No Grunting, They Said, and He Was at the Gym
Man grunts too loudly in gym. Gym management throws him out. And, well, that's pretty much it. A story unworthy of your local free weekly's police blotter. Nevertheless, The Times manages to pump more mileage out of this piece of piffle than any of us deserve - 22 paragraphs of the journalistic equivalent of Pop-Tarts. At least The New York Post, holy rag as it is, would've opted for brevity with this one.
“I said to her, ‘I’m not grunting, I’m breathing heavy,’” recalled Mr. Argibay, 40, an energetic man with the hulking appearance of a pro linebacker. “I guess she didn’t like the fact that I challenged her, because she said to me, ‘Meet me up front; I’m canceling your membership.’”
BACK (Page A9):
Russia: Lawmakers Move to Abolish Voter Turnout Rule
Bush's old friend "Pootie-Poot" has been steadily dismantling his country's once budding, albeit struggling, democratic institutions. Welcome to another foreign policy debacle by the Bush White House.
The latest? New laws to keep voter turnout low and "a ban on criticizing one’s opponents or even encouraging a vote against them." Sounds fair. If only Bush had slipped that provision into the Military Commissions Act, Republicans may have retained Congress.
Meanwhile, in addition to this story landing on the back pages, The Times didn't feel it warranted more than a one-paragraph blurb under the "World Briefing" section.
Oh, and don't miss the use of "critics have said" in the opening line. Those darn critics and their distaste for tyranny.
Together, it's enough to make you want to grunt. Loudly.
Intro (which is the whole piece):
Parliament’s lower house gave final approval to new election laws that critics have said would further erode democratic competition and shore up parties loyal to President Vladimir V. Putin in advance of parliamentary elections next year. The new amendments would abolish the minimum turnout requirements — now 25 percent for parliamentary and local elections and 50 percent for presidential elections — and allow the authorities to bar candidates deemed to be extremist or those with criminal convictions. Among other provisions are a ban on criticizing one’s opponents or even encouraging a vote against them. The changes, supported by the pro-Kremlin majority, still need approval by the upper house and Mr. Putin’s signature.