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In his subscribers-only Sunday night post, Jack Baruth takes issue with a certain headline style:

I’m a hick. These headlines are annoying to me

Post-Indycar, your humble author was idly scrolling through the headlines of the week on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, when my attention was caught by the simultaneous appearance of these headlines on MSNBC’s front page:

I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway.
I’m a meteorologist. Hurricane Beryl’s ‘Armageddon-like’ destruction scares me.
I helped prosecute Watergate. The Supreme Court just proved Richard Nixon right.

This phrasing simply doesn’t exist on Fox, the WSJ, or even at the NYT. Why is it omnipresent at MSNBC?

I don’t read MSNBC.com, so I have not seen it there, but it’s also prevalent at the New York Post and the British tabs I read.

I think it’s prevalent because these stories sum up TikTok videos generally, and the content producer has but one or two seconds to establish credibility before going into the Impossible meat of their three-minute wisdom.

But enough about this; let’s get to the real headline sin of our time:

breaks silence

After so many events, we get headlines about someone “breaking silence” about it, whether it’s some stoopid music/celebrity “feud” or an actual news story where someone noteworthy issues a statement after a reasonable period of time (like hours) after the initial Internet headline.

It’s the “I know, right?” of our age, and I will not miss it when it’s gone.

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