Monday, March 24, 2008

Doubt or Certainty

Adam Shostack challenges The Frequency of Fake bin Laden Messages:
"I've noticed that every time there's a new message from Osama bin Laden, the press very carefully calls into question its authenticity."

Adam suggests that this doubt emanates from the intelligence community, possibly with the intention of undermining the strength of these messages. Adam asks why the media play along.

But this shows the power of groupthink among journalists. If other journalists regard something as true and certain, then you look very feeble if you frame your statements with "alleged" or "purported". But if other journalists are being cautious, it is pretty foolhardy to claim superior knowledge. Excuse me Mr Clever Journalist, do you have special sources of information or something? Perhaps you'd like to come and help us with our enquiries? Or are you just one of these amateurs that shoots your mouth off without any evidence?

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