Bait and switch news

Pam linked to a little tidbit at one of my favorite satirical sites, Cracked.com, titled: 5 Ways to Spot a BS Political Story In Under 10 Seconds.  Humorous, but point well made.  Caution – raw language for those easily offended and probably NSFW.

And shortly after reading that, I encountered an article that even better illustrates what’s wrong with Internet news headlines (h/t Instapundit), titled What Right Do Schools Have to Discipline Students for What They Say Off Campus?

Great hook for people like me, who wholeheartedly agree that schools and their administrators are pushing way too far into students and faculty’s personal lives away from school.

I clicked to the article, and immediately saw the subheader:

Three girls in Indiana were expelled for joking on Facebook about classmates they would like to kill. Should districts have the authority to intervene?”

I suddenly realized I had been baited and switched.  That line completely changed the context of things.  And since I had answered to myself the last part of that line with a resounding hell yes over jokes like that, I decided I didn’t want to read the article and instead skipped down to comments.

That’s where I really became disturbed.

Out of all the comments I looked at, I could count only two commentators who would agree with my position that, when someone makes a statement about killing someone at school, the schools should have every right to react and discipline the offenders.  All the rest were apparently a bunch of civil libertarian wannabe lawyers that considered it an affront to liberty and the Constitution that kids be held accountable for their threatening words, no matter how joking or stupid they were.

Morons.  Apparently they never learned the lessons of Columbine, or any other school shooting.

I’ll make an admission that I did some stupid things like that back in high school typing class, like typing up brief bomb threats or death threats, showing them to my friends, then carefully throwing them away.  Of course I didn’t mean to be taken seriously, and back in those days probably wouldn’t have been, other than at being a teenage jerk.  But today?  You betcha.  And would it be right for me to learn a lesson that I had to use serious discretion as to what came out of my mouth, or written or emailed, or put into a public forum, if I wanted to hold a job someday, avoid incarceration and all the associated legal headaches, or just avoid alienating my friends?  Ditto.

I now feel dirty for even clicking on that article.  Almost as bad as the crap Yahoo News likes to pull.