Friday, February 03, 2006

Crimes and Misdemeanors

This is what we were talking about?
When the Pulp busted the story about the controversy at the Miami Herald over early "web duty," it seemed like a serious debate. But looking at an early posting on this morning's Herald site, you get a whole new understanding of why the rotating work is despised by reporters. The following was prominently posted at 8:23 a.m., presumably by the poor chump who had to get up early to make these calls. I'm going to post the whole thing because I think y'all should read every word of it:

Posted on Fri, Feb. 03, 2006
BSO hunts for handcuffed suspect who got away
A drug suspect fled from deputies at a Tamarac apartment complex, leading to a two-hour manhunt that ended with the suspect getting away.
Broward Sheriff's deputies were checking the apartment complex at 4401 Treehouse Lane around 8:30 p.m. Thursday for signs of unlawful activity.
The deputies spotted a group of men who appeared to be smoking marijuana to the rear of the apartment building. The deputies moved in on the group and began to take them into custody. After being handcuffed, one unknown suspect ran southbound through the complex.
K-9 teams, the BSO helicopter and road patrol deputies scoured the area but were unable to catch the handcuffed suspect.
It is unknown whether he managed to flee from the area or whether he hid inside another apartment within the large complex, according to BSO.
BSO ended the search around 10:30 p.m.
The unknown suspect is described as about 5 feet, 10 inches and weighing 180 pounds with a short 'dread' style haircut.
He was last seen wearing a white shirt and handcuffs.
Anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts is asked to dial 911 or call Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS.

I would call this bad reporting, but it's really reprinting a bad police release masquerading as bad reporting. It leads promisingly with a "drug suspect" and a "manhunt." But then you find out the suspect was apparently smoking weed with a group of people at an apartment complex. Not exactly man-bites-dog caliber. The sheriff's office reports that the deputies were there checking for "signs of unlawful activity." What does that mean? At a real newspaper, a reporter is supposed to find out. Then that same newspaper's editor says, "Quit wasting your time."

It's garbage, people. Worse than that really, since some garbage has its uses. This does not.

And so are the rest of the early postings this morning. "Masked men flee after stealing ATM," a blurb filed at 8:08 a.m. It's a tiny little thing, but reporter Jasmine Kripalani, who I suppose is the poor soul relegated to this duty for the moment, did get an incisive quote from the shopkeep whose place was busted into: "Can you imagine? It's a great setback."

Before that, Kripalani filed this gem about a rollover on the Turnpike. "Drivers should expect delays." Indeed, but they're on the road listening to the RADIO not online with the Herald.

This isn't Kripalani's fault. It's just a sorry state of affairs.

Hyde Arrested
Sun-Sentinel sports columnist Dave Hyde was arrested this morning and charged with simple assault. Apparently police took umbrage when Hyde used italicized words as blunt instruments to bludgeon his readers with in this morning's column. "It's perfectly okay to use italics for emphasis occasionally," explained police spokesman Whitey Strunk. "But Hyde abused it -- and us -- terribly in this piece. I mean, the same word three times in consecutive sentences? In the lede no less? Then tying the whole sordid mess together in the end with yet another offense? It's heinous."

Story of the Day
Nothing really catches the eye today, news-wise. So the Pulp had to go with Jose Lambiet's "Page Two" in the Palm Beach Post. When in doubt, it's never a bad thing to fall back on the tenacious gossip columnist.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hyde is pretty incredible when you consider his past. One hundred thousand years ago he was hunting on the frozen wastes when he slipped and fell into a crevasse. In 1988 he was discovered by some scientists and thawed out ...

8:07 AM  

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