I have a beef with the Denver Post

When you’re creative, it’s important to have someone in your life who can tell you that what you think is clever is actually just stupid. How do I know? Because I’ve been lucky enough to know a lot of very smart people who’ve been more than pleased to tell me when my ideas aren’t working. It’s cool. My feelings aren’t hurt. If you don’t have anyone to tell you there’s spinach in your teeth, you’ll go out into the world with a bunch of goddamn spinach in your teeth.

Which brings me to the Denver Post. Is this really a “Where’s the Beef” reference? The origin of this pop-culture catchphrase is a 1984 Wendy’s commercial–thirty-three years ago. Thirty-three. Someone wrote this the other day in 2017 and thought, hey, that’s pretty clever. And apparently didn’t have anyone around to say, whoa, hold on there, Kevin, that’s not clever at all!

Where’s the beef? Maybe it’s back in the early 1980s.

Maybe the Denver Post laid off all of the people who would have stopped this silliness from being published. Maybe everyone left at the paper is so old and creativity-challenged that they thought this was genuinely very good. Who knows.

Then there’s this headline, which has a different problem. It’s got a kernel of cleverness to it, but it just doesn’t know what to do with itself. The writer must have been worried that nobody would understand it, so they overexplained it. Bald! Get it!? Bald!

Comb for bald man? Hair-raising crime? No, that’s just too much.
Overexplaining. We get it. Dude’s bald.

Also, that “clever” lede: They can skip barbershops because the thief is bald! Hahahaha! Someone’s decided to go into journalism instead of comedy, which is a huge shame because that shit is solid gold.

I took the liberty of making the stupid headline slightly less stupid. Cops comb the area. See how much better that works? And I’d have gotten rid of that stupid police quote at the top, too.

This headline is better. Not great, obviously, but better.

Anyway, I’d give the Post a pass on this one since it probably came from the AP. But that’s why there are editors who are supposed to take the garbage that AP gives you and turn it into something less garbagy. Editors, people. This is what happens in a world without editors (or in a world with bad editors).

 

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