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Thursday, August 2, 2007
Topic: The ConWeb

Ah, the thanks we get.

We nailed Media Mythbusters' Lorie Byrd on a false claim, forced her to issue a correction, and now fellow MMB blogger Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, in a July 29 post, is suggesting we're dishonest.

ConWebWatch who touts themselves as a media watchdog site seems to be very bothered by the fact that the current contributors to Media Mythbusters are all conservative. This is true… However, we launched only a week ago and have had a number of tips from contributors not listed who are liberal. The point to this venture is to expose misrepresentations in the media, falsehoods, mistakes and items that need correction. Frankly, being conservative or liberal has nothing to do with it. Facts are facts and truth is truth. But we would like to thank those detractors linking to us for the exposure and the competition. The more the web keeps the media honest, the better we like it - whether we do the exposing or someone else does. There’s enough work to go around for everyone.

The one item I did take an exception to was the dig at Lorie Byrd and her correction on the Sunni Burning Six story. Lorie candidly did a correction and did what she felt was right - she should be lauded for this, not criticized. When I see ConWebWatch do a correction or retraction, maybe I’ll take them a bit more seriously. Right now it sounds like serious sour grapes.

That's a weird statement: "When I see ConWebWatch do a correction or retraction, maybe I’ll take them a bit more seriously." Is Monroe-Hamilton suggesting we've made false statements? If so, she should back that up; we don't like being accused of something we didn't do. If I have made any significantly false claims, the websites I write about would have made a big stink about it by now in order to discredit me, and, well, they haven't. And by the way, we have issued corrections when we've gotten things wrong (here and here, for example).

And "serious sour grapes"? Please. ConWebWatch been in the misinformation-correction business a lot longer than Media Mythbusters has, so we know what we're doing; in addition, we work for a certain other media watchdog. We do, however, profess amazement that Byrd has such an "in" at a metropolitan daily newspaper that she can commandeer precious free space within to promote her nacent venture, while the rest of us have to write letters to that same paper to get our views across and then hope that the editor decides to print them. The "sour grapes" appear to be on the part of Media Mythbusters for our having caught Byrd in her error.

While we may have been gloating a bit about this, we somehow doubt that Byrd would not have corrected it on her own if we had not written the Examiner -- after all, it was not until that letter was published that Byrd issued her correction. Byrd's claim that the AP "retracted" the "Sunni Burning Six" story would otherwise have become another misleading conservative meme.

P.S.: Monroe-Hamilton asks in another July 29 post: "Why would the media blithely believe sources within our enemies’ ranks?" Good question. Go ask Aaron Klein

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT

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