Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Mainstream media duped again

Today’s New York Times features a story about a widely quoted McCain surrogate. Problem is, he doesn’t exist.

It’s yet another example of the way journalism has abandoned the usual source checks in order to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle.

The hoaxer has a website and the reporters and pundits who made use of it must have lost their sense of humor along with their ethics. It’s such conspicuous satire, it’s hard to believe anyone made even half-hearted checks of the site’s claims before reporting them.

I suppose, though, that this is, first, a natural outcome of the blogosphere’s routine conflation of fact and fiction. However, “real journalists” have repeatedly claimed that their ethical standards set them far apart from “citizen journalists.” So this is also a textbook example of the mainstream media’s adopting the same sloppy reporting habits for which it criticizes bloggers.

As more media devote more of their resources to websites, we’re likely to see more of this kind of thing until, eventually, all media turn into online games.

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