Sunday, June 26, 2005


Here's a classic hed glitch to watch out for: taking two facts that are true independently and joining them into a third fact that's ... oh, let's say "debatable." Or "unable to support rejection of the null hypothesis." Or "nonsense."

Faithful flock to see legend
80,000 gain memory of lifetime
NEW YORK - Maybe this, in the end, is what Billy Graham means to the faithful:

Over a half-century of crusades, he has given who knows how many Christians a moment or a memory that will stay with them always. (Fact 1)

He has earned a place in the autobiographies of millions who can sit back in this summer of 2005 and recall with sweet clarity how this man came into their lives and homes and never really left.

... Saturday evening, following a Christian rock concert, Graham preached to a largely teenage crowd of 80,000 (Fact 2) for just 18 minutes, turning over the pulpit in that time to an unannounced guest: former President Bill Clinton, who was joined on the stage by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

So, Fact 1: Some people who attend Billy Graham shows have the experience of a lifetime. Fact 2: Some 80,000 attended this one. 2+2=22: All 80,000 now have the memory of a lifetime. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!

Sure, this is the hometown paper, and it'd shill for Billy Graham even if he ate sauteed babies on stage and flossed with the American flag afterward. But maybe we could work a little harder to keep it out of the big type.


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