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The Thursday Post and the Steyn Test

Wednesday, September 28, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Vote in the Ruffini poll, and then read my WeeklyStandard.com column on the MSM’s failure –collapse, really– in New Orleans.

Here’s the bottom line on MSM post-Katrina:

Everything that American media could throw at a story, it threw at New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. No expense was spared. All hands were on deck. And yet not one news organization produced anything like complete coverage of the events unfolding inside the city’s convention center or the Superdome. Horrific stories of murders and rapes spread like wildfire, reports of little girls with their throats slashed stunned Americans, and hysteria gripped many in the MSM. Weeks later the Los Angeles Times and others began to examine the collapse of the media’s own levees that traditionally hold back rumor and urban myth.

Given this failure to capture the true story in New Orleans even with all of the combined resources of all the MSM working around the clock, why would anyone believe that American media is accurately reporting on the events in Iraq from the Green Zone, in the course of a bloody insurgency fought in a language they don’t understand? If the combined forces of old media couldn’t get one accurate story out of the convention center, why for a moment believe it can get a story out of Mosul or Najaf?

I’ll stick with Michael Yon, Major K, and Training for Eternity when it comes to Iraq.

And since the MSM was willing to ask the “hard” race questions in the storm’s aftermath, when will it ask itself whether such rumor-mongering and the attendant suspension of ordinary journalistic standards was possible because the elites in MSM were willing to believe the worst about the generally African-American underclass at both locations?

The “Guide to the Journo-Blogs” at the CBS attempt to imitate blogging continues to produce a ton of e-mail. Look, any “journo-blog” list that omits Barone, Kelly, Lileks, Malkin and Sullivan is self-evidently absurd. A defense of the exercise that falls back on the assertion that the declaration of “subjectivity” neuters the claim of “Guide” is a surrender, though one not given in any spirit of honest error. Thus the CBS neo-blog produces early evidence of all the oafishness and arrogance that crippled Rather and Mapes. The attempt of the gate-keepers to rebuild the gates is amusing. The transcript is here.

I mention Ed Driscoll in my on-air conversation with Brian Montopoli. Here’s why. Ed’s a superb journalist.

So, for that matter, might be Brian. I first met him at the Democratic National Convention last year. He was quite gracious to me, helping me figure out the bizarre DNC rules. He’s smart, energetic and full of opinions. Perfect. But CBS could ruin him.

There is no club. A “cable show on a network” is no credential –look at Olberman for goodness sakes. He’s a dummy. Ask yourself this: If Glenn Reynolds tells me “A” is true, or Roger Simon tells me “A” is true, do I believe them, or Keith Olberman or Chris Matthews telling me “not A” is true?

I will believe Instapundit or Roger or Mark Steyn. And most of the people at CBS appear not to have heard of Steyn. I rest my case. It is like a physicist not hearing of Einstein.

Let those who have ears, hear.

That’s the question that matters. Not who is signing your paycheck.

UPDATE: The New York Times sets another standard for “journalism.”

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