There's a story over at the Huffington Post today about how the US government worked to fabricate a story about Iranian aggression toward the US in order to gain public support for conflict in Iran. The story is entitled, "How the mainstream media echoed a fabricated story."
The potential ramifications of the media's inability to ask basic questions about the story, to seek multiple sources and angles for the story, and willingness to run fear mongering stories vs seeking truth are quite dramatic in this instance.
The story led the author to write:
"In all of these cases the administration's intention has been to keep Iran as a threat in the public eye by manipulation, distortion, and fabrication of stories.....
"Fortunately, there have been lots of outlets criticizing the fake story of speedboats such as independent journalists, bloggers and activists. But mainstream media outlets such as CNN, Fox and CBS did not cover the reality behind the story properly.
"This sort of behavior calls into question the reliability of mainstream media. That's one of the reasons that it has become harder and harder to understand what is news and what is propaganda. "
If the media is so irresponsible in its coverage of something as important as potential war, why does anyone believe that they would do a thorough background check and question different angles of something as simple as a 'pit bull" bite story. They don't. Which is why folks who rely on media reports on the "pit bull" issue end of finding themselves ill-informed and making bad conclusions and decisions.