Sunday, October 23, 2016

Modern castle magic

What exactly are they doing over at the Nation's Newspaper of Record when they hit the "play" button?

An article on Oct. 9 about Art Deco Los Angeles quoted incorrectly from comments by the author Marlyn Musicant about the design of Union Station. She said that by utilizing bronze chandeliers, the architects wanted “a more modern influence,” not “a more Spanish influence.”

Here's the offending paragraph, in its corrected form:

“The architects wanted to go with a more modern influence,” Ms. Musicant added, “so instead of utilizing wrought-iron chandeliers, the designers went with bronze chandeliers.”

Some corrections set the mind at ease (next time we'll look up any assertion about Mount Everest; we'll never annoy "Star Wars" fans again; it's Edgar Allan Poe, three A's). Others leave you wondering whether anything else in the quotation actually happened as reported. Guess which kind this is?

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Grave league

So did the Fair 'n' Balanced network think "bigly" was an actual directive from the Dark Tower, rather than just a popular misreading of Master's voice? Has the party press decided to dispense with grammar altogether and instead communicate by means of farts and tap dancing? Or is something else afoot?

A U.S. Navy warship on Friday passed through waters claimed by China near disputed islands in the South China Sea, the Defense Department said, drawing Chinese condemnation.

A department spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the destroyer ship USS Decatur conducted the transit operation near the Paracel Islands. He said it was done "in a routine, lawful manner without ship escorts and without incident."

Let's not entirely let the AP off the hook. If "drawing Chinese condemnation" is supposed to go with "warship passed through waters claimed by China," the attribution is badly placed. (Since the US and China seem to agree on the basic sequence of events, we could simply leave it until the second graf.) And jargonizing isn't a sign of a healthy, independent press. File "conducted the transit operation" with "executed a search warrant"; if the cops searched a house, say so. But the hed is solely Fox:

A Chinese defense ministry statement called it "a gravely illegal act" and "intentionally provocative." The Chinese navy sent a guided missile destroyer and an escort vessel that "spotted and verified the American ships and warned them to leave," the statement said.

How we got a "'gravely' act" out of that is a question for the ages (though with Halloween at hand, maybe we could ask Sir Graves Ghastly). How we got the morning's top story is a different matter. Fox doesn't seem to know that this is the sort of thing that big powers do sometimes. If China puts up a "no smoking" sign at the Paracels, it should probably expect the occasional destroyer to stand next to the door and blow a little smoke inside. Which seems, literally, to be what got Drudge so excited last week:

Funny, whoever's taunting whom, it's still a sign of the Kenyan usurper's fecklessness. What do you say, Fox commenters?
Read more »

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Not so not fast

How are things with that wave of migrants, Nation's Newspaper of Record?

An article on Sept. 20 about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s acceptance of blame for her party’s losses in German regional elections quoted incorrectly from comments by Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who said many Germans felt threatened by the influx of migrants last year. She said, “To many, the German state appeared not to be capable of handling this wave of migrants” — not “ ... not to be capable of not handling this wave of migrants.”

Rotate your tires; buy low, sell high; floss after eating; count those nots. It's like counting your change.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Subject line of the year

It makes you feel better about all those stats classes -- but are you sure it needs the comma?

(Just another promotional email from a publisher, and apologies to Dr. Manly.)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stop press!

Those email bombshells just keep coming thick and fast, don't they? This was the world's top story at 5 p.m.:

While the media started asking critical questions about The Clinton Foundation when Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid last year, newly published emails show Chelsea Clinton was digging deeper into the foundation's dealings as far back as 2011.

... In nearly four-dozen emails from October 2011 to February 2012, Chelsea Clinton’s sometimes-abrasive relationship with her father’s top confidant and other key Clinton aides is on full display. 

A mere 14 paragraphs later:

Then Band’s growing frustration spilled out.

“I don’t deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things,” he wrote. “She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life.”

If only someone had known this eight days ago!
Emails published by WikiLeaks on Monday show Chelsea Clinton was worried about a consulting firm that was founded by former aides to Bill and Hillary Clinton as she clashed with fellow employees of the Clinton Foundation.

..."She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she's doing because she, as she has said, hasn't found her way and has a lack of focus in her life," Band said of the former first daughter's criticisms.

Hope they get their Internet back soon over at the embassy!


Monday, October 17, 2016

'We define first and then see'

See if you can guess the morning's top story over at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network:

WikiLeaks said Monday that its founder Julian Assange’s Internet link was severed by a “state party” and that “appropriate contingency plans” had been activated.

The website’s announcement came hours after it published three cryptic tweets. The messages referenced Ecuador, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office. Each tweet was matched with a string of numbers.

What could that mean, do you suppose?

Gizmodo noted that the 64-character codes sparked a whirlwind of rumors that the 45-year-old Assange had died. Rumors on Reddit and Twitter said the numbers triggered a so-called “dead man’s switch,” which could be enacted in case Assange did die. Gizmodo reported that such switches do exist.

WikiLeaks hasn’t tweeted anything else about Assange’s Internet access or how it may have been “severed.”

Read more »

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Tyrannosaurus regina

How's that chicken tetrazzini treating you, Nation's Newspaper of Record?

An article on Oct. 2 about chicken tetrazzini misstated part of the title of a play in which the actor Vincent Price appeared in the 1930s. It was “Victoria Regina,” not “Victor Regina.”

Apparently Julie Andrews was not available for comment.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Who's gonna read the second paragraph?

Every now and then, the Fair 'n' Balanced Network just flat-out makes one up:

Top Hillary Clinton aides were upset a Muslim man was publicly named as the shooter in a 2015 massacre that left 14 people dead, and a longtime Clinton confidant even expressed regret that the terrorist wasn’t a white man, according to purported emails released by WikiLeaks on Sunday.

... The email chain began on Dec. 2, when digital operative Matt Ortega forwarded a tweet from MSNBC host Christopher Hayes that named one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., attack as Sayeed Farook. Consultant Karen Finney forwarded the email to Podesta, commenting, “Damn.”

It's a little bit of a stretch to assume "upset" from that sequence, but the pivot foot is still down.

Podesta responded: “Better if a guy named Sayeed Farouk [sic] was reporting that a guy named Christopher Hayes was the shooter.”

It's hard to [sic] a hypothetical, but that's not the point. All he mentions here is a name: not whether a white Christopher Hayes was preferable to a black Christopher Hayes, or former Harvard student Christopher Hayes, or crazed Vietnam veteran Christopher Hayes, or the lot of them. It isn't there. Fox is -- what's that L-word? Right. Lying. Not exaggerating, or ignoring the context, or inferring a worldwide conspiracy from a stray Arabic number in an elementary school classroom. Just lying.

Why lie? A couple of possible explanations. The emails have to be the lede, even if they aren't very interesting.* The story fits into the broad category of stories that ought to be true, even if they aren't. (Especially if most of the newsroom really does think white guys are an endangered species.) And -- OK, let's go to the newsreel on this one:

Hildy: Well, honey, I did that. Right there in the second paragraph.
Walter: Who's gonna read the second paragraph? 

On the off chance some loyal Fox reader gets all the way to the actual quote -- who's going to mind, anyway?

* As of this writing, the Iraqi offensive against Mosul is top of the page, and a different story is now the top pick for you emails fans:

Hillary Clinton’s aides and supporters expressed concern about public perception of the Clinton family’s charitable enterprise, with one left-leaning pundit writing that Clinton seemed unaware of the “danger” of her “money problem,” according to purported emails disclosed by Wikileaks on Sunday.

You can see why those things don't have much of a shelf life.

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