The DC Media likes to look down its smug nose at New Media, especially right-of-center New Media, over our so-called lack of journalistic standards. And yet, time and again, it is the oh-so lofty left-wing legacy media being caught lying, lying some more, and then lying even more after that. Or they are just so lazy, biased, and stupid, they choose to believe a story that is too good to check.
That’s exactly what happened (again) Wednesday when an unverified Twitter account with the handle @Ammon_Bundy tweeted out, “We are doing the same thing as Rosa parks did. We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom.”
Although anyone can get on Twitter and create whatever handle they would like, without waiting to verify if this tweet did indeed come from Ammon Bundy, the armed militiaman in charge of a group who, to protest the federal government, took over a vacant building located at national wildlife refuge in Oregon, the stupid DC Media just ran with it.
There is just one problem: the Twitter account is a fake, a fraud, paste, a ruse.
- The Washington Post
- The Chicago Tribune, reprinting the WaPo piece
- Salon, which compounded the sin by running the most shit-eating non-apology in the history of journalism corrections (Update: Salon’s original correction, verbatim: “UPDATED: It turns out the tweet was from a hoax account, but given the fact that these geniuses were previously pleading with the public to send them the snacks they forget to pack, the error is understandable.”)
- The New Republic
- Talking Points Memo, since corrected
- USA Today
- The Root
- The New York Daily News
While I sympathize with the cause, I have nothing but contempt for any protest that involves violence or the threat of violence. Ammon Bundy and his clan are bad news, and very bad for a righteous cause. Like everyone else, I saw the Ammon Bundy tweet yesterday, but when I saw that there was no blue check-mark verifying the Twitter account, the idea of treating it as a legitimate news story never even crossed my mind.
If only, you know, I had graduated from some elite J-School and worked for the LEGITIMATE media…
Lecture us some more, Real Journalists.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC