Truth

According to the New York Times of May 12, 2008, New York City
Police Officers fairly often lie in their testimony before judges in
the courts.

In more than 20 cases, the judges found police officers testimony
to be unreliable, inconsistent, twisting the truth, or just plain
false.  One judge called it “patently incredible, riddled with
exaggerations, unworthy of belief.”

In fact, tainted testimony is a problem so pervasive that the police
have a word for it: “testilying”.

Truth is the first casualty of war.

Thursday  January  16,  1986  two of the most  prestigeous  daily newspapers  in  the United States reported on the  results  of  a Gallup   poll  commissioned  by  the  Times-Mirror  Company.   The positioning of the story, and the omissions and inclusions on the part  of each tell a good deal about the handling of  “truth”  in the American media.
The  New York Times carried the story on page A18,  not the  best location  but adequate,  and headlined their article “Poll  Finds ‘No Credibility Crisis’ for News Media.”
The  second  paragraph  was devoted to a quote  from  Gallup  “If credibility is defined as believability,  then credibility is, in
fact, one of the media’s strongest suits.” The  next paragraphs admitted that the “respondents also  criticized
the media,  saying they were politically biased,  emphasized  bad news,  invaded  privacy,  failed  to admit mistakes and bowed  to outside pressure.  Press critics are much more critical than  its supporters  are supportive.  Critics,  whose feelings varied from mild to vociferous, represented 30 percent. The strongest critics of the press constituted only 5 percent of the public but  tended to  be  the best informed about the news and  organizations  that gather it.
“On  overall  accuracy,  55 percent of the public said the  press generally  got  the facts straight while 34 percent said  it  did not. For believability, ‘nationally influential newspapers’ rated 78 percent; the Wall Street Journal got 85 percent, and President Reagan had 68 percent.”
Interestingly, the Gallup organization stated that “the news media sell believabilty foremost.”
Turning  to  the  same story in the  Christian  Science  Monitor,
carried on page 3, a more prime location, the Monitor started its
article  by saying “The American public,  like Thomas  Jefferson,
cherishes  the press–but also detests it.  Then came  a  finding
totally  ignored by the Times,  “while Americans greatly value  a
free press, a majority of them doubt that the US media are really
free,  that they are often influenced by the powerful,  including
big  government,  big  labor,  big business,  and  other  special
interest groups.
“A majority believe the press too often tends to ‘favor one side’
in  its coverage of issues.  A plurality suggests there is  often
political  bias.  The  public sees the press as dependent on  and
‘often influenced by the powerful.’
“Three-quarters  of all Americans think the  ‘federal  government
influences  the  way the press reports news’ and nearly  as  many
think advertisers do,  as well.  If the press gets too pushy,  it
will  lose  advertisers,  lose government sources,  or even  lose
subscribers.
Very strange omissions for the Times with its motto “All the News
thats fit to Print.”
On  the  same  day in the Monitor  columnist  Joseph  C.  Harsch
provided tangible evidence of the public’s perceptions  regarding
political bias by stating “The self-styled neoconservatives whose
primary concern is the welfare of Israel.  Mostly they are Jewish
intellectuals  with  considerable influence in  publishing.  They
provided much of the public relations support behind Mr.
Reagan’s
military buildup and hard-line foreign policy.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s