“Changes?” I woke up this morning (No, not “woke,” but I arose, got up from sleep) only to learn that the Washington Post (in it’s true journalistic spirit) is “correcting” past published articles reporting on the infamous Steele Dossier… because, as Sally Buzbee, the newspaper’s executive editor explained: “The Post could no longer stand by the accuracy of those elements of the story.” In the past, this would have been in the form of a published correction, albeit in the bottom left, inside column, below the fold in a three-sentence statement on page 27 of section “C.” But at least they would not have been able to essentially rewrite history on the fly as they are doing now. I always thought that the Post, along with the NY Times prided themselves as the newspapers of record. Broken records that is.
The article I am quoting from the Washington Post’s “Style Section,” online—penned by (not sure where to go with the pronoun here…) Paul Farhi, November 12, 2021…went on to state, “The story’s headline was amended, sections identifying Millian as the source were removed, and an accompanying video summarizing the article was eliminated. An editor’s note explaining the changes was added. Other stories that made the same assertion were corrected as well.”
A practice, that we will learn further into this story, is becoming more widely accepted in the digital age. The news can now just be rewritten. A sort of Wikipedia approach to the “news” I guess. Wow!
Well, in an era where the entire history of the founding of this country is being eradicated as I write this, it would logically follow that it should be well within the journalists’ purview to “correct” the paper, making past reporting more…well, let’s say “correct”?
Gone forever are headlines like “Dewey Defeats Truman,” as they can be disappeared in front of our very eyes. Yes, like the Pope, I guess the Post reserves the right to be infallible, in retrospect. Never mind the damage done. Say like the 2020 Presidential Election and President Trump’s entire presidency being overshadowed by this BS story.
Further on down in this article, the Post continues with the following stand alone sentence: ”Trump has repeatedly denounced the dossier as false, framing it as the centerpiece of a malicious effort financed by his political opponents to damage him.” Isn’t that an incomplete thought? Isn’t the rest of the thought, “Yes, and he was correct”? I think so.
The article went on to say that the Post felt it was being “transparent by making these corrections.” Wrong! You don’t “correct” misreported “news” (made up stuff that is not true when you printed it in the first place), you write a new story admitting the first reporting was incorrect. And apologizing. What the Post is doing in tantamount to destroying evidence, rewriting history…telling more lies to cover up the afore mentioned initial lies etc, etc. After all is said and done. After we are all dead and gone, it is the written word that remains. Editing it is misrepresentation. Even if what you are misrepresenting is your poor journalistic quality.
Someone with more clout that in a mere smalltime blogger such as myself needs to come forward and point out these basic journalistic principles. Where is this all heading if nobody calls the Post on this bastardization of journalistic trust?
So, you are a student in a math class…I don’t know, maybe a spelling class, and you get the answer wrong. It is incorrect. You can’t just submit a “correction” and disappear the first, incorrect, statement. It doesn’t work that way except in pretend games like the ones my granddaughter used to make up on the fly, changing the parameters of the game as we went along. Nope, one thing we should all learn from our gambling friends is that “a card laid is a card played.”
I won’t waste anymore of your time distilling and watering down and retelling this story. It is just too ridiculous to skip…if you haven’t read it yourself. So, please, humor yourself and search this gem out before it is “corrected” as well.© Frank Louis
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