Is anyone left in the newsroom who’s in charge of asking if anything makes sense?
Internet headline: “7 Teens Go on a School Trip, Come Home Pregnant.”
Subhead: “It might be time for same sex-ed.”
Sadly, the headline’s promise of a bizarre tale of gay adolescent parthenogenesis wasn’t supported by the story. The subhead was simply a typo. Furthermore, the headline was immediately contradicted by the lead, which, as of Wednesday, said: “Seven Bosnian teenagers, ages 13 and 14, went on a five-day school trip to Sarajevo, and a quarter of them came home pregnant, the Daily News reports.”
So every last one of the seven teens (they were all girls—a further disappointment) didn’t become pregnant! Only a quarter of them did. I calculate this to be 1.75 pregnant girls, proving that even if you can’t be just a little pregnant you can at least be a little less pregnant. (The lead sentence has since been corrected; the subhead is still wrong.)
Who’s to blame for this fiasco, which showed up on redbookmag.com? The temptation is to blame the reporter, who appears to be a lot of fun—the website says she’s “the foremost expert on ABC Family Christmas movies and sharing small spaces. Her weaknesses include baked Cheetos and bourbon”—but also a nincompoop. But let’s not overlook the editor who might have written the headline and at the very least should have noticed how weird it was and that the story said something else. I suppose it would have been going above and beyond for an editor to actually check the story against its source, which was an article in New York’s Daily News that the reporter rewrote and butchered.
Then again, there might have been no editor. The reporter is identified as a “web editor,” which sounds like an admission she does everything herself.
The Daily News reported that 28 girls went on the school trip. A quarter of them returned pregnant.
They should keep their chins up. We all make mistakes.