“(CLARIFICATION: Palin did not, in fact, say this. It was a tongue-in-cheek link to an article that was intended as a joke.)”
—Time Magazine, dishonestly claiming one act of unethical journalistic conduct to cover for a worse one.
Maybe I owe blogger TBogg an apology. I thought only left-wing Palin-haters could be so disoriented by ideological fervor that they could believe the satirical story claiming that the former Alaska governor had told Sean Hannity that Christina Aguilera should be banished for botching the lyrics of the National Anthem. But no: Us Weekly, the celebrity gossip magazine, and Time Magazine (!!!) both fell for the same spoof. Us, at least, had the integrity to admit that it had made a mistake and to apologize. Time, disgracefully, issued the above dodge, claiming that a fabled news magazine suddenly decided to start printing “tongue-in-cheek” fake stories that portray national political figures as fools.
That would be disgraceful, and by itself good cause for any reader to swear off the once-distinguished publication. But what really happened was worse: Time’s staff is so infected with political bias that it, like TBogg, can no longer recognize satire, and so devoid of competence, diligence and basic journalistic ethics that it printed as truth a fabricated story from a humor site, when any source checking at all would have revealed that it was a joke. Then, rather than admit that it was sloppy, biased, careless and unprofessional, Time lied, claiming to have known it was gag all along and merely overestimating the ability of its readers to get it.
Henry Luce must be spinning faster than the White House on a bad news day.
Say good night, Time. For good.