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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Journalistic dishonesty

Until two weeks ago, the three most in famous fabulists in journalism were Janet Cooke, who wrote for the left-leaning Washington Post; Jason Blair, who wrote for that exemplar of political correctness, the New York Times; and Stephen Glass, who wrote for the liberal New Republic.

Brian Williams worked for NBC, the most left-leaning of all the networks. Here is a representative compilation of examples of Williams' biased reporting. 

Now that we can look back at his career through the prism of Williams' pathological lying -- i.e., his sociopathy -- the question has to be asked: is there a connection between his personal dishonesty and the way he reported on politics?

When a reporter ignores Fast and Furious, ignores Solyndra, pooh poohs the IRS scandal as a partisan witch hunt, pretends not to notice the ugly way in which Obamacare was passed, and swallows the administration's lies about Benghazi, does that not show a certain intellectual dishonesty?

And is intellectual dishonesty really all that different from the self-aggrandizing variety?

It's hard not to see a connection.

Williams, as a pathological liar, is typical of that breed in the way he lied about his own derring-do. As a journalist, he's typical of that breed in the way he dishonestly slanted the news.

Both of these seem to require a similar sort of personality.

As a sociopath, Williams was eminently well suited for both roles. 


Mark Caplan said...

I know you'd appreciate an example of conservative journalistic lying. For over a year, "The Feed" on National Review Online has a web page stating that filmmaker Spike Lee wrote, "I don't give a f--- what you think kill that Bitch. HERE GO HIS ADDRESS. LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN."

The context was Spike Lee supposedly calling for blacks to lynch George Zimmerman.

That is a lie. One of Spike Lee's followers on Twitter wrote that, not Lee himself.

The lie is still posted on the National Review Online website:

John Craig said...

Mark --
I vaguely recall hearing that lee had posted an address; I guess that was based on this.

The question is, was that an honest mistake by the National Review, or was it a purposeful lie? If the latter, which it may well have been, then it's certainly shameful.

Steven said...

Speaking of Spike Lee, I saw him on channel 4 news the other day in the UK. He didn't seem very articulate.

Malcolm X was a pretty good movie though.

Quartermain said...


I don't know if I sent you this link before but I think you may find this article of interest:

John Craig said...

Allan --
Wow, thank you, that was a grab essay, and very illuminating. I'd heard some of that stuff about LBJ before, but not a lot of it. It's a picture perfect portrayal of a sociopath. I've head it speculated that he was one before, and didn't doubt it, but I'd never really looked into it in that much depth. fascinating. And it all fits together seamlessly.

I think I'll link it in a new post.