Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quality News Reporting

Above-the-post update: Apparently, what they mean is that the district, regardless of its number, that includes Clinton County, New York, has been Republican since the Civil War. That's very hard to verify.

Today, you can read news sources all over the web telling us that a Democrat has won the New York 23rd Congressional District for the first time since the Civil War. That is a very interesting fact. It's so interesting that it doesn't even matter that it's not remotely true.

Where did this meme come from? The Newsday article says
Democrat Bill Owens Tuesday won New York's 23rd Congressional District, parts of which have been in Republican hands since the Civil War.
Parts? What does that mean? New York has been subject to re-drawing district lines many times, of course, but the 23rd district has been Democrat much more than it has gone Republican for the past century. What is this mythical "district" they're talking about that has been a GOP stronghold for 130 years or so?

Where did this lie start, and why are so many supposed news outlets repeating it without checking?

And now for something completely different:

Hat tip.

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