Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DTFM: No, he didn't

The basic math rule -- when you see two numbers, do something to them -- doesn't just apply to numbers you see. It's also for numbers that are implied. When an obit says someone served in a war, you don't just subtract the birth date from the date at the top of the page and see if it matches the listed age, you compare the birth date to the end of the war.

Same thing with childhood influences. So when you see that Glenn Beck grew up listening to Orson Welles's "Mercury Theater of the Air," your response ought to be: Not without a time machine.

Romenesko's one of my must-read stops, but -- well, everybody needs a copy editor. A buzzer should go off when your source copy starts by saying Beck is a "former" Fox pundit. And this is from the conclusion:

By the end of Citizen Kane, it is clear that Kane has abused his capacity to connect with listeners, by coding his views into headlines, both on the global scale, in declaring the Spanish-American War, and personal, launching an opera career for his wife against her will.

"People will think what I tell them to think," Kane says.

That line* is from quite a bit before the end of "Kane" -- back in Charlie's first marriage, when, on the evidence, he's still "connecting" pretty well with his audience (who were mostly "readers," not listeners). Sloppiness with detail suggests sloppiness in metaphors too.

* And if it's the one I'm thinking of, he doesn't say it. Emily says "Charles, people will think ..."; he picks up the "what I tell them to think."

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Blogger Strayhorn said...

Wow, not even close. But, you know, I don't think it's so much a math failure but a lack of knowledge of when "Citizen Kane" was released. I'm sure for most youngsters, it's just "old" and from that dim era when Corn Pops were known more accurately as Sugar Pops.

And you are right about the quote: Charlie picks up the dialogue mid-sentence from Emily. I watched the move Yet Again last month when TMC was having "Oscar Week."

2:18 PM, April 13, 2011  

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