Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Death and Hockey

For some reason, I always read the short bursts of text at the bottom of the Star Tribune's front page. Usually, it's something interesting, even if you don't read the story it refers to inside the issue.

Last Sunday's had two sharing the same space, and I wonder if I'm being too sensitive, but they seemed like a misbegotten combination.

Also inside box from Star Tribune, reading She left home to go to the store. Next: And never returned. Body found in trunk at impound lot is 18-year-old woman. Second headline: Whew! Six overtimes at the X. Girls hockey game goes to wee hours
"She left home to go to the store" seemed pretty general at first, possibly even a headline for a light-hearted story. But the next sentence fragment made it clear that it was about as far from light-hearted as you can get. It's written like a "true crime" headline from a 1950s pulp magazine.

Followed by the most trivial thing of all -- Whew! A really long hockey game! Plus "at the X" and "wee hours" are both informal, conversational phrases that seem completely inappropriate when juxtaposed with the report of a teenager's death.

The way the two headlines are set in the same weight and size can't help but suggest that they're of equal importance, and in this case, that's both misinforming and hurtful.

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