Monday, May 30, 2011

One for the spike

You mean you've missed Weinergate? Must have spent your day working, or lounging about, or getting ready to grill, or just reading a little news from the grownuposphere.

In that case, go look up all the naughty little details yourself. If you're a working journalist and you're wondering what to do with some version of this tale, though, here's an idea: Spike it.

Alert readers will have noticed that the story began at the Breitbart empire, where as of this writing it's not just the top but the only story at Big Journalism and Big Government. If it wasn't clear enough the first few times a fabricated story from this camp became News of the Week through media flailing, bumbling and me-firsting, it should have been painfully clear when even Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" called out their most recent bit of fakery. Lying is what they do. It's their stock in trade. They aren't always very good at it, but they keep on trying, in no small part because they've often been successful at getting something to stick. And as long as they're getting a sense of success, they'll continue.

Now. No one's suggesting here that it's the journalist's job to take politicians at their word. As a class, they're a self-serving, annoying, and weaselly lot. But there's a difference between a class that lies much or most of the time and a class that lies all the time. Breitbart and his minions and catamites are in that latter class. Responsible journalists can and should be quite comfortable spiking anything that comes from such a source.

Maggie Thatcher, annoying twit that she was, had a point about terrorism and the "oxygen of publicity." If the oxygen is shut off, the weasels eventually suffocate. Perhaps there's some merit in such a plan. 


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