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February 15, 2006

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Fern

Who are we supposedly "persecuting?" Waiting 24 hours before alerting the press corps that the VP accidentally shot a fellow hunter hardly rises to my definition of "persecute."

goethe girl

Be careful with words: "persecution" of journalists and writers?

WittyName32

"Persecution" might refer (if you'll forgive my going back a news cycle or two) to the journalists being jailed for not revealing their sources.

This White House has been so aggressively anti-media -- and open about that, as if the American people, wink-wink, are on the same page -- that it can only recall the Soviet countries. This country was born on the back of the free press, and that's how freedom continues to be borne today (see last year's Orange Revolution in Ukraine); but still this administration demonizes the press, says it needs to find ways to bypass them, and so it closes the door at every turn and praises the virtues of silence and confidential, unless it deals with your silence and confidences -- those it wants to know.

I've been writing about the growing Sovietization of Washington for a couple of years now. I'm amazed more people haven't been picking up on it, especially after the NSA oh-by-the-way, we'll-be-listening, but-don't-worry-if-you've-got-nothing-to-worry-about thing. That's when I wrote this:

Whenever one company takes over another, it absorbs those products or techniques that are profitable and discards those that are not. The United States, which governs more and more by the corporate model than the civic version, is no different. When it triumphed over Communism, it might as well have been a corporate takeover. Overnight, the world went from being dominated by two brands to one. Markets expanded for American and western companies. McDonald’s came to Moscow, German supermarkets opened in Kyiv. The politics in Washington, now unchallenged on the world stage, also began to change, pushing out to fill in its new, roomier boundaries.

It continues here. Sorry about the length and link, Mark. Do what you must. This issue gets me.

TEV

No worries about length, Stephan - you are dead on, and you get my meaning precisely. It's just one more thing to be depressed about that others don't see it as clearly, or jump right to the Cheney buckshot nonsense.

goethe girl

In my humble opinion, it's the press that demonizes this administration.

Nav Purewal

Do you really think the U.S. has "taken the lead" in persecution? Tell that to Orhan Pamuk. Tell that to any Iranian journalist.

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TEV DEFINED


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

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