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May 26, 2004


I'd be interested to see someone do an in-depth examination of how often this sort of thing happens -- take one day's news, go through every news article from a dozen papers, and see what percentage of them have this kind of crap. Considering the deadline pressure, the herd mentality, and the usual bell-curve distribution of ability, I bet the percentage would be disturbingly high.

If I were in charge, I'd make a law that says that every news source (paper, TV, wire, etc) had to publish one fictitious but plausible story every day, and I'd make sure that this law was well-publicized. That way, whenever anyone read, heard, or saw a given story, they'd be forced to bracket it in their mind as possibly not accurate, and before they could take it seriously, they'd have to do a bit of checking up first.

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