Friday, November 16, 2007

My headline rant of the month

Each time today that I've gone to Yahoo to check my mail, I keep seeing the following headline:

Arrest warrant tossed for Donda West surgeon

Now, Donda West is the mother of a rapper, named Kanye West. She recently died after complications from her plastic surgery, and she and her son have been much in the news as a result.

Just looking at that headline, doesn't it make you think that the arrest warrant is for Donda West's surgeon because of what happened to Donda West?

And doesn't the term "tossed" imply that the arrest warrant was proper, but legal finagling got it dismmissed? Much in the way that an earlier headline used the word "quashed" instead of "tossed," but which implies the same thing.

It is only if you actually read the article that you find out that the arrest warrant is for a civil case, completely unrelated to the Donda West death (such that if this guy hadn't had a high-profile patient die on him, this arrest warrant stuff wouldn't even be news).

In addition, the warrant was not "quashed" or "tossed." The guy missed the first court date, resulting in the warrant, but then he went to court and got the misunderstanding about his non-appearance sorted out, and so the warrant was simply "dropped" or rendered unnecessary.

I wonder, how many people now think that Donda West's surgeon (anyone even know his name?) is facing, or should face, criminal charges over Donda West's death?

I'm not saying that that won't come - I haven't kept track of any of the articles about this tragedy, frankly, and only read this one because I wanted to see if an arrest warrant was really "quashed" or "tossed" (you see, they know how to get people to read their articles...even when they're bogus), but it hasn't come yet and that headline is irresponsible.

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