Rolling Stone admits it screwed up with its U of Virginia rape story, which turned out to be a total fabrication. This report in The Daily Beast gives a reason why it happened, and it sounds mighty familiar to those of us covering, or trying to cover, the Mideast. There’s something labeled “confirmation bias” here, the
willingness to believe everything, and even discard doubt, if a story fits preconceived notions of good and bad.
That’s what’s been happening in the Mideast for two decades. Palestinians are cast as victims and Israelis as aggressors. Anything that doesn’t fit into that frame probably won’t get printed or written–even a generous Israeli peace offer in 2008, which I discovered, and which The Associated Press banned me from writing about.
This is a serious societal issue linked to PC that could be, and I am not exaggerating, a much greater threat to democracy than Iran could ever be. How can citizens vote if they are not informed reliably by professional journalists who are committed to giving them the facts, the context and the background, free of bias and preconceived notions of who’s right and wrong, who’s good and bad?