'People Magazine' Confuses Somewhat Intelligent NPR Producer : The Bryant Park Project Can you make sense of this Clay Aiken story?
NPR logo 'People Magazine' Confuses Somewhat Intelligent NPR Producer

'People Magazine' Confuses Somewhat Intelligent NPR Producer

Clay Aiken, future dad. hide caption

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I try so hard not to be that squirrelly, little man who corrects pronunciation, or mocks bad writing just to feel superior. I hate that guy, but I have to be him right now — this is just too ridiculous. People has a feature in their "Scoop" section on the announcement that Clay Aiken is about to become a father. (Yeah, didn't see that coming.) But that mind-boggling "scoop" is nowhere near as mind-boggling as the way the scoop itself was reported. This paragraph almost blew my face off:

A year and a half after telling People, "I want to be a father so badly," Clay Aiken, 29, is finally getting his wish. In August the former substitute teacher will welcome a child with music producer Jaymes Foster, 50 — with whom he worked on Idol in 2003 — through artificial insemination, a rep for her music producer brother David confirms. "They both want this in their lives right now," says Foster's friend, actor Eric Roberts. "They're perhaps not typical parents, but they have the best foundation — a strong abiding friendship." Foster revealed the news to close friends at her birthday party in March. "She said, 'The one thing I haven't done is to be a parent,'" says Roberts's wife, Eliza, also a friend. "Clay's coming from the same place." Adds fellow Idol Season 2 alum Carmen Rasmusen of Aiken: "He has accomplished a lot in his career so it's a good time for him to be a dad."

What?!?! Who's a what what where what doing what with who and why!?!?!?! Is People trying to puzzle its readers? Do they want me NOT to learn things? Do they hate, hate, hate Strunk & White? I had to spend the better part of the 12 o'clock hour deciphering this beast of a paragraph. I've figured it out. I think. Maybe.

It's going to be hot this weekend. So I invite you to stay inside with the A/C cranked and rewrite this graph. I'll share my revision on Monday.