Monday, September 20, 2004

The News: Rather Odd

I won't mince words: what passes for "news" here in the USA isn't, on the whole, honest reportage. OK, I minced just a little. What I mean to say is: mainstream "news" in the USA is about as honest as an episode of "Survivor". If that puzzles any of you, let me be the first to enlighten (or "break the story", as they say in the news biz) on the workings of those so-called reality show: they are carefully produced, heavily stage-managed id-gratification from start to finish. They are about as spontaneous as a NASA rocket launch. But I digress.

Even with my attempts to avoid contact with the latest hoo-hah in the Bush/Kerry mudfest...er...campaigns, a dogged pen-pal of mine managed to slip me an article that I think sums up the whole "memogate" thing quite nicely. So here I go, joining the buzz of bloggers commenting on the amazing sham that is mainstream news reporting. It's pretty obvious to most sentient beings that the memos are frauds, so why are CBS (and others) stubbornly clinging to their weak and inconsequential claims? Mark Steyn, writing for the Chicago Sun Times yesterday (9-19-04), opines thusly:
As the network put it last week, ''In accordance with longstanding journalistic ethics, CBS News is not prepared to reveal its confidential sources or the method by which '60 Minutes' Wednesday received the documents.'' But, once they admit the documents are fake, they can no longer claim ''journalistic ethics'' as an excuse to protect their source. There's no legal or First Amendment protection afforded to a man who peddles a fraud. You'd think CBS would be mad as hell to find whoever it was who stitched them up and made them look idiots.

So why aren't they? The only reasonable conclusion is that the source -- or trail of sources -- is even more incriminating than the fake documents. Why else would Heyward and Rather allow the CBS news division to commit slow, public suicide? (entire article)
For my money, it's a good summary of this latest newsmedia diversionary tactic to distract us from actual news. Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin weighs in as well, noting the media's slippery use of buzz words like "candor" and "confident" when the facts are somewhat less than factual.

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