web counter Media Lies: "Old" media gets skewered

Saturday, August 28, 2004

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"Old" media gets skewered

In a fascinating article about the Swiftvets story, The Not-So-Swift Mainstream Media, published in The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last examines the way that the "new" media (blogs, talk radio and cable tv) forced the "old" media (broadcast TV, newspapers, magazines) to cover the Swiftvets story against their will. He also shows, using statistics from the Media Research Center, that the old media hardly bothered to cover the story at all until Kerry "went on the offensive". He also points out that the old media still hasn't bothered to do any fact checking but has chosen to attack the messengers instead.

Considering how aggressively the old media went after the "George Bush went AWOL" story without having any of the facts confirmed, it's especially delicious to hear Thomas Oliphant whining.
"The standard of clear and convincing evidence--and it's easy when you leave out the exculpatory stuff--is what keeps this story in the tabloids," the Boston Globe columnist sputtered, "because it does not meet basic standards."....'Almost conclusive' doesn't cut it in the parts of journalism where I live," Oliphant lectured O'Neill, who graduated first in a class of 554 from the University of Texas Law School and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist. "You haven't come within a country mile of meeting first-grade journalistic standards for accuracy."
I assume that would be the standard the old media used for Abu Ghraib then? For the coverage of George Bush's National Guard service? The 9/11 Commission report? For vetting Jayson Blair?

Need I go on?

The old media's hypocrisy has never been more on display than in the Swiftvets story, and they know it. That's why they've reacted so viscerally and instinctively lashed out at the messengers. They can't do the proper research to vet the story now. That would be admitting that the new media beat them to the punch and embarassed them, and they're not about to do that.

All they have left is the howling of a dog that's been caught in a trap.