At 5:19 pm I received an e-mail entitled "Breaking News Alert" from the Washington Post:
Poll: Most Americans Back Obama on Stimulus, Mortgage Plans Large majorities support president's $787 billion economic stimulus package and $75 billion plan for stemming mortgage foreclosures, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Obama's bipartisan support, however, has eroded substantially in the past month, with just 37 percent of Republicans approving of how he has done his job.
At 7:02 pm, a fellow contributor here at The Next Right received a similarly titled email from The New York Times:
Poll Shows Broad Support for Obama's LeadershipPresident Obama is benefiting from high levels of confidence among Americans about his leadership, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.A majority of people surveyed in both parties said Mr. Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most Americans faulted Republicans for their response to the president.Mr. Obama will deliver his first address to Congress on Tuesday evening against a backdrop of deep economic anxiety among the public, with worries spanning party, class and regional divides.
This is "breaking news?" That the media released a poll? Are bottom lines that pressed that both the Gray Lady and the Post feel it necessary to spam their readers on a daily basis with mundane tidbits that are most definitely not breaking news? These e-mails get sent almost daily, and this is only the worst infraction, but certainly not the only one.
As an online professional, I'd say that these e-mails break all the rules and break trust with readers, enticing people to click on the presumption that something extraordinary has happened -- maybe a fighting has unexpectedly broken out somewhere, or a notable historic figure has died. Instead, it's just more puffery from news outlets who, having failed to sell real newspapers or enlightening content to their readers, resort to hawking t-shirts and commemorative plaques of the November 5 and January 21st editions.