Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
The guardians of the media may have thought it was a good compromise when they first capitulated, way back in the Age of Reagan: Back off from the facts whenever pressed by the organ players of the Mighty right-wing Wurlitzer, while hinting at the actual truth in vague, arcane fog speak that convinces no one but those who already know. Problem solved!
No better example than the way they treated the fake Planned Parenthood videos that made such a strong impression on one Robert Lewis Dear Jr.
See, they framed the news stories as if the videos were proven fact. It took all of an hour or so for bloggers who are already familiar with this kind of crap to track down the extremist origins of the videos, and to debunk the videos themselves.
Yet media types refused to use the information as anything but a footnote — if they even bothered to do that.
You can see the problem: Anyone who knows how to doctor a video can inject any crazy story at all into the corporate media, and it spreads like avian flu. So even if media outlets back off and say the story was “wronnng” (a la Fonzie), it’s too damn late.
It’s certainly too damn late for Robert Dear’s victims.
It doesn’t even matter if he turns out to be mentally ill. He was merely fertile ground for the political poison so merrily pumped into the mainstream media outlets, poison presented without the necessary antidote of timely facts.
Once again, we can remind so-called journalists that their indifference to getting the facts straight before they publish, and their laziness about correcting these stories in a timely matter, is malfeasance. It is dangerous negligence that fuels the crazy.
It’s like watching someone pour gasoline on the landscape of extreme political insanity, and offering them helpful hints about where to toss the lit cigarette.
The resulting wildfire threatens us all.