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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Flakes Fill Ohio Newsroom: Report Shows How To Make Snowmen

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- It snowed in Ohio this week. Often happens during winter. So what did the Cincinnati Enquirer give readers today? A full-page devoted to "Making Snowmen." The piece was so insipid it included this truly astounding bit of journalistic slush: "Of course, you should dress for the cold (jacket, gloves, hats, boots)."

There were lots of drawings of snowmen, and also illustrations of the tools one might want to use to build a snowman -- a spoon, a snow shovel and a bucket. They are carefully labeled as a spoon, a snow shovel and a bucket. Definitely an aid to Enquirer readers from the Stone Age. They might be quite unfamiliar with household implements in common use today.

And how does one construct a snowman? Here's the formula offered as help from the newspaper: "If the snow is just right you can make a snowball and then roll it in the snow, gradually building it up until it is a huge snowball." Wow!!! Who knew?!! That discovery might be right up there with E=MC2. And, the story notes, you can use a carrot for a snowman's nose. Or a potato. Or a lollipop. Or a big icicle. Or a piece of fruit.

Have they never heard the lyrics to FROSTY THE SNOWMAN? He had a button nose. And, of course, the song about Frosty has been around since the prior century, as has the cartoon that is a staple of Yule season TV.

Meanwhile, the Enquirer -- which many have begun to call the local Fishwrap -- gave another half-page to sledding, and included this advice: Use common sense.

There is a lot of concern that the news biz and journalism are melting down faster than snowmen in July. Today's Enquirer goes a long way to proving the concern is legit. Is there something out of whack when a newspaper devotes more space to building snowmen than it does to stories about global warming?

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