Saturday, July 26, 2008

If they didn't, they should have

Today's lesson in the Virtues of Not Making Stuff Up comes to you courtesy of -- well, just about everybody. Here's a lede from today's local guardian of the public weal:

Prosecutors, defense attorneys and an eager public will have to wait again -- this time until at least next month -- for Judge Ronald Giles to rule whether any of 200 text messages from Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former aide Christine Beatty will be revealed.

Got it? OK. What does that lede have in common with this hed from America's Fair'n'Balanced Network?

Italians Shocked After Sunbathers Relax on Beach Near Dead Bodies

Anybody ready to take a try? Exactly! Neither one is, well, you know, exactly true -- but if they aren't, they ought to be. The Freep has no evidence -- meaning "none in the story," which is a pretty good stand-in here for "none, period" -- that there's an "eager public" waiting to read stuff they've been reading since ... gee, was it really January? Fully six months before Jon Stewart put the Residence Inn in Madison Heights on the National Love Map?

OK, I'm feeling like I want another night like the most recent Saturday at the Residence Inn!

Edge of my seat, I'm telling you.

And Fox? Almost the same. The story has some bodies and some sunbathers, but there's no way to tell if any Italians were shocked in the making of this story, because nobody bothers to ask any of them. But like the Freep's eager public, it tends to slide right past the slot, because -- well, no doubt some of them are shocked, or would be if we asked them, but mainly because shocked is what Real People should be at the very thought of such a thing.

Things like "Critics blast Obama's West Bank trip," noted here earlier, get more attention because of the blatant ideological thumb on the scales. But they're not that different in substance. Fox doesn't have a critic to present, but there has to be one out there; the Freep doesn't have an "eager public," but if the ungrateful swine aren't eager to hear about the text messages, they should be.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of News, where everything we tell you is true -- or, if not, is the way things ought to be.


Blogger Andy Bechtel said...

This is why I was wary of "long-awaited" during my days on the N&O wire desk.

How many readers have been waiting a long time for, say, that Pentagon report on restructuring the armed forces? Probably none. But the reporter whose beat is military affairs has been waiting a long time. So it must be true.

3:04 PM, July 27, 2008  
Blogger fev said...

Yes, I'm thinking that after the War On Terror, we need to declare War On Conventional Wisdom.

9:52 PM, July 31, 2008  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home