Several months back I read Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit
the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else, an excellent book by David
Cay Johnston of the New York Times.
Johnston has made a career out of doggedly writing about supposedly
boring topics like utility regulation, health care and, most recently, the
tax code. These are topics newspaper editors, not to mention television
producers, have long written off as too boring to be of interest. Too many
of them want sizzle to generate buzz and audience "eyeballs" in the short
term, rather than the serious, important work needed for long-term
In an era where the goal of objectivity is being constantly slammed,
Johnston shows that uncovering facts -- rather than coming to pat
conclusions and telling the reader what to think -- is the essence of
journalism. "I try to look at big issues that I donšt think are being well
covered and then cover them," he says in an
This is, sad to say, a radical concept in today's publishing world. And
it is, as Anne hints
at on her own site today, a key reason when Internet publishing is such
an important new development. It provides more eyeballs -- not as readers,
but as reporters.
Sent from my mobile phone at 12:47 PM:
Taken January 26, 2005
Best name for a lunch spot - 'What Up Dog' in downtown sf.