Toast, It's not just for breakfast anymore: How Do Erroneous Stories Stay Alive?

Friday, September 01, 2006

How Do Erroneous Stories Stay Alive?

When President Bush first visited Iraq on Thanksgiving, 2003, someone made up a story that the President was carrying a fake turkey, even though it was in fact a run of the mill, real turkey. Strangely, the story has persisted to this day, and is still being cited as fact in newspapers across the world.

Tim Blair has a list of 60+ times that the story has been repeated in print or on television, along with all 4 of the corrections he found. Some are as recent as a few days ago! Why doesn't this story go away after the light of truth has been shone upon it? Is it just because the press wants so badly to make Bush look bad/stupid/evil/sleazy they are willing to make up stories about him? That's possible. Maybe it's just human nature for journalists to try to find fault in politicians. They are certainly trying hard with Bush.

I guess we should just be happy that the press only made up a story of Bush carrying around a plastic turkey, rather than faking a story about Bush raping children or having sex with goats, as these UN peacekeepers actually did in East Timor. Now that would be a hard fake story to kill. Don't worry though. Since this vile behavior was carried out by the UN and not Bush or an American, there won't be any press coverage.

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