Media Musings From Cincinnati and Beyond

Obviously, the editor who wrote the headline on Wednesday’s Food cover page for the Enquirer didn’t read Polly Campbell’s story about the Woman’s City Club.

Obviously, the editor who wrote the headline on Wednesday’s Food cover page for the Enquirer didn’t read Polly Campbell’s story about the Woman’s City Club.

Campbell got it right: Woman’s. Headline on the cover page about the club’s cookbook said Women’s.
Yes, Women’s.

Maybe the editor thought it was the A&E section. So much for newsroom discipline.

In the Good Old Days, a copy desk chief made sure the headline and story matched. Copy desks, copy editors and copy desk chiefs have been eliminated to speed and cheapen production. It’s obvious.

• Oh, those copy editor blues.

On one of the most important news stories of the generation, people who edit the Enquirer — here or wherever that work is outsourced — blew a major headline: “Some Cincinnati officials plan to wait before starting to issue marriage licenses.”
Bad enough that Cincinnati was infamous for its since-repealed modern anti-gay city law, but no current Cincinnati official was mentioned in the story.

If a correction followed, I missed it.

Another lapse recalled the days when clergy were “Catholic, Protestant, Jew and Black.” Or even now, people sometimes are divided into “Black, White and Jews.”

This came to mind when an Enquirer business cover focused on a program “aimed at getting young people and minorities” to call Cincinnati home.

That’s probably what the reporter was told, but wasn’t there some editor who could suggest a more inclusive way of saying it?

• Even more copy editor blues:

A recent Sunday Enquirer said the Hamilton County Justice Center provides Tylenol (brand name for acetaminophen) to heroin addicts ... under a photo of a Justice Center inmate taking ibuprofen, a very different drug.

A faithful reader found this online:

Columbus Dispatch said Ohio’s 12th District Court of Appeals defended grammar from sloppy editing and reversed a parking ticket.

West Jefferson said it was illegal to park “any motor vehicle camper, trailer, farm implement and/or nonmotorized vehicle” on a local street for more than 24 hours.

Andrea Cammelleri argued that her pickup truck was not a “motor vehicle camper” and it was tagged illegally.
Writing for the court, Judge Robert A. Hendrickson said if the town meant it to read “any motor vehicle, camper...” it should have included the comma after “vehicle,” but it didn’t, and her truck wasn’t a “motor vehicle camper.”

• Within hours of defender Laura Bassett’s catastrophic error in World Cup soccer, commentators shifted from commiserating with the weeping Brit whose “own goal” eliminated her England team from the semi-finals.

Now, it’s an attack on news media that wept with Bassett, asking whether reporters and editors would have shown the same sympathy for a male footballer who made the same own-goal mistake.

The consensus among comments I’ve read and heard is that Bassett was treated as a weepy woman and sexism remains acceptable in sports journalism.

• Then we have the female contributor to Arianna Huffington’s huffingtonpost.com who writes about a young and heroic Ukrainian activist/politician, Yulia Marushevska.

The profile begins, saying Marushevska “might easily win a beauty contest among the world’s politicians.”
And the headline says, “She’s a Beautiful, Passionate Voice for Ukraine, But That’s Not Enough.”

Savvy male journalists know such openings no longer are acceptable, but it appears the memo never reached HuffPost’s female contributor or Huffington’s editors.

• Should we pity politics reporters who have to pretend to take the likes of Donald Trump, George Pataki, John Kasich and Ted Cruz seriously as GOP presidential aspirants?

I can’t imagine trying to write months of serious copy about these non-entities.

Or will the GOP carnival be more fun than politics reporters have had in decades and readers/listeners will understand that the deadly serious stories are more Saturday Night Live than Pulitzer entrants?

If Trump’s a bad joke, Latino reaction to The Donald’s slur on Mexican migrants is news. So are the tepid or Sgt. Schultz reactions of other Republicans.

Reporters can thank Trump for enlivening the battle between Republicans who loathe Latino immigrants and Republicans who tout their party as the natural home to culturally conservative and economically striving Hispanics.
Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders of Vermont hasn’t a chance of getting the nomination but he’s forcing Clinton to the left of where she’s naturally comfortable.

He’s news.

And combat veteran Jim Webb, who might be better known as an author and Reagan secretary of the navy than as a senator, might be the alternative for Democrats who find her untrustworthy.

What’s more interesting is that Webb’s best book is worth reading in the context of his candidacy: “Born Fighting,” the history of his own people, the Scots-Irish settlers of this country.

Remember WTF, the mockery of W’s candidacy?

Maybe Anybody But Clinton (ABC) will be the new bumper sticker.

Now that’s something to write about.

• CNN’s London reporter said one banner in the gay pride parade was “very distinctively the ISIS flag.”
ISIS is another term from the lethally anti-gay Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. She was wrong and inadvertently self-revealing.

She knew the “writing” on the black banner wasn’t Arabic, but she didn’t recognize the “gobbledegook” as an assortment of butt plugs, dildos and other sex toys arranged to resemble the Arabic script on the black ISIS flag.

CNN removed her segment from its website once more worldly viewers caught the error and the irony: ISIS murders gay men by tossing them from buildings.


CONTACT BEN L. KAUFMAN: [email protected]

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