Roger L. Simon

LAT: Hometown Paper Playing the Propaganda Game

Annie Jacobsen’s piece on Pajamas nails the Los Angeles Times for some truly bogus reporting. The paper made the ridiculous statement that sixty million Americans live on seven dollars a day. Annie’s article will give you an idea where they got this “information.” Eyes will roll.

And yet this is not in the slightest a surprise – just another nail in the mythological coffin that the mainstream media is superior to blogs and new media in the realm of fact-checking. Although the MSM continues, Khruschev-like to bang their shoes about this, the echo of those heels is sounding increasingly hollow. In fact, in many ways they are worse, because the firewall between themselves and the audience that we don’t and indeed can’t.

I’ve published this before, but it bears repeating. My personal experience with LAT fact-checking a few years ago went like this: I had written an article about a Siberian film festival at which I had been on the jury. After I submitted my piece, a woman called and asked me, “Is everything you wrote true?” I said, “Yes.” She thanked me and hung up. That was fact-checking.

Of course, my experiences in Siberia were not as important as assertions about the level of poverty in America…. but their fact-checking on that appears to have been even worse.