Monday, May 16, 2005

Last week I attended a meeting of some bloggers in Atlanta.

It was an interesting get-together. There were a few professional journalists, a few businessmen, Mrs. Livininamerica, and a couple of shit-stirrers. Me, for example.

The discussion went a number of directions. One that stuck in my head was the journalistic criticism of bloggers as having no editors, nor fact-checkers. Another was the journalistic defense that most predictions about the end of the MSM (mainstream media) compared the best of blogging with the worst of journalism.

This week we find that for all its editors, all its fact-checkers, all its professionalism, NEWSWEEK lied and people died.

In case you don't know, a NEWSWEEK reporter by the name of Michael Isikoff reported that a soldier interrogating a muslim captive tried to soften up the prisoner by flushing a Koran down a toilet.

Shocking stuff. And untrue, as it happens. The story's been withdrawn, but the damage has been done. Still, I'm sure Isikoff will have the runner up prize of being the toast of the Upper West Side this summer, before being hustled off to well-deserved obscurity.

Here's a man considered one of our finest journalists, with oodles of fact-checkers and editors at his command, rushing a Ratheresque story into print and starting riots in Kabul. Riots that caused a large number of deaths. With more to come, I'm sure. Some beheadings of American kidnappees. That sort of thing.

Ah, The Religion of Peace (TM). Ah, the fact-checking, editing, and professionalism.

Oh, and there's more. On the way into work I heard professional journalist and Clinton flack, Eleanor Clift, offer the defense that the story was published after it had been run by a "Senior Pentagon Official" who didn't object. I suppose that's an example of fact checking. Oh my!

It's not the Koran that went in the toilet on this occasion.

I'm convinced this was driven by Isikoff's hatred of the President, and this incident brings to mind another idea that's been kicking around in the back of my head.

After the US invaded Iraq, one reason offered was that it'd draw Islamofascists from all over the Middle East. Better to have them die under American guns in Iraq than to have them pilot American airliners into skyscrapers. The flypaper argument, it was called.

What I find interesting is that it drew out more than the lunatics in the Middle East. It drew out Harry Reid, Dan Rather, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, MoveOn.org, George Soros, and so many more. You know, the hate-America-first, America-is-to-blame-for-all-evil-in-the-world, Chomskyite left.

And the longer Bush is in power, the more rabid the left becomes. The more unhinged it becomes, the more it slips. The more it slips, the more it is discredited. Like Isikoff.

I'm not too interested in any more arguments about fact-checkers and editors.

UPDATE: I posted it before, but here's the movie at the end of the MSM universe.

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