“The U.S. scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian bombers!” “Chinese jets menace Taiwan!” “China flies 52 military planes into Taiwanese airspace in its largest incursion ever!” Headlines with exclamation marks and words like scramble and menace are meant to catch the eye and get clicks!

The first headline above is my own, but it is very similar to many like it. The next two come from The Washington Post and Yahoo News, respectively. The last one, however, looks like it comes from The Onion or The Babylon Bee. In reality, it comes from the information age we currently live in, in which real news is buried in sensational headlines, and news outlets need hooks to grab readers’ attention.

 

Real Talk

Let’s break down the recent headlines. “Chinese jets menace Taiwan!” I am sure they were menacing, and not just to the radar operators seeing them on scopes or to the civilians reading next morning’s headlines. I am reasonably sure China MEANT them to be menacing, otherwise, it wouldn’t have sent fighters and bombers. But, and hear me out, THEY DID NOT FLY INTO TAIWANESE AIRSPACE. Again, they DID NOT fly into Taiwanese airspace. And they haven’t flown into it.