Friday, March 19, 2004

Aw, Lay Off: Here's a brief paean I wrote to McPaper last year. I'm much more surprised to find bullshit getting into print in USA Today than in the Times, if only because McPaper has less of a crusader image. USA Today has solid reporters, is easy on the eye, and can be digested with the alacrity of a multivitamin chased with a glass of metamucil. In other words, it does what a paper should do. If I want opinion or "news analysis," I'll go to sources whose biases are declared. Furtive spin under the guise of much-trumpeted objectivity? No thanks.

I'm reminded of a radio spot I heard this morning, an advert for some wireless phone company or other. The joke of the ad was that every time the Dishonest Wireless rep said anything, he mumbled a disclaimer in rapid-fire legalese. Not true of Beacon of Probity Wireless! So if you're tires of the disclaimers, you should try Beacon of Probity's new Special Plan . . . You get the idea. So what comes after the final pitch for switching to Beacon of Probity Wireless? Yes, the rapid-fire, legalese disclaimer.

When I read the Times, I'm always looking for the disclaimer. The chinese wall between reporting and editorial functions about as well as the chinese wall between consulting and accounting at Arthur Andersen did.

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