The Daily(ish) Review

Consuming Journalism: Fox News at it again

Mariah Haas and Fox News put the power of their platform to a subtly vicious use in an article about former Mighty Ducks star Shaun Weiss' arrest for public intoxication. According to the article, "“Mighty Ducks” star Shaun Weiss was arrested for public intoxication over the weekend." That would put the arrest on 4 or 5 August 2018.

I've never seen Mighty Ducks, and I'm not familiar with Shaun Weiss. Personally, I don't think the subject warrants an article at a major U.S. news site, but it's 2018, that ship has long since sailed. Fair enough, report the article. The part I didn't like is that Haas and Fox seem to take particular glee in Weiss' circumstances, showing what appears to be a photo of a younger, healthier Weiss next to what I presume is a more current, less flattering photo that suggests harder times. I hesitated including the photos here, but I think it demonstrates Fox's pettiness and unnecessary cruelty.

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Verdict: I can't think of any news value for including the two photographs. Fox News might argue that readers might have difficulty putting a face to the name if their memory of Weiss is from his movie star days, but I think that would be a questionable rationalization. No, I think Fox News wanted to show us a Hollywood Star's fall from a once lofty perch. Fox News also knows that too many of us will find some twisted comfort in seeing someone else's plight. You know what they say about karma...

Side note: Haas used "pled" in the article. I've seen the debate about pled vs. pleaded come up a lot recently. Here's what Above the Law's Grammar Pole of the Weak (clever title) had to say about the issue.

What is the preferred past tense form for the verb plead — pleaded or pled?

We actually covered this issue in 2008. Back then, Lat noted that he used pleaded because he felt it “better captured the ‘past-ness’ of the event.” But what did the readers think? 62.5% of those who voted in our poll said that they preferred using pled.

And while pled may be the preferred usage, Grammarist notes that pleaded is the standard form:

Pleaded is the standard past-tense and past-participial form of the verb plea. Pled has always been considered incorrect by usage authorities, but it’s so common that we have to accept it. … But because pleaded is much more common and is unanimously accepted by all dictionaries and usage authorities, it is safer than pled. And it should be noted that pleaded is preferred by an especially wide margin in publications known for high editorial standards.
— https://abovethelaw.com/2011/12/grammer-pole-of-the-weak-pleaded-v-pled/