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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Does ignorance give a pass on a lie?

In the post below, my concluding paragraph is:

Ultimately, if journalism is to survive as the Fourth Estate, new rules about the privacy of public figures will have to be established. Until then, savvy media consultants may have to lie a bit. Or have the courage to tell the media when to bug off.

One of those bright products of South Dakota education and good old Nixon-era dirty tricks indoctrination quoted that paragraph with the last sentence left off and stated it as evidence that I am endorsing the practice of lying.

Perhaps a moron could not recognize the irony in the paragraph and in the phrase "savvy media consultants may have to lie a bit." But it takes only a few IQ points above a moron to recognize that the suggestion that media consultants may have to lie a bit to c0unteract petty malevolence and ignorant dishonesty is not an endorsement but a reflection of the kind of practices that occur on blogs and in some media. And then the last sentence suggests that some moral courage in telling the media the straight truth might be a better approach.

Of late, South Dakota War College has been wallowing in the cheapest and meanest kind of politics. But it went over the line. The argument that a link was provided to my post does not mitigate the act of misrepresenting a direct quotation by altering it.

It is an act of manipulating the data to misrepresent what somone actually said or wrote. It is called subreption. It is the academic crime that is worse than plagiarism. Ward Churchill was fired from the University of Colorado this past year for committing precisely this kind of act.

Enough said.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States