I can confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that I ate two ham sandwiches. There is no “might” or “may” involved here; this happened.
On Wednesday an alleged “journalist” at Politico, a click bait tabloid in Washington DC, ran a story on Virginia’s 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett. The headline of the article used the word “might” in describing Garrett’s intentions to run for re-election. On Thursday afternoon Garrett said, “Yeah, we’re coming back.” So Politico was wrong.
Or wait… since they used “might,” they weren’t wrong. Linguistic gymnastics have saved them. But it ain’t a story and it never was.
Since when is “might” the standard for publication?
When I first saw the article I thought to myself that anything just “might” happen in regards to anything. I then commented in a Facebook chat group how ridiculous it is to print a story with unnamed sources that has “might” in the headline. I said, “I might eat a ham sandwich later, but that’s not confirmed.” Well, guess what? I didn’t eat any ham sandwiches on Wednesday, but I can confirm that I ate two ham sandwiches on Thursday. I just want to be clear and I don’t want to post anything until I can confirm that a story is real.
“Might” should never be the standard for publication. There might be a million things wrong with something, but confirmation on any of them should be required. Also, it’s not even the right tense. “May” shouldn’t be enough for publication either, but in this case, it’s more appropriate. If Politico knows the difference in usage between the two words then they printed an article based on something that is “remotely possible.” If they don’t appreciate the difference then they don’t know the English language. Either way, there wasn’t enough for their story to be printed.
Similar to Politico’s article, I have three sources for my ham sandwich story. But unlike Politico, I will name my sources. My first source is my hands; they made the sandwiches. My second source is my mouth; it chewed the sandwiches. My third source is my stomach; it digested the sandwiches.
On Wednesday I left two comments in the comment section of Politico’s article. I returned to the article Thursday afternoon after Garrett made his announcement debunking any “might” and clearly stating that he will run for re-election. But you’ll never guess what happened. Politico deleted and turned off the comment section for the article. Such a move is obviously a cowardly attempt to avoid accountability for being so wrong and rushing an unconfirmed, poorly sourced, hit piece to publication. The article itself was still up, but people couldn’t offer the needed corrections in the comments. Again, Politico deleted and turned off the comment section. Unbelievable.
Also, Garrett used the fake buzz around this nonsense in a brilliant way. He held a press conference to highlight a story that needed to be told. Great article from The Roanoke Times explaining the press conference is linked here.
In today’s lightning fast internet age, click bait sites like Politico prefer to be first rather than accurate. But what do you expect from the publication that wrote a self-serving congratulation to itself for coining the phrase “slow-bleed?” Remember that one from 2007? Of course not. It was nothing then and it’s nothing now, which is an accurate way to describe Politico and their “journalists.” As for today’s menu, it is still unconfirmed. I “might” eat pasta, or I “may” eat tuna, but I can confirm that I’m out of ham.