Read Beyond the Headline, or Why Bother

By , February 16, 2012 4:11 pm

So I”m reading my Twitter feed again, and I see this by the Washington Post:

The Washington Post @washingtonpost Man seated next to crying child on plane opens door, deploys emergency slide:

I click on the accompanying link and read the first body paragraph:

HANOI, Vietnam — A mom with a screaming child wanted a quick getaway from a plane on the tarmac in Vietnam and asked for help. The man next to her obliged by opening the emergency exit and triggering the escape slide.

But that’s as far as they got.

Do you see the problem? The headline gives the impression that we’re going to get a great story about a man doing what everybody has wanted to do once a baby starts crying on the airline. But no. The story is really about how an apparently kind man helped a stressed mother who was looking for a quick exit for her and her crying baby.

In this case, no harm, no foul. Yes, I was disappointed that the story didn’t live up to its headline, but that’s it. But how about this headline: Romney on Birth Control, or worse, the Tweet the lead me to it, both by David Frum:

davidfrum @davidfrum Endorsed “greatly expanded programs of …. family planning services to all those who want but can’t afford them.”

Yes, I know Frum was being cute, but was he being fair? Did he have an obligation to be fair, especially in this birth-control charged moment? You be the judge.

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