Everyone seems to have an opinion of the news media these days. Usually it takes on a comparison to some form of excrement. Whether deserved or not, the media takes a lot of heat for doing its job, which is to jack up interest in advertising links so people buy tons of stuff online at low, low prices. Oh, and they also do this activity called “journalism,” but nobody has been able scientifically define that. The closest anyone has come has been a team at MIT,and that was identifying a common subatomic particle found among anchors which they merely described as “facty”.
This leads to my actual point (didn’t think you’d get away that easy, did ya?). One of the areas of genuine aggravation with the media hasn’t been the so-called “click bait” headlines, which use salacious and inflammatory language to drive readership, but instead the fact these headlines have errors on verbage and spelling which can best be described as “innocuous” but will be described here for what they really are: dumb.
I offer up a recent blooper from the CBS affiliate here in Atlanta. The error was “Lt. Govoner.”. Now, this employee (and interns will be considered such, though we all know they are the career equivalent of viruses) could have gotten away with saying “Gooberner” and it could have been explained away as political satire. Even “Guverner” would have worked, but “Govoner”. Is that dude related to Gozer the Gozerian? (Bonus points for anyone who gets that reference.) In this age of auto-correct gaffes, the only explanation for this sort of blunder is that classic behavioral set psychologists quickly identify under the heading “hey y’all, watch this!!!”
Some errors are stupid, while others are simply too hilarious to let die. This happened a few months back with the case of Tropical Storm Erica, a weather system so intense it threatened 30 mph winds and a storm surge capable of filling a large pool in south Tampa. The only area it ever really threatened was the ominous island of Bermuda, which is fuming over how vacationers somehow still confuse it with the Bahamas. Donald Trump had been called in to meditate, but I suspect he’ll simply merge the nations into the Isle of Trump Republic. But I digress.
The headline The Weather Channel posted was intended to communicate an easterly change in the storm’s track. What was written was “storm track shits east.” Yes, folks. The fine folks at The Weather Channel have now become so advanced, they can forecast not just the intensity of the storm, but the direction of its associated bowel movements.
Of course, anyone with the common sense of Popsicle stick knows that headline really read “shifts.” Still, what about those of us with less than Popsicle enabled sense? I know my cats would understand, but what about the lizard eaten by said cats? Would he understand to stay west, or would he simply become part of a later bowel movement or vomit package delivered by the Feline Army. Would Erica approve of this sacrifice, or would she create a rip current capable of knocking Donald Trumps campaign in its tracks?
You see, news media, this is why Americans are so fed up. Errors such as this could easily take the focus off now important issues, such as weather, or whether, their, or they’re, and why homonyms are still denied marriage in parts of Kentucky. Until this is answered, we will be forced to continue making idiotic comments which reference historical accounts best described as “facty.”