Tuesday, July 27, 2004

peak reporting

Like peak oil, it appears that journalism has also been mined for all its worth, and what we're now witnessing is the long slide into the production of ever more words for ever less information.

In today's Boston globe appears an article just over 900 words detailing Bush's fall off a mountain bike. It's an Associated Press Exclusive. Apparently Bush rides up hills that, in his words, "would choke a mule".

Enough of this purposeless fawning over politicians as if they were movie actors. You could have written that article in only four words: "Bush falls off bike". And think how much information you could add by simply including one more word: "again".

*Thanks to Pterals, who pointed out that I'd underreported the word count of the article by more than 50%.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only is it a pitiful piece of journalistic fluff, but I'm kind of choked that the bugger didn't hurt himeself worse than a skinned knee. I had the same reaction when he choked on a pretzel a few years back. Seems Dub-ya has the luck of Hitler...or Satan...interesting...

Friday said...

You rock my teeny tiny world, Mr. Palinode. In a big way. Hee.

Pterals said...

That article was actually 930 words. And, it sounded just like Chairman Mao's cult of personality, a la the episode with him swimming in the Yangtze River. If the leader is so virile and courageous, surely we cannot replace him, can we? Of course, it should come as no surprise that a man who wasn't actually elected has delusions of grandeur and posterity.

Pterals said...

My Gawd, it's even more insidious and virulent than I had earlier detected. To wit:

"Over an 18-mile ride that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, he burns about 1,200 calories and his heart rate reaches 168 beats per minute. That's nearly four times his resting rate and in the same range as Lance Armstrong's when the six-time Tour de France winner is pedaling hard."

He's as powerful as Lance! Hoorah!

And:

"There are trees and a drop-off nearby, and the road is littered with rocks, but Bush, wearing a helmet and a mouth guard, is uninjured."

If only it had said 'miraculously uninjured,' they could have lobbied the born-again Christian vote. Alas, fate smiles upon he.

--My apologies for any copyright repurcussions, Palinode.

palinode said...

No worries regarding copyright, Pterals. I believe "fair use" applies here.

Anonymous said...

As a mountain biker, I have to say I'm surprised that Bush will shell out 3K for a really good bike and not switch to clipless pedals. He'd fall a lot less if he did, not that I give a rats ass. I kind of hate that he loves my sport, to be honest.

-Amblus.

Anonymous said...

PS. Just to be a nit-picky snot, they misspelled "peloton" in that article.

luvabeans said...

i kind of enjoy the image of a journalist watching the crash and laughing about it. "dude! i SO have to write about this!"

Anonymous said...

Why the pretzel story might not have wings:
http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=93044

Alcoholism-induced epilepsy anyone?