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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Media's "I'm not a witch" moment

Christine O'Donnell ran for the U.S. Senate from Delaware in 2006, 2008, and 2010, winning the Republican nomination the last time -- upsetting Congressman Mike Castle and party insiders, who turned on her. The press attacked her, including comic Bill Maher, who dragged out a segment from his "Politically Incorrect" show from 1999, in which she said:
"I dabbled into witchcraft – I never joined a coven... I hung around people who were doing these things... We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar. And I didn't know it."
To combat the laughter and the backlash, she released a woeful ad in which she told the camera: "I'm not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you."

And Nixon was not a crook...

The White House Correspondents Association had its "I'm Not a Witch" moment on Saturday night.

In fact, two.

The first came when the trade group's president, Jeff Mason, told the audience at its annual banquet:
“It is our job to report on facts and to hold leaders accountable. That is who we are. We are not Fake News. We are not failing news organizations and we are not the enemy of the American people.”
I'm you!

The second came when Bob Woodward told the crowd:
"Mr. President, the media is not Fake News."
Woodward was Janet Cooke's editor.

On November 8, 2016, the American people said, "Trump the Establishment!"

Now read the book that explains how and why the press missed this historic the election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

And then read the original, "Trump the Press," which chronicled and mocked how the media missed Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at

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  1. The media is not "fake news"? Hmmm. I have to disagree, Bob Woodward.

    When nearly every story lacks crucial context and uses narratives that serve the interests of only one party, that right there is "fake news". I've learned to mostly ignore it.

  2. Journalism should be very worried about losing people like me, in fact. I have always been a newspaper reader, even as a kid (sports pages only, back then). I used to buy the NYT in the 80s-90s and think it was being straight with me. I have always subscribed to a local paper, and also the WSJ several times over the years.

    I started blogging and reading news via blogs back in 2002. I focused on news almost exclusively for 4-5 years and took it all very seriously, especially Iraq and the post-9/11 world we suddenly found ourselves in. Of course, this was the beginning of the end for my respect for the media, since I learned how much of each story I was NOT getting in the news. Talk about having your eyes opened.

    But it is only in the last couple of years that I have become so disgusted by the poor quality of "the news" that I decided to actively ignore nearly all of it, or to be more accurate, to read stories with a "ok, what kind of bullshit is in the news today" sort of attitude. I just can't take it seriously any more.

    The media did this to themselves, and I have zero sympathy for them. They destroyed their credibility in the post-Watergate and post-Vietnam era with excessive political and social activism after the field started to be dominated by naive J-school grads instead of former police beat reporters who learned street smarts the hard way. Ironically, today's reporters are 95% "progressives" even though that is not progress.

  3. As has been pointed out by many on these electro pages the virtue of fairness is not rewarded by the egregiously rich owners of the press and media. When the worlds second richest man became Woodwards employer he visited his prize only to tell his new servants how they could and should use the internet to gain market share. Lies distortion and the promise of chain saw dismemberment now get market share not truth justice and the American way. When you are well paid to lie, will you do anything else?

  4. If you have to explain you aren't "Fake News", you probably are.

  5. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.” – Denzel Washington.

    That goes for about any kind of media news these days. - Elric

    1. And if you're an actor, you mouth what someone else has written, in this case a quote originally by Mark Twain.

  6. Ron in Ohio Sez:

    After 36 years the WaPo ("Democracy dies in darkness" - But lives on in fakeness?) has proven once again that some things never change. Fake Stories + Fake facts + No Fact Checking = FAKE NEWS!

    And just for those who do not have as good of memories as does Mr. Surber; If ya' go to you will find the whole story from 36 years ago about Janet Cooke and the WaPo. I had to, even though the name was familiar, I still didn't place the name with the aged facts.

    1. Thanks for the link, where this quote from Nob Woodward stands out for me:

      "I also think that it won [the Pulitzer] is of little consequence. It is a brilliant story—fake and fraud that it is."

      Lordy, lordy! This is the original "Fake But Accurate" meme.

    2. Ron in Ohio Sez:

      Oh yeah, Iapetus. Thank you for pointing out the fact that it took over 30 years to coin the "Fake News" phrase when it was staring us in the face back in 1981.

      I didn't just overlook that little truthism that Woodward uttered, I was hoping that an astute observer would find it too.

      Woodward's ludicrous after thought statement was made even more asinine by the article's previous quote,
      "Although some within the Post doubted the story's veracity, the paper defended it and assistant managing editor Bob Woodward submitted the story for the Pulitzer Prize."

    3. Yeah, when I read it, that last quote was a jaw-dropper.

  7. They've been lying to us for years, and have convinced themselves we believe them. Say! I got a bridge in Brooklyn I could sell them.