Slow news day?
January 10, 2002 5:57 AM   Subscribe

Slow news day? This is the kind of reporting that really ticks me off. On the surface a serious piece about BSE in British Sheep. Reading the words however......

"The scientists' warning is based on a theoretical prediction of the potential health risk if BSE has passed to sheep and is spreading through the national flock."

You really couldn't get many more provisos into that sentence if you tried. This kind of story can only serve to scare-monger and put the French off. Again.
posted by Spoon (30 comments total)
Red text on a blue background is insanely ugly.
posted by revbrian at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2002

Assuming we wouldn't have noticed all the qualifiers if you hadn't put them in red is insanely ugly.
posted by ColdChef at 6:02 AM on January 10, 2002

I love that red!
posted by corpse at 6:03 AM on January 10, 2002

my eyes are bleeding!
posted by rhyax at 6:03 AM on January 10, 2002

great, here comes the end of font tags.
posted by machaus at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2002

My eyesssss! My EYESSSS!!! Must dig them out with SPOON!!!
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:09 AM on January 10, 2002

If you grip the slider bar, and jiggle the webpage up and down, the red words seem to mush togther to reveal the true name of god.
Don't say it out loud, or anything, I'm just pointing it out.
posted by dong_resin at 6:09 AM on January 10, 2002

Wow... I can suddenly see the future!
posted by DaRiLo at 6:10 AM on January 10, 2002

posted by pracowity at 6:15 AM on January 10, 2002

I accuse Spoon of crimes against the visually unchallenged.

But ON topic... I just love it when a news outlet has nothing better to do than whip up a froth over something that maybe possibly might could happen one day. It's a regular staple on the local nightly news- "The plates your children eat on at school could be TOXIC..." and you have to wait until the last 10 minutes of the program to find out that the rest of that sentence is, "... if the cafeteria staff decided to do something crazy, like wash them in tincture of uranium, which is unlikely, but you never know!" Sex sells, but fear has legs.
posted by headspace at 6:21 AM on January 10, 2002

Mefi should be a two color universe. What's your problem?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:22 AM on January 10, 2002

Here's an interesting little quiz about what sort of statements are tentative, strong or neutral.

(I failed, but then I'm a furriner and a convicted perhaps-abuser)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:26 AM on January 10, 2002

it burns...
posted by sean17 at 6:30 AM on January 10, 2002

Look - it's only red. It don't really matter none. Anyhow, it's me who's going to have to field all the "friendly words of advice concerning font colour usage".
posted by Spoon at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2002

<font advice="friendly">For pity's sake, someone hit 'Accept All Changes' or 'Reject All Changes' and spare us.</font>

But on topic... They're saying that because controls in the sheep industry are more lax than in the cattle industry, a BSE outbreak in sheep could pose even more of a health risk to humans than the cattle outbreak, and they're calling for screening to see if such an outbreak has in fact already occurred and is being masked by the very similar disease scrapie. What's irresponsible about that?
posted by rory at 6:37 AM on January 10, 2002

posted by NortonDC at 6:40 AM on January 10, 2002

If you stare at the red really hard, then look at the sidebar, the background color looks really purple.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:53 AM on January 10, 2002

Gee, how did I immediately know that this thread would be about the little red words and not about the purported topic? You people are SO predictable.
posted by rushmc at 6:58 AM on January 10, 2002

Sensationalist, yes most definitely. This is taking the possibility of an event and couching it in language which screams 'Stop buying lamb now'.
However the FSA were telling us for a long time that there was no danger in eating beef products when in fact there was evidence to the contrary.
So on the one hand we have a sensationalist media and on the other a secretive government agency (one can only hope they learned something from the BSE episode and will furnish us with the facts this time). Once again rationality leaves by the back exit.
Still, at least lamb will be cheap for a while.

Oh, and Metatalk is the place to discuss presentation and etiquette (retina-searing colour schemes included), Metafilter is for the discussion of content.
posted by Markb at 6:59 AM on January 10, 2002

Sensationalist? The headline, sure, but the rest isn't particularly. It's not like they're wildly speculating about random species with no possible link to BSE: BSE is related to and probably first developed from scrapie. Given the decade-long nightmare that BSE has proven to be for the UK, it seems only prudent to ensure that other potential sources of future problems are screened.
posted by rory at 7:27 AM on January 10, 2002

italics or bold text would have worked better.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 7:27 AM on January 10, 2002

It's times like these I'm glad I'm colorblind.
posted by JonahBlack at 7:35 AM on January 10, 2002

Sheesh, people. Stop complaining. If you really have that much difficulty reading the words, just highlight the entire page and read it that way.
posted by mrbula at 8:03 AM on January 10, 2002

rushmc, sometimes the medium really is the message.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:25 AM on January 10, 2002

>Some front page posts would look better in #069. < [highlight me]

Not this one, though. I agree with Spoon's point. In our CNN inspired world, even mindless conjecture between uninformed newsreaders to fill space between commercials is somehow considered "news."
posted by eyeballkid at 9:12 AM on January 10, 2002 [1 favorite]

Also: TV designed as filler for empty air time, for people with equally empty heads - ie-

"What wiped out the xxxxxx"
"was it a? b? c? d? e? ------"
an hour passes.....
"in conclusion, no one will ever know for sure what wiped out the xxxxxx, but one thing is certain, you've just wasted a whole hour."
posted by Spoon at 9:20 AM on January 10, 2002

Yes, well, that and the Gilmore Girls.
posted by dong_resin at 11:30 AM on January 10, 2002

Cool - check it out with 3D glasses :)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:07 PM on January 10, 2002

Some say it's noise. I think it's pretty.
posted by cx at 4:28 AM on January 11, 2002

Anybody else here think that Spoon displays classic symptoms of paranoia?
posted by Carol Anne at 6:10 AM on January 11, 2002

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