Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gosh, What a Surprise

Glenn Reynolds links to this Christian Science Monitor article by Craig Franklin about the Jena 6 case. Franklin is a local journalist who has covered the case for the local paper, and his article is a damning indictment of the media's coverage:

The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.

In fact, Franklin contends that nearly every aspect of the popular narrative is wrong. He goes through it one-by-one. The whites-only tree wasn't really whites only. The nooses hung on the tree were aimed not at black students but instead at members of the school's rodeo team. The District Attorney never threatened black students. Robert Bailey was punched in the face, not hit with a beer bottle, as he subesequently claimed. (True to form, Newsweek embelished this to his being pelted with beer bottles.) Bailey and his friends did indeed jump a white guy at a convenience store and steal his shotgun. And, finally, Mychall Bell really did hit Justin Barker from behind, and he really was stomped upon by a mob of black students.

Gosh, who could have predicted that the media narrative would turn out to be a bit overstated? Me, maybe? In fact, my first post on the topic, back on September 7, was a call for skepticism about the media narrative. I hate to say "I told you so, but . . ." OK, who am I kidding. I LOVE to say I told you so.

I told you so.

UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Glenn. A hearty welcome to all my new readers. Feel free to check out all my posts on the Jena 6 matter, or look around and see what I have to say about torture, or George W. Bush, or even read some of my restaurant reviews.

UPDATE 2: Minor error fixed.


Locomotive Breath said...

Gosh, who could have predicted that the media narrative would turn out to be a bit overstated?

Those of us who followed the Duke lacrosse rape hoax. That's who. They lied about that as well.

Anonymous said...

You might want to spell Glenn right next time.

bandit said...

You can pretty much figure anything you read or see in the MSM is a pack of lies

cheerful iconoclast said...

Thanks for the tip, my anonymous friend. I have fixed the spelling of Glenn's name.

JBlog said...

Speaking as someone who has worked for and with the media for more than 20 years, when I was a reporter I never believed three-quarters of what I was told and half of what I wrote.

Anonymous said...

Glenn's name is still shown with one 'n' in the first line in the post.

cheerful iconoclast said...

Now the whole world knows why I got a "D" in proofreading.

The Monster said...

Every time the local news covers an event of which I have personal knowledge, they've gotten basic facts wrong.

Every. Single. Time.

I therefore assume they get things wrong on every story.

Matthew said...

I echo Monster’s comments. I used to work with the MSM quite a bit. Every single time I was interviewed, be it for print or television, the media inevitably got some aspect of the story wrong. This is the kicker: they would misreport a story even after I had outlined the facts (effectively written the report) for them. After the first few times, I chalked it up to the reporter being under deadline and in a rush. However, I later chalked it up to 1) gross ineptitude 2) ignoring facts for a preferred narrative (post-modernism).

Pete Who? said...

You can pretty much figure anything you read or see in the MSM is a pack of lies

In case you missed it, Craig Franklin is also a member of the MSM. His version of events tracks very nicely with the version being put out by the local DA.

It's clear that the MSM narrative is flawed on many counts, but I didn't see enough in Franklin's account to substantiate all of his claims.

It's gonna take a lot of work to get the mess sorted out. And it's true that the MSM and its hangers-on aren't helping very much.

cheerful iconoclast said...

A valid point, Pete. I agree that the same standards of skepticism ought to be applied to Craig Franklin that I initially suggested should be applied to the original MSM narrative.

He could well be wrong, and it's important to acknowledge that.