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Save the Children of Chicago from Beef and Pee

May 22nd, 2009 (01:51 pm)

current mood: amused

Don't you just love those teeny-print headlines across the bottom of the screen when you watch the news? I'm particularly amused at the way they sometimes interact with the larger headline of the story that's actually being covered at the moment, the one that's printed across the screen just above the little headline scroll. Often, it looks as if the little headline is there to add information to the larger story, though of course it's a different story altogether. Sometimes the combination of the two headlines is just incongruous; at other times it can be misleading, hilarious, or downright offensive.

Today the television at the diner where I was eating lunch showed CNN. The current story being reported on was about a wave of crime in Chicago that is leaving disproportionate numbers of young people dead. At the same time, a small headline at the bottom of the screen, just beneath it, reported on a meat recall. The combination:

Killing Children in Chicago
Nearly 96,000 pounds of beef recalled

A moment later, the crimes-against-children story was still playing, but now the little headline beneath it was a fluff story about the problems posed by kids peeing in public swimming pools. Now it read as follows:

Killing Children in Chicago
Tinkling in the pool causes disgust and discomfort

If you were watching with the sound turned off, would you think Chicago was facing a major outbreak of children dying from tainted beef on their plates and pee in their swimming pools? Or is it just me?

We won't even get into how awful the "Killing Children" and "Tinkling in the Pool" headlines really are.