If a tree fell in a forest, and it was reported by one of today’s “journalists,” would it still be true that the tree fell in the forest?

A reader sent an article which reports that Hitler conceived a son with a 16 year old French girl in France during the First World War. While the article presents no direct evidence for the claim, which is obviously a major problem, it refers to enough evidence to suggest that the story may be true. In my reply to the reader, however, I did not deal with that interesting question, but with the poor writing by the reporter, who muddies and confuses even the non-controversial points that should have been straightforward.

I wrote:

This article, by Peter Allen of The Telegraph, is the typical below-incompetent journalism of today. For one thing, how can this revelation be new, since Jean-Marie Loret, Hitler’s supposed son, published a book in 1981 about Hitler being his father?

For another, it says that Loret died in 1985 at age 67. But then it says:

Mr Loret recently began investigating his past in great detail, employing scientists to prove that he has the same blood type as Hitler, and that they even have similar handwriting.

How can Loret “recently” have begun investigating his past, since he’s been dead since 1985?

It says: “he has the same blood type as Hitler … they even have similar handwriting.”

Since Loret has been dead for 27 years, the verbs should be in the past tense: “he had the same blood type as Hitler … they had similar handwriting.”

It says:

Mr Loret said: “In order not to get depressed, I worked non-stop, never took a holiday, and had no hobbies. For twenty years I didn’t even go to the cinema.”

When did he say this? And when was this 20 year period during which he was depressed? It doesn’t say. And was his depression in response to the news that Hitler was his father? We’re supposed to assume that that is the case, but it doesn’t actually say that.

This is an article by a reporter whose brain is simply not engaged in what he’s writing. Yet this is not unusual. This is the norm for much of today’s journalism.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 19, 2012 08:23 PM | Send

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