“Nearly 90 percent of the families that paid no income tax make less than $40,000, most much less. The real problem is that so many Americans are struggling on such a small income, not whether they pay taxes. The two tax credits lifted 7.2 million people out of poverty in 2009, including four million children. At a time when high-income households are paying their lowest share of federal taxes in decades, when corporations frequently avoid paying any tax, it is clear who should bear a larger burden and who should not.”—The New Resentment of the Poor - NYTimes.com (via jeffscherer)
As soon as my wedding is over with, I’ll be spending most of my time living out of a van, traveling with my love and my puppy. And, of course, I’ll have a mobile recording set up in the car. All of this wedding planning makes me want to hide in a closet and just play music in the dark.
Before all future stories go belly-up, bringing the Mercury News to a crossroads and necessitating sweeping recommendations in the wake of diminishing sales, welcome to the lede desk. Or meet the lede desk. Or this is the story of the lede desk. You’ll catch on. What if all stories began like these:
1. First, the good news: On one occasion, many years ago, this kind of lede worked. Now the bad news: It doesn’t anymore.
2. What do you use when you can’t think of a lede? A question.
3. “Whenever I feel stymied for an opening, I find a good quote and use that,” said Joe Reporter. “Yeah,” said his assigning editor, “that’s always a cheap and dull-as-shit way to start a story that no one will read.”
4. Joe Reporter leaned back in his chair, put his feet up on his chair and admitted that describing how someone was sitting was a pretty stupid way to begin a story.
5. Outside, the snow lay deep and crisp and even. The sky was a deep, cloudless blue, the temperature hovered at zero, the wind howled out of the west. Inside, a reporter had opted to give the weather rather than think of a better lede.
6. When Joe Reporter got back to the office one day not long ago, he plopped himself down in the newspaper morgue, hauled a couple of stacks of old papers and sifted through page after page, looking for a good idea for a lede. He decided to use an anecdote.
7. Take one vague story idea and an 18-inch hole on the page, add a couple hours of mediocre interviews and two old clips. What do you get? The desperation recipe lede.
8. Like the captain of the ship of state, piloting his country through the turbulent waters of international seas, a reporter often finds himself facing waves of doubt about his lede, and ultimately he turns to what he thinks is a safe harbor, the metaphor or simile lede. There, his lede sinks.
9. What do a lazy reporter at the Mercury News, an unthinking editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and sleepy copyeditors at the San Francisco Examiner all have in common? They all just love to pieces the “what do these things have in common” lede.
Real life example: (INSIGHT News Service) TORONTO — What do nuclear waste and retired people have in common?
10. You might think it’s great to set up a false premise in the lede, only to knock it down in the second graf before getting to what you really mean to say. You’d be wrong.
11. When Joe Reporter left home that morning, little did he know that when he turned in his lede, his editor would spike it. Joe had failed at predicting the future.
Real life examples: Knight-Ridder Newspapers – When Robert Stevenson went out drinking last night, he didn’t expect to pay with his life. OAKLAND, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire/ – When Nancy Seymour went shopping for ice cream last week, little did she know the experience would save her life.
12. Do you often find yourself meeting someone in the lede of a story who you found to be pretty hackneyed in the introduction? Meet the “Meet Joe Interesting” lede.
13. Consider the following; ledes that ask you to ‘consider the following’ are showing up with increasing frequency in this newspaper.
“As I was watching my social media streams froth with praise for the man in the black turtleneck, it occurred to me that, as lovely as I find Apple’s gizmos, Mr Jobs’s wealth, like that of other billionaire barons of the information age, was built in no small part upon an intellectual-property regime that I and many others believe to retard progress while concentrating massive rewards upon a privileged few, generating unfair and unproductive inequality.”—Economist, August 25, 2011
[A] guy named Simon Glik saw some police arresting someone in Boston, and thought they were using excessive force. He took out his camera phone and began recording. The police saw that and told him to stop taking pictures. He told them he was recording them, and that he’d seen them punch the guy they were arresting. One officer asked him if the phone recorded audio as well and Glik told him it did. At that point, they arrested him, saying that recording audio was a violation of Massachusetts wiretap laws.
Even more ridiculous, they then had him charged not just with that, but also with disturbing the peace and “aiding in the escape of a prisoner.” After realizing that last one didn’t even pass the guffaw test, Massachusetts officials dropped that charge. A Boston court then dumped the other charges and Glik was free. However, he wanted to take things further, as he thought his treatment was against the law. He first filed a complaint with Boston Police Internal Affairs who promptly set about totally ignoring it. After they refused to investigate, Glik sued the officers who arrested him and the City of Boston in federal court for violating both his First and Fourth Amendment rights. The police officers filed for qualified immunity, which is designed to protect them from frivolous charges from people they arrest.
The district court rejected the officers’ rights to qualified immunity, saying that their actions violated the First & Fourth Amendments. Before the rest of the case could go on, the officers appealed, and that brings us to Friday’s ruling, which, once again, unequivocally states that recording police in public is protected under the First Amendment, and that the use of Massachusetts wiretapping laws to arrest Glik was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights as well. The ruling (pdf) is a fantastic and quick read and makes the point pretty clearly. Best of all, it not only says that it was a clear violation, but that the officers were basically full of it in suggesting that this was even in question. The court more or less slams the officers for pretending they had a valid excuse to harass a guy who filmed them arresting someone.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing fewer of these wiretapping cases being charged against people holding the police accountable for their actions.
Cooler temperatures, striking colors, smaller crowds—autumn is the perfect time to travel, and here are ten of the best fall trips, picked by National Geographic Traveler editors. Where do you want to go this fall? Share your travel plans—real or ideal—below. (See more trip ideas.)
If this is fake, then someone has some explaining to do. Despicable doesn’t even begin to accurately describe the lowliness of making a person — a genuinely sick person — look worse than they are; frail and near death.
That is especially true when that person created what has become one of the most influential companies in the world. Not only does it mean that he is constantly battling to keep his personal life a secret, as any person should have the right to do, but his presence and ability to shape the company as Apple board chairman wields the power to make or vanish fortunes on Wall Street. You can be sure those with millions of dollars on Apple’s horse have seen the photo TMZ published. And they aren’t pleased, let’s just say that.
So, is the photo a fake? I hope so, for Jobs and everyone else.
“I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.”— Steve Jobs, Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985
One night I fell asleep on the couch with my back towards Saggio. In the meantime, A. stepped out for a minute. When I opened my eyes, Saggio was standing as close to me as possible, literally watching over me while I was sleeping. It was the best feeling ever.