Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Supporting the Message of the Day -or- Levels of Appropriateness

As a musical ensemble director, for many years I’ve had to keep an eye on the question of: what repertoire is appropriate? Appropriate for the ensemble’s abilities? Appropriate to properly represent the school or organization with which it’s affiliated? … Appropriate for human consumption?

I mean, other than the songs I wouldn’t program for my marching band or concert band or choir or jazz band on a bet, because I feel like they aren’t of sufficient compositional or lyrical quality to make the ensemble sound good. There are those.

 

Early in my time as a public-school band and chorus director, I confronted the question of what selections to have those groups perform at our December concert.

Being aware of the whole separation-of-church-and-state thing that was in play in this taxpayer-funded school setting (ya know … the Constitution and all), I called that event a Winter Concert, rather than a Christmas Concert. There weren’t many Jewish or Muslim students in town (now there’s a vast understatement), but one did not wish to make them feel left out.

So I did lots of research into obscure Medieval carols and not-religious wintry songs. Considering the fact that during my very first year in town, the teachers’ holiday-season gathering was called the Faculty Christmas Party, perhaps I need not have fretted so much. But, better safe than sued, I thought.

That was not my challenge while I directed the athletic bands at the College of the Holy Cross, as you might glean just from the name of the joint. But, as an employee of a Jesuit institution, I did get a sense that perhaps we might be holding ourselves to a slightly higher standard than your run-of-the-mill small college.

It was perhaps an overly inflated sense. It only took me until the first basketball game to get it: HC students in fact held up very nearly the same standards of pious resistance to profanity and such as any other early-21st-century college students. (“God’s on our side <*clap, clap, clap clap clap*>” was about the most G-rated the student section got.) What did I know? I was hanging out with marching band kids, a statistical majority of whom talked quite knowledgeably about going to Mass on Sunday mornings.

Jesuit institution or not, I felt that it was better to leave out of our halftime shows or timeout repertoire items like “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?” … and I felt it might even have been pushing it to plan a Pink Floyd show that included “We Don’t Need No Education”, considering how seriously my band folks took their studies. Again, better safe than called into a meeting with Father Mike, I reasoned.

 

And then, of course, there’s my current work as a church musician. This would seem to be an easy call for a choir director. Keep it Sunday-morning appropriate, y’all; and support the message of the day – don’t overshadow it.

The challenge in our congregation, for many years now, has been observing (or not observing) Memorial Day and Independence Day. Some pastors have steadfastly refused even to acknowledge Memorial Day – expressing an aversion to the glorification of war and such, about which I think Our Lord had a little something to say. Others (of less recent heritage) have observed those holidays during services – bearing in mind the many US military veterans who have been members of our congregation, and also bearing in mind the fact that our congregation was located not far from a Raytheon research facility. The military-industrial complex had contributed to the town’s culture, in at least an economic (and, at times, a patriotic) sense.

The concept of national patriotism can be a controversial one in churches, although not as often as I used to think. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” wrote the author of the Gospel according to Matthew (22:21); the tussle between adherence to earthly authority and the practice of Christianity (particularly as it relates to issues of tax avoidance and defense spending) has not abated in intensity since.

When I was a kid, I noted that our church hymnal included “America the Beautiful” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. While I didn’t run right up to the pastor with a burning question about that, I did wonder (in a little-kid way) about the inclusion of American patriotic songs in a Methodist hymnal. Isn’t this a book of songs devoted to singing the praises of God and the living of the kind of life that Jesus went on about so much? (i.e. Advising against putting first priority on earthly city-states and their tendency to want to toot their own horns as the Best Thing on Earth.)

Although, I must say, what sanded down my worries a bit were the verses after the first verse of each of those songs. They seemed to veer away from outright “my land is the best land” and toward “what d’you say we ask God to help us not to screw up our wonderful land and anyone else’s?”

And as for the separation of church and state that Constitutional enthusiasts tend to smile about … Jesus said (John 18:36) to Pontius Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from the world”. Not that he couldn’t turn over a table or two to make a point; and not that I haven’t heard a few great sermons that focus on Issues of the Day; but I think his point may have been that his religious teachings were separate from earthly political activity.

Which brings me to an evening three weekends ago.

 

It was the Sunday before Independence Day, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC was the site of an event called the “Celebrate Freedom Concert”. Good so far. The musical presentations were primarily to be provided by a few hundred choir- and orchestra-members, with the President in attendance. Fairly straightforward for a Fourth-of-July weekend event.

The choir and orchestra were from First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. No matter how large my church’s musical community seems to me, well, doesn’t Texas always do it up bigger? First Baptist is often described as a megachurch, so of course their choir has hundreds of people in it. I’m not jealous. At all.

Here, things begin to veer off.

The “Celebrate Freedom Concert” was hosted by First Baptist’s pastor, Robert Jeffress, who noted afterward that the second half of the program had been a “Gospel-oriented presentation.” Which made me twitch a bit, flashing back to the whole church-state separation thing, and also to the whole “my taxpayer dollars are paying for the Kennedy Center lights and sound system” thing. Well, yes, the Divine is invoked at plenty of government-oriented events – like, say, the Inauguration, with its invocations and prayers and whatnot. But the main thrust of an Inauguration is not the worship of one particular religion’s God, no matter how any President’s supporters may privately feel.

As I watched the concert (broadcast live on C-SPAN) that night, what put a distinctly queasy feeling in me was a selection performed by the choir and orchestra, written by First Baptist’s former music director, Gary Moore.

That had nothing to do with whether it was or wasn’t a great musical composition, strictly on compositional grounds, at least as judged by another choir director who has on occasion penned original songs for presentation at his church’s events (and, afterward, has occasionally been sharply critical of his own stuff).

It had nothing to do with whether the song had or didn’t have great lyrics, at least as judged by another choir director who freely admits that he will only set pre-existing texts or poems to music, since his capacity for creating liturgically-valid lyrics is minuscule.

It had nothing to do with the actual presentation by the choir and orchestra. There are presentations of sacred songs in the style of the Gaither Homecoming ensembles which this choir director really digs, as well as those he thinks are at least a tiny bit saccharine. There are particular versions of songs like “God Bless the USA” – a song I don’t much care for, taking into account the aforementioned musical and lyrical reasons – which I nonetheless appreciate greatly. One person’s carcinogenic artificial sweetener is another person’s manna from Heaven.

 

It had everything to do with the song’s title and its context.

The title was “Make America Great Again”, and the context was a concert-slash-”Gospel-oriented presentation” hosted by a pastor who was one of the very first evangelical leaders to support the President at his campaign events in 2016.

The song’s lyrics included:

Make America great again
Make America great again
Lift the torch of freedom all across the land
Step into the future joining hand in hand
And make America great again
Yes, make America great (again)

The pastor’s protestations aside, I think it’s possible to imagine that a song whose lyrics are mostly comprised of the President’s main campaign slogan might appear more specifically partisan than might be appropriate, during an observance of the national holiday which theoretically every American, every voter, ever member of every religion, every member of no religion, gets to take part in together.

A few days later, in an interview with the online website Christian Post, Pastor Jeffress said, “There is no difference in singing ‘Make America Great Again’ than there is in singing any other patriotic song, like the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ This song was sung at a patriotic rally at a concert hall on Saturday night, not sung in a church as a worship song on Sunday morning.”

Technically true, if one sets aside Jeffress’ own characterization of the event’s back-nine as a “Gospel-oriented presentation”. Many times, though, context is important.

As is the contextual detail about the possible interpretation of Gary Moore’s “Make America Great Again” composition. An op-ed in The Resurgent, a conservative blog, accused the song of “crossing the line into idolatry. … The Church has no business putting its faith in and singing songs in honor of worldly leaders,” it said.

As is the contextual detail about the presenters of the song: an organization that, while not performing in its official Sunday-morning-go-to-meeting role as a church choir and orchestra, was identified (in fact widely publicized) as the First Baptist Dallas Choir and Orchestra. Not “members of the First Baptist…”. Not “a choir and orchestra featuring many musicians from First Baptist…”.

No: the church’s own publicity release stated, “Stirring patriotic music will come from the renowned choir and orchestra of First Baptist Dallas, under the direction of Dr. Doran Bugg.” And those musicians were First Baptist Dallas’s standing choral and instrumental ensembles … in toto … in their official uniforms … participating in an event that was pitched as an Independence Day observance held at the Kennedy Center but which turned into something that looked very much like a particular religion’s observance.

 

As an ensemble director, and particularly as a church musician who paid attention during AP US History class in high school, in that situation I believe I would have to think long and hard about the context into which I was leading the ensembles under my baton, and especially when it came to that particular song.

Contractually, I might be obligated to musically support the organizer of the event – which is what I do when I program choral anthems for a Sunday-morning worship service. The pastor of my church gives me advance information about what his “message for the day” will be, and I find music that will amplify that. Most church musicians do. Similarly, I have to presume that the leader of the US Marine Corps Band, for example, does the same thing when he (someday she) receives the outline of any event in which “The President’s Own” is assisting.

Perhaps the Dallas music director didn’t require much, or any, persuasion from his boss. Nothing I can do about that. They were in that situation, and not I. I can only control what I can control.

Which is to say: in my current church-gig situation, I feel comfortable that I could whisper to my pastor, “are we sure we want to dip our toes in this pond? Are we sure we want to risk appearing partisan in the middle of a Fourth-of-July-themed event? In fact, are we sure we even want to be overtly involved in this at all?”

The leadership of First Baptist Dallas were sure.

I don’t think I would be.

 

 

P.S. From the Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Been So Worried About Tap-Dancing Around This Subject Dept.:

The New York Times has since reported that former First Baptist Dallas music director Gary Moore has said that his “Make America Great Again” song was as much a tribute to Trump as it was to freedom of speech and religion in America.

So, perhaps not so murky and open to interpretation as all that, after all.

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July 18, 2017 Posted by | current events, music, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Exaggerated Sense of His Own Importance

Dear Mr. President:

I hope this finds you well.

I hope this finds you, actually.

I hope you’re as much of a relentlessly temperate man as my observations of you, these last six years, suggest that you are. (Considering that the legislators with whom you work have been statistically proven to be more do-nothing than the actual “Do-Nothing Congress”, and considering the legion of people who would take issue with you if you commented that the sky was blue … you might be the most patient President who ever lived.)

Since I don’t wish to test that patience, I’ll try to cut right to the chase.

Can I make a tiny request?

If you do decide to send US military personnel back into the frightening cauldron that is Iraq – more people than just 300 people with the disconcertingly familiar moniker of “military advisors” – may I ask that you don’t do it lightly?

It would be a welcome contrast to the last time the US sent military personnel there.

I see what you did with Syria, last year. Rattled the sabers nicely, got everybody over there good and jumpy. Really had a few of us genuinely jumpy too, got us suspecting that US military involvement in the Syrian civil war was imminent. To the point that it convinced otherwise scary people to give up their scary weapons when nothing else had convinced them to do so. Made me freshly impressed – even made me embarrassed that I’d seemed to underestimate your capacity for the ol’ Head Fake, the concept of the diplomatic “made you look”. Anybody who conducts a lengthy political career anywhere near Chicago, as you did, has to be at least a little bit good at political negotiation. I was gently reminded.

The present Congress appears not to be capable of doing much of anything, never mind pass a resolution about a contentious issue such as this. If the Republican-controlled House passes something, the Democratic-controlled Senate slaps it down, and vice-versa. So, in this era of the unitary executive, I guess the decision ultimately is yours.

I suppose that these factors should make me a bit more relaxed – not in a Constitutional-scholar way, and certainly not in a future-terrifying-President way, but in a living-in-the-moment way.

If I were a Constitutional scholar, I would really rather seat the ability to send this nation into combat with more than just one person. I would like at least the illusion that a group of people had gotten together and debated and then decided. I’m not totally convinced that our legislative branch represents its actual individual constituents – ya know, the ones that physically go to the polls to vote, rather than just sending campaign contributions and paying for TV ads. But it would be a more comfortable illusion than the “l’etat, c’est moi” alternative.

If a future unitary executive turned out to be a loon or a sadist or a sociopath, I assuredly wouldn’t want wartime to exist on her or his say-so alone.

Living in this moment, and using the evidence provided to me by what’s left of our journalistic Fourth Estate, I observe that your style appears to be, “let everybody have their say, and then if the decision really is mine alone anyway, do what I think is wise”. Selfishly, I tend to gravitate toward that, perhaps because it’s been my style, too. You don’t come off, most times, as an autocratic fellow. And even though I don’t necessarily agree with absolutely every decision you’ve made as President since January 2009, and even though sometimes I think you actually have let people yammer on for far longer than they deserve, given their relative standing in the world, without hauling off and verbally smacking them on the back of the head … my political leaning and my admiration for temperance has caused me much more often than not to be on the same page as you are.

So, by all means let pundits and politicians dive in front of the nearest TV camera and try to convince you (or at least everyone else) to send soldiers back in to Iraq. I would hate to think that the President of the United States has time to watch every Sunday-morning chat show and every prime-time cable news channel commentary program, and anyway they’re probably not displaying any opinions you haven’t already heard and considered and damn sure they’re not always offering too many actual immutable facts.

I’m sure you know what it looks like when the mass media gives a platform to people who, twelve years ago, had advocated for US military action in Iraq on the basis of evidence that was later discredited, or had predicted outcomes that did not occur (ignoring thirteen hundred years of historical record), and in doing so had revealed themselves or their organizations to have been paying attention to the nicely corrupting influence of the military-industrial complex rather than to the memories of their history classes (or a relatively easy trip across their study to a damned encyclopedia).

I’m pretty confident that you do look at the occasional video clip and shake your head and allow one of your measured chuckles to emerge.

As long as we’re all (including your critics) pretty lathered up over the recent revelations of stupidity within the VA, and all reflexively expressing Support For Our Troops, I hope we can all keep in mind the inevitable effects of sending soldiers into combat. Win, lose, or stalemate, soldiers are humans, not “Iron Man 2” automatons, in spite of how we dress them nowadays – and the horrors of war are of a sort that I cannot imagine, and that Hollywood movies apparently don’t come close to simulating accurately. People return from combat damaged somehow. If we’re going to inflict that on them, we’d better be damn sure it’s for a good and achievable cause.

I’m not making this request based on any information about how possible it may be to land US military boots on the ground in Iraq and be able to make a spit of difference in what’s going on there now, or what has been going on for more than a century. You have access to more Intelligence than I do. And while I fervently wish that no more innocent Iraqis die because of a relatively small but violent bunch of militant insurgents running around with pickup-truck-mounted machine guns and IEDs, and an official Iraqi government that seems unable to get its act together for whatever legitimate reasons … that’s not my main impetus either.

I am, instead, making this request based on two major things.

First, I’m responding to squishy, bleeding-heart-liberal concerns like “war is awful and we ought not get into it lightly”. And second, this past week I have had a bellyful of the fear- and war-mongering and “we would’ve won this thing if we’d just have stayed longer, kinda like forever” of Senators McCain and Graham, Messrs. Kristol and Wolfowitz, and especially our most recent former vice president, whose Wall Street Journal op-ed piece revealed once and for all a roiling, bitter case of psychological projection. (Just about the only thing missing from this week’s bouquet of unwanted advice is the former half-term governor of Alaska supposin’ that we ought to send in our armor-plated kids to baptize the heck outta those bad guys with guns, you betcha.)

Speaking of unwanted advice: mine. You’re a busy man (he suggested, with understatement on a Biblical scale); it’s likely that you’ve got more on your plate than “read this blog post”. So I suppose I can hope that someone else inside the White House is expressing this gentle request:

Think hard. Support our troops in deeds, not just words. And don’t cave, on some third-rate media pundit’s say-so.

Sincerely (and I mean that),

Your friend, the fourth-rate blogger,

Rob

June 21, 2014 Posted by | current events, government, media, news, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Worth The Paper It’s Not Printed On

We live in a country that was theoretically founded, in part, on the idea that you can say or write what you want and not go to jail for it. At least, unless your speech or writing slanders or libels or physically endangers someone.

Most of the time this is a great thing. So much better than what life must be like, in places where you can go to jail if someone in power suspects you of merely thinking something that doesn’t please them.

In our country you can hold any old wacko belief you like, within limits. Those limits have to do with personal safety and the avoidance of wrongful accusation. Our Constitution provides for some wonderful freedoms, where those freedoms are not abused.

And the example of free speech that has gotten me writing … has nothing to do with the personal safety of anyone. It may not be something that in common-sensical circles would even be considered worth losing sleep over, or spilling any ink about. That example is a news item — and as a former journalism major, I think calling it a news item is a danged stretch – which comes from the latest addition to the American political landscape, one Mr. Donald Trump.

The idea is this: Mr. Trump suspects Mr. Obama wasn’t a good enough student to deserve to be welcomed into Ivy League schools, and – outrage! – somehow he did. (Never mind that Ivy League schools’ admissions departments have demonstrated a knack for their job. Separating the wheat from the chaff, and all that.)

For the past few weeks, Mr. Trump has been aided and abetted by members of the media who are afraid to think that by ignoring his blather, they’d be somehow missing something that really was important. He has been busy filling the airwaves and Internet and newspaper pages with his doubts about the American citizenship of one Mr. Barack Obama. Mr. Obama happens to be the President of the United States at this time.

Set aside, for the moment, the fact that the proper paperwork that confirms Mr. Obama’s status as a natural-born citizen of the United States has been displayed publicly and confirmed publicly by the state in which he was born (as well as at least one Internet fact-checking organization).

Set aside, for the moment, the fact that to this correspondent’s knowledge, no one created a cottage industry out of questioning Mr. Obama’s citizenship while he was running for election to the Illinois seat in the United States Senate.

Set aside, for the moment, the undeniable truth that there are people out there in the political world and beyond who have a desperate need to say any old thing they possibly can to take Mr. Obama down a peg or two or three – and they choose not to bother with critiquing his policies. That would require doing some work.

Free speech doesn’t have to be correct; it can be demonstrably fact-challenged, mistaken, outright wrong or morally repugnant, and it’s still protected. Proof of this is that the Westboro Baptist Church people are still out there, setting up protests near the funerals of fallen US military personnel. It’s not pretty; but the Constitution says what it says for a reason.

None of Mr. Trump’s frankly grotesque self-expression constitutes, strictly speaking, a free speech issue. It may be a question of “could we please spend our time on issues that are actually important or even existent?”, but free speech protects the foolish as well as the wise, or the wiseacres.

No, this time Mr. Trump has expanded his suspicion of the President’s qualifications to include the question of whether Mr. Obama deserved to be a member of the Columbia University or Harvard University student bodies, based on his qualifications as a student.

And again, the First Amendment protects this. We as citizens or journalists can question anything! Between 2000 and 2008, we damn well should have done more questioning. And, it’s always helpful for the questioner to have a little, oh, I don’t know, evidence to back his or her assertions up. But the Constitution does not require this.

As theoretically intelligent persons, though – as perceptive consumers of the mass media – we need to be a little more detail-oriented when we consider the assertions of public figures. Consider a few quotes from an Associated Press article, posted online by many newspapers, that sprang from Monday’s interview with Mr. Trump:

“Real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested in an interview Monday that President Barack Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended. Trump, who is mulling a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, offered no proof for his claim but said he would continue to press the matter as he has [pressed as an issue] the legitimacy of the president’s birth certificate.”

“Offered no proof for his claim.” In a court of law or in my sister’s third-grade classroom, that doesn’t cut it. Like my sixth-grade math teacher, Ms. Natale, said to us: “show your work.” In the American media marketplace though, apparently that’s not as much of a concern.

“’I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?’ Trump said.”

From whom did Mr. Trump hear that? Whether or not I care to challenge that assertion, the larger question is, why does Mr. Trump get to make unattributed assertions like that? And why don’t more people challenge him, and people and organizations like him?

Beth Fouhy wrote the article for the Associated Press. To her credit, she did more research on Mr. Obama than Mr. Trump probably bothered to, or cared to. (Or perhaps he felt that doing his homework would hurt his cause. And Mr. Trump thinks we want THAT in the Oval Office in 2012?)

“Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1983 with a degree in political science after transferring from Occidental College in California,” Fouhy writes. “He went on to Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude [in] 1991 and was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.” Make of that what you will, but I think it likely that one would have to be a fairly competent student in order to achieve these accomplishments. (That statement could be seen as unattributed conjecture, but I prefer to think of it as analysis.)

“Obama’s 2008 campaign did not release his college transcripts,” Fouhy’s article continues. “Trump told the AP that Obama’s refusal to release his college grades were part of a pattern of concealing information about himself.” And, Trump is further quoted, “’We don’t know a thing about this guy [Obama]. There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.’”  Later in her article, Fouhy notes that Trump “declined to disclose his net worth, saying he’ll do so if he decides to run.” Kettle? Pot on line three again.

When I read the headline of this article, “Donald Trump: Barack Obama wasn’t qualified for Ivy League”, I decided to beat back my initial response, which was: “…Seriously?”

Then I read the rest of the article, and my response continued to be, “…Seriously?”

Let me get this straight: our economy is in trouble; we’re still sending our military personnel into harm’s way for reasons that seem murky at best; gas prices are going up and up and up; our own citizens and those of nations around the world are trying to survive myriad natural disasters; despots are oppressing their own people, often violently. And all Mr. Trump can come up with as he seems to prepare people for his run for the Presidency is a continuation of the now-disproven “birther” conspiracy theory and an unresearched attack on the educational background of the current president?

[At this point, a little tiny part of me would love to see Donald Trump run for president so that I can watch as Barack Obama intellectually eviscerates him during a televised debate. It would be a little like watching the New York Yankees play the East Overshoe Middle School Fightin’ Mascots. Identifiable on the surface as two entities involved in the same activity; but not nearly a fair fight.]

According to Fouhy’s article, “Katie Hogan, a spokeswoman for Obama’s re-election campaign, declined to comment.” Ms. Hogan would represent the grownup in the room.

There are reasons why Mr. Trump might pursue these trains of thought (I can’t even bring myself to call them lines of reasoning). One reason might be that in Trump’s world, whatever he says is law, regardless of whether it makes any sense or not, and he’s gotten used to everyone around him agreeing with him, or else “they’re fired”. One reason certainly could be that Mr. Trump may not have policy positions that he can run up the flagpole in order to help him compete with Mr. Obama in the eyes of the majority of the American electorate; so he’s gotta find something to throw at the incumbent.

That “something to throw”, not just from Mr. Trump but also from members of Congress, members of the alleged Tea Party Movement, members of the cable-TV-news-pundit and talk-radio-blowhard and blogospherical worlds … those “somethings to throw” at Mr. Obama have nothing to do with Mr. Obama’s policies, or whether he’s made good on his campaign promises, or anything to do with what kind of job he’s doing. They have everything to do with the fact that all these particular people can’t handle the idea that Mr. Obama sits in the Oval Office. My apologies, but this is truth of it: as much progress as has been made on this front, there are still plenty of people, with plenty big mouths and plenty of money to publicize themselves, who can’t handle the fact that a President of the United States … ummm … doesn’t look like they do.

It’s that straightforward. There is a body of evidence out there that, taken as a whole, cannot possibly lead an objective observer to any other conclusion. There are people in the United States who can’t handle the thought that a person who doesn’t look like Washington or Lincoln or Roosevelt or Eisenhower or Clinton or Bush is sitting in the Oval Office, legitimately elected by a majority of American voters. For every major change, there is pushback before the change settles in and is fully accepted. And most of the pushback being leveled against Mr. Obama (or whatever person had been the first US President from a “minority group”) and his family is childish, plain and simple – on the order of the playground “oh yeah?”. (“Mrs. Obama wears Army boots.”) And most of it is probably not worth giving the kind of air time that a Donald Trump seems to demand.

And now I’ve probably spent time on all this that I could have utilized for more productive purposes. I’ve been victimized as well, although I’m not going to blame Mt. Trump. I’ll blame myself for paying attention to his silliness.

This most recent of Mr. Trump’s unattributed and probably unfounded assertions isn’t news. It’s blather. I’d like to hope we all deserve better than someone like him. And we absolutely need incisive, “hold-his-feet-to-the-fire” journalism from those who are forced by the currently accepted rules of celebrity to cover the every errant thought of people like him.

April 26, 2011 Posted by | celebrity, civil rights, Famous Persons, government, Internet, journalism, media, news, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment