3.5.2021 – often factitious

often factitious
objectivity lends a
cold mendacity

In the Guardian this morning, quoted Joan Didion, writing:

“… Joan Didion makes a case against newspapers. Too often, she argues, their reporting style rests on “a quite factitious ‘ objectivity’”, which “lends the entire venture a mendacity” by failing to make explicit the writer’s own particular set of influences and biases. Didion praises instead magazines that cultivate a personal voice, and which aim to impart character and atmosphere rather than straightforward information: “They assume that the reader is a friend, that he is disturbed about something, and that he will understand if they talk to him straight; this assumption of a shared language and a common ethic lends their reports a considerable cogency of style.” Often, she concludes, the real story is “the story not in the newspaper”.

I like the sentence “a quite factitious ‘ objectivity’”, which “lends the entire venture a mendacity”.

I wasn’t sure what Ms. Didion meant but I was sure it wasn’t a good thing.

Using the online dictionary I came up with, “artificially created equal treatment of all rivals or fairness develops an untruthfulness.”

It was during the FAB FIVE era of Michigan Basketball that Coach Steve Fisher said, “Everyone will be treated fairly but not everyone will be treated the same.”

If I was there I would tell him that a quite factitious objectivity lends the entire venture a mendacity.

Of course I mean that had I read this back then and had I been there back then, I would had said this.

But I wasn’t reading Joan Didion back then.

Nor was I hanging out with the Michigan Basketball team.

On such hinges the fate of history swings back and forth.

I was going to say that had I been there at the Trump White House, I could have said this but then I thought it over and I think I could say this to any White House.

Maybe to paraphrase Mr. Lincoln, be truthful, be fair, whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference is no longer true and no longer fair.

Reminds of when Jim Harrison wrote that over 10 million laws have been passed trying to enforce the 10 commandments.

Get along?

Why can’t we do the right thing?

Cold mendacity?

Had to make it fit somehow into a haiku.

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