Friday, December 15, 2017

Oh, stop it

One would like to think that, in most of the sentient world, the whole "bigly" thing had been quietly euthanized, oh, a year and a half or so ago. "Bigly" is not what the guy says, plain and simple. You are misinterpreting his pronunciation of the well-known modifier "big league." It doesn't matter whether you think Donald Trump is a disgrace to the English language, a disgrace to the concept of democracy run by grownups or a disgrace to humankind in general; all those can be true at the same time, but he still doesn't say "bigly." Somehow, that seems to have escaped the Washington Post:



At this point, we're justified in calling for a ban on heds of the form "just ... bigly," from now unto the end of time Amen, on grounds of sheer tedium. But there's more!
Several points here. First, there's never an excuse for running bogus headlines, and that includes -- if you have a problem with this, just go ahead and get off my lawn -- headlines based on bogus premises. Second, in case you hadn't noticed, (alleged) media malpractice is a favorite topic with the vermin press these days; if you don't want them sniping at you for being a snarky librul with no ability to interpret actual evidence, please consider the commonsense alternative of not providing them with the goddamn ammunition. Third, please stop wasting my time. The moral embarrassment that is the Trump presidency poses serious threats to a number of areas. If you're playing worst-guess scenario about matters of partisan dispute rather than -- for example -- reporting on the actual Fractious Near East itself, there is little to distinguish you from Fox News. I'd prefer that you make that distinction clearer.

I'm grateful, as I've said before, that the Post invests heavily -- in human and other capital -- in doing news. I appreciate that. Evidence-based reporting separates the sheeps from the goats, and everything we do in journalism should be built on the idea that putting genuine, actionable information in front of people is the highest and best form of the craft. Even if -- sad news, kids -- the public is in fact a bunch of morons, we should literally report, and they should literally decide.

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