Sunday, June 19, 2005

Shades of RatherGate: Captain Ed reports the Downing Street Memos aren't, um, you know, real.
Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.
So what he's saying is, the documents themselves aren't genuine, but the story is rock-solid? That the memos are "fake, but accurate?"

Every time you think the media have reached a new low in stupidity and mendacity, they find a way to go even lower. No wonder they're now the least-trusted institution.

Next we'll hear the memos are "insufficiently authenticated" but that everyone stands behind the unauthenticated story. Yup, because everyone knows Bush lied about the war, just like everyone knew Bush received preferential treatment in the National Guard, and everyone knows Kerry is smarter than Bush. The fact that there's no evidence for any of those assertions is immaterial, we know they must be true so we're going to go digging for the evidence to prove them, and by God we're going to find that evidence, even if it doesn't exist.


You see, this is why it matters that there are 5 times as many liberals as conservatives in journalism. Journalists are not scientists; they don't gather evidence and then draw conclusions. They draw conclusions and then go looking for evidence to prove them; that's just the nature of investigative journalism. So which conclusions they're trying to prove becomes very important, even if they are truly committed to objective, fact-based reporting. One would hope that despite going after mostly stories that serve a liberal agenda, they would at least dispassionately require a high standard of proof in all cases. But as we've seen, they often fail to meet even that lowered standard of neutrality; they not only report from a liberal bent, they do so eagerly enough that they'll often allow themselves to be duped with less-than-convincing evidence on major stories, while ignoring counter-evidence. As Orwell might have put it, in the eyes of journalists some facts are more objective than others.

(via Instapundit)


Blogger NYgirl said...

What? The MSM has a liberal bias?

2:20 PM  
Blogger AJStrata said...

This is one strange deal...

Check out my next to the last update - it is really strange why this guy went throught the trouble of typeing the memos on an old typewriter, then apparently copying/faxing them a couple of times, before scanning them into PDFs. Why not just reproduce them on his PC? That would cover all the tracks to his source, which is what he claims was his rationale.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Roger Fraley said...

It's funny. You accuse the journalists of doing what the journalist accuse the Bush administration of doing. Agenda first, then facts to support it. The trouble is I think you are right and the journalists wrong. Why is the guy typing the memo he later destroys on an old typewriter rather than on his computer? Is that a direct result of the mistake the TANG fake memo forger made, using a computer? But why go to that trouble when the memo he was "transfering" was early 21st century? It makes no sense.

5:45 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Heh, good point Roger, that irony hadn't occurred to me.

I think the documents probably are based on real memos; as others have pointed out, they don't really say anything useful anyway, so what would the point be? My beef is with the fact they reported this based on such unconvincing evidence, and then misinterpreted what they actually meant by "fixed".

7:30 AM  
Anonymous gumshoe said...

{Journalists are not scientists}


5/4 of people
who read the newspaper
(and that number is,
of course,dropping as we type...)
don't unnderstand fractions.


book i've been meaning to read
for some time now..."Innummeracy"
went into the topic at some length...

many examples in the book of journos mis-using stats in articles...
or presenting them in such a way as to slant a story,etc.

1:31 PM  

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