Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I don't think Gil Student's complaint in Hirhurim and Copyright (he used Creative Commons License) was aimed at me (I hope not), for my response to his post, regarding vav haChibbur vs. vav haHippuch. From his posting in the comments, it seems it was just the publishing of a blog-post of his in Yated. Two of the three conditions I certainly pass. (I did attribute the work properly, and did not use it for commercial purposes.) Whether commenting on the work, while citing a short post in full, is "building on it" - perhaps.

I disliked the New York Times' coverage of the shooting by Zada. In all the articles I've seen, they describe his death as follows. Here:
Four were killed and at least a dozen wounded before an angry crowd beat the gunman to death, according to Israeli authorities and witnesses.
or here:
At least a dozen others were wounded before Mr. Zada was beaten to death by hundreds of residents who stormed the bus.
The implication of this is that the crowd beating him to death was shat stopped him from killing. In fact, he was handcuffed (by police), after being subdued by the crowd. Only afterwards did the crowd lynch him.
A security officer said he had handcuffed the attacker after he had emptied his gun clip, but within minutes, the crowd reached him to take revenge. Several policemen who arrived on the scene to restore order were also injured.
The Times omits this, and the way they summarize the events ("before an angry crowd beat the gunman to death") in a way that both interpretations fit the word ("after all, this was chronologically before they beat him to death") leads me to suspect this is deliberate obfuscation, rather than their not having this information.

Another New York Times article in which obfuscation for politeness leads to lack of clarity was about Novak's use of a barnyard expletive on CNN:

The heated exchange occurred in a minidebate between Mr. Carville and Mr. Novak over the possibility that Representative Katherine Harris of Florida, that state's former secretary of state, could win the Republican nomination for a Senate seat.

"She might get elected," Mr. Novak said.

After Mr. Carville tried to interrupt Mr. Novak twice, Mr. Novak said: "I know you hate to hear me. But you have to."

Mr. Carville interrupted again, saying of Mr. Novak, "He's got to show these right-wingers that he's got backbone."

A moment later, Mr. Carville said directly to Mr. Novak: "The Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show them you're tough."

Mr. Novak responded with a profanity, before telling Mr. Carville: "I hate that. Just let it go."

He stood up, removed his microphone and walked off.

One might think the expletive ("Mr. Novak responded with a profanity") was the F-word or S-word, and was directed at Carville. Actually, as is clear from other papers, what he said was "That's bull----." Knowing this puts a very different perspective on his use of the profanity, but presumably the author and editor, who knew what Novak said, did not realize how their summary introduced ambiguity and changed the meaning of the event described in the article.

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