Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Economist Hook Sentence du Jour: Iran’s Presidential Elections

March 25, 2009

I have been a fond reader of the Economist for a while, partly for the dry wit and erudition evident in the writing and partly for the fun of discovering what I call the “hook sentences” that go into many of the articles: statements that are tossed out with such carelessness that one is tempted to think they are unimportant but that in truth hold or represent all the biases that the Economist holds dear and from which biases proceeds much of the reporting choices made by the periodical.

For my first post on this thesis, I cherry picked an article from a recent issue that I thought would have a preponderance of “hook sentences,” and here’s one that’s simply a gold mine:

Iran’s presidential choice: It could make a big difference

There’s so many ways to slice this cake, that it’s hard to know what to focus on. Let’s just pick this pair of sentences, which are fairly safe to quote out of context: “Wary of the ever-vigilant supreme leader and chastened by past failures to overcome conservatives, … a reformist president would probably shy away from any bold departures in foreign policy. Yet even changes in tone could have a dramatic effect.”