I find it interesting that the same news agencies that had problems with reporters fabricating stories and found guilty of plagiarism are now the ones making the most noise about Newsweek’s debacle. Hell, even the Whitehouse is now on the bandwagon, saying that the magazine needs to retract its story. Never-mind that two years ago all the President’s men took this country into war over a fabricated story of their own.
While I hate to be toxically cynical about human life, let’s take a death tally as a result of lying: Newsweek 15 vs. Whitehouse 100,000.
I’m not proposing that we should let Newsweek off the hook. The editors who ‘fact checked’ this story should be dropped off in the mountains of Afghanistan for a little alpine vacation — here’s some Hershy Bars and dehydrated food boys, good luck with your trip back to Kabal.
Still I think any animosity towards the magazine should be directed elsewhere, as we ourselves are somewhat to blame.
How can we expect better fact checking from our journalist when we let our own government run amok without any accountability or consequences that have resulted in needless destruction and death? If we don’t demand transparency and truth from our elected officials, who are we to demand this from the press?
I understand that the press has traditionally been entrusted to counterbalance the noise coming out of Washington but maybe it’s time we stopped outsourcing one-hundred percent of that responsibility and took it upon ourselves to keep both sides in better check, the sooner the better.