Thursday, January 12, 2017

A tearjerker – and dream songs – to remember

Harry the music man, 2012
Did you see the movie “An Affair to Remember”? Note to young people: Watch it! I saw the Cary Grant version many times in my youth. Harry discusses the movie’s music in the first of two articles below. He wrote the articles for his community newsletter in Leisure World, Silver Spring, MD.


Dec. 6, 2012 
Wishing Will Make It So

There are so many memorable songs that it’s hard to choose which one to write about each month. Sometimes I choose because the melody is stuck in my mind. Sometimes it’s because a song is associated with a person I’m thinking about. And, sometimes, like today, it’s because the lyric strikes me and I can’t let it go. Consider this couplet, for example: “Dreamers tell us dreams come true. It’s no mistake. And wishes are the dreams we dream when we’re awake.” Let that thought roll around in your mind for a while. I think it’s one of the most profound thoughts ever expressed in popular music lyrics.

What brought it to mind was that I caught a glimpse of an old movie, while surfing on TV recently, called “An Affair to Remember”. It starred Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A real tearjerker. Well, that movie was made in 1957 (good grief, more than 50 years ago). But that movie was a remake of an older movie called “Love Affair” that was made in 1939 (good grief, more than 70 years ago). It featured Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer in the starring roles. In the original movie, Irene Dunne sang the “wishing” song, written especially for that movie, words and music by Buddy DeSylva – the Tin Pan Alley/Hollywood songwriter I’ve talked about in previous columns. That movie, by the way, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Writing, Best Original Story, Best Art Direction and Best Original Song.

Just to prove that Hollywood knows a good thing when it sees it, it tried another remake in 1994 with another “Love Affair” starring Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. Same storyline, etc. I didn’t see that one. Two out of three is enough. Anyway, it was Irene Dunne who got me started on wishing and dreaming and marveling at lyrics that made sense.

Wishing (Lyric)

Wishing will make it so, Just keep on wishing, and cares will go. Dreamers tell us dreams come true. It’s no mistake. And wishes are the dreams we dream, when we’re awake. The curtain of night will part, If you are certain, Within your heart. So if you wish long enough, wish strong enough, You will come to know. Wishing will make it so.


March 19, 2013
Once In a While

Usually, a successful songwriter has several big hits to his credit. Rarely do you hear of a writer with only one big hit, but once in a while, one comes along. His name was Michael Edwards and his one really big hit was “Once In a While”, published in 1937. Tommy Dorsey’s recording that year went to Number One in the country and Patti Page’s recording some fifteen years later, in 1952, also hit the top of the charts. Again, in 1968, Ella Fitzgerald also had a big hit with her recording; Elkie Brooks had a big hit with it in 1984; and Eddie Vetter did it again in 2011. So, it’s still being heard now and then – once in a while. Michael Edwards was a classical violinist, organist and music arranger, and this song was his one and only major composition.

The lyricist, Bud Green, on the other hand, had written many lyrics and had collaborated with a great many composers and other writers, including Buddy DeSylva, Les Brown, Ray Henderson, Al Dubin, Harry Warren, and others. Among his most successful songs was “Alabamy Bound”, “That’s My Weakness Now”, “I’ll Always Be In Love With You”, “Flat Foot Floogie With a Floy, Floy”, “Sentimental Journey”, and many others. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. 

Like so many other American songwriters, Bud Green was born in Europe (Austria) and came here as a child. He grew up in Harlem at the beginning of the 20th Century and started writing songs when he was still in elementary school. Aside from his success as a lyricist, Bud Green became famous as a symbol of the “Flapper” era. His song “That’s My Weakness Now” became a huge hit for Helen Kane, including the phrase “Boop Boop-a-Doop”. That song and that phrase and Helen Kane’s rendition became the inspiration for Max Fleischer to create the Betty Boop cartoons that burst on the world in 1930 and that are still with us today.

Once In a While (Lyric)

Once in a while, Will you try to give one little thought to me, Though someone else may be, Nearer your heart? Once in a while, Will you dream of the moments I shared with you, Moments before we two, Drifted apart?

In love’s smoldering ember, One spark may remain, If love still can remember, The flame will burn again. I know that I’ll, Be contented with yesterday’s memory, Knowing you’ll think of me, Once in a while.

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Opinions on change, criticism and clarity

After a 36-year career in the federal government, Harry walked away in 1986 as an expert in his field, the media. But he never stopped writing about the media. I uncovered these 1991 essays in a collection on his computer. They may interest media folks and government communicators, as well as entertain his friends and family. I think he would have liked that.

Change

America will be a great place – if they ever finish it. Comedians used to say that every now and then, and it would invariably get a laugh. Sometimes, driving through almost any city in the country, and seeing all the construction going on in office buildings, apartment houses, shopping malls, new roads, etc., that line comes to mind again. It’s what is called an inverted truism. The truth is, of course, that America will never be finished. We will be building it, building upon it, and rebuilding it forever – and not only its physical structure, but its institutions, its values, its very culture, as well.

Our society is constantly evolving and the pace of change is rapidly increasing. In earlier generations, say fifty or sixty years ago, changes were coming much more slowly and people were able to adjust, to adapt to change, to get used to things for a while before they phased into something else. Not anymore. Changes in our lives and in our environment and society are coming so fast that we are having trouble coping with them. They frighten us. We wish, sometimes, that we could slow down the world for a while, till we catch our breath.

Sixty years ago, in the 1940s, an eighth-grade education was enough to qualify people for most jobs in our society. Fifty and forty years ago, in the 1950s and 1960s, a high-school education was enough. In fact, only about 15 percent of our youth graduated from high school in the immediate post-World War II period and less than 10 percent of them went on to college. But the evolving needs of science and technology have changed all that. Today, most jobs in our society require a college degree in order to earn a living wage with any hope of advancement to positions of responsibility and authority. In fact, a large proportion of the worthwhile jobs require advanced degrees. As a consequence, some 75 to 80 percent of our youth today graduate from high school and some 60 percent of them go on to college. That alone represents a great sea change in American society.

Criticisms

Military public affairs officers, whose business involves dealing with the media on a daily basis, are frequently critical for what reporters regard as the wrong reasons. For example, the media has come under attack for writing about the erosion of benefits for service men and women, such as cutting back on commissary and Base Exchange privileges, or making changes in the retirement system. Not only do articles like that make the recruiting job more difficult, but they are bad for the morale of those who are already in the service, and they discourage people from reenlisting when their tours are up. But surely, reporters respond, the military cannot seriously expect the media to refrain from reporting such developments, simply on the grounds that to do so would have a negative effect on recruitments or reenlistments. Such criticisms are grossly unfair, they charge, since the very nature of the reporter’s job is to purvey the news to the public.

* * *
It is a cliché among meteorologists that there is no such thing as bad weather; there are merely different kinds of weather. The same thing is true of news; there is no such thing as bad news, merely different kinds of news and, in journalism, all the news is fit to print. That’s the simple view, the simplistic view. The truth is that in journalism, as in any other business, someone makes decisions a hundred times a day or more as to what to do and what not to do, what to write and what not to write, what to include and what not to include, etc. And everything that reaches the public through the media is going to impinge on the public consciousness and influence the public behavior. 

Clarity

Here are two examples of how communications can miss the mark. The first is a directive put out by the White House – by one of those bright young presidential aides, no doubt – during World War II:  “Such preparations will be made, as will completely obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal Government during an air raid for any period of time from visibility by reason of internal or external illumination. Such obscuration may be obtained either by blackout construction or by termination of the illumination. This will, of course, require that in building areas in which production must continue during the blackout, construction must be provided that internal illumination may continue. Other area, whether or not occupied by personnel, may be obscured by terminating the illumination.”

When the President saw it he blew his stack, according to some eyewitnesses. Exasperated, he wrote the following correction in the margin: “Tell them that in buildings where they have to keep the work going, to put something across the window. In buildings where they can afford to let the work stop for a while, turn out the lights.” In other words, use plain English!

The second example is about the plumber who wrote to the National Bureau of Standards to tell them how useful hydrochloric acid was for cleaning out clogged drains. The Bureau wrote back: “The efficacy of hydrochloric acid is indisputable, but the corrosive residue is incompatible with metallic permanence.”

The plumber replied that he was happy that the Bureau agreed with him. So the Bureau tried again, writing: “We cannot assume responsibility for the production of toxic and noxious residue with hydrochloric acid, and suggest that you use an alternative procedure.” And again the plumber expressed pleasure that he and the Bureau saw eye to eye.

Finally, a sharp young secretary at the Bureau sent a message that got through: “Don’t use hydrochloric acid,” she wrote, “it eats hell out of the pipes.” 

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our English language obscurities

Along with several previous essays on this blog, Harry saved the ones on this page in a computer file he titled “BOOK 1”. He likely collected the pieces from his speeches or articles over the years, or simply jotted stories that might fit into a book he thought about writing in the 1980s or ’90s. I continue to learn from his essays; how about you?


Groups

Some of the more obscure things in the English language involve the use of collective nouns, that is, the names used to describe a group of people or animals or things. For example, a herd, a flock, a group are all collective nouns. There are so many collective nouns that it’s sometimes confusing, not to say, on occasion, positively hilarious. A number of lions living together is called a pride of lions, for example, and we speak of a school of fish, a pod of whales, a gaggle of geese, a herd of cattle and a flock of sheep. (Why, then, is the man in charge of a flock of sheep called a shepherd?) All of which is leading up to some novel and humorous observations. 

A group of professors, walking in downtown Washington – or any big city, for that matter – saw a number of “ladies of the evening” soliciting passersby. As professors are prone to do, they began discussing the proper collective nouns to apply to the ladies. The musician among them suggested “a fanfare of strumpets.” The gourmet thought “a jam of tarts” would be more appropriate. The literary one urged “an anthology of pros,” or, as an alternative, “an essay of Trollope’s.” The lawyer among them pleaded for “a firm of solicitors.” When I told this story to some businessmen, a miner among them suggested “an outcropping of ores.” I’m sure that anyone with imagination can come up with some more suggestions.


Stories and anecdotes

To illustrate that people don’t always mean what they say, let me tell you a little story that came out of the late Joe Creason’s column in the Louisville Courier Journal. It seems that an elderly farmer in a mule-drawn wagon was involved in an accident with an automobile. He claimed that he was badly hurt and was suing the driver of the car.

“Isn’t it true,” the defendant’s lawyer asked, “that after the accident you said you never felt better in your life?”

“Well,” said the farmer, “that morning I got up, hitched up my wagon, put my dog in the wagon ...”

“Just answer the question, yes or no,” the lawyer interrupted.

“I’m coming to that,” the farmer snapped. “That morning I got up, hitched up my mule to the wagon, put my hound dog in the back of the wagon, and I just got over a rise in the road when this big car barreled into my rear end. My mule was knocked to one side of the road, my hound dog to the other, and I was pinned under the seat. Then along came the sheriff. He saw my mule had a broken leg, pulled out his gun and shot it dead. He went over to my dog, saw it was badly hurt with a broken back, and shot it in the head. Then,” the farmer continued, “he comes over to me and asks, ‘Well, and how are you feeling?’ and sure enough, I said ‘I ain’t never felt better in my life.’”


Sophistry

After the death of Pericles, in ancient Greece, there arose a host of “quack” professors in Athens who taught their students how to achieve success. The secret lies in how to win arguments, they taught, in politics, in business, and in the courts of law, by twisting logic around to its ultimate absurdity, with no regard for morality or integrity. Plato called these teachers “sophists”. One of the most notorious sophists was a man named Protagoras. He agreed to teach a law student who had no money, with the understanding that the student would not have to pay him until after he won his first case.

He taught his student only too well. When his studies were finished, the student came to Protagoras and said: “Suppose you sue me for non-payment. If I win, I don’t have to pay you according to the judgment of the court; if I lose, I don’t have to pay you according to our agreement.” Ever since that time, the world has called such arguments “sophistry”. It is a term of derision in all civilized societies.

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A lesson in listening to the news

Harry wrote the essay on this page in 1988 and later filed it in a folder titled “BOOK 1” with others recently posted on this blog. He may have written it solely for a book he thought about writing, or for another reason, such as a magazine article or a speech to a local organization. Many of us who read this blog are glad he did a great deal of writing through his old age, and then mastered the computer enough to save at least some of his files for posterity.


Editorializing

There’s an old doggerel about a boy’s relationship with a girl. I don’t know who wrote it, most likely someone named “Anonymous”, but it goes like this:  I took her to the movies, I took her to a show, I took her almost every place, A boy and girl could go. I took her out to dinner, I took her out for tea, When suddenly I realized, That she’d been taking me!

I used to wonder why the network news programs refused to take editorial positions on issues of national interest. Some local stations editorialize, usually on local issues rather than national issues. Some even provide time for listener responses to their editorials. But not the networks. At least, not formally. And then, suddenly, I realized that they’d been taking me, that they actually were editorializing.

You don’t have to label an editorial as such. There are much more subtle ways to editorialize. There are much more stealthy ways to express opinions. And the networks do that all the time, either consciously and deliberately, or subconsciously and unknowingly. They do it in their news reports and they do it in the so-called commentaries by their elder statesmen pundits. And, they do it under the guise of “objective” reporting or observations.

In that way, their support for, or their opposition to a particular policy or program slips through. Either their cheer-leading or their cursory treatment on specific issues colors the public perception and influences the public opinion. The birds do it; the bees do it; the anchormen, producers and reporters do it. How do they do it? In countless ways. They do it with a raised eyebrow, with a thin-lipped smile, with a repressed sneer, with a skeptical tone of voice, with an enthusiastic demeanor, with heightened excitement, with evident boredom, and, above all, with the selective use of prejudicial words.

Prejudicial words are especially effective in influencing the listener’s perception of events. Consider, for example, the following scenario:  An alleged criminal is on trial. The reporter notes that “today the prosecutor introduced damaging, new evidence.” The word “damaging” is itself enough to color the perception of the listener. He is immediately prejudiced against the defendant. Suppose the reporter had noted that “today the prosecutor introduced evidence that he hoped would damage the defendant’s case.” Immediately, the listener gains a different perception, that there is an element of doubt here.

The selection of words is crucial to the listener’s understanding of the reporter’s bias. The next time you listen to a network news program, pay close attention to the words the anchorman or the reporter uses, as well as to his tone of voice and his facial expressions. Then, decide for yourself if he’s trying to influence your perception of the events on which he is commenting. Decide for yourself if he’s being objective or prejudicial. Just keep an open mind about the issue at hand. Remember, the opinions you hold should be your own opinions, not someone else’s opinions foisted upon you by false pretenses or prejudicial comments.

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freedom of the press – and your private thoughts

Recent hype about fake newsand blocking the press make this essay as relevant as ever. Harry wrote it in 1991 and eventually filed it on his computer in a folder he titled “BOOK 1”. I believe he collected essays for a potential book on the media. 


Freedom of the Press

The United States is the only country in the world that grants its people freedom of the press. This freedom is specifically spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution, under which nobody – not the Congress nor the states and especially not the courts – can take that freedom away. All of them have tried from time to time with varying degrees of success, but this unique and most precious freedom of ours remains largely intact, despite the fact that it is constantly under attack. These attacks, however, do not represent the greatest threat to freedom of the press.

The greatest danger, in my view, comes from the press itself. It is the performance of the press that poses the danger. The problem is that the press is comprised of a huge variety of publications, a publishing output that is so huge, in fact, that it cannot be encompassed in one glance. The newspapers, the magazines, the newsletters, the pamphlets, the books, the studies, the circulars, etc., etc.; all the many thousands of publications that confront the reading public, are the press. And some of those publications are undoubtedly scurrilous, scandalous, abusive, vulgar, obscene, gross, insulting, malignant, libelous, and any other descriptive adjective you can think of.

In the eyes of the courts, any individual element of the press is equal to any other element. That is to say that the National Inquirer, say, and The New York Times, say, are both newspapers, subject to the same rules of conduct as can be applied to all elements of the press alike. It may be blasphemous to mention those two publications in the same breath, but they are both newspapers and every time the former gets sued, the latter also suffers. In fact, every time any newspaper loses a court case, all the other newspapers lose a piece of their freedom.

The real strength of the press lays not so much in the guarantee of freedom provided in the Constitution as it does in the credibility it enjoys in the eyes of its readers. Thus, if one newspaper prints lies and distortions which bring about lawsuits and court proceedings, the notion that all newspapers are guilty of the same kind of conduct pervades the public consciousness. There is no way to separate the performance of one newspaper from that of another in the courts or in the public mind. It doesn’t even matter if a newspaper wins or loses in court. The mere allegations of malice and lies that are aired in court impinge on the public perception of newspaper conduct. And the more that the public comes to believe that the performance of the press is not worth protecting, the less freedom the press will enjoy.

In the end, therefore, the performance of the press itself will determine the degree of freedom it has to report and comment on the news. I don’t know if there is any solution to this problem of separating the various elements of the press, but it worries me.

  
Journals
  
My dad’s musings from 1994 seem to give us permission to share his writings, however personal. What do you think? He saved this with other essays on the media.

I have mixed emotions about a journal – for myself, that is. I have, on a few occasions, kept a journal with respect to a specific event or act in which I was involved on a daily basis, or a periodic basis. I tried to record all my actions and reactions to that subject over the time that it lasted. This worked only moderately well. So long as I continued to record events as they transpired, I was okay. But then, I started to record my feelings about these events, my emotions and reactions to them, my thinking and my decision-making processes, and inevitably, I got bogged down. I found myself trying to write a book every night, and it started to overwhelm me. 

If I confined myself to what I did, what others did, and what I did in response to what they did, it worked and, in fact, became a useful resource for me. But, like I said, when I tried to record too much, it did not work.

Everybody has to work things out for himself (or herself), and a journal may very well work for you no matter how much you try to pour into it. So, consider this: Someday you’re going to be famous, and the biographers and historians will study everything you ever wrote in order to define and redefine your character. In that light, think of your journal as a public document that will disclose your most private thoughts and feelings. And act, or write, accordingly.

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Harry’s scoop on newspapers, commentators

Here’s “Chapter 2” from a folder of drafts Harry filed on his computer in the 1980s and ’90s. At the time, he’d thought about writing a book on the media. We can only imagine things he would have had to say about the media today.


Chapter 2

Here’s a question I’m often asked, sometimes at cocktail parties, sometimes in serious conversations or discussions. “Harry, after reading so widely for so many years, how do you feel about the media? Are they doing a good job?”

I wish the answers could be as simple as the questions, but they’re not. My feelings about the media are somewhat ambivalent – part admiration and respect, part revulsion and contempt. I’m reminded of what Winston Churchill once said about democracy. “Democracy,” he said, “is the worst form of government imaginable – except for all the others.” Or words to that effect. He had a way of spouting nuggets like that.

Meteorologists like to say that there is no such thing as bad weather – only different kinds of weather. In a way, the same thing can be said about newspapers. None of them are all good; none of them are all bad. They are all a mixture of good and bad which, in effect, makes each one different. The National Inquirer, for example, is as different from The New York Times as the sun is from the moon. Yet, they are both newspapers, just as the sun and the moon are both heavenly bodies in our solar system. One can be described as an abomination in the media world, the other as a great purveyor of information and influence. (I leave it to you to decide which is which.) But both have their moments of greatness, and both have their moments of failure. The point is that they are very different breeds of the same cat, and the people who read them do so for different reasons. The one, perhaps, to keep up with their prejudices; the other, perhaps, to be entertained or informed. (Again, I leave it to you to decide which is which.)          

The commentator represents the top of the heap in a system that puts the ordinary reporter at the bottom. This is the “Peter Principle” at work. When a reporter displays the qualities of persistence, astuteness, acumen, etc., that make him first-rate at what he does, he is rewarded by being taken out of that field and placed in the category of pundit, or commentator. This move immediately escalates his pay schedule to astronomical proportions, and this applies both to newspapers and broadcast journalism.

But what do such pundits do to earn their high salaries? They become, in effect, parasites, feeding off the work of other journalists. They either rewrite the news that others have gathered, adding their own comments (read biases) or they have teams of writers do it for them. On a newspaper, it would be tantamount to having the rewrite man elevated to a position equal to that of the editor, with commensurate salary and prestige, and putting his own byline on all the stories.

I strongly believe that this is what has happened to many of the syndicated columnists. They have, in accordance with the Peter Principle, been elevated to the level of incompetence. Strictly as an aside, I might add, I suspect that the same sort of thing has happened in our educational system. Those who have demonstrated the highest ability as educators have been elevated to administration, the level of incompetence for them, and our educational system has suffered accordingly.

In any case, reporters must be frustrated by the so-called star system, especially in television. More often than not, a reporter – a foreign correspondent – will gather the facts of an important story from some very high-level sources overseas; but does he get to tell his story to the viewers? Usually not. Dan Rather, or Tom Brokaw, or the current reigning star (read anchorman) will tell it, on whatever network or channel you’re watching.

TV News

Television is an enormously influential medium in our country and, probably, around the world. Or so they say. Indeed, it has become somewhat of a cliché to say that the majority of the people get their news from television and, thus, television shapes the public’s perceptions of the world around them. Well, it does and it doesn’t. The problem is that there is no accurate way to measure precisely how influential it really is. In my view, its influence is a myth perpetuated by the broadcasters and the agencies that sell advertising.

To be sure, millions of people watch the news, and millions more watch major events – football games, the World Series, the Olympics, Presidential news conferences, national tragedies, etc. – and there is no better medium for conveying a sense of what is happening now, right now, live and in living color. But the day-to-day news, the nightly news programs, are watched by fewer people than watch the major event shows or the major entertainment shows. And while they get some feel for what’s going on in the world or in their local communities, anyway, the question is, do they get a real understanding of what is transpiring?

(Stay tuned for more of Harry’s media-related drafts on this blog.)

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Harry’s unweathered essays on the media

In 1987, Harry drafted the following essay about the media, one of many he eventually filed in a computer folder titled BOOK 1. Yes, he had considered the idea of writing a book on media after he retired from government. The essays could serve as a history lesson for youngsters and others who could use the background. For sure, they show us more of the knowledge that occupied Harry’s mind.


Chapter 1  Introduction

I have a great deal to say about the media, but before I start, let me define the term. The media is something like the weather – everyone talks about it but nobody ever does anything about it. And when people talk about the media, they all mean different things; that is, they are talking about different elements of the media. Media itself is an all-embracing term. It includes newspapers, magazines, books, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, newsletters, house organs, press releases, etc.

To complicate the problem, within each element of the media there are different manifestations. In the newspaper field, for example, there are seven-day a week newspapers, five-day a week newspapers, three-day a week newspapers, weekly newspapers, biweekly newspapers, and even a few monthly newspapers. There are newspapers for sale and newspapers given away free. Even Sunday newspapers can be cast in a separate category, since they are quite different from their daily counterparts and some are even managed by separate staffs.

Within both radio and television broadcasting, there are the major networks, the independents (so-called), cable, and local stations. All are part of the same general species, but all differ from each other in many important ways. The same is true of magazines – general magazines, popular magazines, trade magazines, special interest magazines, and so on. There is, in fact, such a wild proliferation of published and broadcast material available to the public that it is very nearly impossible to catalogue and assess it all under the heading of “media”.  

Books, for example, are a very important element of the media, since they exercise considerable influence over the way their readers view the world around them. Movies, too. If anyone thinks, for example, that people in other countries derive their impressions of life in the United States from newspapers alone, he is badly mistaken. Books, movies and television entertainment programs have far more influence on foreign perceptions of American society than do newspapers or news broadcasts. I can’t prove that, but I strongly believe it.

In any case, the entire spectrum of material embraced by the “media” is too huge to be manageable in any one volume like this. On a practical level, therefore, when I talk about the media, I am talking only about a few of its more important (in my view) elements; that is, a few newspapers, a few magazines, a few broadcasts – a small fraction of the whole, and yet enough, I hope, to convey the reasons why I feel as I do about media performance and its effect on our national perceptions.  

Now a few words about where I’m coming from. For some 36 years I was intimately associated with a Pentagon publication called the Current News, a series of daily compilations of newspaper and magazine stories dealing with national security affairs. This sort of experience does not qualify me as a journalist, per se, but rather as a serious reader, or student, of journalistic efforts. I would submit that anyone of moderate intelligence who studies the products of journalism in any field of interest attentively for more than three decades will inevitably learn something – not only about the field of interest, but also about the practice of journalism itself. If he has a modicum of self-respect, he will also think about what he has learned. And if he has an ego, as I do, he will try to impart what he has learned to others, as I am in this book.  


(In the following weeks, Ill post more essays from Harry’s “BOOK 1” files.)

Copyright 2016, Elaine Blackman