Let us begin:
In 2011, the U.S. inspector general released a report stating that the Justice Department had spent $16 per muffin at a law enforcement conference, and the media immediately went berserk. Senators were calling for resignations. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly called it "a symbol of how wasteful the feds are with our tax dollars," and accused Obama of craving more muffin money. Others were simply perplexed as to how one would even make a $16 muffin. How did the government think they could get away with this?
CBS NewsPerhaps it's a filet mignon muffin?
Well, maybe because it wasn't true. It took the hotel chain three days to clear up the mess, by explaining that the $16 price tag in fact paid for a full continental breakfast, including "fresh fruit, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tax, and tips." They only invoiced it as "muffins" because it was a shorter description, and the half-stoned waiter who keyed it in probably didn't think the bill would be scrutinized on television for several days. The inspector general was forced to retract and revise his department's initial audit, and the media moved on.
Or at least they would have in a sane world.
According to a LexisNexis search, of the 223 stories covering "Muffingate" in the first week, 178 didn't include the correction. Of those stories, 36 were published after the audit was revised, and they still didn't bother to explain the mistake. Let's just be thankful they weren't banana muffins, or this could have turned into a serious international incident.
Steven Assarian is a librarian. He writes stuff here. Zanandi is on Twitter. Wes Corwin is a stand-up comedian currently based in Dallas. You can like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or if you live in Dallas and enjoy comedy and alcohol, check out his weekly show at Noble Rey Brewery on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. He also has a Real Rob fan podcast called When Keeping It Real Goes Rob, which has more listeners than it should.
Celebrate the lack of sanity in today's media by munching on a bag of Doritos. Just do it.
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