Skip to comments.Blogs: All the noise that fits. (Opinions on weblogs no substitute for fact-finding of reporters)
Posted on 08/20/2007 10:02:06 AM PDT by John Jorsett
The late Christopher Lasch once wrote that public affairs generally and journalism in particular suffered not from too little information but from entirely too much. What was needed, he argued, was robust debate. Lasch, a historian by training but a cultural critic by inclination, was writing in 1990, when the Internet was not yet a part of everyday life and bloggers did not exist.
Bloggers now are everywhere among us, and no one asks if we don't need more full-throated advocacy on the Internet. The blogosphere is the loudest corner of the Internet, noisy with disputation, manifesto-like postings and an unbecoming hatred of enemies real and imagined.
And to think most bloggers are doing all this on the side. "No man but a blockhead," the stubbornly sensible Samuel Johnson said, "ever wrote but for money." Yet here are people, whole brigades of them, happy to write for free. And not just write. Many of the most active bloggers -- Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias, Joshua Micah Marshall and the contributors to the Huffington Post -- are insistent partisans in political debate. Some reject the label "journalist," associating it with what they contemptuously call MSM (mainstream media); just as many, if not more, consider themselves a new kind of "citizen journalist" dedicated to broader democratization.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
And the FACT-FINDING and FACT-CHECKING on weblogs trumps the "fact-finding" of reporters. And they just HATE that--Mary Mapes and Dan Rather in particular.
- Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press (2005). Lying/fabricating. In his sports column, he described alumni players at a basketball game who were not even there.
- Stephen Ambrose, historian/author (2002). Plagiarism. He was almost a book "factory", writing eight books in five years. But that apparently came easier when parts were copied from other books, without attribution.
- Associated Press (AP) (2005). Fell for hoax and phony photo. The AP ran a story, with a photo, about a soldier held hostage in Iraq. The photo turned out to be that of an action figure doll; there was no such soldier.
- Mike Barnicle, Boston Globe (1998). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. Totally made up stories, including one about a black kid and a white kid with cancer. Also used quotes from George Carlin as his own. Fired from the Boston Globe.
- Maria Bartiromo, CNBC (2007). Conflict of interest. She dated a Citicorp executive and received special treatment from him, and also owned stock in Citicorp while doing financial reporting for CNBC, including reporting on Citicorp.
- Scott Beauchamp, The New Republic (2007). Lying. TNR hired this U.S. Army private and husband of one of its own reporters to write first-hand accounts from Iraq. One of his accounts, supposedly demonstrating the dehumanizing effects of the Iraq war on him and fellow soldiers, occurred in Kuwait before Beauchamp even entered Iraq. Other parts of his writing are likely false, and if not, constitute military crimes on his part. In fact, his anonymous writing from a war zone is likely against military rules. This story is currently unfolding.
- Nada Behziz, The Bakersfield Californian (2005). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. Writing mostly on health issues, she plagiarized from the New York Times and AP, made up sources, and got basic facts wrong. An investigation counted 29 fabricated or plagiarized articles. She also lied on her resume. She was fired.
- Michael Bellesiles, professor of history, author of Arming America and recipient of Columbia University's Bancroft Prize. Lying/fabricating. He made "myth shattering" claims about the history of guns in America that were based on fabricated historical records. He resigned from Emory University.
- Joe Biden, U.S. Senator and candidate for President (1988). Plagiarism. He withdrew from the 1988 presidential race after being discovered "delivering, without attribution, passages from a speech by British Labor party leader Neil Kinnock... a serious plagiarism incident involving Biden during his law school years; the senator's boastful exaggerations of his academic record at a New Hampshire campaign event; and the discovery of other quotations in Biden's speeches pilfered from past Democratic politicians." He's still a Senator, and back in the race for 2008.
- Jayson Blair, The New York Times (2003). Lying/fabricating. He fabricated parts or all of at least 36 stories. He, along with his bosses Gerald Boyd and Howell Raines, resigned from the NYT.
- The Boston Globe (2004). Fake photos, fake story. The Boston Globe published pictures alleging U.S. troops raped Iraqi women. The pictures turned out to be commercially available pornography.
- Paul Bradley Richmond Times-Dispatch (2006). Lying/fabricating. Made up his story on reactions to President Bush's speech on immigration. He fabricated interviews. He reported on an event in the first person, yet he was not even in the same town. He was fired.
- Rick Bragg, The New York Times (2003). "Drive-by" reporting. "Bragg's defense -- that it is common for Times correspondents to slip in and out of cities to get the dateline' while relying on the work of stringers, researchers, interns and clerks -- has sparked more passionate disagreement than the clear-cut fraud and plagiarism committed by Blair. The issue, put starkly, is whether readers are being misled about how and where a story was reported." He resigned.
- Fox Butterfield, New York Times (2000). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. In 2003, a federal jury ruled that "the New York Times and one of its reporters libeled an Ohio Supreme Court justice" in an article published April 13, 2000. The jury found that the article was "not substantially true". He also "had lifted material from a story in The Boston Globe while reporting, ironically, on plagiarism by a Boston University dean".
- Thom Calandra, Marketwatch.com (2005). Conflict of interest. He profited by selling stocks shortly after giving them positive write-ups in his newsletter. The SEC brought suit against him, which was settled.
- Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. Lying, plagiarism, bias. His book was so full of errors, including doctored maps, that his chief collaborator, Kenneth Stein of Emory University, resigned his position with the Carter Center. Carter's book was condemned by Alan Dershowitz and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others.
- CBS, Dan Rather, Mary Mapes (2004). Fell for fake documents. CBS used forged documents from a non-credible source in claiming George W. Bush received favored treatment in the Air National Guard.
- Chris Cecil, Cartersville Daily News (2005). Plagiarism. "The associate managing editor of a small Georgia newspaper was fired for plagiarizing articles by a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Miami Herald, including copying a passage about his mother's battle with cancer. Chris Cecil, 28, was fired from The Daily Tribune News of Cartersville on Thursday after the Herald pointed out six to eight columns written since March that contained portions from work by Leonard Pitts Jr."
- Philip Chien, Wired News (2006). Lying/fabricating. He made up sources and quotes in at least three articles. Wired withdrew the stories.
- Ward Churchill, Chairman of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado. Lying and plagiarism. He lied about his credentials and ethnic background to get a job in the first place. His "research" was laden with fabricated evidence, plagiarism and referencing his own previous writings under pseudonyms. He is worthy of Mary McCarthy's quote about Lillian Hellman: "Every word (s)he writes is a lie, including and' and the'." He was fired.
- CNN, Operation Tailwind, CNN NewsStand (1998). Lying/fabricating. The televised special claimed that the U.S. military used nerve gas in a mission to kill American defectors in Laos during the Vietnam War, but the story had no factual support. CNN later retracted the story.
- CNN and Eason Jordan (2003). Admitted bias, slanting the news. Eason Jordan, CNN's news chief, admitted that CNN withheld reporting on Saddam Hussein's atrocities so as to continue getting favored treatment from Saddam.
- Janet Cooke, Washington Post (1980-1981), Pulitzer Prize winner. Lying/fabricating. Her series on "Jimmy's World" about an 8-year-old heroin addict was totally made up.
- Katie Couric, "Katie Couric's Notebook," CBSNews.com (2007). Plagiarism. In the first place, her blog is largely written by someone else. That someone else copied material from The Wall Street Journal, without attribution.
- The Daily Egyptian (2005). Fell for hoax. This student newspaper wrote a series about the family of a soldier in Iraq who subsequently died, except that the whole thing was made up.
- Allan Detrich, The Toledo Blade (2007). Doctored photos. He submitted 79 photographs that were altered. "The changes Mr. Detrich made included erasing people, tree limbs, utility poles, electrical wires, electrical outlets, and other background elements from photographs. In other cases, he added elements such as tree branches and shrubbery." He resigned.
- Stephen Dunphy, Seattle Times associate editor and business columnist (2004). Plagiarism. He used significant quotes (e.g., seven paragraphs at a time) from other sources on multiple occasions. He resigned.
- Walter Duranty, The New York Times (1930s), Pulitzer Prize winner. Lying. This man visited Stalin's Russia and wrote that nothing untoward was happening there -- no famine, etc. In fact, up to 10 million people died in the Ukraine famine. His writings matched Russian propaganda almost exactly. His Pulitzer Prize still stands.
- Joseph Ellis, professor at Mount Holyoke College and historian/author (2001), Pulitzer Prize winner. Lying. He falsely claimed military service in Vietnam and incorporated his war "experiences" into his college courses on "The Vietnam War and American Culture". Mount Holyoke censured him and suspended him without pay for one year.
- Jacob Epstein, novelist (1980). Plagiarism. "Jacob Epstein, responding to charges that he had plagiarized from Martin Amis's The Rachel Papers for his first novel, Wild Oats, has apologized, admitting that he had indeed copied passages and images from Mr. Amis, and from other writers, as well."
- Diana Griego Erwin , Sacramento Bee (2005), lying/fabricating. The Bee was "unable to verify the existence of 43 people she named in her columns". She resigned.
- Hassan Fattah, New York Times (2006). Fell for a hoax. Did a front page story about the man in one of the famous Abu Ghraib photos. But it turned out that the man who claimed to be the one in the picture, who provided details for the story, was not the one in the picture at all.
- James Forlong, Sky News (2003). Fake story, fake footage. He presented footage from a missile test as actual combat in Iraq. He subsequently committed suicide.
- Jay Forman, Slate (2001). Fake story. He wrote an article describing the fictitious sport of Monkey Fishing as real. Slate later published an apology and admitted details were fictitious.
- James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, Oprah Book Club. Lying. Virtually the entire "nonfiction memoir" of his vomit-caked years as an alcoholic, drug addict, and criminal was fabricated.
- Michael Gallagher, The Cincinnati Enquirer (1998). Information theft. "Mike Gallagher had illegally tapped into Chiquita's voice mail system and used information he obtained as a result in stories questioning Chiquita's business practices in Latin America." The paper agreed to pay Chiquita Brands International over $10 million and run an apology on the front page three times.
- Stephen Glass, The New Republic (1998). Lying. "Glass, a 25-year-old rising star at The New Republic, wrote dozens of high-profile articles for a number of national publications in which he made things up...he made up people, places and events. He made up organizations and quotations. Sometimes, he made up entire articles. And to back it all up, he created fake notes, fake voicemails, fake faxes, even a fake Web site - whatever it took to deceive his editors, not to mention hundreds of thousands of readers." He was fired.
- Jacqueline Gonzalez, San Antonio Express News (2007). Plagiarism. She admitted "she used, without attribution, information from a Web site for a Christmas Day column. Later research uncovered further examples of plagiarism in two other columns."
- Doris Kearns Goodwin, historian/author (2002). Plagiarism. Large portions of her book, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, were lifted from multiple other sources without attribution. She took a leave of absence from PBS.
- Adnan Hajj, Reuters (2006). Doctored photos. He doctored dozens of pictures of the 2006 Lebanon-Israel conflict. Reuters later withdrew all 920 of his photos from sale.
- Alex Haley (1977) , Pulitzer Prize winning author of Roots. Plagiarism. He settled a lawsuit for $650,000, admitting that large passages of Roots were copied from the book The African by Harold Courlander.
- Mark Halperin, ABC News (2004). Admitted bias. He wrote a memo to news staff telling them to hold George Bush to a stricter standard than John Kerry: "Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and makes] mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win. We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides equally' accountable when the facts don't warrant that."
- Jack Hitt, New York Times (2006). Lying, or at least really sloppy research. He wrote a story about a woman in El Salvador who was sentenced to prison for having an abortion when she was 18 weeks pregnant. It turned out that "her child was carried to term, was born alive and died in its first minutes of life." In short, her crime was infanticide, not abortion.
- Houston Chronicle, Light Rail Controversy (2002). Admitted bias. An internal memo outlined how the paper would promote the light rail project in Houston and do research into Tom Delay and other light rail opponents. That would be creating the news rather than reporting it.
- Eason Jordan, CNN (2005). False accusations. He accused U.S. forces in Iraq of deliberately targeting and killing journalists. He apologized and resigned.
- Jack Kelley , USA Today (2004). Lying. USA Today concluded of "the star" of its news staff: "Jack Kelley's dishonest reporting dates back at least as far as 1991."
- Jesse MacBeth, anti-war star (2006). Lying/fabricating. "Jesse MacBeth stoked opposition to the Iraq war in 2006 when he spoke out about atrocities he committed as a U.S. Army Ranger serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. MacBeth, 23, of Tacoma, claimed to have killed more than 200 people, many at close range, some as they prayed in a mosque. He spoke at an anti-war rally in Tacoma and appeared in a 20-minute anti-war video that circulated widely on the Internet. Trouble is, none of MacBeth's claims was true."
- Rigoberta Menchu, author of I, Rigoberta (1983), Nobel Peace Prize winner (1992). Lying/fabricating. She claimed her autobiographical book "is the story of all poor Guatemalans. My personal experience is the reality of a whole people." However, "Menchú augmented her own story with that of the Indians of Guatemala generally, reporting experiences she either did not have or could not have witnessed and misrepresenting the violent history of her area of Guatemala to support her own cause as a Guatemalan guerrilla organizer."
- Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher (2006). Lying. He admitted to fabricating a story in his younger reporting days.
- NBC, Waiting to Explode segment on Dateline NBC (1992). Faking evidence and footage. NBC demonstrated the explosive danger of GM trucks' gas tanks by showing one actually explode in what appeared to be normal circumstances. "NBC said the truck's gas tank had ruptured, yet an X ray showed it hadn't; NBC consultants set off explosive miniature rockets beneath the truck split seconds before the crash -- yet no one told the viewers."
- Christopher Newton, Associated Press (2002). Lying. "The Associated Press accused Washington bureau reporter Christopher Newton of journalistic fraud last month and sacked him. The AP alleges that in at least 40 of the many hundred stories Newton wrote for the wire service between Jan. 13, 2000, and Sept. 8, 2002, Newton quoted sources who appear not to exist."
- NPR, CNN and others on the "Jenin massacre" (2002). CNN reported: "There's almost a massacre now taking place in Jenin. Helicopter gun ships are throwing missiles at one square kilometer packed with almost 15,000 people in a refugee camp . . . This is a war crime, clear war crime." However, the actual "death toll was 56 Palestinians, the majority of them combatants, and 23 Israeli soldiers."
- Reuters, Lebanon coverage (2006). Fake/staged photos. A burning tire dump as the scene of an Israeli bombing, Photoshopped bomb smoke, etc. during the Lebanon-Israel conflict.
- Reuters Russia's North Pole coverage (2007). More fake photos/footage. "Reuters has been forced to admit that footage it released last week purportedly showing Russian submersibles on the seabed of the North Pole actually came from the movie Titanic." The mistake was caught by a 13-year-old Finnish boy.
- Tim Ryan, Honolulu Star-Bulletin (2006). Plagiarism. This entertainment reporter wrote multiple articles with words lifted from other sources without attribution. He was fired.
- Eric Slater, Los Angeles Times (2005). Inaccuracy and plagiarism. "The LA Times ran a lengthy Editor's Note that outlines the inaccuracies, substandard' reporting methods and unverifiable quotes in two stories by reporter Eric Slater." He was fired.
- Patricia Smith, Boston Globe (1998), Pulitzer Prize finalist. Lying/fabricating "An award-winning metro columnist for The Boston Globe resigned Thursday after being asked to leave by the paper's editor, who said she admitted to fabricating people and quotes in four columns this year." "I attributed quotes to people who didn't exist."
- Barbara Stewart, Boston Globe (2005). Lying/fabricating. "The Boston Globe acknowledged yesterday publishing a partially fabricated story by a freelance reporter about a Canadian seal hunt that had not taken place."
- Nina Totenberg, The National Observer (1972). Plagiarism. She was fired by The National Observer for plagiarism. "Totenberg had allegedly lifted several paragraphs from a Washington Post story and dropped them into a piece she was writing about former House Speaker Tip O'Neill for the now-defunct National Observer." She is currently legal correspondent for NPR.
- Jim Van Vliet, Sacramento Bee (2005). Misrepresentation and plagiarism. "The reporter watched the game on television at a location away from the stadium. He filed his story without telling editors at The Bee his true location, leaving the impression he covered the game from the ballpark. In addition, it was discovered later that the story included quotes from other media outlets that were unattributed and old, made to reporters on a previous occasion before the day of the game." He no longer works there.
- Brian Walski, The Los Angeles Times (2003). Doctored photos. The LA Times admitted that it "published a front-page photograph that had been altered in violation of Times policy."
- Bob Wisehart, Sacramento Bee (1994). Plagiarism. "Sacramento Bee editor Gregory Favre fired TV columnist Bob Wisehart the second time he plagiarized. For the first offense, Wisehart got a five-month suspension even though his plagiarism involved hundreds of words taken from Stephen King's book Danse Macabre for a television column about horror shows."
Yup, those LA Times reporters are real fact-finders, especially about GOP candidates on Dirty Thursday before an election. Important facts such as GOP candidates having visited girly shows.
If journalists actually did fact-finding, he might have a point.
Yeah, and the fact-finding record for “real” reporters is simply stellar, isn’t it?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Notice how all of the bloggers he mentioned later were liberals. Is he referring to them alone with above. Or is he just not aware of the others on our side. Or more likely both.
This guy is nuts if he thinks bloggers are not going to give “reporters” a run for their money.
Ha ha ha.
I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.
August 20, 2007
It’s Not Just Scott Beauchamp (II)
By Randall Hoven
[See also: It’s Not Just Scott Beauchamp (I)]
Without too much extra effort, it was fairly easy to add 21 more names to the “Media Hall of Shame” list, bringing the total to 83. With more effort, I’m sure the total list could easily double. But I will stop here, for now anyway, because I think you get the idea (and this can be time consuming!).
I need to acknowledge two corrections to the original list: it is “Rigoberta” Menchu, not “Rigoberto”; she is female. Also, Ward Churchill resigned his position as the Ethnic Studies department chair in 2005, but was fired by Colorado University in 2007 after a more complete investigation.
I should add that there were many “honorable mentions” that I was uncomfortable adding to the list. Some cases, like the reporting of Walter Cronkite and others on the Viet Nam war, especially the Tet Offensive, reporting on Haditha, the Swift Boaters, etc., were just too complicated to wrap up easily. For cases that require a deeper analysis, try mediamythbusters.com.
I also tried to include only examples that had fairly unambiguous resolutions, such as a reporter getting fired, officially disciplined, resigning, or successfully sued. Plagiarism in particular has shades of gray. If held to a very strict standard, it seems almost everyone who has written anything has committed plagiarism at some time. I did not want to dilute the power of the list by including questionable cases.
Yet I’m sure some will think some of the cases are questionable. Jimmy Carter, for example, still defends his book. All I can say is start your search engines and hold on. I became convinced that every case in the list at least passes the “preponderance of the evidence” level of proof, if not “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
1. ABC, Food Lion story (1992). Fraudulent techniques and probable fabrication. Two ABC producers lied on their resumes to get jobs at Food Lion. They each wore a wig hiding a tiny lipstick-sized camera, and each carried a concealed microphone. It’s possible they shot footage of mishandled food by doing the mishandling themselves. Food Lion sued ABC and a jury awarded it $5.5 million.
2. ABC 20/20 “Exploding Fords” story (1978). Staged footage. Similar to the later NBC “exploding” GM trucks episode, ABC aired “grossly misleading crash videos and simulations, withheld the same sorts of material facts about the tests, and relied on the same dubious experts with the same ties to the plaintiffs bar... viewers were shown a crash fire and explosion without being told it had been started by an incendiary device.”
3. ABC 20/20, “Buckwheat” (of the Little Rascals) story. (1990). Fell for hoax. “In 1990 the ABC program 20/20 was hoaxed into believing that Billy “Buckwheat” Thomas was alive and working as a grocery bagger in Tempe, Arizona. (Thomas actually died in 1980.) A segment broadcast October 5 with narrator Hugh Downs featured an impostor.”
4. Ron Borges, Boston Globe sports writer (2007). Plagiarism. The Globe suspended him for two months “after allegations that he had plagiarized a portion of a football column from another sportswriter.” He retired from the Globe when his suspension ended.
5. CBS 60 Minutes, the “Runaway Audi” (1989). “... drilled a hole in an Audi transmission and pumped in air at high pressure. Viewers didn’t see the drill or the pump-just the doctored car blasting off like a rocket. The story starred a mother who had run over her six-year-old son. On the air, she insisted that she had had her foot on the brake the whole time. When her $48 million claim came to court in Akron, Ohio, in June 1988 the investigating police officer and witnesses at the scene testified that after the accident the distraught mother had admitted that her foot had slipped off the brake. The jury found no defect in the car.”
6. CBS 60 Minutes, Illinois Power story (1979). Erroneous reporting. “The next day, the company’s stock fell in the busiest trading day of its history. Illinois Power replied quickly to the story, however, producing a 44-minute videotape that served as a rebuttal to the show. The company sent it to customers, shareholders and investors, corporate executives and other journalists. It was a point-by-point reply to all of the assertions made on the show. In January 1980, CBS admitted to inaccuracies in the story.”
7. CBS, Dan Rather, The Wall Within (1988). Fell for hoax, liars. This documentary had Dan Rather interviewing six Viet Nam veterans who told stories of slaughter, cruelty and the horrors of war. “You’re telling me that you went into the village, killed people, burned part of the village, then made it appear that the other side had done this?” Rather asked. “Yeah. It was kill VC, and I was good at what I did.” It turned out that five of the six were never in the service at all, and the sixth, who claimed to be a Navy SEAL, was an equipment repairman and never near combat.
8. Maureen Dowd, New York Times (2003). Serious misquoting. She cut words out of one of President Bush’s statements, using quotation marks, to imply he said al-Qaida is no longer a problem. He was really referring only to those who were dead or captured.
9. Andrew Gilligan, BBC (2004). False/unsubstantiated reporting. He reported that the UK government had exaggerated the threat by Saddam to justify going to war. His report was largely based on an interview with weapons expert David Kelly. His story was found to be “defective” and his claims “unfounded” by Lord Hutton’s investigation. Gilligan resigned and Kelly committed suicide.
10. Michael Isikoff, Newsweek (2005). False/unsubstantiated reporting. The Newsweek article claimed that a U.S. interrogator at a Guantanamo Bay had flushed a Koran down the toilet (2005). “Anti-U.S. fanatics seized on the report to stir up riots that have left more than a dozen people dead in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” There is no evidence such a thing ever happened, and most of us wonder how it would even be possible.
11. Martin Luther King, Doctor of Theology, Nobel Peace Prize winner (1950’s). Plagiarism. Parts of his PhD thesis were plagiarized. A Boston University committee found that he was “responsible for knowingly misappropriating the borrowed materials that he failed to cite or to cite adequately... that is a straightforward breach of academic norms and that constitutes plagiarism as commonly understood.” The committee chairman added, “under no circumstances would the atmosphere under which he did his work condone what Dr. King did. It’s incredible. He was not unaware of the correct procedure. This wasn’t just done out of ignorance.” His degree was not revoked, but the university did attach a letter to his dissertation explaining the plagiarism.
12. Dennis Love, Sacramento Bee (2001). Fabrication and plagiarism. “The Sacramento Bee fired Love for plagiarizing and fabricating material in his stories on the presidential campaign.”
13. Bob Morris, Orlando Sentinel (1993). Plagiarism. “The Sentinel discovered that Morris had written a column for the paper in October 1993 that was essentially the same as one published eleven years earlier by Mike Harden... Punishment was moot since Morris was no longer on the Sentinel staff. But the paper published an apology to its readers and made a cash settlement to Harden.”
14. Many newspapers The New Orleans Times-Picayune exposed the. reporting of rumors, hoaxes and lies. “... described inflated body counts, unverified rapes’, and unconfirmed sniper attacks as among examples of scores of myths about the dome and Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans’ top officials’.” Also see Popular Mechanics for a refutation of Katrina myths.
15. Michael Olesker, Baltimore Sun (2006). Plagiarism. “Veteran Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker, who has been in a high-profile feud with Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, was dismissed yesterday over several instances in which he used, without attribution, wording similar to that employed by other journalists.”
16. Mirthala Salinas anchor for Emmy Award winning newscast on KVEA-TV in Los Angeles (2007). She was having an affair with LA’s mayor while reporting on him. Station executives were still deciding her fate as of July.
17. Ruth Shalit, The New Republic (1995). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. She was fired.
18. Gail Sheehy author (1976). “Manhattan Journalist Gail Sheehy, in preparing her 1976 bestseller Passages, borrowed enough from [UCLA Psychiatrist Roger] Gould’s unpublished research that the psychiatrist sued for plagiarism. The suit was settled out of court, with Gould receiving $10,000 and 10% of Sheehy’s royalties.”
19. Washington Post (and others), “Plastic Turkey” story (2003). Lying or false reporting. The Post and a host of other media, including the New York Times, reported that President Bush was photographed with a plastic turkey rather than a real one when he visited troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving. The story was used to paint the White House as a public relations spin machine, with policy just as fake as the turkey. But in fact, the turkey was real. Multiple newspapers issued corrections.
20. Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize winner, San Jose Mercury News (1996). Lying. He wrote the series of articles saying the CIA under President Reagan brought crack cocaine to Los Angeles. “Major parts of Webb’s reporting were later discredited by other newspaper investigations. An investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department found no evidence of a connection between the CIA and the drug traffickers. In 1997, then-Mercury News executive editor Jerry Ceppos backed away from the series, saying we fell short at every step of our process.’ Webb was transferred to one of the paper’s suburban bureaus.” He committed suicide in 2004, but remains a hero to many conspiracy theorists.
21. Micah Wright. Author and anti-war activist (2003). Liar. Claimed to be a former U.S. Ranger and combat veteran. His book, You Back the Attack! We’ll Bomb Who We Want!, was endorsed by novelist Kurt Vonnegut and historian Howard Zinn. He was never in the military.
They are in the process of doing the same in the Haditha case. You can follow that here:
August 18, 2007
MSM Hall of Shame
The MSM whines that bloggers are degrading the quality of journalism. But as Randall Hoven observes, bloggers have not been creating the shabby state of journalism, but merely shining a light on it. If the mainstream media would respond to revelations of its malpractice by performing better instead of by sniveling defensively, bloggers would be doing it a favor by offering some quality control. Since media elitist show no indication of mending their irresponsible ways, bloggers are doing the public a favor, by warning it that nothing coming out of the MSM can be taken at face value.
Speaking of favors, Hoven did us one by compiling a list of particularly egregious examples of MSM malpractice. Here are the ones directly involving the disturbingly influential New York Times and its insidious subsidiary, the Boston Globe:
Hassan Fattah, New York Times (2006). Fell for a hoax. Did a front page story about the man in one of the famous Abu Ghraib photos. But it turned out that the man who claimed to be the one in the picture, who provided details for the story, was not the one in the picture at all.
Jack Hitt, New York Times (2006). Lying, or at least really sloppy research. He wrote a story about a woman in El Salvador who was sentenced to prison for having an abortion when she was 18 weeks pregnant. It turned out that “her child was carried to term, was born alive and died in its first minutes of life.” In short, her crime was infanticide, not abortion.
Barbara Stewart, Boston Globe (2005). Lying/fabricating. “The Boston Globe acknowledged yesterday publishing a partially fabricated story by a freelance reporter about a Canadian seal hunt that had not taken place.”
The Boston Globe (2004). Fake photos, fake story. The Boston Globe published pictures alleging U.S. troops raped Iraqi women. The pictures turned out to be commercially available pornography.
Jayson Blair, The New York Times (2003). Lying/fabricating. He fabricated parts or all of at least 36 stories. He, along with his bosses Gerald Boyd and Howell Raines, resigned from the NYT.
Rick Bragg, The New York Times (2003). “Drive-by” reporting. “Bragg’s defense — that it is common for Times correspondents to slip in and out of cities to ‘get the dateline’ while relying on the work of stringers, researchers, interns and clerks — has sparked more passionate disagreement than the clear-cut fraud and plagiarism committed by Blair. The issue, put starkly, is whether readers are being misled about how and where a story was reported.” He resigned.
Fox Butterfield, New York Times (2000). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. In 2003, a federal jury ruled that “the New York Times and one of its reporters libeled an Ohio Supreme Court justice” in an article published April 13, 2000. The jury found that the article was “not substantially true”. He also “had lifted material from a story in The Boston Globe while reporting, ironically, on plagiarism by a Boston University dean”.
Mike Barnicle, Boston Globe (1998). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. Totally made up stories, including one about a black kid and a white kid with cancer. Also used quotes from George Carlin as his own. Fired from the Boston Globe.
Patricia Smith, Boston Globe (1998), Pulitzer Prize finalist. Lying/fabricating “An award-winning metro columnist for The Boston Globe resigned Thursday after being asked to leave by the paper’s editor, who said she admitted to fabricating people and quotes in four columns this year.” “I attributed quotes to people who didn’t exist.”
Walter Duranty, The New York Times (1930s), Pulitzer Prize winner. Lying. This man visited Stalin’s Russia and wrote that nothing untoward was happening there — no famine, etc. In fact, up to 10 million people died in the Ukraine famine. His writings matched Russian propaganda almost exactly. His Pulitzer Prize still stands.
Duranty’s whitewashing of Stalin’s genocide may seem a little dated, but the Gray Lady keeps it current by continuing to dismiss demands that the Pulitzer Prize with which Duranty was rewarded for his journalistic crimes against humanity be renounced.
Hoven came away from his research with some conclusions and some questions:
These offenses have been going on for years, long before the internet. But there does seems to be a rise in the number of reported offenses in recent years. Did the number of offenses go up, or did the fraction of discovered offenses go up?
In a good number of these cases, the errors were caught by non-journalists, sometimes communicating over the internet.
If it is “too good to be true”, or just too politically correct to be true, take it with a grain of salt - several grains, apparently, if from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, CNN or Reuters.
The Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize just ain’t all they’re cracked up to be.
If this is the visible part of the iceberg, just how big is the iceberg?
The iceberg is the size of the MSM itself. No wonder liberals are big on public television and the Unfairness Doctrine; wouldn’t it be nice if they had the force of government to assure that their monopoly isn’t threatened?
In the years that I've been researching them, I've also noticed that "reporters" are really, really good at studiously ignoring the elephant in the sitting room.
For instance, MSM "reporters" are notorious for treating taxation and "revenue raising" by the government with nearly complete silence, other than to act as if said taxes and fees have fallen from the heavens, like meteorites...
“Bush is going wobbly on Iraq” “Bush is planning to shut down Gitmo”
So spare us the hypocrisy. The only difference between blogs and “Journalists” is the bloggers tell us the truth about their agenda, the “Journalists” are still lying about theirs.
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