News Roundup for 5/19/10

Book: 'How to shovel manure'
No longer the media handbook?

-Headline of the day-
"Who woulda thunk it: Fact-checking is popular!"

Turns out that given the choice between what the media considers "fair" reporting and some actual facts, people seem to like the facts. Weird, huh? Greg Sargent noticed that Associated Press has been running "strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting." So he gave them a call to see what's up with that.

"I asked AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about this, and he told me something fascinating, if not all together unexpected: Their fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce," he reports. "Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular. Who woulda thunk it?"

Geez. That's a real surprise. The rest of the media works this way: get a quote from one person, get a completely contradictory quote from another, then wrap it all up and leave the reader just as uninformed as they were when they started reading the article. This is called "avoiding liberal media bias," because the truth tends to work in the left's favor. Start reporting on who's telling the truth and who's lying and conservatives have a freakin' cow -- mostly because they're the ones who are always doing the lying.

"What we tend to forget in journalism is that we got in the business to check facts," Fournier told Sargent. "Not just to tell people what Obama said and what Gingrich said. It is groundless to say that Kagan is anti-military. So why not call it groundless? This is badly needed when people are being flooded with information."

You mean people like it when you weed out all the crap? Golly, imagine my shock. (Plum Line)

-Stay out of my garden!-
The Deepwater Horizon oil gusher is challenging the bullshit generating abilities of even the master:

You get that? If you pour gasoline on your yard, it'll just evaporate and everything will be fine. And oil is a good fertilizer because of the "carbon content in it." Of course, there's a very big difference between carbon and nitrogen -- which I think is what Limbaugh's getting mixed up here -- but hey, so what? Close enough.

So, to all you Limbaugh fans out there, go ahead and try Rush's gardening tip; dump gasoline all over your lawn, then pour crude oil over your tomatoes and serve them to your Dittohead friends. Your grass will turn a healthy yellow and the nausea, vomiting, paralysis, and coma related to ingesting oil is just nature's way of telling you it's working.

Go ahead, eat up. (Media Matters)

-Bonus HotD-
"After Saying African-Americans Have No Reason To Vote Republican, Steele Says GOP Is Their 'Political Home.'"

Mike, you almost make this too easy. (Think Progress)

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