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Opening Arguments

An alleged post

Sometimes, I think we just fall into newspaperese without thinking about what we're writing:

MUNCIE -- A self-proclaimed white supremacist and Satan worshiper is now also a convicted felon.

Dmitriy V. Sklyarov, 20, of rural Muncie, has pleaded guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury, a Class D felony, filed after he was accused of biting a 9-year-old boy at least 13 times on the arms and legs last Oct. 8.

And the headline calls him a "self-described" Satanist. Another story calls him a "Satan worshiper and self-proclaimed white supremacist." What do those terms mean, really? That he calls himself a Satan worshiper or white supremacist, but we're not sure so we're withholding judgment until we see some credentials? Can you get a B.A. in Satan worship or a certificate of completion in the white supremacy correspondence course? Or are we just writing "self-proclaimed" in case he has a change of heart later and decides to sue? Hey, don't look at us, we were just following your lead.


Michael B-P
Tue, 02/17/2009 - 3:41pm

I suspect that Satan is indeed afoot in the details and encouraging some journalists to follow the sage advice once given to those facing a tax audit: "keep 'em confused." (As if we weren't confused enough already).