Sunday, April 24

How the MSM tars people they hate, part 574

A notorious trick used by newspaper reporters--and allowed to be used by like-minded editors-- is that of reporting a false story published by another outlet and harmful to a political opponent as if it were fact. The malicious reporter doesn't need to actually say the story is true, but by discussing various possible conclusions and logical aspects (i.e. "[Name of enemy] has a long record of criticizing foreign aid [or whatever]") the reader is left with the clear impression that the story is fact.

Case in point: During the '08 campaign a story surfaced that when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin had tried to ban some books in the local library. The story helpfully included a list of the titles.

The "story" was quickly picked up by the MSM/ liberal/Dem media. Here are some of the headlines they used:
Just one tiny problem: The story was a hoax from the get-go. One tipoff was that several of the books on the list were published after Palin was no longer mayor. The one nugget of fact was that a constituent had asked the mayor if it was possible to get offensive books removed from the town's library. The mayor relayed the question to the library staff, but never sought to ban any books.

In fact the list of books Palin allegedly sought to ban was one of the periodic reports of books that anyone had asked to have banned from any library in the U.S. But the MSM got away with the stories, and no retraction was ever published.

As a result, it's likely that the story persuaded a few undecided voters that Palin was--as the MSM had been claiming all along--a neanderthal who shouldn't be elected VP.

Now, I don't have feelings one way or the other regarding Ms. Palin's abilities, but just wanted to call your attention to one of the many ways the media accomplish hatchet-jobs on people they hate.

And of course they never retract the scurrilous stories, let alone apologize.

Don't know about y'all but I consider that sort of behavior...deeply offensive. As in, a capital offense.


Blogger Kimberly Rousseau D.C. said...

Sorry if I'm being dense but what does MSM mean?

12:38 PM  
Blogger sf said...

Kimberly, I'm *so* sorry but I just now found your comment in the "awaiting moderation" queue! You must have thought I didn't want to publish it, but honestly, I just found it--and it's a perfectly reasonable question.

MSM stands for "mainstream media," a term for the alphabet networks that seem to always report the same stories with the same slant.

Again, sorry for the long delay!

3:23 PM  

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