1 min

Blade columnist's petty writing skills

(My Apr 6, 2014 comment to a Toledo Talk thread)

In Burris's Apr 6, 2014 column, this line that he wrote is hilarious:

The Treeces faced mostly open minds.

Really? Maybe that depends upon the definition of "mostly."

Excerpts from Burris's Nov 18, 2013 column :

When I asked former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner what he thought of the proposed private takeover of Toledo Express Airport, he had a good one-word answer: “Outrageous.”

I'm with Carty.

In his Dec 9, 2013 column, Burris tried to describe the "Treece Boys" as he called them even though they are adults:

Mini Madoffs?

Seeking Carty for input. Implying criminal behavior. Open minds, eh?

Newspaper opinion writers like Burris make me think of Nate Silver's quote from a March 2014 Time story titled How Nate Silver Hires.

[Silver] has insisted that potential hires demonstrate an ability to learn new things. In the journalism business, that might mean computer-programming skills or the creation of a novel beat. Silver judges potential employees by a set of coordinate axes he has saved on his computer.

The x-axis runs from “quantitative” to “qualitative,” the y-axis (top to bottom) from “rigorous and empirical” to “anecdotal and ad hoc.” All FiveThirtyEight employees, he says, need to land in the upper-left quadrant of the coordinate plane, where they are quantitatively inclined, rigorous and empirical.

The adjacent quadrant above the x-axis, Silver says, belongs to journalists like some of his former colleagues at the New York Times and Ezra Klein, most recently of the Washington Post. “People call them numbers whizzes, but they’re not that—just very good journalists.”

The bottom two quadrants belong to the dregs of American journalism: on the left, sportswriters who cherry-pick statistics without thinking through them, and on the right, op-ed columnists.

“That’s the crap quadrant. Two-thirds of the op-ed columnists at America’s major newspapers are worthless,” Silver says. He hates punditry, he hates narratives, he hates bold proclamations — and so too does he hate the media’s most willing vessels for all three.

#toledo - #media - #moronism - #politics - #business

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