It’s unbelievably bad writing

This is possibly the worst writing by a professional that I have read in a long, long time. It’s not because of the grammatical errors and wacky word use (though they are factors). It’s because the Yahoo! Style writer made no attempt to state actual facts. It seems she made up most of the information in the article and there was no oversight to stop her.

It starts with this little lie, which alleges that Martha Washington was a great hostess at the White House:

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Martha Washington never lived in the White House, since it wasn’t even built when her husband was president. In fact, Mrs. Washington never even lived in Washington, DC. But this writer’s imagination isn’t confined by facts.

Moving on to Eleanor Roosevelt, the writer decided her life needed some enhancements, so she alleges that Mrs. Roosevelt helped serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy:

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I don’t know how one does that, but I do know that it was her husband who was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. But, let’s just pooh-pooh facts.

Why would a writer make up a name for a first lady? I have no idea, but I have evidence that this writer did:

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Pat Nixon’s real name is not and never was Patricia; it was Thelma. Why couldn’t the writer just Google that? Because facts are not important at Yahoo!.

Then there’s the “fact” that Rosalynn Carter’s father helped support her family after he died:

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I guess that’s possible, if there’s an inheritance involved.

Nancy Reagan gets a little better treatment: The writer claims that Mrs. Reagan’s  “Just Say No” campaign was jaw-droppingly successful, while the rest of the country considered it an embarrassment:

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Wasn’t it just two months ago that Mrs. Clinton was running for the presidency, and not the “Presidential office”?

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She wasn’t “the U.S. Senator of New York” (which makes no sense); she was a U.S. senator from New York. That’s a tad different.

What else is a tad different? This claim that Barbara Bush is Laura Bush’s mother:

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Barbara Bush is George W. Bush’s mother; it would be an incestuous scandal if she was also Laura Bush’s mother. She is Laura Bush’s mother-in-law. Laura Bush didn’t create a “literary program,” but a literacy program. But I quibble. After all, it’s only words.

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