Look! Here's the damned screen shot. Do I win anything for my diligence?
As Matt was telling us the shocking results of this poll -- "It's our biggest response EVAR! Over 300,000 people voted!" -- a thought occurred to me; all of the stories I'd seen on this started with some version or other of "Michelle Obama was seen wearing shorts while exiting Air Force One...sparking outrage in some quarters." (I'm as guilty of having reported this as anyone else, BTW.) But suddenly, I realized I couldn't, for the life of me, find out what quarters the outrage was coming from.
So I proceeded to do what passes for research these days -- I Googled the shit out of the subject. I filtered the search so that the results showed up in order of publication and tried to find the earliest stories about it. I spent an exhaustive 10 minutes looking at shit (that's 25 minutes of research if you're counting), and I'll admit, I couldn't find a single instance of anyone identifying any outraged quarters (or eighths, or sixteenths, or any other outraged fractions or factions). All I could find were bloggers and news outlets asking the question; Is it appropriate for the First Lady to bare her legs in public.
So all of this is my long-winded way of telling you that the outrage seems to have been entirely manufactured to provide content since there's no other news going on that warrants any airtime, newspaper inches or webspace. (Damn! If only there were something worth reporting? Where are all the wars, elections, corrupt politicians and instances of random violence when we need content?)
Allow me to provide a further example, if I may:
During the day, you may see 12 teases/promos breathlessly announcing: "Have microscopic aliens from a distant planet INVADED EARTH and infested 22% of Earthlings' colons? Tune in at eleven for the results of Channel 67's INVESTIGATIVE REPORT!
Then Eleven O'Clock rolls around and you tune in because THERE ARE MICROSCOPIC ALIENS INFESTING YOUR COLON! The story gets teased before every commercial break and then, finally, at 11:27 p.m., you get some frightening music and a big graphic (Maybe a silhouette of some guy with a microscope lodged in his ass?) and the screen dissolves to INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, JOSH HOODWINK who seriously intones: "Have microscopic aliens from a distant planet INVADED EARTH and infested 22% of Earthlings' colons? Uh...not that we're aware of. We'll keep you abreast of the situation as more information comes to light.
Googling "Michelle Obama Shorts" will get you more than 2.8 million results. I apologize for being one of them.
Moving on to another subject... you may remember me blogging "...and it's not a good stigma". I thought it was a particularly "Duh" moment in reportage. Well, there's another story being reported that has a moment like that (at least for me).
As the NY Post (and others) have reported,Liskula Cohen went to court to force Google to reveal the identity (or at least the IP and email address) of an anonymous blogger who started a blog for the sole reason of calling Cohen (as publicly as possible) "a psychotic, lying, whoring ... skank", among other things.
The judge agreed with Cohen and Google turned over the information yesterday. Now I'm not stupid -- I realize that the story and the case have some pretty deep ramifications and set a new (I think) precedent regarding anonymity on the internet and BLAH, BLAH BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Those are important issues. Didn't you read today's headline -- We Don't Do Important Here!
Nah, the part of this story that caught my eye is this quote from Cohen's attorney:
"Under these circumstances, in the context of the blog at issue, the words 'skank,' 'skanky' and 'ho' carry a negative implication..." and "are actionable."
Ya'think? Thanks for the clarification. Duh!