May 10, 2007

Another ridiculous trend story

The NY Times hits us with yet another made-up trend story today. Now the latest fake fad is "The Incredible Flying Granny Nanny." The gist is that there is this new breed of grandparents who fly around the country on a weekly basis to babysit the grandkids.

The only problem is that the reporter doesn't have any hard evidence of this supposed trend other than some anecdotal evidence (almost always culled from the upper crust social circle of the New York media elite).

Here's a tip for readers... If you suspect a bogus trend story look for sentences like these from the "Flying Granny Nanny" story:

There are no figures on how many grandparents go to extremes, because they can afford to, to care for their children’s children.
These stories always have a sentence about how there are no figures or statistics to measure whatever the supposed trend is. Journalists shouldn't be slaves to statistics, but that doesn't mean they should just look at a few well-off people around them and pronounce all their indulgences as society-wide trends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't if this is a fake trend or not, but there was a story in Sunday's paper about parents who get involved in their children's (college graduates) hiring process. They contact the interviewers, even want to negotiate wages. Helicopter parents!