I’m not one to wish ill on anyone–I’m probably empathetic to a fault. But yesterday when I heard that the racist who for decades has made fun of women, gays, people with chronic diseases, or anyone who doesn’t share his “values,” all the while profiting off baseless fear-mongering that has corroded the brains of thinking Americans, and contributed to the modern age of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” as well as the election of a racist president who routinely attacks legitimate news outlets and who just awarded this same poisonous human the nation’s highest civilian honor, was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer, my immediate thought was, “Fuck him.”
One of the great journalists from a bygone era died today at the age of 85. Jim Lehrer covered many major events over his career, including the JFK assassination and the Watergate hearings. He had a list of nine tenets he followed that I wish every journalist followed. This one especially, which, sadly, is more relevant in 2020 than ever: “I’m not in the entertainment business.”
It’s a pretty awful time for journalism–constantly under attack, most astonishingly by the commander-in-chief, yet the institution doesn’t do itself any favors, especially in the broadcast realm. Lehrer should be revered. Here are his nine rules…read ’em and weep for humanity.
Do nothing I cannot defend.
Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.
Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and clearly label everything.
Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should be allowed to attack another anonymously.
It’s been a while. Like a really long time. Like 15-20 years or something. Actually, it’s been approximately five years since I last posted something here on The Days of Lore. And it’s not because I’m lazy, goddamnit. On the contrary, I’ve been very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very busy…which is to say, I now have two small children.
Needless to say I don’t have as much time for writing these days, aside from the occasional freelance gig. And when the old server that housed TDoL dumped years of work in 2015, the decision to stop doing this was that much easier (with help I’ve recovered most of it, and some might make occasional appearances in an installment I like to call: The Days of Lore…of Yore). So what made me decide to fire up this website again? Simply put, I just needed somewhere to dump my opinions on meaningless shit, as well as a place for me to process the day-to-day stuff that clogs my brain and makes me think and overthink and stress out. Plus I’ll use it as a place to link to my professional writing. And I’d much rather do this in my own space than on the grotesque Zuck Machine that probably brought you here. Yeesh.
Anyway, I figured a reintroduction was in order. Some of you reading, perhaps, have been here since the earliest days of Lore. Some of you are new. This is a place that will most-likely include a lot of music-related content. I’m almost 47, and music is still the thing I love most…well, besides my family…and baseball…and maybe Taco Tuesday. You’ll probably also catch me prattling on about, well, tacos and baseball, as well as movies (I’m good for about one or two a year–usually Star Wars-related), whiskey, books, journalism, food, fatherhood (ewwwww!), politics (double-ewwwww!), and my trip to Trader Joe’s.
If you’re not riveted by the potential here then you’re probably the owner of a successful business, two homes and a boat. Jokes aside, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I think I’m pretty good at it. To be honest, I need The Days of Lore more than you do–but it’s always a better experience with more people involved. Let’s have some fun.
This clip essentially sums up everything I mentioned above, so let this be your guide for future posts: Always skip to the video.