The little Thing: Whodunit?
There's a sort of footnote to the previous item, an example of what we here call The Little Thing, where something in a story, some detail, that is mostly overlooked, is in some way significant or revealing. Usually, it's something that annoys or frustrates me, but this time it's different.
There was a horrendous story that came out of California the end of last week. Police in Salinas found three starving children, ages 3, 5, and 8, in a squalid home. All three exhibited bruises and signs of other physical as well as emotional abuse. The oldest, a girl, was chained to the floor. Police described her as looking "like a concentration camp victim." The couple living in the home were both arrested on charges of felony child cruelty, false imprisonment, and other charges.
A story that leaves you both horrified at the treatment of the children and grateful they were saved.
Here's the little thing: The Associated Press had a 14-graph story on the case. It wasn't until the 11th graph that it was mentioned that the couple involved was two women in a domestic partnership.
You know - you know - that not that many years ago, that fact would have been in the lede, screaming about "children trapped in a lesbian love nest." Now it's something just routinely mentioned in passing. Consider it another sign of progress.