“It was an honest mistake. The media is not biased in any way. This is an illusion.”

Not that it’s anything new, but the mainstream media is again backpedaling like Lance Armstrong with broken brake cables careening down the north face of Mt. Everest.

Media forced to explain inaccurate reports on tragedy” says the USA Today story. USA Today leads the way with their own apology for reporting that most of the miners had been found alive.

What’s not being reported, or apologized for, is that this kind of thing happens all the time. We just don’t notice as often because the truth isn’t immediately obvious and easily quantifiable. Hell, you could almost file this miner story under “honest mistake” compared to some of the media’s other biggies.

Remember Jack Kelley, the USA Today reporter who resigned after inventing a witness to corroborate one of his stories? Then we move outward into Dan Rather territory. Dan is still, sadly, like an old man who still believes in the Easter Bunny, clinging to his reality that the Bush National Guard documents are real. Newsweek’s “flushed Koran at Guantanamo” story is another good example of a fabricated floater.

How about the reporting of Hurricane Katrina, much of which worsened the crisis? Some of the stories to come out of New Orleans contained more phoniness and fakery than the waiting room at a Malibu cosmetic surgeon’s office.

Then there’s the “just in a hurry” stuff, like when the New York Post reported that John Kerry had chosen Richard “Big Dick” Gephardt as his running mate, and the classic “Dewey defeats Truman” headline from 1948.

Just remember, these are the same people telling us what’s going on in Iraq, with the economy, etc., and those are things about which they’re biased, and therefore more likely to be knowingly misleading than was such with the miner story, where they were just in a race to be first.

The problem goes much deeper than a West Virginia mine.

Quickly responding to the growing problem of inaccuracy in reporting, many newspapers have hired extra fact-checkers, like the New York Times’ Skip Wilkinson, above

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