When I read and hear language today to describe one politician or another and actions, in or out of office, I realize America has not learned from its heritage. Everyone writing and speaking is inept, ineffective and inexact. They are uneducated; they are relaxed; they are polite.
At the height of the Sixties Hunter Thompson and Rolling Stone magazine ran severe articles about anything. Some of Thompson’s words appear in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, and The Great Shark Hunt. Upon reading the 1972 campaign book Pat Buchanan relieved his friend Thompson by telling the author, “I thought it was funny.” If one did not like the contents (comments about everything and everybody), it was difficult to disagree with the quality of the writing.
What has happened in the 50 years since Thompson and Rolling Stone opened up? The quality of writing has fallen. Everyone thinks they are either Woodward or Bernstein; they got degrees from a school of journalism without much newspaper experience; they know how to use word processing and the Internet. They haven’t read many books so don’t know much about writing (anyone read Ernie Pyle?); they know little of the times of their early lives. I doubt if many know what the CFR is. (Code of Federal Regulations). How many have seen, picked up and read (very small print) the Federal Register. (Daily publication of new and proposed Federal Regulations)
Many reporters today likely know people elected to and serving in government but do they know them as well as Bob Woodward knew Mark Felt, Deep Throat. All today’s reporters can talk as though always sitting before camera on live TV. Their comments, Left and Right, are poor, unknowledgeable and ill-expressed. They talk like robots, hooked up to a word processing program with proper political views using language as colorful as the programer’s.
Comedians might meet the standard of language variety, if they wrote their own stuff. But a comedian likes to speak one or two lines and get relief: funny, funny, funny, Hardy – Har – Har. To have impacts comments must be longer and better expressed. Who is prepared to talk about approaching Don Trump’s event horizon and leaving existence forever?