All errors should be reported to

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Teaching journalism to the Washington Post

Having blown the 2016 presidential race completely, reporters and editors must re-learn their craft.

Lesson One: The government lies.

In ripping the Washington Post for Fake News about the Russians "hacking" into America's power grid, Kalev Leetaru of Forbes wrote:

Glenn Greenwald raises the fantastic point that journalists must be more cautious in treating the word of governments as absolute truth. Indeed, a certain fraction of the world’s false and misleading news actually comes from the mouths of government spokespeople. Yet, in the Post’s case, it appears that a government source tipped off the post about a sensational story of Russians hacking the US power grid and instead of reaching out to the utilities themselves or gathering further detail, the Post simply published the story as fed to them by the government officials.
The government lies.

Now this applies to everything from weapons of mass destruction to global cooling to global warming to there are 47 million people who cannot afford health insurance.

Reporters have no qualms about skepticism toward business.

But government is the Official Story to too many of them.

Thus anything Donald Trump said was suspicious. The tobacco industry lied about cigarettes, therefore anything a businessman says is a lie until proven otherwise.

Nevermind that the government also lied about cigarettes, for years saying they were safe. It's the government. It's us. It is looking out for our good.

Thus, Hillary Clinton was heroic and altruistic. The story line was that she could have been rich but devoted her life to public service.

That she was a multi-millionaire after just a dozen years in government (as a senator and secretary of state) never seemed to phase media praisers of her.

But Trump. He went into business, therefore his riches are soiled.

If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Even if she works for the government.

Next lesson: Researchers lie.


Please read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

It covers the nomination process only. The general election will be covered in a sequel.

For an autographed copy, email me at

Be deplorable. Follow me on Twitter.


  1. Especially if she works for the government!

  2. Reminds me of Blind Melon Chitlin's tune: "Only My Mama Loves Me But She Could Be Jivin', Too." - Elric

  3. Funny how the same people who cheeered about the Pentagon Papers are now dancing in front of Herod demanding the head of Eric Snowden.

    1. I didn't cheer about the Pentagon Papers. Eric Snowden in jail would be a good thing. A very good thing.

  4. To address your title, you can't teach journalism to propagandists.

    Now that the government is run by Republicans, Bezos' blog will be more skeptical of the government. Same with the New York Slimes (Motto: All the fake news that's fit to print).

  5. "All Governments Lie." I.F. Stone, back in the sixties. He also observed that governments really get into trouble when they start "smoking the hashish they've been peddling".

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Should you really be jumping straight into the advanced stuff when you haven't given these guys their basic training yet, Don?

    I'm thinking, twenty-mile hikes around Washington with old manual typewriters strapped to their backs. For cadence, they could learn Weird Al's "Word Crimes".

    1. Dave? You MEAN boy! I'm worse; I'd insist on an electric Olivetti from the '70s. With a 16" platen.

    2. Drop a pen or some other small object near one of those babies, Sam, and it'll go into a slow orbit around it.

  8. Faze, not phase.