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5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 10 Seconds
May 1, 2012 10:36 AM   Subscribe

5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 10 Seconds: David Wong on manipulative, inflammatory media reporting and how to weed through "pointless click-bait filler".
posted by flex (75 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Like many things on Cracked these days, I started reading this thinking that it was a poorly-researched puff piece, and walked away fairly impressed.

It's not going to win a Pulitzer, but as far as numbered lists written in a conversational style go, Cracked is far better than it needs to be...
posted by schmod at 10:46 AM on May 1, 2012 [23 favorites]


I don't agree with the point about "blow to" (as in "this is a blow to the Obama administration"). Political forces take different positions on an issue, and they formulate goals based on those positions. If someone important, such as the president, experiences a significant failure or setback in this endeavor, that's newsworthy.
posted by John Cohen at 10:47 AM on May 1, 2012


So in other words: avoid The Huffington Post.
posted by fishmasta at 10:49 AM on May 1, 2012 [24 favorites]


how to weed through "pointless click-bait filler".

Step One: Don't click on cracked.com links?
posted by Gator at 10:53 AM on May 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


You missed the opportunity to title this "Cracked blasts lawmaker - gaffe or blow?"
posted by modernserf at 10:57 AM on May 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


There have been so many of those lately, and the campaign is just getting started.
If you're new to following politics, trust me when I say you will grow to absolutely hate the word "gaffe." Go to a news portal or a politics blog and search for the word "gaffe" and watch the server nearly burst into flames trying to serve results. This is from RealClearPolitics:
That's only true if you consider politics a serious endeavor with actual consequences. There seem to be a huge number of people who view politics as a form of entertainment. Like the WWF or something - where what matters is how people smack talk each-other.

In another thread I likened it to a second grade playground, where the "coolest" kid is the one who can come up with the best jokes about their rivals.

It seems like 90% of the political press just wants to gossip about which kids are the coolest and which ones come up with the best insults and jokes or whatever.

I mean There was a BS story about Obama eating dog meat as a kid. Someone in the white-house press corps actually asked Jay Carney about it and he came up with "Sounds like someone's trying to get out of the doghouse" - a somewhat oblique (and not very funny) reference to Romney's story about trying a dog to the top of his car.

And some people in the press corps literally go "Ooooooh" just like kids on a playground! here's the video. It's so juvenile and ridiculous. Here's another clip of pundits complaining about Mitt Romney talking about how much he likes France, as if that was somehow relevant to whether or not he should be president.
posted by delmoi at 10:57 AM on May 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


A variation of this is the stories of embarrassing yet totally inconsequential "scandals" about a candidate that involve nothing illegal or improper, but supposedly define the candidate as a person.
Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is an out-of-touch elitist because he puts fancy Dijon mustard on his hamburgers? Did you know that Mitt Romney is an insane sociopath because he once made his pet dog ride on top of his car 26 years ago? Did you know John Kerry can't relate to the average person because he puts Swiss cheese on his Philly cheese steaks? Did you know that George W. Bush hates foreigners so much that he wiped his hand after shaking hands with a Haitian? Did you know that all of this is petty schoolyard bullshit that wastes valuable time and energy that you'll never get back?
Boy, if we could just get rid of this one element of political "news" alone, it would reduce the signal-to-noise ratio almost to a tolerable level.
posted by briank at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Cracked is giving advice on how to avoid other people's clickbait?

Begun, the bait wars have.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's not going to win a Pulitzer, but as far as numbered lists written in a conversational style go, Cracked is far better than it needs to be...

David Wong and John Cheese have been doing their thing since before there was a Cracked.com- from before.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:59 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still firmly holding to my belief that the Onion is sponsoring this election and they'll have a Very Special Edition in November in which they announce that this has all been a big joke.
posted by desjardins at 10:59 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I hope)
posted by desjardins at 10:59 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's my pet peeve: "unexpectedly." A search of the NYT website says the Times has used that word over 100,000 times. You could create a daily news feed just by searching for "unexpectedly" in headlines on Google News. Rarely does the reporter specify who was doing the expecting. What's the standard for calling something unexpected? Just quoting a couple important people expressing surprise wouldn't seem to be enough -- they're just a couple people. How many people need to be surprised before an event can be called "unexpected"? Doesn't any news event take at least some people by surprise? I wonder if reporters even think about any of this, or if it's just a verbal tic -- the way some people, when they're speaking, begin random sentences with "Actually." In an article that's purporting to report the news in a somewhat objective, fact-based way, "unexpectedly" is usually out of place.
posted by John Cohen at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Today, only 17 percent of stories are about stuff that matters.

USA! USA! USA!
posted by Talez at 11:04 AM on May 1, 2012


I would read a story about a lawmaker that used "gaff" and "blow" in the headline.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:08 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Step One: Don't click on cracked.com links?

Or don't click on the links of sites who break up stories/lists into MORE THAN two pieces.

Cracked has become good enough to be worth the second click, but if they go to three, they may be in trouble.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:11 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Begun, the bait wars have.

Go away! Baitin'!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:11 AM on May 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Page 1 of 2"

Sigh.
posted by germdisco at 11:12 AM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is a good article. Complaints about cracked.com please proceed to MetaTalk.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:16 AM on May 1, 2012 [24 favorites]


MetaFilter: Best of only the right parts of the web.
posted by Legomancer at 11:17 AM on May 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Cool, David Wong. I'll talk to you in a few. Yes, you-- you're a serious journalist. Yeah. Okay. Talk-- you too! Talk to you soon.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:18 AM on May 1, 2012


Cracked might be clickbait, but their articles, or at least David Wong's, are consistently on point and I don't mind clicking to another page to read it. Then again, I also use AdBlock so I'm not really doing anything for them but stealing their bandwidth.
posted by cloeburner at 11:18 AM on May 1, 2012


I read this a few weeks ago. It's really good.
posted by rebent at 11:20 AM on May 1, 2012


Today, only 17 percent of stories are about stuff that matters.

Is there anywhere on the web that filters these out and reports/aggregates them in a sane and reasonable manner? Sort of like the opposite of (the excellent) fivethirtyeight, which is all about the game and studiously avoids engaging with the issues?

I feel like it's important to keep an eye on both aspects of politics, but it's helpful to keep them separated so that one can tell the difference between strategy and policy. Is there anybody doing just-the-facts reporting on actual political policy news who doesn't muddy the waters by engaging with the sensationalistic B.S. that poisons political discourse in this country?
posted by Scientist at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2012


This is good, but there is one sure-fire way to tell if a political story is bullshit:

IF it's a story AND it's about politics THEN it is bullshit.
posted by holdkris99 at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2012


Which reminds me... Can you prove that Ron Paul doesn't have covert sex commandos?
posted by jonp72 at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pot, meet Kettle.
posted by crunchland at 11:23 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cracked posts are interesting, because they always bring out internet old-timers who remember what Cracked used to be like and haven't actually looked at it in the past five years. You can tell – they're the ones who sneer about how Cracked posts are always clickbait. And here they are, out in force.
posted by koeselitz at 11:25 AM on May 1, 2012 [18 favorites]


One is a humor website, the other is a free press. I think we can safely hold the two to separate standards.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:27 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or "Every story from now until November"
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:28 AM on May 1, 2012


What about the old-timers that remember when Cracked was *gasp* print?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:28 AM on May 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


meta
posted by rebent at 11:29 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Sylvester P. Smythe guy was always up to something funny.
posted by RobotHero at 11:31 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


delmoi: "That's only true if you consider politics a serious endeavor with actual consequences. There seem to be a huge number of people who view politics as a form of entertainment."
... which is exactly the point the article makes.
posted by brokkr at 11:35 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I got pretty tired of gaffe stories a while ago and made this little tool to make the news a little more bearable.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:36 AM on May 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Good article, as so many of this author's are, but I very strongly disagree with him about #2.

He basically pulls a "No True Scotsman/It's Just a Few Bad Apples" when attacking this practice: some Kansan legislator, in his example, shouldn't be seen as indicative of the Republican party as an organization.

Certainly we don't want to punish a group as a whole for the actions of a few, but how the group as an entity reacts to the bad apple can be very telling.

When random, supposedly non-powerful, members of the Republican party are saying vile things about women and minorities, I want to see how the R's at a national level react. Do they make it clear that the person in question does not speak for them as a unit or do they shrug and say "No True Republican", or do they circle the wagons and defend the person? Those are all very telling, so I count on the media to keep me informed.

Another example: the gentleman who shouted "You lie!" at President Obama is probably not that important in the grand scheme of things, but I was happy to see him repudiated by people higher up in the GOP food chain.

And note that the Democrats jump all over anybody associated with them in even the slightest way for their "gaffes" and missteps: I've got Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, Van Jones, Hilary Rosen, Al Armendariz and a few others on Line 1 to talk about what happens when they end up in Republican crosshairs.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:38 AM on May 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I remember when Cracked was what you read when your brother wasn't finished with Mad.
posted by Aquaman at 11:39 AM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY CLICKING FINGER!
posted by swift at 11:39 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got pretty tired of gaffe stories a while ago and made this little tool to make the news a little more bearable.

I was hoping that would be a s/gaffe/giraffe plugin, and I was not disappointed.
posted by gauche at 11:39 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Certainly we don't want to punish a group as a whole for the actions of a few, but how the group as an entity reacts to the bad apple can be very telling.

Isn't this addressed in the criticism of headlines which demand that every national-level politician be beholden to anything spoken by anyone who declares themselves associated with that person?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:40 AM on May 1, 2012


Also, a blast from the past- Pointless Waste of Time's very own British curmudgeon, Dr. Albert Oxford, writes about the upcoming Second American Civil War in 2004. (original page is lost, link is to the a repost of the article without its original links and pictures)

Dr. Albert Oxford, of course, is David Wong.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:40 AM on May 1, 2012


I mean There was a BS story about Obama eating dog meat as a kid.

Wait, does that explain Obama's weird hockey mom/pitbull joke the other day?

Sorry, I may have missed this -- I can only take so much of the torrent before I start drowning.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:41 AM on May 1, 2012


I used to have a butterflying tool that changed all those butterflying objectionable words into something else, so I don't butterflying have to look at the butterflying things anymore. I can't butterflying remember where I put it.

Anyhow, it's improved my butterflying writing one-butterflying-hundred percent.
posted by mule98J at 11:41 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, does that explain Obama's weird hockey mom/pitbull joke the other day?

Yeah, in Dreams from My Father Obama mentions that when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia with his mom and stepdad he'd tried dog, and apparently just very recently someone in Palin's camp realized that Obama wrote a whole dang book about himself so maybe they should read it and they found that in the first three chapters and thought it was a Gotcha!, so Palin said something about it somewhere so now suddenly it's being leapt upon like it's big fucking news and Obama hates dogs and what a foreigner and that's disgusting and how can you trust him, etc., so Obama made fun of it.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:44 AM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


A variation of this is the stories of embarrassing yet totally inconsequential "scandals" about a candidate that involve nothing illegal or improper, but supposedly define the candidate as a person.
Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is an out-of-touch elitist because he puts fancy Dijon mustard on his hamburgers? Did you know that Mitt Romney is an insane sociopath because he once made his pet dog ride on top of his car 26 years ago? Did you know John Kerry can't relate to the average person because he puts Swiss cheese on his Philly cheese steaks? Did you know that George W. Bush hates foreigners so much that he wiped his hand after shaking hands with a Haitian? Did you know that all of this is petty schoolyard bullshit that wastes valuable time and energy that you'll never get back?


I think it's also spectacularly telling as to what various parties try to dismiss as 'gaffes'. Dems - sometimes we put a different condiment on food than some other people! Republicans - sometimes we torture animals and accidentally show exactly how much we hate minorities!
Independants - GEEZE BOTH PARTIES ARE IDENTICAL I AM DISGUSTED
posted by FatherDagon at 11:45 AM on May 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


David Wong on manipulative, inflammatory media reporting and how to weed through "pointless click-bait filler".

How to weed out, or, how to wade through.
posted by clockzero at 11:51 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we include this on the FPP guidelines page?
posted by Defenestrator at 11:53 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Isn't this addressed in the criticism of headlines which demand that every national-level politician be beholden to anything spoken by anyone who declares themselves associated with that person?

We could have this if we streamline it. I propose that all politicians wear shock-collars at all times. And the prez and the speakers of the house each have a portable dashboard of buttons, with a name under each one. Every time someone says something idiotic, instead of needing to cancel Stuff That Matters in order to call a press conference to reiterate that the idiot was out of line, it merely takes two seconds to reach over and press the "Bad congressman! Bad!" button. With luck, the politician is still on camera when he gets his smackdown.

Also, Anonymous can try to hack the shock collar signal codes
posted by -harlequin- at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do agree the "politics as team sports" attitude is detrimental and he does identify ways that news articles can reinforce that attitude. It makes politics about the media performance rather than having sensible policies.

"Gaffe" is one of those words that people don't use in real conversation, but it still appears in headlines. Same for "denounces."
posted by RobotHero at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look at RobotHero repudiatin' shit.
posted by Mister_A at 12:01 PM on May 1, 2012


We could have this if we streamline it. I propose that all politicians wear shock-collars at all times. And the prez and the speakers of the house each have a portable dashboard of buttons, with a name under each one...

That's not really an appropriate use of powers, though. It would seem to me that shocking politicians is the role of the whips. It would be wholly inappropriate for the President to have that kind of control over Congress.
posted by frimble at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Shocking." As if anything a Palin or Rick Santorum or Glenn Beck says is shocking anymore.
posted by Foosnark at 12:04 PM on May 1, 2012


I think it was in Discworld where as soon as someone was elected to public office, they were immediately thrown in prison. I think that could work.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:05 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


How to weed out, or, how to wade through.

Yeah, rush job in framing sensitivity & I chose this time to spare the mods the bother of correcting my mistake; I will take the shame! It will lend me the generosity of spirit to refraine from grumbling the next time I spot someone confusing palate and palette, or using weary to mean wary or leery.
posted by flex at 12:10 PM on May 1, 2012


Isn't this addressed in the criticism of headlines which demand that every national-level politician be beholden to anything spoken by anyone who declares themselves associated with that person?

Sort of, but I think he errs there too. He's right that there are so many "lawmakers" that there's no way they all wield equal influence, and so we shouldn't give them all equal weight, all the time, in the nat'l discourse.

But we still benefit from knowing when one of them says things that seem off, because a random legislator whom even the folks in his state might not know can have a disproportionate effect on the national discourse due to the fact that states watch what other states are doing.

Take the architect of Florida's SYG law (well, not architect, more like the guy ALEC picked to run it as a trial balloon). State Rep Dennis Baxley. Florida's SYG laws became a template for other states to pass similar laws. Prior to SYG's profile being raised by the Trayvon Martin killing, Rep. Baxley surely flew under everyone's radar -- Wong would likely have dismissed him as one of those among the multitude of insignificant and powerless state legislators since there's apparently nothing else Rep. Baxley has done that approaches the impact of SYG...on a national scale.

But a little digging reveals he's said and done some things on a Florida level that are not exactly cool. None of those things were repudiated by the Republican party on a nat'l level; indeed, much like SYG, some of his actions and speeches seem to be or have become part of the Republican nat'l playbook.

I don't know if being aware of Rep Baxley's track record and utterances and the nat'l Republicans' feelings about them before he pushed SYG would have prevented SYG, but I still think we would have benefited from knowing more about this seemingly "random" lawmaker earlier on.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:11 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Take the architect of Florida's SYG law (well, not architect, more like the guy ALEC picked to run it as a trial balloon).
Yeah, but like you said - he wasn't really personally responsible for it. ALEC was going to promote that law to other legislators regardless of what he, personally did.
posted by delmoi at 12:18 PM on May 1, 2012


I think it was in Discworld where as soon as someone was elected to public office, they were immediately thrown in prison. I think that could work.

I think that's Burma you're thinking of.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 12:28 PM on May 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


just very recently someone in Palin's camp realized that Obama wrote a whole dang book about himself so maybe they should read it and they found that in the first three chapters and thought it was a Gotcha!, so Palin said something about it somewhere so now suddenly it's being leapt upon like it's big fucking news

Wait until they get to the part where he snorts coke!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or the part where he helps urban black people.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:36 PM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


In fairness to the word "gaffe," it would have been impossible to report on most of the contenders in the Republican presidential primary without using that word. A lot.
Bachmann? Welcome to Gaffesville
Cain? Gaffe city.
Perry? Nothing came out of his mouth that wasn't a gaffe.
Gingrich? Moonbase Gaffe.
Santorum's an interesting case, because stuff that should be treated as gaffes—like saying abortions cause breast cancer or whatever other bullshit he was spewing—gets taken seriously because of the religious zealotry behind it.
Huntsman? No gaffes. Just shot himself in the foot, repeatedly, in terms of his electability.
posted by adamrice at 12:37 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fairness to the word "gaffe," it would have been impossible to report on most of the contenders in the Republican presidential primary without using that word. A lot.

This is what happens when "dipshit" is deemed not suitable for use in polite conversation.
posted by mightygodking at 12:42 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I avoid articles that have headlines that:
end in a question mark or exclamation mark
use the words "some say"
use the words "growing outrage"
use the words "attack on Christians"
use the words "your taxpayer dollars"

Sorry, Fox News.
posted by Theta States at 12:46 PM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Where's that Obama soundboard where he says the n-word and other ... stuff?
posted by desjardins at 12:59 PM on May 1, 2012


adamrice: "In fairness to the word "giraffe," it would have been impossible to report on most of the contenders in the Republican presidential primary without using that word. A lot.
Bachmann? Welcome to Giraffesville
Cain? Giraffe city.
Perry? Nothing came out of his mouth that wasn't a giraffe.
Gingrich? Moonbase Giraffe.
"

Goddammit that bookmarklet is awesome.
posted by idiopath at 1:03 PM on May 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


In fairness to the word "gaffe," it would have been impossible to report on most of the contenders in the Republican presidential primary without using that word. A lot.
Bachmann? Welcome to Gaffesville
Cain? Gaffe city.
Perry? Nothing came out of his mouth that wasn't a gaffe.
Gingrich? Moonbase Gaffe.
Yeah except the thing is, you could just not report gaffes. Because they doesn't matter.

And the thing is, a lot of the stuff that you're calling "Gaffes" aren't even gaffes. Gaffes are not just "stupid things people say" but rather "Stupid things they say that don't reflect their positions". It's not a "Gaffe" when Bachman says vaccines can cause mental retardation, because she belives that.

Gingrich's moonbase stuff wasn't a gaffe at all. It's his actual policy position. And in fact, he made the comment specifically in order to be talked about in the media. He wanted attention and to take take the media's mind of something else and focus it on that. And it worked perfectly.

Those things are not gaffes. They were intentional, thought out statements. In fact, other then Perry's "oops" thing at the debate (which I guess is a legitimate issue, since really, a president shouldn't forget which departments he wants to cut that's just ridiculous) I can't think of a single actual "Gaffe" during the run-up to the republican primary. The "Etch-a-sketch" thing was after it was pretty much over.

To be fair, I didn't follow it at all. They may have been some "actual" gaffes I didn't hear about.

But again, it would not have been "difficult" to cover the primary without focusing on "gaffes" (as opposed to deliberate, but crazy seeming statements) it just wouldn't have gotten as many page views and it wouldn't have been as easy.

That's another key thing I think the cracked writer missed. Writing about this kind of thing is easy. It requires no research, no effort on the part of the journalist. You just type up some nonsense and hit "post" Or "send" or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Some say MetaFilter user Theta States is using your taxpayer dollars to fund an attack on Christians! What do you think about this growing outrage?!
posted by idiopath at 1:07 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Santorum's an interesting case, because stuff that should be treated as gaffes—like saying abortions cause breast cancer or whatever other bullshit he was spewing—gets taken seriously because of the religious zealotry behind it.
I think you're misunderstanding the nature of a "Gaffe" A gaffe is something that you either don't believe or don't want to be included as part of your platform.

So when Samantha Power called Hillary Clinton a "monster" - that was a gaffe because "Hillary Clinton is a Monster" wasn't part of the campaign. Obviously Power actually believed it. But it was a "Gaffe" because it was "off message". When Gingrich said he wanted a moon base, it was a deliberate statement of policy, which he actually meant (to the extent that a politicians means things they say).

Not only that, he was actually trying to distract the press from something at the time, I think his bad showing in some election, and it worked perfectly. He actually played the media like a fiddle.
posted by delmoi at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: avoid any newsource that regularly runs Op-Eds as their main headline.
posted by Theta States at 1:13 PM on May 1, 2012


I remember when Cracked was a print magazine AND I had only read Mad before and particularly enjoyed them slamming the people who would write in (Letters and Tomatoes Dept.) AND then getting an issue of Cracked AND seeing they had Letters to the Editor too AND reading this painfully earnest letter from someone who wanted to to connect with other Cracked readers and suggested Cracked kick-start a penpal program AND thinking, "Hoah, this response is gonna be good..." AND reading the reply which basically said, "What a great idea, Robert! If you want to be penpals with other readers, write to Cracked Penpals, PO Box..." AND thinking "This sucks." AND tossing the magazine down, never to read it in print form again AND being glad it's totally different and awesome in its online iteration 25 years later.
posted by mreleganza at 1:18 PM on May 1, 2012


Is it possible for a sentence to be oxymoronic? Like this one --

I'm not normally an angry man, but it's such an obnoxious word that if somebody at work used "gaffe" in a sentence I would fling my goddamned coffee into his face.

I'd add that Mr. Wong needs to drink a lot less "coffee."
posted by bearwife at 1:33 PM on May 1, 2012


That sentence is surely a joke.
posted by Danila at 2:47 PM on May 1, 2012


Come now, gaffe is not so bad. You may recall that the Gotham Gazette was once in the habit of pointing out Batman's (and the Joker's) boners.

While we're about it though, can we stop using "vows" in headlines when we mean "said"?

Here are half a million googly hits for "president vows": Find me one involving an oath.*

* OK, the first one (today) is about a prez being sworn in to offiice, but still.
posted by Herodios at 2:59 PM on May 1, 2012


That sentence is surely a joke.

Surely. But is it an oxymoronic joke sentence? Also, Mr. Wong does seem to be a bit irrationally upset about this word, judging from how much coverage he gave the use of "gaffe" versus the other 4 signs of political BS he lists.
posted by bearwife at 4:05 PM on May 1, 2012


Replace "gaffe" with "accidental holocaust". Who's laughing now?
posted by blue_beetle at 4:08 PM on May 1, 2012


(raises hand)
posted by Etrigan at 4:33 PM on May 1, 2012


List stories. Sheesh.
posted by Devonian at 5:13 PM on May 1, 2012


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