Monday, June 10, 2013

Media fails on Snowden story

So I'm still catching up the Snowden story. It's not that easy because it seems the facts keep changing and there's a metric ton of noise with everybody fighting about whether this kid is a hero or a traitor. Jeffrey Toobin doesn't think Snowden is a hero. He thinks he's " a grandiose narcissist." At this point, I tend to agree with that. It's not that I don't appreciate the guy restarting the debate about domestic surveillance, but I'm finding Snowden vaguely sociopathic for a number of reasons.

A lot of fighting appears to be based on incomplete information. Media has been flooding the zone with a grand rush to be first with any hot rumor they can get their hands on. Then stealthily correcting the record after the rumors turn out to be bogus.

Ed Bott continues to track the ever changing stories being quietly corrected. Guessing few people caught this correcton on the WaPo story.
Update June 10: And one more thing. In its original story, the Post calls the source of the documents "a career intelligence officer" who provided these materials "in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy." We now know that the source was Edward Snowden, who was not an intelligence officer but an "infrastructure analyst" who had been in his current position with an external contractor for only three months. The "career intelligence officer" description seems exaggerated.
Seems exaggerated? How about entirely made up to point of near delusional? Suggests to me Snowden never had the authority to "wiretap the President" as he initially claimed. Seems to be a correction that big deserves a headline, but I haven't seen one yet. This is why I don't trust the media to get the story right anymore than I trust government claims of national security necessity. As Ed put it:
In short, one of the great journalistic institutions of the 20th Century is now engaged in outright click-baiting, following the same “publish first, fact-check later” rules as its newer online competitors.
Click-bait reporting is the new business model of the news biz. It's killing what's left of the profession of journalism and it's at the root of the ruination of civil society.

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