Friday, April 15

Digital Media

M*lk*n is all over the finger-in-the-chili story, wah wah wah, serial litigator, boo hoo hoo poor Wendy's. You'd think that recent events might make her a bit more reticent about jumping all over a story before the facts are in, but that's your problem right there. Thinking.

First, let me make it plain: there are people who try to prey on businesses that way. Restaurants are particularly vulnerable. The word for such people is criminals, and that's how they should be treated when caught.

But if we want to talk about the effects of bad publicity on the Wendy's Corporation then it's another group we're discussing. They're called The Media. And yes, our M*chelle likes to bash them too. But in neither instance is she interested in more than a temporal political gain, which is roughly equivalent to the scoop mentality that brought the problem on in the first place. Okay, a finger tip in somebody's food has its ghoulish charms. But there's such a thing as understanding the layout here. You can't tell me that reporters, or editors, are completely unaware of the concept of frivolous lawsuits. Hell, they're happy to tout the story every time Bush brings it up. Nobody at Wendy's claimed the finger, and it was likely clear to the untrained eye the thing wasn't fresh. So you've got a story with only a couple possibilities: either the woman, or someone else, maliciously put it in her provender, or it came from somewhere back along the supply chain. In either case that's a rather considerable argument for keeping your powder dry until the facts are in. But that didn't happen. It rarely happens. And M*chelle's okay with that so long as the papers are whoring the latest White House distortion or school-board removal of somebody's flag decal.

If M*lk*n wants to confront that issue, fine. There must be a couple of windows left in that glass house she inhabits. And if she wants to tell us all that she herself would stand on principle and not sue faster than Dan "Million Dollar Paper Cut" Burton if she found something human floating in her soup, I'll believe her. But the idea that some tabloidized incident of criminal behavior makes a grand statement about genuine liability claims is just right-wing moonshine. The principle is old enough that it comes to us in Latin: abusus non tollit usum. The Romans didn't have a catchy phrase for "bad anecdotes don't make good arguments" but then they didn't know M*chelle.

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