Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Flies in my beard

  Within this story is a candidate for Most Profound Paragraph to Slide Right By a Living, Breathing Editor of the Still-Young Century:

A website calls Kansas City “a hotbed of UFO activity.”

I wonder how long it would to take to find a website that calls the Kansas City Star a hotbed of deep-catalog moronhood that actually justifies dumping any remaining McClatchy stock in the portfolio, even if that means paying people to take it, on the chance that, should you cross the bar unexpectedly, your far-distant relatives will make endless fun of your heirs and assigns for having been dear to someone who ever cashed a McClatchy check in the first place. Oh, wait.

Granted, America's Newspapers have a habit of ignoring common sense, their own eyes and all sorts of things they should have learned in junior high school when the occasional UFO story rolls in. That's not much of an excuse, even when USA Today does it, and it doesn't get any better when the familiar nonsense is tricked out with local names and clever references to area landmarks. The UFO tale should be quietly sent off to sleep the big sleep, whenever it occurs, no exceptions.

It's bad enough to find this at the top of the Sunday frontpage, but there's worse. When you set your standard for top-of-the-front coverage to "something is out there," you don't have much to distinguish yourself from -- well, say, the Washington Times and its coverage of the APSA convention!

Tea party leaders laughed off the scrutiny and chuckled when they heard the names of the papers.

“This is good. You’re making my day,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

“Statistics show that the vast number of folks that are in the world of academia are liberals,” he said after collecting himself. “Liberals don’t like the tea party movement. I don’t think that’s news.”

“From my perspective, they’ve literally become a caricature of themselves,” he said of the academy, adding that there are a “few exceptions.”

See the problem? You don't judge the likelihood of alien invasion by whether Local People too have seen the triangular lights, and you don't judge the validity and reliability of somebody's multivariate analysis of what stuff predicts other stuff by asking people to call academics funny names. The Star isn't being openly corrupt in the way the WashTimes is, but it's being stupid in the same way. If you want to keep the barbarians away from the gates, you don't want to spend a lot of time explaining why you made all the other barbarians welcome.

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