Thursday, December 13, 2012

Annals of attribution

Thanks for the attention to detail there, liberal media!

Anyway. If you think the War on Editing is a hidden tragedy, wait 'til you see the War on Statehouse Coverage. Done correctly, editing and reporting both involve a lot of meticulous attention to fairly mundane procedures that, every now and then, reward all the attention by turning up something really important. That's no longer assumed to be a virtue per se; copy editors can point out that they prevent libel suits, but on any random day, they're hard put to identify the libel suit they prevented yesterday.

Thus, it's nice to know that even as all the Snidely Whiplash-ism surrounding "what some call anti-labor bills" was reaching a peak, the AP was paying attention to other legislation in the lame-duck session. To wit:

A House bill to bar use of “foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights” was on Tuesday’s House agenda. Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, sponsored the bill, which doesn’t specifically mention the Islamic legal code called sharia. However, the bill’s supporters have said they are concerned about the use of sharia spreading.

So even as the home of organized labor was preparing to deliver a swift kick in the fusebox to organized labor, the home of both Dearborn ham and the country's largest mosque was preparing to deliver a swift kick to ... the phantom menace of Creeping Sharia? Was somebody not paying attention when the loonies were at play with this one last year?

It's nice to see that the AP ran this down and that the Freep gave the story a pretty good chunk of space inside -- in sort of the same way that it's nice to wake up and find out that a killer asteroid came within the Earth's orbit overnight and did a couple of somersaults over Dearborn before expiring. Given the choice, I want editors looking at everything that's written and reporters in the statehouse looking at everything that's filed.

If we lose the War on Editing, reporters will have no adult supervision. If we lose the broader War on Journalism, people like Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, will have no adult supervision. Consider well, but not too long.

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