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Prof: "What journalism needs is…An Inconvenient Truth for journalism"

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But as that's not the way the public today views "the press," says Robert Thompson, head of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. The public lumps reporters in general "right down there with lawyers, coincidentally another profession that's vital to the function of a democracy," Thompson says. And two movies alone won't raise their stature.

"You have to have a succession of movies showing the press in this light, and the fact that it's in danger, to truly make people aware of what the death of newspapers might mean."

Even if State of Play and The Soloist are both hits, Thompson says, something more direct is needed to shift the zeitgeist.

"What journalism needs is a GREAT documentary on the subject to motivate public opinion, An Inconvenient Truth for journalism…If a movie like that came out about the newspaper industry, pummeling us with arguments and data, and is gripping in how it presents the apocalyptic threat to democracy…that it gets people talking about that, that would be really useful." But even if that Inconvenient movie were in theaters today, "it might be too late. Let's face it, a lot of that newspaper 'icecap' has melted."

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  1. Maybe someone can do a documentary on Radley Balko and all the other journalists can leech off the goodwill generated by said documentary.

    Better yet, maybe journalists can start doing their fucking job.

    (I'd still like to see a Balko documentary.)

  2. Or... you know, they could sell more newspapers/content/advertising space.

    Naah, that's crazy talk.

  3. "The public lumps reporters in general 'right down there with lawyers,'"

    Every time I think the American public is a mob of fucktards... they surprise me with an insight of impeccable intelligence.

  4. People really ought to read about newspapers in the early days of the USA. They might be in for a bit of surprise.

  5. Jammer,

    WTF? Where is the link? I can't be spending all my time googling articles to support your claim. I've got my hands full just keeping up with MySpace and Facebook!

  6. So journalists think we think of them like lawyers.

    They flatter themselves.

    Lawyers are at least modestly well-educated.

  7. What journalism needs is a GREAT documentary on the subject to motivate public opinion, An Inconvenient Truth for journalism

    Thompson confuses documentary with propaganda. I believe it was Francois Truffaut who said that documentaries are the most dishonest form of filmmaking.

  8. madmikefisk,

    QFT! I don't remember it being suggested in Henry VI to "Kill all the journalists!"

  9. Somebody needs to make a documentary that will save my job...er, save democracy. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  10. Journalists no longer investigate. At least not well. They can barely fact check preferring to craft nifty attention getting headlines. Facts no longer matter.

    When newspapers (trying to keep up with cable news) shifted to a paradigm that left investigative reporting for quick stories that may sell, all integrity was left behind.

    Journalism is dead. Newspapers are a medium that cannot be supported in today's electronic world.

    They are destined to be a niche product for the Sunday morning coffee crowd never to sell in the volume experienced before.

    Get over it. Your industry is dying. Adapt or perish.

  11. Great. Another "fuck the press" thread. Not that we don't deserve it. (Yo, fuck Robert Thompson.)
    But, in my heart of hearts, I still believe you'll miss us when we're gone.

  12. Newspapers are totally vital to our democracy. I mean, the New York Times was there when they were writing the Constitution, right?

  13. And you then you get guys like Daniel, who don't even understand basic facts about the biz, such as that reporters don't write their own headlines, but still feel compelled to comment.
    He'll be the guy you'll be getting your bloggonews from on the Web. But that's cool, and all...

  14. What journalism needs is a GREAT documentary on the subject to motivate public opinion

    You know, like how all those anti-Iraq War documentaries stopped Bush right in his tracks.

    Documentaries are the liberal equivilent of church. You gather in one place and pay money to hear what you already believe repeated back to you for the hundredth time.

  15. CN,

    If you don't work for the WSJ . . . probably not. I get all my info by making stuff up and just swapping stories of "what I read" with people. I'm surprisingly well informed.

  16. Yeah, Naga, but you've obviously got a great imagination. People will pay for THAT shit!

  17. CN,

    Really? How much? I'll give you ten percent of my net for being my agent.

  18. Maybe all the bullshit about journalism being a holy calling is true, and a lot of these unemployed reporters will still bring their skills, unpaid, to the Web.

    Me, I'm a mercenary. No pay-ee, no type-ee.

    (And you might have just given me an idea for my next career, Naga. I'm a damn good salesman. Why not combine my two skills?)

  19. I still believe you'll miss us when we're gone.

    Thanks for invading my head with Culture Club!

  20. Citizen Nothing,

    I don't think newspaper journalists are useless, I just think that the pressures of producing a daily newspaper raises the wheat to chaff ratio so high that they appear to be useless.

    It's the same mechanism that results in 24 hours of TV producing 2 hours of decent primetime shows and 22 hours of soap operas, news-fluff morning shows, talk shows, reruns of sitcoms, late-nite "comedy" shows, and info-mercials.

    But no one sits down to watch all 24 hours of TV everyday, if they did TV would be regarded as having so much useless stuff that it would be fruitless the search for useful entertainment.

  21. Charma-charma-charma-charma-charma-chameleon!

  22. Citizen Nothing,

    You are right in a sense. 20 years from now, when Nancy Grace and Glenn Beck have become the template for television journalism, we will certainly miss today's newspapers.

    But when I read today's newpapers, I miss Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken and Samuel Clemens.

  23. CN,

    Interesting. I'm the same way. If I'm at a party, acquaintances(my friends no better than to ask) will ask me to make drinks. "How are your martinis?" or "Can you make a special shot for me?" my answer is ALWAYS how much you got on you?

  24. It is interesting to see a group that is threatened by change that also has, at the moment, easy access to the public sphere. It has created far more hyperbole than honest discourse.

    Slate has some good articles calling bullshit on those great defenders of democracy [reason has also done great work. Yaaay reason!] Some of the first newspapers to fall did so because they were overleveraged,not because of the evil innernets.

  25. Yeah, but your chaff is the wheat of others, SF.
    Family Circus is still the most popular comic in our newspaper. (I grant that THAT is part of what is wrong with newspapers.)

  26. I don't know one person of a conservative or libertarian bent who doesn't hate the media, outside of Fox News, and think they are totally in the tank for the Democratic Party and the liberal point of view. That includes a lot of people, everything from libertine libertarians to hard core evangelicals. That is at least 40% of the population. When you completely alienate 40% or more of your customers, can you really be surprised you start losing money?

  27. It's really pretty simple. Publications like The Economist and The New York Times (until recently) that focus on the kind of in-depth reporting that is still a rarity on the net and entirely absent on television are doing comparatively well. Papers that try to compete with the internet and television by offering superficial, vapid stories are getting hammered. Papers will never be able to compete with those media when it comes to the look-a-shiny-object school of journalism.
    In short, they should focus on their comparative advantage, and accept that they will be serving a smaller market.

  28. "Yes, I am publishing this online on a day when the Sentinel is going through another round of layoffs itself, alas. Good friends and valued colleagues being shown the door. Again"

    Waa, I'm gonna lose my job.

  29. You have to have a succession of movies showing the press in this light

    Or the press could, you know, actually do something worthy of respect.

    Me, I'm a mercenary. No pay-ee, no type-ee.

    Where do I sign up to get paid for commenting here?

  30. Mr. DNA - Twain was just one guy. Mencken was just one guy. How many outright hacks were in the business in 1870? In 1930? Maybe even more than now.

  31. Where do I sign up to get paid for commenting here?

    I've been drawing a check for years. Get with the times, dude.

  32. You don't get my good stuff here, RCD. This is just an outlet for my scratch-and-dent crap and factory seconds.

  33. Journalists no longer never investigated. At least not consistently well. They can b rarely fact check preferring to craft nifty attention getting headlines. Facts no longer never mattered.

    Fixed.

    In my opinion, the current state of journalism is no worse than it ever was. There was no golden age, only golden eggs here and there. For every Radley Balko (Earle Mobley, if I were talking lawyers), there were always legions of reporters and editors who seemed happy to effectively publish articles ghostwritten by a single source, be it the police or the Sierra Club or a corporation looking for some disguised publicity.

  34. "Mr. DNA - Twain was just one guy. Mencken was just one guy. How many outright hacks were in the business in 1870? In 1930? Maybe even more than now."

    Yeah it was called yellow journalism. The difference between now and then is that we have 24 hour cable news to galk at human tragedy rather than a twice daily newspaper. Stories like the latest little girl that is kipnapped were covered to death back then to. They just did it in print because they didn't have TV. Journalism has never been a particularly noble profession.

  35. Here you go John. Right here. Now you can no longer make your idiotic claim in good conscience (assuming you were in the first place).

  36. Fuck nobility.
    But wait, how does galking at tragedy fit with the Democratic Party agenda? Those fucking libs are clever.

  37. CN,

    You think the media isn't in the tank? You honestly believe they fairly cover the issues with regard to small government and low taxes?

    Yeah, they hate some of the people, like evangelicals, that you hate. But that doesn't mean that they are in anyway sympathetic to anything Libertarians believe in. If you beleive otherwise, you are a moron or just living in denial or both.

  38. "...you are a moron or just living in denial or both."

    John, you may be right.

    But I don't think so.

  39. Or maybe you are a liberal CN. If you love BO, think it is your patriotic duty to pay taxes, that government is the sollution to all our problems and think anyone who disagrees with you is evil, you probably like the media.

  40. I agree with Rimfax.
    Except he still didn't fix the part about reporters writing headlines. (If there's one goddamned misconception I'd like to set straight...)

  41. Fuck.
    John has shown me the light. Now that I think about it, I DO love Obama!
    Taxes! God, I cream my pants thinking about paying them!
    I'm a liberal!!! Praise Jesus, errr, I mean Gaia! I'm a liberal!

  42. The most important thing the local newspaper does is cover city hall. That's not something that can easily be gotten anywhere else and has far more impact on our daily lives than the results of the latest presidential opinion poll.

    The national political coverage is mostly crap and has always been so. Biased and agenda-driven, whether from the left or right.

  43. I can sum up the zeitgeist of modern journalism in one pithy phrase: Image over substance.

  44. http://www.nypost.com/seven/04162009/gossip/pagesix/cnbc_sweats_obama_bashing_164608.htm

    Somehow I doubt that anyone in the major media was ever taken to task for being too anti-Bush during the last 8 years, even when Bush was popular.

  45. Is the news reporting dishonest and biased, or is it just not lining up with your own opinions?

  46. "I can sum up the zeitgeist of modern journalism in one pithy phrase: Image over substance."

    I don't know if that is necessarily true. A publication like the New York Times has a lot of substance. In fact, if it doesn't relate to anything political, like hard science, the Times is great. The problem is that all of the substance, and there is a lot of it, is written from one myopic world view.

  47. brotherben,
    I've been approached by hundreds of readers over the decades who have accused our newspaper of bias. And every one has ferreted out a different sort of bias. Makes you wonder, don't it?

  48. "The national political coverage is mostly crap and has always been so. Biased and agenda-driven, whether from the left or right."

    Other than the evil Fox news and the token conservative on each major OP ED page, where is the right wing agenda driven political coverage? Let me guess, Chris Matthews? The Daily Show? Kieth Oberman?

  49. You gather in one place and pay money to hear what you already believe repeated back to you for the hundredth time.

    You mean like Reason Hit and Run?

  50. CN,

    There was nothing biased about the slobbering coverage of BO during the election? It was so bad SNL did a skit on it. Give me another example of a major political reporter talking about a candidate giving him a thrill up his leg and telling the public it was his patriotic duty to make sure the Presidency was a success? Further, why is that the vast majority of reporters vote Democrat? Is that just a coincidence?

  51. I grant that a libertarian reporter covering government is like an atheist covering the pope.

    And all the readers are Catholic.

    There are a lot of basic assumptions that most reporters make that a libertarian doesn't take for granted. Like a fish being unaware of water, as they say...

  52. Naw y'all, what we really need is a documentary to motivate public opinion about our courageous men and woman in the exciting and dangerous world of Information Technology. 'Cause information and, uh, technology are vital to democracy, or something!

  53. I am suggesting, John, that if you shared that one myopic world view, you wouldn't be accusing them of bias.

  54. I've been drawing a check for years. Get with the times, dude.

    Drawing them with crayons and markers does not count SF.

  55. John - you are absolutely right. (Blind hog, meet acorn.)
    Most reporters do vote Democrat. But most reporters also believe they leave their biases at the newsroom door. They don't, of course, but most are plying their trade in good faith.
    They're not "in the tank." At least, not in their own minds.

  56. You mean like Reason Hit and Run?

    I don't pay for Hit and Run. I'm sitting here alone.

    Run on back to Kos so you can pat yourself on the back for your counting coup against the big, mean libertarians.

  57. Drawing them with crayons and markers does not count SF.

    Then why did my imaginary bank take them? Huh, smart guy?

  58. there is nothing close to Mencken on any newsstand today, anywhere.
    "Print is dead." -Dr. Egon Spengler

  59. "But most reporters also believe they leave their biases at the newsroom door. They don't, of course, but most are plying their trade in good faith.
    They're not "in the tank." At least, not in their own minds."

    You are saying I am right that reporters are overwelmingly liberal and do fail to keep their biases out of their reporting but somehow that is okay because they don't mean to. Yeah, that makes a lot of difference.

    My point still stands. Most coverage is biased towards liberals and as a result a large section of customers hate the media's guts and that doesn't exactly help their business model. You can talk about good faith all you want. The fact remains that the media and reporters are held in lower regard by society than even lawyers. Thanks to the internet people now have an alternative and they are taking it. The media did it to themselves.

  60. It's all so clear now:

    Journalists have a lousy image problem. And the poor journalists--broadcasting on TV and radio, writing articles for mass consumption--just don't have any way to reach the public. That's why a great documentary is the only solution.

    But who's going to make a documentary about journalists? I mean, it's not a like a journalist has any ability to shoot and edit video in order to tell a compelling narrative. For that, you need a plumber.

  61. There is also the fact that News is a business. They are gonna print things that sell more papers. Right now it seems a sizable portion of the country is anti-gop and pro Obama and the dems. Newspapers are gonna run stories that follow the whims of the paying public. Right wrong or indifferent, that's the way it is.

  62. Mr. DNA - Twain was just one guy. Mencken was just one guy. How many outright hacks were in the business in 1870? In 1930? Maybe even more than now.

    True that. I'm well aware of editorials extolling the virtues of lynching and other heinous acts.

    But, as you say, Twain, Mencken, Bierce were all just one guy. Unfortunately, William Kristol is just one guy. David Brooks is just one guy. Shit, George Will is probably one of the few columnists I read on a regular basis without wanting to choke someone, and he's as bland as muzak.

    However, this discussion is all for naught. The reason our local paper (the Corpus Christi Caller-Times) is in its death throes? They stopped printing a TV guide.

  63. The industry as a whole is necessary to the creation of a shared, nationwide interpretation of events.

    But as anyone who has ever been close to a news story can tell you, that nationwide interpretation is based on a very shallow understanding of the forces at work. It's kind of like having Forrest Gump try to explain Byzantine succession to you.

  64. Then why did my imaginary bank take them? Huh, smart guy?

    They only took them in theory.

  65. When you completely alienate 40% or more of your customers, can you really be surprised you start losing money?

    You know, I expect to read something like this at Free Republic or what have you, but not coming from someone intelligent like you, John.

    The newspaper business hasn't lost customers. At least not the ones you're talking about. What they've lost are massive amounts of ad money -- because of the web, among other things -- while suffering specific management snafus and structural issues, etc.

    This idea that conservatives have suddenly abandoned their news consumption because of "bias" is ludicrous. They still consume the product produced by newspapers, just like they did when they were complaining about bias 30 years ago and 20 years ago and 10 years ago. A dislike of bias didn't prompt some fundamental disruption of the newspaper market then, and it's not what has prompted the fundamental disruption we're seeing now.

    So tired of seeing this idiotic meme raging around the web.

  66. Ahh, here's where you think you explain the difference:

    Thanks to the internet people now have an alternative and they are taking it.

    Really? What alternative? What entity on the web is doing, en masse, the sort of raw newsgathering that once was the exclusive province of newspapers?

  67. You were the one who made the case that most journalists were "in the tank," John. Glad to hear you're backing away from that one.

    No reporter -- liberal, conservative, or libertarian -- can keep their biases out of their reporting. They can try to do their best, which is all readers should expect.

    And as for society holding reporters in low regard -- fuck 'em. I don't work for society. I work for my publisher (who -- who'd a thunk it? -- is conservative. Not that that helped me when I was a libertarian-leaning city columnist.)

  68. Pro Liberate,

    Would Butts be a guy that falls under your word "backpfeifengesicht"?

  69. if it doesn't relate to anything political, like hard science, the Times is great

    Meh.

    The Time's science coverage stands out from the crowd, but it doesn't rise any higher than middling, and only manages that on a good day.

    The Economist does better.

    Mind you science reporting for the layman is hard. Even Science News struggles with it at times.

  70. A publication like the New York Times has a lot of substance. In fact, if it doesn't relate to anything political, like hard science, the Times is great.

    I call bullshit. Any time I read a piece in the NYT that pertains to things I know about, I can count on finding half truths, distortions, over simplification, or flat-out nonsense. Either I'm a moron and don't know what I'm doing, or the people writing these articles are. Since the equipment I design works, I'm betting it's not me.

  71. Half the lazy reporting I see seems to be "front page syndrome." Case in point: yesterday a driver was killed when his rear-ended car exploded. Witnesses, all over front page, decried what they alleged were inadequate response time by EMT. (If they had been on the scene in 10 seconds, it is unlikely the driver could have been saved.)
    Well, the fire chief is quoted as saying, "we need to investigate time line, etc." When the fire chief's report is finally issued, it will be on page 15 three weeks from now. And all that will remain is the image that the EMTs are inadequate and there will be demands to double the size of the ambulance squad.

  72. It seems that I have apostrophitis. Figure it out for yourselves.

  73. The thing I think everyone is missing is the fact that these journalists are more concerned with "being there for the American public" than with actually doing anything of substance while they are still around. It's like they'r all thinking,

    How will they survive without us?!

    But they don't seem to realize that we're already surviving pretty well without any decent journalism.

  74. "The newspaper business hasn't lost customers. At least not the ones you're talking about. What they've lost are massive amounts of ad money -- because of the web, among other things -- while suffering specific management snafus and structural issues, etc."

    How are they losing ad revenue yet not losing customers? If they still have customers and people reading their product, why aren't advertisers still using them?

    I think a lot of people have stopped watching the MSM. Cable news ratings are down and almost no one watches the major networks evening news anymore.

    I look at myself as being fairly typical. Twenty years ago I read the local paper and watched the evening news every day and watched a lot of CNN. Once the internet came around and I found sources like Reason and Drudge and Instapundit and AL Daily, I stopped reading the newspaper and eventually quit watching cable news.

    Certainly liberals did the same thing. Part of that movement is that people went off into their own ideological corners left and right. But I think the MSM could have survived that if they had concentraited on doing hard news and really avoided any bias. They could have filled the niche of fair arbiter between the left and right on the web. But they didn't do that. Instead, they stayed left and offer no use. If I am right, why the hell do I want to watch someone putting out views I can't stand. If I am left, why pay attention to the MSM when I can get the good stuff from KOS or somewhere on the web?

  75. "I call bullshit. Any time I read a piece in the NYT that pertains to things I know about, I can count on finding half truths, distortions, over simplification, or flat-out nonsense. Either I'm a moron and don't know what I'm doing, or the people writing these articles are. Since the equipment I design works, I'm betting it's not me."

    I am not a scientist so maybe I am a cheap date. Maybe all the Times sucks.

  76. One issue that corrupts all journalists in government reporting is access. In order to protect a paper or network's access to government officials, the paper or network is forced to be a little chummier with such officials than is healthy for government coverage. These close relationships with government officials also tend to weaken the anti-government bias that is supposed to be one of the cardinal virtues of political journalism. Of course, that was also supposed to be a general American characteristic, but it's less evident today.

    Naga,

    Yes, backpfeifengesicht is the appropriate word.

  77. Meh. Without joe, John has degenerated into some sorta proto-joe.

  78. I think journalism could in fact benefit from a documentary in the style of An Inconvenient Truth, but not in the way that Thompson means.

    We need a Journalism's Inconvenient Truths as written and directed by Glenn Greenwald.

    And John, I certainly am of the most libertarian bent possible, and I think that the press is generally in the tank for Democrats on economic issues primarily, and on some major social issues. On many other issues they can be in the tank for the Republicans too. It can be difficult to see that when you're a Republican, but from outside the two-party system it's quite clear.

    Is the news reporting dishonest and biased, or is it just not lining up with your own opinions?

    Brotherben, I think that a solid case can be made that journalism is structurally biased as a discipline - because the standard approach to producing news is to find a human interest story that puts a face on some social or economic "problem", and then confront government officials to ask what they will do about this "problem". That structure carries an inescapable statist bias. It's not even necessary for reporters to be statists themselves; it's not a matter of the personnel. It's so deeply embedded in the history of journalism, the form of reporting, the expectations of the audience for how a story will be presented, etc., that the opinions of individual journalists are almost a secondary concern.

  79. Pro Lib,

    I'm gonna use it some day . . . I just know it.

  80. So how are you at explaining to the layman, in 15 column inches, how that equipment you design works, T?
    I'm not trying to excuse factual errors, I'm just saying that the job can be harder than it looks.

  81. The newspaper business hasn't lost customers.

    Hmm. And yet, I seem to remember reading that paid subscriptions for newspapers are down across the board. Paid subscriptions = customers, right? The people buying the product? So that would mean they are losing customers, right?

  82. You know, there haven't been nearly enough movies made about the press and Watergate. Somebody really should do a film on that one of these days.

  83. Journalists' political biases can often be drowned out in the greater bias to run with scandals or other hot, paper-selling, viewer-enticing stories. Larger news sources also tend to be "pro-establishment", which means that they'll support to some extent either party, even if they have a bias one way or the other.

    I do think most of the larger media players in the U.S. (and definitely many journalists) lean leftwards, but that's not the only bias in play.

    Naga,

    Use it as a one-word defense if you ever slug someone and get prosecuted for it.

  84. How are they losing ad revenue yet not losing customers? If they still have customers and people reading their product, why aren't advertisers still using them?

    Because superior or cheaper methods of running types of ads that were critical to the news business were invented.

    To a great extent, all the content produced for newspapers was just an excuse to sell classified ads. Classified ads were an outsized source of revenue for newspapers, and the classified ad business has been absolutely devastated by craigslist.

    Newspaper readership has declined in real terms, but even if the subscriber base was exactly the same as it was in 1970, the newspapers would be up shit's creek in revenue terms anyway - because those readers would no longer be reading or placing classified ads.

    Other forms of advertising that used to belong to the newspapers are being cannibalized too. Movie ads, for example. In 1980, if you wanted movie times, you went to your local daily newspaper. That put a premium on studios advertising their movies in that local daily newspaper. In 2009, if you want movie times, where do you go? I can't remember the last time I checked my daily paper for movie times - and the people controlling advertising dollars know this. So even though I still read the paper and still subscribe to the paper, an important type of advertiser knows that there's no longer any point in trying to reach me via that medium.

    We could come up with more examples if we sat down and thought about it.

  85. creech-

    Not the best example. There is nothing sacred about EMT, fire and rescue folk. If they are in the public sector, you can count on poor performance. Therefore, we want the press to relentlessly shine the light upon the inadequacies, inefficiencies and inabilities of public services, public employees and socialism, period.

    I agree that the press is more apt to join the chorus crooning for more socialism as a result of some public sector failing. I do not agree that the chief's report will necessarily be buried on page 15. That would not comport with the general tendency to scream for more socialism.

  86. Any time I read a piece in the NYT that pertains to things I know about, I can count on finding half truths, distortions, over simplification, or flat-out nonsense.

    It's not just the Times. I read things all the time where the reporter doesn't even have the basic facts right.

    And Pro Lib is right on the money about access; you can't piss people off on a daily basis, and expect them to keep talking to you.

    -----

    We need a Journalism's Inconvenient Truths as written and directed by Glenn Greenwald.

    THAT would be worth seeing.

  87. Fluffy is right about the classifieds. That's what is killing us. Our circulation is down, but only about five percent from our peak. (Subscriptions don't even cover the cost of the newsprint.)

  88. Pro Lib,

    I have. Trust me, the "why" isn't important to cops.

  89. So how are you at explaining to the layman, in 15 column inches, how that equipment you design works, T?
    I'm not trying to excuse factual errors, I'm just saying that the job can be harder than it looks.

    I work in corporate America. I have to do executive summaries for project approval. The guys with MBAs generally don't have hard science or engineering backgrounds. The rule of thumb is if you can't explain it on one page it won't get read. I do okay at it, surprisingly enough.

    Admittedly, that's because I'm a specialist. If I were trying to explain biology or quantuum mechanics, I'd probably fail miserably since I barely understand those subjects myself. Good general science writing is a stone bitch, and the people that are good at it don't work at the NYT. We both agree this doesn't excuse outright factual errors.

  90. You bloggers are all freaks! Freaks! I'm a newspaperman! The last newspaperman...

  91. The newspapers need to lobby the government to shut down craigslist. Otherwise, they're doomed.

  92. "Journalists' political biases can often be drowned out in the greater bias to run with scandals or other hot, paper-selling, viewer-enticing stories."

    If that is true, why did the MSM refuse to cover John Edwards' love child story until they absolutely couldn't avoid it? That is a great scandal story if there ever was one. Another example is the LA Times refusal to cover the story about the Mayor banging the newsbabe. Another great story that they should have ran with if it was just about the sizzle.

  93. I don't know if it covers it in the article cause im not RTFA, but i seem to remember something about free newspaper readership being up. I know that on the MBTA that i ride (I know, I know) the free paper (Metro) absolutely kills the Globe and Herald in terms of people reading it on their way to work. YMMV.

  94. "I know that on the MBTA that i ride (I know, I know) the free paper (Metro) absolutely kills the Globe and Herald in terms of people reading it on their way to work. YMMV."

    Same here in Washington. The DC examiner kills both the Post and the Times. It is also pretty good quality writing.

  95. I don't know T but what he says makes sense, CN. It's sorta why math majors have excellent writing skills. They have to translate English into math and back into English again. It seems to make them very precise. The best English teachers I've run across were the Math teachers who were doing a favor someone by teaching an English class.

  96. From my errors you can tell I'm an economics major . . . (sigh). Joe's law.

  97. Journalists on the whole are lazy - just like most folk in any other profession. Its much easier to pick up a press release, semi-copy the gist, copy the money-quote, make a quick phone call to the obvious opposition and... Done. Journalism!

  98. Naga,

    I meant in court. If the jury wants to punch the "victim", then you win!

    One interesting effect that the Internet has had on the more traditional media is that it can force them to run stories they might not break as easily on their own. If, say, the Times ignores something that is getting major play on the web, especially if it appears to be true, all the political and institutional biases in the world won't allow it to continue ignoring it. Not if it wants to stay in business.

    That said, this is the first time I can remember where political biases have sent some media sources (and reporters) off the deep end this much. Some people and media companies are taking a mighty risk rah-rahing the administration and Congress the way they are.

  99. This comes the day after we're told ALL the reporting from Columbine was erroneous and irresponsible.

  100. Would Butts be a guy that falls under your word "backpfeifengesicht"?

    Can't a guy knock one softball out of the park from time to time?

  101. "In my opinion, the current state of journalism is no worse than it ever was. There was no golden age, only golden eggs here and there."

    I respectfully disagree. During the Gulf War (back in 1991?), I would watch Schwarzkopf and Powell give there daily press briefing from CentCom. About 24 hours later, it would be covered in the New York Times where it was presented as hard news. No bullshit slant or spin, they simply and accurately reported what was said. It was awesome.

    Other publications, such as Newsweek would spin the crap out of it and sometimes write bald-faced lies, but not the NYT.

    I'm not certain when the Times stopped doing this, but I sure do miss the old days.

  102. Pro Lib,

    I've been taken to court a couple of times and I gotta say . . . I've never seen a jury . . . ever. Does this sound correct to you? Maybe it's just Mississippi? Hell, I got my first speeding ticket in a year in a half today and I'm probably gonna go to court with . . . no jury. Just a judge who cuts deals with lawyers(my ticket will probably get reduced because of this) and who slaps everyone down who doesn't have an attorney seems to be the norm here.

  103. based on their ratings, craigslist is apparently killing the nightly newscasts and most of the cable news channels too.

  104. *punches Butts Wagner in the face*

    Sorry but I've been waiting since Monday to use that word on someone. I'm like a cop with a shiny new taser. I just gotta try it out even if I gotta invent a reason. You're the tasered guy. Sorry.

  105. "One interesting effect that the Internet has had on the more traditional media is that it can force them to run stories they might not break as easily on their own. If, say, the Times ignores something that is getting major play on the web, especially if it appears to be true, all the political and institutional biases in the world won't allow it to continue ignoring it. Not if it wants to stay in business."

    It also calls them on their facts. Take two instances as examples. In 1968, Walter Conkite declared Vietnam War lost as the US was in fact winning the Tet Offensive. No way would he get away with making that statement now unchallenged. Had the internet existed in 1968, it would have been all over him for that statement. Since the internet didn't exist, he got to put it out as truth with no fear of contradiction. The second is the infamous 60 Minutes Bush National Guard memos. Had it been 1968, I think they would have gotten away with the story. Yeah, there would have been some typewriter geeks who would have said that is bullshit. But they would have had no way to get their message out. It would have become an urban myth and bar room fodder. "Hey my uncle is really into typewriters and he says those things looked fake." "But it was on 60 Minutes, it has to be true".

  106. Complaints about media bias, poor reporting, lazy fact checking... so, what is the solution. Also, so what?

    Seems like opportunity abounds for providing a missing service to the public. Investments, entrepreneurship, etc. Old models are crumbling, incumbents seek rent....cry havoc and unleash the dogs of business war!

  107. "This comes the day after we're told ALL the reporting from Columbine was erroneous and irresponsible."

    Don't forget Katrina. Remember how babies were being raped in the Super Dome and snipers were shooting at relief helicopters?

  108. "Hit and Run is a dying whore. Someone has to clean up the mess." thought Naga as he patroled the threads for naysayers to punch in the face.

  109. Butts,

    Something more along the lines of The Humungous.

    "You planned to take your gasoline out of the wasteland. You sent them out this morning to find a vehicle, a rig big enough to haul that fat tank of gas. What a puny plan!"

  110. "Seems like opportunity abounds for providing a missing service to the public. Investments, entrepreneurship, etc. Old models are crumbling, incumbents seek rent....cry havoc and unleash the dogs of business war!"

    Fuckin' A! Finally, someone speaking sense on the topic.

  111. You know, there haven't been nearly enough movies made about the press and Watergate. Somebody really should do a film on that one of these days.

    Or maybe a TV series. Is Ed Asner still available? He would be great.

  112. You know, there haven't been nearly enough movies made about the press and Watergate. Somebody really should do a film on that one of these days."

    They would but Hollywood has other movies that need to be made. They still haven't made nearly enough movies about McCarthyism or the Racist South. After they cover those never before considered topics, they will get around to making a few movies about crusading journalists.

  113. Butts,

    Something more along the lines of The Humungous.

    "You planned to take your gasoline out of the wasteland. You sent them out this morning to find a vehicle, a rig big enough to haul that fat tank of gas. What a puny plan!"

    *pretends to get the reference and nods*

  114. Well, it is a libertarian site, thought it was an easy one.... free markets and all.

    😉

  115. Is the news reporting dishonest and biased, or is it just not lining up with your own opinions?

    It can be both, you know, if the dishonesty and bias runs against my opinions.

  116. Butts, you disappoint me.

  117. Butts, you disappoint me.

    You're not alone.

  118. Naga,

    For traffic violations, no. You have a right to a jury trial for actual criminal offenses, though.

  119. I think Mad Max qualifies as a libertarian. In a land of anarchy he acts on his own survival and interacts with others via contract, or self defence as required.

    I love lord Humongous' delivery:
    [laboured raspy voice]That FAT tank of GAS

  120. I think the problem with journalism can be encapsulated by these simple exchanges:

    First we have Andrew Rosenthal (the NYTimes OP/Ed page editor) via the NYTimes "Talk to the Editor" feature:

    Q. I love the editorial page; it is the first thing I turn to in the morning. My question is as much of a comment as a question. I find it a bit peculiar that the two women columnists, Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins, are satirical and humorous. I adore their writing, and generally think they are spot on, but it is almost like you cannot get a "serious" woman columnist. Do you agree?

    A. O.K., so I admit. I'm answering this because it's a slow, hanging ball?I would be the last person alive to suggest that Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins are not serious columnists. They are indeed, very serious.

    If editor's really believe that fluff piece hacks like Dowd and Collins are "serious" then newspapers have a bigger problem than even they imagine.

    Notice also how Rosenthal doesn't even try to back up his assertion with any justification -- he merely takes a "you're wrong they ARE serious" attitude.

    Here is another fine example of the problem with journalism. This time Paul Kane of the WaPo's live Q&A:

    New York, N.Y.: Paul, do you care to defend yourself against this criticism from Media Matters?

    "In an April 9 article about Democrats' legislative priorities, The Washington Post wrote, 'Democrats are sure to incite Republicans if they adopt a shortcut that would allow them to pass major health-care and education bills with just 51 votes in the Senate, where Democrats are two seats shy of the filibuster-proof margin of 60 seats. The rule, known as 'reconciliation,' would fuel GOP charges that (President) Obama has ditched bipartisanship.' The article, by Paul Kane and Shailagh Murray, then quoted Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) saying, 'If they exercise that tool, it's going to be infinitely more difficult to bridge the partisan divide.' However, Kane and Murray did not mention that congressional Republicans -- including Snowe herself -- voted to allow the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass major Bush administration initiatives. Indeed, Murray herself noted in an April 1 article that '(a)dvocates defend reconciliation as a legitimate tool used more often by Republicans in recent years, most notably to pass President George W. Bush's tax cuts.' "

    Paul Kane: I'm sorry, what's to defend?

    Someone tell Media Matters to get over themselves and their overblown ego of righteousness. We reported what Olympia Snowe said. That's what she said. That's what Republicans are saying. I really don't know what you want of us. We are not opinion writers whose job is to play some sorta gotcha game with lawmakers.

    Look at the disdain that Mr Kane shows for someone who is basically asking them to do something more then stenography. "I don't know what you want from us" ?!?! Really?? How about context, how about calling out hypocrisy, how about doing more than mere reporting what was said? (as if being a journalist is nothing more than a human tape recorder.)

    You know who needs to get over themselves? Thin skinned "journalists" who get enraged when someone criticizes them for doing nothing more than "reporting what someone said". The only one I see with an "overblown ego of righteousness" is Paul Kane and his ilk who refuse to accept that yes, people expect them to do more than just repeat what the powerful people say but to speak truth to power, and to not let politicians say one thing and do another, and to take notice and call them out when they say one thing now and do an about face when it's politically expedient.

  121. Tom

    Are you off your meds today? What the hell was wrong with the WALPO piece? They reported what was said and the fact that reconciliation has been used by both parties.

    "How about context, how about calling out hypocrisy, how about doing more than mere reporting what was said? (as if being a journalist is nothing more than a human tape recorder.)"

    Why do they have to "call out the hypocrisy"? Are you too stupid to figure out what is going on by reading the thing? Further, aren't both sides beying hypocritical since the Dems screamed like stuck pigs when Bush used reconciliation on them? I guess to make you and media matters, one of the most diengenious hack groups in the coutnry, happy it should have said,

    "Evil bitch Republican Murry hypocritically objects to Democratic efforts to save the sick and dying." Is that better for you?

  122. CN,

    When I pissed in your Cheerios, I hope I didn't get any on the spoon.

  123. John: How are they losing ad revenue yet not losing customers? If they still have customers and people reading their product, why aren't advertisers still using them?

    Fluffy has answered this already, I see.

    As for the whole losing-customers thing: Sure, print subscriptions are way down. But newspapers aren't just print products. They're web products.

    The Houston Chronicle, just to pick a random example, isn't the thing that gets printed on a bunch of big presses overnight. The Houston Chronicle is Chron.com. Indeed, if it's like most newspapers for the past few years, it considers itself to be a web news organization above all else. I'm always perplexed when I hear web denizens speak of newspapers as physical products, given that these same folks live on a web teeming with busy, popular newspaper sites.

    These sites have huge traffic -- i.e., lots of customers. Newspapers' readership isn't down. If anything, the Internet has made it bigger than ever.

    That's why I think stuff like "adapt or perish," posted by some goofball near the top of this thread, is so ridiculous. They have fucking adapted. A long, long time ago. These papers have been online for ages, with sites that offer far more (and far superior) content to their print editions. Yet the hard reality of Internet economics has come to bear: Advertising doesn't make a lot of money on the web. Sustaining a multimillion-dollar content operation online is being proven near impossible.

    So that's why a discussion about "the death of newspapers" isn't about death of the Houston Chronicle, per se. Rhetorically speaking, who cares about the Houston Chronicle. "The death of newspapers" is a synonym for the death of newsgathering as an economically viable enterprise.

    That may or may not be something society is content to live with. If it's not, some new market and model will emerge and journalism will be sustained in some form. If it is, then yeah -- the news as we've known it is going away. And not because the Houston Chronicle was too frikking "liberal."

  124. Our product isn't selling. We're losing money, increase the efforts at marketing.

    That may work for a single company. I can't recall it ever working for a whole industry.

  125. Egads! I miss my IBM Selectric. All the ink and that lovely correction fluid... and retyping back over stuff and getting paper twisted around and re-aligning the type to match what I had done before..... *sigh* I miss those days before my computer and printer.... I think we need an "Inconvenient Truth" about my IBM Selectric!

  126. "That's why I think stuff like "adapt or perish," posted by some goofball near the top of this thread, is so ridiculous. They have fucking adapted. A long, long time ago."

    Tom,
    I'm with you but just didn't express it well. There should not be talk about saving news organizations (newspapers in this case) that successfully adapt to methods their customers prefer.

    It is the 'we must still print a 400 page newspaper every day' groups that do not get my sympathy.

    And Sugarfree wrote this which, I admit is more accurate:

    "I just think that the pressures of producing a daily newspaper raises the wheat to chaff ratio so high that they appear to be useless."

    But then, there are so few articles that genuinely call to question or hold accountable the actions of our elected officials that they are useless.

    Or stories like this one (http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/236338) which is so full of holes and false assertions, what other conclusion can be drawn?

  127. "They still haven't made nearly enough movies about McCarthyism or the Racist South."

    Yo, fuck the Racist South!

  128. Tom, my paper was online in 1981. Yes, 1981.
    (Of course, we haven't actually updated our technology or online design since then, or so it seems to me...)

  129. Egads! I miss my IBM Selectric. All the ink and that lovely correction fluid... and retyping back over stuff and getting paper twisted around and re-aligning the type to match what I had done before..... *sigh* I miss those days before my computer and printer.... I think we need an "Inconvenient Truth" about my IBM Selectric!

    I've used an IBM Selectric as a computer printer. Before laser printers it was the professional way to print a letter.

    It was a damned good machine that's now obsolete.

  130. "I think Mad Max qualifies as a libertarian."

    Even though she hate teh gays?

  131. And not because the Houston Chronicle was too frikking "liberal."

    Well, that is a problem with the Chron. But the Chronicle will go out of business because it's too fucking dumb (as an organization) to survive.

  132. Are you off your meds today? What the hell was wrong with the WALPO piece? They reported what was said and the fact that reconciliation has been used by both parties.

    John you partisan hack -- the problem is that it is in fact hypocritical for Snowe to object by the Dems and Obama to use of reconciliation since she didn't object when it was her party who did it.

    But this specific example isn't the point...the problem is that Kane believes his job is to merely report what politicians say. (And this ties into the "access" issue where reporters won't say negative things about politicians for fear of losing access)

    A reporters job is NOT to be a fucking stenographer. If a politician says something that is objectively false, they have a duty to say so. If a politician supports something when their party is in power, but objects to the same thing when the opposition is in power, they have a duty to call that hypocrisy.

    Why do they have to "call out the hypocrisy"? Are you too stupid to figure out what is going on by reading the thing? Further, aren't both sides beying hypocritical since the Dems screamed like stuck pigs when Bush used reconciliation on them?

    Of course both sides are hypocritical, and I want the press to point that out as often as possible.

    In typical form all you can do is rant because I chose an example that put a GOPer in a negative light. Grow the fuck up. This isn't about the GOP being hypocrites but about reporters thinking (like you do) : Why should I call out the hypocricy. WHy? Because otherwise you are nothing but a fucking tape recorder. Because without context and calling out hypocrisy you are basically giving a free platform for the powerful to spin spin spin away. You aren't providing anything to your readers. You aren't speaking truth to power, but instead enabling power to hide from truth.

    If you really think that a reporters job shouldn't include pointing out when politicians are being hypocritical or duplicitous or only standing up for principles and ideals when your in the minority then you are too stupid to be worth talking to.

  133. "Evil bitch Republican Murry hypocritically objects to Democratic efforts to save the sick and dying." Is that better for you?

    How about:

    Olympia Snow who now objects to the Democrats' use of reconciliation to pass supported the use reconciliation to pass many of Bush's initiatives when the GOP controlled Congress.

    That would be better and accurate and useful -- you moron.

  134. It's always a bit humbling when the guy you've called a goofball responds with a calm, gracious reply. Thanks, Daniel!

    But the thing is, I don't think there ARE any "we must print a 400-page newspaper every day" groups. They've all scaled back their print editions, devoting their energies to the web.

    But maintaining a print edition isn't what's putting them in death's throes. In fact, given that it still provides the bulk of revenue -- so massive is the gulf between web and print ad dollars -- that scaled-back print product is the one thing that allows most of them to still survive.

    In other words, they've done the "adapting" part. They long ago embraced the web, and they did it in a way that should make any tech-phile thrilled: free content, use of Web 2.0 features like reader comments and blogs, no DRM or other restrictions, little copyright enforcement, etc. etc. Yet they're struggling anyway. What other "adapting" do you suggest they do, exactly?

  135. "Why should I call out the hypocricy. WHy?"

    For the sake of gotcha journalism, that's why.

  136. Adaptation is required until they get it right. I'm no Newspaper man, but I would think in any business if what you have done to change with the times has not worked, or not worked well enough it is not time to take off the thinking cap.

  137. John you partisan hack

    ChicagoTom you pop culture hack!

    lol, on purpose? you did not want to question his sexual mores?

  138. But the Chronicle will go out of business because it's too fucking dumb (as an organization) to survive.

    When there are "dumb" market actors, then "smart" ones quickly swoop in to grab the business.

    That hasn't happened. There's no upstart competitor stomping Chron.com beneath its feet and sucking away its customer base by providing Chron.com's product in a superior way or at a superior price.

    The problem, as should be clear by reading this thread -- or even, you know, by being a sentient being who uses the goddamned Internet -- is not that Chron.com is dumb. It's that THERE IS NO MARKET. There is no profit to be had -- for anybody -- in providing Chron.com's product. At least not in 2009.

    The Internet changed everything. "Adapt!" and "be smart!" don't mean much when the activity at issue is windmill-tilting.

  139. There's no upstart competitor stomping Chron.com beneath its feet and sucking away its customer base by providing Chron.com's product in a superior way or at a superior price.

    Craigslist, classifeds, free. Right here. Funny how that works, isn't it? And what was the Chron's response? Moving to a tiered pricing structure like craigslist? Figuring out where their value-add was and pursuing that? Not so much. More of the same, only on the Internet! How's that working out for them?

  140. Jeebus H. Christ...

    I havent' read all 139 comments, and someone surely beat me to it. But the media already has an "inconvenient truth". But because the truth is inconvenient, journalism doesn't want to hear it.

  141. "Olympia Snow who now objects to the Democrats' use of reconciliation to pass supported the use reconciliation to pass many of Bush's initiatives when the GOP controlled Congress."

    But no mention of the Democratic hypocrisy. You call me a hack, but you want the paper to only point out hypocrisy on the side you don't like. But I am the hack because I don't see a problem with just reporting her statements that include by the way an admission that she supported it when Bush did it?

    Stop cussing and calling people names and respond to the argument. Further, stop projecting your own inadaquacies on everyone else.

  142. But no mention of the Democratic hypocrisy. You call me a hack, but you want the paper to only point out hypocrisy on the side you don't like.

    Talk about being dumb as a box of rocks.

    You keep purposely missing the point. It isn't about whose hypocrisy it is, but about the reluctance to point it out regardless of party.

    In this particular instance, Snowe was trying to use the issue of reconciliation to attack the Dems. She went on record as objecting to the use. So it's quite relevant to indicate that she had no problems using reconciliation when her party wanted to get stuff passed without risking a filibuster.

    If the reporter also wanted to accuse the Dems of hypocrisy who were outraged when Bush did it, but are cool with it now, then by all means call them out too. But in this case, the Dems haven't even decided to use reconciliation, nor did any Dem go on record supporting it (in this article). So I don't see why dem hypocrisy should be discussed in this particular article. But Snowe's hypocrisy actually IS relevant. She is opposing the Dems doing what the GOP did just a couple of years ago.

    Stop cussing and calling people names and respond to the argument. Further, stop projecting your own inadaquacies on everyone else.

    Fuck you, john! You are the one who accused me of "being off my meds" because I expect a journalist to call out hypocrisy. You are the one projecting your partisan mindset on to me. You keep accusing me of not wanting Dem hypocrisy exposed even though I state the exact opposite. You are the baby who is fixating on one example merely because it's a GOPer in a negative light. Grow up, hack. This isn't about Dems or Republicans. It's about the abject failure of the media to hold those in power accountable regardless of their party ID. It's about a media who believes that their job is do stenography and nothing more.
    You are the one concerned with which side is being called out, not me. I want them all to be called out.

    For the sake of gotcha journalism, that's why.

    Pointing out that someone supports something when their side does it but stands up for principle only when the other side does that same thing is "gotcha journalism"? Really?

  143. But in this case, the Dems haven't even decided to use reconciliation, nor did any Dem go on record supporting it (in this article).

    The first point is true. As to the second, however, the fact that Democrats who support using it now that they are in the majority weren't mentioned in the article just demonstrates that the article is biased.

  144. It's always a bit humbling when the guy you've called a goofball responds with a calm, gracious reply. Thanks, Daniel!

    Ahhh, Fuck off...... 🙂

  145. As to the second, however, the fact that Democrats who support using it now that they are in the majority weren't mentioned in the article just demonstrates that the article is biased.

    This is idiotic. Are you seriously saying that no article should focus on a single politician's hypocrisy unless it mentions every other politician living or dead who engaged in the same hypocrisy? That's absurd.

    Frankly, I think every reporter should consider every public statement by any politician anywhere an opportunity to humiliate that politician and, hopefully, destroy him. Not only should there be no stenography, but every quote should be pounced upon by the entire press as by a pack of wild, rabies-infested dogs. And every reporter everywhere should leave no stone unturned, and should work twenty hour days, seeking to uncover even the slightest evidence of wrongdoing on the part of politicians and should seek to crucify the guilty when such evidence is uncovered. And every reporter everywhere who catches a politician in the least untruth or the tiniest lapse should trumpet that story to the skies and should never, ever, ever let it go, and if the public tries to move on to the next story in the news cycle the reporter should find a way to foist that story back to the front page, so that it never disappears and we never "move on", until that politician is destroyed and has committed seppuku. If that were to happen, we would have the right kind of press.

  146. I didn't read the thread at all.

    However, here's my view:

    The newspaper is dying because most reporters don't know jack shit about what they're writing about.

    With the rise of the blog, reporters are being supplanted by many experts with a specialty topic or two who can cover a given subject every day with a depth that no j-school graduate could possibly hope to attain.

    I mean, why the fuck should I listen to the New York Times regarding nuclear weapons when I can go read Arms Control Wonk and get information straight from someone who works in that scene?

    If you can explain to me why I should continue to read a newspaper (which entails me flipping through and ignoring probably 70% of the content that I find irrelevant) written by people who have neither the space, time, or expertise to properly cover a subject, I'm willing to listen.

  147. Yellow journalism started a century ago, because telling cutomers that their neighbor is secretly the root of vast evil sells papers. Over the century, sensationalist reporters pointed the finger at groups after group to "bring evil to light". Eventually, they cast the net so wide that it started including their customer base. It turns out, telling your customers that they are the root of evil does not sell nearly as well. The papers that stuck to the facts and objective reporting will do fine. The ones that relied on sensational unsubstanciated stories will not.

  148. I would like to agree with ChicagoTom...John you are either being wilfully ignorant or employing the Hack-a-Shaq. Though your point about intrinsic bias affecting journalism stands, most of what you have said is cliche.

  149. Too many occurances of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect have damned the newspapers in many eyes. No need for sour grapes.

    From Crichton:

    "You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

    That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I'd point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all."

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