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Thread started by Dave Winer on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

I thought "stench" was real

Now it turns out that Roger Simon's piece about Paul Ryan and the Stench was supposed to be a joke. A few observations.

1. I read the piece, linked to it from my linkblog, even posted a link to a Google News search for the word "stench" because I thought it was historic. Like Sarah Palin going rogue in 2008.

2. It doesn't say it's satire, and Simon is not a satirist.

3. This is why it's wrong to run April Fools stories, as has become a tradition in the tech world. They're never funny, and you're rarely surprised, and if you are -- is that something a reporter really wants to do to someone who reads them? It would be like a programmer deliberately making software lose data. Not just appear to lose data, and not an accidental bug, but really throw the data away, as some kind of joke.

4. We don't read Politico for this kind of fun. Had it been on The Daily Show or The Onion, we would have known to discount it. But they wouldn't have run it, because it's not funny.

5. News should struggle to be plain and straight, so we get the information, so we don't have to hunt for it. It's amazing how many times you read a story and they leave out the one thing you would need to know if to act on it. For example, a preview of a football game that doesn't tell you what network it's broadcast on and at what time. Happens far too often.

6. News itself should not be the story. What arrogance of Simon to think we care what he thinks is funny. If he wants to be a satirist become one.

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