By Ed Driscoll · April 16, 2005 04:19 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!
"Fabulous" is a word that has become primarily known for meaning great or wonderful or marvelous. But as Webster's' online dictionary notes, its primary meaning is:
resembling or suggesting a fable: of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature [fabulous wealth]It's telling that the synonym that Webster's recommends for the word is fictitious.
While big media loves to chide blogs for not "making boring commitments" to "covering the news fairly", increasingly, it's been known to be pretty wildly inventive itself. Dan Rather and Jayson Blair are the two most well-known proponents of fabulist journalism, but they're far from alone.
First up via Betsy Newmark, Charles Johnson notes that Reuters has taken a story about twin bus bombings in Israel that actually occurred in September 2004, and presented it as if it happened just this past week.
Meanwhile, VodkaPundit's Will Collier observes the Boston Globe inventing a story about a seal hunt in Canada that never actually happened.
Finally, Mark Steyn notes another Reuters piece that's so wrapped up in its boilerplate conclusions that it can't even locate an excellent reality check on who's winning in Iraq:
In between their Bridges-Of-Madison-County imagery and Horse-Whisperer narrative devices the Western media somehow managed to lose the story – functioning municipal government in the south, booming tourism in the north, normality and progress in three-quarters of the country, and now the first Arab country with a non-Arab head of state. The insurgent-of-the-day approach to Iraq didn't even capture that element correctly: On the second anniversary of the invasion, Agence France-Presse ran a story remarkably like the AP's hypothetical specimen. The headline: "45 Killed In Insurgent Attacks."One day in the future, we'll also look back on lots of other newspaper articles on the big stories of the past thirty years or so and start to wonder how many of them are accurate--or absolutely fabulist.
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Ed Driscoll says the L.A. Times spiked a column suggesting that the paper join up with older artists to give away free music. And he's got the goods.--Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post, July 26, 2007
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