Awful Lede Of The Week Award: Buck Anderson of the Salem News


Writing in newspapers seems to be getting worse by the week, and it seems to be at its lowest at the once great local dailies and weeklies that used to be an important part of the media universe in Massachusetts. But they keep cutting staff members and hiring the communication studies majors who can’t get jobs in other fields. As a result, we get ledes like this one, from Buck Anderson of the Salem News:

DANVERS — Buffalo Wild Wings, the hot chicken-wings restaurant at Liberty Tree Mall, got a little wild itself Wednesday night after a customer apparently decided to add more flavor to the evening.

You can read the full story here, but I’ll warn you it doesn’t get any better after that awful start. Never mind the puns: what about the light-hearted nature in which Buck treats a story about someone who is clearly mentally ill? Or the cop-loving police talk he offers up later in the story?

A call went out for more help as the melee escalated, and it became evident that the man could not be brought under control without stronger measures than the officers wanted to use. Ultimately, six officers responded to the scene and he was brought under control by sheer weight of manpower.

Not only did Buck write that, but at least one — if not more — Salem News editors read that and declared it good to go. And thanks to them the readability score of this post, according to my WordPress plug in, is the lowest I ever published because of two quotes from that story.

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