- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002

Making it up
"The Associated Press alleges that 40 stories written by ex-reporter Christopher Newton contain quotations from made-up sources, such as 'Tim Dale' of the 'Malen Clinic' and 'Lynne Hallard' of 'Civil Liberties Focus.' Can a journalist be prosecuted for fabricating sources?
"Theoretically, but it would be a precedent-setting stretch. Inventing sources is not a crime in and of itself, although it certainly violates every code of journalistic ethics known to man. A criminal fraud case would require that the reporter's deceit had been malicious and resulted in financial gain. The latter, in particular, would be difficult for a prosecutor to prove, since a published story is not intended to attract investment or gifts. Quoting 'Hugh Brownstone' of the 'Intergon Research Center' in his story on stealth bombers, for example, did not net Newton any additional revenue.
"A duped newspaper or magazine could contend that a fiction-spouting journalist obtained part of his salary via fraud, and use a criminal proceeding to try and recoup that money. Given the profession's notoriously low wages, however, it's probably not worth the publicity headache and legal fees. No news organization has ever pursued such a case."
Brendan I. Koerner, writing on "Can You Sue a Journalist for Fraud?" Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com
Love signs
"Top 10 signs Barbara Walters is in love with Fidel Castro:
"10. Her first question: 'How'd you get so dreamy?'
"9. Squeals like a schoolgirl every time he tortures a dissident.
"8. She's wearing his varsity dictator jacket.
"7. Re-named her newsmagazine 'Veinte/Veinte.'
"6. Told him, 'You have led a violent overthrow of my heart.'
"5. Has same look Diane Sawyer had when she and Khomeini were dating.
"4. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: pulled pork
"3. New sign-off line on 'The View': 'Socialism or death'
"2. When asking him about Camp X-Ray, she accidentally called it 'Guantana-marry me.'
"1. The long, mangy beard hairs on her blouse."
From "The Late Show" with David Letterman on CBS
Left-wing fascism
"The ideas of Benito Mussolini, the founder of Fascism, are remarkably similar to the ideas of modern-day Western Leftists. If Mussolini was not the direct teacher of modern-day Leftists, he was certainly a major predecessor. What Leftists advocate today is not, of course, totally identical with what Mussolini was advocating and doing 60 to 80 years ago in Italy but there are nonetheless extensive and amazing parallels.
"There is practically no feature of modern-day Leftism that was not prefigured by Mussolini. It is clear from the many quotations and reports that are available that Mussolini was very much a kindred spirit of modern-day Leftists. It is therefore hilarious that Leftists now use the name of his movement as their routine term of abuse! Ignorance of history does indeed lead to some strange follies.
"He started out as such a radical unionist firebrand and Marxist agitator that he was often jailed for his pains. But as he matured he moved towards somewhat more moderate politics which saw him win power by political rather than by revolutionary means. Modern-day Leftists seem to be the same. The young go out demonstrating against globalization and the like while older Leftists exert their efforts within the framework of conventional democratic politics via the major Leftist political parties.
"And no one was a more ardent advocate of government provision of basic services than Mussolini was and he actually put those ideas into practice on a large scale as well. And he also instituted a 'welfare state' that was very advanced for the times."
Donald J. Ray, writing on "Left-wing Fascism: An Intellectual Disorder," Tuesday in Front Page at www.frontpage.com

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