For Wednesday, September 19

  1. Interview your person.  Bring your questions, and also be prepared to ask follow-up questions if the person says something interesting, even if it has nothing to do with your question.  (The assignment handout I gave you is also posted at the top of our Moodle site.)
  2. Begin writing a draft of your profile–it is due on Friday for work in peer groups.
  3. If you would like the class to look together at your draft in progress on Wednesday, let me know (Imane–please email your draft by 1pm on Wednesday).
  4. Read Sherman, p. 55 in Best American Magazine Writing 2017 
  5. Post a response to the essay as a comment to this post–what did you notice about the form of the essay and/or the way Sherman crafted it?
Advertisements

10 thoughts on “For Wednesday, September 19”

  1. I can’t really say I know what the form of the essay is or how Sherman Crafted it. However, while reading it I did feel like the essay was a very bias approach. I don’t know if that makes a good article when it seems like it has a bias approach. I liked how the essay included each persons previous background before being on Fox News. I think that is an important feature in article writing when it is about someone specific. This essay is another Bill Cosby situation, where one women vocalizes sexual harassment and every other female then wants to speak up about it and I personally hate those.

    Like

  2. From what I was able to glean, Sherman crafted her article in a way that highlighted the backstories and motives of every major player involved in the Ailes’ scandal. Whether it was about Ailes himself, his allies, or those he assaulted, Sherman thoroughly discussed the personal, monetary, and career incentives that led to the events that took down a major force in Republican media. Though I appreciate the beginning of the article, which drew attention to the strategic ties that media outlets such as Fox News have to major political institutions, I found it to be neglectful of the fact that liberal media outlets use similar tactics. While I understand that the article’s focus was on the backstage politics and corruption of a conservative news source, I still feel Sherman should have touched on the fact that all media outlets manipulate their viewers to influence politics for the benefit of their business. For the reader, this would provide more context and a deeper understanding of how such businesses work, and show that Fox News is no special exception.

    Like

  3. Sherman interweaves the personal account of every person involved in the Fox News Roger Ailes controversy he could reach with his own retelling of the events, as someone extremely knowledgeable on the topic due to his biography on the man in question. To begin, Sherman lays out a quick summary of the events that occurred across the fifteen it took from Carlson’s lawsuit to Ailes being cut off from Fox News completely. After that, he tells the story of how Ailes came to his position at Fox, followed by focusing in on a few of the women Ailes harassed whose stories played the bigger roles in revealing Ailes for the type of man he was. It’s clear that Sherman is liberal, but by including tidbits like “(Laterza did not respond to a request for comment)”, he shows that the overwhelming evidence that Ailes was a despicable person is objectively true. Ailes closest aides weren’t even making any attempt to defend him. There’s no need to portray both sides of the argument when one side is refusing to participate. Personally, what surprised me most was how impactful Fox was in guiding the political opinions of its viewers. I was under the impression that Fox reacted to the current direction of the Conservative base, then catered their programs to that direction. However, Sherman suggests otherwise, that it’s actually Fox News dangling the carrot in front of its audience to lead them in a direction, like with how Ailes had Trump call into Fox and Friends weekly ahead of and during his presidential campaign.

    Like

  4. It is interesting how this article is crafted. I think that Sherman does an effective job of giving adequate background and specific details of the case. Emphasizing details such as Smith’s surgery just before the case, and the drives and motivations of the characters involved adds to the article by giving it dimensionality that makes the reader not just interested but invested. It was also effective how Sherman characterized Carlson, first explaining her “archetypical Fox anchor” persona of, “blonde, right-wing, proudly anti-intellectual”. This description and introduction of Carlson as a character makes the reader even more intrigued when Sherman gives a further explanation both of her true character, “Stanford- and Oxford-educated feminist” and the situation that required her to file for a law suite against Roger Ailes. Overall, the article did a good job, both of painting the scene of the case, and of delving in to the players involved. Sherman is a skilled writer who knows how to utilize characterization within his writing, making this piece feel like a collection of profiles on the people within the story.

    Like

  5. After reading Sherman’s essay, I think he had a very clear and neat structure. I enjoyed every part of the story, it was interesting, starting with the beginning of the essay which caught my attention. He did a good job on giving a background information about what is to come as you read. Throughout the book, he doesn’t only talk about the lawsuit, he goes in depth on Ailes’ family background and his past history in other news channels which helped me as a ready get a better sense of the person Roger Ailes was. Reading this essay, I feel like it did well on exposing the misogynous environment in Fox by having different sources from far and from up close, however I feel like Sherman was in a way justifying Ailes’ actions by talking about being abused by his father, it was as if he was trying to make us feel sorry for him which I found very unnecessary, it was good that he gave us a little background, but there was no need to talk about the abuses and his parents’ divorce. Other than that, I think it was well crafted into a piece that presented the issue very clearly. He gave both reliable sources and made a nice transition from the present to the past and bringing back to the present, all without voicing his own opinions and maybe he did with the way he wrote the essay but it’s not demanding. It was a good essay to read, structurally and vocally.

    Like

  6. Sherman structured his article in a very organized way. He began by giving a good background on all characters involved. As the article progresses there is no detail left out. He even goes as far as to include Smith’s recovery from surgery while racing to get the case ready. I think Sherman paints a very clear picture of who the characters are in the workplace, and a little bit into their personal lives as well. He also very clearly shows how well known individuals, such as Ailes, can get away with such offenses. It shows how he abused his power to make sure the women he was harassing felt too scared to come forward, and like no one would believe them if they did and that’s exactly what happened. He was so careful to cover his tracks and made sure it would be incredibly difficult for any woman to come after him legally. I think this is a key part of the article because this may not be uncommon in the work place, and this article exposes his tactics as well as strategies for women to speak out.

    Like

  7. This article shows the build up to Roger Ailes’s firing, and how he was toxic human being. In the height of the “Me too” movement there is a sexual predator who was president of one of the biggest news networks in the United States. Without the “Me too” movement this could has just been a regular firing, but with the “Me too” movement the public learn that Fox has been run by a sex predator who has been demanding sex for a better job for women at Fox. I really liked this essay because I knew about his firing, but I never heard the details. Like Gretchen Wilson being consistently harassed and when she told Ailes “No” she was demoted. This is just one example of Ailes, but the other showed what kind of monster he is. Essays like this show how people can sympathize with the victims and also be aware of people like Roger Ailes.

    Like

  8. This article covered the firing of the President of Fox News, Roger Ailes, and got into the details of him as a person as well. In terms of the story, I knew that there were women speaking out against him, but I hadn’t really heard what he said exactly. Now that I have I think that firing him was definitely the right call. But after further reading I realized the real mistake was hiring this guy. Later on in the essay, the author mentions that he had had a storied past of this behavior, calling another employee “a little fucking jew prick.” Similar proceedings occurred (he was investigated then terminated). Obviously, one is not “worse” than the other, but after hearing him say something as awful as that AND knowing about – how can you hire him? He is going to be the face of the corporation. Although, I really liked how this article/essay was written. He brought the reader through every step of the story, not leaving any major details out, and also making sure that everything was simple enough to follow without getting confused. There are often times I read NY times articles and have to re-read things again because they assume I know about what deal, trade, negotiation, party, group, etc. they are talking about. Overall, I really enjoyed this reading as it cleared up some confusion I had about the actual story. And because it taught me about how to tell a story in your article without getting off-topic (which can be difficult for me – the answer is simplicity).

    Like

  9. Sherman did a great job crafting the article with an ample and detailed investigation and a well-structured organization. By first delivering an overlook of the story, he is able to give a glimpse of the story to the audience. And then he included the backgrounds of almost each and every person involved. Following the timeline, the article shows how Ailes climbed up to the top of the mountain and abused his power to put anyone he wanted to under surveillance and how he harassed women. It is clearly crafted and lots of the paragraphs are stories themselves and could be written into another news report. The article is trying to be as objective as possible: Sherman is not expressing any of his own opinions. While picturing Ailes as a complete “scum”, he also recognizes his success in television. “While his volcanic temper, paranoia, and ruthlessness were part of what made Ailes among the best television producers and political operatives of his generation” Sherman is really good at profiling and that’s an important part making the article appealing to read.

    Like

  10. I was not the biggest fan of this article. While it was interesting to hear about Roger Ailes since I had never heard of him before, it was frustrating to have to read about yet another sexual misconduct scandal. Obviously, this is a terrible thing and shouldn’t ever happen but with all of the stories in the news about men like Bill Cosby it feels very repetitive and stale. I also think that the fact that Roger Ailes was presented in such a negative light (since he is such a bad person) was a little over the top. It felt like every other paragraph or sentence even was just the author bashing on him even though it is truly deserved. I would have liked to read a piece that felt far less opinionated and overall more focused on the effect that this scandal had on Fox and the women involved.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s