Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Let me see if I understand this.

The "mainstream media," after ecstatically reporting all evening that all but one miner had been discovered alive in the West Virginia mine accident, had to do an abrupt about-face and explain that their reports earlier were incorrect and that only one survivor had been found. The story that had been trumpeted by all of the major cable news networks in non-stop live coverage was proven dead wrong. It was explained that the story was basically spread by non-official gossip and that the mining company had never declared there to be twelve survivors, which meant that the news networks were reporting an unverified and unsourced story as a true representation of the events of the evening.

How many networks admitted that they were the ones who had made the mistake by broadcasting rumor as fact? How many were embarassed by the egg on their face for violating basic principles of journalism?


Without exception and without skipping a beat, all of the major "journalists" on the cable news networks blamed the mining company for NOT CORRECTING THEM. It's not their fault for reporting unconfirmed rumors as fact, it's the company's fault for not doing their jobs for them.

I've been reading a lot lately about how the "real" news organizations are professionals who have checks and balances, and that the "blogosphere" is like the Old West when it comes to accuracy.

Sounds like more faulty intelligence. Must be time for another one of those panels on "blogger ethics."

You know there's a problem when David Letterman acts more like a real journalist while interviewing Bill O'Reilly than Rita Cosby, Anderson Cooper, and Geraldo Rivera did during their coverage of this story.


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