Thursday, May 03, 2012

List of the Day: 5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 10 Seconds

Via Kevin Drum, this list by David Wong at Cracked is spot-on. They have commentary on each item, but the list itself is as follows: "you can safely ignore any story if..."
5. The Headline Contains the Word "Gaffe"
4. The Headline Ends in a Question Mark
3. The Headline Contains the Word "Blasts"
2. The Headline Is About a "Lawmaker" Saying Something Stupid
1. The Headline Includes the Phrase "[a] Blow To"
...if you are in doubt about any of these five, or have grading to procrastinate on, I urge you to read the full explanation.

But, because it's a righteous rant on an important topic, let me give you a little bit of Wong's commentary on the last item:
...when the Supreme Court recently threatened to completely overturn this gargantuan piece of legislation, how did it get reported?
Supreme Court's health care ruling could deal dramatic blow to Obama presidency.
-- Washington Post
The ruling could deal a blow to the "Obama presidency"? Fuck you.

I don't give two shits about the "Obama presidency" except in terms of what legislation it gets passed and how it changes the country and my life. I'm not following this story because I think it's a freaking Barack Obama reality show and I'm really eager to see how his life turns out. I don't see no goddamned crab boat. I'm following it because I want to know what it means for my own goddamned life and for the lives of the people I care about....

It's not only following the issue as a horse race/fight/reality show, it's actively prohibiting you from seeing it any other way. After all, if the building were really on fire, somebody would be telling me to evacuate. They wouldn't be calmly speculating about how this fire alarm is going to be a "blow to" the landlord. Not unless the person giving me the news had gone completely freaking insane.
In the omitted portion, he goes on to present examples from a wide rang of other issues. Read the rest.

No comments: