10 Forms of 2013 Media Malpractice


As the year ends, I see that others have already conscientiously compiled lists of the most underreported and misreported stories of the year, with some even breaking matters down between foreign and domestic.

With that task addressed, I thought it would be worthwhile to compile a far from comprehensive list of ten of the more noteworthy techniques which those who pretend to be loyal to the tenets of journalism employed during 2013 to deceive, misinform, misdirect and smear.

1. Pretend that "no one" is saying something, when they really are.

Carol Costello of CNN claimed in January that "no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America."

In the three preceding weeks, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had said that "confiscation could be an option"; an Iowa state representative had "said governments should start confiscating semi-automatic rifles and other firearms"; and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California had suggested a gun-buyback program which "could be compulsory."

In early December, New York City's police department sent out "letters telling gun owners to turn over their rifles and shotguns — or else face the consequences," i.e., confiscation.

2. Bury the party affiliation of Democrats involved in scandal and crime.

Even when local stories appropriately identify leftist offenders' party affiliation, national press outlets work hard to scrub them.

One of the most notorious such examples last year involved Steven Brooks, a Nevada State Assembly member from North Las Vegas. The opening sentence at the related Las Vegas Sun story told readers that "a Democratic assemblyman is in jail, arrested for threatening Democratic Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, according to North Las Vegas Police and Democratic sources familiar with the situation." By the time the Associated Press was done massaging it for national consumption, the D-word was held until the ninth paragraph, and reporter Martin Griffith was regaling readers with a list of the wonderful organizations and charities which Brooks had served.