WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2023
Or within your "national discourse:" Admittedly, this topic can seem to get old.
That said, we were struck again today when we traveled to the remarkable web site of the (online) Washington Post.
It was 10:45 a.m. The first three reports on the (online) paper's front page could be reached by clicking on these headlines:
Election conspiracies behind plot to shoot at Democrats’ homes in N.M., police say
Six Ukrainian officials killed in helicopter crash near Kyiv
Minister Denis Monastyrsky and other top officials were on a helicopter that fell near a kindergarten, killing at least 17 people, including four children
Single-use coffee pods are often better for the environment than regular filters. Yes, it’s true.
A new study of coffee consumption found that using pods can be less wasteful than brewing traditional filter coffee.
The first two reports involved traditional news topics. After that, we were directed to the debate about single-use coffee pods versus the regular filters.
Three more reports were receiving banner treatment at that point in time. The headlines looked like this:
As meetings grow wild, officials try to tame public comment
Across a polarized nation, governing bodies are changing—and sometimes even halting—public comment amid an unprecedented level of invective, misinformation and disorder from citizens.
Cultural limitations have always galvanized Madonna. But this time it’s different.
Madonna pushes against old assumptions about gender and age at a time when the public dialogue can be mean and unforgiving on those very subjects.
The germiest spot in your kitchen? A new study found surprising results.
Bacteria could be lurking in an unexpected spot: your spice drawer.
Disruptions at public meetings might qualify as traditional news. After that, the online Post was peddling germs in your spice drawer, and it was selling Madonna.
This is now standard fare at the online Washington Post. By the way, what sorts of reports are readers of the online Post actually choosing to read?
Right below those six bannered reports, the paper was offering its MOST READ section. At that time, these were three of the five most-read items in the whole of the Washington Post:
MOST READ reports, online Post, 10:45 a.m.:
1) Single-use coffee pods have surprising environmental benefits over other brewing methods
4) Carolyn Hax: Mom friend can’t resist their daughters’ teen dramas
5) Parents across the country share their skepticism over sleepovers
We can't quite parse that Hax headline either. We almost decided to click to Hax just to see what the headline meant.
After that, the Post was offering its DON'T MISS section. As is often the case, the four reports we were told not to miss read a bit like an Onion parody. These were the DON'T MISS headlines:
Is it better to book direct or use an online travel agency?
What the Jan. 6 probe found out about social media, but didn’t report
These common recipe instructions make food safety experts cringe
Ask a Doctor: Are my bowel movements normal?
One of those reports seems to involve traditional news. Meanwhile, the online Post just can't seem to quit that evergreen report about your bowel movements.
It seemed to us that the online Post was even more dumbnified than usual at that time this morning. Before we reached the online WORLD news section, we had to scroll our way through these proffered distractions:
Five reports in the online SPORTS section. Six more reports in online ADVICE.
Five reports in the online LIFESTYLE section. All those very soft reports, followed by four reports in the online FOOD section!
The online reader had to scroll past all those distractions before he hit the online paper's WORLD section. Finally, the reader was allowed to consider the Post's idea of world news.
As this dumbnification proceeds, we remain amazed by a pair of facts:
We're amazed by the simple fact that this profit-seeking dumbnification is actually taking place. Also, we're amazed by the fact that this dumbnification project has gone completely unnoticed and unmentioned.
Germs may be lurking in your spice drawer! Also, a cancer may be growing on your "national discourse" at the (online) Post.