Daily Archives: April 22, 2010

The dumbing of the media

So, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the scandal over the woman who returned her adopted Russian child.

The strange thing is that the media has been reporting virtually from the beginning that adoptions by Americans were suspended.

The problem is that it wasn’t true.  The Foreign Ministry issued some statements about suspending adoptions but they don’t have the authority to do that.  It is the Ministry of Education that has jurisdiction over adoptions and they haven’t suspended anything according to the U.S. state department.

So one wonders why the media still talks about a suspension like it’s a fact.  One could understand confusion of small or local media outlets that get their information second hand from larger organizations but there is a Press Relations Office that either responds to questions or (gasp!) actually allows journalists to attend briefings and ask questions.

But, of course, the nuances of domestic politics in Russia is far too complicated for the American public and would take up too much valuable air time (OMG!  If we run that story we can’t talk about Kate Gosselin!)  so it’s better to just make stuff up and figure that it’s close enough.

This is really a pretty basic piece of information.  If they get stuff like this wrong, how much faith can you have that they’re getting the big stuff right?