Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Today in vizcomm theory

Well, we could say several things about the top story Tuesday morning over to the Drudge Report. For one, it's bogus. The drawback to writing the headline before the election is held is that -- pesky voters! What were they thinking* when they (hem) "resoundingly rejected" (kaff) the measure in question?
More interesting, I think, is the ear in the upper left corner, which in typical Drudge fashion says "Revolt ..." But that's not nearly as cool as the American flag waving against the cerulean sky, reminding us all the the Founding Fathers fought and died so we could abolish the hated property tax and fund all those pesky teachers and cops and things from some other source the legislature finds appropriate.

Your Editor is partial to the era of the 1A editorial cartoon, so of course he's interested in such modern-day incarnations as the random use of the flag to illustrate DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN-style blunders. More to the point, though, he sort of hopes the New York Times and the few other remaining serious papers will try to get through the campaign season without consulting the Drudge Report before filing their campaign stories.

There's a fundamental difference between grownup journalism, which has a tendency to screw up in the course of trying to get things right, and the likes of Drudge, Breitbart, and the Murdoch empire, whose native purpose is to lie and mislead. Please let your favorite professional news organization know that you appreciate the difference. 

* Maybe they were thinking about this sentence from the AP report: "The measure required the North Dakota Legislature to replace the money lost from eliminating property taxes." That'll put you right off your fresh-fried lobster.

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