Fwd: newzak (how new?)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 25 13:40:31 UTC 2003

This comes from one of our students.  Can anyone track "newzak"?
There are 122 google hits (not a huge number), going back to at least
1997, for this obvious spin-off of "muzak".  The first Nexis hit (out
of 20 I found) was from a 1989 St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed column
by Clarence Page on the first Bush administration's managing of the
news.  I'd never heard/seen it before either, or at least never
noticed it.


--- begin forwarded text

Hi Larry,
I'm wondering how I missed hearing "newzak" before. Do you know how
long this word has been around? It's transparent enough, but here's the
context I found it in:

...the media knew that the U.S. government wasn't going to do
body counts in Iraq. And with the Bush Administration and the Pentagon
aggressively marketing a potential war as a precision-guided,
trauma-free exercise in liberation, surely a little rigorous
fact-checking was in order. Financing their efforts themselves, the
Iraqbodycount.net team has been able to conduct a pretty substantial
research project - but imagine the resources a world-class news
organization could have devoted to such a project, and the exposure it
could have given it. A project like Iraqbodycount.net was tailor-made
for today's 24-hour,interactive, constantly updated news cycles - and
it represented a rare opportunity for news organizations to go beyond
constantly recycled newzak and Pentagon ventriloquism. The fact that no
professional media outlet attempted to do what a couple dozen volunteers
pulled off was not a triumph of journalistic responsibility, but rather
an embarrassing example of journalistic complacency.

--- end forwarded text

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