Here is an article from a respected Silicon Valley
source on what really happened in Holland. It does
put the news media (both Dutch and American) in
perspective in putting out the sorts of misinformation
that causes misunderstandings and suspicion. Note that
the Dutch media are also said to have put information
out without regard to its validity which puts paid to
any idea of nuance in European politics. Living in
Canada, I can say that this description also captures
the Canadian media as well.
> [log in to unmask] (DaveNet email)@scripting.com> on
> 05/10/2002 10:33:11 AM
> Please respond to [log in to unmask]
> Sent by: <[log in to unmask]>
> To: "DaveNet World" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Adam Curry: The Big Lie
> DaveNet essay, "Adam Curry: The Big Lie", released
> on 5/10/2002; 7:31:41 AM
> ***Intro by Dave Winer
> From time to time I run guest essays, written by
> people who have an
> experience that relates to the topics we cover. On
> September 14 last year I
> ran a piece by Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan. I've run
> essays by Bill Gates
> and Esther Dyson. Today, permit me to introduce Adam
> Curry , who is a
> personal friend, and was in Amsterdam this week
> gathering first-hand
> reports about the assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a
> political candidate who
> Adam knew and supported.
> The first report I heard about the Fortuyn
> assassination, on KQED, the
> National Public Radio outlet in San Francisco, said
> that Fortuyn was a
> right-wing extremist, in the mode of France's Le
> Pen. Having visited the
> Netherlands four times in the last two years, I was
> shocked to hear that.
> The Netherlands is a singularly liberal and peaceful
> country. It didn't
> make sense. I put it out of my mind and went on with
> my day. Then I read on
> Adam's weblog  that this is not correct, that
> Fortuyn was not even
> As the days passed, Adam's site became central to a
> discussion that has
> reached into all corners of the weblog world. The
> wrong story continued to
> propogate. What is going on with the media, what
> kind of information are
> they distributing, and why?
> I asked Adam for permission to run an essay that he
> wrote on Wednesday, and
> he graciously gave it. The rest of this piece was
> written by Adam Curry,
> [log in to unmask]
> Monday's killing of historian and politician Pim
> Fortuyn brought an entire
> nation to its feet. After the initial shockwave that
> was felt throughout
> all communities in this tiny trading nation near the
> North Sea, the public
> showed its true colors. That of a peaceful, tolerant
> It was a feeling of disbelief. How could this
> happen, in the Netherlands of
> all places? This has never happened in modern Dutch
> politics. You hear it
> everywhere: This isn't Holland, Not the Dutch way.
> Many speak of "American
> drama on our shores." I'm pretty sure that statement
> is meant to reflect
> the shock, anger and sorrow of 9-11.
> Everyone agrees that physical harm and violence are
> not to be tolerated.
> Like most modern cultures, opinion and speech are
> protected by the
> constitution. Ironically it is precisely this
> freedom of speech that killed
> ***Real Events
> The tragedy struck outside the studios of Radio 3,
> which is the Dutch
> national Contemporary Hit (top 40) Radio station. As
> part of campaigning
> for the May 15th elections, ten of the top
> candidates were invited to be on
> the afternoon drive show with Ruud de Wild . That
> is a BNN  show, and
> my Friday night co-host at BNN is also a player on
> that afternoon show.
> Jeroen Kijk in de Vegte  called me about 10
> minutes after it happened,
> 15 minutes before ambulances and police arrived at
> the scene. He was
> describing facts to me as I was watching TV
> reporters spew out one mistake
> after another.
> It was a very confusing day, particularly because I
> was able to get
> first-hand information and was loyally passing that
> on to blog space,
> omitting some details out of respect for my friends
> caught in the middle of
> this drama.
> But the TV painted a different picture. They were so
> out of control that
> the news desks were reporting anything that came in
> as fact and true.
> Disclaimed of course from time to time.
> And when it's on the news, or in the paper, it's the
> truth. Right?
> ***What is Truth
> I've been in the public eye for more than 18 years,
> in Europe and the US.
> I've enjoyed fame and recognition, which comes at a
> That price isn't privacy, as many would have you
> believe, the price is the
> cost of the truth.
> I've been interviewed hundreds of times. By
> broadcasters, publications,
> newspapers, magazines, school papers. You name it,
> they's interviewed me.
> Not once, ever, has the result been factually
> And that's the battle, you feel so violated and
> wronged when someone or
> something of authority states an untruth about you.
> It takes tremendous
> amount of effort to correct or re-direct the flow of
> the press.
> And the only way you can do that is by doing more
> interviews to correct the
> mistakes, which in turn breeds more untruths and
> mistakes. A never ending
> vicous circle of fenzy feeding with reporters from
> all lines of media
> copying rumours, half truths and heresay without
> even bothering to check
> facts and background. Of course there's no time for
> all of that, we need to
> make a deadline, presses are rolling, or were about
> to lose our satellite
> window and most important of all:
> We need to attract and keep the audience. For there
> is no better drama than
> real life itself.
> ***The Truth about Pim Fortuyn
> The bitter pill was yet to come for the Dutch. As
> the world's media started
> to report on the tragedy came more disbelief: Pim
> Fortuyn was being
> described by the world press as a "Hard Right
> Winger", "The Dutch Le Pen",
> "anti-muslim", "Racist". The only correct
> description I read or heard was
> "Populist". That Pim was indeed.
> It was stunning to read the New York Times report
> "Fortuyn's rise mirrored
> a right-wing resurgence in several European
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