January 14, 2012

Baltimore Sun’s Zurawik Rips CNBC’s ‘Bain Advised Obama/GM’ Story

David Zurawik isn’t happy, and he shouldn’t be, about the indifference to journalistic standards exemplified at CNBC yesterday (bolds are mine):

I am going to take a minute here to talk about a correction CNBC posted today in connection with a report that linked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to President Barack Obama’s auto industry bailout.

I hope some of my mainstream media colleagues will take the time to bring some attention to CNBC’s egregious error. The National Review’s Jim Geraghty has been hammering the CNBC gaffe on Twitter, while Tom Blumer at NewsBusters (and) Jim Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute’s “Enterprise” blog have offered some sharp analysis of the mistake as well.

Here’s the CNBC correction: “A previous story incorrectly reported that Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain & Co., was part of a team of consulting companies that advised President Barack Obama on a decision to shutter car dealerships during the auto bailout. Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the “Bain Consulting” firm referenced in government documents.”

That is a huge mistake — with enormous possible political consequences for Romney. I cannot imagine a reputable news organization not vetting the information before it came anywhere near publishing it.

You don’t make mistakes like this if you verify information before you air it on your cable channel or publish it on your website.

And if media do not make that basic journalistic effort, they become part of the problem — a problem so vast it makes an informed elecorate all but impossible. And without an informed electorate, what kind of democracy are we talking about anyway?

If that sounds too high road for you, too bad. Grow up and get serious about journalism and the role it is supposed to play in this country.

Hear, hear.

Instead, what we’re seeing looks more like a quietude borne of lack of concern. For shame.

‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves Closer to Midnight; Guess Why?

BulletinOfAtomicScientistsThe “Doomsday Clock” has been with us since 1947. It is a symbolic construct of the now left-leaning Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group which “was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. They knew about the horrible effects of these new weapons and devoted themselves to warning the public about the consequences of using them.”

Most people who know of it probably think that the clock’s intent is to symbolize how close the world is to the disaster of nuclear war; that was indeed its sole focus for decades. However, the group just moved the clock from six minutes before midnight to five. Wait until you see why, as sympathetically reported on Tuesday by Doyle Rice at USA Today’s Science Fair blog:


Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: 2011 West Virginia University Marching Band Armed Forces Salute

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:00 am

I wasn’t expecting to be terribly impressed by a marching band video, but since Daryn Kagan was, I decided to view it.


It has over 2.6 million views in just over two months.

Y’know, football broadcasts really should show the school bands every once in a while.