Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Speaking Truthiness To Power

It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

Lucky for her she won't have to imagine it then, hey ? Now we know. While the MSM was issuing hysterical denunciations of those rotters in the blogosphere, Reuters was publishing photos from the Rolf Harris of Photoshop. In the blink of an eye, we've gone from fraud being unthinkable, to fraud being unthinkable except for the guy caught commiting it.

The winner of Best In Show was undoubtedly the Telegraph's Shane Richmond, who - no kidding - managed to slip a reference to Abu Grahib into an article that slipped seemlessly from denouncing bloggers as 'conspiracy theorists' to explaining that the fact the MSM was caught running bogus pictures proves that the system works. Huh ?

Since Shaneless brings it up, I'd point out that the US Army was investigating events at Abu Grahib long before they became public knowledge. More to the point, the US Army hadn't been rubbishing anyone who pointed out the potential for abuse right up until these events were revealed. Richmond and his fellow travellers would still be calling all and sundry 'conspiracy theorists' if Reuters had employed a better P-shopper.

Hairsplitting to the contrary, the point is surely this: when allegations about Qana first emerged, the MSM assured us that such frauds would be easily picked up by their 'multiple layers of fact-checking'. Now we know that even blatant photoshopping goes undetected, the whole thrust of the MSM's argument has collapsed. It turns out that even if the photos were faked, they were 'essentially true' - the MSM's own version of slightly pregnant - or, indeed, fake but accurate. Needless to say, qualifiers like essentially true weren't much in evidence prior to these latest revelations.

Now, the wheels have well and truly come off. The MSM's whole reporting of the conflict is in play. Here's probably the best round-up of the current situation. To the point: it would be simpler to name those aspect of MSM reporting which haven't raised suspicions. Yes, the MSM can claim that thousands of bloggers and blog readers have all got together to persecute them for no reason at all, but could they stop calling other people conspiracy theorists ?

There's a wider point here. It goes to the nature of modern Liberalism. Here we have a group of rich and powerful multinationals exposed as frauds trying to pervert the political agenda, by the hard work of ordinary citizens. It's the type of story the media usually loves, but I'm not holding my breath for any latter day Erin Brockovich-style fawning coverage of DFH. Ditto, consider the question of the Qana timestamps. The MSM are anxious for us to know that the timestamps may not reflect the time the pictures were actually taken, but they won't actually release the raw data. What happened to the public's right to know ? Nope - instead we get Roy Greenslade, apparently on a bonus for each use of the phrase 'right-wing', claiming that even asking questions risks the lives of jounalists. Huh ?

Let's try a little thought experiment here. Think what the MSM would say if any other industry behaved the way the MSM is doing. Exactly. Jounalists like to posture as fearless seekers after truth, but now it turns out that they're fearless seekers after truthiness, stuff that's not within the strict sense of the word true, but tells a greater truth. In other words, they lie to push their own agenda.

Isn't this just a perfect microcosm of modern Liberalism ? Journalists might still blather about representing the little guy, but then we get charmers like the Sunday Mirror's Sharon Van Geuns screaming abuse at the peasants. Why not ? Sixties radicals fought the system so they could grow up to impose speech codes, racial quotas and zero tolerance policing (but only for some crimes). The Left has become everything it claimed to despise. The degeneration of jounaists from alcoholic hacks chasing down stories to metropolitan yuppie scum dealing in symbolism is the story of the collapse of Leftism's moral basis.

No comments: