Hoax bespeaks reality

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Terry Macbeth Lane presents the standard fake-but-true defence:

The Macbeth fraud is plausible because it fits the facts, which is why I was willingly deceived by the lurid when I should have based my argument on the trustworthy but less colourful evidence.

The Macbeth fraud was exposed several weeks prior to Lane’s column; he simply didn’t bother to check. Previous fake-but-true claims here.

UPDATE. A photographic example of true fakery from Reuters.

UPDATE II. Andrew Bolt: “Columnist Terry Lane today dug an even deeper hole for himself in apologising for having fallen for the Jesse Macbeth hoax. If the Sunday Age last week felt able to reject his offer to resign, it should this week insist that he do.”

UPDATE III. David Tiley: “Terry Lane has helped to sustain the culture of ABC radio for a long time. He has a good brain, a consistent morality, and is generally sceptical.”

UPDATE IV. A commenter at the OC: “Great message to send to the hacks: Write whatever bullshit you like and keep your job.”

UPDATE V. Letters to the Age:

I suggest Mr Lane Googles “Jesse Macbeth hoax” and then provide his readership with an explanation as to why his research is so consistently poor.
DANIEL WOLFE, Glenside, South Australia

Lane’s time at The Sunday Age and ABC must surely come to an end. He is incompetent. However, on a brighter note for him, he has a spot on Hezbollah TV with some fellow travellers if he’d like to take the 11am Lord Haw-Haw flight to Beirut.

Terry Lane’s endorsement of Jesse Macbeth’s fabrications brings great discredit and should bring great embarrassment (though I have scant hope of the latter) to the publishers, editors and other writers of The Sunday Age.
RICHARD McENROE, Hollywood, California

Posted by Tim B. on 08/05/2006 at 12:27 PM
    1. Fits what “facts”?  Oh, yeah, that US soldiers are over there indulging in their bigotry and blood lust and serving their Dark Master Spawn of Satan Bushelzebub.

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 08 05 at 12:47 PM • permalink


    1. Whenever I see stuff like that, the non-apology apology I always think back to Fonzie, who whenever he was wrong could only stutter: “I was wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh…”  Never could quite spit out the words.  Of course Terry could just be in love, you know what love means, don’t you?

      Posted by Cliff on 2006 08 05 at 12:48 PM • permalink


    1. I’d love to know what facts he is talking about.

      Posted by chrisbg99 on 2006 08 05 at 12:53 PM • permalink


    1. Well, I wasn’t far off then in the predictions thread:

      Honest guess: the footage DoD says they have of Marines shooting Iraqis in cold blood, i.e. the old “fake but accurate” gambit.

      My people are dying, day in and day out, to protect Iraqis and the democratically elected Iraqi government. They are withholding fire when they shouldn’t because of an enemy that almost always uses women and children to shield its actions. When captured, they are beheaded and tortured, their dead bodies then booby-trapped with bombs to prevent their dignified recovery.

      To people like Lane those facts don’t matter. What matters is that *some* US troops have committed murder, that a portion has acted shamefully.

      In a war that involves literally thousands of interactions between our troops and Iraqi civilians in a war zone every day, eventually some bad acts are going to occur. Does Lane have any idea how many GI’s we Americans hung for murder, rape, assault and robbery in France and Germany during WWII? Does that fact make the Roosevelt Administration responsible for war crimes?

      A recent poll shows that 64% of Americans now want the US to not be involved in Middle Eastern affairs in any shape, manner and form. I can’t say I blame them overmuch.

      Posted by NewSisyphus on 2006 08 05 at 12:54 PM • permalink


    1. It fits the facts except for the fact that the facts aren’t facts at all, but his erroneous preconceptions.  It fits them perfectly.

      Posted by Mike G on 2006 08 05 at 01:02 PM • permalink


    1. The apparent flexibility with which Terry and his type treat the truth to serve their own aims would also make these guys great used car salesman, when and if their oranisations ever decided to try to rid themselves of these frauds and regain even a hint of credibility…

      Till then they will continue to receive inordinate pay packets to regularly descend to the sewers, whilst trotting out nauseating justifications for their lies and propaganda…

      Posted by casanova on 2006 08 05 at 01:09 PM • permalink


    1. The Terry Macbeth Lane fraud is unforgivable, yet the unforgivable will be forgiven by lame brain leftoids. We were told that he should be forgiven because he recognized his fraudulent behavior and resigned. Now we are about to be told that he need not be forgiven because he now recognizes he did nothing wrong at all. So is all the forgiveness taken back? Or was it as fraudulent as Terry Macbeth Lane himself? What? Please Trolls, explain.

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 01:15 PM • permalink


    1. Terry Macbeth Lane’s resignation was fake but true.

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 01:16 PM • permalink


    1. Well done on your letter Richard

      Posted by Srekwah on 2006 08 05 at 01:18 PM • permalink


    1. “We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.”
      ~~ Theodore Roosevelt
      It’s even worse when the man has zero capacity in addition to being a congenital liar,
      ~~ Stats

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 01:25 PM • permalink


    1. #9, hear, hear!

      I believe Terry Macbeth Lane and The Age are only sorry insofar as they have been shown to be incompetent.  They’re obviously willing to propagate lies in service of their bias, and their incompetence is such that they don’t understand how much they undermine their point of view by doing so.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 08 05 at 01:33 PM • permalink


    1. Lane needed Macbeth’s testimony to substantiate his body of “facts”. Macbeth’s inconvenient lies don’t make his case so he’s prepared to prop up Macbeths’s lies with the very facts he needed Macbeth’s lies to prove.

      Now I’m dizzy.

      This is a clear case of global warming climate change reasoning.

      Posted by Dorian on 2006 08 05 at 01:39 PM • permalink


    1. What a hopeless sad sack Terry Macbeth Lane is. Not only was he behind the curve on the fake video, he’s way behind the curve on the futility of a Dan Rather-type defense. Job termination’s now too good for him. Break out the thumb screws!

      Posted by paco on 2006 08 05 at 01:47 PM • permalink


    1. Substite “prejudices” for “facts” and you’ve nailed it.

      Posted by Conrad on 2006 08 05 at 01:48 PM • permalink


    1. Is Terry Macbeth Lane alone? This case occured almost one year ago 8/27/05 and can be added to “Lefties Love Lies” file (ref LGF but google to find whole story):
      An Illinois student newspaper was taken in for almost two years by a pack of anti-war liars, who invented a tear-jerking story about a young girl whose father was eventually ““killed”” in Iraq
      CARBONDALE, Ill. – Kodee Kennings’’ story was pure gold. For nearly two years, the motherless 8-year-old spoke and wrote movingly of her struggle to deal with her soldier father being shipped off to fight in Iraq, and Southern Illinois University’’s student newspaper chronicled her thoughts in its pages.
      But there was no Kodee Kennings, and the elaborate hoax exposed Friday left The Daily Egyptian embarrassed.““Certainly for us it’’s a sad day,”” said Eric Fidler, Daily Egyptian faculty adviser for the past year. ““Some good can come from this…(ED:yada,yada,yada)….A 2004 SIU graduate who posed as Kodee’’s guardian says she and a former Daily Egyptian editor concocted the story to help his career…A 10-year-old girl who posed as Kodee in ppublic appearances and a man who pretended to be her father say they were unwitting participants in the scam and believed they were acting in a film.The tale began to unravel last week when the Daily Egyptian heard that the solider had been killed in Iraq and subsequent investigations by the student newspaper and the Chicago Tribune exposed that he did not exist…
      ““There is no pleasant way to put it,”” the newspaper said. ““We didn’’t check the facts carefully. We believed what we were told without verifying.””(Ed:. Sound familiar?)
      And why didn’’t they fact-check this story, when they obviously know how? Guess!

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 01:54 PM • permalink


    1. 14 Conrad

      Substite “prejudices” for “facts” and you’ve nailed it.

      re: “prejudices”

      Here’s a few snappy choices concerning “prejudices”….

      “Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.” – Laurence J. Peter

      “Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out.” – Sydney Smith

      “Prejudice is opinion without judgement.” – Voltaire

      “I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.” – W. C. Fields

      OT U.S., France OK U.N. Mideast Truce Pact

      The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, “calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations.”

      With France being an Islamists dream come true, which side does one really think, France is on?


      Posted by El Cid on 2006 08 05 at 02:11 PM • permalink


    1. Here’s another from the Dan Rather-Terry Macbeth Lane School of Journalism:(8/27/05 LGF or can be googled for whole story.)
      Mariam Sobh, a member of the radical Islamic front group known as the Muslim Student Association has been hired by National Public Radio affiliate WILL even after she was caught, while working at the University of Illinois’’ Daily Illini, fabricating quotes and attributing them to Ariel Sharon and others. I wont repeat the false quotes she made up attributed to Sharon as they are too disgusting, in fact so vile no one could believe that he would say such things. But the Sharon quote was not the only fabrication. Sobh alleged that former Israeli Chief of Staff, Raphael Eytan was quoted in the April 14, 1983 New York Times as saying: ““We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel … Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.”” However, a Nexis search of all Times coverage reveals that no one, not Eytan or anyone else, was ever quoted by the paper making the purported statement…
      It only proves, a leftie can lie and lie and lie and be promoted to National Public Radio News in the USA because of the lies.
      It appears true in Australia as well.

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 02:12 PM • permalink


    1. Facts, politically-based prejudices, same thing.

      His reality bespeaks a hoax.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 08 05 at 02:28 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid,

      OT U.S., France OK U.N. Mideast Truce Pact

      Did you see this:

      Other principles spelled out in the resolution include the disarmament of Hezbollah; the creation of a buffer zone from the U.N.-demarcated border between Israel and Lebanon up to the Litani River, which is about 20 miles north of the frontier; and the delineation of Lebanon’s borders, especially in the disputed Chebaa Farms area.

      The resolution would call for the current U.N. force in Lebanon, known by its acronym UNIFIL, to monitor the cessation in fighting. Once Israel and Lebanon have agreed to the series of principles, the Security Council would then authorize a new peacekeeping force for the region.

      Hand over Sheba Farms the Sudetenland to Hezbollah and we can return to the old status quo. Isn’t that just so easy? Why didn’t they think of that before???

      Israel’s response: We’ll get back to you. Eventually.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 08 05 at 02:37 PM • permalink


    1. How is it that the only “evidence” of the “facts” Leftists believe is always fraudulent, yet “bespeaks the truth” of the “facts” that are supported only by the fraudulent “evidence”?

      You really cannot have any grasp of reality to be a Leftist, can you?

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 08 05 at 02:49 PM • permalink


    1. More Lefty Lies and a comment (12/24/05)from Tim Blair:
      UPDATE: Tim Blair: “Molly Ivins and James Carville lied to the American people! Well, not really, but they did repeat information that was later shown to be false——which is the same thing, if you’’re one of them Bush-hatin’’ folks, yessir (must … stop … channelling … Ivins).”
      Tawana Brawley’’s story was false, but it underscores the problem of racism in this country. As did the other phoney racist incidents at several college campuses.
      The TANG memo was false, but the issues it raised about Bush’’s guard service are true.
      The Li’’l Red Book incident was a hoax, but the dangers it illustrates about the Patriot Act are real. (Ed: Hoax perpetrated by Prof. of Islamic studies Williams at U. of Mass. Google it.)
      Jesus Christ, is there any screeching leftist position that’’s defensible with actual evidence? If these issues are so obvious and pervasive, shouldn’’t real incidents outnumber hoaxes by, I dunno, at least one? Thank you, TB.

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 05 at 02:50 PM • permalink


    1. In the place of Macbeth’s lies about shooting survivors in basement bomb shelters, I should have quoted from the BBC report in March: “Recent figures from the campaign group Iraq Body Count put the minimum number of civilians killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago at between 33,710 and 37,832.”

      Ah, yes. And those 33,000+ civilian casualties were all murdered in basement bomb shelters by American troops, Terry? Is that the impression you’re trying to leave us with now? What a disgrace you are with your phony mea culpa and fake resignation. Have you no shame, sir? Or you, Mr. Fray?

      Here’s another one to add to the list from EU Referendum responding to allegations that the photographs of the “Qana Massacre” printed in The Telegraph and elsewhere were staged:

      …is the child dead? was the child killed by Israeli bombs? If so, the picture illustrates the story. If the picture does not alter the truth of the story, we’re not being disingenuous. And the truth of the story is this: Israeli bombs killed several civilians in Qana, many of whom were children.

      Shane Richmond
      Web News Editor, The Daily Telegraph

      We might as well get used to it (forewarned is forearmed). “News” henceforth will not be based on the actual facts supported by an honest recording of the events, but will be representative of the facts as perceived by the reporter and/or photographer on the scene (or not; I mean, why bother—just make something up sitting at your home computer, use Photoshop). It’s a kind of editorial license.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 08 05 at 02:58 PM • permalink


    1. 19 Spiny Norman

      We’ll get back to you. Eventually.

      Israel…Ummm, we will call collect, from Syria…:).

      What Bolton really meant…

      “We’re prepared to continue to work tomorrow in order to make progress on the adoption of the resolution but we have reached agreement and we’re now ready to proceed,” Bolton said. “We’re prepared to move as quickly as other members of the council want to move.”

      Green light, Israel, this is all bullshit.
      Speaking of HOAX, just to let you in OZ know, the U.S. has way more asshats, then you do. In fact the U.S. asshats no doubt double your entire population of 20,264,082 (July 2006 est.) CIA World FactBook.

      “CONTROL YOUR INTEREST IN PUBLICITY FOR YOUR IDEAS,” UW-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell told Kevin Barrett, the part-time instructor who believes the U.S. government is behind the 9/11 attacks. Barrett is planning to teach students about the factual truth of this theory in a course called “Islam: Religion and Culture.” Citing our university’s tradition of academic freedom, Farrell rejected demands that Barrett be fired. But the political uproar has continued, and Barrett—unsurprisingly—has gotten numerous invitations to appear in the media. And now, we see that 10 days after Farrell made his decision to retain Barrett, he warned him about all that media activity:


      Posted by El Cid on 2006 08 05 at 03:06 PM • permalink


    1. #19, Spiny Norman, I saw that headline and I was really concerned until I realized:

      1.  Hezbollah, being the idiots they are, won’t agree to it until they’ve been pulverized to bloody bits.

      2.  Iran, see above.

      3.  Israel will agree to it, as you said, as soon as they’re finished doing what they’re doing.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 08 05 at 03:23 PM • permalink


    1. I didn’t mention Syria, you understand, because what they will do is bend over and grab their ankles as soon as Iran yells “Goat”!

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 08 05 at 03:24 PM • permalink


    1. And the Dan Rather Award For Journalism goes to…

      Posted by the wolf on 2006 08 05 at 03:47 PM • permalink


    1. deceived by the lurid

      He’s a ghast columnist.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 08 05 at 03:56 PM • permalink


    1. RebeccaH,

      1.  Hezbollah, being the idiots they are, won’t agree to it until even after they’ve been pulverized to bloody bits.

      Minor detail…

      While the whole thing may a ploy by Bush and Bolton to buy time for Olmert and put the onus back on Hizballah (where it belongs), I’m still seriously creeped out by the vision of Munich, 1938 and Bolton as Neville Chamberlain…

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 08 05 at 04:00 PM • permalink


    1. The lefts problems all stem from one fact,  that their entire world view is predicated on a fantasy, and to maintain and service that fantasy, they have to bend and hammer their brains into all manner of contorted and untenable positions, to be a leftist is to deny reality so an alternate reality must be created to drive out the real one, this is effective as long as they live in an environment conducive to fantasy, ie, a western democracy, where they can indulge themselves without penalty.

      The problem as always will be when the real world they have denied finally makes its presence felt.

      There is an excellent chapter in the book, Face of the Third Reich, by Joachim C Fest, called professor NSDAP, about intellectuals in the third reich.it is very relevant today, but i bet Terry Lane hasnt read it.

      Posted by phillip on 2006 08 05 at 04:03 PM • permalink


    1. Purported Fact#1:  [from the BBC report in March] “Recent figures from the campaign group Iraq Body Count put the minimum number of civilians killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago at between 33,710 and 37,832.

      Purported Fact #2: [from the BBC report in March and also cited Amnesty International’s 2005 report]  “Hundreds of civilians have been killed during major offensives by US-led forces against insurgents in cities …and many others have died after lethal force was used at military checkpoints. Military commanders have said those killed were collateral damage or the unfortunate victims of crossfire between their troops and militants.”

      Put these numbers another way and you’ll find the claim is that between 200 and 900 civilians have been killed by U.S. troops, and between 33,000 and 37,600 civilians have been killed by terrorists.

      Lane declares these statistics to be “facts” and still concludes they show reality to be “worse than Macbeth’s fantasies”.

      I’m certain that if asked how many civilian deaths by U.S. troops would be “too high”; Lane would answer “1”.  Terribly noble and all, but it would be more honest if he just came out and declared “hey, I don’t care how many people are actually threatened,  tortured, or killed by tyrants or terrorists.  War is always evil so long as the U.S. is around.”

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2006 08 05 at 04:27 PM • permalink


    1. Terry Lane, you really are a disgrace. Not only have you shown the most incredible journalistic ineptitude (I asked my 9 year old daughter to find out who Jesse Macbeth was. It took her less than one minute – via Google – to tell me that he was someone who made up  a story about being in Iraq) but now you are lying about why you didn’t bother to check the facts.
      You have already admitted that you simply “wanted to believe it”. You can’t now take that back, you can’t now change your story to say that you believed it because it sounded true when only a few days ago you admitted – in print – that you just wanted it to be true.
      I guess it’s understandable that you would try though, because as bad as it is to be known as an incompetent journalist, it is far worse to be exposed as a fantasist and/or propagandist (which you now accuse Macbeth of being) masquerading as a journalist.

      Posted by KP62 on 2006 08 05 at 05:33 PM • permalink


    1. Now that logic is a prime example of disappearing up your own arse.

      At least Terry seems to be feeling better about himself; got his old pluck back. On the front foot again. Just need to tweak the volume on the lie knob until things cool down.

      Kyda: Next we’ll be seeing pyramids of human skulls to “illustrate” the situation on Lebanon.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 08 05 at 05:50 PM • permalink


    1. It didn’t fit the effing facts, that’s why it’s NOT TRUE!

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 08 05 at 06:10 PM • permalink


    1. I well remember Mrs. Allgood, my high school English teacher, lecturing us on avoiding ungrammatical phrases like “very unique,” and “the true facts.” “Whoever heard of false facts,” she would say.

      She never met Terry Lane.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 08 05 at 06:12 PM • permalink


    1. At university, I take a course in Globalisation where I have had the opportunity to directly debate Leftists – and found that facts to them are mere inconveniences. You can repeatedly show their arguments to be wrong, their beliefs false and their ideals misguided, but they will never accept it.

      (Read ‘In Defence of Global Capitalism’ by Johan Norberg for a superb explanation of globalisation is good. You can get it from the CIS.)

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 08 05 at 06:23 PM • permalink


    1. #30 devo2,

      I’m certain that if asked how many civilian deaths by U.S. troops would be “too high”; Lane would answer “1”.  Terribly noble and all, . . .

      I understand what you are saying and I agree.  I want to point out, however, that there is nothing noble about the position that even one civilian death is one too many.  We are fighting people who do not wear a uniform.  I heard this same crap in Viet Nam spewed by people who knew better.  Dan Rather had been on the ground.  He took the tact he did on purpose.  Do not make the mistake of granting that kind of moral judgment to a creature like Lane and his brethern, even in passing.  They don’t give anymore of a damn about Iraqi citizens than they do coalition forces.  Mr. Lane has shown that he may have been embarrassed about being caught out in public, but he has no shame about his actions.  Enough of his fellow journalists have worked out the spin to get away with this kind of behavior.  Altruism says that we must forgive those who confess and apologize.  In the comments section of this very blog, such forgiveness was offered.

      Ask yourself what Lane counts on.  He counts on you seeing his action as noble.  He may now claim the banner of honesty, and the very people who forgave him will nod and lend greater credence to his words than before.  Lane was brutally honest in his confession.  He said right out that he wanted the story to be true.  He counts on his readers assuming that this means he sees the error of his methods.  Of course, it means no such thing, as this column attests.

      I don’t mean to lecture.  I’ve just gotten to the point where I have ceased giving the benefit of the doubt to people like Lane.  They are not professionals for nothing.  They are where they are for a reason.  If the reason isn’t that they are actual reporters or honest assessors of facts and context, it must be something else, and dishonest on the face of it.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 08 05 at 06:25 PM • permalink


    1. The man is such a liar.

      His argument was spurious in the first place. What on earth does an inquiry into a soldier’s mysterious death, or anybody’s death anywhere for that matter, have to do with civilian casualties in Iraq? He might just as well claimed “that it is madness to hold a protracted inquiry” into the death of Dianne Brimble , “in the midst of such carnage to which we are wilfully blind and deaf.”

      He used the Kovco case to accuse the US military of murder. As bizarre as this linkage is, he would not have even had that spiderweb fabric to hang a column without the Macbeth forgery.

      To plead guilty to “unprofessionalism”, “gullibility” and “foolishness” is nauseating. The man is guilty of lying and libel of men and women who are far far better people than he can even imagine let alone aspire to be.

      The man is a liar. The Age is one filthy big lie.

      Posted by geoff on 2006 08 05 at 06:51 PM • permalink


    1. More idiocy from Fairfax:

      LABOR’S Kevin Rudd will tell a Christianity forum in Canberra tomorrow that conservative politicians try to hijack religious voters.

      Then he will start begging people to be his friend.

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 08 05 at 06:56 PM • permalink


    1. Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

      Saudi religious leader blasts Hizbullah

      A top Saudi Sunni cleric, whose ideas inspired Osama bin Laden, issued a religious edict Saturday disavowing the Shi’ite guerrilla group Hizbullah, evidence that a rift remained among Muslims over the fighting in Lebanon.

      Hizbullah, which translates as “the party of God,” is actually “the party of the devil,” said Sheik Safar al-Hawali, whose radical views made the al-Qaida leader one of his followers in the past.

      Any suggestions on neutral ground for the battle?


      Posted by El Cid on 2006 08 05 at 07:01 PM • permalink


    1. And then he quotes the BBC for the facts!

      It’s the Age, no one reads the Age, ‘cept those who like living in delusion.

      Posted by spyder on 2006 08 05 at 07:12 PM • permalink


    1. The Lane piece a week ago was rightly attacked over the Jesse Macbeth fraud. Overlooked to date is a second instance in the piece of Lane’s gullibility and willingness to recycle spurious data.

      He introduced his piece, “Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, many thousands – probably more than 100,000 innocents – have died, many of them at the hands of the invaders and other victims of the unstable situation created by the US and its stooges.”
      Now look at where this “more than 100,000 innocents” figure came from. (Sorry, lost the links):
      “The authors of a peer-reviewed study, conducted by a survey team from Johns Hopkins University, claim that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. Yet a close look at the actual study, published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet, reveals that this number is so loose as to be meaningless.
      The report’s authors derive this figure by estimating how many Iraqis died in a 14-month period before the U.S. invasion, conducting surveys on how many died in a similar period after the invasion began (more on those surveys later), and subtracting the difference. That difference—the number of “extra” deaths in the post-invasion period—signifies the war’s toll. That number is 98,000. But read the passage that cites the calculation more fully:
      “We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period.
      Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I’ll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)”

      Why do we constantly read that 100,000+ civilians have been killed in Iraq? Because those recycling this statistically-contemptible study WANT to believe it.

      Posted by percypup on 2006 08 05 at 07:31 PM • permalink


    1. The Macbeth fraud is plausible because it fits the facts

      Amazing how those ‘facts’ never seem to generate any actual, you know, evidence.

      I would like to once again thank Stephen Colbert for introducing ‘truthiness’ to the Lexicon of Mockery.

      Posted by Achillea on 2006 08 05 at 07:41 PM • permalink


    1. Terry Macbeth Lane Macbeth:

      Act5 Sc4
      ‘It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing’

      Act I Sc 7
      ‘We but teach
      Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague the inventor; this even-handed justice
      Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice To our own lips.”

      Act 5 Sc 6
      “I.. begin to doubt the equivocation of the fiend That lies like truth”

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 08 05 at 07:54 PM • permalink


    1. El Campeador, mi amigo, fatwa shmatwa—I shall continue to inhale and exhale.

      Until I see some Sunni hasishim make a concerted and very visible effort to top Nasrallah, these are merely attempts to retain power and constituentcy.

      (btw, IMHO, I consider the JPost to be the “The Age” of the Middle East—Ma’ariv or Yedioth Achranot (YNet), even Ha-Aretz are better sources)

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 08 05 at 08:24 PM • permalink


    1. fimp

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 08 05 at 08:25 PM • permalink


    1. Hm. You know, when I look out the window everything is flat. Therefore I maintain that it’s okay to claim the world is actually flat no matter what scientists say. I mean, it fits the facts.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 08 05 at 08:43 PM • permalink


    1. “No excuses, I was taken in by a fraud,” well there’s an excuse right there.  “No excuses, I am an idiot,” would do, but no, it’s not Terry’s fault, he is the victim here.

      Fraud also sounds better than hoax.  “I was the victim of a fraud,” elicits more sympathy than, “I fell for a hoax.”

      A fraud or hoax can only work when the mark is credulous.  So much for journalistic instinct.

      But maybe I’m reading his headline wrongly.  “I was taken in by a fraud,” might be referring to his employment arrangements at the Sunday Age.  Oh yeah, I get it now, Terry…

      Posted by anthony_r on 2006 08 05 at 08:45 PM • permalink


    1. If I had a shit as odious as Terry Macbeth Lane, I’d be off to the arse doctor quick smart- a sure sign of something malignant somewhere in my gizzards.

      He really is a lefty/luvvie straight out od central casting, isn’t he? Maybe Webdiary could benefit from his unusal ethical standards and laisse’ faire style, making it as successful, profitable and highly regarded as the Brackistan organ of Fairfax.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 08 05 at 08:53 PM • permalink


      An Israeli has been stabbed to death by a gang of men who jumped out of a car and cornered him outside a general store in Bondi.


      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 08 05 at 08:59 PM • permalink


    1. Well spotted dan you beat me by about 5 minutes!
      Poor bugger

      Any chance the “hate crimes” squad will take a break from prosecuting Christian preachers and look at these chaps?

      /hell freezes over.

      Any word on wether the victim was dressed distinctively? Hassidic (spelling) Or just unlucky?

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 08 05 at 09:17 PM • permalink


    1. The Macbeth fraud is plausible because it fits the facts, which is why I was willingly deceived by the lurid when I should have based my argument on the trustworthy but less colourful evidence.

      I heard that Terry Lane owns a poodle and orally services goats.

      Hey, it’s plausible and fits the facts.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 08 05 at 09:30 PM • permalink


    1. #36 – Salty: Well said, and thanks for making that point.

      I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that I find anything truly noble about a position that amounts to nothing more than “there is nothing in the world worth fighting for”.  It was an admittedly failed attempt to convey that it is only Lane’s insupportably facile and self-regarding sentiment that could be behind his belief that that Jesse MacBeth’s lies have any plausibility whatsoever.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2006 08 05 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. “plausible because it fits the facts”
      No, he thinks it’s plausible because it fits his opinion.
      After his apologies and teeth-gnashing Terry still doesn’t get it.

      Posted by Observer on 2006 08 05 at 10:17 PM • permalink


    1. #22 Kyda, you put your finger on the immoral effects of the media’s postmodernist thinking and training. “Reconstruction”, a la Stalinist photos, is now acceptable apparently.
      We are now living in a dangerous propaganda era of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’, conscious distortion of reality -for money or political advantage.

      The exploitation by The Independent of a staged ghoulish picture on http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/08/qana-directors-cut.html
      is breathtaking accompanied by text saying ironically
      ‘How Can We Let This GO ON’

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 08 05 at 10:20 PM • permalink


    1. Why do we constantly read that 100,000+ civilians have been killed in Iraq? Because those recycling this statistically-contemptible study WANT to believe it.

      Put another way, they want 100,000+ people to be dead.  Just think about that for a moment.  The death of 100,000+ men, women, and children is one of their fondest desires.  Not the end of a brutal tyranny, not a democratic Iraq—100,000+ corpses is what they want to see.

      It reminds me, on a much larger scale, of the gloom that spread through the left when DNA testing proved that a man executed for a brutal multiple murder had indeed committed that brutal multiple murder.  They had so desperately, desperately wanted an innocent man to’ve gone to the chair.

      The left, once again, has defined new depths to disgusting, contemptible, loathsome, and vile.

      Posted by Achillea on 2006 08 05 at 10:21 PM • permalink


    1. noooooo!  I swear I closed the font tags!  I did!  I did!


      Posted by Achillea on 2006 08 05 at 10:22 PM • permalink


    1. Hey, PRESTO!

      Posted by paco on 2006 08 05 at 10:27 PM • permalink


    1. I intend to print that i am the worlds greatest lover, can lick my own eyebrows and breathe through my ears.
      Then after Ive been exposed as a fraud (after much testing) state earnestly Im sorry for my error but that the reality is it should be true because I want it to be.

      The Terry Macbeth method in action.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 08 05 at 10:30 PM • permalink


    1. Re 49.

      I suppose he was on R&R in b/w brutally occupying Palestinian territory or assuaging his insatiable bloodlust in the Lebanon.

      As the Inquisitor in Blackadder adduced, as there was no blood handy, milk would have to do.

      Posted by dover_beach on 2006 08 05 at 11:06 PM • permalink


    1. Advice for Mr. Toiled & Troubled Lane:
      Before you write about the Qana incident, for example, make sure you read this
      and this,
      and (as a more general rule) don’t believe photos like these!
      Then, when the hurlyburly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won, you might not be told, in Shakespearean vein, to take thy face hence.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 08 05 at 11:49 PM • permalink


    1. There is a festival of masturbation being held in London at present (true! – see Arts & Letters Daily) Terry McBeth Lane should be guest of honour.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 08 06 at 12:13 AM • permalink


    1. 60.  Thanks blogstrop. Charles Johnson continues to be a voice of sanity.

      Shocking as it continues to be, there is an increasingly virulent minority of Western Civilization which hates itself, hates everything it stands for, and actively seeks its own destruction at the hands of a 7th century fundamentalist desert survival cult. Notwithstanding the fact that the fundamentalist cult opposes everything the self-haters purport to stand for.  Right after 9-11 I regarded the “why do they hate us” crowd as a few cranks who happened to occupy valuable journalistic real estate and hence had megaphones the size of which was inversely proportional to their intellect.  We have certainly excoriated them and their alcolytes here, and called them on their false assumptions, to our credit.  But it has not been enough.  The most dangerous enemy is not the Islamist self detonator, because that is a dead-end proposition, but rather the self doubters among us.  Those who consider all moral distinctions to be illusory must somehow have their minds changed, and I shudder to think what that will require.


      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 08 06 at 12:29 AM • permalink


    1. </i>

      Unfrackingbelievable. I don’t suppose he could write a new column eloquently laying out how these new “facts” prove that soldiers are in fact in the habit of murdering innocent civilians in bomb shelters?

      How do people like this look in the mirror?

      Posted by Sonetka on 2006 08 06 at 12:38 AM • permalink


    1. I have the feeling that a new verb is emerging, in the fisking and pilgering tradition.

      Can anyone believe that one would want to deliberately emulate the likes of Fisk and Pilger. For shame! For shame!

      Posted by dover_beach on 2006 08 06 at 12:46 AM • permalink



    1. Achillea: it wasn’t you, it was the guy before you. I’ve removed the offending code.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 08 06 at 01:20 AM • permalink


    1. #66 –

      Oh.  Whew!  Now I just need to get back in from this 15th story ledge …

      Posted by Achillea on 2006 08 06 at 01:24 AM • permalink


    1. Well, he didn’t write verbatim what I predicted –

      “The substance of my article was undeniably correct, I just referenced the wrong sources” – Terry “Macbeth” Lane, Sunday Age, 6 August 2006

      but he came close –

      “I should have quoted from the BBC report in March: “Recent figures from the campaign group Iraq Body Count put the minimum number of civilians killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago at between 33,710 and 37,832.”
      “This unchallenged statement doesn’t have the visceral impact of Macbeth’s fantasies, but I should have used this report”.

      Minor oversight on my part. Nothing to worry about. Carry on with what you were doing. Situation normal.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 08 06 at 01:50 AM • permalink


    1. Here is a dose of reality for Lane -in the newspapers this weekend.
      Criminal lawyer Wade McDonald was fined and ordered to pay five hundred dollars damages after climbing onto the P.M.‘s car after a Liberal Party meeting as part of a violent anti Israel demo.
      A magistrate said of “protest” organizer Dominic McKenna “it was reported around the world-it brought shame to Australia.”
      The paper also apologised for stating that Israelis were fighting Lebanese supporters.
      It said demonstraters said there were no Israelis at the protest.

      Posted by crash on 2006 08 06 at 02:23 AM • permalink


    1. How’s this for media manipulation…Pallywood!

      Posted by James Waterton on 2006 08 06 at 04:43 AM • permalink


    1. Could Terry Macbeth Lane be so dumb? Could anyone? I’ve got money on ASIO putting something in his water…

      Posted by Hanyu on 2006 08 06 at 05:00 AM • permalink


    1. Woohoo! Michelle Malkinused my further faked fake foto!

      —Nick (aka LGF Commenter)

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 08 06 at 05:20 AM • permalink


    1. I for one welcome our new   Thin Man LGF Commenter Overlords

      Posted by geoff on 2006 08 06 at 07:13 AM • permalink


    1. UPDATE. A photographic example of true fakery from Reuters.

      I would like to draw everybody’s attention to the photo published in The Age along with a review of Loewenstein’s book.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 08 06 at 07:30 AM • permalink


    1. Please forgive Nick, he’s star struck.


      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 08 06 at 07:32 AM • permalink


    1. The photo was in Aug 05 The Age

      You can access this pic by going to Loewenstein’s blog and clicking on the review of his book by The Age.

      Look at the background smoke. I’ve worked a little with photoshop and I have to say this looks to be clearly photoshopped to exaggerate the smoke. It is symmetrical and repetitive—a little odd me thinks.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 08 06 at 07:35 AM • permalink


    1. #70, thanks for that link.  We’ve all long known we couldn’t trust the words coming out of the MSM.  Now we realize (or at least I do, catching up with the more tech-savvy among you) that we can’t even trust the images.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 08 06 at 11:17 AM • permalink


    1. #77 We’ve all long known we couldn’t trust the words coming out of the MSM.

      Truer words were never spoken. How disconcerting that the fifth column is really made up largely of columnists these days (plus their creative photographer flunkies). For what it’s worth, it looks like the photographer has been suspended. Go to Jawa and scroll down (currently, it’s the second post).

      Posted by paco on 2006 08 06 at 12:36 PM • permalink


    1. For Terry Macbeth Lane:Out, Out, Damned Spot.

      Posted by stats on 2006 08 06 at 02:02 PM • permalink


    1. No more sleeps and just 11-half hours to go until Media Watch does a FULL EPISODE on the Terry Lane ratshit journalism story.
      I’m absolutely tingling with excitement at Media Watch’s harsh and uncompromising expose of Lane’s craven stupidity. Don’t forget 9.30pm tonight ABC TV. Wow!

      Posted by Bonmot on 2006 08 06 at 08:15 PM • permalink


    1. Yep.  MW did a great job.  Not.

      The only thing they covered was the Behind the News story.  Their explanation: there’s no way to please everybody.

      Posted by murph on 2006 08 07 at 08:26 AM • permalink


    1. Quote of the night from Media Crock:

      “Allegations of bias more often says something about the person complaining of the bias” or words to that effect. Bit rich coming from the ABC. This was repeated a number of times, before she went on to break the scandal of the Illawarra Mockery using a meat industry press release for some news.

      Terry Lane? Not on your life!

      Best part was the start, where the Poowoomba Mayor got caught making a comment about being raped by 1000 arabs, right after a 4 Corners story on teenage girls in Islamic Iran being raped by old men and then hanged for crimes against chastity under sharia law.

      You couldn’t make this stuff up.

      Posted by arbee on 2006 08 07 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. Oops, should have said “Bit rich coming from Media Watch”.

      Posted by arbee on 2006 08 07 at 06:20 PM • permalink


    1. #82: arbee,

      Just a point of clarification: that should be Terry Macbeth Lane.

      Posted by Hanyu on 2006 08 07 at 08:32 PM • permalink


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