“SPITZER IS LINKED TO PROSTITUTION RING” So reads a New York Times headine, similar to dozens of other newspaper headlines around the country. Spectacular headline writing, but what does it mean. Is Elliot Spitzer running a brothel? Sounds like it.
Why not “SPTZER CAUGHT USING SERVICES OF A PROSTITUTE? Straight and to the point with little chance for misunderstanding. Of course, it doesn’t make as much of a splash.
The difference between these two headlines covering the same set of facts accurately mirrors the two sets of public reactions. The actual Times headline leads to people calling Spitzer an “arrogant sicko,” a “hypocrite,” a man who “believes himself to be above the law” and similar silly comments.
For God’s sake! Arrogant? Name me a Governor or a Senator or a President who is not arrogant For that matter, name me a C.E.O. or a large corporation or a famous Hollywood figure who is not arrogant. It goes with the job.
Hypocrite? Anyone who gets elected is a hypocrite. The public demands it. Politicians who tell the complete truth just don’t get your vote. Ask Senator McCane how many votes he will lose if he continues to back an intelligent and fair approach to integrating illegal aliens into our society.
Above the law? Are you kidding? Do the millions of men who cheat on their wives with prostitutes or girl friends really believe that they are above the law? Nonsense! They are actually obeying natural laws –– the law of horniness or the law that success breeds the constant need for excitement and attention.
Members of the public who read my suggested (and more accurate) headline respond with more temperate language to describe Spitzer’s indiscretion.
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