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NBC got caught . . . this time

Posted: June 21, 2012 at 9:15 am   /   by

By now, you’ve probably heard about the fact that MSNBC doctored a video to make it look like Mitt Romney was a rich patrician, out of touch with the little guy. (Learn about it here, along with some other useful tidbits.)

This video put together by MRC is instructive and striking:



This is so egregious that it even has former defenders of the media—and men of the cloth!—asking NBC: What the hell is wrong with you?

I’m tired.  Truly.  I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable.  For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no.  Calm down.  They meant well.  It was just a misunderstanding.  A mistake.  These things happen.”  I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made.   I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

But now?

Forget it. I’m done.  You deserve what they’re saying about you.  It’s earned.  You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you.

I am gratified that Deacon Greg has finally come around. Here’s the point, though. All that time that the good Deacon was defending them, they were doing this. For the vast majority of the decades of media bias, there was no Internet. There were no resourceful bloggers with the investigative spirit and a desire for truth. The media had free rein.

So, how many times did they do stuff like this and get away with it? Decades before Dan Rather got caught reporting on fake documents on Bush’s National Guard service, he got away with reporting a fake story about school children cheering when they heard the news of Kennedy’s assassination. It never happened, but he reported it anyway, to help push the left’s “deep in the hate of Texas” meme. Or how about Daniel Shore suggesting that Barry Goldwater vacationed in Germany so that he could meet with neo-Nazis?

Thore are just two things that quickly spring to mind that were mentioned in one book. How many lies, how many fake documents, how much doctored “evidence” went past unchallenged over the decades? How much still does, given that bloggers cannot be everywhere and don’t have the resources to cover everything?

What MSNBC did is bad, and it is good that they got caught. But do not for a moment think that this is an isolated incident and that we should wipe our brows with a “Phew, glad we put a stop to that.” They will do this any chance they get. They may even get some by us, ones that never get debunked. Others will get debunked, but the damage will already have been done among too much of the electorate.

We have a free press, and that is a good thing. But “free” is not the same thing as “trustworthy.”

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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NBC got caught . . . this time