Disparate reports cast doubt on media veracity

info@islandpacket.comOctober 3, 2013 

Who called whom? The public relies on newspapers, radio and TV to tell us about important events. Recently, I opened The Island Packet and read the front-page story about an important first telephone call between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. I wondered who called whom? The story reported that Obama initiated the call as Rouhani traveled to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In the Wall Street Journal's front-page story about the same important telephone call, I read, "The phone call, which the White House said Mr. Rouhani initiated ..."

An Associated Press story found online stated, "As his car inches through New York's snarled traffic, he hears Barack Obama's voice on the phone as the U.S. president sits at his desk in the Oval Office."

The New York Times reported that Rouhani said, "Yesterday as we were getting ready to head to the airport, the White House called and expressed willingness to set up a phone call between the American president and me."

The semi-official Fars News agency reported that Rouhani said, "A call was made to our ambassador's cellphone. The conversation mostly focused on the nuclear issue."

After reading all these sources I still don't know positively who called whom? If the media can't get such a simple fact straight, how are you going to believe anything they tell you?

Arthur I. Trager


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