October 24, 2007
Ed Morrisey comments on this piece by Craig Franklin, a Jena resident (and reporter) who sets straight some of the facts about the situation in Jena Louisiana that were missed or misreported by reporters who told a story of horrid racism, nosses hanging from trees, dreadful inequity and the railroading of a group of six innocents whoes only crime was to be the wrong color.
A complelling story that needed to be told except that the narrative was incorrect in almost every way.
Sayeth Mr. Franklin
There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.
More here at NRO which makes a point that I'd heard a couple of times but been unable to pin down...ie that the poor oppresed thug in this case kept getting a pass because he was a star on the football team.
This is terrible. It's not just that these ingorant know-it-all BoBo's are slandering good people and fanning the embers of hatred. They are crying wolf and people who have heard about this and the Duke Rape Case might not be so ready to believe a similar tale when its real. This only leads to more hate, which will no doubt be profitable for the press.
TNR, who got burned by glass has been caught trying to cover up a smear campaign on US troops, one that they wanted desperately to believe, but that had been typed by a disgruntled Army Specialist who fancied himself the next Hemmingway. OK so they got snookered, but if they'd fact checked it at all they would have never published it. Now we know that it was the New Republic and not the Army that was lying about their access to the vile little man. They could have cleared this up by a mea culpa but they let it fester and feed the malignant antimilitary bile that so consumes their readership.
It gets worse....
This long war is as much about perceptions as anything, and the press is always there to broadcast to the 4 winds 24/7 any scrap of dirt on the conduct of the war real or imagined. However, good news or even inspiring news....isn't news.
Yes this is a stock wail on the media post...but this is an important thing.
Do click follow the above links, most of them are to sites that lean to the right to be sure, but in many cases those stories would never see the light of day (beyond page 31 of the paper) otherwise. THAT is the problem.
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