Monday, August 28, 2017

It's bigger on the inside

Somehow, you'd think a live appearance by an ancestor of the Great Man would have been worth more than the No. 4 play. Alas, the hed and lede have now been fixed:

A descendant of Civil War general Robert E. Lee and the mother of a woman killed earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to denounce white supremacists.

... but the link still says "civil-war-gen-lees-ancestor." And whatever you do, don't diagram the noun phrase so that the elephant is in your pajamas.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

No, but thanks for asking

Or "maybe, but that's actually not the sort of thing that the stars can usefully predict." Or "Cthulhu fthagn."

Anyway, the fourth of four 1A offerings at the morning fishwrap:

Donald Trump’s future, astrologers say, is written in the stars, and they’re predicting Monday's total solar eclipse will have serious consequences for the 45th president and for the country.

I suppose there are three sorts of reasons for its presence on the front:
  1. You (meaning, broadly, those responsible for the paper's news decisions) believe in the power of the stars to foretell the future. In this case, you should probably not make 1A decisions without adult supervision.
  2. You do not believe in the power of the stars to foretell the future but think your  readers do. In this case, you should direct your attention to the page where horoscopes and the Solunar Tables live.
  3. Neither you nor your readers hold to this charming set of beliefs, in which case you should (3A) save it for the April Fool's issue and (3B) remind yourself that we generally stop doing the April Fool's issue shortly after the first really embarrassing one in college. But do continue!
The movement of stars and planets have an impact on people, they say, and suggest that the Aug. 21 eclipse could be transformative for the nation and President Donald Trump. 

"I am genuinely concerned about the future of our country and beyond with all of that is happening in Trump's astrological chart. He and our nation are at a tipping point with this eclipse," said Rebecca Gordon, a New York-based astrologer and author who writes for Harper's Bazaar.

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, during a lunar eclipse. Though his sun sign is in the astrological sign of Gemini, he has Leo rising at 29 degrees on the star Regulus, and Mars in fiery Leo, said Gordon.

You can see why journalists have such trouble with stuff like the "margin of error."

Regulus (the royal star) on his rising and Mars poses a strict royal code of conduct, that if not adhered, can produce ruinous set-backs, she said.

His chart, Gorden said, is filled with “fire and fury” that is essentially being triggered by the degree of this eclipse. Those are the same  words he used to describe how America would respond to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s escalating threats of nuclear attack.

“I can’t believe he used those words,” she said.

You really should go read the whole thing; it doesn't technically get "better," but it does get gaudier:

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Sourcing and mayhem

Good to see the Formerly Fair 'n' Balanced Network is on the case as "officials" push back against the Fake News Media:

President Trump specifically condemns “white supremacists” and other extremist groups as forces behind the deadly protests and counter-protests this weekend in Virginia, a White House spokesperson said Sunday.

That ought to show 'em. Now let's see the quote!

"The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together,” the spokesperson said from Trump’s private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Oh, no. Would that be another of those anonymous Fake News sources? I wonder what other commercial news agencies say:

A White House official, who requested anonymity and ignored attempts to go on the record, told reporters Sunday that it was obvious the President condemned "white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups" despite Trump not mentioning those groups during an event at his private golf club Saturday and instead blaming the violence on "many sides."
"The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and, of course, that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups," the official said. "He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."
Glad we have that worked out. Meanwhile, though, let's enjoy some other Fox treats. Here, for example, is Saturday evening's top story:
"Face of mayhem," is it? What other faces do you suppose have been spotted lurking around the Formerly Fair 'n' Balanced Network in recent months?
Well, that's hardly fair. Surely it would have been stronger than "mayhem" if someone had actually died!
It does seem kind of hard not to conclude that certain skin tones are more strongly associated with "hate" and "terror," doesn't it?

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

2 Dacron women feared missing

What does it take for national news to land in the lead position at the Sunday fishwrap?

The Detroit Red Wings are exploring possible legal action after a slightly modified team logo appeared on signs held by protesters at a violent and deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia on Saturday.  


The signs, which showed the team’s winged-wheel logo spokes altered to look more like swastikas, sparked outrage in the National Hockey League and among social media users.

I wonder when we'll menti0n the war recent unpleasantness. Who had "after the jump, fifth graf"?

... The sign holders were among thousands at the volatile Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. One person was killed and at least 19 injured after a car drove into a crowd of protesters, hours after a state of emergency was declared due to the event.
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Friday, August 04, 2017

Today in drooling racist paranoia

Shock horror outrage! How bad is it, elite Washington Times "Rapid Reactions" team?

London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan declared an end to any kind of advertising in the city that promotes “unrealistic expectations of women’s body image and health,” or, in layman’s, typical Western-style fashion spreads.

Sharia, meet London.

As the Gatestone Institute notes, this reminds of when ISIS took over Sirte in Libya a couple years ago and immediately set up sharia shop, ordering via billboards for all women to don baggy burka’d robes if they wanted to walk in the streets without, say, getting acid thrown in their faces, or raped.

Well, not quite. What it most "reminds of" is -- how did the Washington Times put it back in June 2016?

London’s first Muslim mayor is hitting the ground running with a ban on ads in the city that feature “unrealistic” body images.

Labor Party’s Sadiq Khan pledged before his May 7 election win to prohibit ads across Transport for London (Tfl) like those seen in a “beach body ready?” campaign by the company Protein World.

... The decision by Mr. Khan comes just months after the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) began looking for way to “proactively regulate” images of men and women.

Well, that's at least marginally closer to the truth. As noted by professional media outlets, of course, it was a ban on body-shaming ads on the Transport for London network (whose ad policies, we noted at the time, are fairly easy to find), not "the city." And there's some flavorful irony in the link the Gatestone Institute* itself uses to illustrate its sharianoid babbling; it's a column in the Independent headlined "Sadiq Khan is right to ban objectifying ads from the tube -- we never consented to this sexist wallpaper." Much of the adult world, indeed, seemed quite capable of putting this into the general context of how commercial speech is regulated. (Hint: At least he isn't fining anyone half a million dollars for half a second of accidental breast at halftime of the Super Bowl.)

But of course that's not why we have deranged race-baiting fishwraps like The Washington Times, is it? Back to today's story:
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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Emergency hyphen drop requested

Sometimes upstyle headlines are their own reward.

As your students ponder where they would put the hyphen, a friendly reminder that even if your goal is a major-market TV station, those boring old editing skills might come in handy.

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