Friday, May 6, 2011

Facts and Government Reporting

There's a somewhat lengthy article over at Fox News about how the government managed to screw up the facts about Osama Bin Laden's recent assassination. I was just listening to NPR yesterday on this very topic. It got me thinking about how some people will probably derive some crazy conspiracy theory, while others will blindly accept whatever they heard from whatever news reporter, comedian, or friend they heard first. This statement from Dana Perino, the last White House press secretary under Bush, pretty much summed it up for me:
"In a crisis or an unfolding news situation, first reports are almost always wrong,” she explained in an interview with Fox News, where she is a contributor. “And you can understand when you get the tide of the media calls coming in and you want to provide information as quickly as possible. You want to be responsive and you want to frame the argument first. Sometimes though, if then you end up having to redefine that narrative, or correct things that you originally said, you end up sullying your original message. And I think that's what's happened to them."
In the end, I can never believe in conspiracy theories because that would require that people really know what they're doing.

1 comment:

  1. An old history teacher I knew in my high school days said conspiracy theories generally have a veneer of plausibility but that it is wise to never presume a conspiracy when simple imcompetence is an equally compelling explanation.


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