crying wolf

The fable is about raising the alarm unnecessarily so often that when real reason to raise an alarm came about, the alarm was ignored. An example where not wanting to take the risk of a false alarm was that of the Thailand meteorologists who did not want to raise a tsunami alarm. But such fears of false alarm do not hinder those who make a continual effort to find reason to impugn or castigate the administration.

The liberal media are doing some hand-wringing over Goss’s changes at the CIA, but there’s not much they can say in view of their own relentless (and often unfair) criticisms of the agency over the last several years. Thus, the New York Times is reduced to writing that Goss’s changes “have prompted unease within the C.I.A.” Yes, I’ll bet they have. The Washington Post goes a bit further, citing “concerns among some lawmakers and others that Goss was purging intelligence professionals and replacing them with political appointees.” Those “others” presumably include the career CIA Democrats who constantly leak anti-administration tidbits to the Post. For the moment, at least, the leakers seem to be unusually quiet. I wonder why. [Hindrocket CIA housecleaning continues . 29 December 2004]

When the news media gets into prognostication rather than news, skepticism is warranted. ‘Concerns’ and similar ilk are clues that perhaps what is being read is an alarm whose substance is more in the mind of the writer than in reality.

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