Friday, November 13, 2009
Losing patience with The Huffington Post
I browse the left-leaning Internet newspaper The Huffington Post every day. Usually, I just scan the headlines, but the headline writers often get the story very wrong. Here are two examples from the past few days.
One headline read Secret Service Motorcade Kills Pedestrian. What actually happened was cars being driven by the Secret Service killed someone, but not while they were in a motorcade. The cars are assigned to the group protecting Joe Biden, but Biden was not being escorted anywhere when it happened.
The accident happened at 3 a.m. This raises several interesting questions.
1. Does the Secret Service often drive around at 3 a.m., and if so, what are they doing?
2. What is a pedestrian doing at 3 a.m.? I don't want to sound like I'm blaming the victim here, especially since I am both an early riser and I travel either by foot or by bicycle when I'm not on a commuter train. But even given all those facts, if I'm up at 3 a.m., I'm almost never a pedestrian at that hour.
A second headline screw-up made it sound like the New York 23 special election for the House seat was on the verge of being overturned. In fact, a standard has shrunk Bill Owens lead over Doug Hoffman from about 5,000 votes to about 3,000 with some absentee ballots yet to be counted. The number of absentee ballots was first reported as 10,000, but now that's down to about 5,600, and many were cast before Dede Scozzafava puller out of the race. Hoffman would have to win those votes in a major landslide, and even Hoffman's spokesman Rob Ryan is quoted as saying, "It's not something I would place a bet on."
I don't want to wish anyone with a job ill will in this economy, but I'd be very happy to see the person currently writing headlines at The Huffington Post replaced with someone competent.