I, like everyone else, spend a lot of time attempting to decipher facts from fiction.  Whether I am looking to purchase an automobile, trying to determine which stain remover will work best on my berber carpet, or reading a news report, I am attempting to figure out the facts so that I can make an informed choice as a consumer or citizen.  Most businesses and individuals will claim that they are giving you the facts; indeed their credibility will depend on it.  Therefore, when I recently read David Brooks’s op-ed piece about the cheap, unnecessary, and “got you” nature of the facts that were reported by Michael Hastings in his article published in Rolling Stone Magazine on General Stanley McChrystal, I was flabbergasted.  Rarely do I have the chance to encounter someone in such a respected position as Brooks who openly assaults the truth.

I, like Brooks, am not always a big fan of facts.  Michael Hastings, who had a privileged position as an embedded journalist with General McChrystal, dared to expose some unpleasant facts.  As a trial lawyer, I often had to deal with unpleasant facts concerning my clients.  In my personal life, I sometimes have to face unpleasant facts.  While I can choose to ignore or disregard any undesirable information, I will not openly admit that I want to avoid the truth.  For justice to prevail and society to progress, the facts must come out.  On a personal level, I generally feel that to improve my life I need to search for the facts.  Therefore, I pour over newspapers, consumer reports, blogs, and other sources of information to find them.  So what do I discover?  Truth appears hard to get.  Facts appear scarce.  The world is full of spin.  It therefore makes your trusted sources of information that much more valuable.

What I found most disturbing about David Brooks’s op-ed piece is that rather than showing any regard for facts, he fears their consequences.  Facts may lead to, as Brooks would say, another scalp on the wall.  But if journalists are not expected to report facts then why not read the National Enquirer or watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel to get the news?  Without a reasonable expectation of getting the facts, news becomes nothing more than mere entertainment.

In our free speech happy and First Amendment proud society where we read and hear countless stories, the public, the judges, render a verdict on the multiple versions of the facts before them.  Brooks could have chosen to dispute the facts presented in the Rolling Stone Magazine article.  Instead, he appears to accept the facts and then lament that they were ever exposed.  He champions silence as the best and most dignified exercise of First Amendment rights by an embedded reporter due to the perceived inconvenience that the journalist’s story may create.  Does Brooks have a compelling point?  Maybe he does.  But as one who is trying to discover the facts, he just made it on my blacklist.

David Brooks is an outstanding writer; this is probably one reason why he has a job with the New York Times.  I am sure that English professors would laud his ability to construct sentences and paragraphs.  However, if I want facts, I will view his columns with great suspicion.  Whose back is he covering and what interests is he protecting?  What I do know is that if I ever need to read quality fiction, I can always count on David Brooks.

70 Responses to “Rolling Stone’s Ugly Facts and David Brooks’s Beautiful Fiction”

  1. Emma Keller says:

    I knew our politics would still be the same. It gives me comfort to know that there are still people with a regard for the truth.

  2. Emma,

    What an amazing blast from the past! Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. Emma Keller says:

    Can’t remember if I got your e-mail address so I’m using this forum to send you something. http://www.truthinjustice.org/Toobin.pdf This is the New Yorker article by Jeff Toobin re Peasley. It reads like a novel.

  4. Emma,

    After reading the the astonishing article by Jeff Toobin that you cite to, I have a better understanding of why my gut told me that it was time to leave Arizona in general and Tucson in particular. What is amazing is that I am familiar with and have seen many of the “characters” that are referred to in the article. It is amazing that so many of these folks have such big heads despite living in a no name place out in the boonies. If only the story had been a fictional account, I could just wake up and say that I had a really bad dream. However, as we both know from personal experience, there are several other untold jaw-dropping stories about the miscarriage of justice in Tucson.

  5. James Pirtle says:

    As a military veteran I have a deep respect and understanding of the importance of chain of command and civilian leadership of our military. History has proven, e.g., Truman’s sacking of MacArthur, that chain of command and civilian leadership is sacrosanct and violations should be dealt with swiftly and decisively. To have the top general in a war zone undermine the civilian leadership of the war effort warrants an immediate dismissal of that general, as was properly done in this case. That said general was careless and arrogant about what statements he and his staff shared with a reporter evidences more than insubordination, but the kind of character and discipline (or lack thereof) that has no place anywhere in the chain of command, let alone at the top. Thus, I find the reporting incisive, warranted, necessary, and nothing close to just looking to put another scalp on the wall.

  6. James,

    Thank you very much for sharing your insight as a military veteran.

  7. Amit says:

    I haven’t read David Brooks’ article, but clearly there is no disputing the facts in the case of the Rolling Stones article. President Obama made the right political and practical decision in ending MacArthur’s service.

    Chandola makes valid points regarding the nature of society: so much hype, so much spin, so much time necessary for us to decipher, then determine the cold, hard reality – the facts.

  8. Amit,

    Thank you very much for your comments. Yes, the MacArthurs of the world live on. Obama had little political choice in dismissing McChrystal.

  9. Amit says:

    Sorry for my error. I meant McChrystal, not MacArthur.

  10. Amit,

    I figured you had McChrystal in mind. However, to think of MacArthur under the circumstances was quite natural.

  11. Youre not the typical blog writer, man. You definitely have something powerful to increase the net. Your design is so strong that you could almost get away with being a bad writer, but youre even awesome at expressing that which you have to say. Keep up the good work man!

  12. wizualizacje says:

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful information specifically the last part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  13. video moto says:

    This was interesting to read, thanks.

  14. This is such a great list. I will have to ponder some of these–I have some of our own that we do as well as some of those on your list we already do

  15. oakley nz says:

    Thank you for your article, I feel that my life and find you how. Your blog is like a mirror.

  16. The actual amazing brand new content retain me coming right here again and again. Many thanks so much.

  17. Huey Lothrop says:

    Think about We research that 2 times. While I’m not really since completed about this topic, I complement together with your closings merely since they include upwards. Offers Many thanks and also goodluck to you.

  18. Kino online says:

    Cze¶?, widz? ?e trafi?em na bardzo interesuj±cy serwis. B?d? twoim sta?ym czytelnikiem :]

  19. Great post Tahnks admin :) bb as.

  20. Noah says:

    Good day. Very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find a lot of helpful information here within the post. Thanks for sharing ..

  21. Hy. I sincerely want to observe that what you say here is really good post so I have post http://rightlegalhelp.net/blog/rolling-stones-ugly-facts-david-brookss-beautiful-fiction on my Twitter profile so all can have the chance to enjoy. I was glad when I saw this tittle, Rolling Stone’s Ugly Facts and David Brooks’s Beautiful Fiction | rightlegalhelp.net, on google search, and i was so becouse at long last I found what I was looking for. All the best

  22. Great one, Still looking for free greates articles, I hope you posted more nice articles again so it will makes some people know better than beforethank you very much!

  23. Roscoe Punch says:

    nice article here, Still looking for free greates articles, I hope you posted another useful post again so it will makes the other guys know better than beforethank you very much!

  24. Ileen Weeter says:

    good share, Still looking for free best articles, I hope you posted another useful post again so it will makes the other guys know better than beforethank you very much!

  25. Wen Keppler says:

    good share, I’m looking for free best articles, I hope you posted another useful post again so it will makes some people know better than beforethank you very much!

  26. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Many thanks!

  27. Thank you your submission, it is interesting and compelling. I discovered my way here through Google, I will come back one more time :)

  28. I really want to know the software you used for the images of your site. Thanks for the reply.

  29. uggz says:

    I truly wanted to post a simple word in order to appreciate you for the stunning tips and hints you are placing here. My time consuming internet research has at the end of the day been paid with reliable insight to share with my good friends. I ‘d point out that we site visitors actually are definitely fortunate to live in a superb site with so many perfect professionals with interesting advice. I feel very much fortunate to have seen your entire weblog and look forward to plenty of more awesome times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.

  30. Jodefs says:

    This really is unbelievable. I am immensely fascinated with what I read.

  31. Boyd Chafins says:

    It’s onerous to search out educated folks on this subject, but you sound like you already know what you’re speaking about! ThanksYou must participate in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

  32. A number of particularly good points! I value you posting this article and the rest of the website is really wonderful as well.

  33. Carmine Brum says:

    And I re-tweeted!

  34. Oh…My…God…! Unbelievable! Cool story bro :D We Want MOORE! :D

  35. biuteria srebrna says:

    Keep up the fantastic work, I read few posts on this internet site and I think that your site is real interesting and contains sets of excellent information.

  36. Beaumont Zemanek says:

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a perfect web site. http://www.gianluigic2233.net

  37. excellent publish, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  38. Thanks for making me to gain new strategies about computers. I also have belief that certain of the best ways to help keep your notebook computer in primary condition is with a hard plastic material case, and also shell, that will fit over the top of one’s computer. A lot of these protective gear usually are model distinct since they are made to fit perfectly in the natural outer shell. You can buy all of them directly from owner, or through third party sources if they are intended for your laptop computer, however its not all laptop will have a shell on the market. Yet again, thanks for your suggestions.

  39. MS Raciborz says:

    Great article! I like this post!

  40. Salut ! C’est vraiment un étonnant article, je te remercie de l’avoir partagé. Pour te remercier, je te donne une ligne pour pouvoir réaliser du card sharing : F: ram1036j sam1036wchv 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #22/10/2011. C’est gratuit, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  41. Coucou ! C’est vraiment un étonnant post, je te remercie de l’avoir partagé. Pour te remercier, voilà une ligne pour pouvoir exécuter du card sharing : F: ram1457h ram1457trey 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #27/02/2012. C’est cadeau, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  42. Wes says:

    Excellent story. I used to be checking continuously to this weblog and I’m really impressed! Very helpful info, especially the final part. I really want this kind of info. I was seeking this kind of knowledge for a period. Thank you & best wishes.

  43. I value the blog send. Fantastic.

  44. This is a site that contains links such as US Friendly Casinos to web sites that contain gambling related content. Websites that offer this kind of games should make you aware that they are legally licensed by the country, region or province in which their server resides.

  45. baidu censor says:

    Other countries censor content and not just rogue regimes such as the Iranian mullocracy. Poor people! http://www.baidu.com

  46. Haley Azahar says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

  47. That is the suitable blog for anyone who wants to seek out out about this topic. You notice a lot its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  48. Thank you Eric, Many thanks for those templates.

  49. I have to express my appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this setting. Right after scouting through the the net and obtaining principles which were not productive, I believed my entire life was gone. Living minus the approaches to the difficulties you have fixed by way of this post is a crucial case, and those which may have badly affected my career if I had not come across the website. That knowledge and kindness in playing with all things was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a step like this. I can now look forward to my future. Thanks very much for this impressive and effective help. I won’t hesitate to refer the website materace to anybody who would like guidelines on this situation.

  50. Hello, I simply remarked that your current Rss feed isn’t really working properly. Assumed I would let you know!

  51. *I was very pleased to find this web-site.

  52. I’m confident that other folks will receive a smashing utilize on this writing. decent creation though. Well

  53. Generally I don’t find out publish for sites, but I prefer to claim that this write-up really required me personally to carry out consequently! A person’s producing taste has been pleasantly surprised me. Thanks a lot, quite great article.

  54. This is great information that you gave us!

  55. mytheatre says:

    Cccam server available for Dreambox and other boxes. Only €80 per yr for all sly channels inc sports movies childrens channels with international channels . All adult channels with every pay per view sporting event covered.

  56. Although maximum site owners are familiar with these concepts, but they may lack the expertise
    to do it the correctly. As the culture of internet slang grew, it took on new origins from pop culture
    or video games and television. A internet marketing business, in a
    nutshell, a business that’s designed to run on the internet via a website.

  57. John says:

    My family all the time say that I am wasting my time here at web, excep I know I am
    getting know-how daily by rrading such pleasant articles or

  58. I have been reading out some of your articles and i must say nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

  59. magnificent issues altogether, you simply received a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your publish that you simply made a few days ago? Any sure?

  60. I have been checking out some of your articles and i must say pretty good stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

  61. Matt Hughes says:

    I will discover that you are adding any a great deal of endeavours directly into your website. Hold submitting the excellent do the job. Several really helpful information in that room. Bookmarked. Pleasant to discover your website. Many thanks!

  62. Anne Howard says:

    I was incredibly prompted to uncover this website. I desired to be able to thank you just for this specific examine. When i definitely savored every little bit of this in addition to I have you bookmarked to check out fresh goods you article.

  63. I enjoy, lead to I discovered just what I used to be having a look for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  64. David Morgan says:

    It is fun to play solo,and even more fun to play with a friend.My friend shared in my opinion, as I would learn coincidentally.Jetpack Joyride Hack Device is working on all Android and i OS units.

  65. Ava Turner says:

    You also have to be willing to put in the time and effort to build your business because no matter what you have heard, it will take time and lots of patience. This anonymity is very important, as people generally don’t like to be rushed in making a decision, especially if it is an important, as well as costly, one. A murdered man in the game, which is covered with blood falling to the ground, is presented as a success of player who killed him, and so is the child’s grasp of some new features: aggressiveness, propensity for violence and killing, the need for dominance, empathy into the world of imagination and an escape from reality.

  66. You have very well information on this website

  67. I like this site – its so usefull and helpfull

  68. Keep up the good job and bringing in the group!

  69. Youu will bee hard pressed to find a woman wanting a dress that isn’t in style,
    and absolutely no one wants to put her body into a dredss stained
    with your sweat. Wrap your bow as sooin ass for the waistline and tie
    inside a tiny bend off-center, permittging the particular closes in the lace ornament in order
    to knee length. The contour annd setting of the dress’s neckline
    will be very visible, as every eye will of course be trained on the have to deal
    with of the attractive bride , and consequently, your neckline.

Leave a Reply