Author Archives: Rich Lee

A musical look at the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates

“A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over.”

– Joe Hill, songwriter and labor activist 

In the spirit of Joe Hill’s quote about the power of song and with all due respect to the excellent reporting done on the campaign trail, here is a musical look at the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential candidates.

(Click here to listen to my May 17 radio show about the presidential race or keep reading to learn what songs I played – and why.) Continue reading

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As Billy Joel turns 70: Five songs from the ‘Piano Man’ to inspire journalists

billyjoel

References to the New York Times and the (New York) Daily News in “New York State of Mind” are the most obvious connections between Billy Joel’s lyrics and the world of journalism. But journalists also can find connections in several songs from the Piano Man’s extensive catalog. As Joel turns 70 today, here are five of his compositions that will resonate with the hard-working members of the Fourth Estate. Continue reading

Why Are Four-Letter Words Finding Their Way Into Mainstream Media News Reports?

carousel_image_10d3635a0926437c9e30_IMG_1026Five years ago, when a U.S. diplomat used a four-letter word to express her frustration with the European Union, most media reports did not include the word she used.

Lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower was troubled by the omission, and in a New York Times opinion piece, he argued that the media was behind the times and that the exclusion of words – even four-letter words – made it difficult for readers to fully comprehend the significance of news reports. Continue reading

That Time When Barack Obama Became President and I Did Live Commentary for a TV Station in India

indiaTen years ago today, Barack Obama’s took the oath of office and became the nation’s 44th president. Not only was it a historic day for America, it also turned out to be one of the most unusual days of my career.

On the morning of the inauguration, I was home with plans to watch the ceremony on TV. For me, the big story had been the historic 2008 presidential campaign and election. The inauguration was just a ceremony – more pageantry than news.

Then my cell phone rang. Continue reading