There’s the old rule of thumb. Once is a fluke, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

The amazing part is that it holds true even in large systems – with thousands of nodes – and no concerted guiding intelligence. If you get three instances of a program bug cropping up among thousands of computers, you know at that point there is a systemic problem, and that it can’t be written off to a vagary of the hardware, a temporary memory glitch, etc.

This is important because when you tell people the press lies and is in the tank for liberals, most imagine you’re talking some form of kooky conspiracy theory, when most of the time we’re dealing with what Eric Raymond calls a “pro” spiracy. People with common intellectual belies, perspectives, and aims independently taking similar actions because they have similar goals.

Sortof like Islam.

For that matter, “prospiracy” would be an excellent term to apply to 4GW.

So we get to the press.

Usually the press is more subtle. You can only tell the lies not by what is factually incorrect – or at least incorrect due to pure ignorance – but by the ongoing and widespread pattern of what is omitted. A perfect example would be a series CNN’s Amanpour did on the middle east, where the episode on Palestine was carefully constructed to gloss over a number of facts they didn’t manage to leave out, in addition to spending time on softball questions of PLA members.

Little things, like glossing over where the Palestinian “sesame street” style show was being produced,  what parts of town had the best infrastructure available to Palestinians, the unwillingness to repair damage instead of letting it revert, and other details, that contradicted the narrative of Israeli oppression.

Sometimes there are bigger scandals. How many major papers in the last decade had to fire reporters for simply making shit up?

But there are three cases where you can point to the press getting caught out in blatant lies, manufacturing of the news, and gross misrepresentation.

First I’ll mention is Dan Rather’s “Fake but accurate”. A news report that was intended to knock Bush out of the re-election bid hinged on a “discovered” document purporting to show Bush lied about his medical status, as I recall. The important part was this document, generated in the 70’s, was not monospaced. it wasn’t even the very rough style of proportional type available in a staggeringly rare percentage of hideously expensive typewriters that would not have been used for such orders.

No, it was properly kerned and spaced for a Micosoft Word .doc file. It was a match. Not only that, but due to vagaries in type handling, it was a better – perfect – match for the same text generated in the Mac version of MS Word 2004 vice the Windows version.

The second was 2008. A black man, not an Obama supporter, was at a rally in Arizona, well away from the route then-candidate Obama would take, with an AR-style rifle on a sling. ABC videotaped him, then broadcast just a few frames of that video, cropped to only show his shirt and the AR receiver, not his skin color, to talk about (implied racist) angry white protestors endangering Obama along his route.

The third was this year, and CNN again. In Milwaukee, Sherelle Smith, the sister of the man killed by a police was addressing the crowd of fellow blacks. Per CNN, it was a “call for peace”, and they showed the following segment:

“Burning down shit ain’t going to help nothing. Y’all burning down shit we need in our community.

The problem was that they stopped the clip right there, conveniently ommitting what immediately followed:

Take that shit to the suburbs. Burn that shit down. We need our weave. I don’t wear it, but we need it.”

You really cannot get more blatant than that. Cropping or editing footage to claim it;s the exact opposite of what it shows. That, my dear friends, is Anita Sarkeesian “Feminist Frequency” level of pissing on your boots and claiming it’s raining.

The press lies. It lies by omission, by what it selects, and by what it edits.

And if anyone doubts that they have an agenda, and that they collude with the left, Wikileaks has put a rest to that.