More and more, I am convinced that the liberal mainstream media is NOT to be trusted. They selectively report events, twist and nuance words, and even downright falsify information to promote their own pet agendas.
Just look at Malaysiakini: Are US News Agencies Biased Against Palestine? for my exegesis on various stupidities and intentional misreportings regarding the Middle East conflict, All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us, Flat Fatima will Make Your News Stories Become The Truth! which mock liberal media lies, and Media Mythbusters Wiki which links to a growing collection of dishonest journalism.
Now I’ve learned from The Jawa Report and Moonbattery of a list of mainstream media lies over the years. Not just mistakes, un-confirmed rumours or biased reporting – but outright hoaxes, plagiarism, intentionally faked and acted-out scenes, doctored tests, and utter incompetence/laziness/low-intelligence/intentional malice in discerning fact from fantastic comic book fiction.
No wonder less than HALF of Americans surveyed trust the mainstream media anymore!
A selection of the list follows, paraphrased from the original by myself. View full article, with citations and links, at American Thinker – Media Dishonesty Matters. My own comments and links in [bolded square brackets] after each selection.
4. AFP/Yahoo News (2007). Fell for hoax/lie. Ran a pictureof an elderly Iraqi woman holding up two bullet, wiht the caption claiming that those bullets were fired by coalition forces and hit her house. But she was holding up unfired cartridges, which could only have ‘hit her house’ if they were thrown at it by hand. [Michelle Malkin: MSM propaganda watch: Ready, aim…not fired!, also where this pic comes from. Wouldn't bullets that punch through a house be at least a bit flattened or damaged?]
9. Associated Press (AP) (2005). Fell for hoax and phony photo. Ran a story with photo about a soldier held hostage in Iraq, assault rifle to his head. The photo turned out to be that of an action figure doll, and the gun was similarly a toy. [Wikipedia: John Adam hoax. You will not believe how fake the 'real soldier held hostage' looks. And double that for how people were so easily fooled by it!]
13. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, The New Republic (2007). Lying. TNR hired this U.S. Army private and husband of one of its own staff to write first-hand accounts from Iraq. One of his accounts, supposedly demonstrating the dehumanizing effects of the Iraq war on him and fellow soldiers, occurred in Kuwait before Beauchamp even entered Iraq. Other parts of his writing are likely false, and if not, constitute military crimes on his part. [Wikipedia: Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Hot Air covers Beauchamp's talk with his disappointed editors. I'll illustrate this with a cartoon from Day by Day.]
19. The Boston Globe (2004). Fake photos, fake story. The Boston Globe published pictures alleging U.S. troops raped Iraqi women. The pictures turned out to be commercially available pornography. [WorldNetDaily: Boston Globe publishes bogus GI rape pictures (taken from pornographic website).]
24. Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. Lying, plagiarism, bias. His book was so full of errors, including doctored maps, that his chief collaborator Kenneth Stein of Emory University resigned his position with the Carter Center. Carter’s book was condemned by Alan Dershowitz and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others. [National Review for negative review, Wikipedia for both sides, and Investor's Business Daily special report series on Jimmy Carter. Cartoon from Cox and Forkum. You can see more cartoons at here, here and here.]
25. CBS 60 Minutes, the “Runaway Audi” (1989). Fake footage/manufactured evidence. Drilled a hole in an Audi transmission and pumped in air at high pressure. Viewers didn’t see the drill or the pump – just the doctored car blasting off like a rocket. The story starred a mother who had run over her six-year-old son. On the air, she insisted that she had had her foot on the brake. When her $48 million claim came to court, the investigating police officer and witnesses at the scene testified that after the accident she had admitted that her foot had slipped off the brake. The jury found no defect in the car.
43. Walter Duranty, The New York Times (1930s), Pulitzer Prize winner. Lying. Cisited Stalin’s Russia and wrote that nothing untoward was happening there – even though 10 million people were dying in the Ukraine famine. His writings matched Russian propaganda almost exactly. His Pulitzer Prize still stands. [Wikipedia: Walter Duranty.]
47. James Forlong, Sky News (2003). Fake story, fake footage. He presented footage from a missile test as actual combat in Iraq. He subsequently committed suicide.
57. Adnan Hajj, Reuters (2006). Doctored photos. He doctored dozens of pictures of the 2006 Lebanon-Israel conflict. Reuters later withdrew all 920 of his photos from sale. (See more on middle east “fauxtography”, at Zombietime: The Reuters Photo Scandal – A Taxonomy of Fraud.) [The Jawa Report: August 06, 2006
62. Michael Isikoff, Newsweek (2005). False/unsubstantiated reporting. The Newsweek article claimed that a U.S. interrogator at a Guantanamo Bay had flushed a Koran down the toilet. “Anti-U.S. fanatics seized on the report to stir up riots that have left more than a dozen people dead in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” There is no evidence such a thing ever happened. [Wikipedia: Qur'an Desecration Controversy of 2005. Protestors riot and attack people, causing much destruction and murdering dozens of lives worldwide... Because of anger over a hoax. How justified. See also Politically Correct Bathroom Etiquette in America for a comparison with how other belief systems have it. Cartoon below from Cox and Forkum, with more news links.]
69. Jesse MacBeth, anti-war star (2006). Lying/fabricating. Stoked opposition to the Iraq war when he spoke out about atrocities he committed as a U.S. Army Ranger serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He claimed to have killed more than 200 people, many at close range, some as they prayed in a mosque. None of MacBeth’s claims was true. [Wikipedia: Jesse Macbeth, see also Michelle Malkin: Rush Limbaugh, phony soldiers, and the Left’s desperate need for its own “Betray Us” moment for a list of more phony soldiers.]
74. National Geographic and paleontologists, (1999). Fell for hoax. Announced the discovery of Archaeoraptor at a press conference at the National Geographic Society. At the time, they called it a missing link between birds and dinosaurs. Later, the specimen was found to be a made-in-China fake combining the tail of a dinosaur with the body of a bird. [Cartoon from http://www.discovercreation.org/newlet/March-April%202000.htm, which also has full info on topic. Archaeopteryx was also claimed as the 'missing link between dinosaurs and birds' previous to this. See also Piltdown man for the most famous example of evolutionists jumping at purported 'proof' of evolution in the fossil record, and Tunneling Meatball Mole (one of my earliest posts) for why they need it so much.]
75. NBC, Waiting to Explode segment on Dateline NBC (1992). Faking evidence and footage. NBC demonstrated the explosive danger of GM trucks’ gas tanks by showing one actually explode in what appeared to be normal circumstances. In fact, NBC consultants set off explosive miniature rockets beneath the truck split seconds before the crash!
76. New Orleans Times-Picayune and many other newspapers reported rumors, hoaxes and lies related to hurricane Katrina. The NOTP came clean and critiqued itself and others who “… described inflated body counts, unverified ‘rapes’, and unconfirmed sniper attacks as among examples of ‘scores of myths about the dome and Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans’ top officials’.” Also see Popular Mechanics for a refutation of Katrina myths.
78. NPR, CNN and others on the “Jenin massacre” (2002). Lying. CNN reported: “There’s almost a massacre now taking place in Jenin. Helicopter gun ships are throwing missiles at one square kilometer packed with almost 15,000 people in a refugee camp . . . This is a war crime, clear war crime.” However, the actual “death toll was 56 Palestinians, the majority of them combatants, and 23 Israeli soldiers.”
81. Reuters, Lebanon coverage (2006). Fake/staged photos. A burning tire dump as the scene of an Israeli bombing, Photoshopped bomb smoke, etc. during the Lebanon-Israel conflict. [Michelle Malkin: “Fauxtography” alert: NYTimes and USNews; plus Time and Reuters’ Issam Kobeisi.]
82. Reuters Russia’s North Pole coverage (2007). More fake photos/footage. “Reuters has been forced to admit that footage it released last week purportedly showing Russian submersibles on the seabed of the North Pole actually came from the movie Titanic.” The mistake was caught by a 13-year-old Finnish boy. [Wikipedia: Arktika 2007.]
96. Washington Post (and others), “Plastic Turkey” story (2003). Lying or false reporting. The Post and a host of other media, including the New York Times, reported that President Bush was photographed with a plastic turkey rather than a real one when he visited troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving. The story was used to paint the White House as a public relations spin machine, with policy just as fake as the turkey. But in fact, the turkey was real. Multiple newspapers issued corrections.