Revelations by scholastic journalists come by just ‘looking it up’

May 15, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: baseball, journalism, news.

“You can look it up.”

If you remember anything about baseball in the 1950s (and fewer and fewer of us do), you would remember Casey Stengel’s famous conclusion to almost all of his long soliloquies to surrounding newsmen. Stengel was the manager of the New York Yankees, and his teams won pennant after pennant in those years.

Casey Stengel

Stengel was a master at circumlocution. (You can look that up.)

He would often offer long involved answers to the simplest of questions. His flights of verbosity soared above Yankee Stadium until everyone lost sight of what the original question was. Then, to allay the skepticism of the journalists, he would conclude with the words:

“You can look it up.”

Stengel’s famous words came to mind when I read the story a couple of weeks ago in the Washington Post (and reported by many other news organizations) that a group of high school journalists in Pittsburg, Kansas had forced the resignation of their new principal because they found that she had apparently questionable credentials for the job.
Source: These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned. – The Washington Post

How did they do this?

Well, they looked her up.

According to the Post story, several students began checking up on the credentials presented by the new principal.

In the Booster Redux (their newspaper) article, a team of six students — five juniors and one senior — revealed that Corllins had been portrayed in a number of articles as a diploma mill, a place where people can buy a degree, diploma or certificates. Corllins is not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, the students reported. The Better Business Bureau’s website says Corllins’s physical address is unknown and the school isn’t a BBB-accredited institution.

“All of this was completely overlooked,” Balthazor (one of the students) said. “All of the shining reviews did not have these crucial pieces of information … you would expect your authority figures to find this.” (quoted material)

According to the students, the information wasn’t that hard to find. All they did, as Stengel would have advised, was look it up.


Point Spread by Jim Stovall

All of this relates, at least tangentially, to my next novel, Point Spread, which will be available soon (May 31 on Kindle, sooner in print).

It’s the story of Maxine Wayman, a high school senior at Trinity Lane High School in Nashville. The story is set in 1967 against the backdrop of the war in Vietnam.

Maxine finds a story that will rock the foundations of her school — and possibly endanger her life.

The digital version of the novel is currently available for pre-order here on Amazon.

The print version can be found here on CreateSpace.

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