commentary / Meandering / Meaning

Meandering Monday about Purveyors of Pessimism and Propaganda

Why is it so important for the weatherman to tell me what the heat index is going to be? It’s not bad enough it will be in the mid 90’s, you have to tell me it will feel like 104 degrees? (How do you know what temperature it FEELS like? That seems a bit subjective, doesn’t it?) What if they tried to make us feel better by telling us where it’s even hotter? Something like “High today of 98-degrees, but don’t worry – we won’t reach the 140-degree temperatures they’ll be seeing in Baghdad.”

While I’m complaining about weather reporting, why do they insist on putting some poor fool out on the beach during a hurricane to show us why we shouldn’t be out in that weather? Do they think we don’t know how bad it is out there? Most people know not to try this themselves, and the ones who don’t understand the danger don’t need to be given any ideas. “Hey Mark – look at that guy holding the microphone out there. I bet he could keep from getting knocked over if he had both hands free. Let’s you and me try it!”

So then we come to reporting in general. You know in writing fiction, people can sometimes go a little overboard in their use of qualifying adjectives, and we’re discouraged from taking it too far. Still, they do have a purpose – the nouns and verbs are more important to understanding “the facts”, while adjectives give the story color.

So, does a NEWS story really need to be colored? Is it really news to label a speech as “dark”, or is that commentary? What makes a policy “controversial” – just the fact that someone on the other side disagrees with it? If that was the case, then just about ALL policies should be labeled that way. And using air quotes around a portion of someone’s words isn’t factual reporting – it’s the presenter working their opinion into the news.

We don’t need someone to tell us what to think – we were supposed to learn how to do that for ourselves. That’s what all that money we’re spending on EDUCATION was really supposed to train us to do: THINK. Although if you look at what our college campuses are producing, it looks like a case of good money after bad.

The main reason that FAKE NEWS has come to the forefront of some heated discussions lately is that it is not only often factually deficient or outright wrong, but that the media in general has forgotten the difference between NEWS and OPINION. Time to get back to NEWS REPORTING, or, as Joe Friday might say, “Just the facts, MSM.”

Just saying…

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BaastardsRevengeCover“Baastards’ Revenge” – the fourth story of my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series – is prepped and ready to go.

Champion of the Empire Hercules Tom thinks this is a mere diplomatic mission to Baast; little does he know what the Baastards have in store for him. But don’t worry – this cat has proven time and again that he has more than the usual nine lives.

The release date is July 28th, but it’s available for preorder at a reduced price now in the usual places, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/upload/details/736440

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073YDXMLY

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Since the preorder campaign has begun for “Baastards’ Revenge”, NOW would be a good time to read the first three Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire stories, all conveniently collected in Cats of War I:CatsOfWar_I_Cover

Purr Mission” – Major Tom’s dander is up. His cub is dying of the Morient Virus, and he knows their sworn enemies are responsible (the Baastards!), but bureaucats order him not to go to their planet to recover the antidote. Well, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask Purr-mission.

Nipped in the Butt” – More intrigue as a familiar hallucinogen finds its way into Ramses society. Are their long-time adversaries behind it? Time for Major Tom to save the Empire again…

Cat and Mouse” – Major Tom has plans for his leave time: this cat is finally going to get some much needed R&R with his mates. But recent additions to the household (including his Admiral father-in-law and an uppity mouse chef), as well as an unexpected visit from yet another enemy puts his whiskers in a twist.

I’m offering a Smashwords coupon to cut the price to just 99-cents for the collection (such a deal!) Here’s the link on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588921

Remember to use coupon code WF25Z

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VictimlessCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his previous publication “Victimless”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

 

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