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Tuesday, September 02, 2003
TWO THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM A U.S. MEDIA DIET:
1) Being a conservative in America means you can say any darn thing bad thing you want about a Democrat without needing to back it up, and other people will repeat it.
2) Being in America means you can say anything you want about Canada without needing to back it up, and other people will repeat it.
In this smarmy column, George Will repeats a dishonest smear about Wesley Clark that was originally made by some random conservative thug (RCT) in The Weekly Standard. Following Mr. RCT as per standard conservative media hack protocol, Will claims that Clark lied when he stated that he received a telephone request to link Saddam Hussein with the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 from a person associated with Canadian Middle East think tank. Will’s evidence: there exists "no such Canadian institution."
If Will had conducted some basic research before writing his attack on Clark's honesty, instead of assuming the Standard's partisan tripe to be true, it would have taken him at most a few minutes to discover that a number of institutions fitting General Clark’s description do in fact exist. They include the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, the Canadian-Arab Federation and the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. The last organization describes itself on the front page of its website (in large font) as follows: "The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) is a unique, independent academic think-tank devoted to bringing objective, up-to-date data on, and analysis of, Israel- and Middle East-related issues"
Will should have checked this fact before using it, especially given the Standard's conception of fair journalism. The entirety of RCT's investigation on this factoid involved calling up one of his Canadian researcher buddies and asking the guy if he could think of a Canadian Middle East think tank off the top of his head. When RCT's buddy said "no"--boom! Incontrovertible Wurlitzer knowledge instantly generated. It as close as you can get to cold fusion.