Friday, April 29, 2011

A royal pain

Just a day after my rant on the uselessness of news, the lead story on Yahoo News is "Britain celebrates monarchy as Kate, William wed." It hammered home the last nail in the coffin of journalism's integrity and credibility for me. Here are a few burning tidbits gleaned from the masterful prose of the "reporter":

The sighting of Middleton's wedding gown — the biggest secret of the day — prompted swoons of admiration as she stepped out of a Rolls-Royce with her father at the abbey. Against all odds, the sun broke through steely gray skies at precisely that moment. 
Her ivory-and-white satin dress — with its plunging neckline, long lacy shoulders and sleeves and a train over 2-meters (yards) long — was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. Middleton's hair was half-up, half-down, decorated with dramatic veil and a tiara on loan from the queen. Her dramatic diamond earrings were a gift from her parents.
I especially liked a quote from Jennie Bond, reportedly a "leading British monarchy expert and royal wedding consultant for The Associated Press": "It's a dream. It is a beautiful laced soft look, which is extremely elegant. She looked stunning." Being a British monarchy expert and royal wedding consultant for AP seems right up there with being a groundhog trainer at the Staten Island Zoo in niche occupations. At least the groundhog trainer has something to point to at the end of the day.

The only thing that would have made the article more irritating would have been if the reporter had tried to weave in the economy and gas prices. Maybe something like:
Her ivory-and-white satin dress -- with its plunging neckline reminiscent of the current global economy...
or
The royal couple smiled broadly as they were driven to Buckingham Palace in the open-topped State Landau, a carriage built in 1902, escorted by four white horses signalling the frugal couple's efforts to cut back on driving due to soaring fuel prices.
What was even more pitiful about the reporting effort to me were the interviews with the sad people who flew halfway around the world to see the royal couple kiss on big screen monitors set up in Trafalgar Square.One woman from Columbus, Georgia proudly exclaimed, "I came for Prince Charles' wedding to Diana and I came for Princess Diana's funeral. We love royalty England and London."

How very sad.

But the icing on one of the worst pieces of reporting I've ever read was this little gem:
And there is no small irony in the sight of Americans waking up before dawn (on the East Coast) or staying up all night (West Coast) after their fellow countrymen fought so fiercely centuries ago to throw off the yoke of the British monarchy and proclaim a country in which all men are created equal.
Excuse me, I need to go throw up now.

1 comment:

Clara said...

I thought my head was going to explode as the "news" coverage that evening flip-flopped between the royal wedding and the tragedy in Alabama after the tornadoes. If news media is a reflection of culture, we are a schizophrenic bunch, indeed.