Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Double duped

Madison's Capital Times newspaper has been duped twice in the past week or so.

First, it bought the lie that Republicans in Wisconsin passed a "bill to repeal equal pay protections for women in the workplace" in an "assault on pay equity." As I pointed out here and here, that is false. The Capital Times editorial board made the mistake of trusting Kathleen Falk on this one. She is running for governor in the recall election against Scott Walker.

Second, it "posted on its website and on a story that falsely said that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson were joining state Rep. Steve Nass, R-town of La Grange, in pressuring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to purge its archives of posters from last year’s protests at the Capitol in Madison." The newspaper quickly realized that the article was based on a fabricated news release and took the article down. In this case it was duped by a political cartoonist, who fabricated the press release and sent it to a Cap Times staffer. Apparently the joke was lost in transit.

The common element in both mistakes is that the folks at the Cap Times were too eager to believe the worst about their political opponents. This is an endemic human flaw. And it's why we should be most skeptical about stories that reinforce our preconceived notions about the world. But that's a tall order, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.