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September 19th, 2007

Reading an article on the Washington Post website, I was struck by the absurd number of hyperlinks–twelve in all–the editors embedded in a mere two lines of text:

“The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated they will not attend the "All American Presidential Forum" organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore and airing on PBS. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all cited scheduling conflicts in forgoing the debate.”

Apparently, the web mavens at the Post feel that if you read an article which happens to mention Baltimore, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Arizona–no matter how little relevance they have to the story at hand–you require links to complete story archives for each of those locations. Because naturally you would think, “Hey, this article mentions Arizona. Even though I’m only on the second paragraph, I am consumed with an overwhelming desire to know what else may be happening in Arizona right now.” I am surprised that they didn’t also include links for the terms “black,” “Sept. 27,” and “the.”

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