Tuesday, May 15, 2018

To get to the other side?

Even without the Stupid Question, this is a candidate for Least Informative Follow-up of the (no longer young) Year.  Let's proceed to the fourth paragraph:

Police confirmed Monday that a sixth Ram truck was found around 2:30 p.m. Saturday near Warren and Outer Drive in Dearborn Heights. No damage was done to the vehicle, according to the police report.
The other trucks have been found in Detroit, some stripped or damaged, some still in new condition. A pocket Bible was found on the driver's seat of one of the trucks.

Given that the "when" of Tuesday's story is "erm, Saturday," you can see leading with the Bible. (Assuming you didn't want to put any further effort into finding out about an arrest that apparently happened Saturday.) But before putting it in the headline, should we wonder for a moment if the pocket that the pocket Bible fell out of might have belonged to -- oh, a factory worker who parked the soon-to-be-stolen Ram?

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Try it on your cereal

Courtesy of the indefatigable Bremner Editing Center, the latest in elongated yellow fruit: Sriracha, the pungent Thai condiment!


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

No, but thanks for asking

Well, if you had to write a precede for the Fair 'n' Balanced front page about those pesky upcoming hearings, what do you think you'd do?

The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, like the Senate intelligence panel's Democrats, has come out against President Donald Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the Democrats question whether Haspel, a longtime CIA agent, is fit to run the agency given her involvement in the torture of prisoners following the attacks in 2001.

Haspel is due to appear Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee for her confirmation hearing.

In case you didn't get it, there's also a photo caption:

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is joining the Senate intelligence panel's Democrats in opposition to Gina Haspel. They question whether the longtime CIA agent is fit to run the agency given her involvement in the torture of prisoners following the 9/11 attacks.  (Reuters)

But no doubt there's a nut graf in there somewhere:

Read more »

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

On the third day ...

You can certainly see why this story made the front page at Fox. Until you read the lede, at least:

A former Houston Astros first base coach made an emotional return to the ballpark Monday night, tossing the ceremonial first pitch in the home opener months after nearly dying from a slip and fall.

Well, we all let our fingers get ahead of our brains sometimes. But with Fox, you have to wonder why "beating death" is the first thing that came to mind.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What if you had this book ...

... and it had all these words in it, and it told you where they came from, and it was in alphabetical order for your convenience! Right, Nation's Newspaper of Record?
This appears to have been the offending text:

The Bight gets its name from its appearance: From space, it looks as if a giant bit into the southern coast of Australia. The crescent-shaped bay runs for more than 700 miles, lined by the longest stretch of sea cliffs in the world. 
And that pesky book with all the words? It gives "a bending or curved geographical feature, as an indentation in a coast line or mass of ice, a bend in a river, etc." from Old English and "a stretch of water between two headlands; a bay, esp. a shallow or slightly receding bay" dating to 1555.

The fundamental things still apply: If you don't know what it means, look it up. If you do know what it means, look it up anyway.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

We are Siamese if you don't please

It can't be a good idea to encourage too much sympathy for those who take Fox's shilling, but -- do spare a moment's thought for the reporter who drew the short straw Sunday night and had to write about the "60 Minutes" interview. You can certainly forgive the occasional biscuit conditional ("... or 4 degrees Celsius if you're in Windsor").

If true, Trump would have been married a little more than a year to Melania. Their son, Barron, would have been four months old.

Clearly the writer has bigger things to think about.

I'm not sure how to count the next one, unless one party or the other ages at a different rate from the normal Earth year:

Needless to say, these aren't the only elements of interest in Fox's coverage. The noninverted question hed is unusual, and Fox hardly seems to have covered the Daniels matter enough for her to be "Stormy" in a headline. It should be an interesting few days if you're in Windsor.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

We're no angels

Spare a kind thought for our little friends in the party press. When their president speaks, they listen -- but what do you even do with a clause like "Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy"? Do you read the first part in your Sam Elliott voice and the second as Marlowe? Let's see how it looked as the lead story Saturday afternoon at Fox:
Well, not exactly. How do you think it looked when you clicked through?

That's not much better at all, is it? Though at least we appear to have actually read our own lede:

President Trump called Andrew McCabe a 'choirboy' as he lauded the former acting FBI Director's firing, suggesting multiple federal reports show “corruption at the highest level.”

OK, double quotes in text, please, and the comma goes inside the quotes in the hed, but no. The president didn't call Mr. McCabe either of those things. Both are plausible insults:

McCabe, you're a choirboy!
McCabe, you're no choirboy!

... but (aside from being, you know, completely opposite) they're not what he was talking about. He was talking about James Comey, not McCabe. And you'd like to think that, even at Fox, there might be enough native speakers to figure that out.

 Don't spend too much time thinking nice thoughts about Fox; they've chosen to serve their orange monkey-king, and if that doesn't work out, plenty of coal and steel jobs will no doubt be waiting. (The same can't be said of grownup journalism.) But surely we can all understand that brief moment of panic at the arrival of the midnight tweet. You can see why it took until the following day to figure things out.

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