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  #1  
Old 21 February 2013, 01:10 AM
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Icon09 'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor

A Daily News reporter explains how he inadvertently created the myth that Chuck Hagel spoke to a non-existent group.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/f...icle-1.1268284
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Old 21 February 2013, 01:46 AM
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What a bizarre course of action for this reporter to take. I sort of get the initial joking query, as if he were fully expecting a complete dismissal of the allegations and was trying to let the aide know that he wasn't expecting anything more. (The way a person conducting a job interview might jokingly brush past the criminal history portion while reviewing paperwork by saying something along the lines of "No criminal record? Haven't knocked over any banks lately?") What I don't get at all is why he would try to stretch the joke to a follow-up email, and then include a specific amount on top of it.
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Old 21 February 2013, 01:57 AM
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I'm not sure I get this followup. Apparently if Person C hears a rumor from Person B, it's not possible that Person A could have been the rumor's originator:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journal...-friends-hamas
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Old 21 February 2013, 05:16 AM
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Musicgeek, I agree--I was not really surprised by the joke in the phone call, but it seemed odd to have the follow-up email. But it isn't implausible that he did that to remind the source of what he was asking about.

And regardless, the reporting that followed is ridiculous. It seems like something a person should lose their job over. If the rumor is so tenuous that you're deliberately including caveats so that the story is "true" in the sense that it is actually what someone told you, but you don't have any reason to believe that the substance of it is actually true, then you've ceased being a journalist.
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Old 21 February 2013, 05:29 AM
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Which is perfect for breitbart.com.
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Old 21 February 2013, 05:34 AM
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But breitbart.com isn't apparently the only place that reported it.
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  #7  
Old 21 February 2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Breitbart.com opposes the mainstream media and all its traditions. Thatís a good thing. Yet perhaps it could borrow a smidgen of MSM sourcing standards, even if itís just for a month or so.

What this boils down to is anonymous sources saying theyíve been informed about something thatís purportedly true. Thatís a good three generations away from solid. Who or what is doing the informing here? A website? Some random e-mail? And just what is meant by an organization thatís purportedly called ďFriends of HamasĒ?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ive-questions/
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Old 21 February 2013, 12:05 PM
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From the original story:

Quote:
On Monday, I reached my source [The person he emailed the question to]. The person denied sharing my query with Breitbart but admitted the chance of having mentioned it to others. Since the source knew we spoke under a standard that my questions werenít for sharing, thatís a problem.
How? If somebody emails me a question and I don't know the answer off the top of my head, then of course I'm going to ask others within the organisation. Does Dan Friedman seriously think that when he emails the representative of an organisation to ask a question, that the expected response is that they don't know off the top of their head and that's all they can say?

But the follow-up from Breitbart is stupid too, as snopes said.
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Old 21 February 2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
And regardless, the reporting that followed is ridiculous. It seems like something a person should lose their job over. If the rumor is so tenuous that you're deliberately including caveats so that the story is "true" in the sense that it is actually what someone told you, but you don't have any reason to believe that the substance of it is actually true, then you've ceased being a journalist.
breitbart.com isn't a group of journalists. They are a propaganda outlet that makes Fox News look like a bastion of integrity. They are also playing that "I'm not saying anything; I'm just asking questions" game that consperacy theorists play so often. Same game that JFK nuts, 9/11 deniers, birthers, evolution deniers and people who still push that Clinton death list play.
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