Liesl Schillinger is a New York-based journalist and translator, and the author of Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century. She teaches in the Journalism+Design Program at the New School. (May 2018)
Teaching a course on “Facts/Alternative Facts: Media in America from Tocqueville to Trump,” I created an exercise I called “Tweeting Nietzsche.” It would be our touchstone throughout the term, a reminder that to speak of facts is to speak of language—Nietzsche’s “mobile army of metaphor, metonym, and anthropomorphism”—and that journalists who intend to write factually in today’s hostile climate for news media must learn how to deploy that mobile army effectively. I wish I’d had a trumpet to sound the charge.