Friday, August 1, 2008

This literally is a title about a title.

Out of the most horrible of situations I got a most delightful surprise today.

Obviously I was upset yesterday. I think my post made that pretty clear. The tragedy on the bus was bad enough, but the panicking and finger pointing was truly becoming unbearable. You know in the space of I think about twenty comments following one article I read, that the attacker went from "pretty big", to "6 foot, 200 pounds", to "6'4, 250 pounds". Why isn't the constant exposure and modern involvement in media making us any smarter when it comes to using it?

There was one headline that I found particularly irresponsible:

Children see man decapitate fellow passenger on Greyhound bus in Canada

Elana Schor in Washington
The Guardian,
Friday August 1 2008

Everything I'd read had said that everyone was off the bus when that happened. It was late, and I fired off a loopy, badly written, cringingly snippy, but dammit very Sincere! response:

Re the article:

"Children see man decapitate fellow passenger on Greyhound bus in Canada"

Elana Schor in Washington
The Guardian,
Friday August 1 2008

Namely the title. Did they really? How did the children see the man in the back of the dark bus standing with his back in front of the victim behind rows of tall seats, while they were being rushed out the door for their lives, commit this act? Did their parents hold them up to the window when they got outside?

Please reply. This is very very troubling. This is a tragedy affecting my community, and I am not impressed by flagrantly inaccurate reporting. Please please verify these claims.

Bless their hearts, they responded, and wow, quickly!

(Here I have to note that this is a straight copy/paste. That is to say, their spelling error, not mine, neener!):

Thank you for your email. The foreign desk have spoken to Elana Schor who did not say in her report, and does not say now, that the children witnessed the decapitatioin. The headline went beyond what she wrote. We are removing it from the web site and correcting it in the newspaper.
David McKie

Give it up for the Guardian, folks. They totally stepped up to the plate.

So what's the lesson for today?

That it is worthwhile to speak up. The media shape our lives, so we need to make sure they're reporting and portraying ours accurately.

And we can.

Oh yeah, and buy my stuff.

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Alberta, Canada
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