Newspaper writing is one of my pet peeves. It isn't always awful, and as a rookie reporter at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin I rather enjoyed trying to master its form, but my nostalgia is sapped when I read a lede like this one:
State government remained paralyzed on Tuesday as Gov. Eliot Spitzer, reeling from revelations that he had been a client of a prostitution ring, was engaged in an intense legal and family debate about whether to resign or, as close aides said his wife was urging, to stay on.
Is there a metaphor as tired as a "paralyzed" government? And the characterization isn't even accurate! Skip to the last paragraph of the story:
As the governor pondered his decision, Assemblyman James N. Tedisco, a Republican and the Assembly minority leader, said he would begin moving to have Mr. Spitzer impeached if the governor did not step down within 48 hours.
Can there be any doubt that Republican legislators are making phone calls to assess the prudence of impeachment proceedings, and the best way to garner electoral advantage from this scandal? Can there be any doubt that Democrats are assessing how they ought to respond to the possible impeachment of a governor from their own party? Were I to choose a tired metaphor to sum up events in Albany, rather than explaining to my readers what precisely is happening, I'd probably choose "feverish activity" over "paralysis."
Image by Flickr user Vaticanus under a Creative Commons License.