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Our Man in Hell

He won a Pultizier Price for his stories from Ukraine under Stalin, stories which supported the official Stalinist line that the Ukraine famine never took place. Now Walter Duranty, or his alter ego rather, is reporting more 'good news' from beyond the grave (via Steve Boriss):

"I got a Pulitzer for my "scholarship, profundity, impartiality, sound judgment and exceptional clarity. " Bad news: I died. Good news: I'm still working!"

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The ghost of the former NY Times Moscow correspondent blogs: "Now that I'm dead, I'm pleased to be the Times's man in hell. It's my final reward: Great weather. No humidity. Think Gaza, without the Israelis! In fact, don't believe what the right-wing religious bigots say about this place. It's wonderful here. In fact, hell was made for journalists just like me."

Devilishly dark humour
"Whether broadband is now available in Hell or someone on Earth just has a devilishly dark sense of humor, the ghost of Duranty now haunts the NY Times over the Internet, " writes Borris.

For some reason this blog reminds me of a line by my great grandfather's favourite role character: "Culture which smooth the whole world licks, Also unto the devil sticks. [Auch die Kultur, die alle Welt beleckt, Hat auf den Teufel sich erstreckt.]" Of course, Gonoud sacrificed all the complexities of Faust for the much simpler love story, but that's another story, here's a few highlights from the ghost of Walter Duranty:

No lack of trust in The Daily Smoke and Mirror
For one, contrary to here on earth, Hellians trust their media, but, writes Duranty: "That doesn’t mean we always blindly trust topside media, no matter how well they usually treat us. Many were upset this morning, for example, over a CNN item called 'Riding the Highway to Hell.' Most people thought it was going to be a profile of AC/DC with a positive spin–but it ended up being a story about a chump on a bicycle following the road to Riva del Garda, a bland little burg in Italy. 'Just makes hell look bad,' as Bernie Bellotto told me this morning over refried espresso."

A sentence that would send all journos to jail
“It’s a terrible precedent, Walt. ‘Infringing on the reputation of a commodity’! Do you know what that means? Do you?” “Tell me, Bill.” “I’ll tell you what it means. It means no more Paris Hilton stories! No more evil-genius-Rove stories! We create commodities then we infringe on their reputations. It’s called journalism, Walt! That’s what it means. If they start throwing us in prisons just because we’re doing our job, why…”

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