The Ann Arbor News clearly knows what emotion sells the most newspapers: Fear. In a headline today they arouse uncertainty over the greenbelt proposal, repeating an allegation made by the pro-sprawl lobby, asking “Is the greenbelt plan legal?”
It turns out the plan is legal, as long as the city and the surrounding townships change their laws slightly before next July. This is what I don’t understand: why didn’t the Ann Arbor News call a lawyer, call a judge, call the police, or call an expert and find out if it actually is legal or not? If they get conflicting replies, the headline might read “Legality of Greenbelt proposal in question.” If everyone says there’s nothing about the proposal on its face illegal (and I assume there isn’t, since I assume ballot measures are vetted by the city’s legal staff) then the correct headline would read something like “Developers switch to fear-tactics, lie about legality of proposal.” Instead, they choose a screaming headline that gives everyone the vague sense the proposal might be illegal, and wait until deep in the story to make clear it’s not.
” 800 block of Tappan Street, 8:32 p.m. Tuesday. No signs of forced entry; two laptop computers valued at $2,400 taken.
3300 block of Tacoma Circle, 12:50 p.m. Tuesday. Entry through garage door; laptop computer and case valued at $1,000 taken.
100 block of North Ingalls Street, 10:46 a.m. Tuesday. Entry through unlocked front door; laptop computer valued at $1,500 and jewelry valued at $500 taken.”