One batshit-crazy statement after another gets made on the campaign trail of tears and we’ve had to wait for clarification (or correction) from disinterested parties more interested in accuracy than agenda.
What’s a newsgatherer to do? Well, some editors at two major news organizations have found a way around the problem using nothing more high-tech than common punctuation.
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Jessica Goldstein, culture editor at Think Progress, first reported on this trendlet recently. The folks at CNN and MSNBC undercut misstatements made by the Trump campaign and its minions with facts, doing it at literally the same time — inserting (factual) information in the body of a distortion.
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CONSIDER THIS an equalizer, of sorts: a way to set the record straight in real time, in a ravenously fast media culture whose prime directive is No Do-Overs. If this on-the-spot fact-checking is more than an occasional thing (and if it’s something the bosses and suits don’t have a problem with), it effectively changes the news cycle — shortens that cycle even further.
If this catches on, we won’t have to wait minutes or hours to correct the record; inaccuracy will be immediately juxtaposed with fact in a way that befits the era of instant information we (try to) live in.
With this minor tweak of electronic-media protocol, journalists push back against those who insist their role is to be nothing more than stenographers, agents of transcription duly reporting one untruth after another. It reflects the immediacy of language and information we’re accustomed to (and the pursuit of accuracy that we’re ... not accustomed to enough).
Image credits: Trump: MSNBC via @pamela_vogel (via ThinkProgress). Trump son: CNN via Dorothy Snarker (via ThinkProgress). Jessica Goldstein: ThinkProgress. Nukes: CNN via TPM (via ThinkProgress).