What’s in a word choice?

I’m reading a disturbing article on CNN, titled “Actor allegedly beat cat to death in jealous rage“. Whoever did this to the cat should definitely serve some prison time, but that’s not what I wanted to blog about.

Why did CNN choose to call the perp “Actor”? In the first sentence, we learn he was a “baseball player-turned-actor”. There are multiple other mentions of his baseball and acting careers in the article.Then, way down at the bottom, after all the gory details, in the very last sentence of the article, “had more recently worked as a bartender and waiter.”

WTF? If they guy is currently working as a waiter, why are you announcing to the world that an actor did something bad?

Possible reasons:

  1. People are celebraholics, and more people will read the news if it contains a celebrity than a nobody.
  2. CNN wants, for whatever reason, to contribute to a bias about actors being assholes.
  3. CNN wants, for some completely baffling reason, to contribute to an animal abuser’s fame, thereby possibly helping him land another acting role.

I’m not sure which one of those possible reasons is most disturbing to me. Shame on CNN regardless of the reason.

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  • Jay  On September 18, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    CNN’s business model is based on sell ads based on people reading their articles.

    It would appear to be effective.

  • Jay  On September 18, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I really need to start proofreading my comments.

  • Craig Maloney  On September 18, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    If they say “actor”, you immediately perk up: “Actor? Which one? I hope it’s not (*blah blah*). Maybe it was (*blah blah blah*). I really hate (*blah blah blah*)”. Bartender / waiter just doesn’t have the same panache.

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