Illiteracy in Journalism, continued…Posted: July 15, 2014
For The Weekly Standard, Mark Hemingway writes: Someone I’m related to by marriage has written a superb column on the problem of media ignorance. The fact I’m not a disinterested observer shouldn’t stop me from noting that the column and the event that prompted it has attracted some attention. The piece is pegged to a much discussed interview talk radio star Hugh Hewitt conducted with Zach Carter, the Huffington Post’s “senior political economy reporter.”
[Also see – Mollie Hemingway on Media Illiteracy]
Hewitt asked Carter why he was spouting off various critical opinions related to Dick Cheney and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Certainly, Carter’s not alone here — the rise of ISIS has had liberal journalists queuing up to insist President Obama bears minimal responsibility for the disintegration of the situation in Iraq. Joe Biden bet his vice presidency Iraq would extend the Status of Forces Agreement, and had they not failed, it might well have prevented the current mess. But here we are.
“The problem is ultimately not Carter’s ignorance. The problem is that we live in an environment where you can become a “senior political economy reporter” for a major news organization at age 28.”
Still, perhaps there are reasons to criticize Cheney and the invasion of Iraq, but the trouble was that Carter couldn’t articulate any of them substantively, and what’s more, Hewitt asked a series of questions establishing that Carter doesn’t even have an acceptable baseline of knowledge to spout off on the topic. Some of the questions, such as whether Carter has read specific books, might seem pedantic. Others seemed to be a pretty basic litmus test about knowledge of al Qaeda and the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq.
The 31-year-old Carter was unaware Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998, and had no idea who A.Q. Khan was. Carter’s inability to respond to Hewitt’s inquiries is damning. Still, I have to commend Carter — he was a good sport and honestly tried to respond to Hewitt’s pointed questions.
The problem is ultimately not Carter’s ignorance. The problem is that we live in an environment where you can become a “senior political economy reporter” for a major news organization at age 28…(read more)
- Hugh Hewitt Makes HuffPo Reporter Look Like an Idiot (freebeacon.com)
- The Huffington Post’s Finest Meets Hugh Hewitt, Does Not Go Well for HuffPo (nationalreview.com)
- Bonfire of the MSM’s Vanities (pjmedia.com)
- HuffPo ‘Senior’ Reporter Embarrassed on Air with Basic Facts Like Bill Clinton Bombing Iraq and More (ijreview.com)
- Mollie Hemingway on Media Illiteracy (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- MARK HEMINGWAY: The Media’s Double Standard: Some hate crimes are less hateful than others. T… (pjmedia.com)
- The Washington Post, Life & the Trouble with Experts (nationalreview.com)