Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Don't Blog Me There

So Terry Schiavo's tube remains out, and the horrible spectacle of something that should have been kept very personal and within one family grinds on. A couple of quick points before I go back to drowning in my very busy life of late:

1) Do you think if there wasn't that video clip of the poor woman with her face and eyes a-flutter that we all would have been spared? It's just one more reminder of how the video feed drives the news and how visuals mean so much more than anything that gets said over them. Instead, we all get to be doctors without degrees making diagnoses via television. Which gets to...

2) I like democracy as much as the next person, but I'd really prefer that my health care never has to come to a vote of my peers. Here's hoping that someday millions of CNN viewers aren't looking at x-rays of me and saying, "I don't know, his prostate looks ok to me--no surgery!" For after all, insta-polls are often...

3) Total hogwash, and that's an insult to cleaning hogs everywhere. Media Matters (as Talking Points Memo pointed out) showed how CNN.com blew one of the basic lessons in graph making the other day (they have corrected the graph since then, but I doubt they contacted every user of the internets who saw the original graph and got the wrong impression). All numerical graphs must have a zero start point or they distort the amounts the graph represents. Don't believe me? Then go check the incorrect/original CNN graph and the proper graph.

Perhaps this was an innocent mistake (although back in the day when I taught engineering writing--don't laugh, it isn't an oxymoron--I pointed out how a graph like this one was faulty so freshmen wouldn't do it). Or perhaps the network those on the right like to call liberal wants to make Democrats appear non-mainstream.


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