Media Mashup: October 2, 2015

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Journalist James Foley was executed by members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State

Obama on Syria

James Taranto writes: “Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria,” President Obama lectured the U.N. General Assembly this week. “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. . . . Realism also requires a managed transition away from [Bashar] Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild.”

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The Tough Interview from Trump to Tyson

Longtime sportswriter Gerald Eskenazi provides some interview tips:

“Over many years, and through trial and error, I’ve picked up a few tricks that help to peel away the steely veneers of certain subjects—some lessons, if you will. Diplomacy helped one night in Seattle, for instance, after the New York Jets had just lost a close football game to the Seahawks, largely because punter Chuck Ramsey muffed a punt attempt. When I got to the locker room, he was crying.

“What is it, Chuck, that punt?” I asked solicitously.

“No,” he replied. “How would you feel if the coach said in front of the entire team, ‘I can fart farther than you can punt?’ ” (For the record, the Times declined to use that quote of a lifetime.)”


Doctors Gotta Have Fun

Bloomberg provides some details about the new insurance guidelines. “Doctors have already begun mocking the diagnostic list, picking out the most absurd and arcane, such as Z63.1, “Problems in relationship with in-laws,” or V91.07XA, “Burn due to water-skis on fire.” Yet for health-care providers who have payments at stake, the complex change is no joke.”

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Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to



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