Friday, May 29, 2009

For goodness Snakes

The story on WRAL seems harmess enough: snake bites are on the rise in North Carolina. According to the Carolina Poison Control Center, "in April and May of last year ... 102 snake bites were reported. This year, 179 bites have been reported." Okay, check, I get that. But then comes the kicker -- why the increase? Here's the answer:
Experts say one reason snake sightings could be on the rise is construction, which can steer them away from their natural habitat.
Um, hello, "experts"? WE'RE IN A FRIGGIN' RECESSION. Where oh where are you going to find enough new construction from 2008 to 2009 to justify this? And where was the brain of reporter Beau Minnick when he typed this in? I'd love to know who these experts were and where their magic whiteboards showing this amazing increase in construction are.

[Photo above from the Eno River last month. Saw three over the course of two days ... but of course, I was in their backyard, not vice versa.]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What does John McCann have on the Herald-Sun?

It's not enough that the Herald-Sun gives John McCann to spew his nonsensical half-baked ideas. Believe me, I'm all for bile-spewing columnists, I just want ones that actually know how to write. I am appalled by his anti-gay comments -- which keep me from actually subscribing to the paper -- but as Michael Bacon pointed out a few years ago, one of his columns was "not just bad because it is so casually yet stridently anti-gay, but because it adds absolutely nothing to any form of conversation on the issue." (Crap, that was three years ago?)

But with all the budget cuts someone got the bright idea to make McCann a courtroom reporter and the results have just been laughable. In this economy, with media jobs evaporating all around us, does McCann have some naughty photos of Paxton execs somewhere? Otherwise, how do you expain this lede?
The sister of the man who could spend the rest of his life in prison for allegedly slicing the life out of the man whose child she was carrying returned to the witness stand on Wednesday and told jurors the victim drank too much, did drugs and, in fact, was a cocaine dealer.
Nice work, John! Durham is so proud. And note to Paxton: seriously? With all the unemployed newspaper folk in the Triangle and this is one you kept?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Duke Tech!

I was browsing Google News today and a story in the Durham NC section caught my eye. "Duke Tech graduation tonight," read the headline from I e-mailed them a correction and before I could get home to get a screen shot they had changed the headline and the page title, but not the URL, as you can see in the address bar below:
The tags for the page still list Duke even now. Heh.

The irony is that this was apparently just a cut-and-paste from a Durham Tech press release, so did someone at MyNC just decided to shorten Durham to Duke? Weird. But with reporters dropping like flies at the N&O and the Herald-Sun, maybe this is just a sign of the times.