Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nick to Laura: "We need to have a talk, hon."

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:22 PM |  

David Strom puts to rest once and for all the meme that the MSM's system of fact checking makes it more reliable and accurate than blogs.
As you may recall, Nick Coleman has been one of the biggest promoters of the meme that bloggers are mere pretenders to the jouralism game. Yet his wife, Pioneer Press News Columnist (yes, that is her title, NOT opinion or lifestyle columnist) wrote a whole piece on a bogus WHO study purporting to show that blondes were being bred out of the population. No such study ever existed, and the WHO has had a clarification on its website since 2002 debunking this urban legend. As of today, while the Pioneer Press has a correction somewhere on its website and has presumably printed a correction somewhere in its paper, the original column is still up with no notice that it is based upon a completely bogus premise. . . . If journalists are so superior and more reliable than the great unwashed, how does he explain how the NYT, CNN, CBS, the Star Tribune, and his own wife got this wrong–over a period of 4 years! Again and again they have promoted this urban legend.
Read it all.

Update: Billings recants . . . .

Blondes removed from endangered species list!

I hate making mistakes, but this is one of those times I'm relieved to be wrong. Turns out that "study" I mentioned in Tuesday's column warning that blondes will be extinct by 2202 is a hoax that has bewitched media outlets for the past few years. My sources were the New York Times, which mentioned the alleged study in Sunday's edition, and the Times of London, which did the same Feb. 26.

Fortunately, a handful of readers (one of whom is now convinced I'm a natural blonde) pointed out an earlier New York Times story from 2002 in which the World Health Organization disavowed any knowledge of this blonde media bombshell: "W.H.O. has no knowledge of how these news reports originated, but would like to stress that we have no opinion of the future existence of blonds."

Thank heavens. That means they really are working on that bird flu thing.

To my readers: Color me embarrassed

. . . but Strom's issue remains. Now if she'd just go back and look at those medical bankruptcy figures . . . .