The headline versus the story

I often find that there can be a disparity between what a headline says, and what the contents are within the story. In some cases, this is referred to as “burying the lede”, in where the headline information is either burying deep within a distant paragraph, or in some cases, including information that refutes the headline as a castaway sentence.

However, there is this other thing I find in where a story’s headline seems to be secondary to the actual story that is important. Take, for instance, the recent address by United States President Donald Trump to the UN General Assembly, in where he was openly laughed at.

If you were to read the headline, you’d sigh and resign yourself to the known fact that Trump is a buffoon and has somehow, yet again, self-flagellated on the world stage. The story itself is littered with descriptions of how the world seemingly mocked him, along with Reactions From Twitter that reinforced this notion.

But, there are some aspects to his speech that warrant some discussion, and even would suggest that he didn’t completely muff the entire thing up. Please note that I write this as someone who actually hasn’t viewed the President’s routine in front of the UN, and the story I linked certainly doesn’t compel me to watch.

Consider some excerpts posted in the article:

He also talked up his administration’s relationship with North Korea and its progress towards denuclearisation.

“I would like to thank Chairman Kim for his courage and for the steps that he’s taken — though more work remains to be done,” Mr Trump said, noting existing “sanctions will remain in place until denuclearisation occurs.”

So, aside from acknowledging a despot, isn’t the continued pressure to denuclearise the Korean peninsula a good thing?

Mr Trump declared that the “bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have been driven out of the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria,” and he called for a “political solution” in the latter country that reflects “the will of the Syrian people.”

Seeing as the insurgence of ISIS is what created the refugee crisis with people fleeing Syria, isn’t progress to nullify the influence of the known terror group another success? Certainly refugees fleeing would like to see that their homeland has loosened the grip of the problem that caused their initial flee in the first place?

And he delivered a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying the United States “will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime.”

Right, so we mock someone who is stating that there are severe repercussions for, you know, perpetrating a war crime?

Mr Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take a “hard look” at US foreign assistance, saying that the US is the world’s largest donor of foreign aid “but few give anything to us.”

He said the review will examine what is working and what is not working and whether countries that receive US aid “have our interests at heart.”

Didn’t Trump go to an election on a platform of “America First”? Look back a decade, and I distinctly remember much tut-tutting over a United States that considered itself a World Police, and meddling in affairs of other sovereign nations, yet now we laugh because the President wants to be insular?

But no, let’s publish the intellectual waste that gets posted on Twitter and call that news.

Twitter being snarky is not news. In fact, it is such a passe notion, I’m surprised it ever get reported at all. But I guess having major news sources pull quotes from Twitter only serves to fuel Twitter users into trying to make the snarkiest snark and the belly-aching gotcha.

I’m sure I’ve said it before on this blog, but the media really need to step up their game. they need to do better. the issues, it appears, are being missed in favour of entertainment. If the media don’t want to be seen as untrustworthy hacks, then perhaps they’d better try being a little more trustworthy, rather than reporting tweets.

Because, at the moment, I’m pretty sure if a nuclear holocaust suddenly broke out, the news would report that Twitter collectively pointed at the bombs and lolled.

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