Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016
Source: North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA)
Column: The Week in Weed
Copyright: 2016 North Coast Journal
Author: Linda Stansberry


The longer I work in media, the more tempted I am to write a guide 
for the general public on how media works.

And, given that I've only worked in media for a little more than a 
year, logic would imply that, at some point very soon, I'll succumb 
to temptation, leave my job at the Journal and devote a year to 
writing a book on how many exclamation marks press releases should 
include (fewer than five!!!!!), among other newsroom bugaboos.

And, by "at some point very soon," I mean probably after my editor 
finishes reading this column and asks me to leave.

Five Shocking Ways Modern Media Tricks You Into Reading Long Things: 
You Won't Believe #6! (working title) will devote a whole chapter to 
buried truths.

Most of us in journalism are familiar with the phrase "burying the 
lede," in which a writer takes the most interesting aspect of a story 
and "buries it" under exposition, like a Bay Area colleague who wrote 
about a drunk man arrested and tased by police, skipping over the 
fact that the arrestee was naked and dripping wet at the time. Buried 
truths are a different symptom endemic to the current state of the 
Fourth Estate in which inconvenient facts that would undermine the 
sensationalism of a story are tucked away at the very bottom.

Take a recent event that stampeded across headlines when the town of 
Hugo, Colorado, advised citizens not to drink or use public water 
after finding the supply had been tainted with THC. The story was 
picked up by local newspapers and made its way into the New York 
Times and onto National Public Radio. TIME Magazine included the 
chortle-worthy headline, "Colorado Town at Risk of Getting High on 
Its Own Water Supply." In my upcoming book, You're Doing Media All 
Wrong!!!!!  Here's How (another working title), I will advise savvy 
news readers to skip ahead to find the facts, in this case, that THC 
is not water soluble and, according to a statement by Lincoln County 
Health Officer John Fox, "It would take more product than any of us 
could afford to contaminate a city water supply to the extent that 
people would suffer any effects." Fox was quoted in the Denver Post, 
five paragraphs and three advertisements down, after the story noted 
that the FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, local sheriff's 
office and mayor were all investigating the issue.

But the headline "Town, State and Federal Officials Baffled by Simple 
Science," probably won't sell papers or swell the bladders of Hugo teenagers.

Another chapter in Twelve Sexy Tips to Make Your News Cycle HOT (feel 
free to email suggestions to  will be 
devoted to general myopia and laziness.

We know, thanks to the New York Times, that a study published in the 
Journal of the American Medical Association reveals a 150 percent 
jump in marijuana exposure among Colorado children since 2014. We 
also know Colorado's governor recently signed a bill banning gummy 
edibles shaped like fruit and animals because they're too attractive 
to children.

The Times article suggests marijuana toxicity in children might have 
been underreported in previous years, and parents are now giving more 
accurate information to emergency room doctors.

What the Times fails to delve into is why these irresponsible fucking 
people have children. Isn't marijuana supposed to lower your sperm count?

How hard is it to put your edibles where your kids won't find them? 
If you're going to get high, why not just be an adult and use a 
vaporizer instead of eating something that looks like a miniature 
neon stuffed bear? And if, God forbid, your kids do get into your 
stash and go to the ER, just tell the doctors the truth so they can 
give your offspring the best medical care possible.

I promise not to put you on blast with a headline like, "Pothead 
Parents Poison PreTeens!!!!!"

That is, if I still work here.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom