Once again, headlines really do matter.
Headline writers have a responsibility to present the facts as succinctly and accurately as they can with the space that's provided. It's difficult, but it can be done. Omitting crucial context does nobody any good, and it leads often to grossly misleading narratives. This is a story about omitting crucial context.
The Democratic National Committee is in a tough spot.
On the one hand, Democrats want to be known as the pro-woman party. On the other hand, one of its most powerful and visible donors has spent the last three decades sexually abusing women, according to a bombshell New York Times investigation.
What to do?
Seeing the obvious dilemma, someone at the DNC hit on a bright idea: Re-gift Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's political donations to various women's groups, including EMILY's List, Emerge America, and Higher Heights.
Not a bad idea.
However, because this is politics, the scheme is designed in such a way as to cancel out any good the DNC may have accomplished.
First, the DNC is giving away only $30,000 of the more than $300,000 that Weinstein has contributed over the years to the Democratic Party. That's roughly 10 percent of the more than $300,000 given to them by their longtime Hollywood ally. Pretty stingy coming from the party of "fair share." Then again, to be fair to the DNC, it probably can't afford to give away any of Weinstein's donations.
Secondly, the recipients of the DNC's re-gifting arrangement are indeed women's groups, but they're also all solid pro-Democratic. In other words, the DNC is shifting cash from checking to savings. The DNC would like to distance itself from Weinstein's sexual abuse scandal without distancing itself from Weinstein's cash.
Amazingly enough, some newsrooms are actually soft-peddling the DNC's bizzaro money laundering scheme.
"Democratic National Committee to Give Away More Than $30,000 of Harvey Weinstein's Donations," read a headline published Friday afternoon by the Hollywood Reporter.
The Hill reported, "DNC to donate money from Weinstein to women's political groups after sexual harassment accusations."
"DNC to give Harvey Weinstein donations to women's organizations," read a headline published by the Daily Beast.
These headlines are terrific for Democrats. How big-hearted they sound! How pro-active! They're truly the pro-woman party.
Really, though, why leave out the crucial context that the DNC is putting 10 percent of Weinstein's overall contributions into groups that will basically give it right back?
Omitting the sleazy truth of the DNC's Weinstein cash plan leaves the reader with a decidedly different, and wrong, impression about what's really happening.
Perhaps that's the point.