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Politics

Pssst, Liberals: Blaming Others for Errors Only Works if You Are Perfect

February 1, 2015 - 6:00pm

A liberal columnist at a South Florida newspaper doesn't like Fox News. Shocker, huh?

But the reason he gave for his disapproval is not only lame; it is totally and permanently disabled.

Fox has made mistakes, he said.

In the Utopia liberals are striving mightily to bring about, mistakes will not be allowed.

Not being a fan of Fox News makes the liberal columnist a minority. As Reuters noted recently: Fox News Dominates Cable News Ratings In 2014; MSNBC Tumbles.

Until Fox came along with straight reporting and conservative opinion, the left had a virtual lock on the media and could pump out their propaganda 24/7, while enjoying huge profits.

That has changed, suggesting that being fair and balanced is good for business. It is not surprising that competitors might be envious of those who are doing a better job, especially those who do not follow the liberal script.

As William F. Buckley said, liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.

Liberals often demand more civil public discourse and, perhaps to lead by example, this lefty calls Fox a global distributor of unfact and untruth and compares it to a sewer.

Thoughtful readers, however, might wonder if practically perfect publications such as The Miami Herald or New York Times ever make factual errors.

It certainly isn't unknown in the business. Anyone processing millions of words and facts is bound to flub a few.

But because citing errors in an attempt to denigrate a competitor who is kicking your fanny creates such an obvious problem, the columnist chose to distract by employing a certain dramatic format, thus: So and so said such and such happened. It did not.

But it works both ways.

To use a few examples, drawn from actual corrections:

The New York Times reported that the beverage Ahmed Abu Khattala was drinking in a hotel was mango juice. It was not.

The New York Times said that E.B. White wrote for the New Yorker for five centuries. He did not.

The New York Times in an obituary about Eileen Moran, a visual effects producer, said a character she helped create for a series of Budweiser commercials was Larry the Lizard. It was not.

And one of my personal favorites:

The New York Times said in an article that Dick Cheney was president. He is not.

As you can see, stone-hurling by residents of glass domiciles can be a bit dicey.

While I understand the frustration of the liberal media, there has been a lot of hope and change in America.

When that happens, one can either adapt and compete or just make silly complaints about the competition.


Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement he served as a policy analyst for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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