Wednesday, October 26, 2016

On Editorializing

This post was going to be about what a craptacular mound of rubbish is "The Walking Dead," but I'm going to save that one for next time because this incident just took place a mere few hours ago. Well, it didn't start then but it hit its epoch that recently. I want very badly to name names and, in this case, websites, but being the professional I believe myself to be, I'll refrain and simply repost the conversation with a bit of needed context.

The article in question was about box office results for movies released this year and it contained more than a couple side-trips from Fact Town to Opinionberg.  A commenter on this particular site's Facebook page decided to disagree with the assessments of some of the films regarding their quality.  He was rather smugly advised by the article's author that while his comment was "great," this wasn't an article about opinions on movies. I wrote the following:

That may be what you intended but your opinions of the quality of the films mentioned permeates an article where it wasn't at all called for.

A day passed without any reply so I figured the writer's ego was not sufficiently bruised to warrant snark. I was wrong as the following back-and-forth indicates:

HE: Yup, that's called editorializing.

ME:It sure is.
(Then a few minutes later...)
The dictionary definition for those who might be unaware:
Editorialize
"1
to let your opinions show in a piece of writing where you should only be giving facts
Inexperienced reporters are often tempted to editorialize."


(He posted a more extensive definition and accused me of cherry-picking but that comment has since been deleted)

HE: You must be fun at parties (For some reason he didn't delete this incredibly lame and tired rejoinder)


ME: I am fun at parties. I bring liquor for all the minors.
When one editorializes in an informational article, it's generally viewed as a negative or at least an unfortunate stylistic choice. It tends to weaken the overall point and shift the focus unnecessarily to the author. I am aware of the ever thinning divide between fact and opinion thanks to content writing but that's still a thing as they say. Regardless, I'm not here to attack approach, merely pointing out that denying this is an opinion piece is inaccurate. Oops gotta go. The kids need beer!


HE:  While I am inclined to agree with you, I do think it's fair to point out that a post about the biggest box office bombs without any editorializing would be a bit dry if it was just cold hard dollars and figures. Also, we're an entertainment blog, not the New York Times. (And never denied that this was an opinion piece, although calling it just that is also inaccurate.). Now please forward us your home address so we can alert the authorities to your serving of alcohol to minors!

ME: LOL!

No one ever referred to his article as strictly an opinion piece, meaning he's either oblivious to what took place or being intentionally obtuse to save face. In other words, he's an Internet Content writer. So, it ended amicably enough and he obviously realized his attempt at expanding the definition to make it serve his purposes backfired and that I was someone who knew what the hell he was talking about

Still, like so many millenials, he had to insist upon his point being valid because everybody gets a trophy.

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