Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What in the Hell is Wrong With Reuters?

So, I'm flipping through the news online and I end up over there at Reuter's. Reuter's. Which bills itself as "...the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals." They also claim to "...combine industry expertise with creative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers....powered by the world's most trusted news organization." Sounds pretty impressive, does it not? Not so fast.

So, the story that I had clicked on was titled "Car loses all four wheels on highway". Now, you can debate the newsworthiness of that all you'd like, but regardless of your conclusion, you'd still have to admit that it's interesting. All four wheels?! That's quite the feat! I'd say it's newsworthy. It's not worth leading off your newscast with or anything like that, but it could definitely make it's way into a news lineup, say, right before Britney Spears.

Apparently, what ended up happening was that the dumbasses who were in the car had changed the tired from the winter tires to the summer tires. They were in Switzerland, so with the drastic change in climate between those two seasons, one with a lot of snow and one with no snow, having two sets of tires and switching them out is pretty standard.

What's also pretty standard is that the correct type of nuts are used when mounting the new set of tires. And, according to a statement by the St. Gallen (that's in Switzerland) police, "When they then drove back on to the motorway, all of the wheels disconnected." Yes, I imagine that they would. Morons.

But what does any of that have to do with Reuter's? The picture that accompanied this brief tale of vehicular incompetence is where my annoyance with Reuter's began. Here's the smaller version. Behold!


Now, I realize that's a little hard to see, but that's kind of my point. Well, part of it, anyway. So when I saw that picture, I couldn't quite figure it out because it looked to me like there was a cat on top of that wheel. I read the story again and there was no mention of a cat AT ALL. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as I wanted to pound my head against a wall after I noticed that) I could click where it said "Enlarge" in order to do just that. Enlarge the photo. Hence the name. So I did. Behold!

That's when I realized that it is, indeed, a cat, yes a cat, a cat on a tire! And again, fortunately or not, this time there was a caption for the photo. It read: "A pet cat finds shelter on the wheel of a car which was temporarily abandoned by it owner in Karachi August 29, 1998." ::: blink::: ::: blink :::

Um, WTF?!?!

First of all, 1998?!?! You can't find a more recent picture of the wheel of a car than one from 1998?! Oh, wait. Let me rephrase that. You can't find a more recent picture of the wheel of a car than one from 1998...with a cat?!?! There were no photos of tires/wheels sans cats?!?! In the past eleven years?!?! The point of this story was that all of the wheels fell OFF! Right there, underneath that cat? That looks like wheel to me!

Second, I thought Karachi was an interesting name for a city or town in Switzerland. It didn't sound very Swiss. So I looked it up. IT'S IN PAKISTAN!! It wasn't even a cat on a tire in the right country!!

So Reuter's "the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals" thinks that it's a good idea to include an eleven year old picture of a cat on a tire in Pakistan as the ONLY photo accompanying their story about a car that lost all four wheel on the highway in Switzerland?? They're the leading source?? Leading?! As in "others will follow"? THAT kind of leading?!

Leading us right off of a cliff from what I can tell. Maybe I'll start doing that. You know, just inserting random photos from decades earlier that have at least one thing to do with the story (as long as that thing is not the country that the story takes place in) but that also definitely include a cat. Maybe even change the name to "Random and Old Foreign Cats". Who knows? The possibilities are endless when you start delving in at this level of stupidity.

We're doomed. Doomed, I say.

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