Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hope Springs Eternal

Washington Post Media Critic Tom Shales pulls his head out of the sand long enough to present his year end review, including this characterization of Rathergate:

Tireless press critics during war or peacetime, the conservatives were handed a valuable new weapon when CBS News fumbled a report detailing the president's shoddy record as a member of the National Guard back in Texas. The report was attacked virtually the moment it aired on "60 Minutes"; documents used to bolster the allegations were condemned by conservative critics as phony and forged, though no forging has yet been proved.

It sounds like he's still holding out for Divine Intervention on that one. Who says these guys aren't religious?

There are approximately five embarrassingly flawed/distorted assumptions in those two sentences alone (not bad for the preeminent media critic in the country). The largest of which being that the burden of proof still lies with those who've already comprehensively destroyed the credibility of those ridiculous documents, instead of those attempting to use them to degrade the reputation of the President of the United States.

Jim Treacher's comments quoted yesterday bear repeating:

Okay, I'm no Howard Kurtz or anything, but I've seen one or two episodes of Law & Order in my day, and ... isn't the burden of proof on the accuser? It is? Okay. And isn't this crewcutted septuagenarian fadebrain the one who made the really big serious accusation? He is? Check. So ... isn't he sort of, you know, under the obligation to verify his claims? And not in a position to sit back and demand that everybody else prove to his satisfaction that it's not clearly bullshit? Is it out of line for me to ask this stuff? Sorry. Sorry. But I mean, if these memos were scribbled in burnt sienna crayon on the back of a Denny's placemat and somebody had the unmitigated gall to say something about it, would that be part of the 'professional rumor mill'? I'm just asking here, no big deal."

Arrogant media bias being practiced by the person assigned by a MSM institution to report on media bias. It makes one nostalgic for Brian Lambert, wherever he is today.