Monthly Archives: October 2009

A note to readers

I’ve hired a new copy editor. Her name is Kathy Lanson (no relation … unless you count the 38 years we’ve been married.)  Her rates are really reasonable (I cook a cheese omelet and wash the kitchen floor every weekend). … Continue reading

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Madoff: SEC flunked Investigations 101

Don’t just ask a crook if he’s stolen something. Check to see what’s missing. That obvious bit of advice comes across clearly in the transcript of a jailhouse interview with notorious Ponzi-scheme swindler Bernard Madoff, according to a fascinating account in … Continue reading

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An American hero says it is time to leave Afghanistan

Matthew Hoh is not yet a household name. He should be. Hoh is an American patriot. He is a former Marine captain who, NPR reports, was cited for uncommon bravery during a tour in Iraq. He led reconstruction efforts in … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, American wars, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

She'll settle for nothing short of plain English

Chrissie Maher didn’t learn to read until she was 15.  When she finally did,  she realized her problem wasn’t only a  lack of education: Many of the words around her were cast in indecipherable jargon. So 30 years ago, Maher told WBUR’s … Continue reading

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Why are Americans so apathetic about global warming?

From Australia to Addis Ababa, demonstrators delivered the same message. At some 4,300 locations across the globe, people passionate about climate change flashed  or formed the number 350, a reference  to the upper limit in parts per million of heat-trapping … Continue reading

Posted in environment | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

Who will cover the news?

Brendan McCarthy grew up a blue collar kid in a house where he’d read the leftovers of The Providence Journal until his dad passed on the “good sections” — sports and news. Today he’s a street reporter on a big city paper, … Continue reading

Posted in Media, media coverage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

So you think it's safe to fly?

National Public Radio is airing a startling series on where the fleets of U.S. airlines are being serviced.  The answer isn’t Omaha, Des Moines or Fargo.  No, 20 percent of the time it is in developing countries, places such as … Continue reading

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Remembering the day the earth shook

It was 14 seconds I’ll never forget. Twenty years ago, on Oct. 17, 1989,  I was sitting at the San Jose Mercury News city desk, revved up to coordinate the news coverage of Game 3 of the Bay Area World … Continue reading

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When faux news obscures the real thing

Democrats are “increasingly confident” they’ll have the votes to pass health care legislation, my Saturday  Boston Globe reported.  That’s why, as a proponent of reform, I’m nervous. As health care heads down the stretch, I’m bracing for the next big … Continue reading

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Making mistakes in an instant media age

The last 24 hours have been sobering.  Like many of you, I’m stretched thin right now, teaching classes, trying to finish a book, pressed by a consulting deadline, trying to contribute to True/Slant. And so I’ve posted too quickly, intending … Continue reading

Posted in news and speed, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments