When the name of a boat is not a business news story

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2 Responses

  1. Ted Pease says:

    I dunno, Phil. It *is* a little cheap, especially as there were no more details about either the banker or the boat. If you’re going to snag readers with a boat called Overdraft and a banker who overcharged $180M, then let’s know how much the boat cost. What kind it is. And, as you say, let’s see a shot of the stern. Boat people are weird about boat names, from mothers’ names to eye-rolling cute stuff like Reel Knotty or Sea Me Go (mine is called Toad. And yes, there’s a story). So I’m OK with the boat mention, as an illustration of the Baker’s malfeasance/tone deafness. But if you’re going to take that sidetrack, the reporter needs to develop it into a little more than a throw-away.

  2. Brian OConnor says:

    Gee, I don’t know why copy editors get the reputation they do — wait, it’s because of guys like this.

    Here’s the deal: telling detail. Whatever the actual reason is that the guy named his boat “Overdraft,” this illustrates that he takes the idea lightly — even thinks it’s a cool joke. If Steven Bannon names his boat “Holocaust 2017” that’s relevant — even if we don’t have him on the record telling us WHY he did it.

    Banks have abused overdraft policies for decades, and targeted that abuse at the poor and minorities, often as a kind of payday loan. Banks have gone to great lengths to trick their own CUSTOMERS into create unnecessary overdrafts, just to generate fee income. Banks have been sued and criminally fined for abusive overdraft policies, as account fees have grown to become a bigger and bigger share of bank profits over the last 20 years. And this guy thinks, Hey, let me name my boat — something none of my overdraft victims can afford — let me name it “Overdraft.” Hahahahahaha!

    That is THE definition of a telling detail for a WRITER. As for a copy editor from the Washington Post — a paper that’s never been known for it’s business coverage — Phil Blanchard can dry up and blow away.

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