I know, I'm a bit late - but the reason for this blog is to inform those members of my family and friends who don't regularly surf the web for this kind of stuff, so I'm posting it anyway!
This article over at Reason has been linked to by many many people (so many that I'm not sure where I first got the link from), and for good reason. It needs to be read.
Journalism, academia, policy wonkery: They all maintain well-oiled Orwellian memory holes, into which errors vanish without a trace. Stern pronouncements are hurled down like thunderbolts from Zeus, and, like Zeus, their authors are totally unaccountable to mere human beings. Time?s Strobe Talbott decreed in 1982 that it was "wishful thinking to predict that international Communism some day will either self-destruct or so exhaust itself in internecine conflict that other nations will no longer be threatened." A Wall Street analyst who misjudged a stock so badly would find himself living under a bridge, if not sharing a cell with Martha Stewart. But Talbott instead became Bill Clinton?s deputy secretary of state, where he could apply his perspicacious geopolitical perceptual powers to Osama bin Laden.Folks, I know I've harped this over and over, but dadgum it, I'm gonna say it again. If you are relying solely on Big Media for your news, you are uninformed. Worse, you are probably misinformed. There is no perfect news source in existence - just as there is no perfect system of government in existence - but there certainly are sources that are better. It's hard in today's world, I know, what with being so busy, but if you really want to be informed, you've got to do your own digging.
One of the most striking revelations in the exposure of the Jayson Blair disaster at The New York Times was his fabrication of an entire visit to the West Virginia farm of POW Jessica Lynch?s family, including detailed descriptions of rivers and cattle herds that did not exist. Lynch?s parents read the story, laughed at the ludicrous falsehoods, but made no attempt to correct them. It never occurred to them that there was any point. Anybody who reads papers or watches television news knows how rare corrections are.
That?s especially true when the mistake is not a discrete, concrete fact like a misspelled name but a broader error of perspective or analysis. It took decades for the Times to admit that the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of its Stalin-era Moscow bureau chief, Walter Duranty, was delusionary drivel. Even so, his Pulitzer stands. And the Times has yet to bite the bullet on its correspondent Herbert J. Matthews, the clueless Castro groupie who wrote that the comandante was winning his guerrilla war in Cuba at a time when he actually commanded fewer than 20 men.
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