June 10, 2003


The Washington Post on Iraqi looterism:

Reports describing the looting of Iraq's archaeological treasures from the national museum were exaggerated.

Most Australian media outlets have failed to correct initial Fiskian accounts of museum looting, which have now become Accepted Truth. Sad.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 10, 2003 12:46 AM

The Iraqi Museum that was never looted can join the Fiskian Hall of Shame reporting right next to the "Jenin massacre" which wasn't.

Posted by: Joel at June 10, 2003 at 01:14 AM

Funny no one is accusing them of a massive conspiracy to deceive the public, or using words like "one of the most stunning pieces of news management in history" to describe this episode.

You mean people just make mistakes sometimes?

Posted by: Bill Herbert at June 10, 2003 at 01:41 AM

In the matter of the Iraq Museum looting and many other misplaced stories, facts and ideological content writings, the damage is done. In some (many?) cases members of the public will go to their graves believing much that is just not true. In part, this has to do with our 'world view', and with how we humans process information and filter memory. Other than recommend skepticism, don't know what to do about that. G

Posted by: Gerry at June 10, 2003 at 02:25 AM

I think we need a new rallying cry: "It's all about the priceless historical ARRRRRTIFACTS!

Posted by: Russell at June 10, 2003 at 05:24 AM

Damn, and here I was hoping to pick up a cheap Code of Hammurabi on E-BayŠ

Posted by: Wallace at June 10, 2003 at 07:56 AM

C'mon, what's an error of a few orders of magnitude when publicizing the sins of the Great Satan?

But seriously, did anyone bother to consider how many semi-trailer trucks would have been required to haul away "170,000" artefacts overnight?

Are most journalists aggressively dishonest, or merely dumb?

Posted by: Tombo at June 10, 2003 at 08:38 AM

Aggressively dumb.

Posted by: tim at June 10, 2003 at 10:02 AM

As the Good Book might have said, "To err is human, to notice in yourself is so divine, it's almost a miracle", which of course needs to be seen as applying to the 'left', the 'right', and the 'neutral', with equal appropriateness.

Posted by: Norman at June 10, 2003 at 11:25 AM

Norman, your comment was dangerously close to being rational, consistent and credibly, thereby condemning it to be banned from every major broadsheet and tabloid in the country. Journalists do not apologise, it is not in their genetic make-up. They merely stop referring to the stuff up they made. We really should coin a new term to be hung over every journalism school in the country. "Being a writer means never having to say you're sorry"

Posted by: Todd at June 10, 2003 at 02:17 PM