Monday, October 13, 2008

Shit headlines are really annoying - and potentially dangerous

The Daily Telegraph - once the best newspaper in Britain, despite its odious politics and odious owner. Then the Barclay brothers moved in and started hacking away, helped by some over-zealous young henchmen from The Mail. I suppose when you cut corners you end up with headlines that don't make sense; take today's

Homeowner told to take down fence he repaired due to planning laws

Surprisingly not about a homeowner who repaired a fence due to planning laws and was subsequently forced to take it down. A little comma goes a long way. In the old days I'm sure the sub-editor would have been taken out and shot for such an error. We'll see how long it takes whichever techno whizz-kid put this up to realise his mistake. The Telegraph has recently been culling its sub-editors and, according to the blog of Justin Williams, who seems to be the chief apologist for the Telegraph's multi-meejah revolution, the whole position is due to be replaced by computers who can check libels, put garbled copy into style, come up with a witty and incisive headline and wipe the editor's arse while they're at it. Presumably this is just the kind of mistake they should be avoiding, then.

But it's not nearly as (potentially) serious as the cock-up at another newspaper which is axing staff, The Mirror.

Sarah Palin found guilty of abusing power while Alaska governor

No she wasn't 'found guilty' of anything - nor charged with anything. She's undoubtedly a slimy waste of humanity, an insult to her gender, an associate of terrorists, a scumbag who charges women who've been raped for the privilege then tells them they can't abort their kids. Lovely woman. But not a criminal - not yet anyway. This is the result of an investigation, it isn't a finding of guilt. Even the most wet-behind-the-ears sub would pick that up. The pimply teenage web geek in charge of upholding the reputation of one of Britain's greatest and most famous newspapers obviously didn't. But would Justin Williams' sub-bot? We wait with baited breath...

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