June 20, 2018

What's Up At CNet?

Declan McCullagh interviews Verizon lawyer Sarah Deutsch, over at CNet news.com. (Welcome back, Declan.) Verizon is taking the side of their customers, against Hollywood.

But check out the headline: “Why telecoms fly the pirate flag” (on the front page) and “Why telecoms back the pirate cause” (on the article itself). The pirate flag? The pirate cause? There’s nothing in the article about backing “pirates”. It’s all about Verizon building their business by defending the interests of their law-abiding customers.

This is a classic example of a headline undermining the point of an article. Usually when that happens, it’s because the reporter wrote the article and an editor wrote the headline. Are CNet’s editors so biased that they think anyone who opposes Hollywood must be an apologist for “pirates”?

UPDATE (Sept. 3): News.com has since changed the headline to the more balanced “Verizon’s copyright campaign.”