Friday, May 09, 2008

It's a hed, not a country song

Whichever side of the classroom you were most recently on, you'll probably agree that quite a bit of stuff falls into the category of "doing what no teacher should." Murder, for example. Torture. (with a couple exceptions involving the AP Stylebook.) Selling drugs to the tinies. Selling grades to the tinies. Selling the tinies to vivisectionists. Since this is Florida, evolution probably figures in there somewhere too.

The answer here -- no thanks to the hed writer -- is pretty much what the doin'-what-you-don't-confess tone implies. The teacher is accused of having sex with middle school students. That's what the deck needs to say.

Hence, what we have here is a failure of objectivity. Not because conniving lefty journalists think their ignernt readers need to be more tolerant of sex offenses against minors by authority figures, but because the core of our little positivist enterprise is reporting data rather than values. We need to know what the teacher is accused of, not whether the hed writer (on behalf of the paper) is sufficiently outraged.

Hed writers? Unless you tell me otherwise, I'm going to assume you agree that teachers shouldn't indulge in murder, child molesting, embezzlement or smoking in the boys' room. Spare me the cheatin' song and give me some information.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Thomsen said...

Somehow I get the idea that the offending hed was more about cutesy wink-and-nudge glibness and less about moralizing. Which, of course, is just as grievous a sin.

Sundown, you'd better take care.

3:43 AM, May 11, 2008  
Blogger TootsNYC said...

We need to know what the teacher is accused of, not whether the hed writer (on behalf of the paper) is sufficiently outraged.

My city has a daily tabloid that I won't read because the editors (reporters? I have this vision that "color" is added at the desk, but maybe not) must prove in every story that they are OUTRAGED!

And that people accused of heinous deeds ARE SCUM!

I can figure that out for myself; leave out the adjectives, and put in a few more exact quotes.

Headlines are now, apparently, about enticing you to read the story, and not about helping you figure out in advance whether you want to.

And God forbid that the headline should tell you all you really want to know, bcs then you wouldn't read it!

7:52 PM, May 13, 2008  

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