Category Archives: journalism

Once again, “Black” versus “white”

I doubt that I’ll write much more about this issue, and bring it up here because Greg has turned up some curious journalistic information. This all involves newspapers’ decisions about whether to capitalize “black” and “white” when they refer to races, or rather, to socially constructed entities formerly known as races. I’ve discussed the capitalization […]

Is Andrew Sullivan beyond the pale?

by Greg Mayer [Update: I’ve been informed by Sam Harris that Murray and Herrnstein did not make the quantitative genetics error I attributed to them: they did not suppose that in traits with high heritability mean differences between populations indicate genetic differences between populations. I wasn’t sure they did (not having read the book), hence […]

Andrew Sullivan’s latest lucubrations

Andrew Sullivan’s site is still free, but will shortly go to a fee scheme whereby you can pay $50 a year for full access (I’ve already subscribed). The format is still a weekly tripartite column, but with additions like his famous “The View from My Window” contest, in which readers have to guess exactly where […]

Et tu, L. A. Times? Trader Joe’s decision to keep brand names is touted as “breaking your heart”

As I reported recently, Trader Joe’s grocery emporium has been accused of racism for using names like “Trader Ming’s” for its Southeast Asian foods, “Trader Giotto’s” for Italian foods, and “Trader José’s” for Mexican food and drink. There’s apparently also a “Baker Josef’s” line of baked goods, like pretzels, imported from Germany. The company first […]

MSNBC producer quits because of clickbait nature of the news

Ariana Pekary was an award-winning producer at MSNBC who just quit her job because she couldn’t take the clickbait-y nature of the station, a feature she says is shared by all commercial news stations. This is apparently not a small deal, for it’s reported on sites like The Hill, Fox News, The New York Post, […]

It’s complicated: WaPo tackles the difficult journalistic issue of racial designation and capitalization

A short while back I highlighted the Associated Press’s (AP) decision to capitalize “Black” but not “white” when referring to ethnic groups, a decision that’s been adopted by, among other papers, the New York Times. The basis for the decision, which I criticized, was this: . . . . .people who are Black have strong […]

The Wall Street Journal proudly proclaims that it’s not The New York Times

I almost never read the Wall Street Journal, mainly because it’s behind a paywall and I don’t want to fork out the dosh. Also, I believe it’s mostly about finance, which doesn’t interest me. However, Malgorzata, knowing of my dislike of the new New York Times, sent me this link and a transcript, which I […]

Bad writing in a review of Taylor Swift’s new album: a petulant deconstruction of purple prose

Despite Taylor Swift’s immense popularity, I’m no fan of the star, who’s viewed by many as an immensely talented songwriter of autobiographical pop songs.  I’ve listened to a fair number of them and never found one that was memorable. The article below, by a New York Times music critic, links to several of her songs […]

Chief executive of the New York Times steps down after boosting the paper financially but wrecking it journalistically

Mark Thompson, former director general of the BBC, has resigned his position as chief executive of the New York Times, which he’s held since 2012. This doesn’t appear to be a case of firing or of internal trouble at the paper. As the Guardian reports below (click on screenshot), Thompson had considerable success in expanding […]

Why the Associated Press is writing “Black” and “white”

When I was writing about the New York Times music critic’s article calling for an end to blind orchestra auditions—although they have reportedly led to a dramatic increase in women orchestral players, they haven’t done squat for blacks or Hispanics—I noticed that the Times, like other venues, is now capitalizing “Black” and using lowercase “white” […]