The Conversation

A Tale of Two Stories

Story one:  Martin Bashir, a sour hyperpartisan shill working for cheerfully dishonest hyperpartisan network (by which I mean parent company NBC), puts an obviously-edited bit of video on his televised blog and claims that 2nd-Amendment supporters "heckled" a grieving father of a boy murdered in Newtown.


This story was soon spread to other media by (among others) a hyperpartisan political organization funded by the leftist George Soros.  This obviously-partisan organization is called Media Matters, a sort of Johnny Appleseed of Leftist Propaganda, sowing their nasty little seed in willing media bodies.

As Twitchy documented, all sorts of people in the media -- who claim their creed is "If your mother says she loves you, get a second source to confirm it" -- began gleefully retransmitting the story without the slightest effort to determine whether or not it was true.

Despite the fact that there is an obvious slash-edit in the video -- and despite the fact that this comes from the network that deceptively edited the George Zimmerman 911 call to make it sound like Zimmerman was a racist.

Despite the fact that Martin Bashir is a frothy embarrassment willing, and able to throw hoaxes gathered from leftwing blogs and email tipsters on to his show without the slightest attempt to confirm obviously-fake stories.

And despite the fact that this was a spectacularly easy story to check: After all, no sources needed to be tracked down. All you had to do is fire up the Google machine, search for the original video, and watch for fifteen minutes.  (Much less if you skip around and just find the quoted material.)

But despite the dubiousness of the source -- is NBC really a news network anymore?  If FoxNews if "Faux News," what the hell is this grisly multiple clown-car pileup at NBC? -- and despite how extremely easy it was to check its veracity, Piers Morgan, Anderson Cooper, David Frum (is he still a thing?), and the rest of the self-vaunted Brain Trust just tweeted it out to the world, fulminating on the "sickness" of the "sickos" who would heckle a grieving father.

So that's the first story.  Note how quickly that story moves from leftwing blogs and tipsters, to a network which is essentially a live-action Democratic Underground with hard-breaks and bumper jingles, to the entire media -- no fact-checking at any stage along the way. 

Straight from the leftwing blogs to your TV. So why include the middleman?  Why continue this pretense that "news" organizations are adding factual verification to these blog stories?  Perhaps CNN could save some money by having Roland Martin just read the Daily Kos out to viewers each night.  If you're just going to read out the All the Wonderful Things You Learned on FireDogLake Today, why not be honest and own that?

The only people who checked were Twitchy and others on the right -- others not in the "real media."  People just checking up on things because they think there's a value in the truth.

Amateurs, in other words.

Now, the second story was broken by Matt Boyle, who was with the Daily Caller when he broke it, but who's now at Breitbart:  two Dominican prostitutes alleged that Senator Bob Menendez, then seeking reelection, had flown down during Easter break for the purpose of having hooker parties with his donor buddy. And there was a fair amount of corroborating evidence in favor of the prostitutes' account (such as Menendez's air flights lining up with the alleged tryst).

The media, of course, laughed at the story and buried it.  Only recently have we learned that ABCNews was given the story... in May of last year. And apparently spiked it.

So there are two stories:  One which hurts Republicans. It is presumed true, despite the dubiousness of its provenance, and blasted out into the etherwaves with not even an attempt to verify a word of it.  Even though verifying it (and, actually, rubbishing it) would have taken all of ten minutes.

One which hurts a Democratic Senator seeking reelection. It is presumed false and buried without further investigation.  Even when ABCNews has a major political scoop on its hands, it passes.  And the media sneers at Matthew Boyle for his obvious hoax.

Obviously an important story, with lots of political importance-- buried.

And apparently now continue to sneer at the FBI, for their part in Matthew Boyle's hoax:
On August 1, 2012, the FBI had opened an inquiry into Menendez’s alleged prostitution solicitation—mainly because one of the prostitutes Menendez allegedly paid for sex was allegedly underage.

The real question is: What do we intend to do about it?

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