Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

ARNOLD’S POSITION ON THE PAID FAMILY LEAVE LAW: “‘I — I will have to get into that. I mean, because, as you know, I’m very much for families, I’m very much for children and children’s issues and all that stuff.'”

And you thought Arnold was devoid of substance.


Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:58 pm

The Dog Trainer describes Gray Davis’s recent appearance on the “Today” show. “Answering questions about his calm demeanor, Davis said he ‘learned a long time ago that it doesn’t help for me to rant and rave and pound the walls.'”

Yup, that’s just not Gray Davis’s style. Instead, as described here, his style includes his signature “hurling of phones and ashtrays at quaking government employees and his incidents of personally shoving and shaking horrified workers.”

Why pound the walls when you can pound the secretaries?


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:31 pm

ARNOLD’S OFFICIAL WEB SITE: Click on the link and check it out. But I should warn you: it’s still under construction. You know, like his positions on the issues.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:52 pm

STOP THE PRESSES: “Sean Walsh, a spokesman for the Schwarzenegger campaign, released tax statements this afternoon showing that Mr. Schwarzenegger is a rich man.”


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 pm

BIDEN WILL NOT RUN: Joe Biden will not run for President, Biden announced today in a prepared statement. This is not much of a surprise. What is a surprise is that Biden’s prepared statement did not plagiarize a speech by Neil Kinnock.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 am

RETIRE THE TERM “HOMICIDE BOMBER”: That is the argument of James Taranto in today’s Wall Street Journal, and it’s something I have been saying for months. I fully understand the desire to avoid glorifying the act of suicide bombing, but journalism is about conveying the facts, and to me, “homicide bomber” is a step down in descriptive power from “suicide bomber” or “suicide terrorist.” (I believe Brit Hume, the Managing Editor of Fox News, uses some variant of the latter on his broadcast.)

Everyone knows when they hear the term “suicide bomber” that we are talking about a terrorist who is generally out to kill others; what’s more, whether he succeeded is generally conveyed in the headline anyway (“Suicide Bomber Kills 11″). I think most of us view your average “suicide bombing” as a more despicable act than your standard “homicide” as well — since the former act generally kills more people.

I have a related question. When you read the headline, “Suicide Bomber Kills 11,” does that say to you: (a) “11 other people, not counting the bomber” or (b) “11 people including the bomber”? I realize that technically the bomber kills himself, so from a strict standpoint the number should include the bomber. But I believe that it is more accurate to exclude the bomber. If I read that 11 were killed, my first impulse is to think that the bomber killed 11 other people. If the term “suicide” appears in the headline, the death of the bomber is (to me) already conveyed. It seems almost like double-counting to include him again in the number “killed.”

I am wondering: am I the only one who reacts this way? Has anyone done a survey of headlines to see how news organizations handle this issue? Obviously, the ideal solution would be to include clarifying language (“Suicide Bomber Kills Self, 11 Others”), but headlines are given limited space, and headline writers often do not have the luxury of extra words.

I’d be interested in opinions on this issue. If you have any, please e-mail me at the link to the left.

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