In the I-can’t-believe-they-published-that file comes an extraordinary rant by Conal Hanna in the Brisbane Times, complaining that – gasp – people lie to journalists!
Journalists have long been the butt of jokes comparing their trustworthiness to used car salesmen.
But now, dear reader, I can safely say: who are you to talk?
Three times in the past two months the media has been left red-faced after taking the testimony of members of the public at face value.
…and, you know, not doing their job in verifying that testimony.
Seriously, almost every line of that piece is comedy gold – I hardly know which ones to quote. How about – “Clearly journalists still retain some degree of responsibility for fact-checking.” You think?
Eventually a hurt and, apparently, genuinely puzzled Conal asks –
Where do we go from here? Can journalists take anyone at face value anymore? Do we need to verify every eyewitness we speak to? What do you think?
OF COURSE YOU BLOODY WELL DO! That’s what is supposed to separate journalists from, I don’t know, tape recorders.
I’m torn between tears of derisive laughter and tears of despair.