Student Media: When Copy Editors Fail

From the "It sure could be worse" file:

Brigham Young University's student newspaper, The Daily Universe, ran a photo in its Monday morning edition of a vote at the Latter Day Saints General Conference. The cutline (what a layperson may refer to as a caption) stated the following:
"Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote Saturday morning."
If you've grown up around church you know that Apostate is not something a religious person would want to be called. Especially when you consider that the actual name is Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And especially when your group is one of the governing bodies of the religious group that is affiliated with Brigham Young University and your newspaper.

This would be like the Bison calling Jimmy Allen -- one of the church of Christ's legendary preachers -- Jimmy Antichrist. More or less.

Apparently the students tried to pick up all of the copies that had not already been taken. Then they ordered an expensive re-run.

This is why every adviser at church-sponsored schools dies before they reach old age. The night before delivery is always a bit restless, especially if you know there is something that could be considered controversial in the issue. Let me add from experience that there is always something that will be considered controversial by someone, even more so at a religious school.

For example, this week I have heard of people upset that we ran pieces on a student working for a Palestinian health organization, a fashion show highlighting unsustainable clothing companies (and sustainable ones), a photo showing the protests at the G20 summit and a column from a Bible professor suggesting Christians and theistic evolutionists work together.

All in a week's work.

But I sure feel for that BYU adviser. Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes, well, he eats you.

Here's that link.

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Oscar Picks 09

Best Picture Nominees:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Frost/Nixon
- Milk
- The Reader
- Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win/Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Overlooked: WALL-E, The Dark Knight, Gran Torino, Doubt, The Changeling.

Best Director:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher
- Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard
- Milk, Gus Van Sant
- The Reader, Stephen Daldry
- Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle
Should Win/Will Win: Boyle
Overlooked: Eastwood (Changeling and Gran Torino), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Andrew Stanton (WALL-E)

Best Actor
- Richard Jenkins
in The Visitor
- Frank Langella
in Frost/Nixon
- Sean Penn
in Milk
- Brad Pitt
in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Mickey Rourke
in The Wrestler
Should Win: Only seen Visitor and Benjamin Button (both actors performed well, not exceptionally.
Will Win: Mickey Rourke
Overlooked: Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Redbelt), Dev Patel (Slumdog), Colin Ferrell and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges)

Best Actress
- Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
- Angelina Jolie in Changeling
- Melissa Leo in Frozen River
- Meryl Streep in Doubt
- Kate Winslet in The Reader
Should Win: Meryl Streep
Will Win: Kate Winslet
Overlooked: Freida Pinto (Slumdog)

Best Supporting Actor
- Josh Brolin in Milk
- Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
- Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
- Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road
Should Win/Will Win: Heath Ledger
Overlooked: Jason Butler Harner (Changeling), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Ralph Fiennes (In Bruges)

Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams in Doubt
- Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
- Viola Davis in Doubt
- Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler
Should Win: Viola Davis
Will Win: Penelope Cruz
Overlooked: Hiam Abbass (The Visitor), Amy Ryan (Changeling)

Animated Feature
- Bolt
- Kung Fu Panda
Should Win/Will Win: WALL-E

Art Direction
- Changeling
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- The Duchess
- Revolutionary Road
Will Win: Benjamin Button

- Changeling
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- The Reader
- Slumdog Millionaire
Will Win: Benjamin Button

Costume Design
- Australia
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Duchess
- Milk
- Revolutionary Road
Will Win: Benjamin Button

Documentary Feature:
- The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
- Encounters at the End of the World
- The Garden
- Man on Wire
- Trouble the Water
Will Win: Man On Wire

Documentary Short Subject
- The Conscience of Nhem En
- The Final Inch
- Smile Pinki
- The Witness
Will Win: The Conscience of Nhem En

Film Editing
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- Frost/Nixon
- Milk
- Slumdog Millionaire
Will Win: Slumdog

Best foreign language film of the year
- The Baader Meinhof Complex
- The Class
- Departures
- Revanche
- Waltz with Bashir
Will Win: Waltz with Bashir

Achievement in makeup
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Will Win: Benjamin Button

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Defiance
- Milk
- Slumdog Millionaire
Will Win: Slumdog

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
- “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”
- “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
- “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
Will Win: WALL-E

Best animated short film
- “La Maison en Petits Cubes”
- “Lavatory - Lovestory”
- “Oktapodi”
- “Presto”
- “This Way Up”
Will Win: ummm Presto

Best live action short film
- “Auf der Strecke (On the Line)”
- “Manon on the Asphalt”
- “New Boy”
- “The Pig”
- “Spielzeugland (Toyland)”
Will Win: New Boy

Achievement in sound editing
- “The Dark Knight”
- “Iron Man”
- “Slumdog Millionaire”
- “WALL-E”
- “Wanted”
Will Win: WALL-E

Achievement in sound mixing
- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
- “The Dark Knight”
- “Slumdog Millionaire”
- “WALL-E”
- “Wanted”
Will Win: WALL-E

Achievement in visual effects
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Iron Man”
Will Win: Benjamin Button

Adapted screenplay
- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
- “Doubt”
- “Frost/Nixon”
- “The Reader”
- “Slumdog Millionaire”
Will Win: Slumdog
Should Win: Doubt

Original screenplay
“Frozen River”
“In Bruges”
Will Win: Milk
Should Win: WALL-E

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Keeping Watch 2

Excellent work from Pres. Obama on several fronts today.

In an interview with CNN today he admitted that he'd "screwed up" the promotion of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to the cabinet post of health secretary. While clear to casual observers, the admission of mishandling something is a rare mea culpa from a president (especially an immensely popular one).

Also, Pres. Obama truly reached across the aisle to select Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, as his commerce secretary. As a skeptical — and admittedly cynical — journalist, I questioned whether the move was actually a naked bid to filibuster-proof the Senate. Those concerns were allayed, however, when New Hampshire's Democratic governor selected Gregg's now former chief of staff Bonnie Newman to fill the Senate vacancy created with Gregg's appointment. Kudos to the president and Gov. John Lynch for truly trying to bridge the divide (even though they don't have to).

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Keeping Watch

President Barack Obama made history Tuesday when he was inaugurated as the country's first African-American Commander-in-chief.

It was an undeniably great moment for America and it makes me immensely proud of my country.

That said...

There is a feeling among many of my liberal friends that Pres. Obama can do no wrong.

There is an equally strong feeling among my conservative friends that Obama will do wrong and that there is no one watching that will call him on it.

As a media professional, I take seriously the news media's role as watchdog. The press should be the voice of the people and keep the government responsible for its actions. I'm hoping that it will not be the case that with our new government that the media grow indolent in their role. Keep this government liable for its actions and inaction. Tell the truth even when it hurts — especially when it hurts. Do not gloss over the bad and do not pass over the good. Stand up also for the more than 46 percent of the country who voted for someone else as you celebrate for the 53 percent who did vote for Pres. Obama. Do not forget for whom you work. Take pride in not being starstruck and in not being the president's favorite or go-to reporter/paper/station/Web site. Keep the sunshine bright.

The Obama Presidency so far
The Good: 1. Transparency
The Bad: 2. Transparency?


One quick personal note is this story about Pres. Obama's signing of an order to reverse the Bush and Reagan policy that withheld federal funds from international groups that provide abortions or information on obtaining abortions.

What this appears to mean (and will definitely mean to posturing Republican leaders) is that the door has been opened for U.S. taxpayer money to go toward abortions in foreign countries. This does not appear to jibe with his contention that he will seek to lessen the number of abortions. However, these international groups may also contribute to AIDS education and care as well as birth control (which, if used, could ostensibly decrease the number of abortions).

The alarm will be raised that this is essentially forcing taxpaying citizens who view abortion as an absolute moral travesty to support it financially (clearly against their religious beliefs). However, the same could be justly said by people who do not support the war on terror or the death penalty (both involve death under obviously different circumstances). If I had my will, I would keep the so-called "Mexico City policy" in play. Unfortunately, I am not the only taxpayer in the country.

The issue will come up again in the next federal election cycle, and, to be honest, it may affect my vote. I am in the unfortunate position of disagreeing on several major issues with both parties, and many of my points of disagreement come down to matters of moral absolutes. I consider myself an independent with strong opinions.

I hope to find Pres. Obama's term more inspiring and hopeful than I do today. As with most voters, I am sure that I will see things I agree with and things I do not. I will not, however, try to brush off the fact that this most recent action, although expected, is highly disappointing.

Here is to better days and the hope that some good will come of this.

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In this picture, Koufax's lights aren't working.
Merry X-Mas from the Beauchamps


Quite the Lap Dog

Al Davis

Sam, former World's Ugliest Dog Winner

I'm just sayin'.

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Living On The Faultline

A 5.4 earthquake back home and I missed it.

When I was young I would have spent the whole day freaked out. I was 11 years old in June of 1992 when I experienced my defining earthquake moment(s).

The Landers earthquake (earthquakes are always named after their epicenters) struck at 5 a.m. on Sunday. It was a 7.3. For my friends who don't know from earthquakes, that is a monster. In fact, it was the most powerful earthquake in the contiguous states in 40 years.

I remember hearing my dog barking and then I felt the jolt. It hit hard and just started rolling. I'm not sure why, but my family all convened under the heaviest piece of furniture we had that we could fit under: the dining room table. It felt like it shook forever and when it stopped we all lay there huddled and a little stunned. We'd experienced plenty of temblors, but this was completely different. When we'd gathered ourselves, my sister and I brought our sheets and blankets into our parents' room. I don't recall how, but I think we all got back to sleep.

The first aftershock struck at 8 a.m. was centered in Big Bear and was measured at 6.4. I think my mom was getting ready for church. We all dove under the table again and waited it out, not knowing if the roof was going to collapse and kill us all. We are less than an hour's driving distance from Big Bear and Landers, and, considering the Landers quake was felt all the way in Idaho and Colorado, we got rocked. Our ceiling had some visible cracks and a small eagle sculpture was rattled off the entertainment center and broke.

When the shaking was over — and church was canceled — we trekked outside and sat in the old Ford Escort. I felt safer outside because I thought I could handle a tree falling on me better than a roof. Big Bear is nestled in the San Gorgornio Mountains in San Bernardino County. Yucaipa, my hometown, abuts the San Gs and on a rare, clear day you can see Big Bear from my front yard. That morning, and throughout the day, we watched landslides cascade down the mountainside. Needless to say, it was a tad eerie.

In the following days, experts from the U.S. Geological Survey kept appearing on TV talking about the chances for more aftershocks. Everybody was talking about the "Big One." One geologist I remember (because I was scared out of my mind) said that the region should be on high alert for a significant event for the next five years. I couldn't wait for 1997.

In 1994 the Northridge earthquake struck. Although I had to ride this out as well (it was a few miles farther away from us), I don't remember being affected as much. The media made a bigger deal out of it because it was L.A., but at this point I had learned to accept it — with a few reservations. After 1992 I always slept halfway out of my blankets in case I needed to make a quick escape. I also slept in my parents room for a spell and then on my sister's floor. I felt like sleeping on the floor would make me feel it sooner. My room had been an add on, so I didn't think it had the strength of the rest of the house. Also, I was pretty chicken.

After moving to the South, specifically tornado alley, I have reassessed my childhood nemesis. I figured that if I had to live with natural disasters, I would rather deal with earthquakes. I made this decision after the third consecutive day of tornado warnings this year. Who needs the trouble of worrying about death when it can just strike out of nowhere?

Also, if I'm ever really homesick for earthquakes, I live on maybe the most overdue fault in the world (the New Madrid). When it hits, it's going to rock.

Hopefully it's not during a tornado.

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