Saturday, December 13, 2008

Eke, a mouse

It's not nice to pick on spelling blunders for their own sake, or even pairs of blunders for their own sake,* but as long as the whole front page is given over to football, basketball and more football, couldn't we at least pay some attention to the big type on the day's most super-important story?

Sorry, you're right. We forgot the world news: Russian blonde wins beauty pageant! And the cop news:
Police: Career criminal behind bars after chase
Wow! That must be important!

The man behind an alleged crime spree lasting almost two decades is finally behind bars.
(Uh ... if we're declaring our named party the criminal mastermind behind it all, why are we bothering to qualify "alleged crime spree"?)

His own family tells NewsChannel 36 they are glad he is behind bars. (Thanks, Mom!)

A family owned gas station, an unbelievable crime, an SUV smashing through the doors, a thief after lottery tickets. Store customers saw the owners clean up, then it happened again.
(Do we seem to be setting the bar a little low here for "unbelievable"? Just wondering)

Four times police say Name Here drove that same SUV into the store, always after lottery tickets which were sometimes claimed for cash. (Why do we seem to have a mugshot of a Crown Vic "like this one" but not of the sort of SUV that gets poked through the doors of a gas station every couple weeks? Just wondering)

A high speed chase this week ending with Here behind bars. Records show he's been jailed in Rowan County for theft, Henderson and Macon for fraud, arrested in Davie, Yadkin and Mecklenburg County after high speed police pursuits over the last 19 years. (Is this the two-decade crime spree of which the Moriarty of the Piedmont is finally behind bars? If so, it looks like it's the sort of spree interrupted by rather a lot of time in the clink.)

“It's so unbelievable because he's such a good person.” Anna Gaddis said she did not realize her neighbor also spent three years in a federal prison after he drove around in a Ford Crown Vic like this one, posing as a postmaster, stealing corporate checks from mailboxes, including a 63-thousand dollar check from this business in Charlotte. (Has this been rewritten at all from the TV script? Aside from the near-illiterate bursts of broadcast style, that's a lot of deixis for stuff I can't see.)

To be apocalyptic for a moment: I'm apparently about to stop getting a daily paper, and it's not my idea. The people downtown will still make some newspapers, but they'll only deliver them when they have enough inserts to make it worthwhile (Thursday, Friday, Sunday). This is supposed to be a good thing, since we can all read the paper online and it'll be just like Real Journalism. And in the online world, football is so important you don't even have to spell to like it. World news is something with hot! Russian! blondes! The offlede is high school football. And your standards for fairness and good ethical practice in local reporting are set by EyeWitless36.**

Is anybody out there still planning to produce journalism for people who, you know, actually like to read a newspaper that has pertinent stuff written and edited by grownups? I'm sort of hoping there's a market.

* Lest ye forget, there's a Sesame Street moment at the end of "Oklahoma!" in which the whole cast conveniently spells out the name of the state for you! In case you really were having trouble recalling it or didn't have time to look at a map or something.
** Did I miss it, or was there some point in the last 25 years when the news product at WCNC was anything north of a really lurid joke?


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