repeating it. There is no investigation as to the veracity of the story that lays behind the link. Hence, his links are only hearsay.

    When we talk of making a living from the internet, there is no problem making good money as a muppet. Lots of people do it. Link farming is a profitable enterprise in which many old hands have earned considerable sums.

    If we are talking specifically about Craig, I do not believe that you are suggesting he runs a site like Matt Drudge. But we are talking about a market position which comes through gravitas and reliability. That is also a situation where value added services of a similar tone will earn cashflow. But it won’t be from the web site, it will be through rl, face to face contracts. They may originate as a consequence of the website but they will be in addition and not because.

    Chloe, one of my professors – probably the one filled with the most common sense – said to me that “if you cannot express an idea in a hundred words or less, it means you haven’t understood it”.

    I hope my comments reflect this mantra. :smile:

  93. The reason a “honeymoon” is called a honey moon is because it is the month when a newly married couple traveled from relative to friend and back again visiting all who loved. them. Seems like Craig and David have their travels all planned above.

    Afraid all Tacoma can offer is a rather nice glass museum but Seattle and Pike’s Place market is just up the road. Can I interest you in a salmon?

  94. Craig, there’s no p’litic’l aroma
    If you visit Jamie in T’coma
    No fisc’l cliff to mess yer head
    Jus’ hot tucker an’ a soft bed.


  95. Yes, Cyprus. (blush)

    We weren’t there, although henry kissinger, our Crackpot of State, bloviated about it. US airmen, soldiers, marines, and sailors remained in Greece and Turkey, ready to help thwart the ever-imminent Commie invasion.

  96. Bill Woerlee says:
    01/04/2013 at 11:35 PM
    Downtown Canberra today

    39.5 degree Celsius = 103.1 degree Fahrenheit

    We’ve had a week of this so far.

    Global Warming??

    Bill, I pointed to my friends here about ‘Black Saturday’. It was 117F degrees North of Melbourne. The fruit bats were dropping dead from the trees. Then the fires started.

  97. Bill,
    The deniers poo pooed it. They said fruit bats falling out of trees at 117F degrees was normal.

  98. Bill –
    The greatest river in North America is about to run dry, and Northeast Brazil is about to follow suit. Canberra is not the Lone Ranger.

  99. I stand by a few posts I made in the past about Churchill being a madman, and the proof is the Dresden firebombing. To me, not being any sort of Churchillian scholar, this was his greatest act of cruelty, working with the Allies to organize the bombing of the cultural center of Germany, an area with no military connections whatsoever. Churchill just wanted to kill thousands of civilians by scorching them to death.
    Poking around at the BBC, I found a couple comments of interest…Churchill was hated globally by certain elements, including many Ozzies.
    “We often hear of Saddam using poison gas on the Kurds and Iranians, but the first one to advocate the use of poison gas in Iraq was Winston Churchill, who said: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.”
    Beng Tang, Bracknell, UK

    Ask Australians what they think of Churchill and you will find much criticism. Turkey in the first war, Singapore in the second. Churchill considered the colonies and their soldiers (his term) were expendable.

    It took a really great war time leader (who incidentally died in office before the end of WW2) Australia’s PM, John Curtin to stand up to the bully Churchill and demand Australian troops return to defend Australia from the Japanese and even then Churchill tried to turn the troop ships around!
    Stan, London”

    And so again, the basic stuff we were fed about Churchill was balderdash for the most part.

  100. Bill –
    Our snow pack right now sucks. No water next summer.
    The price of wheat rose over 22% in 2012 , in 2010 WiskeyJack assured us , we were OK.

    And that climate change was not a problem.

  101. casa sturgeone awaits the arrival. open arms (and spare room); night of mustang sally, oysters, shrimp, clams creole, and a libation or two.

    The Mighty Crabs of Joy will play you two some muzak.

    (everything is, uh, “off the record” though……OK?)

  102. Craig –
    My good ideas , are just that, good ideas , and I quote –

    casa sturgeone awaits the arrival. open arms (and beds); night of mustang sally, oysters, shrimp, creole, and a libation or two.

    We all feel this way.

  103. It’s a great story, and you have dozens of friends that will help you write it.

  104. Jack and CBob – $8.89 a Bushel FOB New Orleans. I can only work in USD/mt which is USD326.61, which works out to be USD816.52 per hectare (@ 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare) a price I haven’t seen for while. It means good times. Average input costs per hectare are in Oz are USD450.26 which means they are covered with a margin for enjoying life rather than struggling for another year. Good times and great that you guys hung on.

  105. Dexter, you and I agree on Churchill.

    The slaughter of Dresden was just an act of sheer butchery. There was no reason for this attack in military terms.

    Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five presents a haunting description of this raid.

  106. History is written by the winners. Terrible acts are covered up, terrified men become war heroes. Twas ever thus. King David was a schmuck.

  107. Quite simply, Dresden was an act of angry revenge for the years of horror the Nazis, through their bombings and later their V-1s and V-2s, subjected on Britain and the British people.

    I suspect Churchill rationalized the attack by the perceived need to show the Hun that the West would no longer be fooled by German trickery, but would respond to perceived German intent based on past evil deeds. The punitive attack, of course, had to be mounted while he was still in office.

    I wish Lord Moran had addressed these things in his diary.

  108. The Atlantic Wired has a very long and informative article on The Dish and Sullivan’s attempt to monetize the “new journalism.” Craig, you were ahead of him by a long shot, and I hope this model works for you and for Sullivan.

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