Thursday, February 11, 2010

A great disturbance in the Force

Sometimes you can wrap some slightly related devel- opments together with a single figure of speech and get a lede out of it. Other times -- but Michigan is a peaceful planet!

I think the real failure is the "Wednesday," which suggests a whole bunch of out-of-control stuff happened all at once that knocked a perfectly innocent state out of its orbit and into some sort of post-political, post-nuclear dystopia -- a Mad Max-scape, only with snow and increasingly mediocre hockey.*

Real life is duller, as usual. There are two news developments here: a very rich candidate (and university regent) with fractional political experience dropped out of a race she hadn't really entered, and a congressman decided not to run again. I have a hard time seeing either as a lede story, and the saga of the Republican slagging match doesn't come near tying them together into one.

Too bad, because it's the most interesting of the lot. I started noticing one of the ads in question a couple of weeks back: a couple of the standard-issue yippy-yip voices lighting into Pete Hoekstra for not being enough of a fearmongering right-wing crank. Srsly?? Somebody's opening up on Pete Hoekstra from the right for (inter alia) not letting DC citizens arm themselves against other DC citizens?** We're at risk of having an entertaining season up here.

Short of all-out war, you always want a little headroom in your lede story -- readers need to know that you know the end of the world hasn't been reached quite yet. When you knock the world off its axis in February of a nonpresidential year, you're giving yourself a tough act to follow and a lot of months in which to make that abundantly clear.

* Nor any copy editors in sight, but you probably figured that out already.
** No, really. You need to be driving around Detroit when Reproachful Princess Leia Girl says "But Washington, DC, is one of the most violent cities in the country!"



Blogger Don said...

Does a universe even have an axis? I must go call a physicist...

11:51 PM, February 11, 2010  
Blogger fev said...

Be sure you have a referral from your primary physicist.

12:03 AM, February 12, 2010  

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