March 14, 2008

Worth somewhat less than 1,000 words


To: People who edit
From: SFTC
Re: Your brains

Look, I was as big a fan of John Ritter's sensational sitcom acting as the next guy. Also, he was supercreepygreat in Slingblade. But I don't think "doctors being cleared" in his five-years-ago death qualifies as a top-of-the-home-page-with-a-big-photo "DEVELOPING STORY." It sucks that he died, but in the scheme of things, this is not that important to very many people, and--not to nitpick--but it's not developing. It's already developed. Get over your wacky yellow banners and just report the damn news.

Of course, I have to admit your wacky yellow banner got me to pay attention to the story. Which is sort of unfortunate, because you chose to illustrate the article with a photo of a smiling John Ritter. Take a look:

Call me crazy, but when the first two things you see are the bold headline and smilin' John, it sort of makes it look like this dead guy is elated about the jury clearing the doctors who may or may not have hastened his own death. Which he probably isn't/wasn't. (I'm just guessing.)

I understand he was a comic actor and tended to smile a lot, so you were probably limited in your Ritter photo options. And running a shot of him in his postmortem state would not have gone over well. But, maybe a shot of the courtoom scene? His relatives after hearing the news? A retro shot of Joyce DeWitt?

C'mon. Try harder next time.

Oh, but thank you for your diligent, in-depth coverage of Ashley Alexander Dupre's MySpace page. Keep up the good work there.


JBhumitra said...

LOL i too have found it amusing how much focus there has been about ashley's myspace page. i guess the media think it is important we remember she was an aspiring singer, not just a *high-class* hooker. how hilarious would it be if she got a record deal coming out of this mess.

Loree said...

This is only tangentially related, but I love terrible CNN headlines. This is one of my favorite reads ever. I pull it up sometimes in the middle of the day just for laughs:

"Highland Park" Attorney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Highland Park" Attorney said...

Ok, regarding the "developing story" banner.. that also bugs the heck out of me....I am thinking of adding it to the bottom of every email or text message I send from now on. Not to be corny or anything, but isn't everyone's daily life a "developing story". While I hope it is not for a very, very long time and since we all know that at some point the end of life will come I believe that CNN should post the banner below for me:

"Highland Park Attorney's Death" and make sure that you post it in Yellow as a Developing Story and not in the dreaded RED of BREAKING NEWS