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Missing Context [Apr. 16th, 2014|12:45 pm]
Dear Internet,

I have a favor to ask. The next time you read a "news item" about something crazy and outrage-inducing, please try to remember two things:

1) The odds are really good that it wouldn't seem nearly as crazy and outrageous if you knew the whole story.

2) There's a whole industry devoted to distorting the truth into something that will get you all worked up so that you click on the link and share the story and put more eyeballs in front of advertisements.

HOW could some guy be such an INGRATE as to sue the emergency responders who saved him? Well, it turns out he doesn't really want to -- it's not like he thinks anybody did anything wrong -- but lawsuits are how insurance companies sort out which of them will pay for what, and since the guy has a hundred thousand bucks in medical bills that his insurance company won't pay as long as there's a chance that some other insurance company might do it... either he files the lawsuit, or he goes bankrupt.

WHY would some guy file a MILLION-DOLLAR lawsuit over being given only a single napkin? Well, he didn't. He filed a lawsuit because he only got one napkin, and when he asked for some more, the manager said no, you already got one, and then said something racist about "you people" (the guy is black, by the way). So he's not filing a lawsuit because he's upset about the napkin, he's filing a lawsuit because he's upset that the manager got all racist at him, and that when he complained, he didn't get an apology, just an offer of some free burgers.

WHAT is WRONG with this school that's banning tag and cartwheels and anything fun during recess? Well, it turns out the ban was temporary, while construction was going on. Construction that had made most of the playground unavailable. And there had already been multiple injuries. So it's not a case of some bleeding-heart administrator being out of touch and overprotective, it's the principal being sensible and saying "look, we've got four dozen kids trying to play six different sports in a space the size of a postage stamp, and we've already had three bloody noses this week, so until construction is done, no running and no ballgames on the playground."

Et cetera.

Please to be remembering this the next time you read about something that seems too crazy to be true. It's probably not. It's probably just some jerk with an agenda withholding information to try to get you all worked up about it. Which is rude and bad for you, and you shouldn't play along.

[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2014-04-16 06:52 pm (UTC)
Clearly, you are part of the conspiracy.
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From: ajfbs
2014-04-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
and don't forget that lady who sued McDonald's because the coffee was hot! [details about 3rd degree burns and skin grafts omitted]


Edited at 2014-04-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-16 09:41 pm (UTC)

She sued. *After* they refused to settle for $20k (the actual cost of her medical expenses)...
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[User Picture]From: annlarimer
2014-04-18 03:53 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nitasee
2014-04-17 12:38 am (UTC)
Sing it, brother!

I am so very tired of hearing these "outrageous" stories that leave out the little details that explain the story.

Needless to say, Faux News is one of the biggest perpetrators of such twaddle. My personal one was about the judge who was sued over posting the 10 Commandments in his court room as an "example" of ancient law. Actually it was the last straw of a long series of proselytizing from the bench, most of which were much more overt. He'd been warned repeatedly from the bar association and his supervisors to stop preaching in his court.
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[User Picture]From: kybearfuzz
2014-04-17 02:25 am (UTC)
Are you renting space on the orbital platform? You could be like an outer space B&B!
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[User Picture]From: danthered
2014-04-17 04:13 am (UTC)
(in Jeeziz' name aymen)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-18 10:01 pm (UTC)
If you have an orbital platform, why are you using something as boring as nukes for your doomsday device?

Space lasers, man! Or at least a mile-wide mirror of Archimedes!

...unless meant "nuke" in the slang sense of "microwave". Microwave death rays could work. That's pretty good.
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[User Picture]From: navrins
2014-04-17 01:49 am (UTC)
Thank you for your reasonable suggestion. I see its wisdom, and will attempt to follow it.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-18 09:42 pm (UTC)
This started out really ranty in my head, so it's nice to hear that I managed to hit "reasonable suggestion" by the time I hit the post button. :)
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[User Picture]From: danthered
2014-04-17 04:14 am (UTC)
Wanted to post long reply to this post. Can't -- broke a compact flourescint bulb the COMMMUNIST KENYAN MUSLIM SOCIALIST FASCIST BARRAK HUSSEIN!!!1!!1!11!! OSAMA mad eme use instead of a REAL light bulb now I have to call a HAZMAT team.
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[User Picture]From: nehrlich
2014-04-17 02:43 pm (UTC)
I always like the observation that when one reads a news story on something one knows something about, one observes numerous inaccuracies in the reporting. Why does one expect they get it right the rest of the time?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-18 09:43 pm (UTC)
Another good one to remember!
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[User Picture]From: dendren
2014-04-17 03:02 pm (UTC)
I would think I'd just get more used to it but it seems instead my tolerance level is decreasing for these sorts of things. OMG the story that will change your life ***forever***. OMG, you will not BELIEVE what came out of this orriface!!! blah blah blah. Hype is being overhyped and I'm getting irritated more and more LOL
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-18 09:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've got an even more ranty rant about those damn clickbait headlines.
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2014-04-18 01:33 pm (UTC)
As someone who has spent the last two weeks in a courtroom, thank you for your important message..

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-04-18 09:44 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: annlarimer
2014-04-18 03:54 pm (UTC)
Journalists hate him! Tectonic foils clickbait with this one weird trick.
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