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Yes, readers, sometimes my titles don’t work as well as I’d like

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:59 pm - April 17, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Random Thoughts

A comment from a reader caught in our spam filter reminded me of a post I had written nearly three years ago when I noted that sometimes my titles don’t quite fit the posts to which I attach them:

. . . many of my titles don’t perfectly fit the post to which they’re attached (and then sometimes our critics respond to the title and not the post).  Or don’t get at the essence of the idea I’m trying to express.  Other times, however, the title comes with the post idea and on occasion has preceded it.  More often than not, as last night, I’m just eager to find something that will work so I can get the post up and get on with my day (or move on to another post).

Yesterday, in the title to a post, I asked whether class warfare rhetoric ever won an (American) election. In the comments, a(n apparently) new reader (at least a new commenter) offered:

Now, if the question is, “Has there ever been a time when a legitimately lower class presidential candidate has defeated a legitimately upper class candidate by employing class warfare rhetoric?” than I’m sure I have no idea, but that’s different enough from what you actually asked. . . .

He’s partially right.  The issue I raised in the text of the post related not so much to class warfare rhetoric per se, but to Democrats making an issue of the presumptive Republican nominee’s wealth.  A more accurate (yet less mellifluous) title would read:  “Has attacking a candidate’s wealth ever won an (American election?”

The irony in all this is that, in most cases, I attach the title last (after having written the post) and you see it first (before reading the post).  And sometimes I give the title less thought than I do the post, more eager to find something (hopefully catchy and which fits on one line) so I can complete the post.

And sometimes, as in this case, the title of the post doesn’t accurately reflect its content.

Americans prefer budget cuts as means to cutting deficits;
media prefer Obama as candidate in general election

Take a gander at Yahoo!’s headlines in this screenshot I took at 10:24 PST (1:24 GayPatriot blog time):

Note the last one. By clicking on that headline, we don’t get a news story, but an opinion piece by a former official in the Carter administration. Just took one google search to determine Mr. Shapiro’s politics. Yeah, his USA Today bio claims that “Since 1979, his only partisan activity has been voting”, but the tone of his column suggests otherwise.

Perhaps, Yahoo!’s editors includes that column in their headlines because they wanted to balance out yet another poll (and this one which tends to lean left) showing that American prefer budget cuts to spending hikes as a means to reduce the deficit: “Cutting government programs is favored as the way to reduce the budget deficit by more than twice as many Americans as those who favor raising taxes, said a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

As per the last headline, expect more such coverage of Romney, with various media outlets styling opinion pieces critical of the presumptive Republican nominee and praising the Democrat as news.  But, the Reuters/Ipsos poll shows us just how out of touch is the incumbent, a Democrat who, since his election, has favored increasing government programs — even after voters repudiated this approach in the 2010 elections.

Conservative Superhero?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:57 am - April 17, 2012.
Filed under: Civil Discourse

(H/t: Our webmaster Dr. Froyd, Sean Froyd)