Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is there a homicidal maniac stalking your child's preschool? Find out below!

Is there a homicidal maniac stalking your child's preschool? No.

Cheap right? Something that local news does all the time right? Yet now, twice in two days, Showbizdata (or whomever writes the stories on that site and the Studio Briefing on the IMDB) has engaged in this kind of bait and switch.

First, they had a headline proclaiming: 'Can Knight Beat Titanic?'. Of course the story eventually came to the (correct) conclusion that The Dark Knight has no chance of unseating Titanic as the top domestic grossing film in history. Basically, they are advertising a falsehood and then debunking said falsehood at the very bottom of the story. So, the answer is 'nope, but we wanted you to click on the link'.

Now, today, we have a headline stating: 'If It's Wednesday, It Must Be Friday'. This one again deals with the erroneous assumption that studios are now beginning to open many of their films on a Wednesday instead of Friday. Ironically, at the very end of the article, gives a very specific and reasonable explanation for why these last two weeks have seen major Wednesday openings (the studios want to get a few more extra days in before the school year starts up again). So, you have a headline advertising a falsehood, then have an article trumpeting said falsehood, then at the very end of your article, you basically disprove said falsehood (talk about burying the lead).

Scott Mendelson

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