This week’s edition of Newsweek carries a devastating story suggesting the case is falling apart against three members of the Duke lacrosse team accused of rape. The phrase bannered across the cover: “Duke: Should The Case Be Dropped?” The story’s subhead: “The prosecutor insists his rape case is strong. One big problem: the facts thus far.”
So, what does Times sports columnist Harvey Araton have to say about this turn of events? After all, Araton went after the Duke lacrosse team in two previous columns, even attacking the university’s women’s lacrosse team for daring to defend their athletic colleagues.
On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason trumpeted how North Carolina Treasurer Richard Moore, who got four soundbites, withheld that state’s pension fund votes from the ExxonMobil directors who he thinks gave too great a compensation package to the retired CEO, but Mason failed to identify his Democratic affiliation (not even on-screen) or let viewers in how CBS was delivering publicity benefitting a likely 2008 Democratic candidate for Governor of the Tar Heel state. The North Carolina Democratic Party was so excited by Moore’s move that they sent out a press release: “NC State Treasurer Richard Moore Takes on Oil Company.”
"Outside its annual shareholders meeting, ExxonMobil was under fire today from protesters frustrated with soaring gas prices and the company's former CEO," Mason touted before a woman protester outside the Dallas meeting charged: "He's one of the worst examples of corporate greed." After reciting ex-CEO Lee Raymond’s large compensation package, Mason noted that “ExxonMobil is the most profitable company in the country,” but “it's even starting to feel the heat here on Wall Street." For his evidence from “Wall Street,” Mason turned to Democrat Moore of Raleigh who declared: "I think the sentiment of disgust and outrage is very wide." Mason explained Moore’s power: “Richard Moore is North Carolina's state treasurer. The state's pension fund owns 11 million shares of ExxonMobil, worth more than $660 million. Today Moore, on behalf of the state, withheld all those share votes from the Exxon directors who backed Raymond's pay." Moore called the compensation package “un-American.” (Transcript follows)
Staff Writer Ted Vaden of the News & Observer hits Rush Limbaugh for reading a "satirical" article about the Dick Cheney shooting. The crux of the argument is that everyone should have known that the article was satirical. Have a look at the article in question for yourself. Do you see "Satire" at the top? Is there a disclosure to note that fake news follows?
Limbaugh read about half the column over the air. But he left out the half that made clear that the N&O columnist was satirizing the Cheney affair. Not quoted, for instance, was this line: "When obstinate countries declare their unwillingness to negotiate with Secretary of State Condi Rice, all we have to do is roll out Deadeye Dick."
So it was that line that was supposed to clue us all in that it was a fake article? It reads just like any other moonbat column to me. 500 people responded to the article, all failing to pick it up as "satire."
Here are some tips for other journalists wanting to practice writing fake news:
If you print fake news "satire" where truthful facts should reside, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite you.
If you want to risk the credibility of your newspaper on making a political point, there is no need to ask later what happened to your credibility and subscriber base.
You can act like The Daily Show but you won't get their accolades, age group or the ratings that they have, and you aren't even close to being as funny.
James Taranto at Opinion Journal reports today that Fayetteville (N.C.) State University officials have reviewed a tape of Julian Bond's wild remarks there last week, as reported by World Net Daily, and determined it was not completely accurate: "Based on the review, it was determined that nowhere during Bond's speech was reference made to the Nazi Party, nor was the word 'token' used." Taranto elaborates on a conversation with FSU public relations director Jeffery Womble:
We phoned Mr. Womble this morning, and he told us that FSU disputes the WND account only on these two points. That means the following elements are undisputed:
-- "Calling President Bush a liar, Bond told the audience at the historically black institution that this White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people."