Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's Time to Reopen the Stupidest Man Alive Contest...

Kevin Drum nominates Stanley Kurtz, for his declaration that it's the media's fault that we didn't believe it. You see, Kurtz says, if the media had lied to us, it would have confirmed our expectations, and we would have believed it. But because it told us the truth that we didn't want to hear, we didn't believe it:

The Washington Monthly: SELF-PARODY WATCH.... Stanley Kurtz is one of the guys on my permanent "ignore" list, but today's contribution to the public discourse is so obliviously unglued that it's worth passing along for its slapstick value alone. Several bloggers linked to this earlier, but I didn't really believe he had said what they said he said (did you follow that?) until I actually read it myself. Here it is:

Conservative distrust of the media's very real bias has inclined us to dismiss reports about problems in Iraq that are real.

In the end, I think the media bears fundamental responsibility for this. Had they been less biased -- had they reported acts of heroism and the many good things we have done in Iraq -- I think conservatives would actually have taken their reporting of the problems in Iraq more seriously. In effect, the media's consistent liberal bias discredits even its valid reports.

....It's a terrible shame that we've come to the point where our ability to believe news reports hinges on a those rare cases where the record shows freedom from liberal bias. The media has discredited themselves, making it tough to take them seriously even when they are right, and that has hurt us all.

So sad. The media's consistent refusal to pay more attention to repainted schoolhouses and instead focus on stuff like insurgent attacks, ethnic rivalries, collapsing infrastructure, ineffective government, and corrupt police forces has fooled us all. How were we to know that they hadn't just made all that stuff up?

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