Although the course was variously titled at different institutions, here is a typical course listing example from the esteemed Columbia School of Journalism.
J304 - Journalistic Yoga for the 24/7 News Cycle
Journalistic Yoga combines extreme logical contortion with peaceful dissociation from reality.
Students will learn how to practice a daily regimen of journalistic yoga as a coping mechanism for creating stories to meet the frantic demands of the 24/7 news cycle. Successful completion of the course counts as 5 credit hours towards both the Traditional Journalism and Opinion Journalism degrees.
9AM M W F - Pundit Pete Lecture Hall
Prerequisite: J201/Psy214 - Conservative Thought & Other Political Diseases
Editorial Note: As this story was about to be posted, Patriarch Pete popped in and remarked, "Hell, they have a special course in that now? Why back in my day, that was just part of Journalism 101."
Readers Want to Know: Several of our readers have written, or tweeted questions regarding the source and inspiration for Journalistic Yoga. So, we asked our leader, Pundit Pete to share a bit of his thinking process for selecting and writing (making up) a story. Here's what Pete had to say about Journalistic Yoga:
Well, I owe it all to Clive Crook, and his article at the Atlantic web site titled Why I Think Obama Is Losing. Crook, while spot on in his conclusion, takes an amazingly tortuous route to get there, full of hopeful delusion, misplaced reasoning, and a reliance on instinct when his own internal logic fails him.
In successive steps, Crook first poses common sense, logical reasons for Obama's fall in the polls, then convinces himself (and he hopes, his readers), that the true reasons lie elsewhere, presumably because the true reasons are too painful for a liberal mind to comprehend. Later on in the article, he actually makes a few good points, but the reader is so worn out by then, that those points are unappreciated.
Ah, but I digress. Here's an example, right where Crook first launches into faux reason number one:
Why do I say this?
It's not because the country is sick of Obama. ........blah blah blah...... my feeling is, the country still wants him to succeed. If voters do reject him in November, for many people it will be with regret.
Hello, Clive, the country is sick of Obama. And that regret you sense; it's coming from many of the people who voted for him. The country doesn't want him to succeed, they fear that he might.
Ah, but I digress. Or should I say, ah, I return? ...... yes, I almost forgot. You all were interested in how the yoga thing came about. Well, OK.....
About half way through Crook's article, wracked with the pain of mental contortions, but blissful in the peace that comes from denial, BAM - IT CAME TO ME. The last time I felt this way was while doing yoga!
And from that simple revelation, an entire theory of journalistic thought soon arose, complete with college courses and soon-to-be awards, the first of which will, with much appreciation, be given to Mr. Clive Crook, formerly a distinguished writer at the Atlantic (as others can attest, a Pundit Pete Press Service award is not universally considered a career boost)........and then Mr. Crook can enroll in .......let's see.......in the Dan Rather Clinic for Recovering Journalists........where, naturally, he will receive Journalistic Yoga Therapy.........and.......
Ah, the mind of Pundit Pete, once engaged, is a force unstoppable, a thing of beauty, n'est-ce pas?
So there you have it, beloved readers, prepared or not, you've entered far into the depths of the mind of Pundit Pete.....where there is no turning back...........no escape.....and (we hope) a paid subscription.......
Unless of course, you engage in a bit of journalistic yoga. That just might be enough to save you!
Totally Unrelated Update Which We Thought We Would Share Anyway - June 5, 2012:
Best Graduation Speech Ever at Columbia School of Journalism
Update - June 6, 2012
Totally Related TRUE Story
When our leader, Pundit Pete, just makes up stories like this, we figure OK, let him run with it, figuring, what harm could it do?, and, there's no possible connection to the real world anyway, and our readers (most of them anyway) will probably figure it out, and move on to important stuff.
BUT, TRUTH IS INDEED STRANGER THAN FICTION, thanks to our friends in India. They offer an actual Journalistic Yoga degree! And there's still a few days left to sign up. We are planning on enrolling several of the PPPS staff.