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WTFCNN?
March 19, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

WTFCNN?
posted by chunking express (73 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
WTFCE?
posted by Optamystic at 7:13 AM on March 19, 2007


OMG TEH MSM IZ TEH SUXXOR!!!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2007


That's not news!
posted by edjo at 7:21 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's not news!

That's what they should call the blog.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:22 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


At first I thought it would be awesome because CNN has some doozies of headlines. But the WTFCNN blogger is just sort of highlighting anything. "Charging Moose Brings Down Helicopter" isn't really a WTF headline because... well, that's what happened. Unlike one I saw recently, which said, "Fire Spares Children From 1 of 2 Wives".
posted by katillathehun at 7:25 AM on March 19, 2007


Pat O'Brien fond of hookers, cocaine.
posted by psmealey at 7:27 AM on March 19, 2007


Trying too hard. Whoever writes those does have some fun though. Here are two from right now:

# China's got an extra $1,000,000,000,000
# Sparks fly off SUV, bumper falls in icy wrecks
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on March 19, 2007


i totally had this idea first. bonus points for the cnn type.
posted by phaedon at 7:31 AM on March 19, 2007


You can do that all day long, pretty much. Since at any given moment, about 4 of the 10 stories covered in their breaking news box are either sensational tripe or celebrity 'news', it would imagine that it's almost impossible not to have such headlines appear ludicrous or comedic
posted by psmealey at 7:31 AM on March 19, 2007


Excellent blog idea. It could be widened to include more than CCN online's titles (like nytimes and a few others) but I like how it just registers observation.

Thanks for the link, chunking express.
posted by bru at 7:31 AM on March 19, 2007


I just wish they weren't screen caps, but actual links. I really need to know how that mother was using her baby as a weapon. Club or projectile?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:37 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"(...)isn't really a WTF headline because... well, that's what happened.
posted by katillathehun at 10:25 AM on March 19

Exactly. "Mom Pleads Guilty To Using Baby As A Weapon" really happened-- a mom used her very young baby as a baseball bat and swung it at her boyfriend. I remember that occurred on a day when there were plenty of "WTF were you thinking mom/dad?" stories in the paper.

Maybe his blog should be called WTFAmerica? WTFHuman Beings? WTFZombie Overlords?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:38 AM on March 19, 2007


Could be better if they were posting links with comments, ala fark
posted by delmoi at 7:42 AM on March 19, 2007


delmoi, I think the point is the stories themselves aren't as interesting as the headlines. It'd be nice to know what the deal is with the gaping hole in San Fransisco, but I imagine once you found out you'd be disappointed.
posted by chunking express at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2007


Could be better if they were posting links with comments, ala fark

and more youtube, ala mefi.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2007


Eerie. Some friends of mine have started using the abbreviation "wtfiwwp" [what the fuck is wrong with people?] as shorthand in IRC. Started with one friend who has a habit of linking awful or idiotic or at least highly questionable news items, and who would, unironically and unselfconsciously, usually prefix the link with some variation of "what the fuck is wrong with [foo]?" Eventually, we condensed that into wtfiwwp as general code.

He even started to start a blog on the subject, wtfiwwp.com, but it has all of one post so far. Boh.
posted by cortex at 7:49 AM on March 19, 2007


God, I hate the American editorial comma.
posted by ninebelow at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


I hate it's best friend, the misplaced apostrophe, more.
posted by Dizzy at 7:59 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


This was a great idea when it was created and thanks to CNN there is never a shortage of material.

Good job Fidgets. Now that you have been FPP'd I will bear your interweb warrior childrenz!
posted by rubyeyo at 8:01 AM on March 19, 2007


chunking express: "the point is the stories themselves aren't as interesting as the headlines."

Exactly.
Writing headlines is a kind of sport.
I once wrote headlines for a daily newspaper.
We had fun.
I understand how some people can think that this blog is mocking CNN's headlines writers, but I wouldn't be so sure: it's a way of acknowledging the funny side of their craft.
posted by bru at 8:05 AM on March 19, 2007


"Scabby lip promo, hitting mom make meth ugly" reads like randomly generated porn spam text.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:08 AM on March 19, 2007


19 yr old CNN Interns Write Blurbs- Cause Confusion
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 8:10 AM on March 19, 2007


Hey, this was my idea, too. Well, I'm glad somebody had the time to do it.

I think the point is the stories themselves aren't as interesting as the headlines.

No, the point is that these headlines, and the stories that go with them, are very NY Post. Trashy. CNN is catering to the People magazine trend of running whatever gets the interest of the slavering masses for a second.
posted by dammitjim at 8:12 AM on March 19, 2007


But isn't that the "most viewed" feed? So of course it's going to be the fluff that gets forwarded around the office.

The headlines are kinda cheesy, but they aren't so bad for a story that wasn't intended for the front page.
posted by meta_eli at 8:13 AM on March 19, 2007


dammitjim has it.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:18 AM on March 19, 2007


Gaping hole in San Francisco.
posted by kimota at 8:38 AM on March 19, 2007


Metafilter: WTF CNN?
posted by Parannoyed at 8:47 AM on March 19, 2007


Writing headlines is a kind of sport.
I once wrote headlines for a daily newspaper.


I nailed one a year or two ago. Wished I still worked for Gannett. Snapple froze a huge tower of liquid product and billed it as the largest popsicle ever. But the crane broke and it ended up as slush all over the Manhattan streets. My headline?

"Crack Snapple Pop"
posted by hal9k at 8:59 AM on March 19, 2007


when i saw the 'gaping hole in san francisco' headline i was hoping it was going to be about goatse.
posted by kneelconqueso at 9:13 AM on March 19, 2007


I bet Ted Turner can't bear to turn his tv on.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:13 AM on March 19, 2007


Gaping hole in San Francisco.

That's not news, darling.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:20 AM on March 19, 2007


Could be better if they were posting links with comments, ala fark

And done via audio. I'd tune in to that podcast.
posted by diastematic at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2007


Bread, pizza can threaten lives of mom, son.
posted by simonemarie at 9:31 AM on March 19, 2007


If they followed their cut up style headlines with gonzo stories written by journalists high on DMT I might actually read their site.
posted by The Straightener at 9:32 AM on March 19, 2007


Alternately, you could just read the continuously updated version posted top dead center on CNN.com. But that would require applying your own sense of humor, which is... not for everyone.
posted by rkent at 9:37 AM on March 19, 2007


Flagged as Newsfilter.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:41 AM on March 19, 2007


"Charging Moose Brings Down Helicopter" isn't really a WTF headline because... well, that's what happened. Unlike one I saw recently, which said, "Fire Spares Children From 1 of 2 Wives".
posted by katillathehun

Actually, that headline referred to a fire in NYC that got an enormous amount of publicity on the East Coast (9 children died, one of the deadliest fires in the city not including the WTC). The headline spells out exactly, well, what happened: the victims were African immigrants from Mali, and polygamists....the children of one of the landlord's wives survived, the children of his wife #2, didn't.
posted by availablelight at 9:50 AM on March 19, 2007


That being said, yeah, lol, wtf, etc....CNN said that children were spared from only one wife, but the second one got 'em!
posted by availablelight at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2007


"That bread & pizza can threaten the life of mom, son."

"Sorry, dad."
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 10:03 AM on March 19, 2007


As much as I think they're a little harsh on some of the headlines (like the ones that are crazy, but only because the story is crazy), I'm happy someone is pointing out how fucking ridiculous cnn.com is as a news source. If it's not the batshit insane headlines, it's the pop-up ad that Firefox thankfully blocks every time, or the 50% articles on celebrities, or it's "What's our insane commentators are saying now".

I pretty much ditched CNN in favor of Reuters.com awhile ago, specifically because of this tripe. CNN *does* tend to actually carry all of the same articles, but they're buried so far down underneath mountains of sensationalist crap I'd rather go elsewhere.
posted by wolftrouble at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2007


Some of these are better than anything The Onion could dream up. Truth really is more hilarious than fiction.
posted by ken_zoan at 10:21 AM on March 19, 2007


Flagged as Newsfilterfilter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:25 AM on March 19, 2007


I'd like to see a version of this for Variety.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2007


"Charging Moose Brings Down Helicopter" isn't a WTF headline, it's a WTF story.

I lost faith in CNN myself a few weeks ago when I saw a story entitled "Date With A Vampire" on their primary channel. They had an artist's rendering that looked like promo art for Buffy. It was exquisitely awful.
posted by JHarris at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2007


God, I hate the American editorial comma.

You mean the Oxford comma?
posted by languagehat at 11:16 AM on March 19, 2007


Why the hate for CNN? cnn.com has been, for all practical purposes, my only home page since as long as I remember. 1997? Maybe 1998?

Yes, they tend to have lots of extraneous stuff, but it's not like the big news stories are being hidden by the celebrity/odd stories. They get "above the fold" when there are no other big stories (granted, that's an editorial decision we're not privy to).

They are usually very quick in the "breaking news" arena as well.

I tried using google news as my homepage for a while, but it just didn't work for me.

As far as the headlines go, I'm firmly in the "it's an art" camp, and from print newspaper people I know, the fanciful headlines are rarely accidents.

In general, I'm particularly fond of the heavy alliteration headlines: "Barack bashes Bush's base" and the like.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:20 AM on March 19, 2007


I support this blog. My dorm has a television in the lobby that shows campus-related things, but at the bottom is a CNN headline ticker. My friends and I often ask "WTF CNN?" when walking past and seeing things like "Charging Moose Brings Down Helicopter." That one was a favorite.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:26 AM on March 19, 2007


Well, Ive been blushing like a schoolgirl all morning.
posted by fidgets at 11:29 AM on March 19, 2007


and it takes a lot to make that schoolgirl blush, if you know what i mean.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:38 AM on March 19, 2007



You mean the Oxford comma?

No - that's a comma as well as the word 'and'. Ninebelow surely meant the use of a comma instead of 'and', which seems very inelegant to me as well.
posted by apodo at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2007


Some of those headlines are beautiful. I might get a tattoo of Grandma, said to hear geese, not guilty in tot death.

You mean the Oxford comma?

Eh? The 'American editorial comma' is nothing at all like the Oxford comma, which invariably precedes the word 'and', while the editorial comma replaces the word 'and'. Or seems to - sometimes I think American subs are just really, really into commas, and like to sprinkle them about the shop for kicks.
posted by jack_mo at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2007


I should've previewed, eh?
posted by jack_mo at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2007


You mean the Oxford comma?

No, the one instead of 'and':

Thongs, fishnets called harmful to young girls
Bread, pizza can threaten lives of mom, son
posted by goo at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2007


hahaha!

jinx
posted by goo at 11:55 AM on March 19, 2007


Well, Ive been blushing like a schoolgirl all morning.
posted by fidgets at 1:29 PM on March 19

and it takes a lot to make that schoolgirl blush, if you know what i mean.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:38 PM on March 19



Fidgets finds faux fawning flattering.

Nathan nixes notion of needless notoriety.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:55 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Three replies in a row - have we been trolled?
posted by apodo at 11:58 AM on March 19, 2007


Others have explained what I meant: the comma that appears in American headlines that is usually used to mean "and" but can apparently stand for any sort of conjunctive the subeditor feels like and so produces utterly impenetrable headlines.

I'll just add I hate the bloody Oxford comma too.
posted by ninebelow at 12:21 PM on March 19, 2007


Mom Uses Baby As Weapon To Beat Man
posted by puke & cry at 12:29 PM on March 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Consensus: contractionary commas cause chaos, confusion.

I'm done. Sorry.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Why the hate for CNN?

CNN, once real news, now real crap.
posted by R. Mutt at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2007


The 'American editorial comma' is nothing at all like the Oxford comma, which invariably precedes the word 'and', while the editorial comma replaces the word 'and'.

That would be compelling if there were in fact such a term as "American editorial comma." But Your search - "American editorial comma - did not match any documents. I have seen plenty of complaints about serial commas from Brits who seem to think they're an American thing, so that's what I assumed ninebelow meant. And since ninebelow says "I hate the bloody Oxford comma too," I don't feel my misunderstanding of the target of his attack made much difference.
posted by languagehat at 12:32 PM on March 19, 2007


And having read the story about the mother using her baby as a weapon, I feel compelled to add, as a warning to prospective parents, "See? This is what happens when you name a child Chytoria."
posted by languagehat at 12:35 PM on March 19, 2007


I'll just add I hate the bloody Oxford comma too.

How is this even possible? The serial comma serves a useful purpose and reduces confusion.
posted by stopgap at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2007


That would be compelling if there were in fact such a term as "American editorial comma."

Did you really think that was a technical term? I used it because it seemed like a straightforward description of the phenomena (and I guess I was right because everyone else seemed to grasp what I was talking about.) I doubt there is a technical term for this practice but if there is I would be delighted to be informed of it so I can correctly label the source of my ire.

I don't feel my misunderstanding of the target of his attack made much difference.

! I'm sorry I can't fathom what you mean here.

I dislike the "editorial comma" because it causes confusion. I dislike the serial comma on the much weaker ground that it is inelegant and extraneous.
posted by ninebelow at 1:20 PM on March 19, 2007


I occasionally use the Oxford comma, but I do not inhale.
posted by Cranberry at 1:22 PM on March 19, 2007


the other day, i spent an hour building a FPP about cnn's coverage of midge potts. i accidentally closed the browser window at the very end. im still kind of pissed.
posted by phaedon at 1:49 PM on March 19, 2007


The Washington Post: High Court [heh] Takes "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case, Toke Two
posted by kirkaracha at 2:29 PM on March 19, 2007


This

# Sparks fly off SUV, bumper falls in icy wrecks

is the worst haiku I have ever read. It's like they're not even trying.
posted by nogudnik at 2:43 PM on March 19, 2007


Why the hate for CNN?

They use Vladimir Zhirinovsky as their Russia pundit.
posted by spiderwire at 3:44 PM on March 19, 2007


As with your quotidian fortune cookie, rare is the CNN headline that can't be enlivened by appending "in bed":
- A380 makes big statement
- Zoo's bear cub "better off dead"
- Naomi Campbell cleans up
posted by rob511 at 5:29 PM on March 19, 2007


Fark does better headlines.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:20 PM on March 19, 2007


Yet another example of why it is safe to believe that most local news is generated by some supercomputer in a church basement, pulling words from dictionaries and "I Love Lucy" scripts.
posted by tehloki at 11:36 PM on March 19, 2007


I dislike the serial comma on the much weaker ground that it is inelegant and extraneous.

I love the serial comma on the grounds that it is elegant, and never extraneous. (Well, maybe it is extraneous sometimes, but even when the meaning is clear without its presence, it provides a slight pause, a moment to reflect on the list as it is ending, and a rhythmic coda to the sentence. Then again, I like lists of three things in short phrases separated by commas without a final 'and' too, for similar reasons.)
posted by jack_mo at 4:29 AM on March 20, 2007


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