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posted by n1 on Monday January 05 2015, @07:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-trust-who-when? dept.

Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept that the identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown even as numerous security experts loudly note how sparse and unconvincing the available evidence is against North Korea. But that didn't stop President Obama, announcing in his December 19 press conference that: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack," and vowing that "we will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” Yet according to Greenwald, none of the expert skepticism has made its way into countless media accounts of the Sony hack. "Time and again, many journalists mindlessly regurgitated the U.S. Government’s accusation against North Korea without a shred of doubt, blindly assuming it to be true, and then discussing, often demanding, strong retaliation. Coverage of the episode was largely driven by the long-standing, central tenet of the establishment U.S. media: government assertions are to be treated as Truth."

Greenwald says that this kind of reflexive embrace of government claims is journalistically inexcusable in all cases, for reasons that should be self-evident. But in this case, it’s truly dangerous. "At this point - eleven years after the run-up to the Iraq War and 50 years after the Gulf of Tonkin fraud - any minimally sentient American knows full well that their government lies frequently. Any journalist understands full well that assuming government claims to be true, with no evidence, is the primary means by which U.S. media outlets become tools of government propaganda," concludes Greenwald adding that many journalists benefit in all sorts of ways by dutifully performing this role. "At this point, journalists who mindlessly repeat government claims like this are guilty of many things; ignorance of what they are doing is definitely not one of them."

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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday January 05 2015, @08:20PM

    by HiThere (866) on Monday January 05 2015, @08:20PM (#131957) Journal

    You misunderstand the media. They have *always* been as delighted to catch the liberals as the conservatives, but it used to be considered gauche to publicize philandering.

    OTOH, you should NEVER take what the media say without a tablespoon of salt. And too much salt is bad for your health. The media in every single case that I've been able to personally check sensationalize what has happened, often so grotesquely that if it weren't for the date and location I wouldn't recognize it for the same incident. On careful re-examination it would often turn out that, yes, things did actually look that way from a carefully chosen angle that carefully narrowed to focus so you only saw one small piece of the picture. I've seen a fire on the media that appeared to burn down my house, when actually it was miles away. But on reexamination it turned out that if you look from the right angle from the right position and carefully narrow your focus it was actually the picture of something that really happened. It was just so misleading that the only proper word to use to describe it is "lie".

    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @10:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05 2015, @10:15PM (#131992)

    I work for a small TV station. A few years ago, I was involved in a laser incident, and my workplace misquoted and misrepresented me significantly.

    I won't talk to them again.

    If you ever do talk to media, they will take what you say, quote you, and provide a new context for it thus altering your original intent.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday January 06 2015, @01:40AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday January 06 2015, @01:40AM (#132058) Journal

      "Laser accident? .. huh you got the wrong address. It's *that* house *pointing finger*".... "Oh, here's the address 95478 W. 8th Pl. Nowhere, ZP 43048, just look for the road called Undriveable in the town Nowhere *Promise*".

      Or one doesn't say anything whatsoever.