walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

what is that in English?

File under the heading: correcting things that are not wrong.

Rick Sanchez has been collecting an unholy amount of crap from news commentators. Because I've seen the footage of Sanchez being tased (repeatedly -- I watch the comedy channel news parody shows), I sympathize with the desire to do a pile-on when he does the stupid. It's really tempting.

But picking on someone for asking what "9 meters" is in English? Excuse me? There is an English system of measurements -- that's what it is called. English isn't just a language, after all. It's a whole lot of other things, too. Asking what 9 meters is in English is a reasonable question, and "about 27 feet" is _not_ a reasonable answer. To give Frankel credit, he did catch himself almost immediately (about 30 feet), but the damage was done and 27 feet got repeated over and over and over again.

I also don't see any point in complaining about Sanchez making the scientists explain about what a drop in ocean height is -- I see value there. When the tsunami hit in Indonesia, and all the ocean dropped there, if everyone _had_ known that when it goes down, bad, bad things may be about to happen and run far away quickly, fewer lives might have been lost. In the ensuing media coverage, it became abundantly clear to me that many Americans -- who might be vacationing in Hawaii, or Thailand, or whatever when another tsunami hits (or, hey, the ocean beaches in Washington state) -- might make a similar error. Hammering the point home that if the water level goes down dramatically, it's time to run for higher ground is an _excellent_ idea, and if you look like an idiot doing it, well, we call that taking one for the team.

To the Daily Show's credit, they did pick on all the frenetic camera directions Sanchez engaged in, and Stewart had a hilarious analogy to a guy on crack at a party talking about how ants are the strongest animals in the world.
Tags: geekitude
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