comScore Worst News Ledes

Today’s Worst News Ledes: 7/24/09

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News reporters like to catch readers’ attention with a few zingy lines at the start of an article. Sometimes, these so-called “ledes” go horribly wrong. In Today’s Worst News Ledes, we highlight some of the biggest offenders:

3. From The New York Times, “Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media“:

Three weeks after Curtis Kimball opened his crème brûlée cart in San Francisco, he noticed a stranger among the friends in line for his desserts. How had the man discovered the cart? He had read about it on Twitter.

Aaah, why couldn’t it be Yelp or Fetlife (NSFW) or something? In fact, there is only one “social medi[um]” mentioned in this article. Twitter is great and all, but give it a rest.

2. From The Washington Times, “Obama’s killer disease slips into remission“:

The killer disease dispensed by Barack Obama slipped into remission yesterday, and we can be thankful it did. “Remission” is not “cure,” but it’s a start.

Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, led the obsequies for the rush to judgment, though he was not necessarily obsequious about it. “It’s better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than trying to jam something through.” Nary a Republican in Washington could have said it better.

What is the killer disease? I think it is “The president is trying to make the best of the demise of his promise to get health care “reform” on his desk for a signature before Congress goes home on Aug. 7,” but then it is actually a bunch of current events strung together. At least there’s a totally misleading National Enquirer-caliber shocker headline.

1. From The Kansas City Star, “Gates, Obama and Celebrity Arrests, Oh My“:

Scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. demanded an apology from police after he was arrested for disorderly conduct at his Cambridge home this week. Find out what triggered the arrest.

Though charges were later dropped, President Barack Obama criticized the officer’s actions. The officer involved in the incident said despite it all, he won’t apologize.

Gates is just the latest in a long line of celebrities and public figures who’ve tangled with the law.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland also had charges against him dropped recently. (What was he accused of doing?) Other celebs weren’t so lucky and have served or are currently serving time. Here are a few:

Over the past few days, Gates-gate has ballooned into one of the biggest news stories, and for good reason: it’s the kind of big, state-of-the-nation event that really does symbolize more than itself in the context of American race relations, and justifies the countless op-ed pieces it’s launched.

But in the midst of all of this, no one noticed the number of similarities that Gates shared with Khloe Kardashian, Phil Spector (who ” never met a hairstyle he didn’t like”), and Bernard Madoff. For example, they are all “celebs,” and they were all arrested. Thanks for setting the record straight, Kansas City Star.

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