Film maker Ken Burns, who mines history for how we got where we are as a nation and where we're headed, is a national treasure. His series on the Civil War, with its pictures of events and actual individuals of that time and their letters home with vivid accounts of famous battles is riveting. More important, it updated our understanding of how the failure to confront slavery almost destroyed the United States and remains a cancer that persists in bigotry and discrimination.
In the days ahead, I suspect we'll look back on this moment in our national experience as the "Great Pause," a time when little of real importance occurred, when we marked time waiting for a defining event. On the surface, it looks like there's a lot going on. But nothing happening today really marks this moment as memorable. It's all too much a reality-TV show -- all hype, no happening. Congress is in a state of high dudgeon.
The tallest trees grow from the smallest seeds, at least that's what some top-tier thinker reputedly said. Don't know who actually said it, or for that matter whether anyone ever said it. But it's too good to overlook. And besides it makes the point nicely for today's sermon about a largely unremarked upon practice that's undermining our democracy. Most people know relatively little about the subject.
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 Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
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, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
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".