Something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that when I first went to college in 1988, I was a journalism major. I was deeply interested in politics, and had some ambition to write about it professionally.
By the end of my first term, I had soured on the idea, largely because of the intensely negative presidential campaign that year. It seemed to me that the line between the legitimate press and the tabloids was becoming increasingly blurred, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be any part of that. I ended up deciding to change my major to English not too long before I left school altogether for a variety of unrelated reasons.
Over the last 15 years, the direction of the media hasn’t made me regret my decision.
All of this is prelude towards this story on New York Magazine’s webpage, in which Alexandra Polier, the woman who was falsely accused of having an affair with presidential cantidate John Kerry, details how the story unfolded, and what she found when she tried to track the rumours back to the source. Fascinating reading. Don’t skip this one; it’s an eye opener.
Another eyeopener, once you get past the stuff about his first orgasm, is David Brock’s Blinded By the Right. He was actually *in* the ‘vast right wing conspiracy’, and he comes up with a lot of stuff, providing names and dates and proof because he knows people are unlikely to trust him.
Thanks for the recommendation! Several people have suggested that book, so I should try and pick it up sometime.
The involvement of the Murdoch Press doesn’t surprise me -- one of ‘ol Rupert’s standard tactics seems to be distracting the rubes with made-up dirt, anything to stop folk actually discussing the policies of the candidates…