Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sad Day for Truth: Ideology Doesn't Cut It if You Don't Check the Facts

It used to be said that the first casualty of war was the truth. Now, unfortunately, truth seems to be completely forgotten in any sort of skirmish.

 The latest example is the cover story by Niall Ferguson in Newsweek (and I'm not going to give the link here because it doesn't deserve it) which says that the US needs a new president, and that Barak Obama has not kept his promises as president.

Certainly, Obama hasn't done all the things he said he'd do--think of closing down the prison at Guantanamo--and he can be legitimately criticized for that. But in many cases he was blocked ever step of the way by Republicans in Congress and by fear of the Right Wing out side of it. He tried to conciliat and you just can't do that with ideologues.

 But Ferguson's article and the prominence that Newsweek and The Daily Beast have given it are entirely different. The facts were wrong and Newsweek didn't check them.  "We, like other news organisations today, rely on our writers to submit factually accurate material," Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk told the website Politico.

That's the same kind of uncritical, self-serving thinking that led that sorry excuse for  a Congressman.  Todd Akin, to say that raped women have mechanisms in their body that can stop pregnancy.  Absolutely absurd.

The quote, by the way, is John 8:32.  Some Christians would have it the truth being talked about here is the Gospel.  But they're probably the ones who don't like the idea that Jesus might have been a poor, long-haired, Socialist, dark-skinned Jew.


Martin Langeland said...

That quote always brings to mind the stairwell of my in-laws house. Good Unitarians, they put up a banner quoting a bit of graffiti they saw on the thru-way: "... And the truth shall make you laugh!"

Mary Soderstrom said...

Love the quote.