The “Silly Hat” Hit Piece & Journalist Ethics


It appears the reporting done by Roger Simon (not the bloger Roger L. Simon) is a bit more then a simple hit piece against Fred.  It may just violate some serious journalistic ethics: (via Confederate Yankee)

Simon quoted Thompson as stating that “I’ve got a silly hat rule.”

As the CBS video clearly showed, that was only part of Thompson’s statement.

What Thompson actually said was, “I’ve got a silly hat rule that I’m about to violate.

Thompson then takes the Chief’s helmet and starts to raise it if he
is going to put it on, and then says, while laughing, “I ain’t gonna do
it… I ain’t gonna do it.”

At this point Jeri Thompson steps in and Fred puts the helmet on
her. Throughout the video, you can hear those assembled laughing,
including Chief Dan McKenzie, who handed Thompson the helmet to begin
with. McKenzie is shown smiling widely at the end of the clip.

We don’t know if the entire Politico article is grossly
unfair in the way it characterized Senator Thompson’s swing through
Waverly, Iowa, but we do know, thanks to the CBS News video, that not
only was Simon’s editorializing of what occurred in the Waverly Fire
Department mischaracterized, but that he doctored a quote to make his
article appear all the more damning.

Simon is the Chief Political Columnist for The Politico–one that they tout as one of “Washington’s most visible and experienced journalists.”– and should know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that doctoring quotes is highly unethical by any journalistic standard.

Or at least their own standards as The Politico’s mission statement states:

There is a difference, however, between voice and advocacy. That’s one
traditional journalism ideal we fully embrace. There is more need than
ever for reporting that presents the news fairly, not through an
ideological prism.
One of the most distressing features of public life
recently has been the demise of shared facts. Warring partisans — many
of whom take their news from sources that cater to and amplify their
existing opinions — live in separate zones of reality. In such a
climate, every news story is viewed as either weapon or shield in a
nonstop ideological war. Our answer to this will be journalism that
insists on the primacy of facts over ideology.

In fact, A Second Hand Conjecture found another instance of a Roger Simon piece reporting his opinion of the event as fact.  Some mission statement guys.

If you quote someone it means that this is EXACTLY what the person said.  Roger Simon doctored the quote by leaving out the final 5 words to the sentence.  He then goes on to misrepresent the event as some sour, awkward moment which if you view the video it most certainly is not.  If this doesn’t violate some code of ethics by a journalist then I don’t know what would. 

The problem with this kind of conduct, if left unchecked, is that people like Allah and friends at Hot Air, and other high traffic sites, will buy into it and ensure the story goes viral.  After awhile it just becomes a fact, unless us bloggers find out the truth and do what we can to stamp it out.

I’m telling you.  Can we trust the MSM on anything anymore?  They use insurgents to report on stories in a war zone, they use pseudonyms for sources without letting their readers know they are using the pseudonym (and along the way report a event that never happened), they report on atrocities across Iraq which never happened and then never retract their stories, and they print political hit pieces on candidates they don’t like without ever telling the readers of their bias.

Is it any wonder the MSM is going the way of the dinosaur?

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You may or may not be interested in my take of the Lame Stream Media but here is the link anyway.

“Can we trust the MSM on anything anymore?”

Could we ever? My guess is they’ve been pulling this crap since the printing press was invented, but only now do we have some sort of mechanism to correct it. That’s why you get a collective yawn, even from the right side of the MSM. Because they see nothing wrong with it. It’s just the normal way of doing business.

I agree, I doubt we ever could have trusted the media.


You have an excellent point. The “yellow Journalism” of the West had no checks or balances until the Internet showed up. Some say it was the media wanting to sell stories which started the Spanish American War.

Having seen the media make up stories out of thin air in Iraq, seeing the photoshopping from the Israeli/Hezbollah battle, and the fact the media is almost openly working with any enemy to defeat America and NATO in the GWOT (and the list goes on and on), I have to wonder how much of anything we see from them is factual or ever was.

And now we see why Allah jumped on the dump on Fred bandwagon so quickly:

I’m going to enjoy, in a schadenfreudean way, the splash of cold water in the face of the Fredheads on Jan. 3.

Allahpundit on December 20, 2007 at 10:44 PM

I guess Fred stole his firstborn and then punched his hippie friends or something.

It’s amazing how a guy who has simple conservative positions on every important issue, speaks plainly, although sometimes with too much head bopping and clearing his throat, has a good sense of humor, and doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body creates so much hatred. The world has gone insane but nobody told Fred and his friends.

Oh how I wish somebody could grab one of these characters and not let them go until they answer one simple question: “Why?”.

Now Ron Paul II, PJ Buchanan, is spreading rumors, or “predictions” that Fred will endorse McCain. Others are spreading rumors that Fred is running out of money, and is cutting down on paper cup purchases. Every nut wants to take a swing at Fred, you’re not certifiable until you invented your own Fred demise story.