Fake News, today’s CJR edition

Here is an opinion piece written by Kyle Pope and arrogantly signed “The Press Corps” without actually soliciting any other signatures of journalists.

What really gets me is his fifth point “We’ll obsess over the details of government” which is simply, objectively not true. If it were true, certain artifacts would have produced and an entire category of journalism would be common because a press corps that was obsessed over the details of government would use those artifacts to easily and cheaply create certain stories that they do not create.

When you read about Flint, MI and its lead pipe problem on the web, did the site geolocate you, identifying your own water system, list out the lead pipes used there, the date when the last one is projected to be replaced, and give you the contact information of the office that can move that lead free date up? No, you didn’t because years before, nobody identified all the water systems and arranged a cheap way to regularly get their pipe inventory into a database along with the install dates and expected lifespans. That would be the mark of a press corps that was obsessed over the details of government.

That would be journalism worth paying for and the kind of story that I would like to write and see written.

Here’s what is missing to do that Flint story correctly.

Comprehensive list of all governments that operate their own water systems with contact information
List of the private water systems overseen by various government oversight bodies
Each water system’s pipe inventory with install and expected replacement dates along with type/material of pipe.

I really would love to not be building out these basic data structures. The established press, which does have the resources to do such a thing quickly, just is not interested so others have to step in.

6 thoughts on “Fake News, today’s CJR edition”

  1. “Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions”

    I nearly choked out my coffee. Holy heck, that’s a good one. I needed a good laugh this morning.

  2. This read the same as the ‘list of demands’ tacked up on the College Administration building door by current students.
    The MSM has become lazy, indifferent to actual ’causes’, and an echo chamber to those who mouth words to gain approval, yet know nothing and do nothing to attempt to ameliorate the problem. “Virtue signalling” is thy name.
    As far as the water system, the elected officials failed to inform them self, or employ a technical staff that understood ‘leeching’ and how to avoid it. A simple additive would have ameliorated the condition, and the existing lead pipes would have been wholly adequate and safe. They failed to do their due diligence. But it is easier for the MSM to remain ignorant and blame the MI state government for the failure of the local ‘pols’.

  3. Tomw – Is the staff at your local water supplier smart enough to avoid lead leaching from the pipes? That’s actually a harder thing to figure out than “does my water go through lead pipes”?

    If you know that you have lead pipes, you can raise an alarm every time something oddball comes up in the system to make sure that they don’t screw things up and poison multiple generations of your family into lower intelligence. If you have two neighboring towns that you’re deciding between for your next move, it’s perfectly legitimate to use the earlier date for the end of lead pipes as a tie breaker.

    We’re all playing russian roulette based on the competence of our local water system’s HR department. Now the odds are pretty good but it’s still not a game I would like to be playing.

  4. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years.

    It kind of sounds like a declaration of war to me.

    Are they really ready for that ?

    By the way, there are kits to test water for lead and other minerals in every hardware store.

    Obama tried war on Fox News. They even tried to arrest a reporter.

    Cheryl Attkinson could start a real news operation.

  5. “Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions . . .”

    Yet in a prior paragraph you say to Trump, “You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.”

    False assertion right there. Oh? You thought it was original, and not a repeat? Oh, I see, you have no obligation to repeat, but you will if it suits you.

    I’m sorry, but I still have trust issues with you.

  6. Here you go TMLutas. If you wish to correspond with me in greater depth, I’m happy to do so. You invited me to do so on Instapundit and here I am. scottie1040@gmail[dot]com. I’ll look for your email and try to get it whitelisted so you can get through in the future. It’ll have to wait until Monday as I don’t do email from home. Hope to hear from you.

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