OMAHA, NB – Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? This was the most difficult question for an entire generation’s childhood. Where’s Waldo? If you couldn’t figure that out then you were probably blind. Who framed Roger Rabbit? That’s easy. Watch the movie. Do you really want to hurt me? Yes. Everyone wants to hurt the Culture Club. Are you afraid of the dark? Well that depends on the episode. Prior to the invention of the internet our lives were filled with suspense because the answers weren’t available at our fingertips in real time. The black hole of a screen in which you all stare, whilst empowering dolts like myself, has created a psychological void amongst our society. Instead of seeking answers, the average Joe has taken for granted that the answers to most questions are in fact available and need not be questioned.
The bugaboo of this status quo is that it is not a matter of if you find an answer, but a matter of which answer you find, or in most cases which answer is presented. More often than not a presented answer inherits the credibility of the source and subsequently becomes a perceived truth. This has created a media race to establish institutional credibility as opposed to preserving institutional integrity. Simply put, two diametrically opposed entities can report the same thing at the same time, with two fundamentally differing viewpoints, and both audiences will believe or perceive their preferred source as the correct version of the truth.
In days of yore when institutional integrity was paramount, the correction was the most humble way of retaining credibility. Admitting when you are wrong and clearing the air was not only an honorable act of journalism, it was expected. Today corrections don’t exist as they would counter the rhetoric of the outlet. I have no rhetoric. All I have is my integrity. Thus I need to issue a few corrections from my decade of indentured servitude. Yeah… It’s been a damn decade.