Monday, May 22, 2006

Dear James: Bad blogger. No biscuit.

While I normally agree with blogger James Bow, I think he screwed the pooch on this one (emphasis added):

Witness the right wing blogs that leapt on this story and propagated the lie across the blogosphere and who now seem reluctant to admit their mistake. Witness the glee that left-wing bloggers are having shoving this mistake down the throats of their right-wing breathrens. Witness the vicious personal attack the otherwise personable Warren Kinsella of the Post makes on Antonia Zerbiasis of the Star for examining this story in detail.

And through it all, we seem to have forgotten that the Post made a mistake, and erroneous information was splashed across the front page. The search for truth has slipped into second place for both wings of the blogosphere as they alternately seek to score political points or cover their backsides.

Sorry, James, but the reactions from opposite sides of the blogosphere are not even remotely comparable in terms of justification. What the Post did was howlingly unacceptable for two glaring reasons.

First, given the charged political atmosphere these days regarding Iran and their alleged nuclear program, you'd have to be thoroughly retarded not to understand that suddenly, from out of nowhere, comparing them to Nazis and suggesting that they're trying to redo the Holocaust is obscenely explosive. It's precisely the kind of thing that plays into the hands of the same neo-con whackjobs who demonized Saddam Hussein in order to make the invasion of Iraq more palatable and emotionally satisfying.

That this sort of front-page story would drive the right-wing nutbars completely berserk was entirely predictable, so the Post doesn't get to pull that kind of shit, then try to make it better later with, "Oops ... heh heh ... my bad." That just doesn't wash.

More to the point, the Post didn't even come up with an acceptable retraction. What we saw instead, was that that story suddenly disappeared down the memory hole. Whoops, sorry, um ... nothing to see here, move along, hope nobody noticed that little faux pas.

That sort of crap doesn't cut it. When you've just splashed that kind of inflammatory headline across six columns of your front page, quietly deleting the online story later and hoping no one notices is not an acceptable about-face.

If you want to get into some kind of deep, philosophical dicsussion on moral relativism, James, feel free. But don't even think of suggesting that one of these things isn't a worse offense than the other.


Anonymous said...

And accompanies this ham-fisted attempt at psyops with a big World War II picture of Hungarian Jews with big stars of David pinned to their coats to boot.

Just so no one missed the point.

Great post CC.

catnip said...

What the hell is the supposedly credible Warren Kinsella doing spreading the lie that Iran's president wants Israel wiped off the map? Kinsella didn't even get the quote right! And, everybody and their dog ought to know by now that Iran's president was quoting Khomeini. Not only that, Kinsella completely fails to mention that Shimon Peres warned just a few weeks ago that Iran could be 'wiped off the map too'.

On to the right-wing blogosphere's reaction. When I saw the post on this story by AllahPundit at Hot Air (who I disagree with vehemently on many issues) I e-mailed him and asked him to reconsider the veracity of the story. He did. Immediately. I had contacted him specifically because theirs is one of the most popular right-wing blogs. He worked with me all day in an exchange of e-mails to get the real story out there. A rare display of bipartisanship in the blogosphere. I appreciated that.

I also left comments on other right-wing and left-wing blogs (like Taylor Marsh's) to get them to hold their horses and step back for a breather. So, James should not be tarring the entire right-wing blogosphere with a broad brush. Although some refused to let go of the story even after it was debunked because it served their political purposes, some definitely backed off in the end.

CC said...

catnip expounds:

"What the hell is the supposedly credible Warren Kinsella doing spreading the lie that Iran's president wants Israel wiped off the map?"

I have no idea what the deal is with Warren Kinsella these days. It's like, while nobody was watching, someone secretly replaced him with Pete Rempel. Or Folger's Crystals. Or something.

Seriously, I've seen this movie before. And it doesn't end well.

RossK said...

I agree with Lexington at the top of the thread.

What evidence is there to call this a 'mistake'?

And was it just a mistake that a full page front, based on the easily discredited statements of one questionable source, ran at the front end of a three day newscycle deadzone?

And when did the PMO find out about it - before (as some involved in the whirlitzer apparently did) or after publication.


Anonymous said...

You can't blame the "national post." It's HARD WORK being a source of information.

They trusted their "source" and ran the story.

You can't expect an editorial board with pretensions of professionalism to say:

"Wow. The Iranian Parliament is considering legislation similar to Nazi Germany's? Let's check out this story. Is there any possible way an institution with our resources could find out what the Iranian Parliament is debating so that we can get confirmation? I mean, before we splash this all across the front page n' all?"

It is mean and cruel to think that the "national post" should have to go to all that work. And unreasonable.

By the way: "Blackadder" is a comedy show. "Black-Asper's" newspaper is a joke.