Bob Woodward & The Tale of 2 Stories

I came across these two stories this morning while trolling through my news feed. Both stories are reporting the same event but notice how they differ in tone and mood. When writing fiction, setting the mood for a piece is crucial to getting the reader to connect with the story. I would not think that is the case for journalism. Granted the two sources here come from two opposite political views. I will also admit I visit the Huffington Post more than Fox News. Still, it troubles me that opinion has so infiltrated the fourth estate. Read them both, (in any order), and see what you think.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/28/white-house-denies-staffer-threatened-watergate-journalist-woodward/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/bob-woodward-emails-white-house-threat_n_2781052.html

I came upon the Fox News story first and read that one, however, my response was much closer to the story on the Huffington Post site. The email did not sound very threatening to me. I have to wonder. While I certainly align more with the political views espoused by the Huffington Post was it that or my proclivity to take anything reported in Fox News with a grain of salt. That being the case, am I not a willing participant in this game. Can we call it reporting? You almost have to since there is no other word for it and both stories report the facts, but words are more than facts. Words can be chosen to paint the facts in whatever way the writer chooses. These two stories illustrate that as good as any I have come across in a while. Our own opinions will decide the, truthfulness, or, correctness, of the stories, we’ll file that away and move onto the the next nipple slip on a red carpet somewhere in Tinseltown.

 

 

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About Vincent A. Alascia

Vincent is the author of, "In the Presence of Gods," "Xristos: Chosen of God," and coming soon, "Undead Heart," available on Kindle and paperback, as well as works that have appeared in anthologies and online. Originally an East Coast native, he makes his home in the Phoenix area of Arizona with his wife and three attention grabbing felines. Vincent is an active member of the West Valley Writers' Workshop and an Adult Services librarian at the Maricopa County Library District Northwest Regional Library in Surprise, Arizona.
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2 Responses to Bob Woodward & The Tale of 2 Stories

  1. Reading this morning’s post brought me to a personal experience with a couple of reporters. I was interviewed about saving the Sedona Schenebly Homestead in the Northern Arizona town of Sedona. A parking lot was needed, a vacant land in the right place and attracting mostly what was undesirable was the logical spot. Being the VP of Gardens for Humanity, a well meaning city council group approached me to find out what could be done to keep the people from being dissatisfied with their elected officials, yet responding to the traffic needs. The city of Sedona was in need of at least 145 parking spaces. Residents and historians did not want the land disturbed, after all, it once was the home of the town’s namesake. A compromise was reached and soon enough architects, the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Sedona Schenebly were on hand to help local volunteer/residents. The hard physical labor began. First on the agenda was removing and protecting over 15,000 Irises that had taken over the property. Restoring and preserving the foundation of Sedona’s last home took the muscles of some Navajo friends. A few centennial juniper trees were also preserved and a garden was build around the home’s foundation. Children of the neighborhood schools, painted inspired scenes of the story of the first family of the town on ceramic tiles while teachers told them the history lessons. These tiles became an integral part of the garden. The Uptown Parking Lot was born.

    Before completion I was occasionally interviewed and one day I read: Gardens for Humanity will plant potted flowers around the parking lot. The Sedona Schenebly family will help. The parking will allow over 145 car to park their cars. The entire article was a fabrication loosely based on some elements that were true.

    I now know reporters to be often unable to reach a medium between truthfulness and correctness. I continue to ponder and conclude, without the benefit of science, perhaps there are character predispositions to becoming a reporter of news.

  2. Vincent A. Alascia says:

    Excellent point I always remind myself that everything I read comes through someone else’s lens.

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