In response to:

The Day the Music Died

drrisk2 Wrote: Feb 19, 2013 7:26 AM
I am a gifted linguist, and speak 4 languages. But you use a word with which I was unfamiliar-I had to look it up. I bet you know which word it was.
Francis W. Porretto Wrote: Feb 19, 2013 12:03 PM
Just a slip of the fingers: should have been "hearts."
Red Spot in a Blue State Wrote: Feb 19, 2013 10:46 AM
Really? Because I had to look up pellucid. Never heard it before
Matt in N.C. Wrote: Feb 19, 2013 7:40 AM
Mr. Porretto is usually a thoughtful writer, so his misuse of "hearsts" took me aback. The hearst (named for William Randolph Hearst, 1863–1951) is an SI measure of journalistic sensationalism. Geraldo Rivera's early work averaged around 10^25 hearsts, and Shepard Smith's performace during Hurricane Katrina peaked at about 10^17 hearsts. A crawl showing the current temperature and wind speed, on the other hand, seldom exceeds 0 hearsts.

Maybe Mr. Porretto inadvertently left something out.

Fifteen years ago, after special prosecutor Ken Starr questioned President Bill Clinton about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky, Starr—overcome with a “sense of gloom”—shambled into his Virginia home, collapsed into bed, and asked himself, “How could a sensible and sane government come to this?”

That’s the story scholar Ken Gormley tells in The Death of American Virtue: His 2010 book is the most thorough history of the crisis that escalated on Jan. 26, 1998, when Clinton claimed in a nationally televised White House news conference, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

As the 15th...