Networks Trashed Trump With 90% Negative Spin in 2018, But Did It Matter?

Chicago Newspapers

What can your average fair-minded person take from this?

The tone of coverage remains incessantly hostile: 90% negative, vs. just 10% positive (excluding neutral statements), matching the historically bad press we documented in 2017. Yet despite the media’s obvious disapproval, public opinion of the President actually improved slightly during 2018, from an average 40% approval on January 1 to 42.7% approval on December 31, according to RealClearPolitics.

Keep in mind that this is news coverage — stories placed in the paper or on screen by editors, pursued by reporters approved by editors and publisher, working in an office atmosphere that bestows sometimes plaudits on confreres, rarely any sense of discomfort as to choice of story, how it’s written, etc.

Nobody here but us chickens, we can hear them saying. We like it this way.

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Death of the Author? Pregnant notion

Not for attribution

I find myself attracted by the (even randomly discovered) pregnant phrase, such as “the philosophical notion of the Death of the Author,” encountered this very day it in a capsule review of a French novel, Amélie Nothomb’s Pétronille in Times Literary Supplement 5/20/14.

Forthwith (right away, ok?) I looked it up and found “Death of the Author” at the Oxford Reference site, from which I quote two segments that explain the phrase briefly.

This:

… [It’s] the idea associated with French critic Roland Barthes that a text should be regarded as self-standing, a field for the interplay of signs. The idea is not that things like Pride and Prejudice grow on trees, but that information or speculation about the author and the author’s intentions is irrelevant to reading them. . . .

And this:

… the title of an essay by Roland Barthes , ‘La mort de l’auteur’…

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Bulls center Robin Lopez removed from chippy Monday practice

Write, you fool

Breaking a code:

Either way, Boylen said practice got “very, very competitive” — code for chippy. At one point, Boylen had to send Lopez out of the gym for close to 10 minutes to cool down after a run-in with guard Kris Dunn.

Wait. Perfectly usable phrase requires de-coding by use of multi-meaning word that to some readers calls for its own de-coding.

To some. Happens all the time. There’s jargon for every field. Technical terms in some fields, lingo in others.

You gotta know the lingo to catch the drift. Follow?

Just sayin’.

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U.S. Catholics losing trust in clergy, survey finds

Thumbs up from 3 out of 10.

Where are the other seven?

The Manchurian Media

Plain as the noses on our faces . . .

Writing a book? Consider these self-admonitions by and for another author . . .

Write! About style

When talking to oneself is a fruitful enterprise:

Dear Jim:

In your soon to be published book, do the anti-Novus Ordo — New Mass — part, interspersing it with with the pro. Can you do that, Jim? Keep it dry and detached? If you try, yes. But will you try?

Jim: Good question.

Good advice, continued:

* Make your posts a foreshadowing of arguments to be fleshed out along the way.

* Keep it flat. (Not telegraphic, however, except when that helps, nor purple nor flowery.)

* Be not overly concerned with order and sequence, but be willing to test your readers for their ability to connect things. Does not mean not concerned at all, which would be a slatternly procedure.

* Go rather for the lasting image or hit-home phrase, the (dare I?) poetic. Absolutely. Do not shrink from the poetic. (But be careful.)

* Don’t…

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A Cleansing Fire Is Coming for Catholics

Quite a rundown of apocalyptic stituation.

There is no hell, there’s only purgatory, which can take a very long time . . .

Poets, philosophers, theologians, even popes are called upon . . .

Sunday sermons, weekday observations

. . . and can hurt a lot, say some surprising sources.

[The French poet Charles] Péguy [1873-1914] was always a curious Catholic, anticlerical and unconvinced of the value of the sacraments. His marriage remained sacrosanct, even after his return to faith caused severe tensions with his wife and children (they only joined the Church after his death).

The reviewer analyzes his poems and his belief as contained in them.

The climactic vision [of his poem “Le Porche du mystère de la deuxième vertu,”] is of God finding his hands . . .  tied by Christ’s disclosure of his mercy. No soul . . .  can ultimately withstand the power of God’s love [he believed]. Eternal damnation had always appalled Péguy as an idea . . . . This poem ends by celebrating its impossibility.

Through [it] resounds the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Referring to the same parable in…

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How one man prepares for mass . . .

Quite a testimony . . .

Sunday sermons, weekday observations

Verycarefully.

Before Mass:  I prepare myself for the most important encounter of my life: a banquet with Our Lord.

I try to get to Confession the day before Mass, and if I don’t, I spend time meditating on my sins and begging God’s mercy.

I honor the fast which, contrary to widespread belief, has never been eliminated from Church teaching. I do not eat for at least one hour before the Mass. If I have the strength, I honor God by fasting from midnight before.

When I dress, I remember that I am going to meet Someone more important than any king, queen, or president. So I do not dress as if I am going to the beach or a picnic; if others do, I do not follow them. I wear clothes that reflect my belief that Mass is important and deserving of respect. If I’m male, this…

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Bomb Iran?

The idea bombed.

“It definitely rattled people,” said one former senior U.S. administration official. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

They weren’t rattled by the shelling of the diplomatic section that led to the request made to DOD?

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