Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tabloids in the culture wars: What's wrong with AMI?

You know, I think American Media Inc. has gone too far this time. They've always angled towards a distinctly right-wing audience (although the Weekly World News alone among all their papers discovered the value of not taking itself seriously), but they've gone over the deep end lately.

The Sun and the Enquirer don't seem to have had much to say so far, but the Globe for the last two weeks has been running with the long-discredited meme about Obama not being a native-born American, while the Examiner ran a breathless piece about "gay terrorists" being responsible for torching Sarah Palin's church in Alaska. I'm of two minds about this -- on the one hand, people are conditioned not to take AMI rags all that seriously (the Enquirer, sketchy as it is, is the only one worth a damn journalistically, and that isn't saying much), but on the other hand they have a huge and frequently gullible readership. Asking AMI to practice responsible journalism is perhaps a bit extreme, but at the same time it seems hard to justify printing outright fearmongering and hatred.

I'd suggest boycotting, but unlike my grandmother (who was a regular Enquirer reader, much to the bemusement of my mother), I don't think I've ever actually spent money on one. So I don't know...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The banished words list. Woo-hoo, let's start the year with some language snobbery.

Lake Superior State's Banished Words List

Oh boy. Yet another opportunity to grouse about words we're kind of tired of hearing and neologisms that we somehow don't think are necessary. Hell, I bet they think they're a bunch of mavericks, like William Safire. Eh, not so much.