The West Virginia legislature and governor are still miles away from any budget agreement. Trump's health plan, which was given an editorial pass by our local "newspapers," didn't even get a vote from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by Obama, which the locals have only occasionally covered, is looking more and more like the paranoid ranting of a president either unable to take responsibility for his own actions or simply out of touch with reality (or both). And what does the editor of our local "newspapers" devote the bulk of his Sunday column to? An error of six hundredths of one percent that he has spotted in the recently released population data for this area.
You can read the column here as Mike Myer spends half of his column describing the numbers. Three-fourths of the way into the column, Myer finally reaches the conclusion that most readers had already reached:
In the great scheme of things, the Census Bureau’s foul-up isn’t that big a deal — and it certainly wasn’t because someone in government meant to lie to us and the public. Someone just made a mistake. It happens.
So why devote most of a column to what is essentially a miniscule (less than one-tenth of one percent) and inconsequential mistake? Because Myer wants to make a point about fake news and his papers. And once again, we're presented with a writer from the local paper who doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand what fake news is. The headline for the column states:
'Fake News' Seldom Is Intentional
As a commenter correctly points out below the online column:
"Fake news" is, by definition, intentional. A mistake is just that.
The census mistake is labeled (actually, mislabeled) "fake news" so that Myer can once again suggest that his newspapers never lie to us, misrepresent a source, or intentionally print something that isn't true:
It’s rarer still when we actually print something that isn’t true — and we certainly don’t do that intentionally.
Life experience has taught me to be wary of anyone who constantly tells me how honest they are, how hard-working they are, what a great fill-in-the-blank they are, etc. Similarly, our local "newspapers" seldom miss a chance to tell us what a great job they're doing. (The most recent was just two weeks ago here.) To paraphrase Shakespeare, I think they protest too much. On the other hand, I've noted in any number of posts how the local papers "intentionally" lie, distort and deceive -- the essential characteristics of fake news. (For starters or for readers new to this blog, see here for examples.)
I think I'd like to make a correction to the original editorial:
It's rarer still when we actually print something that is true -- and we certainly don't do that intentionally.