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Unnecessary Verbage

..Unnecessary Verbage

While I get on reporters some times for not following up on the obvious questions in a story (e.g. 'Why was the perp wearing a My Little Pony mask during the holdup??'), some times they go the other way.  I suppose that in this day when paper newspapers are going extinct it's not so important to conserve ink and column-inches, but still there are some obvious things that don't need to be said.  One such phrase that comes up often is,

"Alcohol was a factor."

Here's one example in which this is abundantly clear.

"Manitowoc zoo bear bites off woman's fingers"
"An Asiatic black bear at Lincoln Park Zoo bit off all or parts of four fingers from the hand of a 47-year-old woman Friday after she went past barriers and was trying to feed the animal, a Manitowoc police captain said. “It appears that she suffered loss of some fingers,” specifically, all of her thumb and forefinger and parts of her middle and ring fingers. The woman, identified as Tracy Weiler of Manitowoc, was taken to a hospital in Green Bay. Her boyfriend, Lawrence Bosworth, 51, also of Manitowoc, tried to pry the bear’s mouth off her hand and also was bitten."

"Alcohol was a factor with both adults, according to a news release from Mayor Justin Nickels."

No Shit Sherlock. [!!!]
But why did the mayor's office have to specify 'both adults'?

"Weiler and Bosworth were at the zoo with Weiler’s 3-year-old granddaughter.. The girl was not harmed."

Classic.  Other commentators have wondered - do you decide to go to the zoo when drunk, or decide to go there and then decide that a good buzz would enhance the experience?

Technically local law calls for the animals to be put down, unless the bite 'victim' agrees otherwise.  Authorities have decided to preempt that rule in this case.  This is just another of the pressing issues that have come across the desk of the Manitowoc Mayor, who I mention because there's a little more to this story.  You see, the mayor of Manitowoc was at the zoo practically just last week - on a school field trip.

"Manitowoc's mayor a seasoned politico at 22"
"It's been only a year since Justin Nickels moved out of his parents' home... Pretty daunting for someone who is 22 - and whose previous jobs were grocery store customer service clerk and basketball referee."

Digging a little deeper into the bear story, I found the original press release from the mayor's office.  Well, actually it was a few Tweets from @mayormccheesypoofs1987...

"Why u ppl always gotta be gettin trippy and tryin to feed bears @ my hood??"
"Got to get some budget balancin dun ovr hear and keep getting txts from cop chief. WTF"
"Gonna save 2 bears; all cool."


Shawn Mahaney
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