Accuracy in Media

When President Trump came to the CIA and received the type of ovation he usually gets at rallies of his supporters, his appearance blew away yet another media narrative several weeks in the making on his alleged war on the intelligence community.

Media narratives disintegrate with such regularity that their disintegration in the information age is rapidly becoming a dog-bites-man story. For you younger folk, the origin of that analogy is this: in days of yore, old-time editors would tell their cub reporters that “man bites dog” is a story while “dog bites man” is not.

Hearkening back to those days of yesteryear, here are a couple of other media narratives of days gone by that fell apart when reality reared its ugly head:

  • When the U.S. marines invaded the communist island of Grenada and spirited away the American medical students who were virtually under house arrest on the island, much media coverage stateside indicated they were not in grave danger. Then, when the medical students actually made it back in the USA, one of them went out and kissed the tarmac and another media narrative goodbye.
  • For years, U. S. media outlets ran warm and fuzzy stories on life in the Eastern communist bloc controlled by the Soviet Union. Then, when the Cold War ended and the Hungarian government allowed residents to emigrate, the photos of them doing so resembled those of enraptured participants at revival meetings.

You would think that with the regularity with which such “stories” fall apart, that some in the media might try the novel approach of actually reporting news.

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