The working-class rhetoric, muckraker stance and ubiquity of New York columnist Jimmy Breslin might have been the prototype for wildly successful entities such as Fox News (owned by 21st Century Fox) and Donald Trump.
Today Breslin re-located to that great typewriter in the sky. He was 88. Here sophisticated The Washington Post honors his seminal contributions to media.
Media geniuses, ranging from Rupert Murdoch to Donald Trump, unconsciously or consciously might have taken a look at Breslin's strategies and tactics. They saw the impacts. Then they harnessed them for profit and influence. Like them or not, Fox News and Trumpism totally engage.
Even staid professional niches like the law seemed to have leveraged the secret of populist journalism. The classic case is the creation of digital news site Abovethelaw.com.
Launched in 2006, in a conversational style versus what was standard in establishment journalism, it crusaded to bring truth and protection to law students and junior lawyers in large firms.
Its target markets took to all that like catnip. Right up until today, readers transmit leaks from their law schools and law firms. A good time is had by all. Its newest lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino is the site's sweetheart. Her positioning and packaging are an entity somewhere between Mary Tyler Moore and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Another "spin-off" could be the game-changer: social media. That's become the BigTell-It-All in the language of Tell-It-As-It-Is. The stylistics of social media were not easy for us establishment folk to learn to use. For this blog in 2005, I turned to the mentoring of Paul Chaney. Currently he heads content and marketing at Bizzuka.
Chaney has published two books on content marketing and is of the school of thought that books remain the price of entry into the consulting elite. But, take it from this ghostwriter: Those books better be in the Breslin tradition of provocative. Otherwise they will plummet into the stink-hole of Amazon low ratings.
Another area of discourse which has been changed by the Breslin Effect is everyday professional language.
At one time verbal interaction in corporations was totally indirect. Even those lowest on the totem totem in blue-collar corporate functions such as the mailroom and cleaning got it fast to use a thousand words to report gigantic cockroaches in the mail room and a fetus discarded in the trash.
Currently, layman language is expected. And less is more. Convoluted prose is experienced as lack of transparency. That adds to the lack of trust flagged in Edelman's 2017 Trust Barometer.
In fact, we vendors who need to pitch our services in all mediums, including in-person, recognize the power of in-and-out. Prospects are increasingly unwilling to be burdened with, as Hamlet put it, words words words.
So are our neighbors, friends and those we wait in line with at the big boxes. They want the interaction downsized to one or two street words like "nuts" and an eye-roll. Those who can keep it to that will be invited everywhere.
My hunch is that Jimmy is shaking up St. Peter's departmental rhetoric.
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