Graffiti with punctuation

Elliott Gould: Truth from a movie script

In the movie “Contagion,” Elliott Gould plays a scientist investigating a deadly virus.  During  a confrontation with a scandal-sheet style blogger, Gould says:  “Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”

Sometimes, one can find a kernel of truth in the fantasy world of a Hollywood film.

Sometimes, there’s more truth there than on the news shows or on so-called “news” web sites.

Graffiti with punctuation.  In too many cases, that phrase can be applied to more than just blogging.  It’s all too true of journalism as well.

Too often, my chosen profession has become a venue for gossip, innuendo and spin, not information and truth.

The cable news service with the largest audience is — by far — Fox News Channel, which is neither a purveyor of truth or a serious practitioner of journalism, at least not the kind of journalism I was taught and have tried to practice for nearly five decades.

On network TV, the Sunday news talk shows programs are not designed to get to truth. They are merely platforms for spin artists from both parties to appear and provide their own twisted versions of the facts.

The so-called “moderators” of these shows make little or no effort to get beyond the spin.  They don’t challenge the lies or the distortions.  They simply turn to the other side — if one was invited to appear — and let them provide contrasting lies or distortions.

Like Gould said: Graffiti with punctuation.

The blog with the largest readership on the Internet is The Huffington Post.

The news site with the largest readership is The Huffington Post.

Wait a minute. Can you be both a blog and a news site?  HuffPo claims it is both. Some could argue that it is neither.

Clearly, what HuffPo is not is objective.  Like its tart-tongued Hungarian founder, HuffPo is clearly slanted to the left, just as Fox News is slanted to the right.

So, is there a place in this world for straightforward, unbiased journalism?

Damn good question.

A lot of us here at Capitol Hill Blue sure wish we had an answer.

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7 Responses to "Graffiti with punctuation"

  1. Willie Buck Merle  September 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Interesting. I’ll check it out.

  2. Sandy Price  September 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Chief. You have offered a blog based on political opinions. Some of the best investigative reporters can be found on CHB’s home page, It opens up a dialog for readers to add our own opinions.

    Many of us do not have access to the amount of information found here, but it most certainly opens the world of politics and stimulates our interest in what runs this nation.

    You make us think!

    Your forum “Reader Rant” gives us a stage to share our thoughts on all levels of political interest. We learn from each other.

    The truth of what is found here is difficult to know and depends on the amount of commentaries we read. Many have more respect for one party over the other and we have to learn more to prove our points.

    In my world of the internet, there is no better place to be involved in politics than Capitol Hill Blue .Many of us have been here for years
    and we have learned to be more forgiving of other’s opinions.

  3. Jim B.  September 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I heartily dispute this: “Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”

    There’s a heck of a lot of bloggin’ out there that is truthful, newsworthy, fascinating, and stimulating and just as good as material written for books, magazine articles, and other more traditional outlets.
    It all depends upon the content…of course.

    Besides, this superb blog, another of my favorites is the “Bad Astronomer” written & maintained by the astronomer and author, Dr. Phil Plait….I’ve never read his writing nor the writing here and thought it’s graffiti with punctuation….It’s high-level, authoritative political commentary here and science writing there.

  4. SDR  September 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    “So, is there a place in this world for straightforward, unbiased journalism?”

    I sure hope and believe so. However, until the perfect Blog / News / Journalistic web site / station / paper comes along CHB will just have to do.

  5. Almandine  September 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    If only the punctuation were correct in either medium…

  6. Sandy Price  September 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    SDR, The best thing about these blogs is their ability to change and move around regarding what happens in our world.

    We have these changes often on a daily basis. My first reaction to the killings in our Embassy was to pull, or threaten to pull, our financial support to that nation. But in thinking again, what would this accomplish? NATO often confuses me but I’ve learned that a calm reaction to our protecting American freedoms. is often a better action.

    In the case of American reaction to the killings, it was Gov. Romney’s comments against President Obama that may have lost the election for Romney.

    Blogs may represent the owner’s opinions but the bloggers themselves set the tone that opens the wonderful opinions of all the readers.

  7. woody188  September 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Blogs wouldn’t be so popular if journalists had stuck to what they were taught. Blogs are citizen journalists providing the point of view the corporate media would rather ignore and, in some instances, tries to suppress. When was the last time corporate media broke a major scandal? Going along to get along isn’t very newsworthy.

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