Wednesday, December 22, 2004

(Dis)Honestly Biased

Here are my comments regarding an article by Jeffery Friedman in today's National Review Online.

The article has missed the most common technique used to manipulate lazy journalists, the drive-by "expert". Frequently used by Naderite organizations with "warm and fuzzy" names that couldn't possibly be biased (or could they!!!). Then they arrange a press conference announcing the results of their "investigations". The target of the investigation is not given access to the report in order to prepare a response (i.e. they are denied discovery in the court of public opinion). Generally when questioned, the best they can do is indicate they "will have no comment until we have seen the report". Since there is zero follow up by the reporters after the target has seen the report, the targets effectively get lynched. They certainly are denied due process.

Since the Naderite organization is never effectively refuted in real time, it builds a reputation for accuracy in the reporter's mind that they do not deserve. I've posted a comment on Dateline NBC, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and their target, Kia, below that should be helpful for reference. You're A Good Man Charlie Brown

Also note that the tendency to practice pack journalism offers protection from libel suits even though the report is libelous. The first report just reports what the Naderites said. The pack reports what the first media outlet said. Therefore, even a false report is not repeated by a single entity and therefore does not meet the strict "reckless disregard for the truth standard". They'll claim anybody can make a mistake, they just repeated what others had said. Nice little scam, huh! And it explains why there are usually no follow up reports; if they re-tell a lie they could be exposed to libel suits!


Post a Comment

<< Home