Carol Platt Liebau: Judging the MSM for Yourself

Friday, March 24, 2006

Judging the MSM for Yourself

This has been an unfortunate week for the MSM. Much of the week has been spent discussing the coverage of the Iraq war, and it appears that MSM is finally getting the clue that the American people are offended and appalled by its apparent willingness to be used by our enemies (whether it will change its stripes is another matter entirely).

There are plenty of reasons to believe that the MSM and its acolytes can't be entirely trusted. You're about to witness another one.

Read the first paragraph of this piece in The New Republic by Jonathan Chait (he also writes for the LA Times). It references Chait being "publicly shamed" for not owning a gun when he was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt on his eponymous radio show, along with mentions of apparently "consciously McCarthyite language," etc.

Time was when a writer could "spin" his interview any way he chose, and use it for fodder. Unfortunately for Chait, however, Hugh's incomparable producer, Generalissimo Duane, transcribes and archives the interviews over at Radioblogger.

So go over and read the interview for yourself, or listen to it on the mp3. Judge for yourself whether Chait's characterization of the interview is accurate, or whether his description is misleading.

In the largest sense, this isn't about Jonathan Chait and Hugh Hewitt at all. Rather, it's another example of why the American people are, increasingly, coming to realize that they can't trust the MSM to give them the "whole story" -- not when a "better" story can be written, or an agenda satisfied, by subtly misleading the audience about the tone, emphasis or substance of an event.

2 Comments:

Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol writes, "Rather, it's another example of why the American people are, increasingly, coming to realize that they can't trust the MSM to give them the "whole story" -- not when a "better" story can be written, or an agenda satisfied, by subtly misleading the audience about the tone, emphasis or substance of an event."

This is just too eery, because Carol relies exclusively on these tactics, of ignoring the whole story in favor if misleading her audience by selecting and emphasizing certain fragments of it. Unbelievable.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Duke-Stir:
It would have been helpful if you had actually cited an example supporting your claim. Carol, in contrast, did.

And yes, Jonathan Chait's piece does mischaracterize (or, perhaps, Chait just misunderstands) what happened during the interview with Hewitt.

Hewitt's question about owning a gun was part of a series of questions clearly intended to show that Chait is closer to the liberal left than he is the center. And Hewitt asked Chait if he knew anyone in the military in order to point out the larger claim (which Chait confirms) that few reporters do know anyone serving in Iraq. Chait mischaracterizes both of these questions as attempts to shame him. Chait may indeed have *felt* shamed during that interview but it was the low quality of his answers that day that caused it.

11:16 AM  

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