The press does not have an umblemished history of being objective arbiters of truth and dessiminators of fact.

To wit, it was William Randolph Hearst who told Frederic Remington, who was on assignment in Cuba to illustrate a non-existent revolution, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

Hearst’s journalistic influence was before my time, but NBC’s Dateline fraud is not. In 1993, Dateline rigged trucks to blow up so they could pretend the trucks were dangerous. They wanted a story, they made one up and passed it off as real.

To keep this a neat trilogy, Dan Rather’s career ended when he used faked documents and reported them as real.


Addendum: Oh! How could I forget Brian Williams’ false reports about a helicopter he was in getting hit by ground fire.

It took me about fifteen minutes to recall these obvious examples of actual “fake news” passed off as legitimate stories by the popular media. Another hour on the project would undoubtedly come up with many other examples.

So get your hands off your pearls, media. The notion that you might lie is not a very big leap. It is more like a little shuffle.