Sunday, August 06, 2006

Integrity is like virginity...

...easy to lose, very difficult to regain.

The MSM -- self proclaimed "watchdogs of the public trust" have been doing some things of late that well...lead one to suspect they harbor a large dollop of contempt for the public and the business of reporting (actual) news itself.

Gone are the days of Ernie Pyle, and Woodward/Bernstein when the MSM actually engaged in real reporting about real incidents. Sure, there was always some spin and a certain amount of political agenda, and a certain amount of "selectivness" in what would be reported to support that agenda and spin -- however -- the MSM wasn't often in the business of "manufacturing facts".

In the past, the selectivness and spin was relegated to the natural biases of the people involved and wasn't allowed to alter the facts of a story (Walter Cronkite and his despicable propagandistic depiction of the Tet Offensive aside). People are people and we have to accept that fundamental truth. You can have any opinion you want, and color a story with that as long as the hard data, the raw facts, aren't altered or new "facts" cut from whole cloth to support your position.

Now we see things like Rathergate where obviously forged documents were foisted off as real -- introducing the notion of "fake but accurate". The "Qana incident" where pictures were obviously staged (and the whole MSM narrative very suspect). SUV's rolling over being "assisted" to do so. Pickup trucks exploding being similarly "assisted". Jayson Blair, etc. The list goes on and on.

In short, the MSM has "crossed the Rubicon" in the last say 10 years and is actively engaged in manufacturing and enhancing stories rather than reporting them as they are. That they do this apparently to support political objectives makes it even more odius. I could understand faking up something just to get a nice headline and sell more papers -- that's the business the tabloids are in and it serves them very well. Alien abductions, hoky conspiracy theories, and "bat boy" are entertaining, but nobody (who isn't a drooling moron) takes that stuff seriously.

The MSM want us to treat them seriously, but they keep doing stuff that makes us think of them as crude propagandists. The same technology that enabled the MSM to easily engage in fabrication and manipulation is the same technology the allows we the people to realize we are being gamed.

Curiously, the MSM seems not to have gotten wind of this technological double edged sword's implications. You would have thought that the RatherGate incident would be a warning shot across the bow to them that there are people out there "watching" the "watchdogs".

Note to the MSM: There's more of us watching you, than there are of you trying to fool us. We have more subject matter experts than you do and we're not under the kind of time pressure that you are. We can take our time analyzing your treachery and fabrications.

Seriously, give it up. Just play it straight and save everyone the bother.

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