Oh how the mighty have fallen!
At one time, the wire services – Associated Press and United Press International – were media Gods. Their reporters, stringers, and hangers-on were considered the creme de la creme of journalistic excellence. Presidents would defer to them by allowing them to ask the first question at White House press conferences. Newsrooms across the country relied on them to report on breaking news around the world. In a time when major dailies would publish 3 or 4 editions, that breaking news was vital in order to get the jump on the competition.
This is because when the AP and UPI ruled, people who lived in large cities had the option of getting their news from several daily newspapers. And the competition to be first out with breaking news (the fabled “extra” edition hawked by the newsboys) was extremely intense. A 15 minute difference in getting the edition to the streets could mean the gain or loss of 50,000 copies sold. Hence, the wire service boys were prized for their ability to get the story first and to get it right. And the competition between AP and UPI defined an age of journalism where minutes counted and reporters fought like wildcats to get the story “on the wires” first.
This was the newspaper business of the 40’s and 50’s. Editors and publishers relied on AP and UPI to make their newspapers profitable. No more. It wasn’t the advent of television that killed AP and UPI and made them virtually irrelevant. It was the changing technology of news gathering that sounded their death knell. Satellites, cable TV, and finally the internet all conspired to bring the mighty wires services to their knees.
Both AP and UPI survive today but their roles have changed dramatically. While speed is still prized by both, their profitability is dependent on the chains of smaller newspapers who rely on their national and international reporting to fill out the pages of the glorified “shoppers” that pass for local news today. Rather than hire reporters to write these stories, “small” newspapers, who themselves are owned by giant corporations like Paddock Publications and Gannett, use the wire services almost exclusively to fill up the white spaces wedged between ads for local goods and services.
This fall from the mountaintop has been accompanied by a curious phenomenon; a casual approach to facts and a creeping kind of advocacy journalism with a decidedly left wing slant. This is especially true of the Associated Press whose bias and disregard for honest journalism was recently put on display for all to see.
It is clear that the “Katrina Video” story was driven by big media and the lefty blogs. But the original story came to us via the good old AP. The only problem was that the accompanying articles written by the Associated Press were so full of inaccuracies, omissions, and, some would say, outright lies, that the AP was forced to admit (albeit on a Friday night when they hoped few were paying attention) that large portions of their “news” story simply weren’t true. Not only did they mischaracterize what was on the video, they falsified what was said, putting words into people’s mouths that didn’t jibe with what was said on the video. Couple that with the fact that they tried to pass the video off as an “exclusive” – despite most of the newsnets having the video in their own archives – and you have our Cluebat of the Week.
So for Cluelessness that reveals how far a once great and talented news service has fallen, the Associated Press is awarded the coveted Cluebat of the Week.
Why not check out the articles below for some more cluelessness that’ll make you smile. make you cry, and maybe even make you throw your diet vanilla coke at your monitor! Go ahead…you know you want to click it.
“When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to have recourse to any otherâ€
Hey Mitch! So that explains coverage of the Iraq war!
Those pesky pachyderms at Elephants in Academia have some interesting thoughts on the Rumsfeld v FAIR case where the Solomon Amendment allowing military recruiters on campus was upheld.
Pat Curley does a more than admirable job in taking down one of the left’s leading intellectuals, Lewis Lapham, who recently jumped aboard the impeachment bandwagon. Lapham is basing his critique on Rep. John Conyers nutty report that has every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up including, I believe, aliens landing at Roswell, NM.
Josh Cohen takes on Standardized Tests for children and makes some valid points on why they are probably a bad idea in some respects. I personally believe that the entire idea of testing has gotten out of control and that there have to be better ways to judge not only how well a child is doing but how good a job the school is doing in educating them.
Our Carnival pin-up girl Pamela got one of the blog interviews of the year with UN Ambassador John Bolton. Talk about someone who can identify cluelessness…
Holly Aho has the skinny on some real cluelessness at the DU. It seems one of our proud Marines who recently braved the jihadis in Iraq decided to brave the moonbats at the Democratic Underground in order to answer questions.
DL at Bacon Bits wonders “Can we Impeach an Ex-President?” Perhaps more to the point would be to ask if it’s still illegal to tar and feather Jimmy Carter and run him out of town on a rail.
NOTR at the blog ROFASIX has a good fisking of Barbara Streisand’s criticism of the anti-intellectualism in the Bush Administration. Now if the ditsy diva could ever learn to spell, as well as graduate from an accredited college, she may some points to make.
XYBA wonders about Catholics who don’t support the Vatican. Some excellent points made about an age old argument.
Kender sends along a piece by Heidi at Euphoric Reality who points us to an interview on al Jazeera with a secular Muslim who absolutely skewers the jihadis and non-violent moderate Muslims who don’t criticize them. The cluelessness of the reporter is breathtaking in its stupidity.
The scatological Scotsman himself has graced the Carnival yet again with his words of wisdom about religion. It seems that Kender has discovered a long lost “saint” from, of all places, France. Um…read the whole thing and be amused.
AJ Strata has the results from a recent poll that shows American are fed up with Washington – not just the government but everyone who makes a living writing, talking, and otherwise bloviating about politics.
Doug at Below the Beltway has the quote of the day. In taking apart columnist Eugene Robinson who complains that Washington, D.C. is out of touch with the “real America,” the cluebat wants us instead to look to Hollywood for what is really going on; “Ah yes, let’s move from Washington, D.C. to the capitol of Reality Nation——- Hollywood, California.” Ah, yes indeed.
Tom Bowler has the jaw-dropper of the day. A Kos diarist is celebrating “victory” in Iraq. Considering the source, it isn’t the kind of victory that you and I would think worth celebrating. Read it – but take your blood pressure meds first.
Mensa Barbie (irresistible combination, eh guys?) has some more idiocy from al Jazeera on how Saddam wasn’t really that bad. Yep. You heard me.
Fausta (whose hair looks lovely today) has the incredible story of the cluelessness of large corporations who are playing footsie with “The Laughing Goat” Hugo Chavez as the dictator tries out his socialist policies with the help of the crony capitalists.
Adam tries to calm the hysteria on the left who have their panties in a twist over legislation in Missouri that on its face appears to make Christianity the “official religion” of the state. A closer look reveals a different story.
On the lookout for good new blogs? Try One Man Bandwidth written by a professor in China. This post is about a person not being “dead enough” to harvest their organs.
A Different River brings us up to date on the global warming debate and how it is absolutely impossible – according to its adherents – that the theory could be incorrect. An eye opener.
Cao has a jaw dropper about the cluelessness of journalists who continue to deny Jack Idema’s claim of US government sanction for his actions.
Our favorite hippie chick Peace Moonbeam is fighting the good fight against hunting this week. Her solution; arm the animals! Anyone who has seen Crocodile Dundee with the gun toting kangaroos will get a laugh out of this one.
Those gentle homeschoolers at The Common Room are back in the Carnival! This time, the Deputy Headmistress picks up the paddle and spanks a clueless law professor who thinks it impossible for women to be “fulfilled” while staying home and taking care of children.
Jack Cluth has a laugh out loud piece on people who see religious icons in everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to a piece of sheet metal. Jack thinks it looks more like Val Kilmer.
Finally, here’s my piece on Cindy Sheehan and the hagiographic treatment given her by the media.