Friday, August 09, 2002

The Tale of the Headline

Yesterday we looked at this Commercial Appeal story on a possible property tax increase, and how that story was reported. Today, the CA follows up and it's more of the same.

From it's headline on down there's a palpable slant to this story.

"Tax defeat looms as 2 Democrats join Shelby foes"
"Defeat looms" is a scary image of impending bad outcome, not a neutral description; "as 2 Democrats join" implies defections; "Shelby foes" the CA would probably defend as meaning Shelby County Commission, but in the context it sounds like bad guys who are against Shelby County!

The first paragraph continues the slant:
Straying from their Democratic colleagues, two Shelby County
commissioners said Thursday that they plan to vote against a
property tax increase.
Again, the word choice is all. "Straying from their...colleagues...." sounds like something bad, like lost sheep.

The commissioners are making their stances known....
"Stance," like a posture, like posturing, like not a principled stand.

Even after the latest round of self-imposed belt-tightening,
county school officials said they would still be $9 million in the
hole and city school officials said they would be $21 million short.
"Self-imposed belt-tightening..." sounds good, but it was "we move before they really hit us." And as we learned yesterday, the "cuts" that got them to this level amount to less than 2 percent.

Oooh. Tough cuts.

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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