Mark Steyn proffers evidence for the decline of the exempt media as seen through the eye of a hurricane.
Hurricane week was in large part a week of drivel, mostly the bizarre fantasies of New Orleans’ incompetent police chief but amplified hugely by a gullible media. Given everything we now know they got wrong in Louisiana, where they speak the language, how likely is it that the great blundering herd are getting it any more accurate in Iraq?
Four years ago, you’ll recall, we were bogged down in “the brutal Afghan winter.” By “we,” I don’t mean the military but the media. The line on Afghanistan was that it was the white man’s grave. Actually, it was the grave that was white; the man was more of a blueish color thanks to temperatures “so cold that eyelids crust and saliva turns to sludge in the mouth,” according to Knight-Ridder’s Tom Ifield. “Realistically,” reported New York’s Daily News, “U.S. forces have a window of two or three weeks before the brutal Afghan winter begins to foreclose options.”
Er, no. “Realistically,” U.S. forces turned out to have a window of four years, which is how long they’ve been waiting for the “fast, fast approaching” (ABC’s ”Nightline”) brutal Afghan winter to show up. It’s Knight-Ridder’s news reports that turn to sludge on your lips. The “brutal Afghan winter” is a media fiction.
How many times does this have to happen before the press seriously examines why so many of them get the big stories wrong in exactly the same way? After decades of boasting about “hiring diversity,” everybody in America’s newsrooms is now so remarkably diverse they all make exactly the same mistakes. Oughtn’t that to be just a teensy bit disquieting even to the most blinkered journalism professor?
As I noted on the 29th, intelligent people readily continue to believe left-wing canards like ‘”no Louisiana National Guard troops were available” in the Big Easy because they were all in Iraq.’ A question still to be explored then; Has the public standard for incredulity declined in general, or just when it involves criticism of George Bush?
Read the whole thing: Media deserve blame for New Orleans debacle