Formula Publishing In The New Media

XFPUfRbA Reddit contributor found an interesting example of formula magazine coverage. These are two different magazine covers published two years apart.  Civil libertarians see the same phenomenon in coverage of the surveillance scandals and the attack on the free press.

Not exactly the stuff of Edward R. Murrow . . . unless of course he wanted to achieve a bikini body through sexercise.

The same formula coverage often seems to come up in the media coverage of the civil liberties crisis.  The media has become an echo chamber for common themes and language.  At the insistence of the Bush Administration, torture in the form of water boarding was called “enhanced interrogation” — an entirely made up term to avoid the “T” word.  Recently, NPR and other news organizations yielded to demands to avoid calling Snowden a “whistleblower” as opposed to the Administration’s preferred description of a “leaker.”  The media has also repeated the statement that the two surveillance programs were “lawful” — a position challenged by many civil libertarians.  It is instead referred to as “controversial” while noting that there is nothing illegal in the data gathering.  This is again coming directly out of the White House.

Of course, there are some in the media who are exceptions but they are rare exceptions.  Much of the coverage has the depth of a “Flat Belly diet” with reporters referring to the FISA court as a real court with meaningful review despite a history of virtually never refusing an application for surveillance.  It may not have a lot of content but it makes you feel ten years freer.

44 thoughts on “Formula Publishing In The New Media”

  1. nick,

    I ordered the book … paperback as she’s not at B&N for my Nook. I look forward to a good read.

    (Tex and I are celebrating our 47th this year)

  2. Thanks, Gene. And, I’ll check out your literary journal leads. My wife isn’t a businesswoman. Leslyn had an agent[Anthony Boudain’s] but got the runaround. She pushed my wife to write a follow-up and then just kept saying, “I’ll get on it” but never did. Another author who had this agent is an author my wife knows. She had this agent help her get 2 books published a few years back, then started getting the same bullshit form the agent on her 3rd book. This author just self published her 3rd book and guided my wife through the process. As you might imagine, Amazon calls all the shots being the 30,000 lb. gorilla in the room. But, they have been fairly responsive and delivered as promised. Internet tax, which is coming, will change the Amazon world.

  3. nick,

    As I’m sure Elaine would advise as well, sell, Sell, SELL. The publishing industry is a rough game and one where making noise sells, especially since she’s self-published and doesn’t have a marketing division of a publishing house behind her. Some online literary journals even offer ads at fairly reasonable rates.

    And congrats on the 37 years. That’s a good run.

  4. SWM, Thanks. I want HONEST opinions. I think you know me well enough by now to realize that.

    Gophers are great people. My daughter married a great guy from Fairibault. University towns are my favorites also. Boston is almost certainly the best. But, Boulder Madison and Austin are great. There’s a different tenor to bigger university cities. San Diego has 3 very good universities. But, it’s not a university town, so the university culture doesn’t dominate the city, but it’s part of it. I like both, the large university in a smaller town and vice versa. I love variety in all aspects of life.

  5. AY, Leslyn is my lovely bride. We just celebrated our 37th anniversary. She worked so hard on this book and I am so proud of her. She is quite shy about selling herself and her book. Being a coach, I’m doing my best to motivate her. But, @ this point she is so afraid of rejection she is anxious. I’m working on her confidence and reaching out to folks. But, even though I love my wife w/ all my heart and soul, I wouldn’t try and sell her book if I didn’t believe it was good. Leslyn is a perfectionist. We complement each other because I’m not. I try my hardest and then walk away knowing I did the best I could, and that’s often not perfect. I know this will be a very good experience, and I’m trying to help her see that. The wedding vows say it all. I have sworn under oath to testify hundreds of times and ALWAYS told the truth. I took wedding vows once and will never break them. Sorry for ramble, it’s an emotional time for me. Thanks for your interest. This isn’t about money or fame for her, it’s about people appreciating her writing.

  6. I will definitely take a look at her book, nick. Remember I drove between Chicago and Minneapolis several times a year at one time so I am familiar with the area. Don’t know if we will ever make that drive again but thanks for the invite. At one time I thought my son would end up in Madison. He went with a girl from there for four years. I do like the university towns ….Austin, Boulder, Madison. You are right about the small towns in Minnesota being nicer. Minnesotans ,overall, take a tremendous amount of pride in their communities and work hard to maintain them.

  7. Bron, I don’t post links. But just go to Amazon and search Taken For Granted by Leslyn Amthor Spinelli. I’m getting good reviews from people I know and who know me. People who know me realize I want the truth, no matter how ugly it is. I love the book, but I’m biased.

  8. nick:

    post the link and I will send to friends.

    if you are going to be shameless go all out.

  9. SWM, You went to two of the best spots. Driving the Mississippi River in the Fall is beautiful, but there are better little towns on the Mn. side. We made that trip often when our daughter went to Winona State. I like Red Wing, just north of Winona. But, my favorite place to visit is Door County. We avoid the summer rush. Late May or Sept/Oct. is best. The last few years Lake Michigan has been @ record low levels so swimming is impossible unless you walk out a half mile. Madison is your kind of town, of course and I would be honored to meet you folks for an adult beverage. If you want to learn more about Madison may I suggest my wife’s novel set in Madison, Taken For Granted. It’s now available on kindle @ Amazon for #3.99. Shameless plug for my wife. It’s a woman’s book, but men have told me they enjoyed it. I loved it. She’ll have a follow-up coming out soon, yet untitled.

  10. Darren:

    Some are but many are very articulate and very smart. I am pretty sure that at least a half dozen plus could tear any man on this blog a new intellectual a$$hole.

  11. A day day after the NSA story was broken I was up early and turned MSNBC on to Morning Joe- I like to start the day off with a derisive laugh- and they started talking about the case. Joe said ‘blah,blah, whistleblower Snowden’ and Mika jumped in with ‘Nonono, we can’t call him a ‘whistleblower’, not whistleblower…’ and Joe agreed and she reiterated and Joe agreed again.

    That memo went out fast.

    I hate our MSM, just hate it.

  12. Here is a person willing to speak truth to power. It is so startling because we rarely hear anything like it in the US. I’m sorry that I did not get the name of the person who posted this at Greenwald’s site:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_-Ie6JQquM&feature=youtu.be

    One thing to pay attention to later on. There is an accidental admission of a war crime by the Irish govt. They allowed the US to fly people for renditions through their airports. That is against Irish law and also a war crime.

    The first part of the video speaks directly to someone who will not follow the formula. Instead she excoriates it by pointing to the truth.

  13. Darren Smiths comment above about Fox News and bimbos is really spot on. As a male, I like watching the blond bimbos, but I don’t need the sound up on the television.

    As to JT’s nice reference to Edward R. Murrow. I am not so enamored by the days of old when rubbers weren’t invented. Walter Cronkite and Ed Murrow were advertising cigarettes right there during the news commentary with large ads on the wall saying Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should. Fifty plus years later they may not be such credible fellows to those who followed the lead, started smoking at an early age, and are now dying of lung cancer.

    But, in those old days, CBS was not in the control of the likes of Rupert Murdoch and there was nothing as Stasi as these right wing nuts on Fox.
    Even Juan Williams is now a sellout.

  14. Nick, When we lived in St. Paul, we went to up to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands.

  15. SWM, Many great places to visit in Wi., Dells is not one of them. As stated previously, I had to work there a lot. But, when the kids were little there was the obligatory Noah’s Ark trip every year. Bourbon would have helped, but I had to drive.

  16. Bron, Talking “pricks” amongst 2 of them, maybe is the reason.

  17. nick, Just last week my husband told me that he would take me to the Dells for our summer vacation.Thankfully, he was joking.

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