Fun with headlines: the case of the dancing, backflipping, accidentally discharging FBI agent

Wanted: copy desk editor. No experience required.

By now you’ve probably seen the story. An off-duty FBI agent was dancing – and I use that term in its loosest possible sense – at a club up in RiNo (that’s the River North district in Denver for you non-5280ers). He tried a backflip. He failed. His gun fell out. He tried to pick it up. It went off. Shot a guy in the leg. Viral video hilarity ensued.

Every news site on the Internet has the story this morning. The story is pretty much the same, but the headlines?


Let’s have a quick look.



We call this “fun with passive voice.” I mean, the agent wasn’t even there. The gun was out by itself, doing some club-hopping. It may or may not have had a couple drinks. And BAM! It just went off. WTF?! Like, totally by accident. Fortunately no one was shot.

Nice job, WRBG Albany.


Well, yeah, sorta. I mean, this one leaves out elements like accidentally, hit a patron and dances worse than Elaine on Seinfeld. Also, possibly drunk off his ass.


Again. Dancing, shot a guy.


This one certainly reeks of clickbait, doesn’t it? I mean, “backflipping FBI agent”? “Accidentally shoots man”? These things are true, but you have zero idea what the fuck was going on, right. No choice but to click the link. Enquiring minds gots to know.

Props to CBS Philly, though. At least someone there made it past the second semester of Journalism school…


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