One fine day a rabbit came loping across the fields.  Soon he passed by one of the flock of wild parrots.

“Friend,” the parrot asked.  “What is that racket I seem to hear over in the thicket yonder?”

“I didn’t see for sure,” the rabbit said, “but I caught glimpses of something black and white.”

“Those Holstein bulls are at it again!”  the parrot squawked.  “They’re a menace!  I must go spread the news.”  But before the parrot could take wing, the rabbit interrupted.  “It was too small for a bull.  And it stank.  I think it was a skunk.”

“You shouldn’t rush to judgment like that,” the parrot replied severely.  “You should wait until all the facts are in.  And, frankly, the way you’ve smeared all skunks with the same brush, I wouldn’t be surprised if questions start being asked whether you are a bigot.”

Moral: One of the media’s irresponsible powers is the power to decide what is representative and what is atypical, and what level of proof is needed to make judgments.

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