17 November 2010

Notable Quotes: "...an antidote to malicious journalism…"

My thanks and compliments to columnist and author Thomas Friedman of the New York Times who provides today's notable quote in an item titled "Too Good to Check."

The piece discusses how Anderson Cooper of CNN exposed the falsehood that President Obama's recent trip to Asia cost $200 million a day. Friedman writes: "It underscored just how far ahead of his time Mark Twain was when he said a century before the Internet, 'A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.' But it also showed that there is an antidote to malicious journalism — and that’s good journalism."

The key quote comes at the end:

"When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, we have a problem. It becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues — deficit reduction, health care, taxes, energy/climate — let alone act on them. Facts, opinions and fabrications just blend together. But the carnival barkers that so dominate our public debate today are not going away — and neither is the Internet. All you can hope is that more people will do what Cooper did — so when the next crazy lie races around the world, people’s first instinct will be to doubt it, not repeat it."

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