johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

The Local News, Part 2: BRAZEN ASSAULT

Read Part 1 Here.
brazen
      adj 1: unrestrained by convention or propriety; "an audacious trick
             to pull"; "a barefaced hypocrite"; "the most bodacious
             display of tourism this side of Anaheim"- Los Angeles
             Times; "bold-faced lies"; "brazen arrogance"; "the
             modern world with its quick material successes and
             insolent belief in the boundless possibilities of
             progress"- Bertrand Russell [syn: {audacious},
             {barefaced}, {bodacious}, {bold-faced}, {brassy},
             {brazen-faced}, {insolent}]
      2: made of or resembling brass (as in color or hardness)
      v : face with defiance or impudence; "brazen it out"

A woman was assaulted in her own home during broad daylight by a man with a knife.

Well, sort of. Actually no one was hurt, except for the baby she was holding, who sustained a minor bump to the head. This came later rather than sooner in the story. But to be sure, it was a crime. An audacious trick. And it was brazen, since it was in her own home and during broad daylight, which is certainly bold-faced, brassy and insolent. And it was an assault, since the definition of assault includes "thoroughbred that won the triple crown in 1946". Oops, sorry, wrong definition. It includes, "a threatened or attempted physical attack...".

What I take issue with here is not the applicability of the words BRAZEN ASSAULT to this near-tragedy, but rather the manner in which they were employed. The anchorman introduced the story as "A BRAZEN ASSAULT", after which the fontified logo "A BRAZEN ASSAULT" was displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. Think AMERICA UNDER SIEGE and SHOCK AND AWE. BRAZEN ASSAULT was mentioned one more time during the story by the "on-site" reporter and then again at the end of the story during the wrap-up. Let's not also forget to include the hook, which ran earlier during that show I was watching (no need to rub it in), and again in the previews leading up to the main attraction.

What is the point of this brutal linguistic clubbery? I guess the writers (let's not forget that the news has writers) envisioned the following water cooler conversation in offices across Boston the next day:

  • ME: Man, did you see the news last night?
  • COWORKER: Yeah, did you see that BRAZEN ASSAULT? That poor woman.
  • ME: Yeah, what a world, huh?

I'm working on a few theories to explain this and other word choices expelled by the giant alliterative metonymic Cuisinart that is Bernie and Phil's local newsroom. Interestingly enough, based on Google science, the words BRAZEN ASSAULT seem to be used most often in connection with Saddam Hussein and terrorism. (If you add Cuisinart to the search, the results lean toward Dershowitz.) It appears that 9/11 did in fact change everything.

Tomorrow: The Local News, Part 3: BRUTAL BEATING

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