Saturday, May 16, 2015

More SNR madness

5/15/15 cover of SNR.
In this week’s weak SNR, the publisher goes to a “public square” meeting on homelessness and nothing interesting happens. Instead of writing about the issues, vonKaenel -- the arms-akimbo guy --writes about almost not getting in and eating a meal there that he was not entitled to.

There is hope though. A reader named Twit asks as a comment to the vonKaenel piece, "What questions should have been asked and answered?"

It's possible vonKaenel will respond to the reader's query, but, alternately, he might just tell us what he had for dinner and the color of his tie that night.

Per 90% of always, the Sacramento News and Review writes about homelessness without getting within fifty feet of homeless people.

Arms Akimbo Guy.
[Picture cleverly
altered to avoid me,
Tom, from getting
sued.]
As I’ve mentioned multiple times before, and am motivated to do so again – even if I am at risk of writing something as boring as vonKaenel’s Greenlight column – homeless people are treated like black folk were in the 50’s by the white press. Way back then, THE black opinion on matters always came from what Ebony magazine called, mockingly, “the official negro spokesman” which was whomever was the most-prominent black person accessible to the all-white press at the time. Black opinion in the white press was presented as if black people were amorphous, all sharing that one opinion of the quotable white-journalists-chosen Top Black Guy.

Similarly, the press in Sac'to, today, writes about homeless folk by going to functions where big wheels in the homeless-aid industry gather and praise each other and present homeless folk as kindly retarded toddlers, for the always-on-their-mind purpose of wooing donors.

Homeless people, today, in Sacramento are absent as sources in what the Bee and SNR print when writing about homeless people, which explains why their stories are about as fact-based as Seymour Hersh’s latest investigative piece.

BTW, I'm NOT talking about ME -- prominent, beloved homelessness blogger -- as a source for SNR to use. There are many, many great, trustworthy, know-the-street guys and gals who populate Homeless World who can provide the bare-skinny on all matters, homeless. Me, I'm off on the sidelines these days, out of the kink and thrust of it all.

Woe, Jeff vonKaenel. You are such a horse’s pitoot.

I think it was a good move by SNR editor Nick Miller to have NOT listed Greenlight in the hardcopy version of the issue’s content listing this week. That can have saved some readers from seeing the column and nodding off.

Something that is likely not to have caused readers to nod off was Miller’s unique Editor’s Note this week, regaling the latest Seymour Hersh investigative journalism piece, without addressing important facts, just riffing with whatever floats out of his head.

From what I know: Hersh was unable to find a publisher in the United States for his investigate piece and it was thus remaindered – whoops, I mean published -- in the London Review of Books, a wholly inappropriate place for it, of course, whether the article was any good or not. Hersh’s article claims that the story from the White House about how Osama bin Laden was found and killed was a complete hoax.

The reason that Hersh could not find a publisher for his article in the US was because newspaper editors-in-chief throughout the country did not find that Hersh had amassed sufficient evidence that the official story was not true and that Hersh’s alternate storyline, taken from unnamed sources, was factual.

Apparently, based on Miller’s praise for Hersh in his column this week, Miller would have printed the Hersh piece without reading it. Way to go, Miller. You are such a J-school star.

Yes, the Columbia Journalism Review decries what it perceives to be a failure of US journalists to attempt to validate Hersh’s claims, but the widespread reputation of Hersh as a crank, desperate for a return to glory, is well-established over a period of decades. Listening to the most-recent Slate Gabfest -- The "I Don't Mean to Yell at You but I Feel Good Doing It" edition -- it seems that Hersh had become an angry, unreasonable old man who’s lost touch and has fully broken bridges of trust with elite journalists and prominent editors through-out America. [With Miller -- who's neither elite nor prominent -- being a sort-of exception, here.]

C'mon, SNR! The Bee is imploding. Now is the time for you to GET SERIOUS and GROW UP. Don't any of you want to be journalists before you wither & die?

The infamous Xmas issue.
I had written Miller and Arms Akimbo a couple weeks ago suggesting they do something noble and needed: Apologize to Sheriff Jones for what SNR wrote about him in their Christmas issue. But that won't happen, of course. SNR doesn't admit errors, thus there is no correction of misstatements or noting of ethical lapses nor even an apology for Hosseini's thoroughly incompetent attempt at poetry. STOP STINKING SO BAD, SNR. Pull your selves together.

And, by the way, SNR also owes an apology to the Union Gospel Mission for their Stephen Glass penned piece that was wholly an act of bogus reporting. UGM doesn't want any apology, but I do. To set the record straight. The truth matters.

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