The American Scholar: Celebrity Profiles

Phllip Lopate writes a good essay on the challenges of writing a celebrity profile. My take: Just as Plato argued that ideal leaders would be so well-balanced that they would not desire to lead (and thus would not have the power-lust that would enable them to rise above their competitors), it follows that ideal celebrity profile writers would be so well-balanced a journalist that they would not desire to flatter celebrities enough to be…

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Is the United Airlines man being smeared in the media even the right David Dao? It shouldn’t matter

“Doctor dragged off United flight was felon who traded prescription drugs for secret gay sex with patient half his age and took them himself – and he needed anger management, was ‘not forthright’ and had control issues, psychiatrist found,” wrote The Daily Mail this week of Dr David Dao, in probably the longest headline ever written. … Questions have inevitably started to be asked: who dug up those details about David…

The facts evolve as we look into how our re-accommodation process that involved goons dragging out a limp and bloodied customer has caused our stock to plunge.

The language in the official United response to the “re-accommodation” incident deserves some analysis . Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. If you “refuse to leave voluntarily” that omits the “was randomly selected and ordered to leave,” and it…

Captain, the Fake News Detectors are Offline!

Slate has a good article about William “Captain Kirk” Shatner’s involvement with a Twitter incident that involved Autism Speaks, the alleged connection between vaccines and autism, and the ready availability of easily Googled but unreliable “information.” Shatner is a celebrity, which means that he has outsized influence. That he would use his platform to lend credibility to such sites, spreading them to 2.5 million followers, could have terrible consequences. Shatner…