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Old 01-16-2012, 05:31 AM
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livius drusus livius drusus is offline
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Angry Why the Mainstream Media Really Sucks

I'll kill the suspense and state up front that its non-existent liberalness is not the problem.

Let's start with the Associated Press. I used to work for them, so I know first hand how much of the "reporting" they do is actually just translating other country's local wire services, but it's their consistently awful sloppiness that then spreads to every news outlet around the world that really gets my goats on fire.

Exhibit A: Ancient Female Singer's Tomb Found In Egypt's Valley Of The Kings. The lede:

In a rare find, Egyptian and Swiss archaeologists have unearthed a roughly 1,100 year-old tomb of a female singer in the Valley of the Kings, an antiquities official said Sunday.
Anything look funny about that? Like 1,100 years ago isn't all that ancient maybe? Like maybe the Valley of the Kings wasn't exactly in use anymore 1,100 years ago?

Now scroll all the way down to the fourth para from the bottom and you'll see this:

The coffin of the singer belonged to the daughter of a high priest during the 22nd Dynasty.
How is it possible that a human writing this article (or more likely compiling it from press releases/local news stories) doesn't immediately see that discrepancy? You don't have to be an expert to know that Dynastic Egypt ended long before the Middle Ages, surely. For the record, the 22nd Dynasty dates to between 945 and 712 B.C., so they can't even claim it was a typo and that they meant to say 1,100 B.C. instead of 1,100 years ago.

What about the editorial chain of command? Even if the author is deeply confused, how does nobody else pick up on the mistake before the story is broadcast worldwide with this absurdity in the topic sentence? There are hundreds of outlets now carrying this erroneous story, some even include the ridiculous-on-its-face date in the title (o hai Washington Post).

Only a couple of outlets (ABC, MSNBC) among the 20 or so that I read have edited their version of the AP article to correct the mistake. The rest just regurgitated the wire story as is. Meanwhile, the cheese-eating surrender monkeys at AFP somehow managed to get the basic facts right.

I just wanted to rant about this story because it's been bugging me all night, but feel free to use this thread to illustrate other instances of the mainstream press violently fucking the dog.
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