Oct 222008

Maybe somewhere, someday, a news editor will tell reporters and writers that there is no law requiring them to fill up space in a news article with non-sequiturish quotes that do nothing to explain or illustrate. At best, they are just a way for the writer to slime the article with his/her editorial biases. At worst, they just waste the reader’s time.

The AP article linked here is an example of what I’m talking about. It’s actually an informative article. But why the man-on-the-street quotes? They’re inserted almost randomly. The article could be improved by just omitting them.

Here’s the crap that could just as well be removed, or could be randommized and inserted anywhere else and make just as much (or as little) sense.

“I trust McCain more, and I do feel that he has more experience in government than Obama. I don’t think Obama has been around long enough,” said Angela Decker, 44, of La Porte, Ind.

But Karen Judd, 58, of Middleton, Wis., said, “Obama certainly has sufficient qualifications.” She said any positive feelings about McCain evaporated with “the outright lying” in TV ads and his choice of running mate Sarah Palin, who “doesn’t have the correct skills.”

Said John Ormesher, 67, of Dandridge, Tenn.: “I’ve got respect for them but that’s the extent of it. I don’t have a whole lot of affinity toward either one of them. They’re both part of the same political mess.”