Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wrong, Wrong, And Again I Say Wrong

Has anyone noticed that the modern news media is not trustworthy anymore? Of course, conservatives have known this for quite some time (decades to be exact). The mainstream media has had a terrible set of years in the new millennium. In recent months, however, the mainstream media has made this most clear to any observer. Perhaps the best way to show this decline is to take you on a guided tour of a once great industry that now finds itself in the depths of embarrassment.

Let us begin with the 2000 United States Presidential Election. If you will recall, there was a slight mix-up with voter predictions in Florida that year. As you will also recall, the media declared Gore the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. However, as the truth eventually came out, it became clear that Bush had won the election. Nevertheless, the media declared a winner without all the facts. Keep that in mind as we continue on our journey.

During the months before the War on Terrorism’s Iraqi Theatre, the media had discovered the fact that this war could cost more lives in the American military than any other war in modern history. Of course, that didn’t quite happen after all. Nevertheless, the media declared the causalities for the war without consulting the military first (or waiting for the war to start).

Slightly before the 2004 Presidential election, the mainstream media executed a major mistake. This mistake consisted of Dan Rather, CBS, and Mary Mapes. Forged documents were found that claimed President Bush had left the military on several occasions when it was not lawful to leave. These documents were probably worked up on Microsoft Word as it turns out, not a typewriter. Odd, isn’t it, that the editors didn’t catch that little mistake.

When we finally came around to the 2004 United States elections, the media was in less than perfect shape. However, they opened their wounds even larger when they declared Kerry as president before the votes were even counted (do you see a pattern here?). The exit polls, which had been stocked with extra Democrats to throw off the results, were taken as fact by the media. When the real votes were counted and the results disagreed with what the media had been declaring all night as a Kerry victory, the media was speechless (some reports believed the real votes were wrong and the exit polls were correct, but that’s a different story).

Recently, we heard about "rape rooms" in the Superdome of New Orleans. As it turns out, the media was reporting on rumors that had not been confirmed by the proper processes. There were also rumors of over 100,000 deaths in New Orleans that also proved to be untrue. In this crisis, the media relied on rumors far more than facts.

Quite recently, the mining crisis in West Virginia proved to be very damaging on the media. In a rush to be the first with the status of the missing miners, the media outlets relied on shouts from the mines as their information source without first verifying that the miners had been found. As it turns out, these shouts were not good sources to use. The miners had been found, but they were not alive. This mess-up angered the nation and bloodied the nose of the media once again.

I could go on and on about media mistakes that have cost lives (Korans down the toilet), media ineptness on business reporting (this one strikes deep for me since my career will no doubt be in business), and a host of other issues. Perhaps this shows how important the new media of talk radio, blogs, and the Internet really is to the news. Perhaps this is just a sign that the old media is truly wallowing in the mud of their past, yet claiming glory.

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.

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