Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I Just Can't Help Myself

I know no one cares about my rants against the hometown paper, but aren't obscure diatribes the life force of any blog? Yes. So, on to the meat of the matter:

The Lansing State Journal expended more than 900 words on a rewriting of a recent New Yorker piece about an ornithologist who uncovered a huge scandal in her field. I read and enjoyed the original story. The Journal localized the story because after she was done uncovering the scandal, she took a job at Michigan State. The story didn't contain anything new; it was a very close rehashing of the original piece.

So, big deal, right? Local paper does crappy rewrite of national story with local tie-in. Happens all the time.

But then why in tarnation did the Journal ignore the story about a Lansing native who fabricated a number of memoirs that received national recognition? Let's review: Lansing native makes national news for fabricating books read by people all over the country; scientist uncovers scandal in the very small world of ornithology and then moves to Lansing afterward. Which one sounds more newsworthy to you?

I have to assume that the Journal's leadership:

  • Never knew about the story
  • Was scared away by its putting a native in such a negative light
  • Or balked at localizing such a complex story

Whatever the truth, it's a gross oversight, and it's pathetic.

Remember that Lansing's alt-weekly, City Pulse, finally got around to doing that story -- adding original reporting in the process. Unfortunately, it's not on the paper's site anymore. But the writer did a bang-up job.

So accept my apologies for going on about this, but it drives me to distraction. My hometown deserves better daily news coverage.

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Dig this fascinating story sent along by Dr. Kraputnik. Guess I should remove that MySpace photo of me covered in whipped cream and sardines.

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Congratulations to Chrysalis' Lauren Marra, who will be installing herself in Washington, D.C., in a few weeks. I'm not sure how Liz and I will soldier on, but we'll make it somehow.

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I am the last person on Earth to not care about the World Cup. It's lonely down here.

3 comments:

is there a doctor in the house? said...

how did i go from dr. hotnuts to dr. kraputnik? revisionist history, methinks!

Craig said...

You've obviously never read Mad magazine.

trapper john, md said...

uh, duh. obviously.