Florida governor Ron DeSantis recently took off from Miami and spotted a bunch of people frolicking on the beach below. Normally, it would be just another day at the beach, but Florida has reported nearly 7,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, that number is growing fast, and beaches in its southeastern counties are all supposed to be closed. Everybody out and about at this point is just looking to kill or be killed (or both).
Now, shutting down just a few counties in the state because they contain fully 60% of Florida’s known cases reflects a reckless misunderstanding of how this disease spreads, but I’m here for a different reason. The Washington Post reports that DeSantis bemoaned the fact that there is “‘not really any more you can do in those counties,’ pointing to the state’s efforts to provide additional testing, close nonessential businesses, and dissuade people from leaving their homes.”
Nothing more to do? That clearly isn’t true. Some Florida counties have taken some initiative and threatened violators with monetary fines, following an example set in other states and even other countries. And that’s just one step beyond the current policy of politely asking.
But in fairness to Governor DeSantis, even states that have taken the pandemic far more seriously than Florida are struggling to enforce their new normal. Washington governor Jay Inslee, presiding over a rare potential coronavirus success in the United States, isn’t quite sure how to handle people who have simply ignored his calls to stay home. Per yesterday’s Seattle Times:
Continue reading A modest proposal for governors who can’t figure out how to shut down their crowds
Here’s a simple rule reputable media publications should follow, with absolutely no exceptions: If you’re going to reproduce a third party’s factual assertion, you must provide immediate clarification whenever said factual assertion is false. The alternative – that is, current practice – makes it far too easy for the subject of a news story to hijack the vehicle you provide for his or her own ends.
Because I don’t want to turn the hunt for truth into a partisan issue, I’ll give an innocuous example of how this ought to be done. On Saturday morning, the Seattle Times published an editorial by columnist Larry Stone that touched on what a potential Sounders victory in the MLS Cup could do for the franchise in its home city:
Continue reading A simple proposal to normalize fact-checking
I’ve already published two pieces tonight titled Corrigendum for the Seattle Times’ “12th Fan of the week” and Corrigendum for the Seattle Times’ “12th grammar Nazi”. I thought it would be nice to add one more to the collection before I went to bed: As you can see, this post is intended as a corrigendum for the Seattle Times itself.
Here is the very last paragraph of an article by Jayson Jenks that appeared in today’s paper, titled “Shhh! Here’s the secret behind Seahawks’ 8-game win streak“:
Continue reading Corrigendum for the Seattle Times, period.
FOX Business was rightly panned a few weeks ago for airing a report that Super Bowl attendance was expected to decrease this year, and that ticket prices were falling as a result. FOX blamed the lack of interest on the slate of playoff teams (at the time: New England, Indianapolis, Seattle, Green Bay) as well as on people choosing to attend Super Bowl parties instead of the actual Super Bowl.
I don’t need to rehearse all the reasons the segment’s two reporters (as well as its writers, producers, etc.) should be fed to ISIS, but in brief: Super Bowl attendance is purely a function of stadium size, and a smaller stadium likely indicates that ticket prices are expected to be higher, not that fewer people are interested in attending. (Not accidentally, the two teams that made the Super Bowl also happen to boast the highest average ticket prices in the NFL this season.)
Continue reading Blame the Super Bowl ticket debacle on FOX Business
I feel considerably less trepidation about correcting the “12th grammar Nazi” than I did when I recently wrote about the “12th fan of the week“, for (hopefully) obvious reasons.
You see, almost exactly two weeks ago, someone felt the need to write into the Seattle Times to make the following complaint:
Continue reading Corrigendum for the Seattle Times’ “12th grammar Nazi”
I hate to do this to a fellow 12th (wo)man, but I feel it’s important to set the record straight. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Seattle Times has yet to profile me for its adorable segment titled “12th Fan of the Week”, which featured Hillary Carpenter, of Concepcion, Chile, a few weeks back. Here are some highlights:
Continue reading Corrigendum for the Seattle Times’ “12th Fan of the week”
So about that earlier post — titled “The New York Times inexplicably chopped this quote in half” — which accused the Times of twisting Seahawks DE Michael Bennett’s words: Mea cul…pass (?)* It turns out that when I wrote it (at some point between 3 and 4 AM), I somehow failed to notice that the gap between the NY Times and the quote I remembered was wider than I thought.**
Continue reading How did Michael Bennett explain his bike-thievery anyway?
The New York Times has an inexplicable love for the city of Seattle. I’ve documented one measure of it here, and could give other examples if prompted. But that’s not what this post is about — this is about a rare instance in which the Grey Lady voluntarily shifted focus away the Grey City.
Here’s what the Times published in its account of the Seahawks’ miraculous victory over the Packers on Sunday in Seattle:
Continue reading The New York Times inexplicably chopped this quote in half
On Opening Night of their 2014 season, the Seattle Mariners hosted a number of recently-anointed World Champion Seattle Seahawks. It was, by all accounts, awkward. As the Seattle Times noted, the Hawks received louder cheers than the real home team, and the words “SEA” and “HAWKS” reverberated throughout Safeco Field all night long.
The outcome of that encounter should not really have come as much of a surprise: the Hawks recently captivated the city of Seattle, while the Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011. Compounding matters, while the Mariners front office recently suffered a hit job at the hands of Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times — who painted a picture of dysfunction from top to bottom across the organization — the Seahawks offer the cutting-edge blueprint for success in the NFL:
Continue reading The Green Bay Packers couldn’t even beat the Seattle Mariners
Late last week, the Seattle Times published the results of a survey it conducted regarding various Seattle Seahawks. In order to complete the survey, it asked eleven of them a series of questions. I’m not going to devote any space to criticizing the underlying methodology, because this exercise was intrinsically dumb. But one question was dumber than the rest, and it is the subject of this post.
Continue reading The silliest question from the Seattle Times’ survey of eleven Seahawks