Emily’s post (does anyone remember Emily Post?) yesterday made a very important point, while reminding me of one of my Top Ten Pet Peeves in Journalism.  All too often, lazy TV and print reporters begin a story with this hackneyed construct:

“At 37, Generic Person seemed to have it all.  A loving spouse.  Two healthy children.  A steady job, adoring friends, gorgeous house, generous parents, amusing siblings, and excellent health.”

Then comes the shocking reveal.  Generic Person’s life is not, after all, perfect.  Maybe cancer strikes a child, or the job is lost, or GP has a shameful secret that he manages to hide from the whole world, including his loving spouse – and it’s tearing him up inside!

If I’ve learned nothing else in my 50 years on earth, it’s that, as Emily said, nobody has it all.  I just wish reporters would learn the same thing. 

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