This is my final column for the Union-Tribune. The road ahead has a bend in it and I’m eager to see what hides beyond, and hope it doesn’t require Xanax. Newspapers, my life’s work, are struggling for survival. Just a few years ago, they were the Michael Jordan of mass media, scoring at will. However the Internet in a couple of decades has reduced them to the fleeting sepiatone image of the village blacksmith watching the horseless carriage put-putting by. He has no expression; he has no anger.
Not long ago, I was told of a new “Mummy” movie release starring Tom Cruise. To me, that’s a sign of how far culture has fallen. A horror flick featuring an evil Tom Cruise would be like the werewolf guy turning into a Chihuahua. Who would spill popcorn in fright at Tom Cruise? He has a choir-boy face and is a full head shorter than the average mummy--C’mon, Tom (chuckle, chuckle). You gonna strangle me? Get outta here! Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr., now there you had some monsters of respect.
I’m going to back into this story because I want to show our subject at the high point of his star power. “The Big Lebowski” was a comedy of 20 years ago. A main character was Jeff Bridges as a doofus called The Dude. Anyway, some bad guys were after The Dude and found him luxuriating in his bathtub. They didn’t get what they wanted, so enter our featured performer. It was an excitable ferret with a big grin held by a bad guy. It showed a row of teeth that could mend socks.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".