Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Go away, you pesky readers

Today's sermon is about how to make sure readers know they aren't welcome at your fishwrap. One of the best ways to do that is to underline your ideological purity:

Otis Chandler, the former publisher of the Los Angeles Times who transformed his family's provincial, conservative newspaper into a respected national media voice, died early Monday.

Newspapers can be situated, thus, along two axes:

Provincial to national
Conservative to respected

Can you think of a clearer way to tell your Republicano-American readers they aren't wanted? Do any of y'all still wonder why people bitch about the Librul Media?*

Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia, with more than 2,000 members, uses technology to spread the word of God in its services.

How many times do we have to go over this point? It isn't the newspaper's job to judge claims of divine revelation. We aren't qualified for it, and if we aren't careful, the archbishop of Canterbury is going to weigh in on the which/that rule or something. Newspapers have lots of ways of offending by accident; what's the point in being deliberately offensive?

* Example taken from an AP yarn in One Of America's Newspapers; I could swear I heard roughly the same thing on NPR Monday morning, but I can't find it on the Marketplace Web site.


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