Sunday, January 01, 2006

Illiterate Headline Writers

One of my pet peeves. Here's the Associated Press Headline:

Bush Defends Domestic Spying Program

The Deb Reichmann story says little. It's very brief and factual, merely reporting some statements by President Bush at Brooke Army Medical Center. Seemingly the only reason for the story is to give the AP a chance to publish the headline.

The headline. "Bush defends domestic spying program." What could be wrong with that? The main thrust of it, that's all. The NSA program whereby international communications are intercepted is directed at communications to and from foreign individuals associated with terrorism. If there are individuals in this country whose communications have been intercepted it's because those individuals have, in some way, been associated with foreign sources of terrorism.

To headline it as a "domestic spying program" is either intentionally misleading, or the headline writer is very poorly informed., to say the least. If the writer believes that "domestic spying program" accurately describes the NSA activities then my headline, "illiterate headline writers," is accurate.

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