Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Strib's First Pulitzer isn't in the Mail,

and after reading their editorial on the Newsweek Koran-flushing story, I can guess why the Strib won't be seeing one soon. I expect the folks at the Pioneer Press won't have any sleepless nights worrying about the quality of the competition either. The Star Tribune's editors apparently consider the following journalistic practices to be OK:

  • Using a single, anonymous source for an imflammatory story. Confirm the info elsewhere? What a unique concept!
  • Using the Daily Kos as an information source. (Nick Coleman must be tearing the remainder of his hair out over the use of one of those "extreme bloggers" oh, wait....)
  • Treating lack of comment as confirmation.
By the standards endorsed by the Cabal of the Clueless at the Star Tribune, I would be following acceptable journalism practice publishing the following:
Through an unnamed senior staffer, Million Monkeys Typing has learned the Star Tribune editorial staff regularly smear themselves with chocolate and whipped creme just before attending midnight meetings of the Rush Limbaugh Fan Club at the state DFL headquarters.

Of course, that was the purest BS - Rush Limbaugh fan club meetings aren't held at DFL headquarters - but it had as much confirmed factual information as the Newsweek Periscope item.

Of course the Strib then attempts to change the subject to Iraq:
Besides, the White House itself committed much more egregious errors in the way it so casually used dubious intelligence to make a case for going to war in Iraq.

The problem is, as bad as the WMD intelligence turned out to be, more effort was made to fact check the WMD information than Newsweek made to check theirs. No dice, guys.

For all of its flaws the editorial did give me some insight into the Strib's standards. Judging from that insight, I would be better off reading Newsweek.

P.S., before the Strib pronounces themselves the experts on journalistic practice, they might try reading this guy.

Update: This post has since been edited for spelling and punctuation, and the sentence about WMDs was reworded to be a bit more readable. No meaning was changed during the course of this edit - ed.

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