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March 23, 2012

MSM: "We'll furnish the War." [krakatoa]

Ed at Hot Air notes another episode of "fake but accurate" reporting that has become the hallmark of our MSM.

In this case, it involves a situation where aspiring journalist Mike Daisey with Ratheresque delusions of grandeur, and having learned nothing of eithical value from the Stephen Glass incident, lied about what he had witnessed in China at factories producing Apple products.

Ed laments that the media is helping nobody if they refuse to pay any sort of homage to reality.

...That makes it harder for real journalists to get those truths out to the public, who won’t put much stock into their claims after having been burned by them with the media’s credulous treatment of Daisey until his exposure.

It seems that this is a lesson that some in the media never learn — fake but accurate doesn’t mitigate anything. It’s as satisfying as the orgasm in When Harry Met Sally. And it’s sad that eight years after the CBS/TANG memos debacle, Topolsky and the Washington Post want to make an argument that fake but accurate has some merit in the journalistic sense.

What Ed is missing is that, to the left, being "right" is more important than being factual.

This seems to be a mutually exclusive scenario unless you can accept the proposition that to many people whose sense of self-importance requires a heroic view of one's existence, of which the left appears to be a huge cohort, "right" and "wrong" are purely relative concepts, with no more regard for empirical reality & actual experience as is a child's concept of fairness.

So in this frame of thinking, "right" is merely a variable in the equation whose only value is "in accordance with the goals we pursue".

Furthermore, there is no question but that "fake but accurate" has some merit in the journalistic sense, if you accept that journalists are, by a large margin, leftists who have internalized the concept that they are noble warriors for social change. The axiom "In war, the truth is the first casualty" is fully at play.

One cannot create social change unless one has the support of society. And the easiest way to get support is if the policies one pursues are policies that are of value to the larger public. Being the gatekeepers of "public knowledge" arms these journalists with the tool to create the cocoon of "common values"; and common values built on untruths grease the rails for bullet trains to nowhere.

Unlike their predecessors in the early days of journalism who had a decidedly free-market approach to the truth, today's reporters are so entirely sure of their own moral superiority in pursuit of their various utopian causes that the most basic of morals have been twisted into value-neutral weapons predicated on the one truth that rules them all:

The ideological Right "lies" about everything, which is self-evident simply because the policies they pursue are in opposition to those the ideological Left pursues.

Therefore any untruths by the left is absolved by virtue of the purity of the cause.

Like their predecessors, today's journalists have little ability or incentive to leave the reservation.

In the build-up to the Spanish-American war, one reporter sent to Cuba to report on atrocities was reminded that truth is never as important as the cause:

"There is no war," Remington wrote to his boss. "Request to be recalled."

Remington's boss, William Randolph Hearst, sent a cable in reply: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."

We, the American public, have lived in an almost unimaginable period of well-being, luxury and peace. Our sense of what constitutes hardship has been softened by this, so when ego demands that we leave our mark and a tragedy over which we can triumph must be supplied, the doom de jour falls well short of the actual existential crises our preceding generations have had to deal with.

Overblown tragedy after tragedy, racial witch-hunt after hunt, global-threatening windmill after windmill, the left, and particularly the leftist media, continues to provide the wars.

(Posted out of draft by Andy)

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posted by Open Blogger at 10:35 AM

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