Thursday, October 30, 2008

Check Your Sources

This is why it's so important to teach kids in high school and college how to find, quote, and attribute sources...and how to hold others accountable for the accuracy of their research.

I know it's only Ann Coulter, but it's a good object lesson:

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann histrionically described Todd's hoax as "a narrative straight out of Reconstruction-era, race-based fear-mongering: a black man, 6-foot, 4-inches, attacking, sexually assaulting, fondling, mutilating a young white woman." His expert pontificator on race was The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, who said the Pittsburgh hoax was "the blood libel against black
men concerning the defilement of the flower of Caucasian womanhood. It's been with us for hundreds of years and, apparently, is still with us."

Okay, let's go to the videotape. Here is the actual Olbermann report, with Robinson's guest punditry. As any sixth grader would be able to interpret, neither man believes in the incident--in fact, this show aired after the incident had been revealed as a hoax. They are discussing an accusation that the McCain camp had pushed the racial assualt story before the police had even released a report of their own. They are not reacting to the incident credulously and with outrage. Their anger is directed at the cynical, manipulative pols who are trying to play on ancient racial fears.

This is why they taught you to do your homework, people. Don't just skip to the answers. Sometimes, the answers lie.

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