From “the most humiliating year in our history” to victory

256px-USS_California_sinking-Pearl_HarborToday is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.   The Daily Oklahoman has a fascinating and moving feature looking not only at the coverage of that event but of its anniversary through the war years and beyond.

We often forget that the first year of the war we were losing.  The editorial  for December 7, 1942, called it “the bitterest and most humiliating year in our history.”  The next year’s paper was sober but more upbeat.  Then we see optimism.  In 1945 we see the exuberance–and relief–of victory, along with a memorial to those who died achieving it.

The feature gives us a picture of what a unified nation looks like and something of what it felt like to be caught up in a collective cause that was a matter of life and death, not only for individuals, friends, and loved ones–nearly every family had someone fighting–but for the country itself.  It must have been terrible to go through, but also good.

And we can’t help but wonder if America would be capable of that today.

Read a sampling from the newspaper accounts after the jump. [Read more…]

The journalistic sin of smugness

Will Rahn, the Washington editor of the Daily Beast, no less (known both for its liberalism and its snarkiness), has written a mea culpa on journalists’ failure to understand the Trump phenomenon, a confession remarkable for its self-knowledge and its moral diagnosis. [Read more…]

When journalists try to be theologians

G. Shane Morris has a great piece in the Federalist about how journalists have been lecturing us on theological questions while knowing nothing about what they are talking about.  (The article includes a definitive discussion of why Christians do not, in fact, worship the same deity as Muslims, contrary to what the media has been saying in the Wheaton case.) [Read more…]

CNBC moderators lost the debate

Pretty much everybody agrees with the conclusions on our liveblog that the CNBC moderators of the Republican debate did an embarrassingly horrible job.  Even usually liberal observers–such as Time, NPR, and Politico–are saying so.  For a colorful account, see the British take in the London Daily Mail.

It wasn’t just that the questions were hard, or even biased.  Everyone expects that.  It’s that the questions were trivial (casting aspersions on Rubio for cashing in a $67,000 IRA?  Asking Jeb Bush his position on taxing fantasy football?), insulting (asking Trump if he is a “comic book” candidate?), and not fact-checked (one moderator cited information that he himself had had to retract earlier!).  And yet, the Republican candidates, individually and as a whole, scored big against them, with both indignation and wit.

After the jump, a good summary from the usually liberal Daily Beast, with this deck:  “From silly and inaccurate questions to just plain awkward interruptions, Team CNBC stumbled in Boulder—and was absolutely clobbered by the Republican presidential field for it.” [Read more…]

A journalist’s experience in Vietnam

The German Lutheran journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto, a friend of mine, has written Duc:  Triumph of the Absurd, a Reporter’s Love for the Abandoned People of Vietnam, a memoir of his days as a Vietnam war correspondent, telling of his affection for the Vietnamese people, describing his harrowing experiences, and going on to indict the way the U.S. government and the media handled the war.  The audio book has been released by New Reformation Publications.  It’s a gripping story.  [Read more…]

“There are not two sides.”

As the nation’s media openly joined in the celebrations of the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, some are saying, as we blogged about, that they will not cover opposition to the issue anymore.  Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, said this:

“We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.”

You have GOT to read Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway’s evisceration of this attitude, linked after the jump. [Read more…]