Friday, January 20, 2006

Why We Say "Fuck" A Lot

Jane has more on the latest nonsense from the Post. The problem really is that no matter how many times we try to kill right wing horseshit (or as Media Matters delicately calls it, "conservative misinformation") it keeps coming back to haunt us. It infects the media bloodstream. We politely ask for corrections. They don't happen. We start screaming for corrections. They still don't happen. Eventually some half-assed weaselly blame-the-uncivil-critics statement is released. We scream louder. And, then, the horeshit pops up again on CNN.

As we were talking about on Air America last night, this whole situation is really reminiscent of the 2004 Adam Nagourney incident. Rough version: Nagourney wrote an article which passed on Bush administration peddled horeshit about how after the handover to the transitional government in Iraq U.S. casualties had declined. But they didn't. No matter how one squinted at the data, casualties hadn't declined. There was no way to slice it and dice it to make it so. Many angry exchanges between people and Nagourney and the useless Okrent. Many denials from them. Finally half-assed correction and an Okrent column which revealed the name and hometown of a rather "uncivil" reader because of his dastardly incivility.

Major newspaper has big megaphone. Readers generally have no megaphone. Journalists have responsibilities and these ethics I keep hearing about, including the responsibility not to be as factfree as they keep claiming blogs are. When you explain, calmly and repeatedly, that 2+2=4 and they keep denying it you get a little mad. Civil behavior isn't about restraining from insults or obscenities, it's about behaving like a fucking decent human being.