And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that one of the first things I learned in journalism school was that a writer should never trust himself to proof-read his own writings. That’s because the writer tends to read what he meant to write, not what was actually written.
I think that sometimes carries over to reading what someone else has written when you want it to say what you are thinking, not what the writer has written.
Sunday morning when I was looking at the Cedar Rapids Gazette I saw an op-ed piece by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer. I read the headline as “John Kerry is eyeless in Gaza.” How clever, I thought, to phrase the secretary of state’s apparent blunders in the Gaza Strip war with that familiar phrase. It actually read that Kerry was “clueless” in Gaza.
So why did “eyeless in Gaza” pop into my mind? I think it was the name of a book which came out in my lifetime, perhaps a motion picture as well. I am not online so can’t do a Google search. Those of you who are can if you care.
But a little old-fashioned research showed it was in a line written by English poet John Milton in the 1600s. And a footnote directed me to the Bible, Judges 16:21, which, guess what, was part of a discussion about establishing the state of Israel.
What’s that French phrase? Plus ca change, plus le meme chose, or something like that, meaning the more things change, the more they are the same.
Fox News reporters were breathless one day recently when they were able to read some emailed correspondence from Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who “took the fifth” rather than incriminate herself in testimony before a House committee. Lerner used a scatological characterization to describe conservatives who had applied for IRS approval of political speech, and who had been denied or ignored. She also described them as crazies and maniacs.
I expected that show of glee from the conservative network, and looked forward to reading what the daily papers would have to say next morning.
Not that day, or the next day, nor the day after, that I could find. I don’t watch news on the major networks, and did not notice any reference on a brief look at CNN, so I don’t know if the pro-administration networks gave it any play. It would seem to have been worth a mention.
Two more snake oil commercials I have heard.
One is for Texas Super Food. Cures everything and makes it unnecessary to eat anything else. The voice-over appears to be that of the same woman who was able to buy a 48-inch flat screen TV for a dollar and a quarter, or whatever.
The other is for a supplement called nitric oxide. Also cures everything that could possibly be wrong with you. Is that the same as nitrous oxide, or what dentists used to use to lightly anesthetize patients? Laughing gas?
Maybe it’s like medical marijuana. It doesn’t cure anything. You just don’t care as much.