The ACLU sued both the Delaware State Police and members of the Santorum campaign for an incident where a group of women were ejected (possibly arrested) for the crime of being intelligent (read: disagreeing with Santorum's views) in a bookstore prior to a Santorum booksigning. The headline reads: ACLU settles suit over book-signing incident
. I did a quick Google - from the FreeOnline dictionary definition of "settle" (yes, there are better online dictionaries, it came up first and it's good enough for these purposes):
8.a. To make compensation for (a claim).
8.b. To pay (a debt).
9. To conclude (a dispute, for example) by a final decision.
10. To decide (a lawsuit) by mutual agreement of the involved parties without court action.
So, to settle a suit either means that you lost the argument and agreed to pay, or that there was a neutral outcome. Clearly, the ACLU did not do particularly well here, right? That's what the headline says. Unless you read the article, which explains that the Delaware State Police are paying all the ACLU's legal fees and instituting a training program on free speech rights while the campaign workers are writing formal apologies and paying damages. Headline should have read: "Delaware State Police and Santorum campaign workers settle." If there wasn't enough space for that, how about: "ACLU wins dispute over book-signing incident?" Exactly the same number of letters and spaces as the headline they went with.
Journalistic ethics anyone? Standards? Training in basic English language usage?
Does anyone know if the ACLU actually gives out membership cards? I'm thinking it may be time to get me one of those.