Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bogus heds: 666 and all that

Shock horror outrage, The Washington Post! Quick, tell us what the guy really said:

I have been in places and experiences before where demonic activity was palpable. The power of the Holy Spirit of God was protecting me in those moments and was once again protecting me and my daughter in this moment.

There are deeper questions of practice afoot: why the Post plucked a blog post out of the blue to build a story around (lacking even the "quickly went viral" excuse), how the audience is supposed to distinguish a second-hand claim* of supernatural activity at a Trump rally from the preelection tale of John Podesta drinking the blood at a satanic ritual, or why it takes 27 paragraphs to reach the quote that allegedly supports the hed and lede. And my sympathies are certainly with the protagonist, who seems to have done nothing more than politely try to keep some Trump droolers from getting out of hand. But if the Fair 'n' Balanced Network had baked a quote this seriously, I'd like to think the Post would join the civilized world in calling bullshit.

Apparently not, though:
Sigh. What do you suppose she really said?

“I said to her, ‘You all really are the best store in the area,’ ” recalled Carson, who lives in Vienna, Va. “ ‘It’s a shame you couldn’t keep your mouths shut about our president.’ ”

That may be why Southerners suck at organized crime. Our 77-year-old retired marketing employees just don't do the whole Edward G. Robinson thing very well -- certainly not as malevolently as the headline suggests. Since some exceptionally good grammar hands are still hanging in there at the Post desks, please go ask one of them whether "It's a shame you couldn't finish your chicken blood" and "Finish your chicken blood!" are in any remote way the same sentence.

It pains me to point this out, because the Post has put a lot of time, space and capital (social and the kind that pays the bills) into chronicling the clownish thuggery of the entire Trump charade. It's doing what an industry leader should, and we ought to be grateful for that. But if the Mouth of Sauron wanted to call a midnight press conference to accuse the Post of faking headlines to make his followers look bad, I would have a hard time disagreeing -- regardless of whether my favorite indoor sport is chronicling the myriad similar sins of the right-wing media.

There really are rules. You don't retaliate for the bombing of hospitals by bombing more hospitals. You retaliate by capturing the bad guys and putting them in the stocks.

* Which, not to be redundant or anything, the original source doesn't make.

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