is no match for BS
by Gene Lyons
The average citizen hardly knows what to believe
anymore. Due to the parlous state of professional journalism;
the Internet; cable TV "news" networks and talk
radio shouters; and the ceaseless din of the right-wing noise machine,
the public is daily confronted with make-believe
news, doctored quotes, fake history and phony data.
One risible example occurred at, believe it or
not, ESPN.com, where outdoor columnist Robert Montgomery unmasked
a sinister White House plan to ban recreational
fishing. No more night crawlers, minnow buckets, bass boats, fly rods,
How credulous would you have to be to believe
something so silly? Well, the Drudge Report, Fox Nation and scores of
conservative bloggers did. The rumor caused such
a stir that the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
was compelled to issue a statement affirming
the government's intention to improve, not end, sport fishing.
Duh. ESPN editors apologized.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that certain media
figures are choosing to mimic such partisan tomfoolery on the left.
Last week, for example, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
pronounced Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln "the Worst Person in the World."
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