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