Wrong or Incompetent?

Howard Kurtz had a piece up this week decrying the NLMSM’s performance with its “reporting.”

With one blunder after another over the last 10 days, the press is on a losing streak that is starting to take a toll on its collective credibility.

In two cases of…error…the pseudo-reporters got dates critically wrong.  One involved a claim, confirmed by two other “news” outlets, that Donald Trump, Jr, had received a decryption key to some collusion-related, Wikileaks-held emails prior to their release.

But the collusion allegation collapsed when it turned out the email was actually sent 10 days later, when the hacked DNC material had already been made public.

Another outlet suspended its star reporter (notice that: they didn’t fire him) over another missed date.

His original report said Trump had ordered Mike Flynn to make contact with the Russians during the campaign, which suggests collusion. But Trump actually directed Flynn to do so during the transition, as president-elect, when such diplomatic outreach would be routine….

Both of those instances relied on carefully anonymous sources, and in both of those cases the imitation reporters knew through their own sources that those dates were at best suspect and likely wrong.

The press’ losing streak is “starting to take a toll on its collective credibility?”  No, the press has had no credibility for a very long time; the current losing streak is only corroborating that.

Kurtz’ problem in assessing all of this is that he’s a man who knows no other business than what passes for modern journalism.  He’s been steeped in an industry that used have a simple, fundamental requirement: that the use of anonymous sources had to have, in the same article, corroboration by at least two on-the-record sources.  Instead, Kurtz’ business has made the conscious decision to walk away from that standard and, instead, to rely solely on carefully unidentified, deliberately anonymous sources.  As a result, we readers cannot assess the reliability of the sources and so of the articles; we cannot even determine whether those sources exist or the claims made are just manufactured rumors.

Wrong or incompetent, Trump asks in one of his ubiquitous tweets.  I say dishonest.  And Kurtz, raised as he’s been in a whorehouse, knows no other and is unable to see either the amorality or the dishonesty of his fellow residents.

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