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Jason Holliston
Tuesday, June 15, 2004  
Everything New is Old Again

This has got to be pretty darn embarrassing for the media outlets that posted this, and kudos to Citizen Smash for sniffing it out. It's a great case of how you cannot trust the media absolutely to get the story straight. Here's the old memo, discovered in early February by Coalition officials, and here is the story about the new one. Smash does a great job of breaking it down paragraph-by-paragraph, which makes it ridiculously obvious that they are essentially the same memo.

So, wow, what a great case study in mass media laziness and/or lack of organization. You would think that there would be some layer that this story would have had to go through that would have caught the mistake before it was posted on the wires. Anyone that had read the original memo carefully enough times to have it lodged in their head would have noticed immediately the similarities, and then
spent the time to compare the two. Instead, it was rushed out, likely without anyone reading it that had been familiar with the original memo.

The news from mass media is valuable -- don't get me wrong. You just need to be careful to show a healthy amount of skepticism when reading these stories. It's one source among many. This whole situation once again shows how the phenomenon of blogs are an extremely useful addition to that list of sources.

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