Saturday, November 22, 2014

Another day on Planet Fox

Hey, kids! What do you suppose was the takeaway point of Friday afternoon's report from the House Intelligence Committee?

Washington Post: An investigation by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee has concluded that the CIA and U.S. military responded appropriately to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, dismissing allegations that the Obama administration blocked rescue attempts during the assault or sought to mislead the public afterward.

AP: ... Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

Fair 'n' Balanced Network: A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Noun pile of the week

In case you missed it while the usurper was distracting you last week, freedom was under assault on many fronts:

There’s a new battleground in the war on Christmas – the suburbs of our nation’s capital. The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland has decided to appease Muslims families by making the school calendar — religious neutral.

The in-the-tank media appear to have let this one slip by, but the newly profitable Washington Times and its readers have stayed on the case, providing the genuinely awesome noun -- at last, by US standards -- noun pile above.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Son of "that's what"

Come for the "that's how long," stay for the sequence:

Twelve minutes.

That's how long it took someone to drive by three Pleasant Hill houses Monday morning and fire one or more bullets before driving away. Two people were struck and suffered non life-threatening injuries. More could easily have been wounded or worse, Pleasant Hill police said.

Certainly seems to have taken his sweet time about things, didn't he? (Assuming he was a he
and there was only one of him, I mean.) Unless you wait for the Google map to explain that the houses aren't next to each other or anything, except that makes the "one or more bullets" sound even more jargon-like -- and makes you wonder why the story's cautious enough to say "in the NNN block of ..." when the map gives exact addresses. But it takes your eye off the third graf, which begins "One is Local Teen" without letting on which of the earlier categories he might be one of. And then there's the caption with the mug, which see, but that's piling on.

Sometimes it'd be nice if there was less writing and more reading -- say, of the copy that's about to leave your hands -- at America's Newspapers.

(Thanks to longtime reader Sam for the share.)


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Whose sari now?

What seems to be the hardest word today, Nation's Newspaper of Record?

An article last Sunday about Bradley Cooper, who is starring in a Broadway revival of “The Elephant Man,” referred incorrectly to the London address where Joseph Carey Merrick — the real Elephant Man — exhibited himself. The address is now a sari store — it is not, our sincerest apologies, “a sorry store.”

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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Today in making things up

Well -- not exactly. Actually, not at all. But with a little head-fakery on an otherwise innocent AP report, the Fair 'n' Balanced Network manages to push a made-up story. And once you've made the Drudge homepage, your work is done.

Here's what the AP reported Friday:

The U.N. nuclear agency said Friday that its attempts to probe allegations that Tehran worked on nuclear weapons were deadlocked — a finding that all but rules out hopes of full nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran by the Nov. 24 target date.

And the version that was Fox's No. 3 tale this morning, under the "Agency claims Iran still working toward nukes" hed shown above:

Hours after the UN’s nuclear agency said that its attempts to investigate allegations that Iran worked on nuclear weapons, an Iranian opposition group claimed to have information showing the country is still working toward nuclear weapons.

See the pivot foot move? Clumsy grammar aside, Fox is grafting one set of claims onto another, allowing a for the bogus hed (after the story fell downpage, the switch was even clearer: "UN agency claims Iran still working toward nukes"). Fox is simply having a little more fun with the opposition press conference, which AP discusses in its 11th graf:
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Transcription follies

Did anybody at the Nation's Newspaper of Record actually listen to the Joni Ernst victory speech? Or, you know, watch the earlier campaign ad?

An article on Thursday about some of the Republicans’ rising stars of the 114th Congress quoted incorrectly from comments by Senator-elect Joni Ernst, who on Tuesday night became the first woman elected to Congress from Iowa. She said: “We are heading to Washington. And we are going to make ‘em squeal!” — not “We are heading to Washington. And we are going to make a squeal!

Sometimes, the best question a copy editor can ask is something on the order of "Why would she say that?"

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

With any luck, it might be true

Wow, that all-purpose image of Sad Panda Usurper is coming in handy these days!

President Obama reportedly penned a secret letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last month discussing their shared interest in fighting the Islamic State -- a development one congressional source told Fox News "f***s up everything."

Guess you've got him this time, right?

... A senior congressional source told Fox News that there is not anything definitive as to whether the letter even exists. But the source indicated they don't doubt that it's true because "we've seen [the president] do it before, so there is [a] precedent."

Well, there's some high-quality sou***ng for you. And was it just last week that Fox had a lecture for us on how not to talk about other people's heads of government?

The White House on Wednesday sought to tamp down the controversy over a magazine piece that detailed deep tensions between the U.S. and Israel – and quoted an unnamed senior Obama administration official calling the Israeli leader a “chickenshit.” 

Why, that's just ...

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday accused the administration of “hurling expletives” at the Israeli leader.
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Monday, November 03, 2014

Little lost story

Well, that's a relief. Imagine clicking the second most super-important story of the evening (left) and getting a big old case of File Not Found:

 No, but thanks for the tip. I wasn't really looking for random paranoia about Ferguson or right-wing babbling about the Fractious Near East. I wanted details on that gun-grabbing TSA. Thankfully, the link was restored shortly after midnight; it looks as if Fox was just trying to smooth out the British English in the hed (so now the TSA "seizes," rather than "seize," dozens of guns), and the story itself is intact:

Dozens of guns were confiscated in October from the carry-on bags of pistol-packing passengers trying to board planes at major U.S. airports.

Last month the Transportation Security Administration screeners found 181 firearms in carry-on bags at airport screening points around the country. A total of 157 were loaded and nearly a third of those had rounds chambered, according to the TSA Blog.


Pesky gun-grabbing libruls! Always trying to keep the guy next to me from having a loaded handgun in addition to a smartphone. Or, as The Economist put it a few months ago in what is certainly one of the best ledes in history:

Have you ever stood in a steamy, crowded bar, jostling other patrons to catch the bartender's attention, and thought: "This would be more fun if everyone in here were armed"? If so, Georgia is the state for you.

The rest of the Fox story, of course, neither especially original (it's a rewrite from an official blog) nor especially interesting -- even if, like Your Editor, you've left a favorite pocketknife in a carryall after a long road trip and forgotten to take it out before packing for a flight.* But it's not there because it's interesting; it's there because of what the readers get to say!

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