Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Imagine that

Of all the Foxtastic news to comment on in the past few days (and yes, kids, the Fair 'n' Balanced Network has been busy), pause a moment to ponder this one:

As conflicts and civil wars rage across the Middle East and North Africa, a shadowy covert cell operating under the Iranian government is fueling the bloodshed.

"Smuggling arms to Mideast," of course, isn't that much of a challenge for Iran -- which, being in "the Mideast" itself, doesn't have to do much more than walk to the mailbox. More to the point, perhaps, is the idea that somehow smuggling "illicit arms to the Mideast," thereby "fueling the bloodshed" in all sorts of grisly ways, is a uniquely Iranian proposition. Given Fox's unique expertise in deliberately fueling Middle Eastern bloodshed through illicit arms transfers, we could perhaps be forgiven for expecting a deeper level of insight.

Lead stories never happen by accident. That's as true of the grownup press as it is of the party press. Iran is the top story on Wednesday evening because Fox is done for the moment with spreading random fear of brown people and dancing on Brian Williams's grave; it has more important things to turn your attention to. That's not to suggest that any form of fabrication is appropriate for journalism, but to ask whether we might want to consider habitual lying in the interest of shaping public policy as somehow different from habitual lying in the interest of self-aggrandizement.

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