local news seals the deal

On Monday, April 23, a suicide bomber killed nine US soldiers in Iraq. Boris Yeltsin and David Halberstam both died. What did the San Francisco Chronicle use as their top headline?


Yes, the deadly, fearsome elephant seal. 2,500 pounds of raw, harbor -seal-killing fury. The citizens of Sonoma must be warned! Away from Goat Rock Beach, or suffer the seal's wrath!

The seal has reportedly killed a dozen harbor seals, and bitten a surfer. It has also bitten a dog, not to step on anyone's area of expertise. It lunges "like a crocodile", according to witnesses.

It may be that the Chron wanted to feature the story so they could put up a video of the elephant seal doing "straight-out murder":

This film clip can be hard to watch. But it is nature primeval presented in its pure form. The size and power of the rogue elephant seal now dwelling at the mouth of the Russian River near Jenner is on display. So is his murderous intent as he overwhelms the hapless harbor seal, pummels it and twirls it like a wet rag. Meanwhile, as a backdrop, the seagulls on the sandbar flutter and land, again and again, agitated by the event but unsure of the danger to themselves. You may be sure that when the elephant seal ends his rampage, the gulls will swoop in to snatch up the gobbits of offal scattered about on the sand. Such is life in the raw. Or, as the late Kurt Vonnegut remarked, "so it goes."

They may not appeal to people who want reporting, but by God, the Chronicle is going to be #1 with Vonnegut aficionados who collect seal snuff films, or go bankrupt trying.

The best part? The murderous seal's name is "Nibbles".

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on May 8, 2007 6:32 PM.

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