The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I’m Sorry, Never Mind

Those of you who can recall the 1970s may remember a wonderful comedic character, Emily Latella, created by the late Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame. Goofy Emily would present an editorial comment on the “news” portion of SNL. Her facts would be completely incorrect and her conclusions would be hilariously off-kilter. Finally, one of the show's “news anchors” would snap and correct her. Emily was never fazed, she’d simply say, “I’m sorry, never mind.”

Lorie Bird recalls Emily when she writes:
There have been quite a few “never mind” media opportunites during the Bush years. They range in significance from such incorrect stories as that of the plastic Thanksgiving turkey in Baghdad, to stories such as those of widespread rape and murder in the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina. Michelle Malkin once used a reference to Emily Litella when writing about the “Gitmo Koran flushing” story. Few of the “never minds” have gotten the prominent play that the original inaccurate reports received though. More distressing is that many of them have passed unrealized at all. Instead of even a “never mind,” too often we have gotten dumb silence.

In a recent post entitled, Lies, I lamented the outright incompetence or bias (take your pick) exhibited by the MSM in reporting dozens of anti-Israel stories about the Israeli-Hezballah war. Stories that tuned out to be provably false. Almost no MSM outlet followed up with a front page expose into the lies they reported as truth.

An exception truly does prove the rule. In yesterday's edition, the Washington Post does a mea culpa for the Valary Plame affair:
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

The people “took him seriously” because the MSM didn’t do its job, hoping (like Dan Rather) that a watergateque story was in the making. As has been the case far, far too often, they were, dead wrong.

I can only wonder when CNN, ABC, MSNBC, The NYT, The LA Times, Time, Newsweek, and many, many others will do similar mea culpas. Don’t hold your breath.