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Tag Archives: media

Bowling team member accused of assault and battery

Typical. We all know how bowlers are, don’t we? It just goes to show.

Or,

Surfer Jailed for Drunk and Disorderly Conduct

Lacrosse Players Convicted of Rape

The question I’m trying to raise is why specify sport, except where the perpetrator is a world-renowned athlete, or the crime is directly connected with the sport, as in,

Golfer Clubs Hamster to Death,

Rugby Players Attack Opposing Team, or

Boxer Throws Female Admirer Out of the Ring, Cracking Ribs

Because headline writers count on raising reader interest by playing on stereotypes, so we can feel good about having them confirmed by an independent source.

Here are some real headlines I found, after I got fed one too many radio reports on football players’ crimes. Do these real headlines sound more plausible? Or do you wonder, like I do, what football has to do with the story at all?

High School Football Players Accused of Sexual Assault Make 1rst Court Appearance

Kishawn Tre Holmes & Byron Holt Jr., High School Football Players, Charged In Sexual Assault Case

Steubenville High School Football Players Convicted of Rape are Sentenced

3 Oregon State Football Players Jailed on Counts of 3rd Degree Assault, Disorderly Conduct

Football players are disproportionately represented in such headlines, from what I can tell.

If someone wants to show, with adequate data and good scientific analysis, that being a football player is associated with a predisposition toward violent crime more than any other sport (or along with, say, tennis or curling), they can go ahead and try. But it’s unfair to associate, without explanation, a crime with a sport, as it is with a race or nationality, just for effect. At the very least journalists should consider the feelings of the many upstanding and law-abiding football players (and their relatives and friends) among their readership.

So how about being fair and specifying all sports and leisure pursuits in crime headlines, and see what interesting reactions we can create in readers’ minds?

Diver Smothers Aunt in Fit of Rage

Hurdler Jumps Ship with Smuggled Cocaine

Head of Quilting Association Hijacks Small Aircraft

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Media, Writing

 

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Cartoon ideas from twenty-five years ago

Cartoon ideas from twenty-five years ago

Crisis awareness fatigue

Global warming development opportunities

Ozone layer crisis cartoon idea

Ozone layer crisis cartoon idea

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Beautiful Earth

 

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Sunshinolatry

Sunshinolatry

I’m tired of the constant and unvaried bias toward sunny weather in the media. It’s become a kind of brainwashing, and I would like to hear something like this, for once, on a weather forecast:

“This weekend, we can look forward to clouds and rain, constant and drenching, enough to fill the aquifers, knock the dust down, water the fields and gardens, and wash the dog pee off all the fire hydrants. Enjoy catching up on your indoor projects, but make sure you spend some time outside getting wet if you’re able, and if not, poke your head out into an alley and hear what singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn describes as “trashcan bells” ringing.

My father taught me that all weather should be appreciated, and I think we will all be happier if we I take it as it comes.

Dad’s weather book, a good read even if you don’t live there.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fox News: we’re here to help you feel the panic

How about some apps to go with some of that Fox News coverage of  today’s scary events and many more to come? No matter that the manhunt is continent’s breadth away, with these special spine-chills generators, adrenaline release patches, and extra 3D sound and visual effects you too can experience the thrill of danger. Live footage provided by police and FBI, who carry helmet cameras, makes it all seem so real…

I was stuck watching the big screen in the auto service department of our local Honda dealer today–my first chance to watch Fox News up close. Yes, I know–I’m sheltered. It was the story of showdown between law enforcement and the last Boston Marathon bomber. A bit of a culture shock after CBC Radio and NPR News coverage. Anchor Megyn Kelly’s hard, intense voice caused visceral reactions in me, like certain preachers with a yelling style, and I wanted to change the channel, but I decided to take notes instead. Like an anthropology exercise.

She used simple, short sentences with plenty of italics, and made liberal use of quotes, introduced by saying, “…quote,…” for which she gave no source. As in “A man who, quote, ‘has come here to kill people.'” She pushed listeners to engage emotionally, perhaps because there was a lull in the action as she spoke, with the suspect not doing anything, just hiding in a boat. “And now there are women and children locked in their homes. Can you imagine what it’s like, wondering if you could be next?”

Are we really so dull that we need to be led into how to react? Is it like a drug ? What is the most important thing about the news, anyway? I thought it was to get information, perhaps intelligent and expert analysis, then see if there’s something we should do about it.

The tone of serious alarm was even matched by most of the advertisements, the slots for which, I suppose, had been snatched up by companies hoping to make an extra buck because of the atmosphere of fear created by this terrorist manhunt. Buy gold or you’ll lose all your savings due to inflation. Buy the Obamacare Survival Guide. I’m surprised there weren’t any specials on safe room kits for six easy payments of 299.95, double wall thickness if you call today.

I mentioned to the shuttle driver that I was new to Fox and was getting the atmosphere of the station’s coverage. He said Fox was the only news he ever watched. It was evidence that I’ve become less confrontational that I didn’t challenge him on that, even ask him what he liked about Fox. Darn it! Now I want to know! I really am sheltered.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Culture & Society, Media

 

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