Skip to comments.Satire on Patsy Cline Trips Up Columnist (Liberal Press Reads Conservative News, and Plagarizes It!)
Posted on 05/27/2002 9:49:51 PM PDT by Timesink
f ever a news item cried out for attention, it was the one that appeared on April 9 on the Web site of the Cybercast News Service. Entitled "Patsy Cline Music Deemed `Dangerous' to Women," the article reported the latest findings of social science: "A top researcher says a new study strongly suggests the music of country singer Patsy Cline contributes to depression, suicide and violent behavior by women."
Ten days ago, the work of Dover Smeed found that larger audience. Lawrence Hall, a columnist for The Star-Ledger in Newark, used cnsnews.com's account of the work by "Dr. Lenore Morose, head of the Womyn's Studies Department at Radcliffe College" as the basis for a scathing column about victimology.
"The aptly named Morose," he wrote, "suggests that many of the 43 women on death row in this country may have listened to Cline's music before commmitting murder," a conclusion Mr. Hall called "ridiculous."
He was more right than he could have imagined. Mr. Hall had failed to notice that the piece was labeled a satire. Radcliffe's Lenore Morose does not exist. Neither does her report, nor the supposedly outraged feminist Pat Coprolite, whose surname is the scientific term for fossilized dinosaur droppings.
As a result of his oversight, Mr. Hall took at face value some of Dr. Morose's more outlandish findings, like the "fact" that 11 of the dozen songs on Ms. Cline's "Greatest Hits" album had themes of "obsessive behavior, inconsolable anxiety, creeping insanity and revenge."
So what if the number of depressing songs was so high? Mr. Hall wrote. "Billie Holiday's voice cracked with all the pain of her experience. Still, I've never heard of any women jumping from a window after listening to her."
Dover Smeed, who is the alter ego of Cybercast's executive editor, Scott Horgenson, said that he had "a lot of mixed emotions" about The Star-Ledger's lifting of his satire. He added, "It was maddening. But it was kind of funny."
Not for Jim Willse, editor of The Star-Ledger, an Advance Publications paper. "It was sloppy and embarrassing," Mr. Willse said. "The author is a more conscientious and wiser man as a result of the experience." As for consequences, he said: "We've had a conversation of some intensity. That's about it." Mr. Hall did not return a call requesting comment.
Here's the original article, clearly marked "satire." Here's the CNSNews story on the Newark Star-Ledger columnist copying the story, and here's a paragraph-by-paragraph comparison of the CNS piece and the columnist's piece.
The headlines on the lamestream media's TV and print outlets are often just the DNC's press releases from the day previously.