Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --

Another Sunday. If we hadn't used illustrations, we could have posted this edition in full by 8:00 a.m. EST. Instead, waiting for the Faludi illustration to load (one hour and five minutes on Flickr), we're later than we'd have liked but still early.

Here's who worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of
Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of
Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of
The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of
Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of
Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of
Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of
Like Maria Said Paz,
and Wally of
The Daily Jot

And of course Dallas and we thank everyone for their assitance and hard work. Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez discussing reality with the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage.

Truest statement of the week -- The entire article we pulled this from is worth reading; however, Paul Street packed a mouthful in just that one line.

Editorial: Press love for Blackwater -- This was a last minute editorial. We did the wiretapping in the print edition. What happened? Our ACLU illustration is still loading, still loading, still loading. Why not just forget about the illustration? Uh, excuse the hell out of us but to get last Sunday's edition posted required skipping all illustrations and didn't we hear about that in e-mail after e-mail.

TV: Murdering the audience -- Ava and C.I.'s latest. Filled with humor. Filled with insight. When I read this out loud to everyone, we couldn't stop laughing. "What's the new illustration?" Ty's already found three e-mails asking about that. Unless there are major complaints, that will be the basic illustration through at least December. Rebecca and Jess were working on stained glass type illustrations to give the commentaries a new look for the year. C.I. and Ava found the photo of Condi, Dick and whomever (Paul Bremer) watching TV at the White House website. Rebecca and Jess played with it a bit in Photoshop. It's public domain and it shows America at its worst. Considering the bulk of this fall's offering, so does broadcast TV. For those late to the party, Rebecca and Jess created the first illustration for Ava and C.I.'s commentaries. Hated that illustration, created a second, a third, a fourth. The fourth is the one most readers are used to but Rebecca and Jess really wanted the new season to have a new illustration.

1 Book, 10 Minutes -- Faludi's The Terror Dream -- No one was looking forward to this. Not because of the book. We all loved Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream; however, last week we spent forever on a book discussion and then (as we noted) didn't publish it here. We weren't worried what would be said about the book, we were burned from last week. The Terror Dream is an important book and we encourage to pick it up. Second illustration is the book jackets for The Terror Dream, Stiffed and Backlash in that order.

Blog Action What? -- This was what Ty was checking the e-mails for. To the 12 who have already e-mailed to complain and any who might be waiting: If you put any conditionals on your quotes, you didn't get quoted. The ones quoted received an e-mail stating, "Thank you, you will be quoted." Others received that as well. Those who wrote back (and let's be clear that everyone being asked was being asked for this article) with qualifiers such as, "Use this but not that" or something similar, you ended up with an e-mail stating, "You may or may not be quoted." Those who wrote (this is several) repeatedly as they attempted to polish their quotes, got ditched as well. One person wrote this morning with yet another polish. He wasn't included.
We didn't have time for it. As many continued to polish through Friday night, Dona and I (Jim) made the decision that since the earlier versions were no longer good enough to the ones responding, they'd missed their chance. At another time, we might have been more flexible but we had a great deal to cover in a short time and we spent a great deal of time all week contacting people. If you're among the many who responded and wanted to be quoted in part, we didn't quote you. You'll find your opinions echoed in the article. But we'd suggest you take Kat's motto to heart the next time you're asked for a quote: "It is what it is." There was one blogger who went back and forth five times over our request to quote her (her original response noted that it wasn't to be quoted). We're not speaking of her or any of the ones who replied and stated in their replies, "Don't quote me." But if you think you can change your quote repeatedly, you need to step into the real world. If someone asks you for a quote from a paper and you give it, they're going with that quote. They're not going to want to hear, "Okay, I've brushed it up" over and over. Something similar happened at The Common Ills in that sites first months. C.I. did a book survey at the request of some members. C.I. included a blogger (not referring to Ron who did participate and did so via one quote that he never attempted to change). The blogger gave a long list of books in his e-mail. (You were supposed to pick one.) C.I. went to the trouble of fixing the titles on them because some of the titles were not correct. Right before the entry went up (and C.I. had assumed it would be an easy way to get an entry on a busy weekend), the blogger e-mailed with more books (to the question of, "What is your favorite book?" "Is" and "book" being the key words). C.I. hadn't posted the entry and redid it to include the add ons. Then the entry went up. The blogger saw that some members picked children's books. The blogger e-mailed again insisting he didn't know children's books could be included. He already had over twenty books listed but he wanted to add multiple children's books to the list as well. To a question of "What is your favorite book?" that's way too much work. We don't play that game here. We asked you for your comments and noted it was for a feature article we were working on. Those of you who replied are reflected in the article even if you're not quoted. Those of you who began rewriting your quotes or began setting conditions on your quotes ended up not being quoted. Be mad if you want, but learn a lesson from it. When you're asked for a comment to be used in something being written, be prepared. The ones we did quote imposed no rules on their quote and their replies got to the point. They had more comments that, had there been time, we would have liked to have included as well. Blog Action Day is tomorrow.

Concerned Anthropologists have a reason to be -- The big question we had when C.I. was discussing the NPR show in a snapshot was, "Did Page or anyone point out that Monty had been caught lying?" Nope. No one said a word. No one said, "Monty said the woman gave her full name always!" No one even addressed the issue of the anthropologist wearing military clothes and carrying a gun. C.I. says it was a very strange broadcast. It's archived, so if you're able to listen online, you can go to The Diane Rehm Show and pull up Wednesday, October 10th's broadcast and listen yourself. Lewis e-mailed this morning and noted how we (I believe it was me) had brought up here that the crazies e-mail (governmental crazies) to defend Monty anytime she's mentioned at The Common Ills. Lewis wondered whether that was the case? Ava says the public account for The Common Ills got the usual whines from the State Department and the US military as well as three graduate students (one didn't identify herself as such, but Ava knows her -- the woman's from the Bay Area). None will get a reply.

Things to watch, things to do -- We went back and forth over including a press release from the Green Party. In the end, we didn't. Why not? It came in Friday about a Saturday event. Had a press release come in about the Saturday event (how it went), we would have. If you're e-mailing to let us know things that are coming up, please note it is "The Third Estate Sunday Review." In fact, we're adding an entry even though we're tired. Hold on.

Why "The Third Estate"? -- Several e-mails on that came in this week. Most were nice. We pulled this from a reply we e-mailed. For those who need to hop on the high horse before raising the issue, probably not a good idea to flaunt your historical ignorance when making accusations.

Blackwater & Washington Week -- I asked Ava and C.I. last week, at the last minute, to do a piece on Washington Week. They'd already done their TV commentary. But the loss of the book discussion meant we had a huge hole. I felt they could dash something off on the topic in a matter of minutes. They felt they were too tired. C.I. did address it on Monday and it's reposted here.

Highlights -- Kat, Wally, Betty, Cedric, Rebecca, Elaine and Mike wrote this and picked out the selections except where noted. I would also note Mike's "Scott Horton, Third" which covers last week's edition.

"Child Brides: Stolen Lives" NOW with David Brancaccio -- That was added Wednesday in a rare non-Sunday posting. Some saw it and didn't see the date. You didn't miss it Sunday, it went up Wednesday.

That's it for us. We're going to eat, watch a DVD (A Day At The Races, most likely) and crash.

See you next week.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }