The disease has spread to the opinion pages of The Boston Globe. Today it is Juliette Kayyem’s column
A tragedy or merely tragic?: In lukewarm US support of Chinese dissident, a lesson in strategic interests. The Boston Globe may insist that you log in to their site to read this. They may want to make it difficult to read their stuff, but I will make it easy for you to read my reaction as expressed in an email to the author at email@example.com.
For several days now, I have been fighting this notion in the Boston Globe that the US gave lukewarm support to the Chinese Dissident or may have even gone so far as to betray him.
The first incident was a “news” story that mentioned how the dissident was forced or coerced out of the US Embassy. By careful omission of facts, the story promoted the idea that it was US officials that did the forcing and coercing. There was no mention that the Chinese officials were holding the dissident’s family hostage and it was actually the Chinese who did the forcing and coercing despite all the Americans could do to support the dissident.
After the first reports that I saw that included Ambassador Gary Locke’s explanation of the events inside the embassy, the press seems to have taken it upon themselves to decide that the Ambassador’s account is not worth mentioning anymore.
Is there a memo that comes down from on high that tells everyone in the press how the story is to be interpreted? I suppose that if there were such a memo and the implied threat that keeps reporters and pundits inline were strong enough, you would not feel safe in letting me in on the secret.
If this herd like mentality of the press does not come from a central memo, I suppose the other possibility is an ingrained culture of cynicism that is so pervasive that none in the media can rise above it to talk about the truth.
Stories like this one are just further proof, as if you needed any, that once the media gets a story wrong, they just will not let it go. Perhaps they keep flogging the story because they realize that a big lie needs constant repeating to be turned into a perceived truth. The recent spate of stories on Elizabeth Warren’s purported bad week is another case in point. In the case of the false story about Rev. Wright, the media had to stick to their guns or else admit the proof that they acted like idiots.
The real shame of it all is that we recipients of this drivel sit idly by while the media turn lies into this perceived truth.