Saturday, June 24, 2017

You provide the prose poems ...

What do you suppose was the top story for most of Friday at the Formerly Fair 'n' Balanced Network?

From siccing wild dogs on his own uncle to gunning down his enemies with artillery meant for taking out planes, North Korea's Kim Jong Un has built a reputation for dispatching with extreme prejudice all those who cross him.

While some of the terrifying methods of execution have never been confirmed, the mere mention of them is sure to keep his inner circle in line - and any potential rivals quiet, say experts. A confirmed favorite tactic, blowing people away with anti-aircraft guns, leave victims unrecognizable.

I'm not sure if the grammar is there to distract you from the admission that the story's bogus or the other way around. Anyway ...

"Because there are several guns bound together, it would be hard to find the body after firing it once," Hong Hyun-ik, chief researcher at the Sejong Institute, a security think tank based in Seoul, told local broadcaster YTN in 2015. "It's really gruesome."

In late February, South Korean officials revealed that five North Korean officials had been subjected to the particularly grisly form of overkill. Other methods trickle out of the secretive Hermit Kingdom, their unverified status only burnishing the legend of Kim's depravity.

A report that one official was killed by a mortar round has been treated with skepticism. But the tale sent a strong message when coupled with his alleged crime: drinking and carousing during the official mourning period following the death of Kim's father, the equally brutal Kim Jong Il.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thufferin' thuccotash

How's it going with your decision to cut out those pesky layers of editors, Nation's Newspaper of Record?

A report last Sunday about the wedding of Spouse I and Spouse II Jr. misstated the name of the town in Maine where the groom’s parents worked. It is Bath,* not Bass. The report also misstated the name of the company where the groom’s father worked. It is Bath Iron Works, not Bass Iron Works.

Now close your eyes and imagine an age in which Jane's Fighting Ships was as easy to find in the newsroom as a guide to the "Star Wars" canon. On second thought, don't.

* As your paper appears to have noted on 10 other occasions in the past year.


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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Editing: Ur doin it wrong

In the wake of the Times's decision to sue for armistice in the War on Editing, the above presentation from the Washington Post's Friday afternoon e-newsletter is worth a moment's reflection.

Granted,* a straight-up-the-middle fact check of the Orange Peril's random babbling on Thursday about the Paris climate accord is a laudable journalistic mission, even if it overlooks the really entertaining stuff. For instance, the Orange Peril's decision to begin his remarks by addressing a terrorist attack that even his pet news outlet doesn't think is a terrorist attack:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila. We’re closely monitoring the situation, and I will continue to give updates if anything happens during this period of time. But it is really very sad as to what’s going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected.

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