False perceptions, another case study of media missing the mark

Dennis Prager describes the incident about Will Smith, Hitler and the Diminishing Value of Truth. Smith uttered a truism, the press took off on a misperception. What Smith said is that evil people construct a means to believe they are doing good. What the press reported Smith as saying was that an evil person was good.

What is to be learned? The lessons are simple:

1. Don’t trust a Web site that doesn’t cite a reputable source for a news item (opinions columns have different standards).

2. Then, check that source.

3. Don’t trust headlines in newspapers — read the entire column.

4. When a person is quoted, read his original statement in context.

In the meantime, however, millions of people around the world will continue to believe the lie that Will Smith said that Hitler was a good man.

In this case, it wasn’t just one media outlet. Prager illustrates that it was a pervasive and persistent misreporting and distorting by many outlets. This is why one has to be very careful in taking what is being reported as credible.

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