Monday, December 15, 2014

Apply the Appropriate Word: Hoax

The beginning of an appropriate reckoning must begin with a clear definition of what happened and where we are.  There have been numerous post-mortems of sorts on the UVA/Rolling Stone episode, exploring its meaning, yadayada.  Rubbish.

We need the right word, the correct label for what went on - and that word is "hoax".  And we need it in the mainstream press, not the far corners of admirable journalistic standards. 

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds provides the needed clarity.  He says it boldly on the pages of USA Today.  Hoax.  As in:
1. something intended to deceive or defraud

The story does not "have holes."  There are not "inconsistencies."  Rolling Stone magazine did not "misplace trust."  It was a hoax.  It was a lie.  It was deliberate.  It was intended to jam lies through and have reactions, from outrage to legislation, live on long into the future.

With such clarity established we can now move forward appropriately (although we won't), i.e. the UVa administration can be taken to task for overreacting to a hoax rather than responsibly investigating it.  Rolling Stone can be taken to task for being a fraudulent journalistic enterprise.  And so on down the line.  Here's hoping. 


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