What Is Journalism II

There is no correction and no explanation. Is this journalism? Maybe, but I really don’t know.

In light of the last entry, is Matt Drudge and the Drudgereport journalism? At 4:21 PM EDT Drudge had the boldfaced headline: “COLIN POWELL ‘TO ENDORSE OBAMA’.” The story was attributed to Bill Kristol, said on Fox News and posted on foxnews.com. Within the body of the story was Powell’s denial that it was true.

By 6:32 PM it was a small link buried halfway down the lefthand column! There is no explanation of how this went from BIG to TINY.

This is not the first time Drudge has performed the disappearing story act.

Is this journalism? Maybe, but I really don’t know.

Blogger’s note: I rewrote and revised this story at 1:05 AM 8/14/08. Originally I didn’t see the moved link on the updated Drudge. That doesn’t change the fact the story fell greatly in prominence in a few hours and, as I said, Drudge’s headline text was denied by Powell.

Link With My Past

I found a link earlier tonight to Ancestry.com. I don’t know anything about the site, except it’s a commercial outfit, but it did offer a three day trial to look at the 1930 US Census.

First I went and looked for my mom’s family. Nothing. I’ll try again later. Next, my dad’s family.

Goose bumps ran down my spine as I looked and saw their handwritten names: Jacob, Sarah, Anna, Harold and Murray.

There’s nothing earth shattering here. A tiny insight into their lives in Depression era Brooklyn.

My grandfather was 35 and from Austria. He was listed as being a chauffeur. I seem to remember stories that he was once a trolley car driver. Maybe that’s what was meant?

Grandma Sarah was 30 and from Russia. Both she and grandpa could read. Aunt Anna was 10, my dad 4&#189 and Uncle Murray 2 years, 10 months.

They rented their apartment for $25 a month at 80 Middleton Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There were two other families in the building – one of whom was headed by someone also named Fox. He owned the building, worth $4100. If he’s a relative, this is the first I’m hearing it.

The other Fox family spanned a few generations with a grandfather, grown daughter and her husband living there.

The third family was headed by a divorced woman. She had a four year old daughter and a boarder, named Minnie Shonda.

Where listed, each of the adults in the building came from a home where Yiddish was spoken as the first language.&#185

It’s amazing. All of this carefully hidden away for 76 years, waiting for the Internet to set it free.

When I speak with my dad, I’ll see what, if any of this, he remembers.

&#185 – Many people confuse Yiddish with Hebrew. Yiddish is an amalgam of Eastern European languages, spoken primarily by Jews (and so the story goes, Colin Powell). It is a dead language, no longer spoken anywhere in the world as a primary language. My parent’s generation is the last to have Yiddish regularly spoken at home.

My Presidential Prediction

This blog is non-partisan. I don’t favor one ideology or candidate over another. I work in a newsroom, which is supposed to be balanced and objective. So, even as the weatherman, this seems like a reasonable policy.

On the other hand, I am not blind. I am watching the ‘dance of the candidates’ as the 2004 presidential campaign gets under way – long before either convention. I can’t remember as early a start. With the insatiable appetite of cable TV news, we’ll soon be sick of it all and anxious for November 2nd, so we can just put all the petty sniping behind us.

I’ve been thinking about the candidates and watching poll numbers over the past few days. Who is vulnerable? Why are they vulnerable? Why is Kerry already head and shoulders ahead of the president (though it is so early that poll any numbers are meaningless)?

It won’t be long before President Bush starts looking to work around his negatives. It is my opinion that he will see Vice President Dick Cheney as a liability.

Again, this doesn’t represent my opinion of Vice President Cheney or President Bush. But, I see the vice president’s association with Halliburton as a huge target for the Democrats. They will try and paint Halliburton as representative of everything bad with this Republican administration and use Cheney’s prior association (he was its president) to drive their points home.

Here’s my prediction. When November comes around, the Republican ticket won’t be Bush/Cheney. The Vice President could find any number of reasons, from health on down, to graciously bow out.

There are a number of Republicans with squeaky clean reputations that come to mind… like Colin Powell or Rudolph Guiliani. Either of those two would more benefit the president’s re-election bid.

I mentioned this tonight to a number of people I work with, and most said it sounded reasonable, though not likely. I called my dad in Florida and he said it was an idea he had thought about, and accepted, a few weeks ago.

If it happens, remember today is March 10, 2004. If it doesn’t happen, it was my dad’s idea.