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From: joseffy1/28/2012 10:52:58 AM
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Reuters Busted on Rubio Hit Piece

By Thomas Lifson target=_blank>[/url...

The Reuters news service once again has made itself a laughingstock by publishing a mistake-riddled hit piece on Marco Rubio, all but ruling him out as a vice presidential nominee for the GOP because of alleged financial problems. Many of which turned out to be untrue. Five corrections were necessary.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller outlines a total of 7 falsehoods or exaggerations in the story. Dylan Byers of Politico spoke to Reuters staff who refused to go on the record (an interesting stance for a newsman), and writes:

One senior staffer at Reuters described the episode to me as a "fiasco," another as a "disgrace."

It was so bad, in fact, that the editors and writer involved have been asked not to talk about it. (I reached out to editors David Lindsey and Eric Walsh, but have not heard back.)

They won't even defend themselves! How bad must it be if you can't even fabricate a rationalization of the facts. The facts must themselves be damning. John Hinderake of Powerline calls it the "worst news story of 2012."

There are two hypotheses for what happened at Reuters:

1. An incompetent reporter did a half-assed job of research, and his editors (who either assigned or approved the story to the reporter in the first place) didn't bother with fact-checking. Or

2. They were fed flawed oppo research. Which raises the obvious question of who would want to knock Rubio out of consideration.

Let's examine each.

1. Incompetence

Reuters claims:

Our policy is to send news to our customers only after scrutiny by a group of production editors who ensure quality standards are maintained across all our news services.

These same purported quality standards were in place in 2006, when Reuters was busted for distributing an obviously photoshopped photograph exaggerating the destruction in an Israel air raid on Beirut. The very same photo that was the basis for the photoshopping had already been distributed by Reuters! This was quickly demonstrated in the blogosphere, as were anomalies that showed the photoshopping wasn't even very skilful.

When sufficiently embarrassed, the agency withdrew the photo, but retained the services of the Arab photographer who had supplied the crude forgery. But critics quickly noted many other questionable photos in his work already distributed by Reuters, and then the agency finally, after being humiliated worldwide over distributing phony Hezb'allah propaganda over an extended period, withdrew all the work of Adnan Hajj.

The agency has long slanted its Middle East reporting, and allegations of indiscriminate Israeli bombing of Beirut (from which missiles were being launched against Israel) were the cardinal propaganda theme of Hezb'allah. Israel made every effort to pinpoint its attacks on buildings from which missiles had been launched, and in order to reinforce its talking point, Hez made sure to launch missiles from crowded residential areas. So the difference between a picture showing one building with smoke billowing out, and showing a bunch of smoke form a bunch of buildings was pretty fundamental in terms of the framing of the story.

In other words, the photo editors who supposedly enforce Reuters' quality standards were doing no such thing. They approved (if they even looked at) a crude and obvious forgery that served the propaganda aims of Hezb'allah. As I wrote at the time, "There can be no denying by Reuters that its organization is deeply flawed in terms of its ability to enforce elementary quality standards. And any client of Reuters which continues to accept photographic material from it is on notice that the organization is unable to stand behind the integrity of its photojournalism, and that it does not plan to do anything about the organizational failure to which it has admitted."

But the rot went even deeper. A year later, the UK Guardian reported:

News agency Reuters has been forced to admit that footage it released last week purportedly showing Russian submersibles on the seabed of the North Pole actually came from the movie Titanic.

The images were reproduced around the world - including by the Guardian and Guardian Unlimited - alongside the story of Russia planting its flag below the North Pole on Thursday last week.

But it has now emerged that the footage actually showed two Finnish-made Mir submersibles that were employed on location filming at the scene of the wreck of the RMS Titanic ship in the north Atlantic some 10 years ago.

This footage was used in sequences in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster about the 1912 disaster.

At a minimum, it would appear that Reuters has not improved its quality standards in the years since then. So incompetence cannot be ruled out. Nor can a willingness to serve as a propaganda vehicle for one side in a political dispute. Which raises the second hypothesis:

2. They were fed oppo research

One of many dirty little secrets of modern journalism is that reporters often function as transcribers of information - press releases of one sort or another, in other words -- supplied to them by interested parties. It may be as politically innocent as a plug for a new product, but when politics is at work, opposition research is often supplied to reporters. Nearly always, this involves hits on Republicans.

There is a certain resemblance of this process to the way a lot of legislation is based on material written by lobbyists. In both cases, a lot of time and effort is saved on the part of the person being paid to do the job, and in both cases, important mutually beneficial relationships are sustained. Everybody wins! (Except the public.)

If they were fed opposition research, from whom did it come? Rubio's electoral appeal is considerable, and adding him to the ticket could influence many voters, not just Hispanics, to look upon the GOP ticket as attractive. In other words, applying the test of Cui bono, David Axelrod's re-election shop in Chicago would be the likeliest source. Does anyone imagine that Axelrod would be above such a move? More troubling is the question of whether their quality standards are as low as Reuters. If the Obama campaign is behind this, then we know that David Axelrod is slipping and the re-election effort is in trouble.

If hypothesis one is true, and they came up with the idea themselves, then self-interest would dictate a review of the reporter's work and that of the editors who allegedly enforced quality standards, followed by a notice to customers of the steps which have been taken to assure no further errors. This is what manufacturers usually do when they discover a defective product has been shipped. Otherwise, customers doubt the reliability of the products, and find other sources of supply.

That would seem to argue for hypothesis two. Sometimes silence is eloquent.

On the other hand, we are dealing with a bunch of people stupid enough to release a still from the most popular movie of our era and claim it as a news photo.

Either way, Paul Julius Reuter, the German rabbi's son who founded the Reuters News Agency a century and a half ago, still is spinning in his grave.

Read more: <A href=" target=_blank>[/url...

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From: joseffy1/31/2012 12:39:33 PM
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The NY Times and the Muslims

By M. Zuhdi Jasser January 27, 2012

The NYPD once again finds itself in the crosshairs of the New York Times. On Tuesday, theTimes resurrected a year-old story from the Village Voice about the showing of my documentary film The Third Jihad to officers participating in an NYPD training program. What was the new smoking gun that warranted a trifecta of an above-the-fold report from Michael Powell on January 24, an editorial (describing it as a "hate-filled film") on January 25, and yet another report in theTimes on January 25 - all amplified across the mainstream media by an AP rehash?

The Times was apparently impressed by new and supposedly devastating information that it was over 1,500 police officers who viewed the movie. Never mind that there are almost 35,000 officers on the force.

Powell's report on Tuesday was shoddy and biased, and ignored central facts presented by the movie. There was no analysis of the film's ideas or the content that the officers actually viewed. The article instead simply channeled the scattered ramblings of the victimology of the opponents of the movie. Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism noted last year that "the Council on American-Islamic Relations' protest that the documentary The Third Jihad smears Muslims reveals more about CAIR's desire to hide its record than any concern for the civil rights of Muslim Americans."Now, again, in following CAIR, the Times reveals its own exploitation of American Muslims in order to score political points.

Powell's premise is that the film is discriminatory against American Muslims because it presents all Muslims as radicalized. Yet if Powell, a journalist, believed the film to be an affront to Muslims, wouldn't he have felt a duty to speak with the devout Muslim who narrated the movie, to see why he was involved in its making? Powell made no attempt to discuss the film with me, or indeed with any other Muslims who sympathize with the film's view. (The AP, on the other hand, did contact me and placed a one-sentence response from me in its otherwise sympathetic rehash of the Times piece.) I'm an observant American Muslim, one who has chosen to take on a "jihad against jihad" as an act of love for my faith, in order to help protect our children from the inherent separatism of political Islam. Times readers would have been well served by being given my perspective.

In 2007, the NYPD released a landmark report titled " Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," a seminal piece of research on how radicalization occurs. I embraced it as a blueprint that could help American Muslims confront the threat to our religion and to our country. Groups like CAIR, on the other hand, saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge between American Muslims and law enforcement. The attacks by the Times upon the NYPD have everything to do with the efforts of CAIR to use American Muslims as a tool to suppress dissent and frame our communities as victims of American society.

The Third Jihad is not anti-Islam or anti-Muslim. If it were, I would not have been a part of it. To this day, when it comes to Muslim diversity and the battle of ideas within Islam, it remains utterly bewildering why a major newspaper like the Times ignores anti-Islamist Muslim reformers. They essentially have no use in their political agenda for devout Muslims who maintain the courage to publicly take on the dominant American Islamist establishment from within.

- Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim, is president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of the forthcoming book A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith (Simon and Schuster, June 2012).

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From: joseffy1/31/2012 12:51:39 PM
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The legacy media despite having sold its soul in support of Barack Obama, is shedding viewers and readers by the millions.

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From: joseffy2/2/2012 2:41:25 PM
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The New York Times Company Lost $39.7 Million In 2011

Business Insider 2/2/2012

The New York Times Company reported its Q4 earnings today, and they lost $39.7 million in 2011, or 27 cents a share, after making $107.7 million in 2010.

Q4 profit is down 12.2% y/y thanks to the continuing decline of print advertising and a 67.4% decline in the About Group's operating profit, which also saw a 25.7% decrease in quarterly ad revenues y/y.

The NYT also missed analysts' estimates — quarterly net income of 39 cents a share was lower than expectations of 42 cents a share. The fourth quarter income also reflects a $4.5 million payout to departed CEO Janet Robinson, and $7.9 million in severance costs, up from $4.7 in Q4 2010.

There is some good news, though: despite a 7.8% decline in print advertising revenues, digital advertising revenues for the News Media Group increased 5.3%. Digital ad revenues were 26.7% of ad revenues in Q4 2011 compared to 26.1% in Q4 2010.

The company can also look for to a net after-tax proceeds of $150 million in Q1 2012 from the sale of its Regional Media Group.

More From Business Insider

The Pay Package For Departed New York Times CEO Janet Robinson Is Much Bigger Than We Thought

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From: joseffy2/2/2012 8:16:52 PM
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Salon v McKeon: When is an investigative reporter not an investigative reporter

February 2, 2012 | By Bruce McQuain

When most people think of an investigative reporter, they think of someone who pursues a story in depth, gathers all the facts and then, using those facts, connects the dots to a then fairly obvious conclusion. Of course that means that ethically, the same reporter would be required to write an objective investigative article or series based on those facts even if the conclusion is contrary to what was expected. That is, the target of the story could possibly be exonerated rather than condemned based on the reporters work.

What most people don’t consider investigative reporting is the use of selective facts that support an ideology and agenda in an attack on someone to reach a preordained conclusion. An example of that sort of reporting was recently found in a Rolling Stone hit piece on LTG William Caldwell. The author had enjoyed success in being instrumental in the removal of another general (Gen. Stanley McChrystal) based on an article he’d written. His later piece on LTG William Caldwell, however, was a classic example of the genre of “investigative reporting” that is becoming more and more common – selective facts, poor research, an agenda all working toward a particular conclusion.

The article was roundly panned as atrocious work as the blogosphere took it apart piece by piece and trashed it.

Another example of that genre has popped up on the radar screen in a Salon hit piece on Rep. Buck McKeon. Why a hit piece and not, as Salon tries to characterize it, an investigative report? Several reasons. First, the “investigative reporter” is hardly someone who fits the definition of an objective reporter as outlined above.

When you read the Salon article here, you’ll see the author of the article’s bio at the bottom.

Lee Fang is an investigative journalist in the Bay Area.

Is he? Again, the implication of the short bio is he’s an objective reporter who has pursued a story lead and what you read in the article above is an objective assessment of the gathered facts leading in connect the dot fashion to a logical conclusion.

But as it turns out that’s not at all who Lee Fang is.

However, unfortunately, you have to leave Salon and go elsewhere to make that determination. Salon certainly isn’t forthcoming with the details.

We find the truth in an interview with a Santa Clarita CA radio station, KHTS, where the host introduces Fang thusly:

Lee Fang (pronounced Fong, pictured at left) is a freelance journalist and the senior investigator for United Republic, a nonpartisan group dedicated to ending the corrupting influence of special interest money in American politics.


United Republic?

While you may sympathize and even agree with the premise of the group, calling something founded by MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, Huffingto Post’s Paul Blumenthal and former Free Press founder Josh Silver a nonparitsan group is like calling James Carville an independent. There is a definite ideological agenda at work there and in essence, Lee Fang is the opposition research guy. And this isn’t his first stop on the " advocacy journalism" side of things.

That’s not quite a “freelance journalism” is it?

Another tidbit from the radio interview:

Lee Fang: Right now we’re just looking at Chairmen of important committees in Congress so we’ve looked at Armed Services, we’ve looked at Energy and Commerce and on the Senate side we’ve looked at Banking and Finance.

Really? Just the “Chairmen”? The ranking members on the House committees, who are essentially the opposition co-chairs and still wield enormous power on the committees, don’t merit a look? Of course, in the House, those ranking members are all Democrats. Only on the Senate side have has he claimed to have looked at a Democrat.

As to the facts, here’s the basic claim of the article:

Recent disclosures reveal that a federal lobbyist with ties to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., the senior member of the committee overseeing the Pentagon, provided financial support to McKeon’s wife, who is seeking a seat in the California Assembly this year. As defense industry lobbyists scramble to head off looming cuts in the Pentagon budget, they are looking for new ways to ingratiate themselves with McKeon.

The contribution, reported here for the first time, appears to be an effort to circumvent federal campaign limits. Federal campaign disclosures show that Valente has already maxed out in donations to Rep. McKeon this cycle, having given $2,500 to his campaign for Congress. And the contribution came within a day of Valente’s donation to Patricia’s campaign for the California Assembly.

Valente’s lobbying firm, Valente and Associates, reported over $1.4 million in fees last year. The firm represented at least one company, 3Leaf Group, a government contractor specializing in human resources, that sought help from Valente on issues relating to the Defense Authorization bill. McKeon, as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was the principal author of that legislation.

Valente did not respond to a request for comment. But his so-called 527 campaign entity, the Fund for American Opportunity, gave only one contribution to a state politician in all of 2011: Patricia McKeon.

Craig Holman, a lobbying expert with Public Citizen, says that the donation to McKeon is part of a larger pattern of influence peddling in Washington: “The objective is to throw as much money as possible at the feet of the lawmaker; that includes at the feet of his family as well.”

McKeon’s staff, specifically Alissa McCurley, responded to a request for comment from KHTS:

First, contrary to Mr. Fang’s inaccurate assertion, Patricia was not the only state candidate to receive a donation from the Fund for American Opportunity. If you click on the link in the article, you will see several state candidates listed on the group’s 6-month contribution report. Secondly, again contrary to Fang’s false assertion, Mr. Valente has not maxed out to Congressman McKeon. In fact, Mr. Valente has not contributed to Congressman McKeon’s “McKeon for Congress” campaign committee at all."

“Investigative reporter?” Two of the most basic and supposedly damning “facts” are incorrect? Those two “facts” are the main support for Fang’s implication that McKeon is rotten. McCurley correctly labels the piece as more one of “opinion” than fact. And given the above, it certainly seems to be assertion masquerading as factual reporting. If the author can’t get those two basic facts correct, then why should anyone believe anything else written?

The attempt to smear is clear. In fact, again in the radio interview, Fang has to admit that there’s nothing illegal in any of McKeon’s activity:

KHTS: I’m reading the article and I’m saying to myself is there anything illegal or just inappropriate?

LF: I talked to some McCain-Feingold experts, that’s the campaign finance law on the books, and they said in this case there’s no evidence of illegal conduct.

So why all the innuendo, inaccuracies and implications? Because there’s an agenda at play here and this is how ideological advocacy works. Spin something to appear in the best light which advances your cause, whether the facts supporting it are there or not. But this is certainly not “investigative reporting”.

Again, you may agree with the United Republic goal, but when a major publication hides the fact that someone it bills as an “investigative reporter” works for an ideologically driven activist group and that the article is an extension of that group’s activist focus, then you are doing your readers a disservice. This isn’t “investigative reporting”. This is advocacy “journalism” in its purist form. You’d think the editors of Salon would have known that and put a disclaimer in Fang’s bio.

Instead, they either chose to deceive by omission even while questioning the ethics of others or they didn’t do their job.


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From: joseffy2/8/2012 1:39:20 PM
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Washington Post Will Further Reduce Staff

By JEREMY W. PETERS February 8, 2012,

The Washington Post announced a new round of buyouts on Wednesday, the latest in a series of staff reductions that have decreased the size of its newsroom by more than 200 people over the last three years.

Marcus W. Brauchli, who became executive editor in 2008, informed staff members of the buyouts in an e-mail that said the cutbacks were necessary to help keep The Post competitive in such a difficult economic climate for newspapers. The memo said the buyouts would be voluntary, and did not specify the number of reductions the paper was seeking. But one person familiar with the process said an internal target of 20 people was set.

“Any measure like this is difficult,” Mr. Brauhcli wrote. “But we believe this approach is a sensible and effective way of addressing the economic forces affecting our industry. We constantly rethink how we do certain things in order to become more efficient, agile and competitive; this will require more such thinking.”

He added: “The Post’s Newsroom remains formidable, and we will continue making tactical hires so that even as we get smaller, we get stronger.”

The Post, like most other big metropolitan newspapers, has struggled to overcome the decline in classified and other local advertising revenue as more business has shifted to online advertising. And while traffic on The Post’s Web site is up significantly — thanks to a new series of blogs and features on subjects like entertainment news that were not traditionally part of the paper’s coverage — the difficulties persist.

Compounding the problems, the parent Washington Post Company has also hit a rough patch, making the problems at its venerable newspaper all the more urgent to address. Kaplan, the once-booming for-profit college business that the Post Company owns, has seen its enrollment plummet because of tighter federal education guidelines. And it no longer makes up the largest or even the second largest pool of income for the company.

The full memo to the staff follows:

To the staff:

Today, we are announcing that we will offer a voluntary buyout to some Newsroom employees. Our objective is a limited staff reduction that won’t affect the quality, ambition or authority of our journalism. We believe this is possible, given the changes in how we work and the great successes we have had building our digital readership lately.

To preserve that momentum, we do not intend to offer this program to every department or individual in the Newsroom. The reality is that we’re able to absorb staffing changes better in some areas than in others. In those departments where we do offer the buyout, there will be caps on the number of people who can participate, in order to moderate the impact and preserve our competitiveness in core coverage areas. In addition, we may turn down some volunteers if we feel their departure would impair our journalism. That said, it is important that we achieve real savings.

The exact details of the buyout, technically a voluntary Separation Incentive Program, will come later, after the company talks to the Guild about its proposed terms. Here’s what we can tell you now: The program does not accelerate pension benefits. It will include enhanced separation payments and company-paid COBRA (health insurance) premiums for eligible fulltime employees. Post representatives will be discussing the proposed program with the Guild over the next two weeks, consistent with the terms of the labor contract. The terms they agree on also will be included in an offer to Newsroom editors in eligible departments.

This program will be available for a specified period of time only; employees will have 45 days to study this offer and decide whether to accept it or decline it. The Post will schedule the final date of employment for those who elect to resign as part of this program; for most employees this will mean a resignation date of May 31, 2012.

Any measure like this is difficult. But we believe this approach is a sensible and effective way of addressing the economic forces affecting our industry. We constantly rethink how we do certain things in order to become more efficient, agile and competitive; this will require more such thinking. The Post’s Newsroom remains formidable, and we will continue making tactical hires so that even as we get smaller, we get stronger.

We plan to distribute SIP packages to eligible employees in a few weeks. We will have two Town Hall meetings today, at 11 a.m. in the Community Room and at 4:30 p.m. in the Auditorium, to answer your questions.

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From: joseffy2/13/2012 2:29:26 PM
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But MSNBC executives weren’t the only ones talking regularly to Media Matters.

“The entire progressive blogosphere picked up our stuff,” says a Media Matters source, “from Daily Kos to Salon. Greg Sargent [of the Washington Post] will write anything you give him. He was the go-to guy to leak stuff.”

“If you can’t get it anywhere else, Greg Sargent’s always game,” agreed another source with firsthand knowledge.

Reached by phone, Sargent declined to comment.

“The HuffPo guys were good, Sam Stein and Nico [Pitney],” remembered one former staffer. “The people at Huffington Post were always eager to cooperate, which is no surprise given David’s long history with Arianna [Huffington].”

“Jim Rainey at the LA Times took a lot of our stuff,” the staffer continued. “So did Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle. We’ve pushed stories to Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne [at the Washington Post]. Brian Stelter at the New York Times was helpful.”

“Ben Smith [formerly of Politico, now at] will take stories and write what you want him to write,” explained the former employee, whose account was confirmed by other sources. Staffers at Media Matters “knew they could dump stuff to Ben Smith, they knew they could dump it at Plum Line [Greg Sargent’s Washington Post blog], so that’s where they sent it.”

Smith, who refused to comment on the substance of these claims, later took to Twitter to say that he has been critical of Media Matters.

However, their real success has been accessing the halls of power, especially the Obama White House:

A group with the ability to shape news coverage is of incalculable value to the politicians it supports, so it’s no surprise that Media Matters has been in regular contact with political operatives in the Obama administration. According to visitor logs, on June 16, 2010, Brock and then-Media Matters president Eric Burns traveled to the White House for a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, arguably the president’s closest adviser. Recently departed Obama communications director Anita Dunn returned to the White House for the meeting as well.

It’s not clear what the four spoke about — no one in the meeting returned repeated calls for comment — but the apparent coordination continued. “Anita Dunn became a regular presence at the office,” says someone who worked there. Then-president of Media Matters, Eric Burns, “lunched with her, met with her and chatted with her frequently on any number of matters.”

Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.

Every Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a representative from Media Matters attends the Common Purpose Project meeting at the Capitol Hilton on 16th Street in Washington, where dozens of progressive organizations formulate strategy, often with a representative from the Obama White House.

credit to FUBHO

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From: joseffy2/14/2012 11:51:36 AM
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INCOMPETENCE--as expected from the "news" media

Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker
Why does Adele's 'Someone Like You' make everyone cry? Science has found the formula


On Sunday night, the British singer-songwriter Adele is expected to sweep the Grammys. Three of her six nominations are for her rollicking hit "Rolling in the Deep." But it's her ballad "Someone Like You" that has risen to near-iconic status recently, due in large part to its uncanny power to elicit tears and chills from listeners. The song is so famously sob-inducing that "Saturday Night Live" recently ran a skit in which a group of co-workers play the tune so they can all have a good cry together.

Adele, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter performed "Someone Like You" from her latest album "21" at WSJ Cafe

What explains the magic of Adele's song? Though personal experience and culture play into individual reactions, researchers have found that certain features of music are consistently associated with producing strong emotions in listeners. Combined with heartfelt lyrics and a powerhouse voice, these structures can send reward signals to our brains that rival any other pleasure.

Twenty years ago, the British psychologist John Sloboda conducted a simple experiment. He asked music lovers to identify passages of songs that reliably set off a physical reaction, such as tears or goose bumps. Participants identified 20 tear-triggering passages, and when Dr. Sloboda analyzed their properties, a trend emerged: 18 contained a musical device called an "appoggiatura."

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody [WRONG –It clashes with the CHORD it sounds with] just enough to create a dissonant sound. "This generates tension in the listener," said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. "When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good."

Chills often descend on listeners at these moments of resolution. When several appoggiaturas occur next to each other in a melody, it generates a cycle of tension and release. This provokes an even stronger reaction, and that is when the tears start to flow.

"Someone Like You," which Adele wrote with Dan Wilson, is sprinkled with ornamental notes similar to appoggiaturas. In addition, during the chorus, Adele slightly modulates her pitch at the end of long notes right before the accompaniment goes to a new harmony, creating mini-roller coasters of tension and resolution, said Dr. Guhn.

To learn more about the formula for a tear-jerker, a few years ago Dr. Guhn and his colleague Marcel Zentner found musical excerpts—from Mendelssohn's "Trio for Piano" [There is no such piece as ‘Trio for Piano’ by Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn did write TWO trios for piano AND STRINGS] and Barber's "Adagio for Strings," for example—that reliably produce the chills and then measured the physiological reactions (heart rate, sweating, goose bumps) of listeners.

Chill-provoking passages, they found, shared at least four features. They began softly and then suddenly became loud. They included an abrupt entrance of a new "voice," either a new instrument or harmony. And they often involved an expansion of the frequencies played. In one passage from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (K. 488), for instance, the violins jump up one octave to echo the melody. Finally, all the passages contained unexpected deviations in the melody or the harmony. Music is most likely to tingle the spine, in short, when it includes surprises in volume, timbre and harmonic pattern.

"Someone Like You" is a textbook example. "The song begins with a soft, repetitive pattern," said Dr. Guhn, while Adele keeps the notes within a narrow frequency range. The lyrics are wistful but restrained: "I heard that you're settled down, that you found a girl and you're married now." This all sets up a sentimental and melancholy mood.

When the chorus enters, Adele's voice jumps up an octave, and she belts out notes with increasing volume. The harmony shifts, and the lyrics become more dramatic: "Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead."

Adele, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter performed "Rolling In The Deep" from her latest album "21" at WSJ Cafe

When the music suddenly breaks from its expected pattern, our sympathetic nervous system goes on high alert; our hearts race and we start to sweat. Depending on the context, we interpret this state of arousal as positive or negative, happy or sad.

If "Someone Like You" produces such intense sadness in listeners, why is it so popular? Last year, Robert Zatorre and his team of neuroscientists at McGill University reported that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior.

Measuring listeners' responses, Dr. Zatorre's team found that the number of goose bumps observed correlated with the amount of dopamine released, even when the music was extremely sad. The results suggest that the more emotions a song provokes—whether depressing or uplifting—the more we crave the song.

With "Someone Like You," Adele and Mr. Wilson not only crafted a perfect tear-jerker but also stumbled upon a formula for commercial success: Unleash the tears and chills with small surprises, a smoky voice and soulful lyrics, and then sit back and let the dopamine keep us coming back for more.

—Ms. Doucleff is a scientific editor at the journal Cell.

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To: joseffy who wrote (373)2/14/2012 2:23:53 PM
From: MJ
   of 826
One doesn't need a scientific analysis of music to understand that music reflects and provokes emotions.
I particularly noticed the reference to Mendelssohn.

Mendelssohn wrote "The Sadness of The Soul" or is it "Sadness of the Soul" which rarely is heard or mentioned. I discovered it several years ago in an old magazine of the early 1900's.

Bookmarked your site------------what a great reference board.


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To: MJ who wrote (374)2/20/2012 11:06:32 AM
From: joseffy
1 Recommendation   of 826
Why Pay to Read Lies? Newspapers in Decline

Alan Caruba Monday, February 20, 2012

The job I loved most in my long career as a writer was as a journalist, first on weekly newspapers and then on a daily. I loved breaking news, the deadlines, and the thrill of seeing my words in print. Old enough to remember Linotype, I even would set pages with the newly minted metal strips of text.

The day The New York Times Jersey edition published a piece I wrote, I thought I had reached some magical place amongst my fellow journalists. What I had unknowingly reached was being published a newspaper with a long history of printing lies and doing everything in its power to influence events through its news columns. That’s a no-no.

In a long career as a public relations counselor I have counted many reporters and editors among my friends and still do. I have been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since the 1970s.

Sadly, journalism never did and probably still doesn’t pay salaries commensurate with the economy. So, in the words of Mae West, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

In 1984, I founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns that were designed to influence public opinion and policy. My primary concern was all the lies being told by self-identified environmentalists.

Simply stated, if some Green group tells you something, get a second and third opinion. They are lying.

The worst of it that the media has taken their lies at face value and continue to pass them along to a public that is easily fooled and easily scared. This is especially true of “official” sources such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and others. All governments lie to their citizens and ours is no exception.

The damage that Green lies do can get people killed. Since the publication of Rachel Carson’s “The Silent Spring” millions, particularly in Africa and subtropical nations have died from malaria because DDT was banned as the result of her book. Similarly, the least reported, but most current story is the deep freeze that has affected much of Europe and which has caused several hundred deaths.

Like a biblical punishment, newspapers are feeling the brunt of the changes the Internet has brought about. With search engines at our fingertips, anyone can research any topic of interest, often finding that what the daily newspaper or news magazine had to say about it is replete with omissions of critical facts or the deliberate dissemination of falsehoods.

Then there’s the way the newspapers and other news media tend to focus on stories like the death and funeral of Whitney Houston or some local tragedy that briefly attracts national attention. Wars are usually reported in terms of casualties. Political campaigns are reduced to horse races. Religious and moral issues barely tolerated.

Almost anything published about Islam must be read through the thin gauze of political correctness that ignores the menace of Islam to those living in Muslim nations and in nations where they gain a population foothold. It is a religion that sanctions stoning women to death, decapitating “infidels”, and even sending children into mine fields to clear them. It is pure barbarism and has zero tolerance for freedom of speech, the press, other religions, or independent thought.

All of this has much to do with the decline of newspapers nationwide. In January, on the website of Editor& Publisher, Alan D. Mutter, a former editor who blogs at Newsosaur, wrote the “Daily Paper Going the Way of the Milkman.” That caught my eye because I am old enough to remember a horse-drawn milk wagon (it was during WWII) pulling up at the driveway of my home to make deliveries.

The thought that newspaper delivery will cease in many cities around the nation is disquieting, but circulation is plunging.

The result is that reductions of newsroom staffs, reporters and editors, have been surging, with jobs eliminated in 2011 reaching nearly 30% more than the prior year. There have been five years of revenue declines. One blogger, Erica Smith, who follows the trends, estimated that 3,775+ newspaper jobs were eliminated in 2011.

According to an annual survey by the American Society of News Editors, nearly one in three newsroom jobs have been eliminated since the number of journalists peaked at 56,900 in 1989. By the end of 2010, there were only 41,600 ink-stained wretches left on the industry’s payrolls.

In recent weeks The Wall Street Journal reported “Gannett’s Profit Drops 33%” and “Thompson Reuters Posts Loss.”

Putting aside why advertisers are seeking greener pastures and platforms to sell their goods, let me suggest that an underlying and largely unexplored reason for the declines being felt throughout traditional print journalism outlets is that people simply do not want to pay for lies every day between the horoscope, the crossword puzzle, and the obituary page.

Lies? The print media and its broadcast counterpart fell totally in love with Barack Obama in 2008 and we ended up with a completely unknown and largely unvetted former Senator who hadn’t even served a full term there. People remember stuff like that.

They remember years of unmitigated lies about “global warming” when there wasn’t any threat at all.

They remember being told that coffee was bad for you followed by stories that coffee is good for you.

There are many factors at play in the decline of newspapers, but I think one factor is the general disenchantment with the product—the news—that too often tends to turn out to be false.

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