At 12:38 AM 6/30/2006 -0400, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
>On Jun 29, 2006, at 10:59 PM, David Bratman wrote:
>> If people didn't know before now that what appears on the home page
>> of USA Today is not automatically known to the entire world the
>> same morning, well then, they know it now.
>I suggest that while you are urging others to look in a mirror, you
>look up the definition of "straw man". NO ONE has suggested anything
>like this about "USA Today" or any other single news outlet.
Actually, I think someone did. See below.
>I expect that USA Today carried news of the Sept. 11 attacks: does
>that mean that no one can be expected to have learned of it? Yet,
>alas, this is precisely the force of your "argument" here.
No it is not. Here we see Carl F. Hostetter completely failing to grasp
the difference between [see my quote above] "not automatically known" and
"automatically not known," the latter of which being what I'd have to have
written for his argument to have any validity. But I didn't. Some linguist.
We also have, perhaps with better excuse, his failing to remember that in
an earlier post I drew the precise distinction he's insisting on here. I
wrote: "it wasn't in big flashing headlines, so it was easily missed. This
was not exactly a news story on the level of, say, September 11th." You
couldn't read a newspaper the next day and fail to notice that one. You
could read one and fail to notice J.K. Rowling. There's a difference.
Also: if I understand the timing correctly, Pat posted on the same day that
he read the Rowling news. I'm not sure how early on that day, but by
comparison there were actually people in the world, not out in a desert or
on top of a mountain, who didn't hear about the September 11th attacks
until much later in the day. They might even have first heard about the
attacks by reading someone's e-mail. I heard about them in a telephone
call, not from a media news source at all. Only after the call, and
because of it, did I turn on the radio.
>is, Pat referred to the story being mentioned in a WIDE VARIETY of
>major news sources, as shown by a simple Google search, (only) ONE of
>which happened to be USA Today.
Having deleted the old posts, I may be misremembering. But I recall Pat
saying that the home page of USA Today is where _he_ read about the Rowling
If he conducted that Google search of his before sending his first post on
the subject to the list, then I apologize. But I got the impression, when
he wrote of his search, that he had conducted it _after_ the complaint was
made, and did so for the purpose of defending his claim that the news was
If these suppositions are correct, then it was the appearance of the news
in USA Today, and not the results of the Google search, that led Pat to
assume the news would be no spoiler. That is why I referred to USA Today.
In any case, if you see a news item on USA Today, you don't need a Google
search to reasonably conclude that it will be widespread elsewhere. All
the Google search provided was concrete evidence of that conclusion. It is
not wrong to make that conclusion, Google search or no Google search. But
that still makes it no less incorrect to conclude that everybody in your
readership will therefore have heard the news in the same day. That is the
point, and the whole point.
>> It would certainly be ironic if being au courant with the morning's
>> gossip columns were expected of members
>Again, you cut quite a figure of straw. No one has suggested any such
>absurd notion; nor was the news of Rowling's statements confined
>either to the gossip columns or to USA Today, as you would have it.
Again, no. Because the gossip column of my local paper is the place where
_I_ would have read about it, if I'd read about it at all. And I am one of
those who is being told that I should not have missed this story. Which
requires me to have read the gossip column, since I didn't see the thing on
any web searching I did that day either.
Even if you disallow that, the general point is still relevant. The men
who did not know Ava Gardner or Tito were not the type to be checking daily
newspapers every morning for the hot feature news items. And this is a
feature story. It's not September 11th. You seem to have trouble grasping