On Thursday MSNBC took talking points from a story originally published at the Leftist blog directory Daily Kos. Turned out the story was a satire on the politics of gay marriage, and none of it was true. The tale of a self-sought boycott by Apple and Microsoft was republished at The Huffington Post. Just think about all the miss-the-boat types who didn’t catch the retraction.
That’s not the first time an MSNBC pundit got caught with his pants down after grabbing talking points from a Leftist blog, and it probably won’t be the last. The Daily Caller brought the MSNBC gaffe to the attention of the blogosphere.
The false news story isn’t really my point, though.
Many people who get news from MSNBC think it’s an objective source. In some small towns, that network may be the only alternative to dinosaur news channels. For instance, when I visit upstate South Carolina relatives who only subscribe to basic cable channels, my news options on TV are the three standard networks, the public broadcasting channel or MSNBC. No Fox News or CNN. I can't find C-Span either.
I travel with a laptop or smart phone, so I can read all the news I want.
People in those small towns, especially seniors living on fixed incomes, don’t really have a wide range of options. I’ve often found some of the most intelligent people I know repeating some of the most nonsensical claims about the Republican Party, taken straight from a Leftist news source the individual had no idea was a Leftist news source.
On Christmas Eve as I sat with my family in church, a young pastor announced from the pulpit that he was a news snob. He told us he only got his news from the BBC. Obviously, he trusted the news that British people pay a license fee for. It takes less than a gram of intelligence to guess what side of the political aisle the BBC dances on.
That night, amid the greenery and candles, each person in my family turned to look at me as though I would spring from the pew and correct the starry-eyed pastor on the spot.
I don’t remember a thing the young pastor said after that.
I did have a revelation of sorts, though. Much of the Leftist dogma I hear more than one Lutheran pastor spout may well be coming from sources like the BBC or that news organization’s political kin across the channel.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/April 6, 2012)
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