Standing before a nation on an economic precipice, President Barack Obama aimed to balance candor with can-do Tuesday night in his first address to a joint session of Congress. Millions more anxious Americans were tuning in on TV.
Let's take this point-by-point:
- Begins with a dependent clause. WTF ever happened to direct declarative sentences?
- Uses an awkward metaphor. If the nation is on "an economic precipice," yet Obama is "standing before" that nation . . . WTF? He's levitating?
- Imputes intent. "Obama aims to . . ."? WTF? Jennifer Loven is a mind-reader who knows what Obama's objectives are?
That's three strikes in your lede, a$$holes. How about you hire a reporter who, instead of presuming to tell us what the president "aimed" to do, understands that it is her job to tell us what the president actually said?
Leave the g--d--- commentary and mind-reading for the pundits on the op-ed page and just report the story, you idiots! Stop stacking up the story in a transparent effort to clue readers what their attitude should be about the news, and instead just give them the facts. This can be done, you know.
(H/T: Michelle Malkin.)
UPDATE: Excuse my extreme wrath, but I had the benefit of being under the thumb of good editors for more than 20 years, and it infuriates me to see an organization as prestigious as the Associated Press so flagrantly violate the basic principles of news reporting.
When I arrived at The Washington Times as an assistant national editor, I was introduced to Wes Pruden's First Rule: "Never begin with a dependent clause." If an editor let a dependent-clause lede get past him, he'd be sure to hear about it.
I have no idea what journalism "stylist" first came up with the dependent-clause lede, but Pruden was right in forbidding it, as this Jennifer Loven story illustrates. The dependent clause is where the supposedly neutral and unbiased reporter tells the reader what to think. In this case, Loven wants to impress in the reader's mind the notion that America is teeting on the brink of disaster, so as to present the president as the saviour whose "can-do and candor" will rescue us from catastrophe.
The insulting thing about it is that Loven suppose her readers to be so stupid that they can't see what she's doing. She looks down her nose at the reader who is so thick-headed he can't decide for himself if she limits herself to declarative sentences stating facts.
UPDATE II: My God, Ron Fournier -- while avoiding the dependent clause -- actually manages to out-wretched the wretched Loven:
President Barack Obama gave America the audacity to hope again.Earning himself a drool bucket award from Malkin. Look, witnesses can be produced who will attest that there were occasions at The Washington Times when I complained about POTUS fellatio by certain White House correspondents who had clearly imbibed of the Bush Kool-Aid. At least those guys had the excuse that they were trying to balance the vitriolic anti-Bush bias of the MSM. What excuse do Fournier and Loven have? They're balancing Bill O'Reilly?
The AP might as well get it over with and hire David Axelrod to cover the White House.