Nov 252007

Here’s how it works. When the news media report on something that’s blindingly obvious, they say things like, “Opponents claim that night is darker than day.” Here’s an example from the Daily Telegraph, in an article about the Russian Nashi (sort of like a cross between the Hitler Sturmabteilung and the Hitler-Jugend, except their shirts are red rather than brown).

Less enamoured of the status­ quo are Russia’s opposition politicians, who claim that a series of Putin-imposed curbs have reduced the elections to a Soviet-era sham.

But when they want to beat the drums for their favorite bandwagon, they don’t use such a perjorative word as “claim.” Here are examples from that puff piece that the Boston Globe put out for Hillary Clinton, “Blue collar women see hope in Clinton.”

Even many working-class women who have spent their lives in traditional roles at home and work have been animated by Clinton’s effort to shatter what she has called “the highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

Not “they claim they have been animated.” Just a baldly stated, “have been animated.” Here’s another:

Analysts say she connects with working-class women emotionally by presenting an image as a fighter who has overcome obstacles in her life, and appeals to them politically by offering proposals that would help their pocketbooks.

Here they hide behind what some anonymous “analysts” say. These analysts may or may not exist, and if they do, we can assume there are a lot of other newsworthy words in addition to “analyst” to describe them.