A Daughter’s Homage to Her “Barnstorming” Mother’s Spirit Even in Old Age

A new article has been published about my mother. The story inspired my just completed novel “Jenny Flynn.”
The picture, was taken of my mother in her youth when she was learning to fly on an old World War I trainer called a “Jenny.”
Read more here: Motherhood Moment blogspot.com

Theasa Logan Tuohy

Theasa Logan Tuohy

Needed: More Boots (Correspondents) On the Ground

It took him awhile to get there, but Bill Keller made the interesting point in an Op Ed piece in the Times on Dec. 3 that the political flap over Benghazi might have been avoided if correspondents had been on the ground there.
“The price we pay for not being where news happens can be reckoned not only in less good journalism, but in less good policy. Because, make no mistake, some portion of the information governments call ‘intelligence’ is nothing more than an attentive reading of the news . . . It is not irrelevant that every one of the online reports I just cited had a dateline somewhere other than Benghazi — Cairo, Washington, New York. In the ensuing news cycles some excellent reporting by journalists on the scene set the record straight: there were no protesters in the street, but the perpetrators of the attack were, by their own account, infuriated into violence by reports of the offensive video. By then it was too late. The story had been hijacked for partisan spin and counterspin. But I strongly suspect that one reason Susan Rice got it wrong at the outset is that most of us in the press weren’t there.”
Artwork by Nicholas Blechman - NY Times

READ IT HERE: Being There By Bill Keller NY Times Dec 2, 2012

My Take on Truth in Fiction

Here’s my take on truth in fiction: a guest article I wrote for The Crime Writers’ Chronical

This business about truth is confusing. Novels should be truer than life? Heightened reality? I spent my early working life as a daily journalist, and truth was truth and facts were facts. And anyone who strayed from that was soon on the carpet, or more likely out the door. Or should I say, anyone who got caught. So when I began struggling to write my first novel – set in Vietnam, of all places – I did one whale of a lot of research. I didn’t have to research the main character’s dilemma: She was a journalist in the late 1960s trying to prove to the all-male cast of characters that she could do the work. I’d been there done that, all I had to do was teach myself about Vietnam and the “American” war. And as I got rejection after rejection on my early novelistic attempts, I couldn’t grasp the meaning behind the comments.

They all were a variation on the same theme: The setting, the characters were mesmerizing, spellbinding, couldn’t-put-it-downable. So why didn’t they want to buy my book? Because the story didn’t work.

I had a hard row to hoe, to figure out how one makes fiction real, breathing of life, yet … what’s that extra magic ingredient?

READ MORE HERE: The Crime Writers’ Chronical – my take on truth in Fiction

And Then There Were Few

Malcolm Browne died last week. George Esper and Horst Faas earlier this year. Hugh Mulligan and David Hallberstram left ages ago. The Vietnam War, and those who covered it, are truly becoming history. We’re coming up on the 45th anniversary of the Tet offensive, certainly a turning point of that long, long war. Browne arrived in Saigon for the AP on Nov. 11, 1961. Do your math.

AP Vietnam Correspondent Malcolm Browne Dies


Cronkite vs Cronkite

Talk About a Difference of Opinion!

I read the New Yorker’s critic at large review of the new bio of Walter Cronkite before stumbling upon Chris Matthews’ take in the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review. Whoa! I thought for a minute they were talking about two different books, maybe two different men, both named Walter Cronkite.

THE TIMES:
Matthews gushes: “It was consummate Cronkite — unscripted, authentic and heartfelt. For 19 years, the anchor of ‘The CBS Evening News’ shared in our public grief and celebration. He was one of us, and Douglas Brinkley’s ‘Cronkite’ is a majestic biography of America’s greatest and most beloved broadcast journalist.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/books/review/cronkite-a-biography-by-douglas-brinkley.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

THE NEW YORKER:
Meanwhile, Louis Menand of Harvard in a bit of a rambling, unfocused, review uses other sources to debunk the David Halberstam contention that Uncle Walter was “the most significant journalist of the second half of the twentieth century.”
And that, by golly, LBJ may well NOT have said that if he’d lost Cronkite’s support for the Vietnam War then he had lost the country’s.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/07/video-remembering-cronkite.html

THE BEAT GOES ON
In picking up the ensuing controversy, Robert W. Merry of The National Interest cites Continue reading

Stuff Happens

From a New York Times Editorial, April 20, 2012

“The Committee to Protect Journalists said that since 1992, 639 reporters have been killed for doing their jobs, and, in 565 cases, the killers went unpunished. According to the group, around the globe political reporting is the most dangerous beat, and local journalists the mostly likely victims. It also found that violence against one journalist has grim, ripple effects, leading to vast self-censorship. When that happens, everyone in society pays a high price.”

NY Times April 20, 2012: The Courage of Dieu Cay and Natalya Radzina

Gellhorn Scoops Hemingway!

I hope this new film tells it like it was: How Gellhorn beat Papa BIGTIME on the Normandy Invasion AFTER he pulled one of the world’s dirtiest tricks on her!

Watch: Trailer for HBO’s ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’ starring Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn and Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway