When I went to journalism school, the first class I took was News Writing. This is where you learn to write for newspapers. It was one of the best courses I had in college because it was there that I realized how specifically mathematical correctly formed sentences actually are.
The second class I took was called Reporting Practices. And the first lesson on day one of Reporting Practices was about how to correctly identify a person when you write about him in the newspaper. On first reference, you are supposed to use the first name, middle initial, and last name. The reason that you are supposed to do this is because if David A. Jones is convicted of manslaughter and his neighbor David O. Jones is not, but you just print that David Jones was convicted of manslaughter, then David O. Jones’ friends and family are going to furrow their brows at him and soon David O. Jones will be irate and in your newspaper office receiving room, perhaps accompanied by an attorney, or at least threatening to cancel his long-time subscription.
I have always thought this is why particularly notorious figures are named including their full middle names. However, as Slate points out, that’s not always the reason.
That is how basic and essential it is to correctly identify people in journalism. It is the very first lesson you are taught. Day one. Get this right or don’t bother.
So Brietbart “News” ran with a story that said that President Obama’s pick for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, had represented the Clintons during the Whitewater nonsense.
However, there’s a bit of a problem: It was the wrong Loretta Lynch.
Fortunately, Breitbart “News” immediately saw the error and acted quickly and with integrity, pulling the entire story off of their Web site and issuing an urgent and somewhat bashful correction.
Just kidding. They left the story up even though its entire premise was incorrect, put the word “correction” in the headline in parenthesis, and inserted this line above the “reporter’s” credit: “Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”
Some people actually develop their opinions and base their votes on this crap. Isn’t that somethin’?
In Other News
Romeo and Juliet Has No Balcony (The Atlantic)
“Not only was there no balcony in Romeo and Juliet, there was no balcony in all of Shakespeare’s England.”
- The Cult of Connie Britton (Buzzfeed)
- The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away (Serious Eats)
- 50 Surprising Photos From The Past That Show How Different Life Used To Be (thisblewmymind.com)
- How Was This A Thing? 21 Victoria Era Post-Mortem Photographs That Are Really Unsettling (The Metapicture)