Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Asymmetrical Incentives

The other thing, of course, is what happens when journalists screw up. They screw up all the time! That's fine. We all screw up, and most non-malicious screwups shouldn't be hanging offenses. Still, as we know, some journalists have their careers and reputations destroyed for relatively harmless screwups. Some, like Jeffrey Goldberg, continue to have illustrious careers in elite magazines like Atlantic Monthly. Looking at the pattern, if you screw up in a way which attacks the powerful and elite interests, which quite often are aligned with conservative/Republican governance, you're ruined. If you screw up in a way which leads to hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis...bygones!