Husker Du?

The gang from Outfoxed has unveiled a new tool to aid them in their quest for media accuracy. Facts? Transcripts? No, something far more, um, flexible.

There's one thing about putting quotes in an article--it makes it awfully easy for someone to prove you a liar by citing what was actually said. And facts...they can be so inconvenient. So what are the newshounds (another fine product from the Outfoxed syndicate) to do when their falsehoods are being exposed left and right? Their solution? Dispense with hard data entirely, and trot out a new technique in media analysis: misty water-color memories! To wit:
[Major] Garrett then [August 20] aired video of Swiftie Cmdr. George Elliott speaking at a podium with Kerry at his side - presumably footage from that l996 election campaign. Garrett said that Fox News aired that footage "last spring when this whole" issue began to emerge. COMMENT: We News Hounds began monitoring Fox News in early February. We've been monitoring daily since....I don't remember seeing the l996 clip at all.

This footage, which showed Elliott praising John Kerry, was welcomed by the newspups as if it were a newly-discovered Michael Moore movie. But their first instinct is not to credit Fox for being fair and balanced, but to deny that they've ever shown it before.

Well, not deny. They can't very well do that. That would require facts, transcripts, or some kind of evidence. The eight newspoodles can't spare the time for (gasp!) research. So rather than spoil a good story, newshound Melanie simply avers that she doesn't "remember" seeing it. That's safe. Nobody can prove that's a lie! Of course the flip side of the coin is that nobody can take such a laughable attempt at "media criticism" seriously either, since it demonstrates less than nothing.

But it gets better. Let's take a trip in the Way-Back Machine to July 30th, when Melanie was testing her powers of recall about another Fox broadcast. Regarding Dayside with Linda Vester, Melanie said: "I don't believe the name Elizabeth Edwards was [mentioned] either". It was, at some length. "Vester then brought up Hillary Clinton". No, she didn't. Melanie quoted Kristen Powers as saying the wife of a candidate "helps win votes." Powers actually said "doesn't actually win votes". (That's just a sample; our report details just how lousy her recall was on this occasion.)

Now, when Melanie was using her awesome retentiveness to misremember all these Dayside details, was it four months after the fact? Four weeks? No--her wildly inaccurate description of that episode was posted just four hours after it aired!

Now, Melanie is back, telling us she doesn't "remember" Fox showing the Elliott clip four months ago! Well that's certainly enough to convince even the most ardent skeptic! And then she adds the icing on the cake:
And, I might add, why has this video been absent from Fox's air waves for the past month?

Did you spot that leap? In the blink of an eye, Melanie goes from saying she doesn't remember seeing it four months ago, to claiming it hasn't been on Fox at all for the past four weeks. And this is based on...her photographic memory? Not even that. It's based on nothing! It's Because I Said So.

Melanie's demonstrably poor memory has been elevated by the newspoodles to the status of a research source. But maybe time has rewritten every line. Because what's too painful to remember, newshounds simply choose to forget.

posted: Fri - August 20, 2004 at 09:08 PM       j$p  send