Blog by John Miller

Over the line

July 29th, 2011

As a former cartoonist and editor, let me shed some light on where we should draw the ethical line between acceptable and unacceptable these days. At issue is whether the Cape Breton Post should have published an editorial cartoon that some readers call racist.

It showed two bearded men in turbans sitting on a pile of skulls and reading a newspaper headlined "Oslo." They are celebrating la ...

Steynwalling It?

July 28th, 2011

You'd think that if a mass murderer cited you and your ideas for helping to inspire one of the worst shooting rampages of the 21st century, you'd make every effort to condemn his actions, and try to explain why your ideas are better than that.

Not if you're Mark Steyn.

If you're Mark Steyn, you reload and go on the attack.

The paleoconservative polemicist, in this column in the National R ...

Head to Come

July 25th, 2011

I'm a retired headline writer. It was the best thing that I did as a newspaperman. I once wrote a headline that sold 145,000 extra newspapers, and I liked it because it consisted of only one word.

One of our hallowed brethren much more famous than me just retired, so I must say a few words about the joy of writing headlines for a living.

First let Vincent A. Musetto say it. He worked 40 y ...

Nowhere to hide

July 24th, 2011

Anyone who doubts that newspaper proprietors are different from you and me only has to look at Rupert Murdoch. I rest my case.

The evidence is indisputable that his News of the World operated for years with scant regard for either the law, recognized standards of journalism, or society's innocent victims. The paper's motto could have been "We Afflict the Uncomfortable." Yet the 80-year-old A ...

Call 'em outlaws

July 14th, 2011

It's a bad decision, and even worse timing: During a month in which tabloid journalism is under the microscope as never before, the company that owns the Toronto Sun has closed itself off from public scrutiny by pulling out of the Ontario Press Council.

This is a regrettable move that can only undermine public confidence in the press, and lead to further erosion of the Sun's own standards o ...

Stop the presses

July 8th, 2011

It was a newspaper that never met a line it wouldn't step over -- a fitting epitaph for Britain's News of the World.

The closure of the 168-year-old Sunday paper is the most spectacular suicide in the history of journalism. It was Britain's largest-circulated national paper, but even Rupert Murdoch knew it had to go when evidence emerged that its journalists routinely invaded people's priva ...

Fast rise, fast fall

July 6th, 2011

No one rose so far, so fast in British journalism as Rebekah Brooks. And now, as a result of journalistic sins so heinous they defy explanation, she stands to lose it all.

Britain has been in a furore since The Guardian newspaper alleged that in 2002, when Brooks was editor, the tabloid News of the World hacked the voicemail of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler (later found to be murdered) to ...