2. Compare and contrast.
The originalTribune story: “Plans for a Muslim cultural center in southeast DuPage County were sent back to square one today as the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals chose to restart the public hearing process.”
The CBS2 rip-and-read: “Plans to build a Muslim center in southeastern DuPage County are back at square one. The DuPage Zoning Board of Appeals has voted to restart the public hearing process.”
And some folks think Google steals content.
This is one of the ways in which the public becomes so misinformed. For example, if theTribune falsely reported that, say, Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet, CBS2 and every other radio and TV station in town would repeat the false claim. Then the columnists would weigh in making fun of Al Gore. Then the politicians would would blast Gore for his claim, and those blasts would be featured in television, newspaper and Internet news reports. Then the columnists and pundits and editorial writers would make hay. And nobody would bother to check for themselves whether that first report was accurate. And then people like me would point out that it wasn’t, and then I would be attacked becauseeveryone knows Al Gore said it. It was in theTribune. They wouldn’t get something like that wrong. I’m just stirring up trouble. People like me must have agendas, even though – irony alert! – we’re the only ones acting like journalists.
Way back in the infancy of the political internet when I was doing the Feith book, people would ask how I knew such-and-such blog post was credible. It was a reasonable question, but the answer was simple: There were links. You could go to the links, check the sources, see if the conclusions the poster had drawn were supported by the facts in the articles, journals, statistics reports, etc that were cited.
As opposed to just yoinking something and repeating it because hey, somebody else did all the work.