This is a quote from another gentleman with whom I correspond :
For the past two weeks, a major news story has concerned news stories written by Jayson Blair and published in The New York Times. Blair’s behavior was a major breach of basic journalistic ethics and a huge embarassment for the Times’ management at the editorial level. Blair plagiarized stories from other newspapers, made up things that didn’t take place, and pretended to be in lots of other places when he was really holed up in Brooklyn. There’s a rumor that he now has a lucrative book contract and will benefit from his misdeeds, despite his deserved pariah status.
There’s another story that hasn’t gotten quite the same attention. It broke last week (I think that’s when) on BBC, and shortly afterwards I heard it on NPR. Today (May 23) a story by Robert Scheer of the LA Times was widely syndicated. It concerns the story put out last month by several national press services about the capture of Pfc. Jessica Lynch by Iraqi forces and her subsequent heroic rescue by American soldiers. According to this story, Lynch was involved in a gun battle with Iraqis in which she was wounded by bullets several times and also stabbed. Taken to an Iraqi hospital she and her injuries were completely ignored by doctors. A guard slapped her, this incident was observed by an Iraqi lawyer, who then informed American authorities of her whereabouts, thus leading to her dramatic capture.
The problem with this story is that very little of it is true. Lynch was in an automobile accident. She was neither shot nor stabbed. Doctors in the Iraqi hospital treated her for broken bones and an ankle injury, then tried to turn her over to American forces, two days before the “capture.” As for that Iraqi lawyer, heis now in the US, under political asylum and unavailable for interviews, although HarperCollins, the publishing house owned by Rupert Murdoch (who also owns the Fox tv network that hawked the phony story about Lynch), has given him a half-million $ book contract.
What Blair did was inexcusable. But it also is echoed in the lies promulgated by elements of American officialdom and their supporters in the media business.
Note well. We got the truth from the BBC, which is an agency of the British government. We got lies from some of our officials and their cronies in some of our supposedly independent news organizations.
I seem to recall that there was once a European dictator who said people were so stupid that if you told them lies that were big enough and told them often enough, the lies would be much more effective than the truth.