Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stating the obvious

If you're the old-fashioned sort that thinks a hed ought to have something to do with the story it adorns, you've come to the wrong place.

That's not to suggest that the hed is false. There are rich people, and there are clueless people, and day-to-day life makes pretty clear that those two sets have a good deal of overlap. It's tempting to improve the hed by making it more definite -- "Someone is rich and clueless" -- but that's not really the point, is it?

Things don't get much clearer at the "More from the newsroom" section of the sibling fishwrap in Charlotte:

Is million-dollar lottery winner clueless?

Well, he or she wouldn't be the first. But again, that isn't the point of the story, which seems to be that a winning lottery ticket from 11 weeks ago hasn't been cashed in yet.

Is that a frontpage story? Oh, maybe. I mean, it's not as if large parts of the Fractious Near East are slouching uncertainly toward the process of democratic transition, entire states are at risk of running out of beer owing to partisan thuggishness, and (per the minor note in the 1A rail) occasional signs of movement are emerging in the national slide toward default or anything. But from the story itself, one gathers that it's hardly unheard of for tickets to sit around for a bit.

I guess that's really the problem. Since "someone may be rich and clueless" is so self-evidently not a story, should the editors have given a little more thought to explaining why there's a story in here? Or should we just wait until these two once-proud desks are merged and see what crumbs might fall from the table?

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Anonymous raYb said...

There are millions of reasons someone might not have claimed the prize while being fully aware of it. But our scribe has decided the ticket was bought by a slow-witted sort. Can't be any other reason. Does the tune change if someone comes forward and cashes it in?

9:31 PM, July 14, 2011  

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