Sunday, October 31, 2004

Scary stuff

Not the Halloween party, which was good. What's been happening in the press.

Just One Minute has a pretty good roundup of the nonsense on the Al QaQaa ammo dump story. And it all makes me pretty damn mad. I grew up with the idea that the nice man on the evening news, and the newspapers, gave you the facts so you knew what was going on. You could trust them on that. Yeah, the papers had editorials, and would generally come out for one candidate or the other in an election, but the basic facts you didn't need to worry about. Turns out, you do.

Starting long before the Rathergate story, and continuing with this, we've got a solid pattern of mainstream media knowingly putting out false, or doubtful at best, information with the express idea of affecting the election. The NYT has been getting whacked on the bias in their work for years now, so have many of the bigshot Evening News newsreaders, but this is so blatant that it's sickening. I don't expect reporters to be totally unbiased; they're human. I DO expect them, as professionals, to put their bias aside when they're covering a story and dig up the facts. And if the facts mean the story they were handed is crap, well hell, there's a story right there! Possibly a big one. But that's not the story some of these clowns wanted, so it doesn't count.

Look as this mess. Two major media outlets, the NYT and CBS, took a cooked-up story/that they could have known was cooked with a little research, assuming they wanted to find out/ and planned to put it out about 36 hours before the election, which you cannot but think was done deliberately so the Bush campaign couldn't have time to properly answer it. They broke it early because some bloggers caught wind of it and started talking. So they broke a badly flawed report early. As Powerline put it, "When the Times runs a false, half-baked story, it isn't their fault: they had to do it lest people get wind of the false, half-baked story from some other source first".

And CBS? Oh, God, what is their damn problem? They stick their nads firmly in a pencil sharpener and cranked firmly with the Texas Air National Guard story, made it worse, lied and stonewalled until beaten into submission. Still they're at it; the investigation will wait 'till after the election 'so they aren't seen as trying to influence it'. That didn't bother them one damn bit before, but they sure got sensitive all of a sudden. And then they jump into this;
a BS story pushed by a U.N. official pissed at Bush, and it doesn't really matter how truthful it is, doesn't it just fit so nicely? So they do it again, and get caught again, and act like it's not their fault.(burgler: What am I doing here? What are you doing here at 2 a.m.?)

As someone put it a couple of days ago, how long has some of this been going on? How many big stories in the past were crap like this, but there wasn't a really good way to check it and get the word out? How long, and in how many ways, has the 'profession' of journalism been screwing us, and telling us we should thank them for it?

This just about ruins the damn day.

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