Many suburban legislators representing affluent school districts use terms such as "sinkhole" when opposing funding for Chicago's children. "We can't keep throwing money, " said Governor Thompson in 1988, "into a black hole." The Chicago Tribune notes that, when this phrase is used, people hasten to explain that it is not intended as a slur against the race of many of Chicago's children. "But race, " says the Tribune, "never is far from the surface...
Well, Arminius, I can't say you're the most natural horseman I've ever seen.' Arminius sneered down at the men standing around him, then leaned out of the saddle and put a sausage sized finger in Double-Pay Silus's face. 'Just so we're clear, I hate horses. Tribune Scaurus says I ride like a mule tender with bleeding piles, and that I have all the skill in the saddle of a sack full of shit. And despite that, before you open your mouth, I'm one of your thirty-one horsemen and that's official. You don't like it, I don't like it, but the tribune couldn't give a toss what either of us think. Wherever Centurion Corvus goes, I go. So there it is.
The Petriana's tribune dismounted a dozen paces short of the gate and stalked up to the palisade wall with a grim smile, squinting up at Scaurus and his officers and then glancing back at the men building the pyre on the plain below the fortress. He called up to them, shielding his eyes with a raised hand. 'Well now, colleague, I see you've accomplished your orders with the usual efficiency. Perhaps you ought to come down here and join me, though. I've something to tell you that will give you some pause for thought.' Scaurus climbed down from the wall after instructing Julius to keep the men inside the Dinpaladyr at their tasks. 'You'd better come with me, Centurion Corvus, I suspect I'm going to need someone to take notes of whatever it is my brother tribune has to tell me. I may well be too busy banging my head on the palisade in frustration.
Centurion! Would you like to be a cavalryman one last time? There are Venicones who escaped when your line was broken to be hunted down, and Tribune Licinius has ordered me to take the best men available in their pursuit. Leave this hairy gentleman to watch the fun, and join us in the hunt!
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones; Who, though they cannot answer my distress, Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale: When I do weep, they humbly at my feet Receive my tears and seem to weep with me; And, were they but attired in grave weeds, Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
Funeralese has had its ups and downs. The word 'morticians,' first used in Embalmers Monthly for February, 1895, was barred by the Chicago Tribune in 1932, 'not for lack of sympathy with the ambition of undertakers to be well regarded, but because of it. If they haven't the sense to save themselves from their own lexicographers, we shall not be guilty of abetting them in their folly.
The way I found time to write 'The Imperfectionists' was that I took work as a copy editor at the 'International Herald Tribune' in Paris, working full-time for approximately six months, then taking my savings from that and writing full-time, then returning after six months, and so on, until the book was done!
In the murk ahead of them a pair of blazing torches indicated the entrance to the forum, with a pair of sentries standing guard in front of the high archway. Before the tribune had any chance to explain their presence to the surprised soldiers a legion centurion walked out of the courtyard beyond them, stopping with a start of surprise when he saw the newcomers. Staring with narrowed eyes at the three centurions' unfamiliar armour and crested helmets, he was further taken aback when he realised who it was they were escorting. Scaurus allowed the silence to play out for a few seconds, watching the calculation in the legion officer's face before speaking in an acerbic tone designed to communicate his status. 'Yes, Centurion, this is a senior officer's uniform, and yes, Centurion, you're supposed to have your hand in the air some time about now.' The other man saluted quickly, his face reddening with embarrassment, while the sentries worked hard but not entirely successfully at keeping the smirks off their faces. 'I'm sorry, Prefect, it's just that we weren't expecting to receive any reinforcement.' Marcus looked at Julius, wondering if his colleague was going to correct the legion man's mistaken identification, but his questioning gaze was answered only by a slight shake of the big man's head. Scaurus nodded to the centurion, looking over his shoulder at the dimly visible administrative building on the other side of the forum's open courtyard. 'That's perfectly understandable, Centurion, because we're not reinforcements. If you'll show me to your tribune... ?
I didn't get fired." "You didn't punch your boss and get fired from the Tribune? That's what I heard." "I punched what could loosely be called a colleague for cribbing my notes on a story and since the editor""who happened to be the asshole's uncle""took his word over mine, I quit." "To write books. Is it fun?" "I guess it is." "I bet you killed the asshole in the first one you wrote." "You'd be right. Beat him to death with a shovel. Very satisfying.
Rosenfeld went to work for the Herald Tribune after his graduation from Syracuse University and has always been an editor, never a reporter. He was inclined to worry that too many reporters on the metropolitan staff were incompetent, and thought even the best reporters could be saved from self-destruction only by the skills of an editor. His natural distrust of reporters was particularly acute on the Watergate story, where the risks were very great, and he was in the uncomfortable position of having to trust Bernstein and Woodward more than he had ever trusted any reporters. - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
And all at once he saw before him a precipice, as it were without bottom. He was a patrician, a military tribune, a powerful man; but above every power of that world to which he belonged was a madman whose will and malignity it was impossible to foresee. Only such people as the Christians might cease to reckon with Nero or fear him, people for whom this whole world, with its separations and sufferings, was as nothing; people for whom death itself was as nothing. All others had to tremble before him. The terrors of the time in which they lived showed themselves to Vinicius in all their monstrous extent... Vinicius felt, for the first time in life, that either the world must change and be transformed, or life would become impossible altogether. He understood also this, which a moment before had been dark to him, that in such times only Christians could be happy.
But even though questions of currency policy are never more than questions of the value of money, they are sometimes disguised so that their true nature is hidden from the uninitiated. Public opinion is dominated by erroneous views on the nature of money and its value, and misunderstood slogans have to take the place of clear and precise ideas. The fine and complicated mechanism of the money and credit system is wrapped in obscurity, the proceedings on the Stock Exchange are a mystery, the function and significance of the banks elude interpretation. So it is not surprising that the arguments brought forward in the conflict of the different interests often missed the point altogether. Counsel was darkened with cryptic phrases whose meaning was probably hidden even from those who uttered them. Americans spoke of 'the dollar of our fathers' and Austrians of 'our dear old gulden note'; silver, the money of the common man, was set up against gold, the money of the aristocracy. Many a tribune of the people, in many a passionate discourse, sounded the loud praises of silver, which, hidden in deep mines, lay awaiting the time when it should come forth into the light of day to ransom miserable humanity, languishing in its wretchedness.
Ludwig von Mises
VERY EARLY ONE MORNING in July 1977, the FBI, having been tipped off about Operation Snow White, carried out raids on Scientology offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, carting off nearly fifty thousand documents. One of the files was titled 'Operation Freakout.' It concerned the treatment of Paulette Cooper, the journalist who had published an expose of Scientology, The Scandal of Scientology, six years earlier. After having been indicted for perjury and making bomb threats against Scientology, Cooper had gone into a deep depression. She stopped eating. At one point, she weighed just eighty-three pounds. She considered suicide. Finally, she persuaded a doctor to give her sodium pentothal, or 'truth serum, ' and question her under the anesthesia. The government was sufficiently impressed that the prosecutor dropped the case against her, but her reputation was ruined, she was broke, and her health was uncertain. The day after the FBI raid on the Scientology headquarters, Cooper was flying back from Africa, on assignment for a travel magazine, when she read a story in the International Herald Tribune about the raid. One of the files the federal agents discovered was titled 'Operation Freakout.' The goal of the operation was to get Cooper 'incarcerated in a mental institution or jail.
Information or allegations reflecting negatively on individuals or groups seen less sympathetically by the intelligentsia pass rapidly into the public domain with little scrutiny and much publicity. Two of the biggest proven hoaxes of our time have involved allegations of white men gang-raping a black woman- first the Tawana Brawley hoax of 1987 and later the false rape charges against three Duke University students in 2006. In both cases, editorial indignation rang out across the land, without a speck of evidence to substantiate either of these charges. Moreover, the denunciations were not limited to the particular men accused, but were often extended to society at large, of whom these men were deemed to be symptoms or 'the tip of the iceberg.' In both cases, the charges fit a pre-existing vision, and that apparently made mundane facts unnecessary. Another widely publicized hoax- one to which the President of the United States added his sub-hoax- was a 1996 story appearing in USA Today under the headline, 'Arson at Black Churches Echoes Bigotry of the Past.' There was, according to USA Today, 'an epidemic of church burning, ' targeting black churches. Like the gang-rape hoaxes, this story spread rapidly through the media. The Chicago Tribune referred to 'an epidemic of criminal and cowardly arson' leaving black churches in ruins. As with the gang-rape hoaxes, comments on the church fire stories went beyond those who were supposed to have set these fires to blame forces at work in society at large. Jesse Jackson was quoted was quoted in the New York Times as calling these arsons part of a 'cultural conspiracy' against blacks, which 'reflected the heightened racial tensions in the south that have been exacerbated by the assault on affirmative action and the populist oratory of Republican politicians like Pat Buchanan.' Time magazine writer Jack White likewise blamed 'the coded phrases' of Republican leaders for 'encouraging the arsonists.' Columnist Barbara Reynolds of USA Today said that the fires were 'an attempt to murder the spirit of black America.' New York Times columnist Bob Herbert said, "The fuel for these fires can be traced to a carefully crafted environment of bigotry and hatred that was developed over the last century.' As with the gang-rape hoaxes, the charges publicized were taken as reflecting on the whole society, not just those supposedly involved in what was widely presumed to be arson, rather than fires that break out for a variety of other reasons. Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam said that society in effect was 'giving these arsonists permission to commit these horrible crimes.' The climax of these comments came when President Bill Clinton, in his weekly radio address, said that these church burnings recalled similar burnings of black churches in Arkansas when he was a boy. There were more that 2, 000 media stories done on the subject after the President's address. This story began to unravel when factual research showed that (1) no black churches were burned in Arkansas when Bill Clinton was growing up, (2) there had been no increase in fires at black churches, but an actual decrease over the previous 15 years, (3) the incidence of fires at white churches was similar to the incidence of fires at black churches, and (4) where there was arson, one-third of the suspects were black. However, retractions of the original story- where there were retractions at all- typically were given far less prominence than the original banner headlines and heated editorial comments.