Sunday, 19 April 2009

Trust the media?

Do I trust Fox News? Of course not. Does anybody? What about Asia Times Online (ATol)? More likely but, well, it is probably not a good idea to make definite statements in regards to any media for they are usually not monolithic systems. Anyway, I do not read ATol every day (and watch Fox only in hotel rooms) but I very much liked this brief summary from 25 November 2008:

"When Iraqi parliamentarians vote on Wednesday on whether or not to endorse a security pact with the United States, many of them will not have had the opportunity to study the finer points. Perhaps all they need to know is that the Pentagon and President George W. Bush are very comfortable with it. "

I also have a tendency to trust the New York Times. However, I'm not too sure that I should for, some time ago, I read David Brock's Blinded by the Right and it made me think (no, not for the first time but once again). Brock was a right-wing hitman and is the author of The Real Anita Hill. Yes, that was some time ago but quite some things often do not change that much. Brock writes:

"In time, I came to understand precisely what I had done in The Real Anita Hill. Clichés are based in truth, and one of the oldest of them is that writers can write well only if they are writing about what they know, what they see, and what they experience firsthand. The conspiracy theory I invented about the Thomas-Hill case could not possibly have been true, because I had absolutely no access to any of the supposed liberal conspirators ... all of my impressions of the characters I was writing about were filtered through their conservative antagonists, all of whom I believed without question. Therefore, the case made in the book was not only wrong and false, it was almost precisely the opposite of the truth."

Want to know how the New York Times saw it? Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, the then senior reviewer, called the book: "well-written, carefully reasoned, and powerful in its logic ... must reading for anyone remotely touched by the case."

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