Like it's going out of style
The makers of the anti-Fox docu "Outfoxed" have released memos on which they based the movie. While a lot will be made of the memos' politics, I thought the style notes might be of interest to a few of you. (All caps are theirs, not mine. Fox is serious about these rules, people.)
On June 2, 2003
We have good perp walk video of Eric Rudolph which we should use. We should NOT assume that anyone who supported or helped Eric Rudolph is a racist. No one's in favor of murder or bombing of public places. But feelings in North Carolina may just be more complicated than the NY Times can conceive. Two style notes: Rudolph is charged with bombing an abortion clinic, not a "health clinic." and
TODAY'S HEARING IS NOT AN ARRAIGNMENT. IT IS AN INITIAL HEARING.
On March 23, 2004
SHEIKH YASSIN WAS NOT A "SPIRITUAL LEADER" OF HAMAS. HE WAS THE FOUNDER OF HAMAS, OR ITS IDEOLOGICAL LEADER.
ON AIR TALENT: COULD WE MAKE AN EFFORT TO CUT DOWN ON MOUTH CANDY WHEN GETTING OUT OF GUEST SEGMENTS, SUCH AS, "WE APPRECIATE YOUR PERSPECTIVE."
On April 6
For consistency, the town is Ramadi, not Al Ramadi.
"Fierce" is a good word, but let's find a few synonyms.
On April 8
Army troops are "soldiers." Marines are not; they're "Marines."
On April 9
With hearings and bureaucrats getting a lot of air time, don't slip into their language, e.g. a person is given or assigned a project, not "tasked" with one.
On April 21
If Michael Jackson is indicted on sex charges, it's a big story for us, but PLEASE don't turn it into a nonstop circus. Please also remember that an indictment is NOT the same thing as a conviction.
On April 26
MONDAY UPDATE: THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES LOOKING INTO PRINCESS DIANA'S DEATH ARE TAKING A "CORONOR'S' TOUR" OF PARIS. NOT A CORONARY TOUR.
On April 28
Also, let's refer to the US marines we see in the foreground as "sharpshooters" not snipers, which carries a negative connotation.
On April 29
The president and VP are MEETING with the 9/11 commission. They are NOT testifying before it as did witnesses last week. It is an important distinction that we need to make.