Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Letter: "Celebrating guns in wartime irresponsible"

Hmm, here's a familiar voice. Go Miles!

Editorial: "Those who scam the elderly are detestable"

Now here's the unnamed Courier in fine form, standing manfully in the arena of public opinion, muscles flexed artfully, demonstrating his champion finger-wag at an opponent who's chained to the corner post.

I'm thinking I'll send a case of Wheaties down to the editorial office. Someone needs to buf up.

Editorial: "Mass transit almost as elusive as world peace"

I laughed out loud at this headline. World peace and mass transit. I mean, really.

In the weeds of the copy I get the sense that the editor read the A1 story, but didn't understand it at all.

This illustrates the downside of computers: you can take someone else's work, chop it up and spit it out as something new without passing it through any thought process whatever.

Editorial: "Ambivalence plagues Young's Farm site"

I'm a little behind, but I couldn't pass this one up. Someone, please, tell me what a 'plague of ambivalence' looks like. I feel like I'm reading Brautigan here.

The unnamed Courier editor gets a point for using for using 'fatuous' in a sentence (albeit a pretty clunky one), but loses it again for failing to note the irony.

A1: "Police make arrest for attempted murder charges"

It's not Mirsada Buric's fault. That headline writer has got to go. Grammar does actually matter. Here were your easy choices:

"Police arrest man, charge attempted murder"
"Police make arrest, charge attempted murder"
"Police charge attempted murder"

(Except they weren't actually police per se, they were sheriff's deputies. Ah well, details, details.)

These would have required just a bit more imagination:
"Attempted murder charge for Glendale man"
"Cafe shooting results in arrest"
"Glendale man arrested in BCC shooting"
"Abused bus passenger exercises 2nd-Amendment right"

OK, well maybe that last was over the top, but you get the picture. It's just not that hard.

A1: "Verde group struggles to get money"

Well. Republicans make a big show of addressing a problem, then fail to back it up with the necessary resources. I'm so surprised.

I've been reading that the McCain's Straight-Talk Express is wheels-off, in flames and over a cliff. Could it be, I dunno, his famed ego and arrogance, or might it be more about his talking about sober independence as he does nothing but pander to the extremists and toe the party line? What a loser.

Candidate profiles

The Courier started a series yesterday on our candidates for city office, and has so far managed two fouls off two pitches.

In yesterday's piece on Steve Blair, Cindy Barks is pretty careful to ensure that characterizations of Blair are left to the man himself, so the paper doesn't get involved in any qualitative judgment of what he's done. Unfortunately the headline writer tossed this professionalism out the window with glee. If you mean to quote someone, use quote marks.

Cindy chose a little drama for her lead today in the piece on Alan DuBiel, characterizing him as "persistent." I've seen him walking my neighborhood in the sun, and sweaty is not a good look for the man, so the adjective may seem inescapable, but it's still against the rules in a political piece.

No regular Courier reader will be surprised if the paper isn't completely circumspect about how it handles political candidates -- or even sitting officials. This time around, though, I'd like to be surprised at its professionalism.

What I've pointed to today are details many might consider niggly, but over time details build up in the voter's mind, and a monopoly paper's most important duty to society is to inform its voters properly, with facts, not bias. I intend to keep an especially close eye on campaign coverage.