Re: And So It Begins...

 Posted on 5/30/2003 by to

How do you manage to shove so many inaccuracies into one message?

>Newspaper reporters are not hired to report facts, they are hired to hand
>in their quota of column inches every day.

Not true, and this one I can personally vouch for. I've been a journalist, I
worked for a variety of local and national newspapers and magazines including
the LA Times, the Herald-Examiner, TIME Inc, and others. And brother, you'd
better be damned sure of your facts before you turn something in because the
editor will grill you on them.

Many reporters don't have to hand in a quota of column inches per day, that's a
columnist's job, not a reporter's job. You get to work on a given story, and
when it's done, you turn it in. If it takes a day, a few days, a week, longer,
it takes the time that it takes. You check in with your editor from time to
time, give him (or her) progress reports, and keep going until you have enough
to print.

>They don't have the time or
>resources to verify all the information they print.

I call bullshit on this one. Any solid reporter *always* does this. (Yeah,
one guy recently faked it, but it wasn't that he didn't have time, he was a
fraud, and the backup notes with sources he provided were fake, and this came
out as the editors began to back check those source reports. No system can be
fool proof if this kind of fakery goes on.)

You *have* to get at least three sources for any story, the story also goes
through a fact checker at the paper who looks for anything egregious and makes
sure that the source reports are attached, and it goes on from there. But to
say that reporters don't have time or resources to verify their information is,
pardon my bluntness, sheerest bullshit. It's a lie and a damned lie at that,
and I cite that one from personal experience, over and over and over.

>Special interest
>groups have gotten quite adept at media manipulation by press release.

Yes, they have, and a good reporter knows how to see through that. I don't
know, and have NEVER known ANY reporter to take a press release at face value.

>They provide slanted or inaccurate statistics that most reporters can't
>understand and nobody has time to verify, bundled in frequent "public
>information" packets.

Tell me, where do *you* get your facts when you say this? You made this bald
statement, so either you have the facts to back it up, or you're just making
shit up.

Sorry, but most reporters working for major newspapers are university
graduates, and the ones I've known have been pretty damned smart, more than
smart enough to understand what a press release is.

>> But as noted not long ago in several British newspapers, including the
>> Times of London, the shelf life of the nerve gas expired years ago, and the
>> biological agents were never "weaponized," so they were to all intents and
>> purposes harmless. As one newspaper put it, the only way you could get
>hurt by
>> this stuff was if the missile they were loaded into actually hit you in the
>> head.
>Who do you think made up that whopper? The US Army still has chemical
>agents stored at Hermiston, Oregon from as far back as the Korean War.
>They have surrounded them with detectors and alarm systems. If you are
>along the Columbia River and hear sirens, run like hell upwind and you
>may survive. The lethal shelf life of nerve agents is measured in

There are all *kinds* of chemical agents, and some have longer shelf lives than
others. The ones given to Iraq, and the report listed the names so that if
anyone could refute it they were more than able to do so (none did) had a shelf
life of only five years or so; clearly the ones you cite here are either ones
with a longer shelf life, or the amount is so huge that even the base chemicals
would pose a threat.

But that has *nothing* to do with what I posted. The specific chemical
weapons we gave them were expired.

And as far as articles go, here's a doozy...where Wolfwitz admits that the
whole WMD thing was primarily a ruse.

Chew on that one.


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