Quiet in San Fran11 May 2008

Here's Garrison Keillor addressing radio and television correspondents in Washington, D.C., on May 2, 1994:

Sometimes, in the news business, people create cliff-hangers where there are no cliffs and write about events with a tone of urgency that has no basis in fact. I'm not saying that you do this, but you may know people who do. And that is why some journalists' credibility depends largely on the forgetfulness of the American people.

There is a great danger when the press wanders from the facts. If you do, you will be held to a different standard than one you're used to.

Journalists are held to a standard of truth which is demonstrable, at least over the long run. But when you slip into the field of fiction and entertainment, then you will be expected to be fascinating. This is going to shorten your careers. Nobody can be fascinating for long, but people can be accurate and responsible for an entire career.

And I wish all of you long and distinguished careers.

Posted by davis | Link
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