Well, about 10 minutes ago, I saw a headline and link on Google News:
This seemed to me a "commercial" headline for some reason. If the air crash victims at the airplane race "shared love of aviation" then perhaps it wasn't so bad that they died sudden, violent deaths while enjoying the entertainment. And scanning the headlines, I thought this (of all the headlines I read-- Google News also aggregates headlines) seemed kind of self-serving, so I clicked the link, thinking I'd catch someone who was writing news for commercial purposes.
What did I find at the CBS News link? Different headline:
Washington man among 11 dead in air show crash
So, this is my small media mystery. The question is, where did the headline on Google News come from? Has Google figured out a way to sell headlines, which they attach to existing news story links? Maybe the link changed behind the scenes using some Ajax trickery. [Ed. Ajax is the programming language in which part of the news page is written.]
Of course, there's also the possibility the "shared love" headline was just written by some hapless copy boy, or whoever it is who writes headlines for display on the internet, and the page got linked incorrectly for a moment in the Google news page code (it disappeared altogether when the Google news page refreshed 5 minutes after I first saw it). [Ed. It was about 6:00 pm, 9/20/11, it's not clear when I'll actually post this.] Possibly it was not meant to be marketing propaganda. It's also possible the headline came from CBC.ca, which inadvertently supplied the graphic on the Google News headline.
Is this a software glitch? Or a shady capitalist conspiracy to manipulate the news? [Ed. I know now, after writing this whole post, that the first choice is correct.]