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Advice for the perplexed
March 16, 2011 - Harry Eagar
Ryan Chittum, who critiques biz journalism for The Audit at the Columbia Journalism Review, has this sad tale to tell:
"Two days ago I fisked a false report from CNBC that said more than a third of all wages and salaries are now government handouts.
"That kind of a report, based on a study by an outfit called TrimTabs Investment Research, is genetically engineered to go viral. I closed my post with this pessimistic note:
" 'This one will presumably be bouncing around the message boards and chain emails for years.'
"And it will. But here’s a list of more prominent outlets that have spread this garbage just in the last two days:
"CNN, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Dow Jones, Investors Business Daily, The Atlantic, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Michigan Live, WLS Chicago, Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Mail, The Daily Caller, NewsMax, Moneynews.com, Pajamas Media, Newser, TheStreet, The New American. And, of course, Fox News.
"And it’s now in the Congressional Record, courtesy of Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida. God bless America.
"For these folks, this story was too good to check.
"Hard to imagine grumpy ol’ Jack Cafferty of CNN being credulous, but there he was on Wednesday spreading the falsehood."
Advice to the perplexed: Do not read rightwing newspapers or listen to rightwing broadcasts or visit rightwing Internet sites. McCarthyism is back.
They think you are stupid. Don't prove them right.
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