People wonder why traditional media sources are failing. And while there are lots of reasons, one of them is that, well, the product they are providing is, how does one say this, crap.
Declan McCullagh, who works at CBS Interactive, had some, let's just call it, credibility problems of epic proportions today. It started with a post he wrote about a secret internal Obama administration memo on the cost of the Global Warming legislation (more on that in a second)
In his work, Declan claimed that he is the "Chief Political Correspondent" for CBSNews.com. Well, when his boss pointed out that wasn't even his title, Declan had to issue a correction about his own job title. But wait, there's more. Now, I make some mistakes sometimes, but I have always been pretty good about knowing my own job title -- when in doubt, look at your own business cards, Declan.
Now, what was Declan writing about? The breaking news. Well, here it is from the horse's, hmm, mouth.
The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent. A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.
A few minor adjustments might help everyone understand this a bit.
First, the memo in question was from 9 months ago.
And, this is the better part. Nowhere in the memo does the figure of $1,761 show up. No where. As Brad Johnson notes over at the Wonk Room, this is "pure twaddle." I like that, twaddle. So much nicer than "total and complete bullshit."
But okay, so maybe Declan is having a bad day, imagining job titles and figures in reports, but surely a news organization like CBS just might, maybe, perhaps ask...
What the heck is the Competitive Enterprise Institute?
Well, let's put it this way. It's founder is Fred Smith, who famously said that global warming might be "a good thing because of all the cool new crops we could grow."
Yep, that and the hot baths at the North Pole.
No one but ExxonMobil, American Petroleum Institute, you get the picture.
So, let's summarize:
A CBS News correspondent who can't get his own title right makes up a number in a memo given to him by a group funded by ExxonMobil and somewhere at CBS News right now, someone is wondering where the viewers are going.
For more about this, check out www.fightcleanenergysmears.org
And yes, I work on NRDC's online efforts, and I have a title, online consultant. I checked.