Label or libel?

by Richard on May 24, 2006

You might have heard about the fuss at the weekend over an alleged new law in Iran that would force religious minorities to wear identifying coloured armbands. The story broke in Canada, and my friend Bene Diction has a piece about the political fallout there. Peter Glover has also picked it up and appears to have no difficulty believing it.

However, as early as last Friday, doubt was being cast on the story’s veracity. The more you look at it, the more it appears that someone simply made it up. And I have to question whose interests that might serve.

Iran does not exactly have the highest standards (ahem!) when it comes to human rights. But justice is not served by the circulation of untrue stories.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1

John 05.24.06 at 7:39 pm

I’ll agree with that. No ifs, ands, or buts.

2

Eugene McKinnon 05.24.06 at 10:24 pm

I’ve been had. It was front page news in the National post.

Eugene

3

Bene Diction 05.25.06 at 7:23 am

It was in NatPo, Eugene and even PM Harper reacted. I know he is in a tiff with the media, and this probably wasn’t useful.

The corrections came quickly which is one of the advantages to living in a digital age. I wonder why guys like Glover are so willing to get exercise jumping to conclusions in the face of the corrections coming from all kinds of sources, including the bill translated well into english? Searching and fact checking isn’t that difficult even for an average reader. We hear what we want to hear, and believe what we want to believe.

4

Bene Diction 05.25.06 at 7:46 am

5

Richard 05.25.06 at 11:32 am

Thanks for those links, BD.

6

J 05.26.06 at 1:54 pm

I can’t believe you’re surprised by this. News outlets report nonsense a “source” told them without doing even rudimentary fact checking, or just make stuff up because it advances some agenda all the time. Here are two more examples, and that’s without even approaching any political stories:

http://reason.com/9304/henderson.shtml

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/day/04_17_2001.html

7

Richard 05.26.06 at 3:07 pm

I’m not surprised at the original story — though I think I should be. Fact-checking is a big part of journalism, or should be. I *am* surprised that Peter G picked it up in the way that he did.

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