Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Taranto is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and editor of its online editorial page, OpinionJournal.com; he is best known for his daily online column, entitled Best of the Web Today, in which he links to and comments on news stories and Web sites submitted by readers.
Most of Taranto's commentary is politically oriented and conservative in perspective. He mercilessly lambastes various public figures and organizations, from John Kerry, invariably described as "the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam," to Reuters, headlines about which always involve excessive use of quotes in mockery of the service's overuse of what Taranto calls "scare quotes." He has voiced his support for the Roe effect theory, which proposes that parents who support abortion will have fewer children, causing support for abortion to decline among young people.
Best of the Web also includes non-political items which are concerned with journalism nationwide. Often-seen titles are "You Don't Say," "This Just In," or "Stop the Presses," followed by a common-sense headline such as "Shedding a Few Pounds Beneficial for Obese" (June 1, 2004) or "Sperm May Play Role in Growth of Embryo" (May 13, 2004).
Taranto exposes what he sees as overly harsh punishment of minor drug- or weapon-related offenses in schools under the title "Zero-Tolerance Watch." He corrects his previous mistakes under the title "Homer Nods" and counteracts what he sees as liberal bias in the news by maintaining a "Good News Watch" on the 2003 Iraq war and the subsequent U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.
Taranto's column has a signature style by which he replaces the actual headline with his own headline and links it to the site he is discussing.
- "Area Graduates Become Alumni"--headline, Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, May 10
- "Public Authorities Committee Gets Chair"--headline, Crain's New York Business, May 11
- "From the moment I take office, I will stand up to those special interests and stand with hardworking families so that we can give America back its future and its ideals."--JohnKerry.com
- A New York Times report suggests maybe the French aren't cheese-eating surrender monkeys after all:
- A Paris court today sentenced a Frenchman with ties to a suspect in the Madrid train bombings to four years in prison for helping Islamic terrorists in Europe.
- The man, David Courtallier, was convicted of conspiring with criminals engaged in a terrorist enterprise and was not implicated in the Madrid bombings, which killed 191 people on March 11. But Mr. Courtallier, a cheese vendor from France's Savoy region who converted to Islam in 1997, had been in contact with Jamal Zougam, one of the first suspects arrested in the Madrid attacks.
- That they have arrested him in spite of his vocation is all the more impressive.
- "Frog Diversity Museum Exhibit Opens"--headline, Associated Press, May 25
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