The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, January 25, 2004


Boy, the San Jose Mercury News really served up a devastating one-two combination of incisive wit today. Here's the teaser for the top article on the Merc web page:


Governor confronts new crisis, no script

PRISON MESS TESTS FLEXIBLE RESPONSE

In his first two months in office, Arnold Schwarzenegger has pretty much followed the script he and his advisers laid out after his election. But with a long-simmering crisis in the nation's largest prison system coming to a boil, the new governor and his administration are now suddenly forced to ad lib.

By Mark Gladstone / Mercury News Sacramento Bureau


Get it? Schwarzenegger is an actor who likes to follow a script, but he can't so he'll have to ad lib.

If you're still reeling from that masterful demonstration of rhetoric, you may want to hold onto your seat when you read the opening lines of this editorial:


Big biceps aren't always enough

GOVERNOR FACES HEAVY ISSUES THAT HE NEEDS HELP IN LIFTING

Let's hope Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is having a good time on the campaign trail drumming up support for his $15 billion bond issue, because otherwise the past week was a lesson about the difficult customers who walk through a governor's door and the limits on his ability to rid himself of them.
( By Phil Yost, 01/25/2004 03:01 AM PST)


Get it? Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilder with big biceps, but he can't always use them to solve the issues he faces as governor.

Either the Mercury News is populated with writers who think this nonsense is clever, or they know better but think it will appeal to their readers. Either the newspaper of the world's center of technology is staffed by some very dim bulbs, or said newspaper's employees think that Silicon Valley is filled with morons.

Please please tell me that just one person who was involved with the production of this drivel slapped himself on the forehead and muttered, "I went to journalism school for this?"

And is the Merc consistent with its use of this junior-high-school-level cliche-mongering? If Grey Davis were still governor, would we expect to see copy like this:


Governor confronts crisis lacking know-how

WORKERS' COMP MESS TESTS ECONOMIC KNOWLEDGE

A long-simmering crisis in the workers' compensation system is coming to a boil. This will be a difficult problem for Governor Davis, a lifetime politician with little private sector experience.


Or this:


Being an emotionless drone isn't enough

DIFFICULT ISSUES REQUIRE EMPATHY


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