BOLDLY OBJECTIVE

Webster's defines "bold" (adjective) as follows.

1a : fearless before danger : intrepid, b : showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit
2: impudent, presumptuous
3: (obsolete) assured, confident
4: sheer, steep
5: adventurous, free (a bold thinker)
6: standing out prominently
7: being or set in boldface

Aside from "standing out prominently", which I do not think is a widely-held understanding of what "bold" means, none of these are good descriptions of Sharron Angle's statements. A bold statement in the context of an election would be something like "I guarantee you that I'm going to win in November!" or "You're goddamn right I said Social Security needs to be eliminated." Backpedaling from all of the crazy-ass crap one has said during a life in politics is the antithesis of boldness.

No, bold is not the right adjective here. What CNN means is "ridiculous." Perhaps "idiotic" or "retarded" would do as well. But of course a Serious, Mainstream, Legitimate News Agency has to be Objective. One cannot say that something that is clearly retarded is clearly retarded. An editor came along and changed the author's original "ridiculous" to make sure that no one's feelings are hurt, even though it changes the statement from an accurate one to an inaccurate one. Accurately describing reality results in terribly biased reporting. One must be Objective. Think of what a shit fit Bernard Goldberg and Sean Hannity are going to throw if CNN uses the right adjectives to describe Republican candidates.

Objective, of course, means means making every viewer and elected official feel like his or her viewpoint is valid. Right? Isn't that what it means?

Oh.

I guess it actually means "of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers." Well that won't do! How are we going to keep the right-wing bloggers happy if we accept that we don't all get to make up our own reality?

Political journalism, in all seriousness, is worse than our sports journalism at this point. Really. When Brett Favre plays like shit, the headline will say "Favre Shitty as Vikings Lose." If we let the Washington Bureau folks write the headlines, we would learn that Favre threw three bold interceptions and an outspoken fumble.

22 thoughts on “BOLDLY OBJECTIVE”

  • "If we let the Washington Bureau folks write the headlines, we would learn that Favre threw three bold interceptions and an outspoken fumble."

    Ed, lines like these are the reasons I look forward to your posts every day. The stuff of brilliance.

  • Science journalism is worse. Period. I'm not a scientist, but even I can grasp the concept that correlation does not equal causation. Apparently, there are very few journalists who can say the same.

  • When I see misspellings, improperly used words, and Mystery Grammar in reporting (in print or on the web), I wonder: was it called in and typed by voice-recognition software that doesn’t know meringue from merengue? But today’s post makes me wonder if software hasn’t replaced humans entirely by way of a Random News Generator.

    This article from The Nieman Journalism Lab calmed my dyspepsia somewhat: http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/06/what-makes-a-nonprofit-news-org-legit-heres-one-six-fold-path/?=sidelink

  • "One cannot say that something that is clearly retarded is clearly retarded."

    The problem with CNN saying this is that the CNN people may not be that far removed from Angle.

  • You know, someone should copyright the phrase "Out Of Context".

    They'd make a fucking mint off of the Republicans. I have never seen so many people (their constituents) willing to disregard every terrifying thing they say as "out of context". Angle could stand up in front of a crowd and say "I would like nothing more than to shoot you all in the face", and the crowd would cheer at her stance on the Second Amendment — and then later, when someone plays that back and says "Wow, Sharon Angle just said she wants to shoot a bunch of people in the face", there would be cries of "Out Of Context".

    This happened, of course, with Ex-Half Governer Moosehead as well, when she made that patently fascistic "Real America" speech. All she had to do was say that it didn't mean what it obviously meant to anyone even passingly familiar with the English language, and all was forgiven.

  • You know, someone should copyright the phrase "Out Of Context".

    They'd make a fucking mint off of the Republicans.

    Republicans are well known for flouting copyright and you'd have to bring 'em to court to get yer money.

    Also, the word BOLD is joining SMOOTH when describing foods. We've gone well past actually describing flavors (as modern food doesn't have any) and we're just describing sensations. You'll see more BOLD in the months to come.

  • Monkey Business says:

    I'm blaming the concept that the newsmedia is required to be "fair" to both sides of the political debate.

    When Candidate A is thoughtful, well reasoned, and presents plausible abd realistic ideas for fixing government, and Candidate B is a raving lunatic who shouldn't be allowed to speak in public, there's zero reason to give Candidate B the same respect as Candidate A. In fact, you're doing the viewing public a disservice by pretending that they're equals, when anyone with half a functioning brain can very clearly see that Candidate B is insane.

    I believe we discussed Paul Ryan's A Roadmap for America's Future previously. It's basically the Contract On America reworked for 2010. It's been thoroughly discredited by anyone who knows anything about the topic. It contains no new ideas. Not a single one. It's stupid to a degree that should prevent it from being discussed as anything other than a punchline. And yet the media gives it the same level of coverage as major legislation, because they have to appear fair and balanced.

    Once upon a time, we were allowed to call an idiot an idiot. The cranks and crazies were easily dismissed by the body politic as fringe movements whose ideas and suggestions shouldn't even be considered because the general public would dismiss them as insane and damage the credibility of the party. Now, the fringe of the right is effectively running the party, and they're trotting out every insane idea that we'd kept bottled up for fifty years. The Tea Party is Pandora's Box, and the GOP is Pandora.

  • @Larry Signor: I dunno about that "remember Rahm" bit; Ex-Half Governor Moosehead didn't remember Rahm when Rush was talking about Democrat "retard summits".

    And when Dr. Laura let fly with her infamous "13 Ns", she didn't seem to have any problem with that either. "Stick to ur guns", she said.

    I have no respect for someone that is selectively offended by pejoratives. Her "ZOMG HOW CAN YOU USE RETARDED AS AN INSULT" outrage was just more of the product the GOP is selling through her.

  • The new Official Editor's Book of Style and Stuff, which replaced Strunk and White in pundits' shops about twenty years ago has "bold" as the preferred synonym for "fucking unbelievably insane and asinine". So, you see, you're quite wrong. Retarded has nothing to do with it.

  • I second Hann1bal. Science journalism is just terrible. To make it popular they need to sensationalize to the point that the actual meaning of the work is lost. Most of the stuff printed in New Scientist and Popular Science isn't good enough to wipe my ass.

    That said, not *all* science journalism is terrible. The science news sections at the beginning of Science magazine are usually pretty solid.

  • Entomologista says:

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with a libertarian. He was complaining that a NY Times opinion piece favored one opinion over other opinions. Duh, it's an opinion piece. Also, some opinions are stupid. You know, like libertarianism.

  • Actually, 'retarded' is being misused here. Saying these morons are 'retarded' implies that there is something mentally lacking about them. That's not the case. I'm sure Sharron Angle could go open a few books and acquire the knowledge necessary not to be batshit.

    Rather, she and those like her are willfully ignorant. That's a much worse insult than retarded, in my book.

  • @ladiesbane:
    That's what happens when people "mordernize" by firing copyeditors.

    @John:
    This crybaby hypocrisy is the thing I really despise about conservatives. When they're not bitching about "political correctness" (the right, live from 1989!), they're whining about "the media" not being nice to them. Grow the fuck up.

  • I went to school for journalism. I can't imagine cutting it in a field where I could get fired for hurting Sharron Angle's feelings.

  • Aside from "standing out prominently", which I do not think is a widely-held understanding of what "bold" means …

    Maybe when speaking of typefaces?

  • Political journalism, in all seriousness, is worse than our sports journalism at this point.

    The exact point a WI professor made to a group of us who were taking a AP Gov. training a few years back. According to him, there is more thoughtful/reasoned comments in sports writing and sports call-in radio shows than in political writing or, heaven help us, talk radio. You don't call in a sports show and say, "Favre sucks", without the host asking why you think that and then ripping you one if you just continue to say, "Favre sucks". Call in Limpboob or the thousand of local zanies and say, "Obama/Pelosi/Reid sucks" and the host says, "You're exactly right". and then, "You can't get thoughtful political commentary like this anywhere else. I have such a smart audience." No wonder our government can't solve problems; we get the politicians we deserve.

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