Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The baby names are back! It kind of pains me to acknowledge that I've been writing about the damn baby names since before the dissertation was finished, but at this point, it'd be ungrateful to deny the value of deranged racist paranoia to the overall scholarly project. And this time, Drudge seems to be committing a couple of basic violations of the way news works. 

First, for you junior-league players, is the axiom that heds are drawn from the lede: If the reporter made something a priority, the hed writer either follows in train or -- should the reporter have somehow* missed the point -- fixes the lede so it reflects the real news. Thus, if you link to the Mirror, which kicks off with Posh and Becks:
Celebrities continue to be a source of inspiration for new parents choosing names for their children.

Coleen and Wayne Rooney's name choices have been extremely popular this year, with twice as many babies called Kit and Klay compared to last year.

But Olivia is officially the most popular name for girls and Oliver the most popular for boys.

... your job is to capture at least some of the Roonsian magic.

More importantly, though, your hed needs to reflect the news itself.  In that Muhammad has been sneaking up on Jack (or Oliver) for years on end, your hed really ought to tell the audience how today is different from yesterday. "Muhammad in second" might have been a big deal when he was closing in, but -- unless the tables are fabricated -- the real story here seems to be that Muhammad has been knocked out of the top spot.

You'd think that might be cause for dancing in the street for Drudge and his ilk. Perhaps he's still trying to figure out how to give credit to his tangerine master.

* Shock horror outrage

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