Wednesday, January 09, 2008

News Analysis: The You All Suck Edition

I was doing some research for work a couple weeks ago and saw this headline at Time, "Obama's Foreign Policy Problem."

That is pretty negative. A problem is bad, it weighs on you and interrupts your thinking, disturbs your calm. Look at the picture, Obama looks so concerned, pensive, and probably worried about his problem. A problem is something that takes you below the baseline and beating it only returns you to average. A challenge is different. A challenge is something that is overcome and you are a better person for taking it on. A challenge is something that you meet and defeat that maybe other people can't. Why wasn't the headline "Obama's Foreign Policy Challenge." Obama is going above the average citizen and accepting the challenging responsibilities of the presidency but the author went with problem instead of challenge. Go back and read the title as "Obama's Foreign Policy Challenge" and the picture looks resolute, thoughtful and ready for the responsibility.

The New York Times is saying that Hillary Clinton "escaped" something in New Hampshire. That is another negative word. Escaped sounds like she deserved to lose the primary and pulled some sort of stunt to whisk herself away from the jaws of just defeat. Furthermore, the entire headline makes it sound like she turned tail and ran shortly before total annihilation at the hands of her enemies. She won the primary. This kind of language is negative and minimizing of her accomplishment.

Emotional. Passionate. Two words with similar meanings but different connotations. One describes a person as ruled by feelings and is weaker for it. The other is a person full of life and eager to express important feelings. Which one did you see more often used to describe Hillary in the last week?
"Hillary emotional": 580,000 hits
"Hillary passionate": 358,000 hits

I continue my editorial classes this semester.

4 comments:

Res Publica said...

Look at you, all smart and stuff

Chuckles said...

When am I not smart and stuff?

Res Publica said...

When you're endlessly prattling about your wang.

Chuckles said...

Oh yeah. In my defense, it is hard not to be proud of the guy, so I should get a pass or something.