The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > The BBQ Pit

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 04:09 PM
Loach Loach is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Some say you are an unimaginative douche

Any reporter who uses the phrase "Some say.." in an interview should be drawn and quartered *. "Some say you are a Nazi pedophile. How do you respond?" Either you are saying it or just name those that are. Stop being a weasel and just ask real questions.

P.S. I don't give a fuck what the man in the street has to say. Just interview people who may have some actual insight.


* This rule does not apply to those talking about The Stig.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:22 PM
living_in_hell living_in_hell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
"it is my understanding that...I just gave myself permission to say whatever I want to say."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:56 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Just like "some argue" in a Wikipedia page. Nothing but weasel words.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:33 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Some say this is a very weak pit thread.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:34 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,747
Jon Stewart had a great bit on Fox News doing this shit. Some Fox pundit or guest pundit slams Obama or the Democrats over something that no one really cares about. And then Fox News runs stories about the criticism that "some people" are making -- the "some people" being the other Fox employees.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-27-2012, 03:48 PM
Greg Charles Greg Charles is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,391
Speaking of Jon Stewart, the first "Daily Show" bit I really remember was Steve Carrell jumping on McCain's campaign bus (not in 2008 ... probably in 2000) and getting an interview, and doing a "some say" type question about McCain fighting corruption, but actually being the most corrupt member of congress. McCain handled it well with a WTF look, which prompted Carrell to admit he'd just made the whole question up. McCain became a good friend of TDS after that, until 2008 anyway.

That's how I'd handle the question in an interview: look skeptical or indignant and ask, "Who? Who says that?" It puts the questioner on the defensive, rather than you.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-27-2012, 06:42 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Posts: 23,117
What I think of whenever any reporter starts with "Some say":
Quote:
Originally Posted by some English reporter
Some say that his politics are terrifying, and that he once punched a horse to the ground...

Some say that his voice can only be heard by cats, and that he has two sets of knees...

Some say he naturally faces magnetic north, and that all of his legs are hydraulic...

...all we know is, he's called the Stig.

Last edited by dropzone; 04-27-2012 at 06:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-27-2012, 07:09 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Charles View Post
Speaking of Jon Stewart, the first "Daily Show" bit I really remember was Steve Carrell jumping on McCain's campaign bus (not in 2008 ... probably in 2000) and getting an interview, and doing a "some say" type question about McCain fighting corruption, but actually being the most corrupt member of congress. McCain handled it well with a WTF look, which prompted Carrell to admit he'd just made the whole question up. McCain became a good friend of TDS
after that, until 2008 anyway.
You can't trust McCain. Some say that he fathered an illegitimate black child. It was in a poll, so it must be true.

Quote:
That's how I'd handle the question in an interview: look skeptical or indignant and ask, "Who? Who says that?" It puts the questioner on the defensive, rather than you.
Whereupon the reporter asks: "*cough*cough* a sphincter says what?"

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 04-27-2012 at 07:09 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:28 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Some say that there may yet be brothers of man, who even now, fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens...

(Cue brass)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-28-2012, 02:53 PM
Docta G Docta G is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Some call me ... Tim ...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-29-2012, 02:08 AM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Despite being beaten to the obligatory Stig reference by dropzone, I will say there are rules Journalists have to follow, and generally one of them involves not compromising your sources.

When a journalist says "Some say you once kicked a puppy and gave the finger to a basket of kittens..." they often have very good reasons for not saying "Fred Bloggs of 44 Oil Drum Lane says you hate puppies"

Let's say a journalist is talking to prominent local businessman John Smith, who has been accused of being a Communist by at least one person.

For a start, the "somebody" may not have actually accused Mr Smith of being a Communist. They may have strongly implied it ("Did you know Mr Smith has a copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book on his coffee table, and another one on his desk at work?") and there could be defamation issues involved from identifying the source, especially if the source denies ever having said anything like that.

Secondly, there may be a lot of somebodies saying the thing in question, in which case the interviewee almost certainly knows at least some of them and who the reporter is referring to when he says "Mr Smith, some say..."

Thirdly, the reporter may be having to ask apparently "dumb" or "obvious" questions to get an "on the record" response to something everyone (or the reporter) knows anyway, but can't put in themselves. For example, Mr Smith might be well known as a founding member of the Society for Promoting Democracy And Kittens, and the accusations of being a Communist are clearly lies put about by by a business rival with an agenda to slander Mr Smith's name.

But the journalist isn't allowed to just say this, so he has to ask Mr Smith if he's a Communist, which Mr Smith will emphatically deny, meaning the Journalist can then, in good conscience, put something in his story like "Society for Promoting Democracy and Kittens founding member John Smith emphatically denied being a Communist."

What journalists aren't allowed to do, however, is simply make up accusations. If the journalist suspects something (based on their research/investigation into the story) but doesn't have anyone else backing it up on record, I would suggest that "Mr Smith, it would appear..." might be a better way to approach the question.

And now, back to people alternately arguing with or mocking the OP.
__________________
Note: Please consider yourself and/or your acquaintances excluded from any of the author's sweeping generalisations which you happen to disagree with or have different experiences of.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-29-2012, 02:58 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 11,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
What journalists aren't allowed to do, however, is...
... get caught making up accusations that are verifiably false and/or affect one of the relatively few people or organisations powerful enough to overcome the mass media's lock on popular perception of reality.

All of what you say could be true in any given case but equally may not be and could be just a cover for making shit up and spreading scurrilous rumours.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-29-2012, 07:29 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
I thought of this thread when I read the following line in today's sports section about the Blue Jackets' underachieving goaltender:

"Many say that Mason is a decent teammate, but he can be petulant and moody."

Are "many" better than "some"?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.