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My favorite MSM screwups of 2007

These are just my personal favorites, not necessarily the biggest ones in 2007. In no particular order

1- The Scott Thomas Beauchamp/The New Republic saga. As a long-time reader of TNR I am disappointed that magazine screwed up so badly again. I feel the magazine never apologized properly to readers

In a related side bar to the Beauchamp story we have-

2- Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard. Goldfarb was one of the leaders in uncovering the mess at TNR. Unfortunately that doesn't let Goldfarb off from his own sins. He was caught in a minor mistake in one of his columns but refused to fix it. No big deal? Why not make the small correction, and he's criticizing or mocking a publication for their lack of journalistic standards. Smells faintly of hypocrisy.

That wasn't all that Goldfarb did. He was supplied with a letter about FOB Falcon from a soldier, with the help of another blogger, Blue Star Chronicles aka Beth. Without Beth, he'd never gotten that letter. Well Michael despite promises to give BSC credit, never did. Stealing other people's work and hypocrisy. Is Goldfarb any better than TNR. Actually I rank Goldfarb lower.

Goldfarb and I had a long email exchange(I still have my copies) over all this. He finally said he'd recognize Beth's contribution, if I'd meet him halfway and drop my complaints. I couldn't because, I'd felt if I had. After linking to the blogger for about 6 hours, Goldfarb yanked the link because he was pissed at me!

I'm the one who called Goldfarb out on his mistake, plus prompted Beth to get their friend in contact with Goldfarb. If you want to read this mess, click here.

3- To be fair and balanced, lets not let off the National Review Online either for the reporting done for it by W. Thomas Smith

4- The Washington Times for reporting Fort Huachuca was under threat of attack by terrorists who were being helped by the drug cartels. For $20,000! One prominent blogger called the money chump change and the whole thing laughable. In the end, that's what the whole story was- a laugh. Few people believe it anymore.

5- Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times Online writing about the lack of impact female Japanese golfers have had in the USA. He totally forgets Ayako Okamoto, who didn't just win 17 LPGA events but was once player of the year. That's like a baseball columnist talking great homerun hitters and leaving out Babe Ruth.

6- Columnist Mark Steyn gives us a triple play

A- One morning I woke up to discover Florida seceded from the Union!
B- I don't know about you, but insulting the manhood of male murder victims is disgusting to me.
C- Lumping legal alien nurses in with hotel maids, plumbers, and farm workers. The last three(or two out of three. The only plumbers I know are our church deacon and a legal immigrant whose also a member of our church) of which are occupations occupied by illegal aliens.

I seldom read Steyn, probably did so a half dozen times in all of 2007. When I read his work, I find myself looking for mistakes. What I mentioned above is all I could call him out on, there was another story where his facts were highly suspicious but I couldn't prove or disprove. There was also the time Steyn talked about late President Ford in the present tense. Was it a typo or was a seance held? I had another quibble with Steyn's use of a Ford quote, but someone accused me of nitpicking. As if nitpicking is only allowed when doing liberals in the MSM, not conservatives.

Bottom line- Give me Charles Krauthammer any day.

7- I woke up one morning to discover the Miami Dolphins were 12-0 this year. Thanks to the Sun-Sentinel.

8- Someone give Associated Press writer Melissa Nelson a map of Florida.

9- While you're at it, someone tell AP military reporter Lolita C Baldor that military officers do not re-enlist.

10- Associated Press again for thinking the crank predictions of Dr. William Gray for the 2008 hurricane season are worthy of a news alert.

11- Frank Gaffney writing for the Washington Times and getting all apoplectic over the Annapolis conference. Comparing it to Munich 1938. Someone give this think tank head a valium.

12- Brian Wacker of Golf World making no less than 8 mistakes in a 500 word article about Tiger Woods possibly breaking a long-time PGA record. Wacker is no longer employed by GW, I wonder why.

13- The Tampa Tribune reporting they won journalism awards for excellence at a ceremony they weren't even honored at.

14- I can't let my hometown paper off for the year. The Palm Beach Post reported a Target store was closing to be replaced by Super Target, and that the original store's 150 employees were possibly being laid off.

Which was untrue, Target was keeping those 150 people in addition to hiring 100 more.

15- The NYT for their cover magazine article about women suffering sexual abuse when in Iraq. One of the women featured had never served a day there.

Those are just my favorites. There were many more, too many to list.

Update- Fixed several typos, including those pointed out by a commenter. I don't employ a copy editor or proofreader. All mistakes are therefore my own.


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Comments (18)

Bill, I think you're being ... (Below threshold)

Bill, I think you're being a little hard on Steyn. The links you provided lead to quoted material that can be read in a different light. I don't think Steyn is anti-legal immigration; he is "in line" to get his citizenship here, if I'm not mistaken.

Otherwise, good list. How can the MSM do worse; probably will anyway in 2008.

How am I being hard on Stey... (Below threshold)

How am I being hard on Steyn?

1- Florida is not part of the Carribean. Anna Nicole smith died in Florida.(About 50 miles from my home)

2- The VA Tech comment was gratuitous and was not necessary. I think its insulting.

3- The inclusion of legal alien nurses reminds me of that old question, Of these four, which doesn't belong. A smart person like Steyn should know better than including nurses. It was an easily researchable fact.


The word is probably "seced... (Below threshold)

The word is probably "secede" in 6A, but I can't be sure because the link appears to be to the wrong article. When you are complaining about the lapses of others ("screwups," you call them), should you not rise to the standard of Caesar's wife yourself?

P.S. In comment #2, "its" is the possessive; "it's" would be the contraction of "it is."

Well, you may not emply a p... (Below threshold)

Well, you may not emply a proofreader (I really don't wanna know what that means), but a spell checker isn't exactly difficult to find or use unless your still typing on a Commodore...

You're being way, way, way,... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

You're being way, way, way, way too generous to nutty fringe figure Mark Steyn when you refer to him as Main Stream.

My favorite Conservative bl... (Below threshold)

My favorite Conservative blogger, James Joyner at Outside the Beltway, names Steyn as one of his two favorite conservative columnist.(At the same time acknowledging to me in a email that 'He's a very lively and controversial writer but doesn't bother with any actual fact-checking.') Steyn has similar high support in the conservative blogosphere, so who's not mainstream? Me and you and other detractors of Steyn, or Steyn and his supporters?

WOW... so much meaningless ... (Below threshold)

WOW... so much meaningless stuff...

The media reported no less than a dozen "mass slaughters" in Iraq that where later debunked. About once per month they reported 20 dead bodies found and later had to retract it... Go read mypetjawa for a while.

But I can see that pales in comparison to the fact Dr. Gray does not in fact have a crystal ball. Damn him.

Paul Where don't y... (Below threshold)


Where don't you understand-

'My favorite MSM screwups'


'These are just my personal favorites, not necessarily the biggest ones in 2007.'

Did you bother to read the header or the first paragraph.

As for the bad reporting out of Iraq, I've given plenty of Knucklehead awards for it. Some of the coverage is due to the MSM's natural tendency to not want to get scooped on any story. So they send something over the wire without thoroughly checking the facts. How many times have we seen breaking news reported incorrectly? Just look at 9-11. Wasn't the State Dept bombed? The media can screwup simple burglary stories too. It isn't always deliberate.


You're correct Adrian, he c... (Below threshold)

You're correct Adrian, he could have looked at more mainstream folks like Noam Chomsky.

RE: #10, hurricane forecast... (Below threshold)

RE: #10, hurricane forecasts. My late father, a devotee of the Weather Channel, saw one of these reports predicting X named storms, Y hurricanes, Z severe hurricanes, and XY making landfall in the continental US. He laughed and said,

"Interesting they can tell me how many hurricanes, how many bad ones, and how many will hit our coast over the next nine months - but they cannot tell me with any certainty if it will rain tomorrow!"

For accuracy, no one has yet topped George Carlin's "Hippy-Dippy Weatherman":

"Prediction for tonight - dark, with widely scattered light by morning."

Interesting how Bill's hang... (Below threshold)

Interesting how Bill's hanging around to defend his list.

Oda315 writes-I... (Below threshold)

Oda315 writes-

Interesting how Bill's hanging around to defend his list.

What am I supposed to do today besides hang around wizbang?

Lets see-

Pro Football? No
Non Silly Season Pro golf? No
College Basketball? I rather be tortured by reruns of Rosie O'Donnell
Movies on tv include Under Siege II and Independence Day. Watching ID4 for the 35th time would be even less pleasant than watching college hoops. As for Steven Siegal.......

My wife was out half the day(But not with Stephen)

All my work is done. This is the lull before the storm, tax season is around the corner.

My correspondence chess games are caught up with.(Jim Addison plays chess too)

I took my interferon shots for Stage III Malignant melanoma yesterday and feel like tahe as a result.

Hence, I lay down on the den couch.

Keeping my laptop handy if I want to work on my latest Sci-Fi/Fantasy webfiction. It involves the Yakuza(Unless you got 10 minutes, do not ask how the Yakuza fits in a Sci-Fi fantasy story)

I've written five pages today even if I feel like tahe(Waray word for excrement)

Just ate a little bit of dinner.(Mac & Cheese, salad and Meat loaf.) Interferon does one's appetite no good. As a result I've lost 55 lbs in two months. The interferon diet, try it sometime.

Yes I was overweight before- 245 lbs and 6'1. 191 is a lot better.

Every time I get an email, my laptop makes a clicking sound.

With nothing else to do, I read what people say about my post.

I reply back.

Rest assured this will stop in less than 30 minutes. The Florida Panthers will play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Go cats!

I have no life and hang around wizbang all day.

Time to take my shower. Bye


>Did you bother to read the... (Below threshold)

>Did you bother to read the header or the first paragraph.

Obviously I read it if I noted it was full of meaningless crap.

You're complaining about media screw ups at "Golf World."

Wow, that's hard hitting stuff ya got there. Howie Kurtz lookout.

Bill, I was unaware Smith d... (Below threshold)

Bill, I was unaware Smith died in Florida. I thought it was in the Bahamas. What was all that hubub about moving the body from the Bahamas?

I don't think the other two points were not wrong/offensive--the "nurse" issue seems minor, and the other was pointing out something in our culture, the infantilizing of our young adults, and was not an insult to the Va. Tech students.

Anyway, that's the way I read them at the time and still do. Maybe, it's just a difference of emphasis that irritates you about Steyn.

I enjoyed his book and he has an interesting, and funny, insight into the culture clash over immigration and the influx of Islamic immigration into Europe.

Sorry about the double nega... (Below threshold)

Sorry about the double negatives. Blowout Christmas party has me dyspeptic.

Just a note about Dr. Gray.... (Below threshold)

Just a note about Dr. Gray. It is your list and you are free to call him a "crank". However, up until recently, his predictions about the coming hurricane season were fairly accurate. Since he retired (he was 76 this year) his accuracy has declined.

Bill who ?Steyn is... (Below threshold)

Bill who ?

Steyn is an opinion columist ... hardly the MSM ...

Main Stream Media ... like ABC, NYT etc.

weak tea of a post ...

God some of you can be infa... (Below threshold)

God some of you can be infantile. They're HIS favorites. You're free to disagree and have your own so why don't you go make a list of your favorites somewhere so others can go and tell you how crappy they are?

If he said his favorite fruit was strawberries, you guys would probably beat him to death with a banana to make some "non-point".






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