Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One born every minute

On the list of Magic Beans for which you can almost always get a newspaper to trade the family cow -- or better yet, some 1A space -- surely this ranks near the top. Local(ish) Prof Stands Up To Big Science! Topped with a return appearance by the Shroud of Turin!
Read the whole thing, imagining yourself in the role of the editor in the budget meeting who tries to point out ... nah, that might take the fun out of it.
Now: Could newspapers have even more fun than a little breathless 1A sindology? Sure. And if your newspaper is about to run the following, go stop it right now:
Osama bin Laden must be chuckling in his safe house. After all, the 2008 campaign could very well give Al Qaeda the ultimate propaganda tool: President Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim apostate.
And disgruntled readers still complain that the N&O is a librul newspaper. As an editor -- well, there are no false opinions, and it's all scholarly and stuff, but ... if I was* publishing an editing encyclopedia and needed a public-domain illustration of "paranoid fearmongering droolfest," I'd start there.
Once this sort of babble has been waved through a few gates, it's hard to slow down. But just for fun, read the whole thing and come up with a list of propositions and assumptions that would have to be true before you'd toddle over to the law library and start poking holes in the alleged data.
* I'm not prepared to declare this a counterfactual condition just yet

4 Comments:

Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

So now we let Osama tell us who we can elect President?

Isn't that ... letting the terrorists win?

3:08 PM, May 21, 2008  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Plus, there certainly are a depressing number of people who've never actually encountered a liberal, aren't there?

3:09 PM, May 21, 2008  
Blogger Strayhorn said...

There was a psych prof at Dook who used to have regular press conferences on the Shroud(tm) that were fun to watch. The only time I've ever actually seen someone get spittle-flecked . . .

In other news, this hed is on today's BBC World Nooze index:

Colombia hostage siege man seized

Proof that even our betters occasionally have one too many at lunch.

4:17 PM, May 21, 2008  
Anonymous rayb said...

The way the second graf is written essentially posits the truth of the shroud as having the bloodstained image of a battered crucified man. Can't argue when the paper agrees with the prof.

5:10 PM, May 22, 2008  

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