At the beginning of each semester teaching writing so far, I’ve faced two obstacles. The first is unlearning 5-paragraph essay format, which most high schoolers learn as rote as any Gospel.
The other is elevated diction. Somewhere along the way, most students have discovered that their high school teachers are impressed by their use of the vocabulary contained in the SAT, no matter how inappropriate a word choice. My instruction is simplicity: I tell my student I am a writer and have read widely enough that they’ll never impress me with their words, only their ideas.
I recently caught this video, with Keith Olbermann’s comments on the Geraldine Ferraro racist-remarks fiasco:
Apparently, someone needs to tell Keith to scale it down a bit.
“In your tepid response to this Ferraro disaster, you may sincerely think you are disenthralling an enchanted media–”
I mean, seriously.
Now I admit, I’ve liked Olbermann. His comments on the end of habeus corpus were terrific.
And maybe it’s because he’s a commentator that he goes beyond journalism and into judgment (“disaster”?).
But seriously, this buttoned-up guy with his mile-wide pinstripes is the same dude who gave SportsCenter the “en fuego” catchphrase, is he not?
When Jon Stewart was on Crossfire, he mentioned the theater of political comentary. Olbermann seems to prove pretty well that theater is not restricted to Tucker Carlson’s bow tie.
After the Nader debacle, I changed my startpage from MSNBC to CNN. It’s not much better. Are there any good news venues any more? Right now I’m set on the New York Times, but even that doesn’t feel like exactly what I’m looking for.
Also: isn’t Clinton’s lack of response precisely what she attacked Obama for, when he didn’t outright reject Farakhan’s endorsement?
And finally: Geraldine Ferraro? Seriously? I respected her, once upon a time. But I don’t respect racists.