Honey, I shrunk the baby
SCENE FROM SLATE.COM'S EDITORIAL OFFICE:
Editor: Come on, people. We need story ideas! Stories directed at anxious parents! Those are so hot right now!
Writer #1: What about a series of pieces from middle-class moms where they complain about their nanny problems? Those always get readers up in arms.
Editor: Nah, Salon's cornered the market on those. And besides, they're so 2004.
Writer #2: How about an alarmist piece that tenuously connects an ailment or disorder that parents worry about with a common household object?
Writer #3: Yeah! Like, um, ADD and antibacterial soap!
Writer #2: Or influenza and, uh, cats!
Writer #1: What about autism and TV?
Editor: Brilliant! Run with it! But we need another story. These alarmist pieces tend to be seven-day wonders. We want to pack a one-two punch with a follow-up story that makes the autism/TV story look like actual science.
Writer #2: How about a story about kids who see shrinks?
Writer #3: How about a story about BABIES who see shrinks?
Editor: Genius! Magnificent! Raises all around! Except for you, #2. You're fired.