Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jerusalem Post Headlines are Slamtastic

As an aside in a comment to a previous post, I noted The Jerusalem Post's ridiculous use of the word "slams" every time it describes any level of criticism.

I did wonder if I was hyper-sensitive, so I ran a Google News search of Jerusalem Post headlines from July 1 to July 18. Here are the results:

Lindenstrauss slams parties over real estate (July 2)

Israeli, Vienna politician slam anti-Israel measure (July 2)

UTJ slams PM on Tal Law (July 2)

Lapid slams PM, religious parties over service law (July 3)

Yachimovich slams Plesner recommendations on Haredi draft (July 4)

Politicians from Left, Right slam Plesner report (July 4)

Student association heads slam Ariel boycott calls (July 4)

Amnesty slams China for Uighur crackdown (July 5)

China slams Clinton's criticism over Syria stance (July 7)

US slams idea that Iran can help resolve Syria conflict (July 10)

Top China paper slams Clinton's democracy comments (July 12)

Romney slams Obama for playing down threat of Hugo Chavez (July 12)

US Jews slam Levy report on legalizing outposts (July 15)

MK Atias slams treasury for not supporting public housing (July 17)

ADL slams Kotel replica as part of anti-abortion center (July 18)

[One wonders why there was only one slamming between July 13 and July 16. Was there a drought? Did Google News miss it?]

This is not only a critique of the Post's copy editors' lack of creativity. Saying "slam" every time robs the word of its meaning, and robs the headline of any nuance. Not every criticism, tease or challenge is a "slam".

Here, then, are verbs they could use to describe different types of negative political rejoinders:

For questioning:
questions, challenges, probes

For tough talk:
criticizes, bashes, maligns

For attemps to elicit a reaction:
pushes, needles, goads

For personal attacks:
insults, skewers, jabs

What other words, or types of negative rejoinders, would you offer?


  1. Send repetitive word violators to the slammer?

  2. I always like they way headlines count people:

    "Tens Injured" = 20
    "Dozens Injured" = 24
    "Scores Injured" = 40
    "Hundreds Injured" = 200

    It always catches me off guard. When I hear that dozens were injured, I'm expecting 70 or 80, not 24.

    JPost is not the worst offender in this regard.

  3. More than slamming, check out all the people and companies reported as "beleaguered".

    It's the 'kiss of death' in the press.

  4. I've gone ahead and forwarded this to my sister, an editor at the post. Perhaps she can get it around the editing room. :)

  5. Daniel, Anonymous 8:01 AM-

    I am Fenster-
    I never noticed that, but it would have basis in the gemara's statement that all biblical plurals should be interpreted as the lowest possible number.

    Anonymous 4:45 PM-
    Hmmm... Should we start a campaign to label certain people 'beleaguered'?

    Thanks! No "slams" today - maybe someone is taking notice...

  6. they want to be a bit up from frum rags. But also they do not want to be stuffy. They need to sell newspapers. They want to slam and bash and then write intelligent articles.

  7. How much of that usage is/are Britishisms?

  8. Do four such headlines in one day constitute a grand slam?