Fishy News Article

First, apologies if this is in the wrong forum.

I’d like to direct a bit of attention to this South Florida news article in which some teens from Florida comment on the third presidential debate. Is this some sort of satire? A comment on the terrible state of the public school system? It doesn’t appear to be overtly partisan, in that some diversity of opinions is presented both in this article and at large on the Sun-Sentinel’s website.

Specifically I’m looking at quotes such as this one, from a 13 year old;

Or this, from a 15 year old;

And finally, this, from another 15 year old;

Is something fishy here?

I used that kind of vocabulary in high school. Admittedly, it was a school where such language was commonplace, and I was a debater to boot, but I don’t find their use of language to be exceptional. Makes me quite happy, actually.
In fact, I think I’m irritated. Have we sunk so low in this country that broad vocabulary and insightful comments from teens is automatically met with suspicion? Are we so resigned to shitty education and stupid kids that we have to assume all kids are stupid?

I think they’ve been heavily edited. They all sound the same, for one.

It’s not as though it’s impossible.

Human beings, by default, have the capacity to be at least that informed, intelligent, and articulate by the age of eleven or twelve.

While mainstream North American education and enculturation tends to intellectually stunt young people, every school-- even the worst schools-- is going to have a few kids who take it upon themselves to go much further than is expected of them.

If the paper had a lot of submissions to sift through, and they picked the best ones, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect some teens to be educated enough and inclined to write at a decent level. Developing an informed political opinion isn’t much harder than talking authoritively about basketball. It’s perfectly within reach of a 13-year-old.
Or do you think they should print the ones along the lines of “Bush is teh assclown! LOL” and “John Kerry’s voyce made me sleeepy,” in order to seem more genuine?


I don’t understand this quote:

“Also, Kerry said that he was a `law enforcement’ officer, which he was never. He was a menial district attorney in Boston, where he was primarily involved in organized crime. Not much else.”

What is a “menial” district attorney?

And how is it bad to be a DA who prosecutes organized-crime cases?

Well, they don’t have cool uniforms or get to shoot bad guys. Obviously. :slight_smile:

Well, it’s misleading to me at least. If you call yourself an LEO, I’m expecting something along the lines of being a police officer, a sheriff, FBI, something. I think Kerry would have been much better off just saying that he was a DA or an assistant DA. Less potentially confusing and no possible ammo for a smear ad calling him a liar by including that bit.

Wouldn’t be the first time a reported fabricated, I mean incorrectly recalled a quote.

Lots of times reporters take notes and reconstruct quotes from them. That would explain why they all sound the same.

It’s not the intelligence or the articulateness of the comments that seems strange to me. Not at all. It’s the dispassionate tone. Shared by all of them.

Your adverage voter, and all the more so,your adverage teenage future voter, asked for a reaction to the debate is not going to objectively analysis comparative performance. They’re going to subjectively respond to the content of what was said (inasmuch as there’s any content in Presidental debates :smiley: ) and how their performances effects the way they would vote. The odd thing is not that they sound too much like intelligent adult. It’s that they sound like pundits.

Of course it could have been edited that way. I don’t know why you’d want to .

Yeah. My daughter is being lured into a job as an investigator for the IRS with the prospect of a badge, gun, and cool blue jacket with IRS in big block letters on the back behind a velcroed flap. She looks forward to kicking in doors and generally terrifying the neighborhood. I can’t bear to tell her that she’s more likely to spend 40 years behind a desk in a stuffy office auditing car salesmen. At least she’s learning a trade.

Um, guys? DAs are law enforcement officers. Is this a regional thing?

Could be that, could be a usage thing. As I said, I tend to think of LEOs as police, sheriff, etc. I think of DAs as government lawyers that prosecutes (unlike a public defender, who is a government lawyer that defends.) I wouldn’t be surpised if many people think the same way, even if a DA is an LEO.

To quote Law and Order: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups – the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

Oh no, they’re Separate But Equal!!! [runs screaming from thread]

I meant the part about his being a “menial district attorney.” I don’t understand the word “menial” in this context. How is being a district attorney menial? And then the implication that “all” he was doing was prosecuting organized-crime cases.

$5 says this is simply the latest anti-Kerry spin from the GOP.

Kerry: “I was in law enforcement, I know how to fight crime.”
GOP: “Aw, he’s just a stoopid DA! Exaggerating libural!”

Yeah, but there was no ambiguity at all in his statement. He said that he was a LEO, and straight after that clarified exactly what he did, like so:

Hey, I actually went to one of the high schools mentioned, Spanish River. I might have written like that, but I had moved there from out of town…

Seriously, I found a LOT of the kids there quite stupid. South Florida is not known for its public education system. I went to three different high schools in three different parts of the country (my family moved a lot), and Florida was the most backward.

But, even in the slowest school, there are smart kids. Or at least kids who can write well enough. No doubt the paper only printed the cream of the crop.


Sorry. The L&O opening didn’t sound right without the two tones at the end. Now were cool. :wink:

Kerry is absolutely justified in characterizing himself as a law enforcement officer, especially when his next sentence clarified his role.

I think it’s more a “DOINK DOINK”…