I don't claim to be the world's best headline writer. Hell, sometimes it's all I can do to string 6 words together to summarize even the most exciting story. But I just came across a headline that jarred me into realizing their potential to make someone sound like an unfeeling oaf.
"Fears for UK hostage as body found"
That's how the The Observer -- that bastion of London liberalism so widely heralded by progressives in the US -- decided to cover the death of American peace activist Tom Fox, found dead and apparently tortured in Iraq after months spent as a hostage.
Could the headline-writer have been any more UK-centric, crass or alarmist (the headline suggests the body might be that of the British hostage held with Fox)?
To be fair to the headline writer, the lead is equally as UK-centric and cold.
Fears rose yesterday for Norman Kember, the British hostage held in Iraq after it was revealed that the body of one of his fellow captives had been found showing signs of beatings and torture.
I'm rarely accused of being US-centric, but I'll take the risk on this one, since I'm pretty sure I haven't ever weighed the lives of Americans differently than those of foreigners in the same story.