I knew it had to be: there are issues besides electroshock in which the media uses a template. Roger Kimball has sorted it out:
1. Prissy introductory sentence or two noting that Mr. McCain has a reputation [read â€œunearned reputationâ€] for taking the ethical high road on issues like campaign finance reform.
2. â€œThe-Times-has-learnedâ€ sentence intimating some tort or misbehavior.
3. A paragraph or two of exposition that simultaneously reveals that a) Mr. McCain actually didnâ€™t do anything wrong but b) he would have if only the law had been different and besides everyone knows he is guilty in spirit.
A couple of months ago, I started a content analysis of media stories on shock. I need to finish that, because it looked like I wasn’t off-base when I said mainstream media (okay, alternative media as well) tends to follow a template when it comes to shock articles.
That’s just plain fun that Roger Kimball has figured out the NY Times’ blueprint so well. Love it!