Hearsay

Here’s what some are saying and how that’s headline material for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

  • Both sides fear “stealth” nominee, observers say

    One wonders what observers these are. International appointment observers? Professional observers? I know it doesn’t include me, because the Post-Dispatch never asked. But then, citizens are not engaged observers and independent thinkers. They’re children to whom the press must explain things like they really are, not how they are portrayed on Fox News.

  • Ranchers don’t always report cattle diseases, some say

    Some ranchers? Some cattle diseases? No, wait, the “some” does refer to ranchers. Some ranchers say the other ranchers do illegal things. Why would businessmen say ill things about their competitors? Who cares, it’s news!

  • Man kills himself after standoff, police say

    Of course, the Post-Dispatch wants you to know that what follows is only the police story; actually, it’s entirely possible that the police shot him dead with his own gun or that a Republican strangled the man and staged the whole crime to cover it up and used illegal capitalist profit to buy off the police. So of course the police would say it was attempted murder-successful suicide.

  • Iran’s president-elect wasn’t hostage taker, ex-secret agent says

    Of course, that’s Saeed Hajjarian, a top adviser to outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, so we have an Iranian ex-secret agent defending the newly-minted (and not elected) Iranian president. But the Post-Dispatch has conveyed as much gravitas as it can on the report by noting that
    it’s a secret agent and someone who would know. Theirs, ours, it’s all the same to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  • Vote fraud verdict won’t change results of Nov. 2 election, officials say

    Of course not, as a Democrat was elected. However, the story only seems to quote one official, and he says “I think it would be really difficult for a losing candidate to get a judge to overrule the election code,” which is a far sight from won’t. Perhaps the other officials said won’t. Perhaps it was just the headline writer.

So does the St. Louis Post-Dispatch include or alter the “x says” portion of its headlines to flavor the following story? Eh, who knows. All I know is that they waste an awful lot of words on he-said, she-said, they-said.