Fishwrap Fear

First off, I commend law enforcement officials for their efforts over the past year to diffuse this movie-plot threat while it was still in the planning stage. This is proof investment in investigation pays off more than in airport screenings.

“Several law enforcement officials said, however, there have been no direct threat[s] to the airport and that the suspects had yet to obtain financing or explosives.”

That quote* – buried on A18 of today’s Sunday Strib – proves the story doesn’t belong on the front page. Especially since – also on A18 – a much shorter story (“A Snag in the Plot…”) confirms:

“…the level of catastrophe that may be created is much more limited that most people would expect..” –

Why?

“…jet fuel doesn’t easily explode.”

At startribune.com, the JFK movie-plot threat is the second headline (and falling) in the second section a couple screenviews down. In terms of priority, importance, and relevance, this is where the story belongs.

The asymmetry between the placement as lead story in the print edition and insignificance placement online betrays the actual news-worthiness of the story (none) and the differences between fishwrap news editors and online news editors (apparently, the easily frightened buy fishwrap while the more thoughtful read online).

Lastly, this is the second time in as many days and with as many newspapers where I’ve struggled to find a print-edition story in on a newspaper’s website. Just as I expect retail stores to have symmetrical catalogs between their online and offline offerings, I expect the same from publishers.

*Oddly, I couldn’t find this quote in the online version.

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