Wednesday, September 01, 2004
There's a better word for that: I must confess that Ron Howard's "The Paper" is one of my favorite films -- but that's probably just because I'm a journalist. One o fthe more memorable schticks in the film is a series of interactions between Michael Keaton and Howard's brother Clint. Clint is always writing some story and as Keaton walks by he asks something to the effect "Do you have a better word for ______?" After this happens several times Keaton finally gives up and says: "I've got a better word for all of them."
I was reminded of this as I read today's New York Times article on the increasingly violent protests.
The wave of confrontations - which included a brawl with the police at the New York Public Library, marauding crowds cursing at delegates in Midtown and the detention of hundreds of protesters near ground zero - created a day of disorder in a convention week already marked by sustained protests against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.
There is a better word for "marauding crowds" -- and it's a great journalism word because it's short and will easily fit in a one column headline: "mob."
Sugar-coating at the Times? Of course, but it shouldn't be a surprise.