If you trusted the stampeding herd of what Hunter Thompson called the “press wizards,” over the past century, you’d find yourself ruefully misinformed about major events. To cite just a few examples, they’d have told you that the Titanic didn’t sink, Hitler had given up on being a dictator and only wanted peace, there was no famine and no liquidations under Stalin in the 1930s Soviet Union and, to cite a more recent example, one quarter of the United States non-IV-drug using population would be dead from AIDS by 1990, i.e. roughly 60 million people... The first example is somewhat disingenuous, but still noteworthy: the New York Evening Sun, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Express all reported that the Titanic had not sunk, all passengers were safe, and the ship had been safely towed to Halifax. In that case, the New York Times actually did get the story right, and they were chastised by the others for reporting that the ship had sunk. The reason they reported as they did was that “everybody knew” it was an unsinkable ship. Never mind that it sank. OK, that was in the earliest days of wireless transmission, so we’ll cut some slack.
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Hat Tip to Dr. John Ray.