Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Decline and Fall of Accurate Reporting

Here's a surprisingly good, and succinct, example of just how wrong the increasingly lazy and morbidly ideological MSM have become. To wit, according to Newsweek's Michael Hirsh, the "surge" in Iraq has already failed:
The Washington commentariat has suggested recently that Bush seems ready to pronounce the imminent end of his “surge,” which by several accounts has failed both to secure large parts of Baghdad and, on a more strategic level, to prod the still-paralyzed Iraqi government to govern.
But wait just a dadburn minute. The "Washington commentariat has suggested"? What kind of garbage is this? No facts. No proofs. Apparently Mike's scribbling buddies down at the local watering hole have already pronounced the latest Administration strategery in Iraq a failure. Ergo, it must, therefore, BE a failure. Who are we to quarrel with the "Washington commentariat," who, like Hillary, are the smartest humans the world has ever known?

On the conservative side of the aisle, it is easy—and often correct—to ascribe leftist tics like this as yet another part of the MSM's effort to demonize George W. Bush, ruin the Republicans, and put the Democrats fully back in power in the legislative and executive branches. But upon reading balderdash like the above, one must also wonder whether such mindless and inaccurate observations are simply due to an almost pathological LAZINESS that seems to be raging like a pandemic amongst the scribbling and chattering classes. AMERICA'S DEFEAT IN IRAQ. THE EPIC FAILURE OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S DISCREDITED POLICIES. It's their story and they're sticking to it. But once history unfolds, as it tends to do, later generations may figure otherwise.

But bringing us back to the present, blog commentator Dave Price chooses a third alternative to the above scenarios: blind and seemingly willful stupidity.
Maybe if Hirsh spent less time with the Washington commentariat and more time listening to generals he would know all the troops for the surge haven't even arrived yet, and many won't be deployed into the surge for some time even after they do arrive. How many times has Petraeus said the strategy will take all summer to unfold? Sheesh. Hirsh would have called the D-Day invasion a failure before our troops even got to Normandy.
...the Shiite-led government, which is increasingly dominated by the virulently anti-American Sadr,...
Uh, no. His ministers resigned from the government; at the time, it was called "a blow to the Maliki government." How can such basic errors survive Hirsh's fact-checkers? Or do they simply accept that any bad news must be true, even if it directly contradicts other alleged bad news?
Price ruefully concludes:
Sadly, this sort of thing happens every day, an inexorable, gargantuan flood of execrable misinformation that is the fondest friend and best hope of America's enemies. Most people will simply read Hirsh's piece and accept his assertions as fact, while others even go on to cite it. The vast MSM echo chamber will roll on.
If you ever take away anything from HazZzMat, take away this: Just because you read it in the newspapers, saw it on the network news, or perused it in a magazine doesn't mean it's true. American reporters were once known for their tireless diligence, vigorous fact checking, and exemplary patriotism. For some reason, over the past half-century, they've become dangerously lazy, criminally sloppy partisan hacks who loathe the country that has given them money, fame, and instant recognizability.

If you happen to believe that George Bush's Amerikkka is the problem, that Osama is morally superior to George W. Bush, and that the U.S. would be better off as a one-party state run by the Democrats, America's institutional Socialist Party, you'll continue to unquestioningly believe the kind of drivel Hirsh has sloppily slapped down here. If you believe otherwise and encounter lousy reportage like this, note down the reporter, get on the Web, Google the facts he didn't check (but make sure you check at least two unrelated sources), and discover the truth for yourself. Increasingly, it won't be what you just read in the newspaper. Or Newsweek.

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