News that fits: Less snark, better verbs
I find it difficult to argue against my conservative associates regarding bias in the media as a whole and The Post in particular when I read such transparently opinionated language as in the Sept. 6 news article “Trump punts to Congress, but issue will return to his desk.”
Whereas President Trump attracted legitimate criticism for proposing a unilateral termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, the article characterized returning the issue to Congress for reconsideration as “shunting responsibility.” The article described the decision to defer to legislative process as underscoring “internal paralysis,” a “decision not to be the one who decides” and a “punt.”
The underlying thesis — that the White House decision-making process seems tortured and even turbulent — was fair, but putting the president in a no-win situation on the question of engaging Congress in an important immigration question was not. I expect this kind of snark in the opinion section, not news reporting. Such language only reinforces contentions by conservatives that members of the media bias their coverage of the president unfairly.
Paul Owen, Lorton
What’s with the media’s verbs these days? In particular, what’s with The Post’s infatuation with “lashed”? On Sept. 6, it was in the news headline “Putin lashes out at U.S. as rift widens.” It has appeared in many articles about politics, particularly those about President Trump.
But “lash” isn’t the only verb that seems wrong and overused. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the “lashed” article, “swatted away” a question. I saw a video of Putin’s news conference, and while he indeed called that question “naive,” he didn’t seem very violent in his response.
Likewise, while I usually don’t care for Trump’s language — I think he disputes assertions and criticizes people — but, try as I might, I can’t really recall him lashing anyone or anything.
The Post should eliminate supposedly “colorful” language that is inappropriate and, more important, inaccurate.
Phil Jones, Montgomery Village