Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stephen Leary Refused to Return Our Repeated Phone Calls

It's a commonplace in the mainstream newspaper media. Somewhere in the last few paragraphs of hundreds of news article:

  1. He did not return our repeated phone calls
  2. He declined to comment
  3. He did not return phone calls seeking comment
  4. He did not respond to a text message seeking comment
  5. He did not return an email seeking comment
I don't see much of these:

  1. He did not respond to our Twitter message seeking comment
  2. He did not respond to our Facebook friend request
  3. He ignored our LinkedIn friend request
  4. We left a comment on his blog seeking comment but he has ignored it
I would think it is understood that contact was attempted with the subject of a news article without stating it. There seems to be some implied condemnation of the person who did not communicate with the newspaper.

Newspapers that built their reputations long ago, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, feel that is is an honor to be contacted by them and it is a person's duty to respond since theoretically, the media is acting in the public good. But it almost goes without saying that newspapers don't practice journalism as it was understood decades ago but now slant everything to their political god.

It is a matter of time before a newspaper story is composed of nothing but a list of ways the reporter attempted to contact the main personage under review, without success.

I'm thinking this will be a new genre in news reporting. The genre of simply writing about how a reporter attempted to contact the subject of a proposed article in numerous ways but was completely unsuccessful. A literary short story is in there, I'm sure.

I'm eager for the day I read in a newspaper the title of this post, "Stephen Leary Refused to Return Our Repeated Phone Calls" because I can see myself doing that, depending on what they want and what I think they would do with the quotes I would give them, which is probably nothing too good, such is the state of the news media these days. Like many, I would judge whether it's something innocuous or, on the other hand, something they would consider in their minds a political opportunity.

I like the idea of mainstream reporters needing to contact me and me not needing to communicate with them. Surely a lot of famous people feel this way. Not so famous people as well, given the large number of news stories I've seen with that paragraph stating the reporter's frustration in achieving contact with the wanted person.

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