Journalists should stop subsidizing the pundit class

It seems to be its own past-time to ask John Kasich whether he’s going to run again for president, perhaps even challenging the incumbent Donald Trump.

CNN is especially interested in Kasich’s plans, and the network invited the two-term Ohio Governor to let viewers see into a crystal ball, and know if he sees a way to the White House.

“Right now, I don’t see it,” Kasich told the network, surely dashing the hopes of keen political observers wanting another narrative arc to follow.

“That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a path down the road,” he said, maintaining the possibility of a plot twist later.

I wasn’t surprised by Kasich saying this to CNN in August 2019, not only because I’m a journalist in Ohio and generally feel there would be more buzz before such a move.

The main reason I wasn’t surprised to read about Kasich on CNN is because Kasich is on CNN’s payroll as a Sr. Political Commentator.

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Baking Vlog Ep. 6: Egyptian Fino Bread

In this episode, I tell the story of what happened trying to report at the pyramids a year after the revolution, and a story of charity right after we left. I also try to make Egyptian Fino bread, which I ate nearly every morning in Cairo. And thank you to all of the wonderful Egyptians who told me the proper pronunciation is “fee-no” not “fine-oh!” 

I hope you like it, and please subscribe on YouTube, and to my e-mail list.

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I didn’t want to leave my recording gear in a public bathroom by the pyramids, but I didn’t think I had a choice. After a chance encounter with a Swiss-Egyptian man in Zurich, I ended up on a week-long reporting trip in Cairo in 2012. Hamid was going to show me his Cairo, and talk about how his native country had changed since the revolution that led to the exit of Hosni Mubarak, and a new chapter in Egypt’s rich history. We traveled to Giza for an interview, and security wouldn’t let me through with my gear. They thought I was a TV guy, and thus needed an expensive permit.

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Baking Vlog Ep. 5: Irish Gingerbread

I’m literally just baking a loaf of bread and talking about something journalism-related. In this episode: Irish Gingerbread, a quick bread.

I tell a quick story about stumbling into a G8 protest in Dublin after college, and getting my first taste of being a real journalist. 

I hope you like it, and please subscribe on YouTube, and to my e-mail list.

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The scourge of ‘anonymous sources’

What used to be an exception in journalism seems to have become a norm: affording anonymity to sources offering some unattainable insight, intentionally-hidden fact, or, it seems, juicy gossip.

If-and-when to grant anonymity is one of the more controversial discussions in the journalism realm, and it should be.

A written, broadcast, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or whatever, record of a story or claim needs to carry credibility and provability, lest one be attacked for ‘fake news.’

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Baking and breaking bread in the ‘War on Media’

It’s a silly mash-up, but one driven by serious impulses.

As a journalist by profession and vocation, I listen with dismay to how some demonize the monolithic ‘media’ with a carelessness that does a disservice to valid perspectives and gripes.

I’ve written before that journalists are servants of the people at our core, and listening, responding to, and engaging with the community is vital even if it sometimes takes great effort.

As an amateur bread baker, I like creating and providing food for others to enjoy. It can be a social act, both the baking process and the eating that follows. After college, I worked in a food co-op bakery to pay for gas in between reporting gigs — you could say the two things were entwined from the start.

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