Monday, October 20, 2014


Looks like it's time to reserve a few seats for the WashTimes design and copy desks on the next unheated cattle car to Siberia:

Despite the sudden loss of confidence on Wall Street last week, the U.S. economy shows little sign of faltering and its solid footing helped nurture a quick recovery in stocks.

Wait! Who put this at the top of the front page?

Economists point out that U.S. growth took off in the spring quarter with a 4.5 percent rebound from a winter slump and is expected to continue at a healthy 3 percent clip in the second half of the year. That far surpasses the growth rates in Europe and even bests the sluggish growth of formerly robust emerging economies such as Brazil and Russia.

Perhaps more important, the U.S. jobs machine got back into action this year, churning out a string of job gains averaging well over 200,000 a month in what looks to be the best year for job growth since the 1990s.
You'll be telling us that Nigeria has been declared free of Ebola next.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hello there, stranger!

How far did you say it was to Little Rock, Nation's Newspaper of Record?

Because of an editing error, an article on Friday about Bermuda’s preparations for Hurricane Gonzalo as it approached the island misstated, in some copies, the location of Bermuda relative to North Carolina. It is 670 miles east of North Carolina, not west.

If you said "three lengths of a fool," take the rest of the day off. When in doubt, look it up; when certain, look it up anyway.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Today in advertising

Ever seen the Michelin man's baby pictures? Neither had I. This is from the Times on this date in 1947.

Should you be scoring along at home, the first ad on British TV was still almost eight years away.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tell us what you really think

What's going on at the old WashTimes copydesk these days? Are we trying to keep the print edition looking all professional and journalistic, so passersby will figure it's a newspaper, or are we just giving our online readers a little extra spice?

Here's the caption provided online for the thumbnail above:

Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy’s first marriage to Joan Bennett, ended in divorce in 1982, with Time nmagazine* reporting the marriage was annulled by the Vatican more than a decade later.

Weird, huh? The noun "Kennedy" doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the text

* (sic), if you're scoring along at home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Today in the echo chamber

Hey, kids! Every wonder why some Fair 'n' Balanced stories let you wade right into the comments section and cut loose on the usurper:

This isnt negligence, this is intentional. We have a madman in the Oval Office and millions of liberal co-conspirators. Store up plenty of food and emergency supplies, its going to get real ugly real soon.

ANYONE that still considers this joke an American Potus deserves nothing more than a one way plane ticket straight to Africa! Hes done nothing more than put strain on American taxpayers while spending on his personal priorities=llegals-terrorist-career government dependent and supporting his homeland-AFRICA!!!

After their success in freeing the girls in Nigeria, Moochelle will dragout #Ebola to fight this Republican disease!

This so called President'''''''''should be skinned alive.
... while on others, comments are (hem) "currently closed" (kaff)? You'd think a tale of Pentagon skulduggery on this scale would be the ideal chance to call the minutemen to the streets:

American troops were exposed to chemical weapons multiple times in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while the Pentagon kept their discoveries of the expired or degraded weapons secret from investigators, fellow soldiers, and military doctors, according to a published report. 

Yes, that'd be the deftly reported centerpiece in Wednesday's Times, which Fox manages to acknowledge, along with some numbers in the next graf:

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that American troops reported finding approximately 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On at least six occasions, soldiers were wounded by those weapons, which had been manufactured before 1991.

Not a bad summary of the nut graf, but the narrative seems somehow incomplete without the Times's subsequent graf:

The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.

Not to mention the details worked in later:
Read more »

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Negligent journalism

We do have sort of an obligation to report what candidates and their little friends say and do when they're out there urging you to make your comparative decisions in their favor. We don't have an obligation to help them lie:

Bush* said the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., with President Barack Obama and Sen. Majority leader Harry Reid has led to a recession where economic growth is only about 2%. He said under Republican leadership, the U.S. can grow at 3.5% to 4%.

"The dysfunction in Washington, D.C., with President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader** Harry Reid" is sort of random reporter-speak, but probably not too inaccurate a reflection of the speaker's opinion. Fine. "He said under Republican leadership, the U.S. can grow at 3.5% to 4%" -- well, even the AP would want a complementizing "that," and as opinions go, it's on the flying-unicorns side, but if that's his pitch, we need to let him make it.

The problem is in the middle: "A recession where economic growth is only about 2%." News flash for Jeb, and for the folks who wrote it and who waved it along into print: That's not a recession. The cheapest first-year-econ definition of a recession would be two straight quarters of GDP shrinkage. You don't have to like the way the economy is going, but if you say it's doing something it's not, you're in the same category as the poll unskewers and the goober at the New York Post who's going to come out any month now with definitive proof that the usurper's minions rigged the BLS employment data in fall 2012. That's not a good place for the press -- the honest press, at least -- to be.

* Jeb, if you're scoring along at home
** How do you hide a five-dollar bill from a reporter? Put it in the stylebook. "Sen." is short for Senator, not Senate, and "majority leader" should be capitalized before the name. Sheez.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

It isn't a threat ...

... until Mr. Ailes says it's a threat. Got that, you pesky generals?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday described climate change as a national security threat -- at a time when the U.S. military is battling the Islamic State in the Mideast, responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and monitoring tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Shh! Nobody say "China" too loudly.

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the "national security" challenges posed by rising global temperatures and "extreme weather events."
If Drudge ever runs out of "scare quotes," it's good to know he'll be able to borrow some from Fox.

Hagel described climate change as a "threat multiplier," saying it "has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today -- from infectious disease to armed insurgencies -- and to produce new challenges in the future."

The Pentagon's new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military -- rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

"Our militaries' readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed," Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

Which sounds, as it has for some years now, like a fairly sensible observation. Nor are the armed forces the only bunch of folks who see a security dimension in this issue.But that's probably not the point, is it?

Still, while the Pentagon and high-ranking officials have previously warned of the dangers of changing weather patterns and its side effects, the robust focus on the issue is raising questions at a time when the U.S. military is engaged in fighting the advancing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Always nice to be reminded you don't need the passive voice to be coy about agency. Or did we just miss the part about infectious diseases and armed insurgencies?

Citing the Islamic State's recent gains, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a statement: "It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate, threats in the world."

Because it's just not a security story until you get the Kenyan into it somehow, is it? Now get off my lawn.

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