The truth finally comes about trashing of the White House
May 19, 2001 12:51 AM   Subscribe

The truth finally comes about trashing of the White House as earlier reported (remember the disinformation?). The question now is, will the mainstream press now cover this with the same fervor as the earlier (false) stories, or was it simply shoddy journalism in the first place to report and print "facts" without doing any background checks? Come to think of it, I never did see any photos of all the alleged damages created....
posted by Rastafari (13 comments total)
> will the mainstream press now cover this with the
> same fervor

Of course not.

• The first version, though false, was a story: "Vindictive losers trash offices before leaving."

• The second version, though true, is not a story: "Politicians leave office as usual."

That's how the Republicans managed to be such successful gossips and scandalmongers; it's in the nature of scandal itself; one simply has to be willing to stoop to it, and the rest just happens in the gossip's favor.
posted by pracowity at 2:32 AM on May 19, 2001

There is another factor, and that's the number of paid pros working to keep the story going.

This particular story has a lot of life on metafilter because of amateur fervor--it was also posted yesterday--but in general news becomes news because somebody is working full time to make it news.

For example, the story on the deplorable Kansas City schools from the LA Times emanated from a Cato Institute white paper with the axe-grinding intent of attacking federal aid to education.

I happen to think the conservatives have a good argument on education, but regardless of the merits of any given press release, the point is that the right has a non-stop propaganda machine with more writers, more stamps, more fax machines by far than their left-wing counterparts.

To be sure, they are well-represented on Talk Radio, on Fox and thousands of small-town editorial boards. But the real power is in the less visible PR conglomerate that crowds out every other voice.

The situation is analogous to Congress, where there are so many contributors clamoring for the ears of the members that are almost no minutes left in the day for an ordinary citizen to get a word in. The paid PR pros, most of whom are making reasonable, factual story suggestions--like the Cato Institute Kansas City School study mentioned above--simply crowd everybody else out, and they bring with them an overwhelming right-wing bias.
posted by steve_high at 4:09 AM on May 19, 2001

posted by briank at 6:03 AM on May 19, 2001

I think the biggest advantage that conservatives have is talk radio. There are numerous right-wingers with large national audiences -- Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, G. Gordon Liddy, Matt Drudge -- and nothing that comes even close on the other side (Jim Bohannon? Don Imus?).
posted by rcade at 6:47 AM on May 19, 2001

well, here in Orlando...
the supposed trashing was front-page "news" in the Sentinel (the highly republican paper that rules town) while the small story the proved it was false was a small column on the third page. go figure.
posted by noisemartyr at 7:22 AM on May 19, 2001

What about all those "W" keys missing from the computer keyboards? Was that made up? I thought that particular prank (or made-up prank) was clever.
posted by amyscoop at 7:54 AM on May 19, 2001

As briank said, nothing to see here. Move along
posted by fooljay at 11:30 AM on May 19, 2001

In your dreams, fooljay and briank. I want to talk about this for the next 16 weeks!

The issue is biased press coverage comparing our current crappy president to our previous good president who got SLIMED by professionals!

It's slanted, disproportionate and mostly paid for by a foul-mouthed drunken billionaire.
posted by steve_high at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2001

Be healed, italics!
posted by kindall at 1:59 PM on May 19, 2001

Thank you, brother Kindall! I feel it! YES. I FEEL IT! Thanks to your healing words, I can walk normal again!

Praise the LORD.
posted by steve_high at 4:06 PM on May 19, 2001

Steve_high, regardless of how egregious, true/false, scaldalous, exciting, colorful, sad, irreprehensible, irresposible or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious it is, another thread already exists for it.

It is, what is commonly termed here on Metafilter as, "Another Damn Double Post(tm)" or ADDP if you prefer...
posted by fooljay at 8:13 PM on May 19, 2001

I know, I was the first one to one to comment on it.

When a story appears on page one and the retraction on page 16, maybe it deserves a double post.
posted by steve_high at 8:35 AM on May 20, 2001

No, it doesn't, Steve. There's already enough clutter on the front page; adding more, and splitting the discussion between two threads, is silly. If you want to defend double posting on stories that are really, really important, start a thread in MetaTalk.
posted by snarkout at 8:59 AM on May 20, 2001

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