Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stuck In The Middle With Brian

From Brian Williams's Jan. 4 Daily Nightly blog: "Someone in our newsroom saw the first mention on Twitter that Gerry Rafferty has died...It reminds me of driving in a crappy car to my community college in New Jersey...In the U.S., where many newspapers still didn't use the word 'cancer' until a few years ago, we still either use euphamisms for people with 'troubles'--or we say nothing at all." (Bold emphasis added by the Nightly Daily editors.)

Is Brian kidding us? It's hard to believe that the above statement came from someone in the news industry. No one in the print or broadcast media tiptoes around the subject of addiction. In fact, the opposite is true. Virtually every media outlet in the U.S. (and in most other countries) makes an immediate point of disclosing (or even trumpeting) drug or alcohol use in their news stories and obituaries, and have been doing so for many years. The media loves to talk about drug and alcohol abuse! Brian of all people should know this. Mentioning (or even hinting at) substance abuse makes the story more tawdry and sensationalistic and thus attracts more viewers or readers. By the way, the correct spelling is "euphemisms". Maybe Brian should have done more studying at his community college.

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