A tale of an unsuccessful suicide attempt

It was the summer of 1969. I was in Lawrence, Kansas, scratching chigger bytes, watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon, and attending journalism classes at the University of Kansas.

I was a high school kid attending a summer program along with a bunch of other high school kids. I was learning to write headlines and run a radio show. My roommate was studying fourth-dimensional math, something about turning a tennis ball inside out without harming it. Other kids were studying the trombone or, judging from observed behavior, card-playing.

Beware, journalists: Apple is not your friend

Decades ago I read a business book by Robert Ringer called "Winning Through Intimidation." Ringer is a political kook (he's gotten much worse over the years) and more than a bit paranoid, but he sounded a warning that should be the first rule of commerce for every consumer and every businessperson: Everybody else at the table is out to take your chips.

Postjudice about Fox "News"

A commenter accuses me of "political prejudice" against Fox "News." I think a better word is postjudice. My scorn is not free. Fox has earned it.

And repeatedly so. Here's a clip in which Jon Stewart shows yet another case of Fox spreading a lie, in this case by editing a video of President Obama to suggest he was saying something completely different from what he actually said.

Nine years of insanity, and journalism shares the blame

It is nine years now since the day America lost its mind. Since the day a small band of hate-filled terrorists opened the door to madness, and our nation walked right through. Since the day when the entire world was moved to stand as one (a French newspaper proclaimed: "We are all Americans!") but we didn't notice because we were filled with grief, fear and rage.

For a moment on that day, we forgot our differences. Southern crackers and Detroit homeboys and Amarillo cowboys were all Americans, and all New Yorkers.

In praise of quick and dirty: when the pursuit of excellence is the enemy of success

Increasingly I believe that we in the media business doom ourselves by our devotion to quality. Before you get out the gunpowder, let me explain myself. I love excellence. Awesomeness is, well, awesome. But the premature pursuit of excellence can kill you.