Doug Clark asks, is everyone in a crappy mood today?

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Sometimes we journalists get bored. Can you blame us? We sit through hours of meetings, sort through thousands of documents and then rap away at a keyboard all night, only to produce an 800-word article that our social-media department will condense into a far more interesting tweet.

So it should be perfectly understandable why, sometimes, we get a little wild.

Doug Clark did just that at the Greensboro News & Record this week when he wrote a column about President Obama's "love" of North Carolina. We're considered a swing state in the coming election, so Clark pointed out why the president frequently visits and name-drops the Tar Heel state in a "satirical" manner. Trouble is, none of his commentators thought the piece - an account of seemingly doable local activities Obama and his family could participate in now until Election Day - was satirical.

It begins:

The White House announced this morning that Malia Obama will deliver the graduation address at Kiser Middle School in Greensboro in June.* Malia, 13, attends Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

This is part of an Obama family North Carolina blitz between now and Election Day.

President Obama will throw out the first pitch for the Greensboro Grasshoppers' opener April 5, as well as for the Carolina Mudcats April 6, Hickory Crawdads April 12 and Winston-Salem Dash April 13.

In a failed attempt to save his point, Clark ties the asterisk in the first paragraph to a note at the end reminding readers not to get excited - "this is satire." When it was clear the message was pretty unclear to commentators, Clark went on the defense.

"Wow," he wrote to one reader. "Is everybody in a crappy mood today?"

I bet that would get some retweets.

Sticks and stones may break some bones, but words will never hurt Doug Clark.
  • Sticks and stones may break some bones, but words will never hurt Doug Clark.


Read the story (and comments) here.

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