Headlines You May Have Missed

I know the major media are shrinking fast, and I’ve lost count of how many rounds of buyouts the Washington Post has gone through.  But apparently the latest round has thinned the ranks of headline writers and copy editors.

Saturday’s Post—the print edition anyway—had the following stop-the-presses headlines in the first section: “Cheney Praises Advances in Cardiology.”  Boy, that must have been a difficult story to report.  Who would have predicted that.  Or how about this one, on page 3: “Secret Service Issues New Rules for Foreign Trips.”  Ya think?  Another stunner.

But the Post’s story yesterday about how environmental groups are squabbling over cleanup strategies for the Chesapeake Bay is the most fun, because of the lede:

“For more than a decade, the Potomac Riverkeeper organization has been that ant that tried to move a rubber tree plant, taking on large corporate polluters in high hopes of one day cleaning the Chesapeake Bay.”

At first I thought “that ant that tried to move a rubber tree” was a goofy affectation that slipped by the copy editor, until on second thought I recognized its subtle brilliance: about all environmentalists have left these days is recycling old Frank Sinatra tunes about their “High Hopes.”  Of course, the more appropriate Sinatra-rendered song for the greens would be “Here’s To the Losers.”  Such as: “Here’s to those who love not too wisely, know not wisely, but too well.”


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