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The power of the narrative and the McCain campaign

The narrative and the central idea of a McCain presidency has not emerged during the campaign. The presidential campaign of John McCain comes under the scrutiny of the New York Times Sunday Magazine this week in a long and revealing article by Robert Draper. The author uses the motif of the “shifting narrative” to explain […]

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A coaching clinic by the Bear

The day was gray and the field muddy when the Vols and the Tide met in Neyland Stadium in 1966. Despite the conditions, the players on both sides played like champions and produced one of the greatest meetings of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. As one of 56,000 rain-soaked fans in Neyland Stadium, I peered out from […]

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World Series begins tonight

The World Series begins tonight. Let’s hope for the best. The World Series: two vaunted teams with rich baseball histories, a couple of well-known and wiley managers, big stars on both sides set to make each inning a drama-filled delight, a bit of controversy or personal animus thrown in just to spice things up. Well, […]

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Link journalism – the shape of news to come?

Two web sites came onto my radar this weekend that set me to thinking about the shape of journalism on the web. A friend recommended Publishing 2.0, an excellent and provocative gathering of articles about journalism put together by Scott Karp and Robert Young. The article from this site that got my attention showed up […]

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Complete sentences vs. fragments

A little coherence and evidence of intellectual activity from the presidential candidates — is that too much to ask? David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post, noted the following about this week’s presidential debate in Nashville: Is it “presidential” to speak in clear sentences that have a beginning, a middle and an end? If so, […]

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Writing the Amazon-ready review

Rule No. 1 in writing an Amazon review: Be honest. Rule No. 2: Keep it short. Lunch conversation with my good friend Cyn Mobley the other day turned toward our writing group and the things the group could do to help each other promote our books. She asked me to come up with a list […]

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Alabama vs. Georgia: The ’62 game had an important legal impact

Part of the origin of the “public figure” in libel law began with the 1962 Alabama-Georgia football game and the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. The game between Alabama and Georgia tonight on ESPN calls to mind a game between the same two teams 46 years ago that had an important impact — not on […]

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The Writing Wright: now available on Amazon

Tom Clancy, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Satchel Paige — they were all writers (of sorts). And they have all made it into this first volume of The Writing Wright. The Writing Wright is now available on Amazon. If you are fascinated by writers and writing, The Writing Wright offers a box of chocolates you […]

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The Writing Wright’s fan page on Facebook

Just created a fan page for The Writing Wright on Facebook. The Writing Wright is a book of essays, quotations and snippets about writing, the language, journalism and the writing life. The book is illustrated with the author’s pen and ink drawings. Doing the fan page once wasn’t too hard. I’m sure when I do […]

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The Writing Wright’s fan page on Facebook

Just created a fan page for The Writing Wright on Facebook. Doing it once wasn’t too hard. I’m sure when I do it again, it will be even simpler. I loaded a few of the drawings that are in the book into the first photo album, and I’m going to take some screen shots of […]

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Where’s Sarah? Wall Street elbows her out

• Sarah Palin is no longer the focus of the rabid attention of the news media herd. Why is that? Interesting that only a couple of weeks ago, the news media were 24/7 about Sarah Palin, the fighting hockey mom who could stare down the Ruskies. But the last few days all we have heard […]

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Connelly scores big with The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly Rating: 5 of 5 stars This is one of the best books that I have read in the past few years. From the very first page, the reader can identify with Mickey, the protagonist, and what he has to go through to maintain his ambulance-chasing law practice and make […]

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Child fails to live up to his own high standards

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child I was disappointed with this book — not up to the usual Lee Child/Jack Reacher standards. Reacher and his pals seem to wander around the landscape without much of a clue as to what is happening to them or what has happened to their dead friends — or […]

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Palin, her emails, her hacker: No secrets`

The theft of Sarah Palin’s “private” emails from her Yahoo account this week flared into a potentially fascinating but short-lived story of the presidential campaign. Apparently, there is little within the emails that gives us new insight into the Republican vice presidential candidate. What is far more interesting — and instructive — are the stories […]

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Destroy the Palin emails? It ain’t gonna happen

I pretty much agree with Steve Outing’s take on the Sarah Palin email theft thing. First, it shouldn’t have happened. Digging into someone else’s email is the wrong thing to do. But what gets Steve is the McCain campaign’s reaction to it. Rick Davis, a McCain spokesperson has asked that anyone who has these emails […]

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H.L. Mencken on being a newspaper reporter

With the changes in the news business, will succeeding generations experience what H.L. Mencken did as a newspaper reporter at the turn of the previous century? In all of the events of H.L. Mencken’s eventful life, nothing matched his days as a young newspaper reporter (circa 1899): My adventures in that character (a newspaper reporter) […]

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Jim Webb, writer – and also a senator

• A writer is supposed to “render to the audience things they haven’t seen.” So says Jim Webb, writer. He’s also a senator. Politicians who put their names on a book and claim authorship are not unusual. The ones who actually write the book are unusual indeed. And the politician who says of himself, “I […]

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A seventh edition

A textbook that goes into multiple editions can be like a child who grows up but doesn’t leave home. Textbooks can be funny things. If you write a textbook, you want it to be widely adopted so that about four years later the publisher will ask for a second edition (because, while your royalties don’t […]

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On being an author – without doing any writing

Margaret Truman, Eliot Roosevelt, Steve Allen – mystery writers? Did they really take the time out of their celebrityhood to craft, write and rewrite those mystery novels you see on the bookshelf? We all know that politicians don’t write their own speeches. But novelists? Mystery novelists, in particular? Surely no “novelist” would lend a name […]

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Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Spanish Civil War in an odd, interesting tale

The Spanish Civil War and the leftist learnings of many 1930s artists are central to the story of the disintegration of the friendship of Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. A test: Which of these men have you heard of? Ernest Hemingway? You kidding? Of course. Read his books and many of his short stories. […]

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