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Friday, May 17, 2013

Media Creating News - Diseminating Lies Before Finding Truth

News about a controversial Benghazi email was given main stream media credibility when CBS reported the false communication as being fact.  

In fact, the email at the core of the (false) Republican case said that the White House fixed the Benghazi talking points, in the immediate aftermath of the attack on our US consulate, in order to edit out any reference to terroris'.  It was supposedly done to minimize public concern about the attack in the weeks before the 2012 election. But the email that Republicans spread lies about is a fake.  The actual White House email, far from proving an attempt by the White House to spin Benghazi for political purposes, shows a concerted effort between the White House, with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the State Department jointly concerned about getting the facts right. 

But CBS spun it differently.

Mark Twain aptly described the consequences of this CBS leap into yellow journalism when he described how a lie travels halfway around the world before truth puts its shoes on.

There's some media duplicity in this situation, as well.  Although American journalists are justifiably screaming in outrage about the Justice Department subpoena of Associated Press phone   records related to national security leaks, they're somewhat moot about the CBS email lie.

Contributing to this spiraling email lie was Joe Scarborough, on his "Morning Joe" program when Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn went unchallenged when he raised the spectre of a clandestine Benghazi email.  Frankly, Scarborough allowed Coburn to engage in tangential thinking about the now discredited email would eventually be revealed.  Scarborough didn't challenging Coburn to validate his claims.  It turns out, Scarborough was remiss in his responsibility to challenge Coburn. As for Senator Coburn, his lie should lead to a censure from the US Senate.  

Outrage about recently reported White House scandals involving the Benghazi emails, the subpoena of Associated Press phone records and the Internal Revenue Service targeting certain non-profits, should also include a scolding of CBS for spreading a lie.

What goes around comes around, is an age old truism.

As the media leaps to a hot lead for the purpose of gaining competitive advantage, as the first to report, they must also accept responsibility for contributing to Republican muckraking of current    scandals. 

CBS owes the American people an apology.  Likewise,  a "muzzle whistle" should be included in the Morning Joe program, so Scarborough can block Senator Coburn the next time (and there will be one) he goes into tangential lying mode.  

There's an abundance of media time to fill up these days, but none of it should accommodate lies.  

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