Thursday, July 14, 2011

Something doesn't add up here.

Unfortunately, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (speaking of places that need to hire my husband) thinks so much of its stories that they have a paywall, so I'll have to excerpt most of the story here.  Thank goodness for that BS ruling that reprinting an entire story can count as fair use. 

Road Rage
Woman in 'Vette flashes weapon
New Braunfels Police: No charges will be filed

Well...y'all see the issue already, right?  (You're smart.)

The story:

During a traffic altercation last weekend in New Braunfels, a woman who said she felt threatened by a male driver flashed a gun at the man and drove off, police said.

Lt. John Wells of New Braunfels Police Department said officers investigated and determined no charges were warranted.  No one was hurt.

Wells said the man called police about 7:45 p.m. Saturday and reported a woman in a Corvette showed him a gun after cutting him off at a traffic light.  Police tracked down the woman and found a handgun in plain sight on her car seat, Wells said, adding that driving with a gun in plain view is legal.

Officers questioned the man, the woman and the woman's female passenger and got similar stories from all, Wells said.

According to Wells, the man tried to get over in front of the woman but the woman wouldn't allow it, angering the man.  The man began to make hand gestures and drive aggressively around the woman, frightening her.  The female driver held up a silver and black handgun, and the man pulled over to get away from the women.

He then called 9-1-1.

The man told police the women never pointed the gun at him and so he wanted to file no charges.  The female driver said she only raised the gun after feeling that the man threatned her and she too wanted to file no charges.

Well said police took the drivers' information and filed a report but no charges.

So...Where to start?

I keep going back to this, I know, but here's the thing: My high school Journalism teacher would never have let this shit fly.  Had I tried to stick such an obviously-misleading headline on a story, I'd have gotten a big fat F and probably a smack upside the head.  It sure as hell would never have seen print.  Am I asking too much to expect a level of professionalism from the New Braunfels paper that at least matches that of my high school paper?

This is a pathetic sort of editorializing that has no place in journalism at all, let alone on the front page of a city's newspaper.  Also?  I realize NB isn't exactly the big city, but for fuck's sake what is a nearly week old story doing on the front page to begin with?

Ugh.  Just, ugh.  Full disclosure: Erik actually applied for a job with these folks in 2009 & wasn't hired.  At the time, I thought he'd accidentally insulted the managing editor by saying one of his past editors had taught him to not use the same template over & over in page design.  This might be true--the page design is amateurish.  More & more, though, I'm thinking he was just a little bit too skilled to fit in with their corporate culture.


Anonymous said...

And don't even get me started on that hideous sans serif font. I learned back in my college desktop publishing class that sans serifs were bad for body copy because they were hard on the eyes. And that's new for them! They didn't have that when I applied for that open position.

Bob S. said...

I guess the bias might be showing just a little bit, eh.

I probably would have titled it "Woman uses firearm to stop road rage incident" but that is just me going on the facts of the story.

Dave said...

It would have been much better if they had just said, "Woman in 'Vette Flashes". It would have been just as accurate.