I pit the media for letting Republicans get away with lying

One of the saddest things about our modern mass media is that they have become such total tools for those who would manipulate them. They seem to think that there’s no conflict between good journalism and repeating assertions which they pretty much KNOW to be lies as if there were something to them.

Case in point: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, hereafter known as the Fucking Liars. Even supposed bastions of liberalism like NPR, and of objective journalism, like CNN, have a habit of mindlessly parroting the claims of the Fucking Liars, without pointing out that they’ve pretty much been PROVEN to be a pack of lies spewed people who for the most part had no way of knowing what they claim to know (i.e., they didn’t serve with Kerry).

Whenever the media blithely parrot the Fucking Liars’ accusations without parenthetically observing that they are in fact lies, they give them the patina of truth. In this way, the media have become complicit in the Big Lie strategy of the Republicans.

And it would be so easy for the media to fix. All they’d have to do is, whenever they mention the Fucking Liars, is point out that they’re a bunch of fucking liars. Not in those terms of course. Frex, instead of just saying, “The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has embarked on a campaign challenging Kerry’s war record” they could say, “The Swift Boat Veterans, though their claims have been thoroughly discredited, continue to challenge … . etc.” Or they coudl say, “The Swift Boat Veterans dispute Kerry’s war record, though their claims have no proof and Kerry’s do.”

It is NOT objective, fair or balanced reporting to blandly accept the lies of one side or the other in a political debate, ONCE THOSE LIES HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE LIES. It’s understandable to repeat allegations when there’s some doubt about them, but when the allegations are PROVEN LIES, you become COMPLICIT in those lies if you repeat them without also condemning them.

In the last couple of weeks the media has done a few pathetic mea culpas for being idiot cheerleaders for Bush during the lead-in to the war in Iraq. I wonder if they’ll ever manage any mea culpas for this pathetic performance.

Why, yes. Yes, they will.

In a few months. After the election. When they won’t be running scared that someone will accuse them of trying to affect the results.

Of course, by then it will all be old news, so the stories won’t get much play.

In a similar vein, recent news (usually on page 3) mentions that the number of people below poverty level has increased, that the expected growth in GDP didn’t happen, that the number of new jobs wasn’t as large as expected, the stock indexes are all down again, and that the number of people without health insurance is several million higher than was thought. And yet, the pundits all continue to tell us how well the economy is doing… and how the media is liberal.


What the newpapers should do, but won’t, is to put the retractions and the apology right on the front page, right where the original accusations had been. Before the election. As far as the pundits go, people need to realize that they are just talking heads who only serve their own interest, who are very good at only giving their half of the story and leaving any facts that contradict them.

The OP is correct but doesn’t go far enough. The media should do this type of thing for every charge by every politician. If a Bush TV ad says, “Kerry voted to raise taxes 595 times” the media should publically critique the ad, by saying, "Of those 595 votes, 590 were because the tax was attached as a last minute rider on to some other legislation such as the “Motherhood and Puppies Act.”

Fox News has already debunked most of the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I presume you’re wondering when the rest of the media will catch up?

I feel so lucky that my Momma taught me this as soon as I was old enough to sit still in front of a television set.

It’s called critical thinking, and it’s fun. More people should try it.

Oh, it ran on the front pages here in NYC, in the Times, anyway. Below the fold, but still on the front page.

Along with the comment that the Feds released all the figures a month early because nobody pays attention to the newspapers in August.

This, I think, deserves its own Pit thread.

Or if Kerry says that the recent spurt in job growth is tainted because it is for low paying jobs, you want the media to point out that, in fact, almost 75% of the growth has been in the 65% of sectors that pay above the national average, including five of the seven fastest growing industries. Right? (Cite.)

The much derided Sun ran it above the fold, prominent upper right.

That sounds made up. Who says nobody pays attention to newspapers in August? You get hurricane news and back to school sales in addition to the stuff you get in July and September.

You mean newspapers making stuff up to dramatize their own stories?

Wait, you want the media to actually do fact checking, tell the truth, and point out when politicians are lying? That’s what go the neanderthal wing of the American public to declare the media liberal to begin with. They’re just responding to what the public demands: imbecilic rants that decry the very notion of research or reason. Why do you think Faux was such a hit when it came along? It wasn’t that people wanted an intelligent viewpoint from the right (not that that’s what we got), they wanted an angry voice that would reinforce their own ignorance and prejudice.

The reason we have such a deplorable media is the reasonwe have such deplorable politicians: us. The public. Garbage in, garbage out.

Hearsay. Circumstantial evidence. The papers themselves all claim it to be true. The “dog days,” they call it.

Normally concerned and aware readers are supposed to be away on vacation, out on the beach, or fanning themselves on the veranda with a Tom Collins in one hand and a Jackie Collins in the other.

Ever notice how a Sunday paper in August weighs about half of the same paper in September?

No, not really. But that’s not why August is called “dog days”. It’s called that because it happens to coincide with the seasonal ascendancy of Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (Latin for “Big Dog”), as the brightest star in the night sky.

Translated for regular people, “nobody” means everyone who lives in Manhattan or Beacon Hill.

They take August off. Cool deal, huh?

Not quite. What I want is for the media to critically examine all factual assertions by all candidates: Bush, Kerry, Nader and the Green party’s candidate for dog catcher in Utica. I also want them to critically examine factual assertions such as the one cited, which is from the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve, which last time I checked wasn’t God and so is as prone to mistakes, partisianship and prejudice as any other group. Heck, the Fed can’t even speak plain English, (ie 75% growth in 65% of 5/7th of the fastest growing sectors). I’d want the media to point out that the Chicago branch of the Fed is playing fast and loose with the statistics, by cherry picking favorable numbers and ignoring the unfavorable ones.

:smiley: Unlike MoveOn.org’s use of year-old stats from the AFL-CIO, I reckon. I thought it would be the case that the Federal Reserve is not God, but Kerry is. He does not play fast and loose with facts, even when he’s wrong, because he shits turds of gold and alabaster. Gah. It’s no wonder the nation is polarized and the election is a statistical dead heat. Both sides pretend the other can’t see, hear, or say anything meaningful.

Not "dog days’, it’s referred to as “the silly season” The term and the phenomena goes back a long ways e.g., CM Kornbluth published a story with that title in 1950.

It’s referred to as a LOT of things by the media, including “slow news time.”

In a word, YES

Just as another data point to the OP: I had no idea the claims had been “disproven.” Conservative pundits are still talking about how seriously the SBV’s have damaged the Kerry campaign (which can be true whether or not you think the claims have been disproven), some say to the point that Bush has the election in the bag.

Did they not hear about the proof to the contrary, or do they just not believe it?