Ah, the power of headlines and ambiguity. Aside from what the above title implies, which by the way is the first part of the actual headline of the article on huffpost, the woman did not rape her son with a sword. No, her name is Aimee Louise Sword.
Come on! I know sensationalism sells and gets people to click on links–hell that was one of the reasons why I clicked on the article. I was horrified by the thought of someone raping someone else with a sword, but obviously, and much to my relief, this is not what happened here. Still, it seems like the media should be a little bit more cautious/less ambiguous with their headlines. It could have easily read something like this:
Aimee Louise Sword accused of raping son she gave up for adoption.
I know that a proper, unambiguous headline is too much to ask for from our big media outlets–truth has stopped selling a long time ago–but I do not agree that this is okay. We need integrity in our news sources. We need to be assured that they are not just pandering to our basest instincts (which the headline of this article clearly does). So what if it is boring? The news should be boring. It should be informative and full of integrity. Again, I know I am living in a dream world if I actually expect this to happen (and I may be naive, but I am not THAT naive), but it would be nice if news sources could move back to the days of integrity and facts over Jerry Springer-esque shouting and sensationalism.
It would be nice for people like me who were born at the tail end of dignified media, and especially nice for those younger people who know nothing but the current state of the media. See, it is not just a matter of playing to the truth over hyperbole, but rather it would be a way to bring a more civilized tone to how people relate and communicate with each other. If the focus once again turned to Argumentation (like debating and fact checking and speaking in civilized, even tones) rather than Arguing we might actually be able to have intelligent conversations once again.
Sadly, this probably will never be the case again, and we will continue to get headlines that imply a woman raped a long lost son with a sword, rather than making the clear distinction that her surname is Sword and she allegedly raped her long ago given up for adoption son.
And I could be accused of using the title of this post to do exactly what I am railing against, but I disagree. True, I used the sensational headline, but only to make the point that this kind of thing is ridiculous. I try very hard not be sensational in my headlines, even when I think that going that route would somehow get this page more viewers.