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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Politics & Religion => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on November 16, 2006, 05:35:13 PM

Title: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 16, 2006, 05:35:13 PM
Like it says.  We open with a Time Magazine editor apparently getting caught changing the facts.
Title: CBS using Al Qaeda as an unattributed source?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 01, 2007, 08:37:39 AM
CBS using Al Qaeda as an unattributed source?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 11, 2007, 05:04:37 PM
AP alters CAIR quote in story about Ayaan Hirsi Aliposted at 7:36 pm on February 10, 2007 by Allahpundit
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly From one of our very best tipsters, RLW, comes a great little catch of which I’m not quite sure what to make. Quote #1:

Quote #2:

The first quote comes from an AP article written by William C. Mann and entitled “Critic of Islam finds new home in U.S.” that moved on the wire at 2:05 a.m. The second is from an AP article by the same author with the same title that moved at 10:14 a.m. I compared the text of the first story to the text of the second side by side in MS Word and the two are completely identical except for the CAIR quote.
It’s possible that Mann collected both quotes from Hooper contemporaneously and changed from the first to the second unbidden, simply because he liked the second one better. Except … Hooper’s making the same point in each. He’s just being more politic about it in the second instance by dropping the word “hate.” You can imagine him saying during their interview, “You know what? I went too far. Let me rephrase that last comment” and then giving Mann the second quote — but if that’s what happened, why did the first quote appear in the story that moved at 2:05?
What we’re looking at here, I suspect (but obviously can’t prove), is Hooper having made the first comment during their interview, then gotten buyer’s remorse when he saw how shrill it looked in print. So he called up the AP hours after the fact and asked them to replace it with a more “nuanced” version — and the AP agreed to do so.
Which brings us to our exit questions. First, am I missing some other obvious explanation? And second, if not, is giving sources a do-over on quotes after a story’s been published standard practice in the industry? I’m asking in earnest. I honestly don’t know the answer.
Update: The AP’s Statement of News Values and Principles says, “For corrections on live, online stories, we overwrite the previous version. We send separate corrective stories online as warranted.” This isn’t a correction, though. Unless Mann mistranscribed it — which is exceedingly hard to believe — he’s simply replacing a harder quote with a softer one. Why?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2007, 07:13:15 AM
Television Takeover
U.S.-financed Al-Hurra is becoming a platform for terrorists.

Sunday, March 18, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Fighting to create a secular democracy in Iraq, parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi had come to rely on at least one TV network to help further freedom: U.S. taxpayer-financed Al-Hurra.

Now, however, he's concerned. The broadcaster he had seen as a stalwart ally has done an about-face. "Until now, we were so happy with Al-Hurra. It was taking stands against corruption, for human rights, and for peace. But not anymore."

Stories that he believes cry out for further investigation, such as recent arrests of those accused of supporting the terrorists in Iraq, are instead getting mere news-ticker mentions at the bottom of the screen. And Arab voices for freedom, which used to have a home on Al-Hurra, are noticeably absent. "They're driving out the liberals," he complains.

Mr. Alusi is not the only one concerned about the recent changes at Al-Hurra. Ken Tomlinson, the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors--the congressionally-created panel charged with overseeing Al-Hurra, among other government-funded broadcasters--is currently demanding answers about the network's decision last December to broadcast most of a speech by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah.

Sitting up straight and raising his index finger, he states emphatically, "It's the single worst decision I've witnessed in all my years in international broadcasting."

The airing of the Nasrallah speech is a sign of the network's new direction since it was taken over by a longtime CNN producer, Larry Register, last November. Launched in February 2004, Al-Hurra broadcasts three separate feeds: to Europe, Arab nations and one for Iraq. The network is supposed to be a key component of our public diplomacy to the Arab world. Its mission statement calls for it to showcase the American political process, and just as important, report on things that get little attention on other Arabic networks, such as human-rights abuses and government corruption.
Within weeks of becoming news director, Mr. Register put his own stamp on the network. Producers and on-air talent quickly understood that change was underway. Investigations into Arab government wrongdoing or oppression were no longer in vogue, and the ban on turning the airwaves over to terrorists was lifted. For those who had chafed under Mr. Register's predecessor--who curbed the desire of many on staff to make Al-Hurra more like al-Jazeera--the new era was welcomed warmly.

"Everybody feels emboldened. Register changed the atmosphere around here," notes one staffer. "Register is trying to pander to Arab sympathies," says another.

The cultural shift inside the newsroom is evident in the on-air product. In the past several months, Al-Hurra has aired live speeches from Mr. Nasrallah and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, and it broadcast an interview with an alleged al Qaeda operative who expressed joy that 9/11 rubbed "America's nose in the dust."

While a handful of unfortunate decisions could be isolated, these actions appear to be part of Mr. Register's news vision. Former news director Mouafac Harb, a Lebanese-born American citizen, was not shy about his disdain for terrorists and had a firm policy against giving them a platform. But Mr. Register didn't wait long to allow Hamas officials on the air to discuss Palestinian politics.

At a staff meeting announcing the reversal of the ban on terrorists as guests, Mr. Register "bragged" about his personal relationship with Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, a top Hamas official, according to someone who was present. Contacted on his cell phone for comment, Mr. Register declined, indicating that he couldn't spare even two minutes anytime in the coming days.

Perhaps it is because Mr. Register is so casual in his attitude to terrorists that interviewers now toss softball questions to fiery anti-Western guests, while also taking digs at one of America's closest Middle Eastern allies, Israel.
The new Al-Hurra was on full display Feb. 9, when riots broke out following Israel's implementation of security measures that limited access to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In roughly two hours of breathless live "breaking news" coverage--which outdistanced al-Jazeera by 30 minutes--Al-Hurra's Muslim guests vilified Israel, and one spun conspiracy theories about the Jewish state's "plans" to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque. No doubt the Islamic talking heads were egged on by the Al-Hurra anchors asking questions such as, "Do you think that the timing of these actions is as innocent as Israel pretends?" (Translations were provided by a fluent Arabic-speaking U.S. government official.)

This powder keg of a panel included Ikrima Sabri, imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, who is best known for his tenure as Yasser Arafat's hand-picked mufti of Jerusalem. During the broadcast, Mr. Sabri accused Israel of firing guns and throwing bombs into the mosque, then refusing to allow medical care for the wounded.

Mr. Sabri's propaganda should not have come as a surprise. Just weeks before 9/11, Mr. Sabri delivered a passionate Friday sermon, broadcast nationally on official Palestinian Authority radio. He prayed for the destruction of Israel, Britain and the United States.

If anyone should be savvy about people like Mr. Sabri, it ought to be Mr. Register. With two decades of experience at CNN, including three years running the Jerusalem bureau, he should know that live TV is the wrong venue for firebrands or guests prone to outrageous commentary.

Complicating matters is that once someone is on Al-Hurra live, Mr. Register lacks the basic requirement to stay on top of unfolding coverage; he doesn't speak Arabic. Had Mr. Register been able to understand Mr. Nasrallah's Dec. 7 speech, perhaps he would have rushed to cut away early on. Before the five-minute mark, Mr. Nasrallah told the audience to stop their celebratory gun-firing, explaining, "the only place where bullets should be is the chest of the enemies of Lebanon: the Israeli enemy."

Former Broadcasting Board of Governors member Norman Pattiz understands the perils of turning over the airwaves to the likes of Mr. Nasrallah. Though he wouldn't comment on anything relating to recent months--he left the board last year, before Mr. Register's arrival--Mr. Pattiz said bluntly, "Simply handing a microphone over to a terrorist and letting them spew is not what I would call good journalism."
Though Mr. Pattiz is a well-known Democrat who feuded constantly with Mr. Tomlinson, a Republican, the two men had one area of agreement: Mr. Harb, Al-Hurra's original news director. Sounding remarkably similar to Mr. Tomlinson, Mr. Pattiz said, "The direction Al-Hurra launched in is the direction in which it should continue to go, because it was very successful."

Mr. Alusi, the Iraqi parliamentarian, agrees. "Al-Hurra should have the role of transporting democracy, and to help Iraqis understand freedom," he says. "If you have a good product, you must sell it in a good way. The United States is a very good product."

Mr. Mowbray is working on a book about the struggle for the heart of Islam in America.

Opinion Journal/WST yesterday
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on March 19, 2007, 12:04:42 PM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1508
March 20, 2007   No.1508

Islamist Website Instructs Mujahideen in Using Popular U.S. Web Forums to Foster Anti-War Sentiment among Americans
In the past few months, Islamists engaged in "media jihad" have increased their efforts to expose as broad a Western audience as possible to their jihad films, which purport to document the growing success of the mujahideen in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of this endeavor, they have posted jihad films on popular free video-sharing websites such as YouTube, LiveLeak, and Google Video, hoping that such films will tip public opinion in the West against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan - thus pressuring Western governments to withdraw their troops from these countries.

As part of the campaign to foster anti-war sentiment among Westerners, and more specifically among Americans, a member of the Al-Mohajroon Islamist website with the username Al-Wathiq Billah instructed mujahideen in how to infiltrate popular American forums and to use them to distribute jihad films and spread disinformation about the war.

The following are excerpts: [1]

"Raiding American Forums is Among the Most Important Means of Obtaining Victory in the Fierce Media War… and of Influencing the Views of the Weak-Minded American"

"There is no doubt, my brothers, that raiding American forums is among the most important means of obtaining victory in the fierce media war... and of influencing the views of the weak-minded American who pays his taxes so they will go to the infidel American army. This American is an idiot and does not [even] know where Iraq is... [It is therefore] mandatory for every electronic mujahid [to engage in this raiding]."

"It is better that you raid non-political forums such as music forums and trivia forums... which American people... favor... Define your target[ed forum]... and get to know it well... Post your contribution and do not get into... futile arguments..."

Indicate You Are an American

"Obviously, you have to register yourself using a purely American name... Choose an icon that indicates that you are an American, and place it next to your nickname [in the forum]."

"In my experience, the areas most visited in American forums... [are titled] 'Random Thoughts' and 'What's going on in your mind?'... [The former] takes priority in the American forums, and is highly popular. You should post your contribution there... This should include films of the mujahideen in Iraq, mujahideen publications in English, and images and films of the Americans' crimes, [such as] killing unarmed civilians in Iraq... etc."

"Invent Stories About American Soldiers You Have [Allegedly] Personally Known"

"Obviously, you should post your contribution... as an American... You should correspond with visitors to this forum, [bringing to their attention] the frustrating situation of their troops in Iraq... You should invent stories about American soldiers you have [allegedly] personally known (as classmates... or members in a club who played baseball and tennis with you) who were drafted to Iraq and then committed suicide while in service by hanging or shooting themselves..."

"Also, write using a sad tone, and tell them that you feel sorry for your [female] neighbor or co-worker who became addicted to alcohol or drugs... because her poor fiancé, a former soldier in Iraq, was paralyzed or [because] his legs were amputated... [Use any story] which will break their spirits, oh brave fighter for the sake of God..."

How to Make Americans Feel Frustrated With Their Government

"You should enter into debate or respond only if it is extremely necessary... Your concern should [only] be introducing topics which... will cause [them to feel] frustration and anger towards their government..., which will... render them hostile to Bush... and his Republican Party and make them feel they must vote ton bring the troops back from Iraq as soon as possible."

"Do not... discuss issues pertaining to Arabs or Muslims at all, whether negatively or positively... because this could be a trap for you... In addition, do not ask people to circulate the material [you have posted] in other forums... as these types of requests will expose you..."

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2007, 09:24:06 PM
What Ails Mainstream Journalism
By Alyssa A. Lappen | March 22, 2007

Why do otherwise thorough reporters lose their professional skepticism when covering the Middle East and Islam? This peculiar journalistic phenomenon has puzzled me since I began covering the Middle East and Islam, in lieu of the investigative financial reporting work I had done for most of my career. Indeed, it largely motivated my personal professional shift.

An informal conversation with a part-time journalism professor recently gave me important clues. Our professional dialogue was private; therefore, it would be a gross violation of trust to identify this person in any way, excepting to note that the professor lived and reported from the Middle East for a time and now teaches how to cover current-day religious affairs and relations at a major university.

The professor's classes often cover reporting on the Islamic community in the U.S. today. Therefore, I was keenly interested to determine the professor's familiarity with sacred and historical texts that motivate modern Islamic activity and dogma.

In financial reporting, it goes without saying that one cannot write a major investigative piece on a corporation, industry or economic issue without first reading a great deal. For public companies, this requires extensive review of all Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings--recent annual reports (10-Ks, or F-20s for foreign firms), quarterlies (10-Qs), and changes to business strategy (8-K) or ownership (13-D). A good sleuth also consults the filings of major competitors and customers, in addition to interviewing as many of them as possible.

Only after laying this groundwork will the thorough reporter contact executives at the subject corporation.

A similar procedure--research first, interviews later--applies to private companies. Before 1995, Fidelity Investor chairman Edward C. Johnson III (Ned Johnson) rarely if ever spoke to reporters. Therefore before requesting an interview, I read everything available on the giant money management firm--and talked to more than 140 industry analysts, consultants, competitors, former and then-current Fidelity employees, and so on. The resulting September 1995 Institutional Investor cover story was subsequently emulated by Fortune, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Likewise, for a May 1989 Forbes report on the world's largest private textile firm, Milliken & Co., which had never previously been profiled, before asking the secretive magnate Roger Milliken for an interview, I spent six weeks filling more than 12 notebooks with every shred of data I could gather from every available source. The late Senator Strom Thurmond, then 86, for example, sent me to Florida U.S. Representatives Sam Gibbons, who, in turn, described Milliken as “a protectionist hog, H-O-G.” And former President Richard M. Nixon replied to an interview request in writing.

Of course, not all my financial stories required so many advance interviews, but a large number did. This point is not boastful. Indeed, without intensive advance work, interviewing hard-to-get, controversial, evasive or famous sources would be wasted opportunities or completely fruitless.

Such exhaustive reportage has often helped to expose corporate, Wall Street or other financial corruption. Similarly, investigative journalists have similarly raked corrupt politicians over the coals.

But when it comes to interviewing Muslim community or religious leaders, mainstream reporters are little inclined to submit them to tough or probing questions. Frequently, the U.S. media present leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), or Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as “civil rights” activists, “soft-spoken,” regular guys to be taken at face value, “moderate,” “really respected,” and so on.

Corporate executives caught contradicting themselves--lying, in a word--are forced out, one way or another. Such was the case for former Radio Shack CEO David J. Edmondson in 2006, former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, former Tyco CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski, and an endless list of others. Given the recent prevalence of American corporate corruption, in fact, legislators and securities regulators responded with a host of new rules.

On political religious matters, though, reporters don't even check readily available records to verify the claimed moderation of these men and groups. Otherwise, they undoubtedly would quickly find that these organizations are actually all radical--supporting violence and terrorism--and that the supposed men of reason have usually said terribly immoderate things. But unlike the immoderate quotations and deeds of Democrats or Republicans, lesser Muslim radicals than Osama bin Laden or Ayman Al-Zawahiri go largely unnoticed in mainstream broadcasts and reports.

The question is, why don't reporters routinely check on these subjects, as when covering any other public figure?

Consider the above-noted journalism professor, teaching undergraduate college courses on how to cover modern religious communities, especially U.S. Muslim communities. This professor (with financial reporting experience no less) seemed both predisposed to believe the statements of most Muslims and completely oblivious to the inherent journalistic problem with that.

Moreover, lacking familiarity with the Islamic practice of hiding the truth (taqiyya, or kitman)--it would be easy to misapprehend the importance of substantiating and corroborating everything--even “unquestionable” religious precepts.

Probably for this reason, the professor lauded the condemnation of the September 11 attacks by the world's preeminent Islamic university, Cairo's al-Azhar. The teacher had never heard of its author, the respected Islamic scholar Muhammed Sayyid al-Tantawi--and was astonished to learn that Tantawi's Ph.D. thesis, Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna (The Children of Israel in the Qur’an and the Sunna), consists entirely of Jew-hatred based on sacred Islamic texts.1

The professor, who speaks no Arabic, Farsi or Turkish, evidenced similar naiveté in suggesting that I read Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, by Columbia University's “moderate” Mahmoud Mamdani--although Mamdani, likewise, is no moderate. In the March 2007 London Review of Books, he blasts New Yorkers protesting Sudan's jihad genocide, which prefers to parallel with Iraq's “insurgency and counter insurgency.” And in 2005, Mamdani sounded like Osama bin Laden, when he blamed the U.S. for creating violent political Islam during the Cold War. That year, in Foreign Affairs, Mamdani also falsely equated jihadis and neoconservatives.

The inadequate skepticism of the journalism professor seems representative of attitudes among the vast majority of Western mainstream journalists covering this area. The acceleration of excessive credulity screams from this oxymoron--“The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood”--which Foreign Affairs recently ran instead of a headline on an equally unbalanced “report.”

Another source of gullibility crystallized as the professor admitted almost total ignorance of the Qur'an, Hadith (reputed sayings and deeds of Muhammed), Sira (Muhammed's biography), or such other critical Islamic texts as Al-Akham As-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance) by Ali ibn Muhammed Mawardi (d. 1058); Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat by Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib (d. 1368); or translations of any portion of Ibn Khatir's massive Qur'anic commentary, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Azim.

Consider the supreme irony, given how Americans cherish freedom of speech, in contrast to the severe restrictions placed on it by Islam.

Slander, according to al-Naqib, “means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him.”2 According to the latter definition, even the truth can be slanderous if its subject doesn't like it.

Lacking familiarity with these texts before interviewing a devout Muslim on religion or political Islam is akin to a financial journalist profiling a Fortune 500 CEO without reading his annual or quarterly reports, talking to any competitors, without even a rudimentary understanding of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. The CEO could have stolen and stashed a million shares of stock somewhere, and the reporter would be clueless.

But unacquainted with most important Islamic religious texts and laws, this professor insisted that only Saudi Arabia's strict Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam is responsible for current Islamic terrorism and incitement to jihad--and that the original texts are devoid of radicalism.

In one regard, however, the professor should be greatly lauded--for requesting a “short list” of Islamic histories and important foundational Islamic texts, and promising to read and consider them all.3

If every reporter covering Islam similarly committed to read (or at least consult) Islamic texts and history (with special attention to skeptics) the general ability to pose pertinent and challenging questions would rise exponentially along with understanding how radical Muslims, parading as moderates, have thus far generally deceived them.


1 Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [The Children of Israel in the Qur’an and the Sunna], Zahraa’ lil-I`laam al-`Arabi, Cairo. 1986-1987, third printing, 1407/1987, p. 9, pp. 107-126, 129-146, translated to English (forthcoming) in Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Texts to Solemn History (2007, Prometheus).

2 Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib (d. 1368), Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, 1991 and 1994, Amana Publications (revised ed., 1994), p. 730.

3 The short list includes the Qur'an (preferably in multiple translations), aHadith, (Sahih Muslim, Sahih al-Bukhari, and others) Ibn Ishaq's Sira (the oldest extant biography of Muhammed), The Laws of Islamic Governance (Muhammed Mawardi--d. 1058); Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat (Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib--d. 1368); Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Azim (Ibn Khatir's Qur'anic commentary), and historical summaries including The Legacy of Islamic Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims (Dr. Andrew Bostom, 2005, Prometheus); Why I am Not a Muslim (Ibn Warraq, 1995, Prometheus); The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam (Bat Ye'or, Farleigh Dickenson University, 1985); The Decline and Fall of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude 7th-20th Century (Bat Ye'or, 1996, Farleigh Dickenson University Press) Eurabia: The Euro Arab Axis (Bat Ye'or, Farleigh Dickenson University, 2005).
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2007, 07:10:55 PM


BELLEVUE, WA – For more than two months, a damning report on a five-year study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about how cop-killing criminals ignore gun laws and where they get their guns has languished in the shadows, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms revealed today.

“The public has a right to know the contents of this report, which was revealed to the International Association of Chiefs of Police last year,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “According to the Force Science News, research focused on 40 incidents involving assaults or deadly attacks on police officers, in which all but one of the guns involved had been obtained illegally, and none were obtained from gun shows.”

The study is called “Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers.” Waldron called it a “smoking gun” in terms of revelations about the sources of crime guns. Anti-gun politicians and police chiefs do not want the public to know as they campaign against the so-called “gun show loophole,” he said.

The newsletter quotes Ed Davis, who told the IACP that none of these criminals who attacked police officers was “hindered by any law – federal, sate or local – that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.” The Force Science News is published by the Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University in Mankato. The newsletter also stated, “In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows.”

“This is a devastating revelation,” Waldron said, “and while Mr. Davis should be applauded for telling the IACP that criminals ignore gun laws, we’re wondering why the IACP has been quiet about this, and why the mainstream press never reported this, and probably never will.

“Force Science News calls the gun show loophole a ‘media myth’,” Waldron said, “and that’s what gun rights activists have been saying for years. It’s time for the IACP leadership to acknowledge that gun laws don’t stop criminals, that they only restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, and that gun shows are not the ‘arms bazaars for criminals’ as they have been portrayed.”
Title: Bellheads vs. Netheads
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 29, 2007, 02:00:23 PM
Packet Politics
"Netheads" take on "Bellheads." Look out, Mrs. Clinton.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

The thing I like most about the "Hillary 1984" political ad on YouTube isn't the face, shrouded in a ghastly pixel haze, but the voice. Her voice recedes into a weird, unreal echo. Truth to tell, you could insert any of the faces imploring us now to make them president, and achieve the same effect. (If you're still playing catch-up, go into, search "Hillary"--or just click here--and watch in wonder.)

It took some days after it posted on YouTube for the non-Web media to confer legitimacy on the one-minute, 13-second clip, calling it a potential "conflict" between the Hillary and Obama camps. Days later, after claiming ownership of the video, political pro Phil de Vellis wrote on the Huffington Post that he'd done the ad in a Sunday afternoon on his Mac with "some software." He said there's more where that came from. "The game has changed."

He's right. But it began a long time ago. The change came some 40 years back, when the U.S. defense department bought into a suggestion by electrical engineer Paul Baran, the son of a grocery store owner, that it build a data transmission network based on "packet switching." This was the Internet.

As someone who's on the Web too many hours, I have wondered what changing screens hundreds of times each day to access different gobs of "information" has done to the way our brains order the world, which is known as human consciousness. This "change" is having a material effect on just about everything else; why not on who gets elected president next year?

In 1996, an eon ago, Steve G. Steinberg wrote a prescient article in Wired magazine on the battle between what he called Bellheads and Netheads. This was essentially an argument over the network design of the Web between engineers for the established phone companies, the Bellheads, and the anarchic engineers of the Web, Netheads. It was a war between the old world of circuit-switching and the new world of packet-switching, the one we inhabit today.
This may have been an arcane argument among engineers, but the grander philosophical claims then were justified. What was at stake, as Mr. Steinberg accurately predicted, was "very different visions" of how we communicate. The engineers were changing how we think.

For more than a century, we were conditioned by the world of Lily Tomlin's famous telephone switchboard operator, Ernestine. Ernestine's "switch" was a circuit-switch, which means it connects A directly to B. Conversation or faxed data travels in a predetermined channel.

Packet-switching could hardly be more different. Information departs point A but then breaks into pieces, or packets, and bounces around a shared network almost randomly, then somehow arrives together at point B. The packet is a bundle of electrons, but "packet" is an apt metaphor for how the technology has changed us. Rather than sit still to fully absorb a copper-wire's stiff stream of information, we flip through screens, sorting fragments of data into a final thought or solution.

Like it or not (I dislike a lot of it), this is how most of us now live--and think. Viacom is suing YouTube because YouTubers are extracting five-minute clips of the best parts of "The Daily Show." Why waste 30 minutes?

Today, the Bellheads are long-form TV, traditional political ads, 74-minute CDs, two-hour movies--predetermined A-to-B formats. (Newspapers are in fact a collection of "packets," a subject for another time.) The Netheads are YouTube, shared playlists, remixed videos, the idea of personal choice, and randomly arriving political ads such as "Hillary 1984." That Netheads are chop-shopping "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" is ironic, but as the Yoda of old-media Walter Cronkite said, "That's the way it is." Prepackaging versus packets. And so in politics.

One of the conundrums of politics now is why Rudy Giuliani's polling lead for the GOP nomination is not just strong but persistent. Conventional wisdom holds it will fall when "conservative" voters learn his full biography and liberal social views. How could they not have heard? An alternative explanation is that voters are "processing" Mr. Giuliani differently.

Packet-switching is what allows us to flip effortlessly through torrents of data on Web screens, holding in mind a basic search goal. By now, this experience has forced more people than ever to think in terms of hierarchies--how to sort through lots of information and assign values, the way we quickly separate the flood of email into levels of importance. By now, we all have an Intel inside.

This may be why Mr. Giuliani is getting away with his social views in the GOP. We've become so adept at assigning value to good and bad information in searches that we can do it for a "flawed" candidate like Rudy Giuliani. Faced with an array of Rudy "packets"--the anti-terror reputation, three marriages, abortion and all the rest--GOP voters have already sorted the data, put anti-terror at the top of the hierarchy and are comfortable giving the social issues relatively lower values. Still relevant, but mid-range. This is how we do work now, every day. Why should it not affect politics?

If it is true that our political thinking is being bent by constant streams of small, value-laden packets of data that we constantly remix into personal hierarchies, then paradoxically the "new" politics of Web sites such as or the Daily Kos are really Old School.
Like Bellheads who originated deep in the last century, the leftwing sites think politics is still straight and simple: "pull the plug" on Iraq, "enact universal health care." For sites on the right, the one answer is the Fence to stopper Mexico. But political reality is more fluid and contingent than ever before. The Big Solution is wholly alien to the packet-switching political mindset now. Nancy Pelosi thought the Iraq vote was a slam dunk; in fact, her caucus broke into a random array of views on Iraq. That final vote has about as much stability as a Web page.

Some say ads such as "Hillary 1984" are democratizing politics. But that's just hardware--more sellers throwing stuff at us. The bigger change is happening inside the public's mental software. No poll can capture how the voting mind is processing the political inbox today. What's not to like about that?

Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Thursdays in the Journal and on
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 27, 2007, 09:47:27 AM
WSJ- Opinion Journal

Little Big Brother

Howard Dean, head of the Democratic National Committee, once again is proving he has unusual views on the media. He says groups that want to hear candidates talk openly should bar the media. "If you want to hear the truth from them, you have to exclude the press," is how he bluntly put it.

On one level, that's not so controversial an idea. Today's "gotcha" journalism certainly makes candidates cautious and fearful that any stray remark will be blown out of proportion by someone in search of a headline.

But Mr. Dean's reasoning for why the media should be shut out of political meetings was revealing. He says the Golden Age of media coverage by Olympian figures such as Walter Cronkite is long gone. "The media has been reduced to info-tainment," he told the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Info-tainment sells. The problem is they reach the lowest common denominator instead of forcing a little education down our throats, which we are probably in need of from time to time." By "education," I take it Mr. Dean is referring to views of the enlightened "progressive" kind.

The Democratic Party's chairman has long expressed a position that federal regulation of the media -- in the form of a new Fairness Doctrine or the breakup of entities such as Fox News -- wouldn't be a bad idea. In 2003, while a presidential candidate, he railed, "Media corporations have too much power... The media has clearly abused their privilege, and it is hurting our democracy."

Of course, some would say having political figures such as Mr. Dean who are overtly hostile to the media holding politicians like themselves to account may also not be good for democracy. Like many liberals, Mr. Dean just hasn't gotten used to a media universe where there are players beyond the Big Three networks and the traditional newspapers whose newsrooms were stuffed almost exclusively with Democrats.

-- John Fund
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 07, 2007, 06:36:49 AM

How to Sink a Newspaper
Free news for online customers is a disastrous business plan.
Monday, May 7, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

One has to wonder how many of the newspaper industry's current problems are self-inflicted. Take free news. News has become ubiquitous, free, and as a result, a commodity. Anytime you are trying to sell something that becomes a commodity, you have lost much of the value in providing that product or service.

Not many years ago if someone wanted to find out what was in the newspaper they had to buy one. But not anymore. Now you can just go to the newspaper's Web site and get that same information for free.

The newspaper industry wonders why it is losing young readers. Those readers might be young, but many of them are smart, not to mention computer-savvy. Why would they buy a newspaper when they can get the same information online for free?

Newspapers initially created their Web sites with the best of intentions. After all, newspapers are in the information business. And rather than fight the new medium, the Internet, why not embrace it? Wanting to be the leading information providers and thereby have the most popular Web site in the community, they posted all of their news online for free.

Exacerbating the problem with free news was the decision by the newspaper industry, which owns the Associated Press, to sell AP copy to news aggregators like Yahoo, Google and MSN. These aggregators created lucrative news portals where the world could get much of the news that was in newspapers. So readers could now get free news not only on newspaper Web sites, but also from portals and aggregators that had a chance to monetize the content, most of which was created and financed by the newspaper industry.

With local radio and television stations also creating Web sites and posting their news for free, newspapers soon realized that much of the news on the broadcast Web sites had been created by the local newspaper. So, whereas before the newspapers were selling print ads while radio and TV were selling air time, now they were all selling the same medium: their Web sites. Since newspapers share their content with the Associated Press so other members can use it, radio and TV members are using much of that content to compete against the newspapers that created it.

Newspapers have for years been frustrated by radio stations which merely read the stories which are printed in that morning's edition. TV stations often get much of their news from the newspapers, too. But reading it on the air is clearly different from posting it online, placing them in direct competition with newspapers' Web sites.
All of this would be fine if newspapers generated lots of additional revenues from offering free news. But the fact is newspapers generate most of their online revenues from classified advertising, not from news. Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, estimated that newspaper Web sites generated 78% of their revenues from classifieds in 2006.

It turns out that a Web site is a very different medium from a newspaper. While consumers often find pop-up ads a distraction and banner ads as more clutter, readers often seek out the advertising in newspapers.

The Inland Cost and Revenue Study shows that newspapers will generate between $500 and $900 in revenue per subscriber per year. But a newspaper's Web site typically generates $5 to $10 per unique visitor per year. It may be that newspaper Web sites as an advertising medium, and free news, just can't generate the revenue to sustain a valued news operation.

In fact, online revenues for the publicly traded newspaper companies in 2005 varied from 1.7% at Journal Register Co. to 5.7% at Belo Corp. The only company higher was the Washington Post Co. at 8.4%. Yet newspapers typically spend 12% or more of their revenues on their news and editorial operations.

The Wall Street Journal Online now has 931,000 paying subscribers, more than the paying subscribers to all but three U.S. newspapers: USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Our newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, does not offer our news for free on the Web site. We offer free headlines. On a few selected stories, we offer a few free paragraphs, designed to get people to read our paper. We also offer free classifieds.

Recently I had the opportunity to compare our Web site policy with the free news policies of other papers. For the six months ending March 31, 2007, the newspaper industry's circulation was down 2.1% daily and 3.1% Sunday. By contrast, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's circulation was up 1.24% daily and up less than 1% Sunday.

I was able to make another interesting comparison, too, with the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch. Columbus and Little Rock are both state capitals. Columbus is a larger market, and the Columbus Dispatch's circulation of 217,291 compares with 176,172 for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Up until Jan. 1, 2006, both our paper and the Columbus Dispatch offered news content only by subscription. We even charged the same price, $4.95, for an online monthly subscription, and both of us offered the same style electronic editions.

But Columbus dropped its subscription model on Jan. 1, 2006, and began offering most of its news for free. Its Web traffic and revenues certainly increased. But what happened to its paid circulation?

The six months ending Sept. 30, 2006 was a good comparison, since it compared six months in 2006 when the Columbus Dispatch had free news on its Web site compared with six months in 2005 when it did not offer free news. The Columbus Dispatch's daily circulation was down 5.8% while Sunday was down 1.1% for the six-month period. This compared with our loss of less than 0.4% daily and 1% Sunday.

When I looked at this comparison with Columbus, as well as the newspaper industry's larger losses, it didn't encourage me to change our Web policy to free news.

So what are we doing with our Web site? We have hired a videographer to complement our text coverage in the newspaper. We have added photo galleries to increase the number of photographs beyond what we can publish. We offer an electronic edition where you can search the entire edition by keywords, something you can't do in the print edition. And we offer breaking news email alerts, something else you can't do in print. In other words, we are offering value on our Web site that complements, rather than cannibalizes, our print edition.
Collectively, the American newspaper industry spends $7 billion on news and editorial operations. This includes everything from copy editor salaries to sports travel expenses. In addition, the Associated Press spent about $600 million world-wide in editing and creating news. By offering this news for free, and selling it to aggregators like Google, Yahoo and MSN for a small fraction of what it costs to create it, newspaper readership and circulation have declined.

These declines are accelerating. In 2004 and prior years, industry circulation declines were usually less than 1%. Since March 2005, these declines have been 2%-3% per year. With declining readership comes declining ad revenues, which are followed by layoffs.

The newsroom layoffs are most troubling, as less news with less quality, context and details results in more declines in readership and later, declines in advertising. If the $7 billion spent covering news becomes $6 billion, and later $5 billion, it is not just the newspaper industry that gets hurt. Journalism will be diminished in America with less investigative and enterprise reporting; indeed, less reporting of state houses, city halls, school boards, business and sports. Clearly a lot is at stake.

It is time for newspapers to reconsider the ultimate costs and consequences of free news.

Mr. Hussman is publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 22, 2007, 07:24:23 AM
A Reporter's Fate
The BBC held hostage in Gaza.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Dozens of hostages were released in Gaza over the weekend, in the wake of a truce called between the warring factions of Hamas and Fatah. The BBC's Alan Johnston, now in his 11th week of captivity, was not among them.

I last saw Mr. Johnston in January 2005, the day before Mahmoud Abbas was elected to succeed Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Johnston was by then the only Western correspondent living and working full time in Gaza, although the Strip was still considered a safe destination for day-tripping foreign journalists. He kindly lent me his office to interview Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, and asked whether I was still editing the Jerusalem Post. He seemed genuinely oblivious to the notion that my by-then former association with an Israeli newspaper was not the sort of information I wanted broadcast to a roomful of Palestinian stringers.

January 2005 was also the last time one could feel remotely optimistic about an independent Palestinian future. Mr. Abbas had campaigned for office promising "clean legal institutions so we can be considered a civilized society." He won by an overwhelming margin in an election Hamas refused to contest. There had been a sharp decline in Israeli-Palestinian violence, thanks mainly to Israeli counterterrorism measures and the security fence. A Benetton outlet had opened in Ramallah, signaling better times ahead.

In Gaza things were different, however, and Mr. Johnston was prescient in reporting on the potential for internecine strife: "This internal conflict between police and the militants cannot happen," one of his stories quotes a Palestinian police chief as saying. "It is forbidden. We are a single nation." Yet in 2005 more Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians than by Israelis. It got worse in 2006, following Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Hamas's victory in parliamentary elections. "The occupation was not as bad as the lawlessness and corruption that we are facing now," Palestinian editor Hafiz Barghouti admitted to Mr. Johnston in a widely cited remark.

When Mr. Johnston was kidnapped by persons unknown on March 12--apparently dragged at gunpoint from his car while on his way home--he became at least the 23rd Western journalist to have been held hostage in Gaza. In most cases the kidnappings rarely lasted more than a day. Yet in August FOXNews's Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were held for two weeks, physically abused and forced to convert to Islam. Plainly matters were getting progressively worse for foreigners. So why did the BBC keep Mr. Johnston in place?
 Yet the BBC also seemed to operate in the Palestinian Authority with a sense of political impunity. Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti described Mr. Johnston as someone who "has done a lot for our cause"--not the sort of endorsement one imagines the BBC welcoming from an equivalent figure on the Israeli side. Other BBC correspondents were notorious for making their politics known to their viewers: Barbara Plett confessed to breaking into tears when Arafat was airlifted to a Parisian hospital in October 2004; Orla Guerin treated Israel's capture of a living, wired teenage suicide bomber that March as nothing more than a PR stunt--"a picture that Israel wants the world to see."

Though doubtlessly sincere, these views also conferred institutional advantages for the BBC in terms of access and protection, one reason why the broadcaster might have felt relatively comfortable posting Mr. Johnston in a place no other news agency dared to go.

By contrast, reporters who displeased Palestinian authorities could be made to pay a price. In one notorious case in October 2000, Italian reporter Riccardo Cristiano of RAI published a letter in a Palestinian newspaper insisting he had not been the one who had broadcast images of two Israeli soldiers being lynched in Ramallah. "We respect the journalistic regulations of the Palestinian Authority," he wrote, blaming rival Mediaset for the transgression. I had a similar experience when I quoted a Palestinian journalist describing as "riff-raff" those of his neighbors celebrating the attacks of Sept. 11. Within a day, the journalist was chided and threatened by Palestinian officials for having spoken to me. They were keeping close tabs.

Still, whatever the benefits of staying on the right side of the Palestinian powers-that-be, they have begun to wane. For years, the BBC had invariably covered Palestinian affairs within the context of Israel's occupation--the core truth from which all manifestations of conflict supposedly derived. Developments within Gaza following Israel's withdrawal showed the hollowness of that analysis. Domestic Palestinian politics, it turned out, were shot through with their own discontents, contradictions and divisions, not just between Hamas and Fatah but between scores of clans, gangs, factions and personalities. Opposition to Israel helped in some ways to mute this reality, but it could not suppress it.

This is the situation--not a new one, but one the foreign media had for years mostly ignored--in which the drama of Mr. Johnston's captivity is playing out. Initial reports suggested he had been kidnapped by the so-called Popular Resistance Committee; later an al Qaeda affiliate called the Army of Islam claimed to have killed him. More recently, evidence has come to light suggesting he's alive and being held by a criminal gang based in the southern town of Rafah. The British government is reportedly in talks with a radical Islamist cleric in their custody, Abu Qatada, whose release the Army of Islam has demanded for Mr. Johnston's freedom. What the British will do, and what effect that might have, remains to be seen.
For now, one can only pray for Mr. Johnston's safe release. Later, the BBC might ask itself whether its own failures of prudence and judgment put its reporter's life in jeopardy. The BBC's Paul Adams has said of his colleague that it was "his job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament." For that act of solidarity one hopes a terrible price will not be paid.

Mr. Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 30, 2007, 10:13:00 PM

'We Are the Only People Preventing Them From Telling the Story'
In a Memorial Day column, David Carr of the New York Times complains about a U.S. military rule requiring that embedded reporters "obtain a signed consent from a wounded soldier before the image can be published. Images that put a face on the dead, that make them identifiable, are simply prohibited."

Why is it so important to show images of hurt and dead Americans? A fellow Timesman gives away the game:

James Glanz, a Baghdad correspondent who will become bureau chief for The New York Times next month, said that although he and others had many great experiences working with the rank-and-file soldiers, some military leaders seem determined to protect something besides the privacy of their troops.

"As the number of reporters there dwindles further and further because of the difficult conditions we work under, the kind of work they are able to publish becomes very important," Mr. Glanz said. "This tiny remaining corps of reporters becomes a greater and greater problem for the military brass because we are the only people preventing them from telling the story the way they want it told."

Hmm, we thought the job of a reporter was to tell stories, not to prevent others from doing so. Furthermore, is it even possible to imagine a Times correspondent saying his job is to prevent the enemy from telling its story?

And here's an example of the kind of journalism the Times's Baghdad bureau produces. This is from a news account, also in yesterday's Times:

On Sunday, American troops freed 42 Iraqi prisoners from what military officials described as a Qaeda hideout northeast of Baghdad. Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman, said some of the captives appeared to have been tortured.

The raid was part of a security effort involving 3,000 additional troops sent to Diyala, a violent province north of the capital with a mixed population of Sunnis and Shiites. Colonel Garver said the hideout had been found because of a tip from an Iraqi, and that all 42 freed prisoners were receiving medical care.

"Some of the rescued stated they had been suspended from the ceiling," he said. "Some of them stated they had been there for four months. One young man stated he was 14 years old."

This is a good story, one that points up the brutality of the enemy and the bravery of American servicemen. Given Glanz's ideas about the press's role, you almost have to wonder how reporter Damien Cave managed to sneak it into the paper.

Well, here's how: The passage we quoted above was paragraphs 11 through 13 of a story titled "Roadside Bombing Kills 2 More G.I.'s in Iraq."

The story is not accompanied by a picture of the two dead soldiers' bodies. Do you wish it were?


Two Papers in One!

" There is one matter on which American military commanders, many Iraqis and some of the Bush administration's staunchest Congressional critics agree: if the United States withdrew its forces from Baghdad's streets this fall, the murder and mayhem would increase."--news story, New York Times, May 27

"It's upsetting to think that Mr. Bush believes the raging sectarian violence in Iraq awaits reigniting. . . . But we have grown accustomed to this president's disconnect from reality and his habit of tilting at straw men, like Americans who . . . don't worry about what will happen after the United States withdraws, as it inevitably must."--editorial, New York Times, May 27
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on June 01, 2007, 12:10:54 PM
This could go under humor or politics or just left alone, but I'll stick it here for the media perspective.  I saw Al Gore on the PBS News hour yesterday.  I'm no linguist, but when Gwen Ifill tried to pin Gore down on whether we were lied into war, Gore said that Bush made an "explicit implication...",  I couldn't help but wonder where that slip would have been re-broadcast if Bush had fumbled those words.  Probably all over Letterman, Leno, etc., maybe the NY Times.

I found the PBS transcript and emailed the tip to OpinionJournal, who did the following piece ripping Gore pretty badly with it yesterday, and gave me a credit at the end for the tip.

Assaulted Nuts

Is Al Gore a genuine intellectual, as he would like us to believe, or is he just pretentious à la John Kerry? He has a new book out called "The Assault on Reason," and we suppose reading it would shed some light on the question. But life is short.

Here's an excerpt from an interview Gore gave Gwen Ifill of PBS's "NewsHour":

    Ifill: You write of a "determined disinterest" in learning the truth, on the part of the Bush administration on pre-war intelligence. You accuse the White House of an "unprecedented and sustained campaign of mass deception," very strong words. And you say that President Bush "outsourced the truth." Are you suggesting that President Bush deliberately misled the American people when it comes to the Iraq war?

    Gore: Well, there was certainly a coordinated effort in the White House and in the Department of Defense simultaneously to convey the image of a mushroom cloud exploding over an American city and to link it to a specific scenario, the very strong and explicit implication that Saddam Hussein was going to develop nuclear weapons and give them to Osama bin Laden, and that would result in nuclear explosions in American cities.

"Explicit implication," huh? How do you know it wasn't an implicit explication? Such slipshod thinking leads one to think that Gore does have more in common with Kerry than with, say, Pat Moynihan.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 06, 2007, 06:32:55 AM
As many of you may know, Robert Murdoch is trying to buy the WSJ.  Here is the WSJ's editorial today:

An Independent Newspaper
The Bancrofts and a century of "free people and free markets."

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

"Don't believe the man who tells you there are two sides to every question. There is only one side to the truth."

So wrote William Peter Hamilton, one of the first men to hold the job of editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, in the early decades of the last century. For editorial writers worth their pay, those are words to live by, and we hope to be living by them for a long time to come.

That's a point worth stressing amid the news that the Bancroft family may soon sell the Journal's parent company to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. or some other bidder. The Bancrofts have been exceptional stewards of this newspaper for more than a century. But capitalism is dynamic, and those of us who extol the virtues of Joseph Schumpeter's "creative destruction" for others can't complain when it sweeps through our own industry. That's what is happening as the Internet breaks up long-time media business models, and Dow Jones is hardly immune. The Bancrofts have every right as owners to sell or not based on their own dictates, and what we say won't matter in any event.

Where we do have a say, however, is on the question of journalistic "independence." There's been a lot of debate lately about what that means. We thought our readers might like to know what it has meant at the Journal, and specifically for these columns, over the decades.
For starters, the Bancrofts are unique in their hands-off ownership. They are often compared as family newspaper proprietors to the Grahams at the Washington Post or the Sulzbergers at the New York Times. But members of those families run those newspapers, exerting influence over the news and opinion operations. In that sense, those newspapers are hardly "independent" of those families.

Everyone knows that the influence of Times Publisher and CEO Arthur Sulzberger Jr. extends to selecting not merely the editorial page editor but columnists, political endorsements and, as far as we can tell, even news coverage priorities. We don't see how this differs from most of what Mr. Murdoch is accused of doing with his newspapers. The same lack of independence also applies to most non-family media companies such as Gannett, a newspaper owner whose make-no-waves corporate ethic turns nearly all of its editorial pages into mush.

By contrast, the Bancrofts have allowed journalists to run the news and editorial shops. That family ethic became a guiding principle under Jessie Bancroft Cox, step-granddaughter of Clarence Barron, and the business leadership of the great Barney Kilgore.

At the editorial page, this has meant that for a century we have been able to adhere to a worldview we now distill to the phrase "free people and free markets." This began, more or less, with the classical liberalism of William Hamilton, who as a Scotsman before emigrating had dabbled in British Liberal Party politics. It has continued through a series of editors who have adhered to those principles despite shifting political fashions and partisan winds.

Over the years this independence has also meant the freedom to challenge prevailing media conventions and political power. Following Hamilton as editor in the 1930s, Thomas Woodlock battled Keynesian economics and the New Deal. The Journal was skeptical of FDR's dalliances with prewar Britain--until the day war began and our short editorial was headlined, "We Have a Duty." The editorial hangs in our office today.

As he campaigned for re-election in 1948, Harry Truman denounced the Journal as the "Republicans' Bible," a line that earned him a rebuke from Editor (of the editorial page) William Grimes because "our loyalties are to the economic and governmental principles in which we believe and not to any political party." In one of his visits to the White House, Editor Vermont Royster was thanked by John F. Kennedy for supporting his free-trade agenda. "Young man," said Royster, "the Wall Street Journal was supporting free trade before you were born." The Journal hasn't endorsed a Presidential candidate since Herbert Hoover, preferring instead to praise or assail the candidates' ideas.

On occasion this has meant the Journal has come under outside pressure, both commercial and political, but the Bancrofts and our publishers have always stood firm. In the 1950s, these columns defended Journal reporters against General Motors for disclosing the car company's tactics against independent auto dealers only weeks after we had defended GM against the government's trustbusters. GM pulled its advertising for a time, only to back down later, and the episode helped the Journal build credibility as independent of advertising interests.

Our former Editor Robert Bartley once told us of being called on the carpet by Henry Kissinger, then the Secretary of State, for opposing détente and arms control with the Soviet Union. Journal Publisher and CEO Warren Phillips accompanied Bartley to the meeting, and started things off by asking Mr. Kissinger what all of his Spengler-pessimism talk vis-à-vis the Russians was about. The anti-détente editorials kept coming, and Bartley and Mr. Kissinger later became friends.

The 1990s were especially controversial with the Journal's reporting about Whitewater and Bill Clinton's ethics, and more than one liberal thought he could mute Bartley's campaign in the wake of the Vincent Foster suicide. But the Bancrofts and Publisher Peter Kann stood up to the pressure.

Perhaps the sternest commercial test has come as we have expanded abroad, especially in Asia. The Journal has been banned or had its circulation restricted in many countries, and a reporter for another Dow Jones publication went to jail in Malaysia. In Singapore, a big market for the Journal, the government made the editorial page the first target of its campaign to curtail Western coverage of its domestic politics in the mid-1980s. While other companies--notably Bloomberg--have surrendered pre-emptively, the Journal has been nearly alone in fighting back. Freedom of the press has improved in Asia as democracy has expanded, and we're proud to continue fighting for freedom and human rights today in China.

We could tell other stories, but the essential point is that our owners have allowed us to speak our mind on behalf of a consistent set of principles. Readers may like, or loathe, those beliefs and our way of defending them. But we like to think this brand of independence is one reason the Journal has attracted such an influential readership. To borrow a phrase from modern business lingo, we hope it is part of our value proposition.

At a dinner honoring their century of Journal ownership in 2002, Bob Bartley expressed his gratitude to the Bancrofts for their support, noting that some of his editorials over 30 years must not have sat well with everyone in the ideologically diverse clan. But Bartley added that his proudest boast was that he ran the only editorial page "that sells newspapers." We can't say what any future owner would do, but we doubt one would be foolish enough to undermine this market appeal.

On January 2, 1951, William Grimes wrote a memorable editorial, "A Newspaper's Philosophy," that summed up our worldview this way:
"On our editorial page we make no pretense of walking down the middle of the road. Our comments and interpretations are made from a definite point of view. We believe in the individual, in his wisdom and his decency. We oppose all infringements on individual rights, whether they stem from attempts at private monopoly, labor union monopoly or from an overgrowing government. People will say we are conservative or even reactionary. We are not much interested in labels but if we were to choose one, we would say we are radical."

Even 56 years later, that still sounds good to us. Whether the Bancroft family sells or not, and no matter who is the buyer, we plan to stand for those beliefs for as long into the future as we are able.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 06, 2007, 06:40:45 AM
Second post of the morning:

My Sweet Press Lord
We'll take the Washington Post, please.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Here's my dream, and it's a not good one. The day comes when a controversialist like Rupert Murdoch bids to buy The Wall Street Journal--and no one cares. That's one of the considerations swirling in a mess that, from any party's perspectives except Mr. Murdoch's, makes the decision faced by the Bancroft family (which controls Dow Jones, our parent company) so vexing. The future of the paper is at risk if we do the deal; it's also at risk if we don't.

Our owners, in the way of other businesses, have not made themselves richer by growing their capital in the Journal. Nonetheless, in their stewardship of the paper, they've let us do what we do without interference, which is something we all cherish. Even those of us who don't find Mr. Murdoch an ogre naturally would treat as dubious any change of circumstance that might portend a change in this, our own very satisfying situation.

Mr. Murdoch's dealings in China have been a concern. This column, tongue in cheek, once assailed him for his "offenses against freedom and democracy," such as dropping the BBC from his Star TV lineup to appease Beijing. But we also let the reader in on a secret: "Mr. Murdoch's judgment about when to trim may not be perfect, but most sensible people want Star TV in China."

In any case, his trimmings in China have been far less egregious than those of Yahoo. With any owner, you take a chance--and the risks include not just errors of commission (inappropriate interference) but errors of omission (letting the business run itself when it really needs a strong hand to alter course and correct its follies).

Much is heard about editorial independence, some of it fusty, some of it exactly to the point. What makes the New York Post such a delight is partly the entertaining suspicion (most of the time probably unwarranted) that hidden agendas and childish rivalries are behind the decision to bash this muckety-muck and spare that. Not for nothing is the Post the favorite read of New York's catty media, social and business elite, and nobody mistakes it for a paper of record. Mr. Murdoch clearly knows what he's doing, fitting a newspaper to its market opportunity. One has a reasonable suspicion that he also understands the very different market position and opportunity of the Journal. (Indeed, we'd like to think he'd end up more hostage to the Journal--its visibility, credibility and power to embarrass--than the paper would ever be to his business and personal interests.)

The flipside is that great newspapers aren't great because nobody is running them. In his wonderful memoir, the journalist and eminent business adviser Peter Drucker wrote: "Every first-rate editor I have ever heard of reads, edits and rewrites every word that goes into his publication. . . . Good editors are not 'permissive'; they do not let their colleagues do 'their thing'; they make sure that everybody does the 'paper's thing.' A good, let alone a great editor is an obsessive autocrat with a whim of iron, who rewrites and rewrites, cuts and slashes, until every piece is exactly the way he thinks it should have been done."

His qualities as a newshound and shrewd businessman mean, in all likelihood, that Mr. Murdoch would prove a responsible proprietor for the Journal, despite hyperventilation at the prospect by some readers and employees. He's certainly equipped by experience to make the necessary judgments to protect the paper's stature while expanding its reach (and has the resources to do so). Though strictly from the perspective of someone who works here, I'd still prefer to be owned by a company exclusively in the news business, one that lives and dies by the reputation of its newsgathering.

Here I confess to a personal bias, related to nothing more than reading the Washington Post over the years, which is that it's an exceptionally brainy newspaper.
Intelligence as a quality is hit or miss in most newspaper writing and editing. At the Post, they seem to have institutionalized it. You rarely find the collapses of critical judgment that seem to be routine at other papers when, say, a trial lawyer appears claiming evidence of racism in the auto dealership industry or at an oil company.

Absent too are the excesses of billboard journalism--the habit of editors casually intruding a noisy paragraph that oversells and distorts the story below, leaving an unsatisfying jumble of facts that don't live up to the assertions at the top.

We don't love everything in the Post or all its reporters, and it has certainly benefited from conservative competition from the Washington Times. It also lacks the leverageable assets that Mr. Murdoch would presumably use to build the Journal's brand and distribution opportunities. But the Post's editorial page has become remarkably more sensible in recent years (although its Web site remains awful and the Style section has gone down the tubes). The company itself is principally in the news business; Warren Buffett sits on the board, guarding against investment misadventure.

A few readers have harrumphed that Mr. Murdoch reputedly would try to shorten the Journal's articles. He's not the only one. Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie has instructed his crew to write shorter too--and the Post already strikes me as a very well-edited paper: News stories are rounded, complete but not overwritten. They also have a semblance of being written by somebody with a living mind, not just re-executing the media's general template on a given news event (for an everyday example, see the Post's recent contributions on the Chinese pet food scare).

More than that, if you read a lot of newspapers, what sneaks up on you are the outward manifestations of a quiet, non-braggy excellence that should be attractive to anyone looking to ensure the Journal's long-term future. Mr. Murdoch is the only one who has put money on the table. He's not the only one some of us wish would.

Mr. Jenkins is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal on Wednesdays.
Title: Changes at WSJ
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 13, 2007, 07:04:34 AM
I find the WSJ, which I have been reading for 30 years now, to be an outstanding newspaper.  Its editorial page maintains an unparalleled level of intelligent and informed discourse.  So I naturally follow the Murdoch offer and related matters with great concern.

Shake-Up in Newsroom of Journal
Published: June 13, 2007
NY Times
The Wall Street Journal, already roiled by a proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch, will announce today a major newsroom shake-up, including the reassignment and replacement of several top editors, officials there say.

Times Topics: Dow JonesThe reorganization represents a bid by the managing editor, Marcus E. Brauchli, who took the top job in the newsroom just a month ago, to put his stamp on the upper echelons of one of the nation’s most respected and widely read newspapers. A spokesman for Dow Jones & Company, The Journal’s parent company, declined to comment on any planned changes.

The newsroom announcement will come on the day that the Bancroft family, which owns a controlling interest in Dow Jones, is expected to make a new proposal to Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation on safeguarding The Journal’s editorial independence in the event of a sale. The Bancrofts’ goal is to keep the appointment of The Journal’s top editors out of Mr. Murdoch’s hands.

Under Mr. Brauchli’s reorganization, John Bussey, a deputy managing editor who has been based in Hong Kong, will lose that title, according to Journal officials, who insisted that their names not be used because they were not authorized to discuss the changes. He has been offered a position as a columnist, but has not decided if he will accept it and is continuing to discuss his next assignment.

Those officials said Edward Felsenthal, another deputy managing editor who oversees the “soft” sections like Personal Journal and Pursuits, is also expected to lose his title. His next assignment is not clear.

Both men are in their 40’s and had been considered rising stars.

Daniel Hertzberg, the senior deputy managing editor, will become the top editor of The Journal’s Europe and Asia editions, and will be based in Brussels. Mr. Hertzberg, who is in his early 60’s and has been the second-ranking newsroom editor, was once seen as a leading contender for Mr. Brauchli’s job.

William S. Grueskin, the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online, will be promoted to deputy managing editor of the newspaper, with a broad responsibility over news coverage in both the print Journal and on the Web site. He will also oversee the domestic bureaus.

The shake-up continues a period of transition that began last year and has included the retirements of some of Dow Jones’s longtime leaders — including Peter R. Kann, the chairman and chief executive, and Paul Steiger, The Journal’s managing editor — and could culminate in a sale to News Corporation.

The Bancroft family initially rejected Mr. Murdoch’s $5 billion bid, but later agreed to consider a sale. Many family members, who take great pride in The Journal’s editorial quality, disdain the work of News Corporation media outlets like the Fox News Channel and The New York Post, which they see as politically slanted and overly devoted to celebrity gossip and crime.

In a June 4 meeting with Mr. Murdoch and others from News Corporation, Bancroft family members and advisers said that if they agreed to sell, they wanted to set up a control board with exclusive power to hire and fire The Journal’s top editors.

Mr. Murdoch countered that he would accept a control board like the one put in place when he bought The Times of London in 1981. There, the News Corporation chooses the top editor, who must then be approved by a group of independent directors who are not chosen by the company. But that arrangement is widely seen as having failed to keep Mr. Murdoch from shaping The Times’s news pages as he sees fit.

Since a family meeting Monday, the three family members who sit on the Dow Jones board and their advisers have refined their proposal, which they expect to present to News Corporation today. “The question everyone had is how enforceable it’s going to be, in light of what went on in London,” a family member said.

Family members say the plan will call for a family-appointed board, which would name both the managing editor and the editorial page editor, who would have the power to fill all the positions below them.

The family is not yet prepared to say whom it would put on such a board, but family members said yesterday that they were leaning toward current and former Journal employees — including Mr. Steiger, the former managing editor; the publisher, L. Gordon Crovitz; and Paul Gigot, the editorial page editor — rather than outsiders.

Some critics of The London Times arrangement said that one of its weaknesses was that the independent directors had few connections to journalism, giving them less incentive to stand up to Mr. Murdoch.

The Bancrofts have debated having one board or two: one to pick the leader of the newsroom and the other to choose the editorial page editor. Family members and people close to them said yesterday that it was not clear how the matter had been resolved — in keeping with Bancroft practice, they said, the three family members on the board revealed little detail — but they said they believed that a single board would be the choice.

There had also been some discussion within the Bancroft family of proposing to give the control board some power over newsroom budgets, and again, family members said it was not clear to them what would be in the proposal given to Mr. Murdoch. But members and family advisers have argued that the strongest plan is the simplest one, and that in any case, it would be unrealistic to think that News Corporation would agree to give up financial control.

In the newsroom, the changes at the top will be fairly comprehensive. Alan Murray, an assistant managing editor, will move to the Web site with responsibility for video reports and the relationship with CNBC.

Michael W. Miller, the Page 1 editor, will be promoted to deputy managing editor, and will continue overseeing Page 1, and get other coverage, in particular the “business of life” sections. Michael Williams, editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, will take his place as Page 1 editor of the United States edition. Another deputy managing editor, Alix M. Freedman, will keep her job.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on June 13, 2007, 09:09:31 AM
Crafty, I have also been a huge fan of the Journal and for me also it is/was always because of the editorial page.  I was first referred there by my college economics professor, Walter Heller, who made us read his contributions there in the mid-1970s.  I peeked around a little further and found that he was only on their Board of Contributors only because of his dissenting view; the the main editorials made far more sense to me.  Heller was chief economist for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and was poised to take that role for Ted Kennedy who nearly beat Jimmy Carter in the 1980 primaries with a platform of gas rationing and national health care.  (Sound like liberals 28 years later)  Meanwhile Robert Bartley and his staff at the Journal were all over the underpinnings and advancement of supply-side economics and writing editorials like the classic 'Keynes is Dead', which claimed that if inflation and unemployment can worsen simultaneously, they could also be solved simultaneously.  They were right.

I assume that Murdoch is a market, media and investment genius and wouldn't buy Dow Jones just to squander the brand names of Barrons and the WSJ. The Journal has always maintained a very real firewall between its newsroom and its editorial page so the changes in the newsroom don't alarm me.
Title: Re: Changes at WSJ
Post by: rogt on June 14, 2007, 08:39:37 AM
I find the WSJ, which I have been reading for 30 years now, to be an outstanding newspaper.  Its editorial page maintains an unparalleled level of intelligent and informed discourse.

Are you and I reading the same WSJ?  I've never had any issues with their actual news reporting, but I remember the editorial page mostly for it's deliberate distortion (if not omission) of facts, unconditional defense of right-wing criminality, and open contempt for any restraints on wealth accumulation and priveleges for the wealthy.

Regardless, I don't imagine a sale of the paper to Rupert would have any noticeable effect on the editorial page.  If anything, I would expect the Journal's news articles to gradually become less and less distinguishable from the editorial page, to the point where it's basically the print version of Fox News.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on June 14, 2007, 04:16:58 PM
[WSJ editorials have] "open contempt for...restraints on wealth accumulation".  Well said, me too!  :)
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 14, 2007, 07:22:50 PM

In the late 60s-early 70s I thought I was a leftist.  Then in 1975 I went back to college and took my first economics course.  What a revelation!  What I discovered I had been all along was pro-freedom and that , , , drum roll please , , , I was a libertarian.  Free minds and free markets!!!  It was at this point I began reading the WSJ, especially the editorial page.  I remember well the intellectual ferment and excitement of the editorials you describe.  I became a big fan of Jude Wanniski's "The Way the World Works".

I am far less sanguine than you about Murdoch.  In the context of the WSJ, his track record concerns me.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: milt on June 15, 2007, 09:36:07 AM

In the late 60s-early 70s I thought I was a leftist.  Then in 1975 I went back to college and took my first economics course.  What a revelation!  What I discovered I had been all along was pro-freedom and that , , , drum roll please , , , I was a libertarian.  Free minds and free markets!!!

Oh come on, Marc!

How about I open a liquor store next to your house?  Or maybe I'll duplicate all the Dog Brothers DVDs and sell them myself.  Then we'll see how much you like free markets.

Or did you mean government "regulated markets?"

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 15, 2007, 09:50:49 AM
C'mon, libertarian doesn't mean anarchist.  It means govt limited to certain functions (e.g. protection of property rights such as copyright in a DVD.)  Our Founding Fathers were libertarians.  In their essence, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were and are libertarian.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2007, 06:53:14 AM

AP Uses Democrat Talking Points in Fred Thompson Hit Piece
Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 26, 2007 - 23:30.

As Democrats complain about conservative dominance on the radio, the hypocrisy is made crystal clear when America's leading wire service copies talking points directly from one of Howard Dean’s e-mail messages for a hit piece on looming Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Such was identified by Steve Hill of Target Rich Environment who brilliantly outlined the similarities between an e-mail message he received Friday from the Democratic National Committee chairman (complete text with timestamp and e-mail address to follow) with an Associated Press article published Tuesday at (emphasis added throughout):

1. DNC talking point: “In his most recent stint in Washington, Thompson worked for a London company lobbying Congress to limit liability claims for asbestos-related illnesses. Over the past three years he’s made $760,000 fighting for the interests of his corporate clients.

“AP/CNN talking point: ”More recently, while Frist led the Senate, Thompson earned more than $750,000 lobbying for a British reinsurance company that wanted to limit its liability from asbestos lawsuits.

2. DNC Talking Point: “And just this month, as part of his role as the ultimate Washington insider, Thompson offered to host yet another fundraising event for Scooter Libby’s legal defense fund. Thompson has been vocal in his support of Libby, saying that he would “absolutely” pardon him.”

AP/CNN Talking Point: “Thompson also helped run the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund Trust, an organization that set out to raise more than $5 million to help finance the legal defense of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, who was convicted in March of lying and obstructing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.”

3. DNC Talking Point: “For years, acting wasn’t the Law & Order star’s profession — it was a hobby. In the real world, Thompson has made a fortune in a decades-long career as a Washington lobbyist.”

AP/CNN Talking Point: “Republican Fred Thompson, who likes to cast himself in the role of Washington outsider, has a long history as a political insider who earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government.”

4. DNC Talking Point: “Although the folksy-sounding Tennessean recently told USA TODAY that he would run an outsider, just as he did while campaigning as a “country lawyer” in a red pickup during his 1994 U.S. Senate race, his résumé is that of a longtime Washington operative who has crossed ideological lines to represent corporate and foreign clients.”

AP/CNN Talking Point: “That history as a Washington insider is at odds with the image Thompson has sought to convey to voters. When he first ran for the Senate in 1993, Thompson cast himself in the part of the gruff, plainspoken everyman, leased a red pickup truck and drove around Tennessee in his shirt sleeves.”

Amazing similarities, wouldn’t you agree? Now, check out the e-mail message that Steve received Friday for verification (his address has been removed for his privacy):

From: "Howard Dean" <>
Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
To: "Steve Hill" < >
Subject: FW: The inside-outsider
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 09:56:59 -0500

Dear Steve,

I wanted to follow up on Tom's email from Tuesday.

As you probably know, we've got a big job here. Right
now it's up to us -- not the 2008 Democratic
candidates -- to take on Fred Thompson, John McCain,
Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the Republican
presidential hopefuls. And that's why we need your

Last year, the 50-state strategy put organizers on the
ground across the country to stand up to the lies and
failures of the GOP. Those organizers were the key to
our unprecedented victories up and down the ballot in

Unlike many campaigns, our organizers still had a job
when the election was over -- thanks to contributions
from Democrats like you. That sort of support is
crucial to build a party that will fight in every
state for many elections to come, and that support is
what allows us to continue to have organizers working
in your state today.

Just yesterday in Iowa, a DNC-funded organizer was on
the ground distributing facts to reporters after a big
speech by Rudy Giuliani. If we don't continue to
organize and research now, Election Day 2008 could be
one that we'd rather forget.

Don't let that happen -- support our efforts today:

November 2008 may seem like a long time from now, but
Democrats aren't waiting to take our country back.


Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S: If you didn't get a chance to read about the real
Fred Thompson, check out the email Tom sent a few days


From: Tom McMahon

Subject: The inside-outsider

Dear Howard,

Remember the Republican culture of corruption? The
revolving door of Republican politicians moving in and
out of top political offices and Washington D.C.
lobbying firms?

That's Republican presidential candidate Fred

For years, acting wasn't the Law & Order star's
profession -- it was a hobby. In the real world,
Thompson has made a fortune in a decades-long career
as a Washington lobbyist.

And just this month, as part of his role as the
ultimate Washington insider, Thompson offered to host
yet another fundraising event for Scooter Libby's
legal defense fund. Thompson has been vocal in his
support of Libby, saying that he would "absolutely"
pardon him.

As he runs for president, he'll try his hardest to
hide the truth from the American people. And we need
to stop him.

Support our efforts to get the truth out about Fred

Here's what the USA Today had to say about Lobbyist

"Although the folksy-sounding Tennessean recently told
USA TODAY that he would run an outsider, just as he
did while campaigning as a "country lawyer" in a red
pickup during his 1994 U.S. Senate race, his résumé is
that of a longtime Washington operative who has
crossed ideological lines to represent corporate and
foreign clients."

In his most recent stint in Washington, Thompson
worked for a London company lobbying Congress to limit
liability claims for asbestos-related illnesses. Over
the past three years he's made $760,000 fighting for
the interests of his corporate clients.

Now Fred Thompson wants the American people to believe
he's the next Ronald Reagan -- a Washington outsider
with Hollywood charisma and conservative appeal. But

Thompson just plays the role of straight-shooting outsider

on TV. In reality, he's as inside as you can get.

He's trying to get to the White House on slick lines
and good acting. Help us stop him:

As Fred Thompson tries to go from Washington's K Street

to Pennsylvania Avenue, the stakes of his
candidacy couldn't be higher. In an interview just
last week, for example, he claimed that the Roe v.
Wade decision "was fabricated out of whole cloth," and
that it was the worst court ruling in the past 40

We need to make sure that in 2008, Fred Thompson goes
back to doing his acting on Law & Order -- not in the
White House.

Make a contribution today:

While the Democratic presidential candidates hit the
campaign trail, we'll be hitting the Republicans. It's
our job to tell the American people the facts about
opponents like Fred Thompson and to hold them

We can't finish that job without you. I hope you'll
join us.


Tom McMahon
DNC Executive Director

Extraordinary similarities, yes?

In reality, we shouldn’t be too surprised, as the folks at Power Line identified some interesting information about this AP writer, Travis Loller (emphasis added):

Ms. Loller has a rather colorful past as a left-wing activist. Mother Jones described her as a "radical":

Three American citizens, along with nine other foreigners, were deported from Mexico on April 12, 1998 for alleged collusion with the Zapatista rebels (EZLN). The woman, Travis Loller, 26, and two men, Michael Sabato, 30, and Jeffrey Conant, 30, are part of an American relief group called Intercambio de Tecnologia Apropiada (ITA) or, in English, Appropriate Technology Exchange. The Mexican government accused the three of agitating for the rebel army that's been struggling in the southeastern state of Chiapas for over four years in an effort to win basic civil rights and gain land reform for the indigenous Indians in the region.


The three Americans have extensive activist histories, having worked for reproductive rights, the homeless and protests against the Gulf War, the Rodney King verdict and Propositions 187 and 209.

Now, Loller works for the Associated Press, apparently with assistance from the Democrat Party.

Anybody want to talk about the Fairness Doctrine?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on June 27, 2007, 12:59:21 PM
I'm pretty sure that both sides do the dirty deed.

Here's a link to the NRSC (National Repubplican Senatorial Committee). All the clips are from FOX News:

FOX is the RNCs mouthpiece just as CNN is the DNCs. The media is biased whatever side you are on.

Fortunately, the intelligent ones amongst us can read between the lines, no?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2007, 03:13:15 PM

Pretty sure? I may have missed it, but i've never seen Fox News do this. Now the dems are pushing the "Fairness Doctrine". I guess talk radio and Fox News are overpowering CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, National Peoples' Radio, all the major newspapers and news magazines, requiring government intervention. :cry:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2007, 03:41:50 PM

I'm sure he's a good journalist, what he does in his off time is his business.... :roll:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2007, 03:51:18 PM
Kerry joins 'Fairness Doctrine' chorus
Also wants to bring back equal-time provisions

Posted: June 27, 2007
10:28 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. (Photo: NBC 'Meet the Press')
John Kerry openly stated his support of the overturned "Fairness Doctrine" that required broadcasters in America to "afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance."

The Federal Communications Commission overturned the rule in 1987 because it failed to accomplish its purpose of encouraging more discussion of controversial issues. More notably, concerns were raised over the constitutionality of the doctrine because many believed it violated First Amendment free speech rights.

"I think the fairness doctrine ought to be there, and I also think equal time doctrine ought to come back," he said on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC.

Kerry's remarks can be heard in a recording posted by the Drudge Report.

"These are the people that wiped out … one of the most profound changes in the balance of the media is when the conservatives got rid of the equal time requirements and the result is that they have been able to squeeze down and squeeze out opinion of opposing views and I think its been a very important transition in the imbalance of our public eye," Kerry argued.

Kerry also favored reinstating the Equal Time Rule, which requires television and radio stations to allocate equal airtime to political candidates.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, recently introduced in Congress a plan to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said this week she is considering the possibility of bringing it back.

"Well, I'm looking at it, as a matter of fact … because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side," said Feinstein in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on June 27, 2007, 05:02:26 PM
Boo-hoo, poor politicians getting their feelings hurt by talk radio. My god, it's embarrassing to listen to grown adults talk this way.

The Fairness Doctrine reminds me of New Age teachers wanting to get rid of scores in school sports events so that no kids gets their feelings hurt 'cuz they lost. Maybe if Dems would get off their lazy asses and try to put together their own A.M. radio programming they wouldn't complain...but I doubt that's gonna happen.

Jeez, it's enough to make you wanna move to a frickin' desert island sometimes.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2007, 08:43:33 PM
The dems have tried. Air America has gone bankrupt how many times now?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 28, 2007, 10:36:10 AM
Boo-hoo, poor politicians getting their feelings hurt by talk radio. My god, it's embarrassing to listen to grown adults talk this way.

I assume you're talking about Republicans, since Democrats have been getting trashed by talk radio on a regular basis for so many years now that I imagine they're used to it.

The right-wing radio hosts are acting all hurt and betrayed by Trent Lott, after all they did to defend him!  (When he said "we wouldn't have all these problems today" if Strom Thurmond had been elected president.)  Trent and others loved talk radio when it was working to their advantage, but now that these mass appeals to fear and ignorance are getting in the way of something they want (this immigration bill), now all of a sudden it's a problem.

The Fairness Doctrine reminds me of New Age teachers wanting to get rid of scores in school sports events so that no kids gets their feelings hurt 'cuz they lost.

Surely you are aware that the Fairness Doctrine was enforced throughout the entire history of the FCC and was only repealed in 1987, so it's nothing new.  Although I do agree that the Democrats are being total pussies by trying to resurrect it now.   Did the idea somehow never occur to them during the past 10+ years during which the right-wingers have dominated AM talk radio?

Maybe if Dems would get off their lazy asses and try to put together their own A.M. radio programming they wouldn't complain...but I doubt that's gonna happen.

As GM said, they did try this with Air America, and it's fallen pretty flat.  Most of the shows/hosts are downright boring and, let's face, it the Democrat message is about 90% identical to the Republicans' at this point.

IMO, what's needed is not another Fairness Doctrine but stricter limits on media ownership.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 12:09:34 PM
I've never been a fan of Lott, even less so with his "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.” statement. I guess us uppity citizens should just shut up and let our betters in DC doing our thinking for us.

However, funny how those attacking Lott for his Strom Thurmond statement seem to give Robert "KKK" Byrd a pass.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 28, 2007, 01:06:08 PM
I've never been a fan of Lott, even less so with his "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.” statement. I guess us uppity citizens should just shut up and let our betters in DC doing our thinking for us.

However, funny how those attacking Lott for his Strom Thurmond statement seem to give Robert "KKK" Byrd a pass.

I take it from the above that you are a regular listener of Sean Hannity?  I know he uses that nickname a lot.  I don't think Byrd should get a "pass" either, but surely you're not suggesting that this somehow makes what Trent said a-OK.

I listen to right-wing radio fairly often (it's usually a lot more entertaining than AA or NPR), and I hear plenty of callers start out by telling the host "I agree with pretty much everything you say" (a pretty f-d up thing to say so proudly, considering how often what these hosts "say" is pretty vile and racist).  So clearly there are plenty of conservatives willing to let the Hannitys and Savages do their thinking for them.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 01:17:56 PM
I can't stand "Savage" for more than 30 seconds. Don't catch Hannity that often. I take "Savage" to be something akin to Phil Hendrie rather than legitimate commentary. I'm curious what exactly Sean Hannity has said that you consider to be racist? I doubt very much the majority of talk radio listeners have the talk show hosts "doing their thinking for them". People who like talk radio tend to read and think and also trend upwards in income from the general population. Check the demos.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 28, 2007, 02:13:08 PM
Yeah, I honestly can't think of anything particularly racist from Hannity, as opposed to Savage, Rush, or Glenn Beck.

I know what you mean about Savage.  Seriously though, what would you say about a person who claims to agree with him pretty much 100%?  Whether or not his radio persona is just an act, it's clear that a lot of people see him as validating beliefs they take seriously.

Not to mention that the owners of these stations are Disney (ABC), General Electric (NBC), Clear Channel, etc.  You'd think Imus' infamous "nappy-headed hos" comment was the first time they realized that some of their hosts are right-wing wackos!
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 02:35:45 PM
Imus wasn't/isn't anywhere near politically right. The "nappy headed ho's" comment was a joking hip-hop reference, so i'm not sure how you are putting him into the "right-wing wacko" grouping. I'm still curious what Sean Hannity has said that you consider racist.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 28, 2007, 02:44:12 PM
I'm still curious what Sean Hannity has said that you consider racist.

Did you read the first line of my last post?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 02:47:56 PM
Sorry, I meant Beck. I'm assuming with Limbaugh, you're referring to his NFL quarterback statement, or is there something else?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 02:50:43 PM
I'm multi-tasking right now..... :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 28, 2007, 04:21:36 PM
For the record, IMHO

a) Strom Thurmond was a nasty cracker
b) Robert Byrd is a gaseous windbag, a hypcirite and an unprincipled slut
c) Trent Lott is an unprincipled slut
d)  Sean Hannity, after a decent start, has rapidly become an unprincipled slut and partyline hack.
e) I've never heard Savage and only heard Beck once.  His IQ seemed quite moderate.
f) Who is Phil Hendrie?
g) Sometimes Rush is a windbag.  Sometimes he is a partyline hack.  Often he has some good points.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 28, 2007, 05:05:04 PM
****Phil Hendrie did the funniest stuff on radio i've ever heard. He'd get callers all the time that didn't know it was a joke a bait them into rage.****

Phil Hendrie
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phil Hendrie
Philip Stephen Hendrie (born September 1, 1952, Arcadia, California) was the host of The Phil Hendrie Show, a comedy talk radio program that was syndicated throughout North America on Premiere Radio Networks and on XM Satellite Radio. While The Phil Hendrie Show became renowned for its unique and controversial guests, those guests were not real people at all—they were fictional characters created and voiced by Hendrie himself.
Hendrie has performed voices on the animated FOX sitcoms King of the Hill and Futurama, and in Team America: World Police. In Spring of 2006, he had a supporting role in the live-action NBC sitcom Teachers.
Hendrie was married in 1997 to radio talk show host Maria Sanchez. Their wedding was held at the Queen Mary and was broadcast live on KFI. Hendrie moved from Minneapolis and then to Miami where he further developed his show. The show then moved to KFI in Los Angeles and was nationally syndicated to approximately 100 radio stations. In February 2005, Hendrie was moved from his flagship station, KFI, to XTRA Sports 570 AM, a sports talk radio station also centered in Los Angeles.
In early 2006, Hendrie announced that he would be ending The Phil Hendrie Show, feeling he had reached the limits of what he could do in "terrestrial talk radio" and expressing a desire to shift his career focus toward acting. His last radio broadcast was June 23, 2006. [1] On December 4, 2006, in a radio interview, he mentioned that he may soon be returning to radio, but the show will not include his character skits. On June 4, 2007, it was announced that Phil Hendrie will return to radio June 25, 2007 from 10 PM to 1 AM PST on Talk Radio Network-FM, with shows airing weeknightly. However, the new show, while more lighthearted than most other talk radio shows about news and politics, does not have any comedic intent like his previous show, and Phil does not performs character voices in the new show.

Hendrie considers his views unique for modern talk radio: on one hand, he is a registered Democrat who vocally supported Bill Clinton, voted for Al Gore over George W. Bush in 2000, both Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale over Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, and Michael Dukakis over George H.W. Bush (although Hendrie claims "I had to hold my nose when voting for Dukakis"). Hendrie is also adamantly pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-amnesty for illegal immigrants. At the same time, he is extremely supportive of the Iraq War as well as the War on Terror. He voted for and supported President George W. Bush in the 2004 election, chiding Democrat John Kerry as trying to be "all things to all people" and cautioning listeners that Bush would in time be viewed as one of the greatest American presidents. These views caused a stir among some of his fans and tended to dominate his show throughout 2002 and 2003. Hendrie eventually started a blog, titled and located at (seemingly to incite those who felt he was moving too far to the right). The blog came down after a few weeks, partly because Phil was tired of squabbling with readers. Hendrie has since renounced using his radio program for political ranting, saying that he didn't want to be "another white man all mad and ready with the answers" in a 2006 live chat with fans.
[edit]New Direction

Phil Hendrie announced his retirement from radio in order to pursue an acting career. His last show aired on June 23, 2006, although his former flagship, KLAC in Los Angeles, continued to air reruns of Hendrie's programming in its original timeslot until November 2006. In addition, until February 2007, News/Talk 610 CKTB (AM), in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, continued to air a show of specially selected Hendrie bits - called 'Phil Hendrie By Demand' - four hours a week on Saturday evenings.
Hendrie played a starring role in NBC's short-lived midseason replacement sitcom, Teachers, in the spring of 2006. He has also completed pilots for 'Three Strikes', and 'Giants of Talk Radio'.
Hendrie has also completed a role in a Will Ferrel film.
Phil also guest starred in two episodes of The Unit that originally aired October 10th and October 31st, 2006. He played the part of a radio talk show host on a military base.
Phil has also guest stared in several episodes of Matt Groening's cartoon show Futurama voicing different members of a hippy family known as the Waterfalls.
The Phil Hendrie Show is downloadable in mp3 format, starting with his October 4, 1999 show, at Phil's official web site. [2]
[edit]Phil in the Blogosphere

Hendrie has maintained several blogs, including and, later, (named after one of his more infamous characters, a paroled child molester). Beginning on May 29, 2007, the blog featured an ad proclaiming Hendrie's return to the airwaves on June 25 on the Talk Radio Network. On June 26, 2007, the blog was removed for fear of negative publicity.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 28, 2007, 05:48:53 PM
Woof GM,

It's not like I can search around and come up with an instance of Rush, Beck, Savage, or whoever calling somebody a "nigger" or engaging in that kind of overt racism.  They know that's not allowed and of course they're careful to not do it.  It's mostly in the various little songs and fake ads they have, when one of them mimics a Mexican or an Arab, plays a recording of some hispanic politician's speech with mariachi music added in the background, etc.  It's the kind of thing you have to listen to these shows for a while to pick up on.

But regardless, I don't see the right-wing radio hosts or their views as the problem, but that they get to present their spew with no requirement that any opposing views be presented.  Sure they can (and do) take calls from liberals, but this is the "opposing view" being presented completely on the host's terms.  After all, it's their show.

So what if the FD were implemented in such a way that for every hour of right-wing radio, the station were required to broadcast a 10-minute "rebuttal" that the show's host has no control over?  This wouldn't be just one-sided either, i.e. Anne Coulter could have the last 10 minutes of the CNN news hour (or whatever "liberal media" show) to respond to anything she wants.  Obviously (as SB_Mig said) the devil is in the details, but the idea is that nobody gets to spew a bunch of outrageous BS without somebody getting the chance to call them on it at the time.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on June 28, 2007, 06:50:51 PM
Woof Rog, I think you answered yourself with this quote:
I don't see the right-wing radio hosts or their views as the problem, but that they get to present their spew with no requirement that any opposing views be presented.  Sure they can (and do) take calls from liberals, but this is the "opposing view" being presented completely on the host's terms.  After all, it's their show.

Emphisis on "after all its their show"
When you start requiring rebutal and all else as you suggested then it ceases to become "Their show".
Probably sponsers and the bottom line, MONEY are quite a factor here.
I think it pretty simple that if its worth anything to the person putting out their agenda....say the left,they could do it just as easily as the right simply by doing the same things.......and of course funding it........that is if it means so much to them and their cause.
Beats the crap out of constant whining  "its not fair"  :|
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 29, 2007, 12:04:52 AM
Woof Tom,

Woof Rog, I think you answered yourself with this quote:
I don't see the right-wing radio hosts or their views as the problem, but that they get to present their spew with no requirement that any opposing views be presented.  Sure they can (and do) take calls from liberals, but this is the "opposing view" being presented completely on the host's terms.  After all, it's their show.

Emphisis on "after all its their show"
When you start requiring rebutal and all else as you suggested then it ceases to become "Their show".

It may be "their show", but it's being broadcast on airwaves owned by the public.  That gives us some say over how it goes.

I don't understand.  The host wouldn't be required to do or say anything different, there would just be a small part of the show devoted to an opposing view over which the host has no control.  Why should any honest person fear this?  If the conservatives have the same right to call "the liberal media" on whatever they want, then what's the problem?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 29, 2007, 04:31:07 AM
And why not have the NY Times be required to give 15% of its space to different points of view?  As for the small detail about whose point of view goes in that 15%, well no doubt the State can handle that , , , :roll:  The problem is that experience shows that the FD didn't work very well.  It simply caused the stations to lessen the amount of coverage they gave to controversial subjects. 

As Air America showed, the reason talk radio is what it is, is that America wasn't very interested in the message-- and its not my sense of America that the government should intervene in what people listen to.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on June 29, 2007, 09:44:54 AM
It may be "their show", but it's being broadcast on airwaves owned by the public.  That gives us some say over how it goes.

Absolutely. But that is why ratings exist. Obviously, if a show is popular people want to hear the message. I listen to right wing radio just as I listen to sports radio, pop music, NPR, etc. If I'm not interested in the message or music, I change the station.

The market (i.e. the public) should be the deciding factor, not the government.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 29, 2007, 10:43:04 AM
Opinion Journal of the WSJ:

 A Subject Made for Talk Radio

"There's nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine," is how Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican and former talk-show host, put it yesterday before the House voted 309 to 115 in favor of his bill to block any future president or the Federal Communications Commission from reinstating the 1949 Fairness Doctrine, the regulation that for some four decades stifled discussion of controversial issues on the airwaves by requiring broadcast stations to provide "equal time" for opposing commentary.

Democrats, many of whom are sympathetic to muzzling conservative talk radio, were spooked by the power of hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to make their lives miserable. Even Democratic Rep. David Obey put on a brave face as he rose to support the Pence bill. "Rush and Sean are just about as important in the scheme of things as Paris Hilton," he told the House. "I would hate to see them gain an ounce of credibility by being forced by a government agency or anybody else to moderate their views enough that they might become modestly influential or respected."

Mr. Obey is, of course, fooling himself. It was precisely the fear of populist talk radio that compelled over half of Democrats in the House to back the Pence bill rather than court the anger of the airwaves.

If Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't duplicate the Pence bill in the Senate, he'll be missing a great political opportunity. The Senate is a hotbed of pro-Fairness Doctrine sentiment. In recent days, John Kerry, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein of California have all touted its revival. "In my view, talk radio tends to be one-sided. It also tends to be dwelling in hyperbole. It's explosive. It pushes people to, I think, extreme views without a lot of information," Ms. Feinstein recently said.

In the language of politicalspeak used by most Members of Congress, what Ms. Feinstein was really saying is that talk radio has gotten too powerful and it's time radio hosts were sent a warning that it's incumbents in Congress who write the rules that determine whether they can stay in business or not.

Mr. Pence's successful effort is just the latest embarrassment the Democratic House majority has suffered at the hands of the Republican minority. "Republicans sure know how to be an effective minority better than the Democrats did," complained Democratic Rep. Zack Space of Ohio.

For now, the Fairness Mongers and their Democratic Congressional allies are clearly on the defensive.

-- John Fund
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 29, 2007, 12:06:41 PM
My biggest beef with the "Fairness Doctrine" is that gov't burecrats will be parsing speech and deciding "what's fair" in response. Political speech isn't binary code. It isn't as simple as a President's speech and the democrat's response.My favorite talk show commentator isn't nationally syndicated, he the closest i've found to representing my point of view so is that "unfair" that he doesn't have a nat'l show? (A Jewish conservative from New York)
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on June 29, 2007, 10:29:39 PM
The market (i.e. the public) should be the deciding factor, not the government.

I agree in thory, but is that what you see happening now?  Of all the AM radio political talk radio stations where I live, one is liberal (Air America, at least), one is mostly middle-of-the-road, and *three* are conservative.  And this is in the SF Bay Area, not Texas.  I'm not sure how the "market" in the most liberal area of the country somehow decided that more than 60% of it's AM talk radio should consist of hard core right-wing shows.

I confess I don't know exactly how we'd decide who would provide the "rebuttals" in my suggested scheme, but do any of you agree that this would be a good thing if done fairly?  I hear all the right-wingers in this forum barking about how dishonest and biased the media is against their views, and I'm offering you the (hypothetical) chance to show everybody what frauds they are on their own shows (and of course vice-versa for the liberals).  What's the problem?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 29, 2007, 11:08:31 PM
The problem is that no one would agree on what is "fair".  The problem is the government imposing speech.

" I'm not sure how the "market" in the most liberal area of the country somehow decided that more than 60% of it's AM talk radio should consist of hard core right-wing shows."

That's the mystery of it all :-D  That you (or I) do not understand it is irrelevant.  To think that we can is what Hayek called "the fatal conceit".

In this case you don't know how what is unfair and unbalanced would be decided; you don't who would decide it; and you don't know who gets to choose who gets represent the other side-- or even that there will only be two sides!-- and you want to put the government in charge anyway.


Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on July 02, 2007, 10:11:53 AM
Funny isn't it.  No mention of Pelosi here - just a Republican Presidential candidate shortly after he mentions his run:

What a joke no?  "Fairness doctrine".  It only applies when the left criticizes the right.  There is no fairness on CNN.  The NYT.  MSNBC.
But that is OK - but wait when we speak of conservative talk radion now we are only getting one side of the story.  I am glad the NYT tried to hit Murdoch.  We need more of the press policing themselves. 

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on July 02, 2007, 11:55:32 AM
" I'm not sure how the "market" in the most liberal area of the country somehow decided that more than 60% of it's AM talk radio should consist of hard core right-wing shows."

While it would seem natural, a majority lean in one direction or other politically does not necessarily translate to other areas.  IMHO this conservative lean shows that while the populace may be liberal, the people listening to the stations (and setting the ratings) are not. Also, the range of the stations goes far beyond SF which would take it into more conservative parts of NorCal, thus reaching a different demographic.

As for police-ing the airwaves, how would we decide who decides what is "fair and balanced"? Seems like we are creeping back into the area of censorship...
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 02, 2007, 08:25:13 PM
" I'm not sure how the "market" in the most liberal area of the country somehow decided that more than 60% of it's AM talk radio should consist of hard core right-wing shows."

While it would seem natural, a majority lean in one direction or other politically does not necessarily translate to other areas.  IMHO this conservative lean shows that while the populace may be liberal, the people listening to the stations (and setting the ratings) are not. Also, the range of the stations goes far beyond SF which would take it into more conservative parts of NorCal, thus reaching a different demographic.

Totally makes sense.  I was mostly trying to make the point that conservative talk radio is dominant even in the most liberal part of the country, so I can only imagine it being moreso in places known for being conservative.

As for police-ing the airwaves, how would we decide who decides what is "fair and balanced"? Seems like we are creeping back into the area of censorship...

Here's what seems like a reasonable summary of the Fairness Doctrine.  This 1969 case where it was upheld is interesting:

"The FCC fairness policy was given great credence by the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case of Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. FCC. In that case, a station in Pennsylvania, licensed by Red Lion Co., had aired a "Christian Crusade" program wherein an author, Fred J. Cook, was attacked. When Cook requested time to reply in keeping with the fairness doctrine, the station refused. Upon appeal to the FCC, the Commission declared that there was personal attack and the station had failed to meet its obligation. The station appealed and the case wended its way through the courts and eventually to the Supreme Court. The court ruled for the FCC, giving sanction to the fairness doctrine."

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.  I'm not sure how the FD was actually enforced in practice, but I don't think there was some "Ministry of Truth" or political officers monitoring every political broadcast.  It sounds like it amounted to (1) a requirement that stations presenting specific political viewpoints show proof of having sought out some opposing views as part of their license renewal, and (2) the right to sue if somebody trashes you without giving you a chance to respond.  To interpret this as a violation of the First Amendment seems like an extreme view to me.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 03, 2007, 12:18:11 AM
I very vaguely remember the Red Lion case from law school.

I think what you are missing is that in practice stations simply avoided controversial subjects. 

There are additional good reasons to oppose the FD, but for the moment I will point out that its logic was that of a time of limited bandwith.  In most markets, there were only 2-3 TV stations and AM radio, so a superficially plausible case could be made for the FD.  Today however we have the internet, Sat Radio and more.  Like so many regulations undertaken by the State, the FD is a solution in search of a problem.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 03, 2007, 10:36:12 AM
I think what you are missing is that in practice stations simply avoided controversial subjects. 

Can you provide an example?

There are additional good reasons to oppose the FD, but for the moment I will point out that its logic was that of a time of limited bandwith.  In most markets, there were only 2-3 TV stations and AM radio, so a superficially plausible case could be made for the FD.  Today however we have the internet, Sat Radio and more.

Agreed, but specifically wrt broadcast media, along with the growth in the number of stations there's been a corresponding concentration of ownership of these media in fewer hands, which if anything has made the barrier to entry even higher than it was in 1949.  The barrier to entry for the internet is sufficiently low that no such balance requirement is necessary, but I think there remains a good case for enforcing this in broadcast media.

Again, I can't believe the Savages and Hannitys are seriously worried about being booted off the air by some "thought police".  The question is how long they (or their liberal counterparts) would be able to get away with making outrageous claims and trashing people if even some small part of their show had to consist of a rebuttal over which they had no control.  Nobody who didn't want to listen to it would be forced to do so, so I don't see how anybody can claim this is "censorship".
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 04, 2007, 07:05:23 AM

Do you trust the government to regulate your speech?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2007, 08:54:47 AM
MD: I think what you are missing is that in practice stations simply avoided controversial subjects. 

ROG: Can you provide an example?

Tough to give and example of something that didn't happen  :lol:  More seriously now, the point is that, as comments here have already pointed out, the potential for hassles and disputes about who the other side is (often issues have far more than two sides) means that is that the suits who ran the networks just found it easier to avoid controversy altogether.

MD There are additional good reasons to oppose the FD, but for the moment I will point out that its logic was that of a time of limited bandwith.  In most markets, there were only 2-3 TV stations and AM radio, so a superficially plausible case could be made for the FD.  Today however we have the internet, Sat Radio and more.

ROG  Agreed, but specifically wrt broadcast media, along with the growth in the number of stations there's been a corresponding concentration of ownership of these media in fewer hands, which if anything has made the barrier to entry even higher than it was in 1949.  The barrier to entry for the internet is sufficiently low that no such balance requirement is necessary, but I think there remains a good case for enforcing this in broadcast media.

Which would only arbitrarily handicap broadcast media viz the internet, sat radio, cable TV, sat TV etc.  Back in law school, anti-trust law was an area of interest (indeed, my second summer of law school was in that division of the Federal Trade Commission) The issue I think you are misunderstanding is the definition of the market.  The market is not broadcast media, the market is the consumer's access to news and opinion.  With the internet, newspapers, sat radio, sat TV, cable TV, regular radio, etc, broadcast news simply does not have oligopolistic power.  NO ONE DOES.

Again, the FD is solution is search of a problem.

Or are the cowards in Congress thinking in terms of applying the FD to ALL media?!?  :? :x :x

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 04, 2007, 09:36:52 AM
MD: I think what you are missing is that in practice stations simply avoided controversial subjects. 

ROG: Can you provide an example?

Tough to give and example of something that didn't happen  :lol:  More seriously now, the point is that, as comments here have already pointed out, the potential for hassles and disputes about who the other side is (often issues have far more than two sides) means that is that the suits who ran the networks just found it easier to avoid controversy altogether.

Sorry, but I'm not buying it.  From the (admittedly small) glimpses I've seen of how the Vietnam War, Civil Rights struggles, etc. were covered back in the 60s, there was a lot less fear of controversy in the media then than there is today.  I attribute some of this to the more drastic limits on media ownership that were in place back then.  You had such "controversial" figures as Malcolm X being interviewed on the "Today" show (and given a fair chance to say his piece) back then.  I suppose you might be able to have somebody like him on a mainstream show today, but only if a Bill O'Reilly were present to interrupt and attack basically every point he makes.

MD There are additional good reasons to oppose the FD, but for the moment I will point out that its logic was that of a time of limited bandwith.  In most markets, there were only 2-3 TV stations and AM radio, so a superficially plausible case could be made for the FD.  Today however we have the internet, Sat Radio and more.

ROG  Agreed, but specifically wrt broadcast media, along with the growth in the number of stations there's been a corresponding concentration of ownership of these media in fewer hands, which if anything has made the barrier to entry even higher than it was in 1949.  The barrier to entry for the internet is sufficiently low that no such balance requirement is necessary, but I think there remains a good case for enforcing this in broadcast media.

Which would only arbitrarily handicap broadcast media viz the internet, sat radio, cable TV, sat TV etc. 

Compared to the internet, any broadcast media is handicapped by the the limited amount of space and (in most cases, prohibitively) expensive access.  Do you not see this crucial difference?

The issue I think you are misunderstanding is the definition of the market.  The market is not broadcast media, the market is the consumer's access to news and opinion.  With the internet, newspapers, sat radio, sat TV, cable TV, regular radio, etc, broadcast news simply does not have oligopolistic power.  NO ONE DOES.

Yes, people can choose to get their information from sources other than broadcast media (and some do), but the fact is that most people don't.  I think this has to do with the fact that TV and radio are still cheap and easy (to receive) compared to the alternative sources you cite.  As long as most people are getting their information from broadcast media, I see an obligation to ensure at least some balance there.  Otherwise it's just too easy for one set of political views to dominate simply because of it's commercial viability.  SB_MIg's point about talk radio in the Bay Area comes to mind.

Again, the FD is solution is search of a problem.

I think there are ways to implement something like the FD in ways you would consider fair and reasonable, but what I'm getting is that your instinctive mistrust of any "government regulation" (and there are good reasons to not trust) makes you unwilling to even consider this. 

Like I've asked before, wouldn't what I suggest have a positive effect *if* it could done fairly and reasonably?  Let's explore that possibility a bit, if you would be so kind as to humor me.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 04, 2007, 11:44:34 AM
Woof Rog, I have been loosley following this conversation, and I'am just wondering if there was some mouth piece out there specificly that you would like to see get more air time thats not getting it or something specific your talking about.

The onley thing I see is that you want, or would like to have,is the right wingers checked with rebutal on their shows.
Are you making the claim that the lefts view is not equally or fairley represented?
I don't quite see this as true with the last election as being evidence.
Besides don't you feel that people are smart enough to make their own decisions on what they choose to believe without being convinced?
Obviously yourself being a good example. Minority maybe....But then did it ever occur to you that the right is really more the main stream than you may be willing to admit and that most people have no issue with what your claiming.

Did it ever occur to you that living where you do may have you a little out of touch with the other 99.9% of America
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 06, 2007, 03:40:03 PM
Woof Tom,

The onley thing I see is that you want, or would like to have,is the right wingers checked with rebutal on their shows.

That's something I'd like to see, but if you read my earlier posts in this thread you'll see that I advocate this for liberal as well as right-wing shows.

I don't see it as a matter of people not being smart enough to decide what to believe.  What I see is a difference between the right to free speech (guaranteed by the constitution) and the right to say whatever outrageous crap you want and not be challenged or rebutted (not guaranteed).

All the time these right-wing hosts say stuff like "liberals hate America", "liberals want to see more people killed by terrorists", "liberalism is a mental disorder", etc.  Sure, a liberal can call in and try to argue with the host, but the host can (and often does) interrupt or just hang up any time he wants.  If a bunch of liberals are calling in at once, he's free to put the dumbest-sounding one on the air for the sole purpose of ridiculing the guy (and by extension, all liberal ideas).  How much of these guys' toughness and confidence derives from having almost complete control of the exchange?

Crafty has repeatedly argued that the FD largely resulted in stations shying away from controversial political topics.  I see no reason to shy away from presenting *any* topic if what you're presenting is factual information, or at least an honest point of view that isn't merely an attack or fear-mongering.  But if the "controversial" material in question is mostly unsubstantiated and/or outrageous statements and attacks, and a broadcaster is shying away from presenting it because it would never stand up to any serious challenge or fact-checking, then isn't that what should happen?

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 06, 2007, 05:00:48 PM
Woof Rog, I would say that for the most part I agree with what your saying. Though I doubt that this would/will happen.
   Hopefully anyone who would here someone say "liberals hate America" or anything like this would dismiss it as worthless spew.
Unfortunatly there are those types who do buy into such mindless crap.
Just the same its safe to say that this probably happens just as much on the left side as it does the right......none the less theres probably an audience for everything.
I think the idea that your speaking of .......checking speakers facts and content of what they are saying would best be served on a program specific setting.
More or less a debate type show with a moderator or fact checker for substance.
Though I think the audience for this would be limited, as well as those mouth pieces who would be willing to risk their reputations and agendas in a public forum. Hence the money factor for programming as audience equals $$$
CNN does do a show similar to this called "cross fire"  righty's and lefty's square off on specific topics. I have watched this from time to time.....though I do tire when one side won't let the other present their point, by interupting them. James Carvell is usally best for this tactic.  Of course you mentioned this as a problem already........So I don't have a good answer.
Unfortunatly, we can not rely on others to be honest and just tell the truth and base it on FACTS.
Then again if all would do this we would'nt need lawyers and courts either........ Just my opinion
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 06, 2007, 05:51:48 PM
Opinions are like *ssholes.  Everyone has one.  I'll choose my *sshole and you choose yours :lol:   "Facts" are often a matter of dispute.  IMHO this is clearly a matter for free people to work out for themselves e.g. by changing the station/channel and not for Congress or bureaucrats.    If I have already decided that my orientation in tax policy is supply side, I really don't want the government decreeing that I have to listen to a Keynesian in order to hear a supply sider analysis of tax policy.  As a matter of fact, I can imagine getting right prickly to anyone trying to make me listen to what I don't want to listen to.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 07, 2007, 05:53:16 AM
Woof, Like I said I have been loosley following this thread so I dont know all the particulars.......but I'am defintaly against gov.imposed networking....or as Crafty stated being forced to listen to the views or opinions of anyone I don't want to hear.
Changing the chanel seems easiest.
Besides to hear what you want to hear merly involves tuning into the station that preaches your agenda. As i previously stated theres a audience for everyone......and someone for every audience.
A Aerosmith lyric says "talk with yourself and you'll hear waht you want to hear" :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 07, 2007, 07:19:28 AM
Stated in non-PC English, the FD means in order to hear one point of view, you have to hear "the other" POV.  Of course there are the additional problems of determining:

a) who gets to represent "the other POV"
b) whether it needs to have a substantial following (of course if it doesn't it willl be litigated that it does not have a following because it hasn't yet had the govt make people listen to it :roll: )
c) what to do if there are several other POVs-- do we have to listen to all of them?

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on July 07, 2007, 10:52:13 AM
I refuse to believe that a congress with an approval gap 7 points worse that Bush, coming into an important election season, that can't seem to get anything done on anything will pass freedom of speech barring legislation that will prohibit the broadcast of a No. 1 show like Rush Limbaugh for example, and make joke balancing like they lamely attempt on Jay Leno to be the law.

That it used to be the law does not prove that this genie can be put back into the bottle.

I don't find compelling Roger's argument that successful shows pick the dumbest liberal caller in order to defeat that view.  In fact, these shows are loaded with real clips of liberal politicians in power, in their own words, with context largely preserved. Not with balance or equal time, but their views are discussed at length.

Missed in his analysis, it seems to me, is that the media was NOT balanced under the the last freedom of speech banning doctrine.  Rush's success and now so many others is based on the fact that a very widely held viewpoint, roughly called conservatism, was and still is under-expressed elsewhere.

Nor do I find compelling that statements like Michael Savage saying "Liberalism is a mental disorder" require a response.  I first do not put him in a category with conservatives.  And second, if I was a liberal strategist, I would not encourage prominent liberals to get on his show and raise his stature and balance.  I listened to enough Air America to know that either side can digress their message to that level, but the answer is already well stated in this thread - turn the dial, not try to regulate the hatefulness or opinions you find to be misguided.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on July 08, 2007, 10:28:50 AM
Hi Doug,

***Rush's success and now so many others is based on the fact that a very widely held viewpoint, roughly called conservatism, was and still is under-expressed elsewhere.***

Yes.  The same for Fox network which liberals despise.  Finally, there is a major news network I can turn on to hear views which more closely mirror my own unlike any other station on TV or cable.   And this infuriates the left.  Their bluff is called, and their hypocracy exposed.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 11, 2007, 03:53:06 PM
"A man who was engulfed in flames after allegedly crashing a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas cylinders into Glasgow's airport is unlikely to survive his severe burns, a doctor who treated him said Tuesday," the Associated Press reports from Edinburgh, Scotland:

"The prognosis is not good, and he is not likely to survive," a member of the medical team that treated him at the Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow said on condition of anonymity because details about patients are not to be made public.

Apparently the only details about patients that are not to be made public are the names of doctors who make details about patients public.

Political Journal, WSJ
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 12, 2007, 07:52:05 PM

Courtroom Explodes in Laughter After ABC’s Sawyer Touts Fairness of Journalists
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 01:34:59 PM

Waiting for the "fake but true" leftists to chime in....Never let the truth get in the way of undercutting the war against the global jihad.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 20, 2007, 02:06:13 PM
Woof GM, Those that know me, know I'am certainly no "Fake but True" Lefty. 
However I have been thinking and rethinking......The war in Iraq and all that goes along with it......
You make an intresting comment/statement or whatever.... in your last post ,"global Jihad".
I do believe in A global Jihad.....However I'am not so sure this can be won by invading and destroying countries.....
Sure, I supported the removal of Saddaam Husien from power.......though I don't really view him as a jihadist......not in the truest sense of the word.
Do you think honsetly a war against "global Jihad" can be won by destroying countries like Iraq?
A friend once said to me......"You can kill the man but you can't kill the dream"
Would you not agree that global jihad is more an ideal than an individual?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 02:29:26 PM

The global jihad is rooted in core elements of islamic theology, so as you point out it's an idea that transends individuals and nation-states. It's threat to our collective ideals and way of life are real so we can either choose to fight and win or lose and submit. I fear that short of nuking Mecca and killing off much or the world's muslim poplulation, nothing else will work, but trying to reform the islamic world via our interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq should be tried first before we use scortched earth methods.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 02:32:47 PM
BTW, the "fake but true" reference goes back to the CBS scandal where Dan Rather tried sabotaging the 2004 election with the bogus Bush nat'l guard memos. Various figures tried to defend the memos as "fake but true".
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 20, 2007, 02:54:16 PM
Ok, I'am not sure I agree with the termonology.....but ok for sake of argument lets go with "reform"......How do you think weve done so far since 9/11? Would you say we are winning over the Islamic community world wide?
Are you saying that sending troops into countries like Iraq is a method of reform? Please expound on that and how thats supposed to work.

Lets look ar Iraq for example......We got rid of Sadaam H. Now we are dealing with the likes of Guys like Sadr......Who would you say is/was the bigger threat?
Obviously S.H. was Iraq's "president" but I feel Sadr is much more radical by was of "Islamic Jihad"
How far does this go? Ever time a hardline Islamist stands up we take him out?.......
I need to buy some weapons manufacturing stock!
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 20, 2007, 04:51:38 PM
I fear that short of nuking Mecca and killing off much or the world's muslim poplulation, nothing else will work, but trying to reform the islamic world via our interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq should be tried first before we use scortched earth methods.

Nice attitude.  You and Madeleine "I think the price [500,000 - 1,000,000 Iraqi children dead as a result of the economic sanctions] was worth it" Albright have much in common.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2007, 05:06:37 PM
Just briefly chiming in here.  IIRC In yet another lapse of clarity and testicular fortiude, by accepting the premise of an interviewers question, Half-bright aceded to an assertion of 500,000.

As you and I have discussed on the DBMA Ass'n forum, there is no particular basis for this number.  The only article I have seen that seemed to genuinely and seriously assess the human cost of the UNITED NATIONS embargo was in Reason magazine several years ago.  As some of us know, Reason is a libertarian oriented publication and as such the majority of its editors and readers feel quite comfortable with Ron Paul type analysis.  In other words, there is nothing in the filters through which the magazine view the world that would prevent it from finding/agreeing with very high numbers.

Instead, after concluding that NO ONE really could have a clue, the article's best guestimate was about 100,000-- unlike your assertion of children only, this number simply was of civilians.

This is still a horrendous number, but to whom should we give credit?

*The United Nations-- whose embargo it was and whose leashing of the US when it could have finished off Saddam in the Gulf War necessitated the embargo;

* Oil competitors like Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Empire who made more money due to the overall decrease in world-wide oil supplies;

*Those who benefited from the corruption of the Oil for Food program-- particularly France, the Soviet Empire and the UN bureaucracy itself all the way up to the Secretary General himself.

Lets wrap this point up and return to the subject of this thread: Media-- yes?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 05:17:00 PM
Ok, I'am not sure I agree with the termonology.....but ok for sake of argument lets go with "reform"......How do you think weve done so far since 9/11? Would you say we are winning over the Islamic community world wide?
Are you saying that sending troops into countries like Iraq is a method of reform? Please expound on that and how thats supposed to work.

Lets look ar Iraq for example......We got rid of Sadaam H. Now we are dealing with the likes of Guys like Sadr......Who would you say is/was the bigger threat?
Obviously S.H. was Iraq's "president" but I feel Sadr is much more radical by was of "Islamic Jihad"
How far does this go? Ever time a hardline Islamist stands up we take him out?.......
I need to buy some weapons manufacturing stock!

Non-state actors need state sponsorship. They can work without it, but having state sponsors greatly increases their range and lethality. Saddam was a state sponsor of terrorism who well might have handed off WMD technology to al qaeda, as the Clinton administration feared. Again, with core islamic theology requiring muslims to engage in jhad until the world is conquered by islam gives us few choices but to either reform islam, shatter it or submit to it. None will be easy or quick, but i'll choose the first two of the three choices.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2007, 05:22:00 PM
May I suggest that it would be a more precise formulation to say that we need to allow Islam to reforrm itself-- which can only be accomplished by sane Muslims if we defend ourselves from the insane ones?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 05:22:45 PM
As far as winning "hearts and minds" inthe muslim world. Not so much. Hard to compete with the muzzie media and what's preached in friday prayers.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on July 20, 2007, 05:23:36 PM
Just briefly chiming in here.  IIRC In yet another lapse of clarity and testicular fortiude, by accepting the premise of an interviewers question, Half-bright aceded to an assertion of 500,000.

OK, she conceded to 500,000 and you say it was actually 100,000.  Is your point that 100,000 is an acceptable price but 500,000 isn't?

The number of Iraqis killed in our present war is estimated by fairly credible sources (the Lancet, the British government) at well over 500,000.

Lets wrap this point up and return to the subject of this thread: Media-- yes?

So in which thread does GM's "final solution" for the Muslim world belong?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2007, 05:37:53 PM
1) My point is to challenge the 500,000 number and assert the 100,000 number.  IMO Albright's brain fart on this point has greatly damaged the reputation of the US because she stupidly agreed to US ownership of the embargo, when it was a UN embargo pushed by nefarious interests (including fellow Muslim countries) and aceded to by the US.  Naturally in that she was the US Secy of State, great weight was given to her words in the Arab/Muslim world precisely because it spoke deeply of poor values/poor thinking-- and just as naturally here in the US her words promptly went down the memory hole.

2) As for casulaties in the War itself, for the numbers you give please give citations for the Lancet (over which IIRC we have already jousted on the Ass'n forum) and "the British government" so stating?

3)  As for which thread for GM's theory of the war, lets take it to the "WW3" thread.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on July 20, 2007, 06:06:05 PM
Woof GM, Sorry I missed your last post here. My bad. I would say thats a very lofty goal to shatter or reform the worlds largest religion.
Do you honestly think were up to the task.....esp. virtually by ourselves.......
I would say quality preventive messuares may best suit our purpose, as well as accurate selective targeting.
Esp high profile targets like Bin Laden
oK AGAIN MY BAD...........Move the thread. :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 06:14:06 PM

Fairness doctrine follies!
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2007, 08:33:55 PM
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 20, 2007, 08:47:13 PM
With that logic, the next time ABC wants to show "Apollo 13", the "we never went to the moon" loons get equal time for their drivel. "Schindler's List" grants equal time for jihadists or neo-nazis to tell "their side of the story". :roll:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 21, 2007, 06:33:41 AM
**Where is Canada's "fairness doctrine"?**

VisionTV defends airing 'jihad' lecture
By Stewart Bell
National Post

Thursday, July 19, 2007

TORONTO • VisionTV says it will monitor one of its shows more closely after it broadcast a lecture by an Islamic preacher who said scripture requires Muslims to either fight jihad or finance it.

The multi-faith channel, available in 7.8 million Canadian homes, said it took the precaution following a complaint about last Saturday's broadcast of a lecture by the Pakistani fundamentalist.

In the hour-long talk, Israr Ahmad said, "Jihad in the way of Allah, for the cause of Allah, can be pursued either with your financial resources or your bodily strength when you go to fight the enemy in the battlefield.

"So jihad, the highest form, is fighting in the cause of Allah."

Mr. Ahmad runs a seminary and bookstore in Lahore, Pakistan, and his writings foresee the "global domination of Islam," compare Jews to "parasites," describe the Holocaust as "divine punishment" and predict the "total extermination" of Jews.

His followers in Canada include terror suspect Qayyum Abdul Jamal, who was arrested last summer for his alleged role in a plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto.

According to Mr. Jamal's wife, Mr. Ahmad was her husband's teacher and mentor.

The television program left some wondering how the Pakistani preacher, who claims that Jews control the world through a secret conspiracy involving financial institutions, made it on to Canada's government-regulated airwaves.

"Israr Ahmad is widely known for his hateful words and vilification of Jews," said Canadian Jewish Congress spokesman Bernie Farber. "We are deeply concerned that Vision would give this individual the imprimatur of Vision's credibility. It was a mistake in judgment and ought to concern all of us."

VisionTV's code of ethics forbids the broadcast of programs that glorify or incite violence or "have the effect of provoking or abetting domestic or international religious or political conflicts."

The broadcaster acknowledged that the show, Dil Dil Pakistan, had talked about jihad and fighting but said it did not contravene the station's policies against incitement because the comments were made in a historical context. But it said the show would be monitored more closely.

"We have essentially a system of flagging shows when complaints are made, where we'll watch subsequent episodes even more carefully than we otherwise do, and take extra care and caution. So that's certainly the case here," said Mark Prasuhn, VisionTV's chief operating officer and vice-president of programming.

Toronto resident Mindy Alter, however, said the message came through loud and clear when she tuned in to the show, which aired from 3 to 4 p.m. on July 14.

"The part about the jihad, he said very specifically that it is incumbent upon Muslims to wage jihad against their enemies until Islam rules supreme over the world," Mrs. Alter said.

"I'm sorry, I don't think that belonged over the airwaves of Canadian TV.... You can put that in whatever context you like. To me that's preaching jihad."

Responded Mr. Prasuhn: "Definitely, the viewer is correct. [Mr. Ahmad] does make the point about, you either contribute financially or through your body, and he uses the word fight. But none of this, as far as I could see, is in any way correlated or referenced to the present day. It is strictly a historical context and reading of the Koran by a Koranic scholar."

Mr. Ahmad is not just a religious scholar. He heads a self-described "revolutionary" organization called Tanzeem-e Islami, which wants to turn Pakistan into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

In his book Lessons From History, he writes that the revival of Islam will begin in Pakistan, because it is the only country that "has the potential for standing up against the nefarious designs of the global power-brokers and to resist the rising tides of the Jewish/Zionist hegemony."

Islam will come to rule in four stages, he claims: the Ultimate World War in the Middle East, the appearance of the anti-Christ, the extermination of the Jews and the "domination of Islam, over the entire globe."

Canadian Muslim Congress founder Tarek Fatah said Mr. Ahmad "is allied to the ultra-conservative Islamists of Pakistan. His weekly TV rants are targeted primarily at fellow Muslims, urging them to segregate themselves from non-Muslims. He is also a promoter of the doctrine of jihad, as in armed warfare against non-Muslims."

Mr. Prasuhn said the show was screened before it was aired and that no problems were identified. He said he watched the show again after receiving a complaint on Monday and did not see a problem.

"He is saying that Muslims have a duty to propagate their faith," Mr. Prasuhn said.

"Then it goes a little further. It isn't directly connected to the word jihad, but in the same paragraph or whatever he then gets into talking about [how] this is accomplished - and again he's kind of referencing Koran and history - accomplished through jihad, which means these two things, financial contribution or fighting.

"So there's a line of thought there, but it's going a bit beyond what's actually there to say he's [saying] if you respect the Koran, you need to today engage in jihad and violence and fighting with non-Muslims. That's not said.

"At no point did I hear him say anything that would reference the present day or that would reference what a practitioner of Islam should do today. Now, that's an inference one might draw, I suppose, but I did not hear it in his words."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 23, 2007, 07:41:54 AM
Left Angeles Times:

Some in Congress pushing for reinstatement of Fairness Doctrine
The influence wielded by conservative talk show hosts draws calls to reinstate the policy.
By Jim Puzzanghera, Times Staff Writer
July 23, 2007

WASHINGTON — It was the decision that launched a thousand lips.

In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission stopped requiring broadcasters to air contrasting views on controversial issues, a policy known as the Fairness Doctrine. The move is widely credited with triggering the explosive growth of political talk radio.

Now, after conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage helped torpedo a major immigration bill, some in Congress have suggested reinstating the Fairness Doctrine to balance out those powerful syndicated voices.

That has unleashed an armada of opposition on the airwaves, Internet blogs and in Washington, where broadcasters have joined with Republicans to fight what they call an attempt to zip their lips.

Opponents of the Fairness Doctrine said it would make station owners so fearful of balancing viewpoints that they'd simply avoid airing controversial topics — the "chilling effect" on debate that the FCC cited in repealing the rule two decades ago.

"Free speech must be just that — free from government influence, interference and censorship," David K. Rehr, president of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, wrote to lawmakers.

There's little chance the fairness doctrine will return in the near future, as FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin publicly opposes it and the White House wrote to broadcasters last week assuring them that Bush would veto any legislation reinstating it. But the issue has renewed debate about how far the government should go in regulating the public airwaves.

Some Democrats say conservative-dominated talk radio enables Republicans to mislead the public on important issues such as the Senate immigration reform bill.

"These are public airwaves and the public should be entitled to a fair presentation," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is considering whether the Fairness Doctrine should be restored.

Republicans say that the policy would result in censorship and warn that it could return if Democrats win the White House in 2008.

"This is a bad idea from a bygone era," Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) said at a news conference last week with five other Republicans announcing legislation to block reenactment of the policy.

The FCC enacted the Fairness Doctrine in 1949 to ensure the "right of the public to be informed" by presenting "for acceptance or rejection the different attitudes and viewpoints" on controversial issues. The policy was upheld in 1969 by the Supreme Court because the public airwaves were a "scarce resource" that needed to be open to opposing views.

Broadcasters disliked the rule, which put their federal station license at risk if they didn't air all sides of an issue. Michael Harrison, who hosted a weekend talk show on the former KMET-FM in Los Angeles from 1975 to 1985, said the policy kept him from giving his opinions on controversial topics.

"I would never say that liberals were good and conservatives were bad, or vice versa. We would talk about, "Hey, all politicians are bad," or "It's a shame that more people don't vote," said Harrison, who publishes Talkers magazine, which covers the talk radio industry. "It was more of a superficial approach to politics."

The Fairness Doctrine ended during the Reagan administration. In a 1985 report, the FCC concluded the policy inhibited broadcasters from dealing with controversial issues and was no longer needed because of the growth of cable television.

"Many, many broadcasters testified they avoided issues they thought would involve them in complaints," recalled Dennis Patrick, who was chairman of the FCC in 1987 when it repealed the policy. "The commission concluded that the doctrine was having a chilling effect."

The decision was controversial. Congress passed a law in 1987 reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, but Reagan vetoed it.

Shortly afterward, Limbaugh, then a little-known Sacramento disc jockey, emerged as a conservative voice on radio stations nationwide. Another failed congressional attempt to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in 1993 was dubbed the "Hush Rush" bill.

A 1997 study in the Journal of Legal Studies found that the percentage of AM radio stations with a news, talk or public affairs format jumped to 28% in 1995 from 7% in 1987. Liberal talk radio efforts, such as Air America, have struggled to get ratings.

The Fairness Doctrine seemed dead and buried. Then in January, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is running for president, announced that with Democrats back in the House majority, he planned to hold hearings on reviving the policy because media consolidation has made it harder for some voices to be heard.

Page 2 of 2  << back     1 2     

And this spring, conservative talk show hosts unleashed a campaign against the Senate immigration bill, which would have given the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Their listeners flooded the Capitol with complaints, and the bill failed last month on a procedural vote.

Bill supporters immediately lashed out at talk radio.

"Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with the problem," said Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.). And Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said they favored restoring the Fairness Doctrine.

"We have more power than the U.S. Senate and they know it and they're fuming," conservative talk show host Savage said in an interview. The liberal bent of the mainstream media more than compensates for conservative dominance of AM talk radio, he said.

"We're going to have government snitches listening to shows," he said. "And what are they going to do, push a button and then wheel someone into the studio and give their viewpoint?"

But Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) said the rest of the media presented a balanced view of controversial issues, and the Fairness Doctrine would simply reimpose that requirement on talk radio.

Hinchey is readying legislation to reinstitute the doctrine as part of a broad package of media ownership reforms.

"It's important that the American people make decisions for themselves based upon the ability to garner all the information, not just on what somebody wants to give them," he said.

Republicans have seized on comments like that.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a former radio talk show host, proposed an amendment last month prohibiting the FCC from spending money to reimpose the Fairness Doctrine. It passed 309 to 115 after a parade of Republicans took to the House floor to blast calls to restore the policy. Democrats branded the vote a political stunt. Republicans tried to propose a similar amendment in the Senate last week, but Democrats blocked it .

Republicans vow to continue pressing the issue.

"The American people love a fair fight, and so do I," Pence said. "But there's nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine."

Title: Somehow, one doubts that
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 23, 2007, 10:16:17 AM
this is what the FD advocates have in mind :evil:

“I want to present a hypothetical here. I know this would not happen, but I’ll offer a compromise, the Limbaugh compromise, to the Democrats in the Senate and in the House... I will agree to pull our troops out of Iraq if you Democrats will agree to my conditions after the defeat... When al-Qa’ida celebrates after we pull out, after we admit defeat, every TV image of al-Qa’ida celebrating must be a split screen. On one side, al-Qa’ida celebrating; on the other side, I want pictures of Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and Carl Levin smiling and congratulating themselves. When al-Qa’ida slaughters Iraqis after we pull out and we see the pictures of this on TV, every TV image must show a split screen. On one side of the screen, the bloody slaughter scenes; on the other side of the screen, pictures of smiling Harry Reid, smiling Chuck Schumer, smiling Carl Levin congratulating each other with big laughs... I think that’s a reasonable compromise, and I’ve offered it here in all sincerity. If the left will agree to this compromise, I will join them in calling for a pullout from Iraq.” --Rush Limbaugh

Title: Attorney question
Post by: ccp on July 27, 2007, 04:03:28 PM
What legal recourse (if any) does Fox network have against this?  Leftist organizations are contacting those who advertise on Fox network with what sounds like to me a form of intimidation to not advertise on Fox.   It is a clear and organized campaign to harrass and frighten local, small advertisers away.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 27, 2007, 05:48:24 PM
I have no problem with that.
Title: Re: Attorney question
Post by: G M on July 27, 2007, 06:21:56 PM
What legal recourse (if any) does Fox network have against this?  Leftist organizations are contacting those who advertise on Fox network with what sounds like to me a form of intimidation to not advertise on Fox.   It is a clear and organized campaign to harrass and frighten local, small advertisers away.

Not a lawyer, but boycotts are a time honored tactic. I personally see nothing wrong with it. Fox has strong ratings and that's the biggest influence on advertising dollars.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on July 27, 2007, 07:51:11 PM
***I have no problem with that.***

Of course you don't. It's not *your* business or your website these people are trying their best to do great damage to.

That was not my question.  My question what legal recourse do they have, if any?

Perhaps none.  I don't know.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 27, 2007, 08:07:57 PM

The tone of voice coming through there is rather snarky and IMO undeservedly so.  Nevertheless, I'll flesh out why I have no problem with it.  Its called freedom.  Fox is free to do as it sees fit, and others are free to do as they see fit in response.

There is no legal remedy, nor should there be.


Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on August 05, 2007, 09:30:05 AM
Well I felt your first post was a bit of a brush-off.  Your views on freedom of speech are well known.

I would have figured you would have no problem with it in regards to freedom speech.

I also think that Fox has an angle that implies the freedom of speech of their advertisers is being limited by those who disagree with Fox.   In that regards or perhaps some other, I wondered if Fox had some cause for a civil suit.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 05, 2007, 12:02:14 PM
Anybody can sue anyone for anything in the US, however suing is one thing, winning is another.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 05, 2007, 01:24:53 PM
 I have a idea!! How about instead of killing low level A'Q In Iraq........or at least in co-operation with killing low level A'Q, We go after bigger fish like the Financiers of A'Q like the gentleman Suadi mentioned in Buzzwardos post (sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz)
Just in case it was missed by all the arm chair war lords heres a quote from the article:
Who is Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz? Well, he's a very wealthy and influential Saudi. Big deal, you say. Is there any other kind? Yes, but even by the standards of very wealthy and influential Saudis, this guy is plugged in: He was the personal banker to the Saudi royal family and head of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, until he sold it to the Saudi government. He has a swanky pad in London and an Irish passport and multiple U.S. business connections, including to Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

I'm not saying the 9/11 Commission is a Saudi shell operation, merely making the observation that, whenever you come across a big-shot Saudi, it's considerably less than six degrees of separation between him and the most respectable pillars of the American establishment.

As to whether allegations about support for terrorism by the sheikh and his "family, businesses and charities" are "entirely and manifestly false," the Cambridge University Press is going way further than the United States or most foreign governments would. Of his bank's funding of terrorism, Sheikh Mahfouz's lawyer has said: "Like upper management at any other major banking institution, Khalid Bin Mahfouz was not, of course, aware of every wire transfer moving through the bank. Had he known of any transfers that were going to fund al-Qaida or terrorism, he would not have permitted them." Sounds reasonable enough. Except that in this instance the Mahfouz bank was wiring money to the principal Mahfouz charity, the Muwafaq (or "Blessed Relief") Foundation, which in turn transferred them to Osama bin Laden.

Oh wait a minute.....we are so serious about our global war on terror......oh how could I forget......were selling arms to the Saudis. :|
Yep....The shootin gallery is open Partner. :-P
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2007, 05:10:37 PM

Please forgive me, but what does this have to do with media issues?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 06, 2007, 05:25:06 PM
 Guro Crafty, I have no idea. It was a posted comment on the post by  Buzwardo regarding the book that mentioned  the Sheik as a Saudi Finacier of AQ........I must have miss posted it on the wrong apologise...... :oops:
In the future I promise to try to keep my comments more thread friendly with special emphisis on attention to detail. :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2007, 06:03:58 PM
Good dog!  :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 10, 2007, 02:23:21 PM
**Why the media blackout on this story???**

Media Blackout: Google News Search Reveals Only One MSM Mention -- FoxNews, Of Course -- Of NASA's Dramatically-Revised Temperature Records
Updated: That ND TV Station Reference Was Just To Say Anything's Blog
Search for "NASA temperature" which should bring the story up.

Only two references: One to a ND TV station and one to FoxNews. The FoxNews link has a link for 92 related articles, but every single one of the articles that comes up is about the new claim that global warming will begin -- for reallies this time -- in 2009.

Hitting the "show omitted duplicative results" reveals one more article about the NASA scandal -- but only by conservative online magazine The American Thinker.

And Newsweek dares to call global warming skeptics reality-deniers.

Drudge could help push the word on this, of course, and shame the press into mentioning it, but he won't, because he's a FREAK weather fetishist (today's big story: the heatwave!) and because he refuses to even mention stories that blogs have publicized or broken before he knew which way was up.

The TNR thing, for example, is now in the MSM. Krauthammer covers it today. And Drudge? Boycotting the story, because he doesn't have a piece of it and even acknowledging it would imperil his rather undeserved and quite happenstancical (whatever) position as the Guy Who Makes Millions By Reading The Wires And Putting Up Links.

I'm a little tired of Matt Drudge's jackassery on both points, especially the latter one. The overweening and destructively defensive egotism of a guy who just puts up fucking links he finds on the wires is getting to be a little too much to take.

Not to kiss up to Instapundit (though I'm sending him this link), but Instapundit tries to boost blogs on his blog, pushing blog stories harder than MSM stories even if the MSM stories are a bit more interesting.

Drudge does the opposite, of course, seeing blogs as a threat.

You think Drudge has been pushing anti-Kos stories out of politics? Nope. He's pushing them out of self-interest. The DailyKos is the only blog in the world that even has a significant fraction of his enormous traffic -- pretty much Kos is the leftist Drudge -- and so he's knocking a competitor for entirely personal reasons.

Update: Rob Port of Say Anything tells me the one other MSM mention -- by a ND TV station -- really wasn't by the TV station per se, but just his own blog, which the TV station syndicates.

Here's Rob Port's post; here's the post as it appears syndicated on that TV station's page. If you go to the station's page, you'll see these blogs are not exactly prominently displayed, though I do think it's a neat idea, and a welcome one, for local TV stations to feature local blogs.

I'm not knocking the station really, just noting this hardly counts as a bona-fide MSM mention. Kinda, sorta, but not really. They just linked his blog post, as they do some of his posts. The TV station itself did not report on the story and (presumably) did not broadcast it.

So we're down to exactly one MSM mention, as far as I can tell, and honestly, it's hard even to claim FoxNews is part of the MSM. Certainly the MSM doesn't count them as such. They all think they're just GOP TV.

So, really-- zero MSM mentions of an important story about global warming.


Because sometimes relevant facts must be withheld from the public so they are not misled by trivial things like evidence, science, and actual news.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 11, 2007, 01:25:04 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

Why The New York Times Can Legally Help The Enemy in The War on Terror

By Jeffrey Imm

In July 2007, the Washington Post gave a Hezbollah supporter full coverage of an online column on Jihadism, and in June 2007, both the New York Times and the Washington Post printed editorials by a Hamas figure.

This week, the New York Times has provided online columns on August 8 and August 9 dedicated to brainstorming new ideas on how Jihadists can attack and kill Americans. The New York Times author, Dr. Steven Levitt, a writer on economics, used his online August 8 column "If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?" to offer some new ideas to Jihadists on ways to murder Americans, and suggested some specific tactics that Jihadists can take to improve both the level of terror and effectiveness of such murders. Then Dr. Levitt invited the general public to offer their own suggestions on how Jihadists might be able to kill Americans, stating "I'm sure many readers have far better ideas. I would love to hear them." And disturbingly, many hundreds of readers obliged Dr. Levitt by offering horrific suggestions to help Jihadists. This was not yet enough for the New York Times, and so on August 9, Dr. Levitt wrote a second online column "Terrorism, Part II", where he defended his right to recommend murder ideas to terrorists, by explaining that there are a "virtually infinite" number of American vulnerabilities, and by claiming that the "terrorists are incompetent" or the "terrorism threat just isn't that great".

Not once in either column does Dr. Levitt ever use the word... "Jihad" or "Jihadists". In Dr. Levitt's view, the threat is only from incompetent criminals that he calls "terrorists", and that view of terrorists as mere "criminals" was echoed the same day by former NATO leader Wesley Clark in another New York Times column "Why Terrorists Aren't Soldiers".

America's Propaganda Vulnerability

The New York Times' online column brainstorming for ideas to kill Americans does point out a massive vulnerability for America -- the fact that during wartime, such a column was editorially acceptable and legal for public distribution.

The real question that Americans should be asking is WHY it is legal and editorially acceptable - not only for the Steven Levitt columns, but also for the Hezbollah and Hamas editorials. This goes back to the fundamental unresolved questions in the minds of a segment of the public as to: (a) is the USA at war or not, (b) if so, who is the enemy, (c) what is our war strategy against the enemy.

Wartime Responses to Aiding the Enemy

Nearly 6 years after the 9/11 attacks, the idea that we as a nation still have large segments of the population that not only don't believe the nation is at war, but also can't identify the enemy is truly disturbing. The imperative need for clear and precise executive government communication on this war is demonstrated by such New York Times and Washington Post columns. Yet there is no public outrage by the government, no public anger by the government, and nothing but silence on these columns.

Would it have been tolerable to President FDR during World War II or to President Woodrow Wilson during World War I, if the major news media were publishing editorials by the enemy, and publishing suggestions on how the enemy could best attack the nation during war? Basic American history clearly answers these questions: FDR had an Office of Censorship and Woodrow Wilson urged the creation of the Sedition Act of 1918. These were wartime measures, because the nation was at war. Moreover, the news media voluntarily complied with the WWII Office of Censorship, and worked with the government towards the shared goal of defeating the enemy.

By contrast, in today's war, the U.S. government has had to struggle to legally have the right to monitor potential saboteurs and sympathizers, and has had to struggle to retain laws to allow the FBI to effectively investigate such enemies. And the news media publishes classified information on U.S. government war strategies and on sensitive information on financial tracking of the enemy.

The Unresolved Questions That Allow Others to Define America's Position

The war against transnational Jihadists and their myriad organizations poses unique challenges in effectively defining America's wartime positions. Unlike WWI or WWII, the current war does not readily allow a nation state or nation states with a publicly recognizable army that can be defined as the enemy to be defeated. These unique challenges require greater clarity, greater precision, and greater communication from the government to the nation than any time in America's history -- regarding the state of war, the identity of the enemy, and the war strategy.

The State of War

The enemy has been precise about its goals and its objectives. Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda has declared written war on the United States not once, but twice, once in 1996 and once in 1998. These Jihadist declarations of war have been rarely discussed in the news media or in government discussions about the war. The Washington Post published the 1998 war declaration on September 21, 2001 - 10 days after the 9/11 attacks.

Moreover, Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith has also documented its goals in the Jihadist war against the United States, as well as Al-Qaeda's stated goal to kill at least 4 million Americans.

On the American side, the declaration of war was "The Authorization for Use of Military Force" ("AUMF") (Public law 107-40) passed by Congress on September 18, 2001, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.

The AUMF should have provided sufficient war-justification for both the American public and the news media, should the enemy be sufficiently identified. However, the AUMF never used either the word "Jihad" or "Jihadists" in defining the enemy.

The Identification of the Enemy

The AUMF provided the rationale for the current war in Afghanistan, based on American intelligence of the role of the Taliban Jihadist camps in training the 9/11 attackers, as it calls for the right to use military force against those who "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the 9/11 attacks.

However, like this week's New York Times columns by Dr. Steven Levitt, the AUMF also did not use the word "Jihad" or "Jihadist". Moreover, the effort to fight the Jihadists then became tagged with the general term the "War on Terror". Furthermore, many of the government leadership speeches regarding the war have referenced the enemy as "terrorists", as "evil", and as "extremists".

General references to fighting a war against "terrorism", "evil", and "extremists" have enabled widely diverse interpretations by individuals as to who exactly the enemy is, and has allowed virtually every different pundit and commentator to come up with their own interpretation on the identity of the enemy. From the perspective of international relations, this could provide "strategic ambiguity" to allow for tactical realpolitik negotiations among nations that tolerate or host Jihadists to aid in tactical battles in either Afghanistan or Iraq. But it misses the holistic view that for the nation to effectively fight a war - they must be united in identifying the enemy.

In the case of New York Times writer, Dr. Steven Levitt, the "terrorists" that he was referring to are not a wartime "enemy", they are mere "criminals" who he no doubt sees no connection to 9/11 or the AUMF at all. More troubling is that former NATO leader Wesley Clark also views Jihadists as mere "criminals". Furthermore, the New York Times and the Washington Post apparently views neither Hamas or Hezbollah as "enemy" organizations, but apparently views their naming on the State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization as "terrorists" as a political viewpoint.

Al-Qaeda is a Jihadist Organization

The idea that Al-Qaeda is a Jihadist organization may seem to be obvious, but not to all segments of the public and to organizations influencing the government. This plays another part in the blurring of the enemy's identification. As pointed out in numerous articles, there is a large segment of intelligentsia that seeks to obfuscate the enemy's identification by arguing that there is "good Jihad" and "bad Jihad". Dr. Walid Phares' recent column "Preventing the West from Understanding Jihad" demonstrates how apologist literature has even reached the National Defense University, and how apologists argue that the proper term for "bad Jihad" is "Hiraba". Dr. Phare's column was rebutted by Jim Guiard, who argued that America is not threatened by "Jihadist martyrdom", but "Irhabi Murderdom".

As I have mentioned previously in other postings, the fundamental problem for Americans in identifying the enemy, whether it is the vacillating term "War on Terror", or the unwillingness to call the enemy "Jihadists" comes down a conflict in Americans accepting that an enemy group could be affiliated in any way with any religion. America was founded on freedom of religion; it is inherent in our identity as a nation. But in dealing with the war of Jihadists against America, it is a fact that in identifying the enemy, that the present enemy is motivated by very specific religious beliefs.

Those who seek to obfuscate the identity of the enemy argue that if you call the enemy "Jihadists", then you validate their view as being representative of all of Islam. That is a red-herring that seeks to keep Americans in denial, not only about the identity of the enemy, but also about their very real religious motivations. And so... we are left with merely fighting a "War on Terror".

War Strategy Without Agreed-Upon Enemy Identity

Unlike WWI and WWII, where the enemy was clearly identified, the transnational Jihadists are difficult for the American public to process as an enemy. Moreover, while Al-Qaeda has formal declarations of war on the United States, and other Jihadist groups declare war on the USA on a near-daily basis, the only real war declaration that the USA has is the AUMF, that never once uses the word "Jihad". Therefore, without an agreed-upon enemy identification, the U.S. government and public are at major odds as to what, if any, war strategy there should be, and not only just in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in other parts of the world.

Unlike WWII, where the Nazis were a clearly designated enemy, in 2006, the Washington Post feels no wartime loyalty to preserve classified information about secret CIA prisons holding Jihadists. And that small representative example of the dysfunction in agreeing on enemy war strategy or even the identity of the enemy, has now resulted in major media publishing Jihadist editorials and now publicizing ideas to help the enemy attack and kill Americans.

Enemy Aid is the Price of Ignorance

As I have previously posted, the American public is woefully uninformed as to the scope and the magnitude of the daily World War by Jihadists across the globe. There are easily 20 to 30 Jihadist news stories most days; if the American public on average hears about 2 of those, it would be a miracle. The Jihadist World War is simply not reported as a priority by the American news media, and once again, the Jihadists have not been formally designated as the "enemy". By and large, the American news media finds the Jihadist activities in India, Israel, Somalia, Philippines, Thailand, Europe, UK, and around the world as "isolated incidents" deserving as mention (if at all) on page 30 of foreign news.

This leads to some segments of the population to view that such Jihadists have legitimate "struggles" and are not really "terrorists" either, but are "militants", whose cause deserves a voice in world affairs, as per the New York Times' and Washington Post's editorials for Hamas and Hezbollah.

The more painful realization is that the historical monofocus of Americans on their own affairs makes such world news and world threats to blur from any possible attention spans, except for the occasional suicide bombing in Iraq broadcast on cable news networks. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago, when after writing a story on UK Jihadists threatening the United States, I watched a television game show with my wife, where a premed college student not only didn't know what the capital of the United Kingdom was, but wasn't even sure that the UK was actually a country at all.

Knowing your public is an important part of any public mobilization - whether it is for war - or for any other shared cause. And the New York Times and the Washington Post publications increasingly illustrate how little, 6 years after 9/11, the American public understand about the Jihadist enemy that is at war with the United States.

The price of such ignorance is to tolerate news media, public organizations, and individuals that will promote enemy propaganda, enemy incitement, and will provide information to the enemy on how to harm America, without the laws, the restraint, and the good sense to realize that all of this is unacceptable during war-time. And the price of such ignorance is a nation that is not prepared, not mobilized, and not energized for the long fight against the enemy.

In this war against Jihad, America must decide if it can continue to tolerate the price of ignorance, or if instead it is willing to make the investment in strategic war planning, communication, clear identification of the enemy and its threats, and unified purpose necessary to defeat its enemies.


August 8, 2007 - The New York Times: "If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?", by Steven D. Levitt

August 9, 2007 - The New York Times: "Terrorism, Part II", by Steven D. Levitt

August 8, 2007 - The New York Times: "Why Terrorists Aren't Soldiers", by Wesley K. Clark and Kal Raustiala

U.S. News Media and Terror Group Figure Editorials -- CTB Posting, Jeffrey Imm

Washington Post: CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

Terrorist Finance Tracking Program: Controversy regarding The New York Times' decision to publish

August 23, 1996 -- "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" -- Osama Bin Laden Declaration of War Against the United States of America

Febuary 23, 1998 -Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders - World Islamic Front Statement -- Osama Bin Laden's Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans (declaring war and plans to attack the United States) -- Published in Al-Quds al-'Arabi

June 12, 2002: 'Why We Fight America': Al-Qa'ida Spokesman Explains September 11 and Declares Intentions to Kill 4 Million Americans with Weapons of Mass Destruction

Authorization for Use of Military Force (Enrolled Bill), September 18, 2001

September 18, 2001 - U.S. Authorization for Use of Military Force

Preventing the West from Understanding Jihad - Dr. Walid Phares

Is AQ-style Terrorism "Jihadi Martyrdom" or "Irhabi Murderdom" ??? - Jim Guirard

Why We Must Label Al-Qaeda Terrorism "Jihad Martyrdom" - Robert Spencer

2007: Strategic Thinking Needed in Fighting Global Jihad -- CTB Posting, Jeffrey Imm

9/11, Religious Faith, and Ignorance -- CTB Posting, Jeffrey Imm

9/11 and News Reporting on Jihadist Terrorism -- CTB Posting, Jeffrey Imm

By Jeffrey Imm on August 10, 2007 7:00 PM
Title: More freedom in the chinese media?
Post by: ccp on August 13, 2007, 07:39:55 AM
I find this story about corruption in China amazing because it was first reported in *Chinese* media.  I would think that in the past those reporting this corruption, and not those participating in the corruption would have been the ones in trouble.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 14, 2007, 09:30:19 AM

Confessions of a BBC liberal

The BBC has finally come clean about its bias, says a former editor, who
wrote Yes, Minister

Antony Jay

In the past four weeks there have been two remarkable changes in the public
attitude to the BBC. The first and most newsworthy one was precipitated by
the faked trailer of the Queen walking out of a photographic portrait
session with Annie Leibovitz.

It was especially damaging because the licence fee is based on a public
belief that the BBC offers a degree of integrity and impartiality which its
commercial competitors cannot achieve.

But in the longer term I believe that the second change is even more
significant. It started with the BBC's own report on impartiality that
effectively admitted to an institutional "liberal" bias among programme
makers. Previously these accusations had been dismissed as a right-wing
rant, but since the report was published even the BBC's allies seem to
accept it.

It has been on parade again these past few weeks on the Radio 4 programme
The Crime of Our Lives. It included (of course) the ritual demoni-sation of
Margaret Thatcher (uninterested in crime . . . surprisingly did not take a
closer interest), a swipe at Conservative magistrates and their friends in
the golf club and occasional quotes from Douglas Hurd to preserve the
illusion of impartiality, but the whole tenor of the programme was liberal/
progressive/ reformist.

The series even included a strong suggestion that Thatcher's economic
policies were the cause of rising crime. So presumably she shouldn't have
done what she did?

There is a perfectly reasonable case for progressive liberal reform of penal
policy. There is also a perfectly reasonable case for a stricter and more
punitive penal policy.

This programme was quite clearly on the side of the former and the
producer/writer was a member of BBC staff. Can you imagine a BBC staff
member slanting a programme towards the case for a stricter penal policy?

The growing general agreement that the culture of the BBC (and not just the
BBC) is the culture of the chattering classes provokes a question that has
puzzled me for 40 years. The question itself is simple - much simpler than
the answer: what is behind the opinions and attitudes of this social group?

They are that minority often characterised (or caricatured) by sandals and
macrobiotic diets, but in a less extreme form are found in The Guardian,
Channel 4, the Church of England, academia, showbusiness and BBC news and
current affairs. They constitute our metropolitan liberal media consensus,
although the word "liberal" would have Adam Smith rotating in his grave.
Let's call it "media liberalism".

It is of particular interest to me because for nine years, between 1955 and
1964, I was part of this media liberal consensus. For six of those nine
years I was working on Tonight, a nightly BBC current affairs television
programme. My stint coincided almost exactly with Harold Macmil-lan's
premiership and I do not think that my former colleagues would quibble if I
said we were not exactly diehard supporters.

But we were not just anti-Macmil-lan; we were antiindustry,
anti-capital-ism, antiadvertising, antiselling, antiprofit, antipatriotism,
antimonarchy, antiempire, antipolice, antiarmed forces, antibomb,
antiauthority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more
prosperous place - you name it, we were anti it.

Although I was a card-carrying media liberal for the best part of nine
years, there was nothing in my past to predispose me towards membership. I
spent my early years in a country where every citizen had to carry
identification papers. All the newspapers were censored, as were all letters
abroad; general elections had been abolished: it was a one-party state. Yes,
that was Britain - Britain from 1939 to 1945.

I was nine when the war started, and 15 when it ended, and accepted these
restrictions unquestioningly. I was astounded when identity cards were
abolished. And the social system was at least as authoritarian as the
political system. It was shocking for an unmarried couple to sleep together
and a disgrace to have a baby out of wedlock. A homosexual act incurred a
jail sentence. Procuring an abortion was a criminal offence. Violent young
criminals were birched, older ones were flogged and murderers were hanged.

So how did we get from there to here? Unless we understand that, we shall
never get inside the media liberal mind. And the starting point is the
realisation that there have always been two principal ways of
misunderstanding a society: by looking down on it from above and by looking
up at it from below. In other words, by identifying with institutions or by
identifying with individuals.

To look down on society from above, from the point of view of the ruling
groups, the institutions, is to see the dangers of the organism splitting
apart - the individual components shooting off in different directions until
everything dissolves into anarchy.

To look up at society from below, from the point of view of the lowest
group, the governed, is to see the dangers of the organism growing ever more
rigid and oppressive until it fossilises into a monolithic tyranny.

Those who see society in this way are preoccupied with the need for liberty,
equality, self-expression, representation, freedom of speech and action and
worship, and the rights of the individual. The reason for the popularity of
these misunderstandings is that both views are correct as far as they go and
both sets of dangers are real, but there is no "right" point of view.

The most you can ever say is that sometimes society is in danger from too
much authority and uniformity and sometimes from too much freedom and

In retrospect it seems pretty clear that the 1940s and 1950s were years of
excessive authority and uniformity. It was certainly clear to me and my
media liberal colleagues in the BBC. It was not that we in the BBC openly
and publicly criticised the government on air; the BBC's commitment to
impartiality was more strictly enforced in those days.

But the topics we chose and the questions we asked were slanted against
institutions and towards oppressed individuals, just as we achieved
political balance by pitting the most plausible critics of government
against its most bigoted supporters.

Ever since 1963 the institutions have been the villains of the media
liberals. The police, the armed services, the courts, political parties,
multi-national corporations - when things go wrong they are the usual

But our hostility to institutions was not - and is not - shared by the
majority of our fellow citizens: most of our opinions were at odds with the
majority of the audience and the electorate. Indeed the BBC's own 2007
report on impartiality found that 57% of poll respondents said that
"broadcasters often fail to reflect the views of people like me".

There are four new factors which in my lifetime have brought about the
changes that have shaped media liberalism, encouraged its spread and
significantly increased its influence and importance.

The first of these is detribalisation. That our species has evolved a
genetic predisposition to form tribal groups is generally accepted as an
evolutionary fact. This grouping - of not more than about five or six
hundred - supplies us with our identity, status system, territorial
instinct, behavioural discipline and moral code.

We in the BBC were acutely detribalised; we were in a tribal institution,
but we were not of it. Nor did we have any geographical tribe; we lived in
commuter suburbs, we knew very few of our neighbours and took not the
slightest interest in local government. In fact we looked down on it.
Councillors were self-important nobodies and mayors were a pompous joke.

We belonged instead to a dispersed "metropolitan media arts graduate" tribe.
We met over coffee, lunch, drinks and dinner to reinforce our views on the
evils of apartheid, nuclear deterrence, capital punishment, the British
Empire, big business, advertising, public relations, the royal family, the
defence budget - it's a wonder we ever got home.

The second factor that shaped our media liberal attitudes was a sense of
exclusion. We saw ourselves as part of the intellectual elite, full of ideas
about how the country should be run. Being naive in the way institutions
actually work, we were convinced that Britain's problems were the result of
the stupidity of the people in charge of the country.

This ignorance of the realities of government and management enabled us to
occupy the moral high ground. We saw ourselves as clever people in a stupid
world, upright people in a corrupt world, compassionate people in a brutal
world, libertarian people in an authoritarian world.

We were not Marxists but accepted a lot of Marxist social analysis. We also
had an almost complete ignorance of market economics. That ignorance is
still there. Say "Tesco" to a media liberal and the patellar reflex says,
"Exploiting African farmers and driving out small shopkeepers." The
achievement of providing the range of goods, the competitive prices, the
food quality, the speed of service and the ease of parking that attract
millions of shoppers does not register on their radar.

The third factor arises from the nature of mass media. The Tonight programme
had a nightly audience of about 8m. It was much easier to keep their
attention by telling them they were being deceived or exploited by big
institutions than by saying what a good job the government and the banks and
the oil companies were doing.

The fourth factor is what has been called "isolation technology". Fifty
years ago people did things together much more. The older politicians we
interviewed in the early Tonight days were happier in public meetings than
in television studios.

In those days people went to evening meetings. They formed collective
opinions. In many places party allegiance was collective and hereditary
rather than a matter of individual choice based on a logical comparison of

These four factors have significantly accelerated and indeed intensified the
spread of media liberalism since I ceased to be a BBC employee 40 years ago.

But let's suppose that I had stayed. Would I have remained a devotee of the
metropolitan media liberal ideology that I once absorbed so readily? I have
an awful fear that the answer is yes.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 16, 2007, 07:07:16 AM
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 16, 2007, 04:20:17 PM
The Windsor Hezbollah Billboard:CBS Violates Federal Law
2007-08-12 11:16am PT | Total Score: 67 points | Average Rating: 4.19 out of 5 | Post History | Visit Debbie Schlussel

By Debbie Schlussel
Thanks to the many readers who sent me the Windsor Star article about the Hezbollah CBS billboard in downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada (right over the river from us here in Detroit). The Star is an excellent paper and used to be edited by a friend of mine. I read it regularly, as the same Sharia that is beginning to be instituted here and the same Islamicization we see is magnified ten-fold just a few miles away in another country.
CBS' Hezbollah Billboard in Canad

An unidentified party paid to post a pro-Hezbollah billboard, featuring photos of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, as well as other Hezbollah officials. While that is disturbing, it really is not surprising if you've ever been to Windsor, especially lately. Hezbollah and HAMAS supporters who can't get in here, live freely over there. And others who can't get in here, regularly are smuggled through in car trunks from over there to here. And Hezbollah supporters here have training camps over there.
The billboard may be against the law in Canada, where free speech laws are less absolute, but it's definitely illegal under U.S. law for other reasons.

What's disturbing is that CBS owns the billboard and allowed it to be posted. This is a violation of federal law here in America. It makes no difference that the billboard is in Canada. Federal law prohibits providing material support, including communications (such as a billboard), to terrorist groups. Hezbollah is not only on the State Department Terrorist List, it is also a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Therefore, with the posting of this billboard supporting Hezbollah, CBS has gone beyond the bounds of free speech and entered the boundaries of illegality.
Unfortunately, nothing will likely happen to CBS for doing so. Who enforces the laws? Well, our spineless, wimpy, partial-to-Muslims Justice Department does. They will never pursue CBS for doing so. So, CBS will get away with it.

Conceivably, a victim of Hezbollah terrorism and his/her relatives could try to sue CBS over this material support, but it's a stretch. Such a suit, though, would be interesting because it would force CBS, through discovery, to disclose exactly who paid for the billboard, and let us know exactly who is working for Hezbollah in North America--at least, in connection with the billboard.
For now, you can contact CBS and protest this billboard. Ask CBS why they will allow their billboards (and who knows what other media outlets--CBS radio? CBS television network?) to be used as vessels for a terrorist group's propaganda . . . a terrorist group that murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians in barracks and an embassy in Beirut, almost 100 people in the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center and Israeli Embassy, and countless U.S. soldiers in Iraq against whom Hezbollah is producing IEDs.

And there is another thing not specified in the article. Windsor's Mayor, Eddie Francis, is a Lebanese Maronite Christian. He is generally a good guy, but he is under pressure from the Muslim community in Detroit, with whom he has broken bread. I'm glad to see he denounced the billboard. For him--a pro-Western Christian Arab in a city with a geometrically-growing Muslim Arab population--that was courageous and laudable. Compared to spineless politicians here, like Michael Chertoff--who regularly visits the open agents and supporters of Iran and Hezbollah--that is a breath of fresh air.

Another positive development: The Windsor Jewish community--to whom I once spoke and with whom I have a good relationship--is, unlike most Jewish communities here in America, especially in Detroitistan. They are a small community that fights against the pan-Islamist winds (in Detroit, the Jewish "leadership" embraces and bows down to those winds). They are less liberal and more proud to be Jews and Canadians. They've spoken out harshly against the billboard, whereas here in Detroit, the Jews would embrace it as a great thing (so-called Detroit Jewish "leaders," like Sharona Shapiro, regularly kiss the butts of Hezbollah's and Iran's agents and full-fledged supporters here).
And for those who keep telling me that most Muslims are against terrorism, please tell me why every Muslim intervied by The Windsor Star praised Hezbollah. Most Muslims may not be involved in terrorism. But most Muslims actively cheer it on. Wake up, Dhummis (not you the readers of this site).
More from The Windsor Star:
Members of the Jewish and Lebanese Christian communities in Windsor are outraged by the appearance of a billboard that appears to promote Hezbollah -- an organization the Canadian government considers terrorist.
"That organization is banned in Canada," said Harvey Kessler, executive director of the Windsor Jewish Community Centre. "How can that billboard be up in Windsor when it represents a terrorist organization which is banned under the laws of Canada?"
Located at the southwest corner of Marion Avenue and Wyandotte Street East, the billboard does not mention Hezbollah by name, but features a central image of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the controversial political and military group. . . .
Kessler said he feels Nasrallah represents "the opposite of peace. It should be offensive to all people living in Windsor. It should be offensive not only to the Jewish community, but to any Canadian."
Emile Nabbout, president of the Windsor branch of the Lebanese Christian political group Kataeb, said he also thinks Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and he feels the billboard creates a misconception of the views of Windsor's Lebanese community.
"We really are not in support or in favour of that billboard and it should be removed ASAP," Nabbout said. . . . "By just analyzing the picture, there is no doubt in my mind this is a Hezbollah activity," he added.
Printed in English on the left side of the billboard are the words: "Lebanese and Arab communities in Windsor city congratulate the Lebanese people for their steadfastness and endeavor to establish peace in Lebanon."
But Nabbout said that Arabic writing which appears on the right side of the billboard does not match the English translation. According to Nabbout, the Arabic writing makes a reference to fighting.
"What they mean by 'fight' is basically 'guerrilla' -- using arms and weapons," Nabbout said. "Basically, there is a very specific word... That is a definite difference between the Arabic and the English."
Contacted on Friday night, Mayor Eddie Francis said he was made aware of the billboard earlier in the day. Asked if he is concerned about its presence, Francis said: "The politics of Lebanon belong in Lebanon, not on the streets of Windsor."
Francis said he has no idea who was responsible for the billboard, but the city is now looking into whether its content violates any rules. . . .
According to [Muslim Windsor resident Sam] Ali, the accusations that Hezbollah is terrorist are untrue. "Hezbollah is freedom fighting. Whoever calls them terrorist is a liar," he said. . . .
Fellow Lebanese native and Muslim Ghina Maawie said she doesn't understand why anyone would be offended by the billboard. "When I saw it, I felt so happy and so proud of it," she said.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 17, 2007, 08:24:35 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

New York Times Covers for CAIR, Again

By Steven Emerson

In what has become practically a routine, whenever bad publicity for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) surfaces, in an almost Pavlovian response, the New York Times leaps to its defense.

As I wrote about last March in The New Republic, when CAIR had befallen several embarrassing public setbacks, including the rescinding of an award from Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office and public opposition on Capitol Hill for the use of a room to host a CAIR event, the Times dispatched its reporter, Neil MacFarquhar, to resuscitate CAIR’s image.

And now that CAIR has been named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas fundraising trial against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), and copious amounts of evidence linking CAIR to both Hamas itself and the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood have been reported, MacFarquhar and the Times are at it again, printing an article (Muslim Groups Oppose a List of ‘Co-Conspirators’) that may as well be a CAIR press release. In fact, this “story” was spurred by CAIR’s announcement that the organization had filed an “amicus” brief in the HLF trial, seeking to remove itself from the list of un-indicted co-conspirators, and folded into its press release to shore up CAIR’s ridiculous – yet typical – persecution fantasy.

Meanwhile, the Times has done virtually no reporting whatsoever since the trial began one month ago, save one MacFarquhar piece during jury selection (which I wrote about at the time), another piece of CAIR-esque propaganda:

In today’s New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar, parroting the tactic of Islamist organizations like CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), pretends to speak for all American Muslims, writing:
For American Muslims, whose religion stipulates that they give 2.5 percent of their annual income to charity, the shuttering of so many of their organizations without a hearing smacks of discrimination.
No attempt is even made to qualify that statement with a “some," "many" or even a "most” – apparently MacFarquhar knows how all American Muslims feel. Much of his article serves as apologia for the defendants, as well.
Yet again, when given an opportunity to report on CAIR’s Executive Director Nihad Awad being officially placed by the FBI at the notorious 1993 Philadelphia meeting of Hamas activists and supporters, or the fact that there is documentary evidence consisting of official Muslim Brotherhood manifestoes from the trial directly linking CAIR with other noted American-based Hamas-front groups such as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), the Times completely ignores the evidence and is nowhere to be seen.
But when CAIR claims that the U.S. government is involved in a long-ranging conspiracy for the purposes of the “demonization of all things Muslim,” (emphasis added) then MacFarquhar and the Times are right there to serve as CAIR’s unofficial mouthpiece. As far as the Times’ readers are concerned, the free pass given to one of the most controversial and dangerous organizations in America continues unfettered. And despite the mounting and damning evidence coming to light due to the HLF trial, coupled with the already long, troubling and well known history of radicalism, anti-Americanism and virulent anti-Semitism espoused by CAIR officials, no doubt America’s “paper of record” will continue to run cover for them for a long time to come.

By Steven Emerson on August 17, 2007 2:24 PM
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2007, 11:30:02 AM

The SPI protects possible terrorists.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2007, 11:31:40 AM
Published on (
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Offers Haiku Contest - But No Help - in FBI Terror Probe

By Bill Hobbs
Created 2007-08-21 20:18
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is refusing to run the photos of two men the FBI is seeking to question in connection with suspicious behavior aboard a Puget Sound ferry - behavior that could be a precursor to a terror plot, or could be nothing nefarious at all.

The Seattle PI reports the story here [1] and explains its rationalization for not publishing the photos here [2]. And - in a steller example of complete touchy-feely uselessness - the paper is holding a haiku-writing contest [3] for readers to write about how they feel about the FBI alert and the way the paper handled it.

From the report:

The FBI is asking the public for help in identifying two men who were seen behaving unusually aboard several Washington state ferries. About four weeks ago, the FBI fielded several reports from passengers and ferry workers about the men, who seemed "overly interested in the workings and layouts of the ferries," Special Agent Robbie Burroughs said Monday.

The FBI also publicized photos of the men, which were taken by a ferry employee, Burroughs said. The Seattle P-I is not publishing the photos because neither man is considered a suspect nor has either been charged with a crime.

From the excuse, er, rationalization, er, explanation by Seattle P-I Managing Editor David McCumber:

Ferry security is hugely important. So are civil liberties and privacy.

The P-I last year reported that according to a Justice Department inspector general's assessment, Puget Sound's ferries were the nation's No. 1 target for maritime terrorism.

This may well be a case of alert citizens spotting a very real threat. But running a photograph of two men who may as easily be tourists from Texas as terrorists from the Mideast with a story that makes them out to be persons of interest in a terrorism investigation seems problematic, to say the least.

Yeah. Of course it would be easier to find out which is the case if the FBI could find the guys. And it would be easier to find the guys if the Seattle P-I would publish the photos, so that Seattle-area residents would know what the men look like whom the FBI has asked the public to help them find. As it stands now, in the name of being politically correct, the Seattle P-I has decided to alarm the people of Seattle and leave them looking suspiciously at just about anyone who fits the general description of male and looking like they might be from the Middle East.

Besides, while McCumber raises the flag of "civil liberties and privacy," the men in the photo were photographed in public while on a public ferry.

There is no invasion of their privacy, nor of their civil liberties, by publishing the photos so that the authorities can locate and speak with the men.

Disagree with me on that? Consider this: If Managing Editor McCumber needed art to illustrate a story on the region's ferry system, he could and likely would dispatch a Seattle P-I photographer to one of the ferries, and publish a shot of random ferry passengers on the deck of the boat. The paper might not even bother to identify the people in the photo.

Newspapers publish crowd shots taken in public all the time without identifying the people in the photo or asking if they mind having their photo published - or knowing if they are or are not involved in some sort of criminal activity.

McCumber's excuse for not running the photos is ... beyond weak. It is a figleaf for political correctness run amok, political correctness that may compromise the security of the people of the Seattle area that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ostensibly exists to serve.

Politeness causes me to refrain from suggesting the editors of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer must be smoking something [4].

The good news: The P-I's decision to not run the photos is fueling widespread distribution of the photos in the blogosphere.

No word yet on how the Seattle Times is going to handle the FBI's request - the most recent story in the Seattle Times that seems relevant was this story [5] published August 3.

Here's more from the Jawa Report [6]. Also, the blogger at The View From Out Here, comments [7], "If we don’t know what they look like then how can we identify them? If you think they are just tourists, did you ever, on vacation, take pictures of a restricted area on a boat and tried to measure the size of the boat?"


The P-I should put the security of its community ahead of the desire to not hurt some folks' [8] feelings.

Update: Michelle Malkin's excellent post [9] on the Seattle ferry story reminds us of the the Seattle Times' investigation in 2004 on reports on jihadi probing of the ferry system [10].

Update: A commenter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's website notes how out of touch with reality the editors of that paper are about the new media world in which they now operate.

It's amazing to me to think that, in this internet era, the [paper] is arrogant enough to think that they can 'hide' something from the public. By not publishing the pictures, they are making themselves less relevant - additionally, through the controversy, they are making the story bigger than it would be otherwise. This is a perfect example of why newspapers, and big media in general, is losing readers by the thousands.

Neither the Seattle Post-Intelligencer nor the rival Seattle Times is the gatekeeper of information in the greater Seattle area anymore, if they ever were. Neither are any of the local TV news stations. There are just so many news outlets and distributors now - cable networks, websites of out-of-town papers, and blogs - that no matter what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer did, the people of Seattle were going to see these photos.

Thus, their decision to not publish the photos does not in any way accomplish the goal that drove that decision, while simultaneously showing the people of Seattle that the paper will put political correctness ahead of the security of thousands of Seattle-area ferry commuters - and demonstrating its increasing irrelevance in the broad and varied new-media landscape.

A dumb and dangerous decision all around.

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Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 22, 2007, 11:54:35 AM
Makes me want to pull my own teeth out...

If the PI doesn't want to help identify the men, then why even run the story? makes my brain hurt.

As an aside, I did see the story, along with photos of the men on the news yesterday.

I think that stories like this emphasize the importance of being vigilant each and everyday. You never know when your own observations may come in handy!
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 22, 2007, 12:21:55 PM
My mom told me about this show. :-D
I missed last nights broadcast....but she said it was very good.
Muslim warriors is tonites broadcast
I know.......mainstream tv :|
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2007, 02:41:00 PM
Christiane Amanpour would be an example of a reporter I do not trust.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 22, 2007, 03:52:43 PM
Woof, After reading your post I read this wikipedia section on her. Why is it that you do not trust her?

Christiane Amanpour
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Christiane Amanpour, CBE, (born January 12, 1958) (in Persian: کریستین امان‌پور) is the chief international correspondent for CNN.
[edit] Biography
Shortly after her birth in London, her British mother Patricia, and her father Mohammed, an Iranian airline executive, moved the family to Tehran. The Amanpours led a privileged life under the regime of the Shah of Iran.[citation needed] At age 11, she returned to England to attend first the Holy Cross Convent School in Buckinghamshire, England, and then the New Hall School, an exclusive Roman Catholic girls' school. Her family had to flee Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Amanpour moved to the United States to study journalism at the University of Rhode Island. During her time at URI she worked in the News Department at WBRU-FM Providence.

After graduation, she worked for NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island as an electronic graphics designer.[1] In 1983, she was hired by CNN. In 1989, she was posted to Frankfurt, Germany, where she reported on the democratic revolutions sweeping Eastern Europe at the time. However, it was her coverage of the Persian Gulf War that followed Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990 that made her famous. Thereafter, she reported from the Bosnian war and many other conflict zones. Her emotional delivery from Sarajevo during the Siege of Sarajevo led some viewers and critics to question her professional objectivity, to which she replied, "There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing."[2]

From 1996-2005, she contracted with CBS to file four to five in-depth, international news reports a year as a special contributor on that network's newsmagazine program, 60 Minutes. These reports garnered a Peabody Award in 1998, adding to the Peabody she was awarded in 1993.

In 1993, she was also awarded the George Polk Award for Television Reporting. Again in 1996 she, along with Anita Pratap, received the George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting for their story "Battle for Afghanistan," which aired on CNN.

Based out of CNN's London bureau, Amanpour is one of the most recognized international correspondents on American television. Her willingness to work in dangerous conflict zones has reportedly made her one of the more highly (if not the highest) paid field reporters in the world. She speaks English, Persian, and French fluently. Forbes magazine has named her one of the 100 Most Powerful Women.

She has had many memorable moments in her career, one of them being a telephone interview with Yasser Arafat during the siege on his compound in March 2002, during which Chairman Arafat hung up on her.[1] Another was landing the first and only post-election interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a Western journalist in 2005, despite some trepidation that this strident disciple of the now deceased Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would raise the issue of the Amanpour family's ties to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed by a revolution led by Khomeini with Ahmadinejad's active involvement. The interview came off without a hitch.

She received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Michigan in 2006 for her contributions to journalism.

She was made a CBE in the 2007 Queen's Birthday
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2007, 04:06:37 PM

She's never found a terrorist she couldn't apologize for....Not so far anyway.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 22, 2007, 04:41:42 PM
GM, I read the article twice. I see no apolgy for terrorists there. In fact she refers to Hammas as radical and states that they have launched suicide attacks on Israel.
She does state that Gaza is some of the most poverty stricken shes ever seen.  I don't doubt that statement.
She does make the statetment that Hamas has little chance of making things better for its people because of the cut off of aid by the U.S. ,that also is true.
I don't actually view it as an apology...though I can kinda see how you may feel this way(a bit of a stretch in my opinon)
I do hear her saying that without U.S. funding Hammas cannnot provide for its own.
My thought there is even terrorists would like to be able to care for its people. :|
Got anything else?
I am listening......I'am naive to all the evils of our mainstream reporters.....
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 22, 2007, 05:51:43 PM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
From terrorism to trash collection

You would think that after more than 50 years of one of the most intimately chronicled conflicts in human history -- Israelis vs. Palestinians -- there would be nothing new to say, no surprises. You would be wrong.

Hamas, the radical Islamic movement that has launched suicide attacks in Israel, won the Palestinian elections in January, thereby creating two firsts:

1. The first time a regime has changed in the Arab world democratically through elections;

2. The first time an Islamist group has come to power through elections.

Hamas gained support among Palestinians through two decades of building an effective and affordable social welfare system in Gaza. It runs most of the kindergartens, funds health clinics, provides welfare checks to widows and orphans, and yes, even stages mass weddings to help unemployed young men get married.

During this year's election, Palestinians fed up with the rampant corruption and lawlessness of the late Yasser Arafat's government turned to the only alternative, Hamas.

So when people ask: "Why did the Palestinian people elect a terrorist group?" The answer is because they see them as a lifeline.

Each time I go to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, I am shocked by the reality on the ground. On a recent visit, I passed through a short tunnel from the First World in Israel and emerged into the Third World that is Gaza. The poverty there is among the worst in the world.

Hamas officials told me they did not expect to win the election as overwhelmingly as they did. They say their main priority now is to meet the demands of the people for a better life.

But that may be impossible, because Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas and have already cut funding to the new Palestinian government.

Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Correspondent: 11:03 AM ET

****Normally, you'd have to buy an infomercial to get spin this good, unless of course you're a terrorist group and it's a CNN "journalist".****
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 22, 2007, 06:52:33 PM
GM, Uh...... thats the same article you hyper linked in your previous post. :|
All I get from  the articel is it overstates the obvious.......Call it spin if you like.....but is there a particular part thats untrue?
Title: Fun w/ Grapefruit Spoons
Post by: buzwardo on August 22, 2007, 08:31:14 PM
Cognative . . . dissonance . . . overwhelming (Reaches for grapefruit spoon with which to self-administer a lobotomy before synapses spontaneously ignite).

Excuse me while I go find a blind person to describe color to.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 23, 2007, 02:02:53 PM
Buzwardo, Feel free to answer my question as to weather or not the article  states ANY LIES, untruths.......
I for one believe Hammas to be a terrorist organization.... GEEZ hopefully she didn't have to scream that in your face. ( politicaly correct?) She may get future interviews because of this....?she does get more access than a lot of reporters.

However, believe it or not....not everyone totally agrees with or sides with the jews. (Even here in God'country U.S.A.)
I for one do. I also can read through the article and understand "the spin"
So are you assuming that shes trying to mind bend people by wording a article a particular way........SINSTER.....will it ever stop. :lol:
 Then again........Of course we also know that Hammas has been a terrorist organization for a LONG time now........however we just in the last YEAR or so stopped sending aid to the palistinians :roll:
I guess it was ok to send aid........until now?
I wish I had more time to compose this....just don't hopefully I this makes sense and you won't need your spoon.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: buzwardo on August 23, 2007, 02:25:42 PM
....just don't hopefully I this makes sense and you won't need your spoon.

Spoon? Dude I'm torquing down a large bit in the hammer drill as I type. Excuse me while I go fade away like HAL 9000. . . .

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, please,
I'm half crazy
half crazy
half crazy
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2007, 02:50:22 PM

Speaking for myself, I have seen various reports by CA wherein in my opinion she left out pertinent facts so as to skew what the viewer would take away from the piece.  I rarely watch CNN (e.g. when trapped into it while down in Peru) and no I can't quote the specific piece or subject, but I do know that I filed her under the heading of "misleading, probably deliberately so"-- not exactly solid proof I know, but OTOH I don't find her worth my time to accumulate the evidence and make the case.


PS:  Buz, Tom: A gentle tug on the leash to keep the tenor of the conversation in tune with the harmonics of the "friends at the end of the day" code around here please.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 23, 2007, 03:26:01 PM

Do you understand the connection between HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood ?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 23, 2007, 05:26:04 PM
GM, Truthfully, I do not know the connection between Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood......Iam intrested to hear. I don't make any claims to know more than the average Joe and the mideast is a complicated Zoo.

Guro Crafty, I do also understand what your saying and beleive it to be true. I did watch the CNN show last night Muslim warriors and thought it to be a little on the sympathetically, skewed side. I was not overly impressed.

Buzwardo can shuck insult to me all he wishes thats fine......Truth be....I do know the facts about the article posted by GM written by CA......I'am also well aware of how it was/is worded and how it sounds......but truth is the articlle may be slanted but it is not untrue.....pretty sure if it were.......some of our resident brain surgeons would have pointed it out to me rather than post nothingness.  That option is still there. :wink:

Guro Crafty knows me hopefully well enough to know that just because I have taken up a position.....its not predominatly one I believe.
The thing with me is I want to also know how other people think rather than take my stance and stand soley on that.
Thats kinda how I try to maintain balance.......From time to time I play devils advocate to provoke what I beielve to be educated conversation.
This forum IS one that gives good views and has a very solid knowledge base.......and just for the record......I consider myself a pretty conservative right winger.......(with balance) :-D Take it for what its worth.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 23, 2007, 05:53:03 PM
The Truth about the Muslim Brotherhood

By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen | June 16, 2006

On October 28, 2005,[1] President George W. Bush denounced IslamoFascist movements that call for a “violent and political vision: the establishment, by terrorism, subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom.”

The Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun)[2] also known as the Ikhwan is a good example of what the President described and what he must protect us against.

The Muslim Brotherhood (“MB”) organization describes itself as a political and social revolutionary movement; it was founded in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna, who objected to Western influence and called for return to an original Islam.[3]

The Brotherhood is an expansive and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries, dedicated to creating a global Islamic order that would isolate women and punish nonbelievers. Its members and supporters founded al Qaeda, as well as one “of the largest college student groups in the United States.”[4]

The Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, Juan Zarate, stated recently, “the Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians.”[5] In fact, The MB 1982 secret plan, (the Project) recently exposed, instructs all members locally and globally “To channel thought, education and action in order to establish an Islamic power [government] on the earth.” [6]

The Muslim Brotherhood has historically and continues to actively pursue the establishment of a Muslim regime that will serve as the basis to re-establish the Caliphate, not only by defending violence against civilians, The current leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Mahdi Akef,[7] “recently issued a new strategy calling on all its member organizations to serve its global agenda of defeating the West. He called on individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide to not only join the “resistance” to the U.S. financially, but also through active participation.”[8] In the MB Project (1982), Point of Departure[9] instructs members,” To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.”

In an interview to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat,[10] an international Arab newspaper on December 11, 2005, Akef stated that “the Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious worldview - the spread of Islam, until it rules the world.”

To that end, Akef said, “the Muslim Brotherhood… are an all-encompassing Islamic organization, calling to the adoption of the great religion that Allah gave in his mercy to humanity.” Meanwhile, according to its leader, the MB is busily cementing its ties: “We are in the global arena, and we preach for Allah according to the guidelines of the Muslim Brotherhood. All the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the international arena operate according to the written charter that states that Jihad is the only way to achieve these goals[11]. “Ours is the largest organization in the world,” he said.

Akef emphasized, “A Muslim in the international arena, who believes in the charter of the Muslim Brotherhood is considered part of us and we are considered part of him[12].”

In earlier interviews, ‘Akef called the U.S. “a Satan that abuses the religion.” He said: “I expect America to collapse soon,” declaring, “I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America[13].” Although U.S. observers often view the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Hamas as less violent than al-Qaeda, the Brotherhood has long been actively supporting global jihadi efforts. “Prior to the U.S.-led attack on the Taliban regime, the Muslim Brotherhood actually had training camps in Afghanistan where it worked with Kashmiri militants and sought to expand its influence in Central Asian states, especially Tajikistan.”[14]

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Muslim Brotherhood reacted to Hamas’ January 2006 electoral victory as not merely as a local achievement, but “a victory of the Islamic nation in its entirety,[15]” and as an expression of the concept that “the path of Islam is the true solution.”

As the parent of all Sunni and many other Islamist terrorist groups, the MB, to deflect attention, uses its long-term strategy, known as “flexibility”[16] (muruna[17] in Arabic). This chameleon-like adaptation is tactical moderation with the ultimate objective of complete Islamization of society.[18] Indeed, the MB’s 1982 project calls on members “To reconcile international engagement with flexibility at a local level.”[19]

Today, when the West focuses on Islamist terrorism, the MB usually refrains from publicly advocating violence. The MB’s 1982 Project, calls on its members “To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic [Islamic] principles… we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.”[20]

As stated on its charter and its website, the MB seeks to install an Islamic totalitarian empire, a worldwide Caliphate, through stages designed to Islamize [21] targeted nations by whatever means available.

A principal danger of MB activities is that they are hidden behind “religious” ideology. Moreover, this ideology dictates concealment (Kitman).[22] In fact saying, “we should keep hush-hush on things that are still in preparation.” This ideology controls every aspect of life and seeks to impose that control on everyone.

In the end, the MB intends to overthrow all secular governments and impose Islamic law (Shari’a) worldwide, and it is diligently pursuing this goal. In July 2005, former Kuwaiti minister of education Dr. Ahmad Al-Rab'i,[23] wrote in the Arabic London daily, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The beginnings of all of the religious terrorism that we are witnessing today were in the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology." Thus, on its website,[24] the MB advocates, “Establishing the Islamic government.”

“Building the Muslim state…Building the Khilafa…Mastering the world with Islam,”[25]; however, would necessarily deprive Americans of their First Amendment, rights.[26] The first clause in the Amendment states there shall be “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The First Amendment also upholds an individuals’ right to religious freedom. But as determined by its doctrine, the MB would exploit that right—along with First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly—to actively seek the imposition of laws that would deny religious freedom to everyone else.

Moreover, the MB guiding principles celebrate its major [and continuing] role in the struggle to liberate Muslims lands. The ikhwan's bravery in the 1948 Palestine war has been recorded by all sides. The total number of volunteers from the ikhwan in 1948 numbered 10,000 from Egypt, Syria and other countries. In addition to participating in the battle to liberate Palestine, they served to raise the consciousness of Muslims all over the Islamic World and restore to them the spirit of struggle and dignity. The ikhwan have played a role in liberating Muslim lands from colonialist powers in almost every Muslim country. The ikhwan were active amongst Muslims in Central Asian Muslim republics since the '70s, and their involvement can be seen recently in such republics as Tajikistan. More recently they had a major role in the struggle for Afghanistan and Kashmir[27].

Clearly, the MB strives for Muslim supremacy, often violently.

The MB’s readiness to use violence was demonstrated in the U.S., in 1993 with the bombing the World trade Center in NYC. Exiled MB leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, in U.S. prison for plotting this attack, also planned to blow up bridges and tunnels in Manhattan.[28] Since then, the MB affiliated groups in the U.S., focused their activities and agenda to condition American minds and behavior to create an Islamic foundation from which violence can spring when the time is right.

And future violence is all but guaranteed: In 2004, MB leader Mohammad Mahdi Akef publicly promoted “Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers, called for the destruction of Israel and asserted that the United States has no proof that Al Qaeda was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.”[29]

Actively promoting its radical religious ideology, the MB may well meet the definition of a “terrorist organization,” under the Patriot Act, even though it has not been so designated by the U.S. government. The law stipulates “terrorist organizations to potentially include terrorist organizations not designated by the Secretary of State …A group that is engaged in terrorist activities might not be designated as a terrorist organization because, inter alia, the group’s activities escape the notice of U.S. officials responsible for designated organizations as terrorist; the group has shifting alliances; or designating the group as a terrorist organization would jeopardize ongoing U.S. criminal or military operations”. [30]

Terrorist organizations are legally defined as groups of two or more individuals that have “committed, incited, planned, prepared, gathered information or provided material support for terrorist activities.” However, terrorist activity can in some instances include even “indirect” actions such as group membership and advocacy. [31]

In addition, the REAL ID Act of 2005 significantly expanded the legal definition “terrorist organization” as it pertains to U.S. immigration law. “Terrorist organizations” now include any group that solicit funds or memberships for either terrorist organizations or activities, or otherwise provide them material support. The definition now covers groups with subgroups engaged in terrorist activities, too. [32]As we discuss below, the MB has many such subgroups and has spawned many offspring— thus the MB and all its offspring now seem to fit these legal criteria.

The definition of “engaged in terrorist activity” was also broadened under the Real ID Act, to include belonging to, associating with, soliciting or recruiting for, or giving material support to a terrorist organization or even a single member, including non-designated terrorist organizations. Furthermore, if they so claim, the burden is now on aliens to prove that they could not reasonably have known that their actions supported a terrorist group. [33]

The Caricatures Riots

The riots following the publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in the then obscure Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, [34] in September 2005, should have surprised no one. In fact, the seeds of Islamic attacks against Denmark, as a stepping-stone to the Islamist takeover of Europe, in line with the MB agenda, were planted long before the cartoons were published.

In April 15, 2005, five months before the cartoons ran, Palestinian preacher and leader of Hizb ut Tahrir (a radical group that works to establish the Caliphate), Sheikh Issam Amayra, from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, called upon Muslims in Denmark to begin a holy war, according to his sermon translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, director of Orient research Group in Toronto, Canada.

Amayra’s sermon warned that: “…the three percent of the Muslims in Denmark constitute a threat to the future of the kingdom of Denmark. And that should not be a surprise. After all, the Muslims in Yathrib [the city of Medina, before Mohammed moved there from Mecca] constituted less than three percent of the population there. Yet they managed to change Yathrib into Medina. Thus, it should not be a surprise that our Danish brothers manage to bring Islam to all the homes of the Danes. Allah will grant them the victory in their country in order to raise the Caliphate in Denmark.”

Amayra continued, “Afterwards the citizens of the Caliphate (which will be raised in Denmark) will wage war on Oslo, and after they change that city’s name to Medina [for the Arabian holy city] they will fight their neighboring Scandinavian countries in order to join their lands to the territory of the Caliphate. In the next stage, they will wage a holy war and spread the message of Islam to the rest of Europe, until they reach the original city of Medina. Then they will join both cities under the banner of Islam.”

Clearly, the riots in Denmark and throughout the world were not spontaneous, but planned and organized well in advance[35] by Islamist organizations that support the MB, and with funding mostly from Saudi Arabia.[36]

The MB and its offspring organizations employ the Flexibility strategy in the U.S. and wherever they operate. This strategy calls for a minority group of Muslims to use all “legal” means to infiltrate majority-dominated, non-Muslim secular and religious institutions, starting with its universities. As a result, “Islamized” Muslim and non-Muslim university graduates enter the nation’s workforce, including its government and civil service sectors, where they are poised to subvert U.S. law enforcement agencies, intelligence communities, military branches, foreign services, and financial institutions.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 23, 2007, 05:57:54 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

Fearing the Law They Face

By The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)

Congressional plans to outlaw material support for designated terrorist groups and their leaders in 1996 caused a stir for leaders of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), evidence released Wednesday shows.

The foundation and five of its officials are on trial for violating that law, as they stand accused of providing material support to Hamas. In a telephone call intercepted by FBI agents under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, HLF founder Shukri Abu Baker discusses the legislation with HLF officer and fellow defendant Ghassan Elashi and an associate named Thomas Mohamed. “Up to this point,” Baker said, “the law differentiates between…for example the charitable and let’s say military wings of any organization…But after this passes, it will be the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re supporting charitable. It’s the same as long as that organization is named a terrorist organization.”

The defense insists it raised money solely to feed and care for needy Palestinian families and did not work in league with Hamas. The media, Baker said in the 1996 call, “is going out of its way to establish a link…between the Holy Land Foundation and, and, and other organizations. So this is not for nonsense. There is a purpose.” The media, in this case, is the Dallas Morning News and IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson. Morning News reporter Gayle Reaves had interviewed Baker two weeks earlier.

Other evidence released in the trial shows HLF repeatedly turned to Hamas members and affiliates for fundraisers. Its officials attended a secret 1993 meeting of Hamas members and sympathizers in Philadelphia to discuss ways to derail the new Oslo Peace Accords. And documents seized from HLF offices and other defendants show HLF and other U.S.-based Muslim groups were part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. Hamas is a Brotherhood offshoot.

But Baker and his HLF associates weren’t going to tell Reaves that. Baker briefed El-Mezain about Reaves’ questions in a call two days after her interview. They agreed that El-Mezain wouldn’t talk to Reaves:

“Tell her, ‘I called him and he is not scared of you,’” El-Mezain instructed, “‘but he has no time to see you.’”

Something else El-Mezain said in that call is revealing: “Tell her…I mean, regarding donations to Hamas at the time were not illegal. Also, in truth, they are an honor to the entire Palestinian people in the first place.”

Other testimony Wednesday from FBI Special Agent Robert Miranda focused on HLF’s efforts to protect its cover.

In July 2000 Baker hired a private investigator to check HLF office for bugs or other forms of surveillance. “The Basic RF Counter-Surveillance Sweep determined that certain aspects within the facility, and therefore the Foundation, have been under technical surveillance by unknown entities, for an undetermined period of time. At the time of the sweep, certain recommendations were made regarding these findings, as well as some general suggestions,” wrote Shihan Hale, president and CEO of the Executive Protection Group, Inc. in Dallas.

Hale offered a second title under his signature, that of Regional Director of Security for the Muslim American Society (MAS).

Evidence previously admitted in the trial shows MAS tasked as part of a “Confrontation Work Plan” in the agenda of a July 30, 1994 meeting of the Palestine Committee. “The activation of the role of MAS” is called upon “to educate the brothers in all work centers, mosques and organizations on the necessity of stopping any contacts with the Zionist organizations and the rejection of any future contacts…”

Court was dismissed early today and will resume Monday.

By The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) on August 23, 2007 10:15 AM
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 23, 2007, 06:07:44 PM
The MB has a global reach and HAMAS is just one of it's faces. Not that you'd know that by watching CNN..... :roll:

Aside from that, it's just like the United Way with bomb vests. Good reporting there.
Title: Disambiguation on Parade
Post by: buzwardo on August 23, 2007, 06:18:43 PM
Ya know Tom, if you think those are insults you really don't want to get next to me when I'm flinging food around a kitchen. Drill Instructors are dilettantes who stop by during the dinner rush to see how it's really done, and usually leave crying. Consider my recent mewlings the written equivalent of Edvard Munches "The Scream."


Cognitive dissonance does that to me.

As for why I've failed to answer the "why is water wet" kinds of questions you've been posting, the answer is because doing so provides nothing of value to me. I've done my share of circular dances with clumsy rhetoricians here and elsewhere; laps around those tracks have never brought me anything but increasing horror with the tenacity some people bring to beliefs they are utterly unable to support in a reasoned manner. If you are indeed playing the foil I'm afraid it's a tin foil and the resulting amorphous lump of crinkled questions does nothing for me but inspire a shake of the head.

A wholly superflous aside: while pulling up an image of "The Scream" I noted that it's subtitled "disambiguation." I think I've found my next screen name. . . .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2007, 06:25:42 PM
Very funny GM.

Buz:  Ditto!


1) Concerning money to the Palestinians before and not now:  Before the govt. was the PLO, which signed the Oslo Accords.  The Hamas is a terrorist organization which rejects the Oslo Accords, so when it was elected, the flow of money was cut off.  Pretty simple actually.  Many criticized Bush for foolishly encouraging democracy and pointed to Hamas's election, whereas I found its election to pierce the veil of the illusion that the Palestinian's wanted peace with Israel and allowed us to shut off the money flow.

2)  May I suggest if you want to do a devil's advocate bit again that you state in advance that you are playing devil's advocate?

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 23, 2007, 06:56:40 PM
Guro Crafty, I don't intend to beat this into the ground but.......My feeling is...When the the Palestinian gov. was the PLO...Hammas was its gaurd dog.......and most often left off leash, and ran loose unrestrained. We may have from time to time put up a feeble protest...which mostly went unheard by the PLO.
I think it wrong to assert that it was ok to fund the PLO just because they signed the Oslo accords.....but I do understand that When Palestine showed its true colors by voting in Hammas it gave us a easy out on funding the Palestinians.
Kinda the baisis of my orginal argument towards the CNN/ CA article.....
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2007, 07:30:23 PM
Well no argument from me if you are saying that Arafat, may he rot in hell, was a lying, murdering, scum bag.  And no argument from me if you say that the US should never have supported him-- but this belongs in a different thread. :-)
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 11:26:43 AM

August 21, 2007

Fitzgerald: The point of CNN's religious fundamentalism series

Christiane Amanpour has at least one parent who was part of what one would have hoped to describe as the intelligent secular ancien regime. They were the people pushed out by Khomeini and his epigones, and therefore, one would have thought, comprehending the nature of Islam. Well, it turns out that not everyone who has fled Iran quite has that necessary understanding. Some like to pretend that Khomeini is a sport, when the real sport was the Shah and his father, in their de-emphasis on Islam, their emphasis on the pre-Islamic past of Iran, and their willingness to limit the power of the mullahs -- and, above all, to give the non-Muslims of Iran, the Christians, Jews, and Baha'is, reasonable security and even something akin to legal equality.

But Amanpour does not realize that. Nor, in her aggressive climb through the media ranks, has she stopped to study Islam. She has not stopped to find out what happened to the Zoroastrians or what happens to them in Iran today. She has not stopped to find out why, even in the 20th century, a Jew could be killed for going out in the rain (where a drop might ricochet off him and hit an innocent Muslim with this raindrop of najis-ness, thus contaminating him).

She might, that is, have begun with the history of Islam in Iran and considered the treatment of non-Muslims, and how Shah Abbas II overnight ordered the conversion of all the Jews and Armenians in an Iranian city (possibly Tabriz), and why the real, as opposed to the Iranian exile's dreamy fictional history of Iran, is full of such episodes. She might have gotten hold of E. J. Browne's work on Persian literature, and studied Hafiz and Sa'adi. She might have read Omar Khayyam, and come to realize just how un-Islamic he was. She might have read the Shahnameh of Firdowsi, and seen how his literary talent was put to work preventing the linguistic and cultural imperialism of the Arabs from successfully coming to damage and then overwhelm the Iranian culture. She might have done a special program on Islam as a vehicle of Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism, and used Iran as an example of one place where it did not succeed as it did elsewhere.

Oh, there are many things that raw-boned massive Christiane Amanpour might have done, if she had allowed herself the leisure to think, and be something more than one more media star, one more mere reporter incapable of making sense of what she reports on.

But she did none of it. She clawed and clawed to the top. She entered into a mariage blanc, a white marriage of grayish convenience, with James Rubin. She travels, she reports from here, she reports from there. She is like so many of them, with their fabulous salaries, their baseless self-assurance, their inability to convey anything difficult, anything that requires instructing us rather than feeding us visual and verbal pablum.

If you have seen the presentation of those "Christian fundamentalists" (read: Fanatics), then you will observe how carefully the cameramen have captured those flags, and taken shots of hands uplifted in prayer or hallelujahs to make sure the viewer gets the impression of a Nuremberg rally, with these "Christians" heil-hitlering all over the place. Very carefully done, very artfully and deliberately done. She, Christiane Amanpour, is of course determined to make this group of Christians look as bad as possible, and then to convince us that they represent a huge number of people, and to do the same, when their time comes, to those wild-eyed fanatical Jews, those "Biblical settlers" who think -- imagine that! -- that the Land of Israel, that gigantic land, practically the size of Connecticut or is it Massachusetts, was given in a Covenant to the Jews. What a terrible thing, what a thing so utterly comparable, is it not, to the view in Islam that the entire world belongs to Muslims, and that they must by right dominate everywhere?

Do you see a little something not quite symmetrical in her view, in her presentation, or that of her crew, so willing to play ball? Meanwhile, one wonders how she can stand herself. And why CNN so obviously insults us, in reducing the menace of Islam, the menace that only a fool could ignore, and the full scope of which, based on immutable texts, becomes clearer to the intelligent every day, to something like the non-existent menace from those wild-eyed Nurembergian Christians, with Amanpour as their recording Riefenstahl, or those crazy "West Bank" settlers, in their trailers, choosing to live among a million Arabs -- "Palestinians" -- who of course have every right to be there, because...well, isn't the Middle East the same thing as the Arab World, after all? Where do those pesky remnants of Jews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Copts, Maronites, Mandeans, Yazidis, Armenians, and all the others come from? Why don't they go back where they came from? The "Arab World," the "Muslim Arab World" -- now that's more like it. That's just the ticket.

Because, you see, Every Group Has Its Crazies. And those crazies, you see, are exactly alike, in what they want, and how they act, and the size of the demands they make on the rest of us. But exactly.

That's the point of this series. You didn't think there was another point, did you?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 24, 2007, 11:47:49 AM
 GM, Having watched 1.5 parts of the 3 part series (not able to stomache finishing the Christain part3) I find this article to be pretty much on the mark.
The points of the article are well taken.
I also thik this quote from SB-Mig to make good sense also....regarding a LOT off issues :
I have to admit that a truly objective film on the subject matter seems like an impossibility at this point in the game.

Unfortunatly I think there is no middle ground any longer.......Or objectivity.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 12:00:30 PM
A simple test for evaluating the impact of the fundamentalists of various religions: Body count. Compare and contrast those killed and wounded by the global jihad vs. the scary christians and jews. I don't know of any jews that have thrown acid into the face of people not keeping kosher and we haven't yet see a wave of fundie christian suicide bombing evolution classes, though i'm sure that's coming any day now.... :wink:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 24, 2007, 04:40:53 PM
Not really a media post, but I wanted to respond to GM's latest.


You're not actually saying that Jews/Christians/Mormons/Hindus have never committed crimes against their own are you?

I agree that the use of violence by fundamentalists in Islam (aka Islamists, Jihadists) is doing a pretty good job of keeping the current body count high, but history (and fairly recent history at that) has plenty of examples of other fundamentalist/conservative/orthodox religions wreaking havoc on those with different belief systems. Or in some instances upon those in their own religious circle. I'm not condoning the behavior, but I am pointing out that everyone has done it at one time or other.

Now before this turns into a "they killed more than we did" or "yeah, but that was years ago" argument, how about we consider the inherent danger of any fundamentalist belief system? While Islamic fascism is indeed a threat, we are fighting it and for the time being, the "hand-to-hand" battle is centered in the Middle East. The hearts and minds battlefield is IMHO the more important one. How do we keep people from considering fanatical religious thought as a viable option? I'm pretty sure no one just walks down the street and suddenly thinks "Hmmm, I wanna kill me some Jews/Arabs/Christians/Muslims".

I think that fundamentalist thought of any kind is dangerous. Fundamentalist religions tend to work in one of two ways: in your face, or behind the scenes. I would even suggest that the latter, in the form of legislative changes, educational reforms, dictating lifestyle choices (and I'm talking about any number of countries here) is more dangerous than physical violence, as much of this happens "below the radar".

Everyone is capable of being an a*hole, we just happen to have a lot of them in particular religious garb these days.

As for "fundie christian suicide bombing", I would point to instances of violence like abortion clinic bombings, doctor killings, and attacks on synagogues by neo-nazis (usually under the guise of "true christians"). IMHO there are enough nutballs around to make trouble over issues as simple as evolutions classes..we just haven't seen it yet.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 05:07:37 PM

Given that there are roughly the same number of christians and muslims worldwide, please compare the body counts. If there are "dangerous fundies" in every religion, then there should be the roughly same amount of death and mayhem, right? So, in the last 6 months, year, 10 years, what's the christian body count vs. the muslim body count? Why the disparity?
Title: Relativistic Hand Wringing
Post by: buzwardo on August 24, 2007, 05:35:39 PM
SB Mig:

I have trouble with zealots of every stripe, and have heard from far more bible thumping god-squaders that I'm going to burn in hell than I've heard from closet Marxists that I'm a judgmental paternalist who's existence is an affront to Mother Gaeia. With that said, there's a place for realistic risk assessment, and from that perspective I'm far more concerned about zealots of the Islamic stripe than just about any other flavor.

I agree that an argument about who's piled corpses highest is little likely to be productive, nor do I want to run laps slicing history into pogromic segments, but like most others I buy insurance for my car, house, health, etc., but don't by any against asteroid strikes, East coast earthquakes, big bursts of oceanic methane, mountaintop floods, and other events that are on the far edge of the geographic history horizon. Similarly in my soft target role as an ad hoc first responder I don't spend a lot of time worrying about homicidal Moonies or hostage taking Hasids, though there is a group of folks currently making a habit of blowing bystanders away that does enter into my thinking.

You want to argue big picture then yep, we could come up with a long list of savage bastards I'd have no problem tossing out the airlock. But if you're seeking to cast a benefit cost analysis of the current geopolitical scene then I think it makes more sense to focus on demonstrable threats rather than speculative boogiemen. If that's the yardstick then who is currently stacking American corpses the highest strikes me as a valid metric. I'll leave the relativistic hand wringing to those who have the leisure time for it.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 24, 2007, 07:01:26 PM
So, in the last 6 months, year, 10 years, what's the christian body count vs. the muslim body count? Why the disparity?

Cuz it's not the good old days, and we didn't have the balls to ride into pakistan and drop a nuke...

All joking aside, I'm not saying that the chrisitan body count isn't higher, just that perhaps our approach to the problem shouldn't be strictly black and white.

I don't spend a lot of time worrying about homicidal Moonies or hostage taking Hasids

And what I'm saying is that perhaps we
spent a little bit of time paying attention to other branches of religion that are fanatic in their beliefs as well, because while the threat they pose is not as in your face, it has just as many societal repercussions. Am I concerned about Christian conservatives blowing me up? No. But I am concerned about them telling me how to live. Am I concerned about Hindus fighting Muslims in India, not so much...until someone decides to throw a nuke. Islam is in the forefront but let's not get tunnel vision.

The lack of "big picture" thinking as many call is what dragged us into this Iraqi boondoggle in the first place. Lack of foresight, unwillingness to change strategies, and just plain bullheadedness has made for disaster. I just think that it's about time we pay attention to the the entire forest, not just the tree in front of us.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 24, 2007, 07:04:29 PM
So, on the media end of things, I would think that a piece on "God's Warriors" would try and point out the dangers of any religion's fanatical followers. I didn't watch it, so I don't know how it panned out.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 07:23:35 PM

The secular society you live in is a concept found in christian thought. "Render unto Ceasar..."

Something not found in islamic thought.

If Jerry Falwell doesn't approve of you, so what? It's OBL's disapproval, or more far reachingly, Sayeed Qutb's disapproval that is suffered in real flesh and blood terms.

Why is this?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 07:29:32 PM

Funny how dunking a crucifix in urine or smearing a picture of the virgin mary in elephant dung is applauded and covered by the MSM, but they get so timid about that one religion. Why is that?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 07:36:16 PM

August 24, 2007
Courage, Cowardice and the Wordsmiths

By Stephen Rittenberg, MD

"...there must be a wonderful soothing power in mere words.... I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace."
     - Under Western Eyes, Joseph Conrad

When I served as a Navy psychiatrist during the Vietnam War, one of my weekly duties was interviewing and assessing potential draftees who were seeking to avoid service by claiming mental illness. Many of these were recent Ivy League graduates, students of the humanities, who were active protesters of what they insisted was an immoral war. They thought of themselves as idealists.

Yet they were not principled conscientious objectors. Instead, they were glib, had read up on symptoms of psychosis, and could feign the manifest behavior of any disqualifying syndrome-including homosexuality. Their efforts to dissemble were usually rather obvious. They were predicated on the arrogant assumption that they were smarter than any military psychiatrist.

Once it was pointed out to them that if they avoided the draft, someone else, less educated and less favored by fortune would go in their place, they quickly revealed their true motivation: fear. I realized I was observing cowardice masquerading as idealism. These young men would do anything to avoid the risk of fighting and dying for their country.

I then would return to my hospital responsibilities, working with wounded vets. These were not glib wordsmiths. It took real effort to get them to talk about their experiences. They didn't think of their courage in battle as anything special. When they did talk about it, they often worried that they'd let down their comrades. The contrast with would-be draft evaders was striking. There was absolutely none of the self-preoccupation of the Ivy Leaguers. Instead these were men who had done deeds, fought battles, rescued other wounded platoon members, risked their lives. They readily acknowledged having been afraid, and many paid a high emotional price. They felt fear, but unlike our Ivy Leaguers, the force that propelled them was courage, not cowardice.

Over many years of clinical observation, I repeatedly confirmed the truth of Wordsworth's observation that "the child is father of the man". So who were these wordsmith cowards as children? In his great essay Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?, Robert Nozick pointed out that wordsmith intellectuals-writers, journalists, liberal arts professors, film makers, television pundits-had frequently been children who achieved success in school, based on their verbal skills. They were rewarded with elite status within the school system. As adults, however, they were not similarly rewarded. Capitalism rarely gives its greatest rewards to the verbally skilled. Nozick tried to sort out the puzzle, and concluded that it is our educational system, where, as he put it:

" the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher's smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards. The wider market society, however, teaches a different lesson. The greatest rewards do not automatically go to the verbally brightest. Verbal skills are not most highly valued... Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority "entitled" them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?...The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. "
As Eric Hoffer succinctly put it:
"Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words."
Nozick also observed that there is a childhood forerunner to capitalism -- the world of the playground. There, verbal intellect is far less important than action. On the playground aggression is as important as intellect. Being able to utilize aggression in the service of solving problems produces leaders not designated by authority figures, but by one's peers. Physical courage is valued highly. Cowards are mocked and shunned as "scaredy cats". Willingness to fight for oneself, without appealing to authority becomes a measure of status. It also provides real world lessons in human nature.
I recall trading blows to gain sufficient respect to be included in pick up schoolyard games. An Irish Catholic boy admired for his basketball skills joined my fight against the anti-Semites and insisted that anyone who could sink jump shots from 25 feet out could play on his team, even if he was a Jew. It took a few bloodied noses but the matter was finally settled. Gerry Paulson was our schoolyard Patton.

In that freewheeling world of the schoolyard, the good little girls and physically timid boys who craved teacher's praise were at a disadvantage. The schoolroom was their utopia, where physical aggression was banned and all problems had a verbal solution. Girls are usually more verbally adept in the early childhood years and gain surplus praise from teachers. In addition, such children, including boys who crave teacher's approval, receive moral approbation for being "good" while aggression is, "bad". Hence the future wordsmith intellectual grows up feeling smarter, morally superior, a caring idealist.

These self-flattering views carry over to adulthood, and shape the future wordsmith intellectuals' political views. If words can resolve all conflicts, then wordsmiths are exceedingly important. If conflicts within and between human beings can be "resolved" with words, then who better to play the role of savior than the wordsmith intellectual?

One of the central features of utopian politics, explaining their appeal to intellectuals, is the promise that conflict can be abolished and human nature fundamentally changed. Whether Communism, Nazism or Islamism, the aim is a unified, submissive, happy mankind led by an elite in possession of the truth, just like Miss Murphy when she taught 6th grade. Aggression will then vanish when egalitarian paradise prevails.

Since that happy day never arrives, scapegoats are needed to explain the failure of utopia whenever it is tried. Usually it's the Jews, but it can be other ‘infidels' as well. Thus the wordsmith intellectual can rationalize mass murder by a Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Ahmadinejad, vicariously discharging his own repressed violent aggression, while still holding fast to an idealized self image.

Nozick's explanation for wordsmith intellectuals' opposition to capitalism is an important first order explanation, but it doesn't go deeply enough into the psychology of intellectuals.

Capitalism embraces competition and competition requires utilization of aggression. Profound fear of aggression, and the concomitant dislike of action to solve problems, constitutes the underlying reason for the loathing of capitalism. The schoolroom is a model for intellectual utopia. Utopia is, above all, a conflict-free zone wherein no one is aggrieved. Whatever social problems exist can be talked out. Intellectuals and their verbal skills can show the way to harmony and peace. Having avoided aggression at an early age, these wordsmiths never learned Patton's lessons in courage. Cowardice is therefore the reaction that comes most readily in situations of danger.

As a psychoanalyst  I belong to a wordsmith profession, of course, and I have a close-up view of its practitioners. They are overwhelmingly left in their politics and tend to think words are the answer to all serious problems. Their faith in the power of words to resolve conflict is almost absolute. When psychoanalysis came to America it shed its European pessimism about human nature in adapting to New World optimism. Therapy changed its goals from Freud's limited aim of converting misery into ordinary human unhappiness. It decided, in the cant phrase that rules to this day, that mental "conflict can be resolved", i.e. done away with, and blissful happiness can then prevail. This became the task of individual psychotherapy-to resolve intrapsychic conflict, and then the aim was extended to include group social conflicts.

We are drowning in a therapeutic culture, saturated by a fantasy version of human nature in stark contradiction to the original psychoanalytic view, a view much closer to the stoics and St. Augustine than to Deepak Chopra. Unfortunately for the adherents of the therapeutic culture, conflict can never be ‘resolved', and they are doomed to disappointment. Never mind, there will be another self help guru next week.

The human mind, however, is in conflict as long as it is alive.

Conflict between wishes, fears, moral prohibitions, and demands of reality never go away. The ways of handling conflict can change, with very hard and prolonged work, but that is a far more modest and realistic goal than the utopian one of transforming human nature implicit in the notion that mental conflict can be resolved.

Changing entire societies is even more difficult. Contemporary psychotherapists, like other wordsmith intellectuals, endorse a Rousseau-ian ideal of human nature: innocent children are victimized by their parents, who are unwitting transmitters of capitalism's oppressive values to their offspring.

Many fine and noble efforts have been made to awaken the Western world to the mortal threat posed to its moral foundations and its very existence by militant Islam. The openly declared intentions of these enemies of Western civilization, accompanied by their daily deeds of mayhem, would seem to be enough to awaken us. Testimony by former adherents like the brave Walid Shoebat should sound an alarm that would wake the deepest sleeper.

Yet many in the Western world remain in a sound, politically correct, post-modern sleep. Why is this? When evidence is ignored, when savagery is blamed on provocation by its victims, when a Jew-hating death cult is described as a religion of peace, when media and governing elites see little difference between the firemen and the fire, there must be non-rational forces at play. Rational discussion doesn't always work because fear is great, terror has worked on many, and amongst the wordsmith elite, cowardice is the usual response.

Fear is, of course a universal response to danger. How a person handles fear varies widely, depending on early development. George Patton, in his famous D-Day speech said;
".. every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared."
Fortunately, wordsmith intellectuals are not the majority of Americans. If you took the New York Times, our Ivy League faculties and the Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis as representative of the country, you would conclude we are a nation of castrati. Their screeching volubility notwithstanding, they are nevertheless the minority. I find it comforting, when the caterwauling of the left becomes deafening, to think of them as "the insects of the hour", in Edmund Burke's phrase. He wrote:
"Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little shrivelled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour."
Rarely does one find a Churchill or a Patton, men of action who also are wordsmiths. It is unlikely that one will appear soon gain, so we will have to get through this war in defense of civilization by setting an example of courage and hoping that a few of the wordsmith intellectuals will be shamed into silence. After all, as Patton remarked:
"...Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American..."

Page Printed from: at August 24, 2007 - 10:09:38 PM EDT
Title: Antiseptic Engagement
Post by: buzwardo on August 24, 2007, 08:58:00 PM
Am I concerned about Christian conservatives blowing me up? No. But I am concerned about them telling me how to live.

Well hey, then beware of the Greenies who want to carbon neutral your fanny back into a third world subsistence existence, too. Indeed, no bible thumper has ever come out of my bathroom and complained about the shampoo I use, given me grief about the way I separate my trash, lectured me about what food I eat and so on, but plenty on the left have. Bet you dimes to dollars you can't find a member of the god squad who cares about the size of your toilet tank, but members of the nanny state left have legislated that choice away for you.

The lack of "big picture" thinking as many call is what dragged us into this Iraqi boondoggle in the first place. Lack of foresight, unwillingness to change strategies, and just plain bullheadedness has made for disaster. I just think that it's about time we pay attention to the the entire forest, not just the tree in front of us.

How's that any different from saying our failure to live a righteous life abiding by Jehovah's will has led to a sorry state of affairs? You call for a god-like omniscience while chastising those who believe there is such a thing. Has there ever been a war where foresight wasn't lacking, poor strategies weren't clung to, and obstinacy didn't complicate things? Sounds like the conflict you'd engage in is too antiseptic ever to occur.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 09:56:02 PM
When Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said 9/11 happened because god stopped protecting America because of immorality the left mocked them. However Noam "Holocaust denier" Chomsky puts a hard leftist spin on the same concept and the secular leftists can't buy enough of his delusional scribblings.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 24, 2007, 10:31:58 PM
Bet you dimes to dollars you can't find a member of the god squad who cares about the size of your toilet tank, but members of the nanny state left have legislated that choice away for you

But they do care about what my children study in school, what kind of lifestyle I lead, and who I can or can't marry. Again, while not a direct physical threat, one I consider just as disturbing.

hard leftist spin on the same concept and the secular leftists can't buy enough of his delusional scribblings.
This isn't a discussion about left or right spin, it's a discussion about the dangers posed by religious fanatics. Which is why perhaps I should move it to another area?"

Funny how dunking a crucifix in urine or smearing a picture of the virgin mary in elephant dung is applauded and covered by the MSM, but they get so timid about that one religion. Why is that?

Because the MSM has no balls.

Guys, I am talking about the dangers posed by religious fanatics, which correctly reported or not are worth careful consideration. The media's spin on fanaticism is deeply flawed, and I don't attempt to condone it. All I'm saying is that the issues raised/discussed are worth consideration regardless of the immediacy of the threat.

Going to bed now. Back for more in the a.m.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 24, 2007, 11:22:37 PM
Bet you dimes to dollars you can't find a member of the god squad who cares about the size of your toilet tank, but members of the nanny state left have legislated that choice away for you

But they do care about what my children study in school, what kind of lifestyle I lead, and who I can or can't marry. Again, while not a direct physical threat, one I consider just as disturbing.

****Ah, and the secular left doesn't use the public schools and universities as indoctrination mechanisms, right?  There's no one trying to impose an agenda on the schools, but the right, right?****
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 25, 2007, 04:07:08 AM

Nice find with that Rittenburg piece.

Here the BBC reporting on Gaza:

Title: Obey the Bunny Slippers
Post by: buzwardo on August 25, 2007, 07:54:32 AM
Guys, I am talking about the dangers posed by religious fanatics, which correctly reported or not are worth careful consideration.

Yeah, and I'm replying the ducks on the left with all their PC orthodoxies quack in a similar manner. Indeed, I think many of the left would be horrified to realize there's a strong Puritan streak ingrained in their ideology. I think that the underlying process is that a large segment of humanity is unable to deal with the ambiguity a vast and uncaring universe regularly reveals and hence casts about for gross simplifications that makes sense of it all (to them!). I don't care if it's Allah, Gaiea, Yaweh, animal spirits, Zoroaster, ganja, dialectic materialism, L. Ron Hubbard, Haile Selassie, Gog and Magog, ancestors, cows, earth spirits, or the pair of bunny slippers that speak to you from under the bed, if you are attempting to impose the fruit of your gross simplifications on me I don't have any use for you. Think trying to split off those who use similar processes but different bunny slippers is disingenuous at best.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 25, 2007, 08:40:36 AM
Ah, and the secular left doesn't use the public schools and universities as indoctrination mechanisms, right?  There's no one trying to impose an agenda on the schools, but the right, right?

I find the secular left's attempts to make societal changes just as reprehensible. One of my biggest pet peeves has been the creation of political correctness, and that's all about the Left.

However, I believe the religions covered in the CNN piece were Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The topic of discussion is the inherent danger of fanatics in each religion and there respective fields of focus. Muslims - Jihad. Fundamentalist Jews - Maintaining the State of Israel. Christians - Lifestyle/Societal changes. Each worthy of consideration regardless of what you may perceive to be their threat level. I still don't see the problem with long range, wide scope thinking, while taking direct action at the same time. The jihadis are obviously dangerous and that's why there's a war going on. But culture wars exist in our own society that most people are happy to ignore, which I find disturbin.

And, if you haven't noticed, there isn't a religion known as Secular Leftism...actually, there probably is one somewhere in Humboldt County   :lol:

Yeah, and I'm replying the ducks on the left with all their PC orthodoxies quack in a similar manner

Careful examination of all extremists/idealogues is important, religious or otherwise. I focus on the religious ones because they tend to try the hardest.

So let's try this grade school style:

Fanatical Muslims dangerous. Check
Fanatical Christians dangerous. Check
Fanatical Jews dangerous. Check
Fanatical Muslims most dangerous at this time. Check
All fanatics worth paying attention to. Check

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 25, 2007, 09:56:15 AM
"Fundamentalist Jews - Maintaining the State of Israel"

1) Are you saying that favoring the survival of Israel is the position of a fanatic?

2) Are you suggesting moral parity amongst all three groups?

Title: Checklist Question
Post by: buzwardo on August 25, 2007, 11:00:03 AM
I focus on the religious ones because they tend to try the hardest.

And, in doing so, bow before your bunny slippers while while making aghast noise about Christians and Jews who do the same.

If you're willing to let folks find their own path through the fog to any paradise or perdition that follows, support in no uncertain terms the fleeting phenomena known as freedom even in its distasteful manifestations, sort out differences in an empiric manner via informed debate, and can contend with omnipresent ambiguity without seeing what you seek in its cloud, then I've no issue with you. But if you're gonna curse the barbarians and their false gods while rubbing blue mud into your navel so that you can join your tribe at the inquisition, you are condemning what you partake of. That insular mindset has been the bane of humanity from its outset and leads to the sort of pigheaded buffoonery you've railed against elsewhere.

Bottom line is I've no qualms with your checklist, but ask if you should add yourself to it.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 25, 2007, 11:45:59 AM

More on the MSM's submission to the "religion of peace".
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 25, 2007, 01:54:21 PM
Buzwardo, Your last post was very elequently worded and quite cute.You do have quite a way with words. I'am  quite a bit simplier and to the point....I see no need to drag out a message in a flowery vocab. :roll: Though I feel you think quite highley of yourself as is evident by your postings :|
Which brings me to my point/ question........You seem to have no problem Bashing everyone under the sun and appear to stand for .......well....not much....or take no particular side.......that in its self is fairly safe....but anyway.....I'am just curious as to what Bunny slippers you bow to? I DO POSE THIS AS A SERIOUS QUESTION.
Hopefully not self....that would be just sad....
Guro tempeture rising here :-D.....Just trying to get a feel for a guy who appears to take no side.
Title: Diana Moon Glampers Please Phone Home
Post by: buzwardo on August 26, 2007, 09:16:48 AM
Gee, Tom, sorry I talk too pretty. I'll......start.....interjecting!? lotsa---random..... punctuation so~you***feel....more???? at home////////

I listed my bunny slippers above, if you're unable to adduce 'em I'm certainly not going to waste my time writing your argument for you.

As for why I should write down to you, how 'bout if you try to write up to me? Give that a shot and maybe we can meet in the middle at some point. Crafty clearly expressed his preference above; you might want to reread it in view of your attention span issues. And while you're doing a little research, read Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron to get a handle on what I truly feel about people who try to force me to dumb things down. You don't have a relation who goes by the last name of "Glampers," perchance?

In the interim, next time you're training tell your Sifu his technique is eloquent and cute, but that you'd really like to spar only using simple and ineffective technique. Let us know how that comes out.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 26, 2007, 01:46:19 PM
Buzwardo, I don't recall saying or infering that you need to or should write down to me. I just see no reason to read through all your self flattery just to have you write at the end quotes like this:
Bottom line is I've no qualms with your checklist, but ask if you should add yourself to it.
After all isn't that pretty much what your saying all along?
Evidently you've got plenty of time on your hands........but...... Please by all means continue to impress!
I asked you what bunny slippers you bow to... You refrenced a above post.  I can't seem to locate that list you lead me to believe is so clearly communicated......maybe if you could help me out with that "list".
As for the martial arts refrence. It has been my experience that the simple techniques is most often the ones that yield the best result.
The cute eloquent ones are merly for show........I'am sure though if your as good a fighter as you are internet whiz kid then you may disagree....though I must confess to not seeing a lot of your postings on the martial arts threads. :roll: Have you ever made any?
Feel free to move this to another thread and eloquently tell me all about your fighting/martial arts experiences.
Hey....its the can be king if you like :wink:
Actually I thought my previous post simple enough.........All I asked was what you stand for......all I got in response was more BS.......
Title: My Mother Wears Combat Boots
Post by: buzwardo on August 27, 2007, 06:39:44 AM
Nah, Tom, you're too obtuse to deal with. If truly desiring to learn my beliefs feel free to to peruse my other 700+ posts and see what you can glean. Indeed, I stated them to you directly in an earlier exchange and offered to explain 'em if you'd tell me what the gig pays. Again, I'm not inclined to put more energy into answering a question then you do asking it and don't understand why the concept is so hard to communicate.

In the interim do keep probing for chinks in my ego. Try calling me a ratfink next; that will sure show me.

SB Mig, if I came on too strong I apologize, it's not my intent to to drive you out of the conversation. You've always struck me as someone who has more than two clues to rub together and I usually find value in the things that you post, as well as our exchanges.
Title: Critique of "God's Warriors"
Post by: buzwardo on August 27, 2007, 06:45:08 AM
CNN's God's Warriors at war with truth
Posted by Rabbi Marvin Hier | Comments: 30

A day prior to the airing of Christiane Amanpour’s six-hour CNN documentary entitled God’s Warriors, I was one of four clergymen to be a guest on Larry King Live to discuss the issue of fundamentalism in today’s world. The interview on Larry King was pre-recorded in mid-July and none of the participants had seen the six-hour documentary because it was still being edited. Now that I have seen it, I sent the following critique to the producers of God’s Warriors.

1. MORAL EQUIVALENCY - There is no moral equivalency between some 200 Israeli fanatics prone to violence and tens of thousands of Palestinian terrorists whose acts are endorsed by the elected government and a significant portion of the population. The failure of the documentary to clearly make that distinction skews the facts and conveys the false impression allowing people all over the world to conclude that there IS a moral equivalency between the number of Palestinian terrorists and Jewish terrorists - this is a complete distortion. More importantly, the largest terrorist group responsible for much of the unrest in the Middle East, Hamas, got a free pass from CNN in God’s Warriors and is not even mentioned in the documentary’s segment on Islam.

2. JEWISH LOBBY - CNN spends much time describing the strength of the “Jewish Lobby” in Washington.  But what do supporters of Israel active on the Hill have to do with a documentary focusing on the power of religion? Indeed, many of those defending Israel on Capital Hill are, in fact, secular Jews.  Furthermore, if you are going to talk about powerful lobbies, why not give equal time to the enormous power of the Arab Oil lobby?

3. SECURITY FENCE (Hamas Wall) - The consultants of the documentary make a point of showing the security fence that now separates the Palestinians from the Israelis. Palestinians interviewed explain the hardships they face and call the fence an “apartheid” wall. Nowhere is there a mention of the wide consensus of support for the security fence amongst all Israelis, left and right, including Israel’s Supreme Court, which has sanctioned the fence because, without it, the suicide bombings would continue unabated, something NO society can tolerate. Indeed, the terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the real architects and designers of that fence.

4. FIGHTING TERRORISM - God’s Warrior’s makes mention of the fact that the few Jewish terrorists described in the film were all arrested by the Israeli government and sent to jail for their crimes. Yet, they ignore the fact that Palestinian officials have never convicted Palestinian terrorists. Had they done so, there would be no need for a security fence.

5. SIX DAY WAR - The documentary spends a lot of time on the Six Day War and emphasizes how Israel decided to attack the Old City during the War, which changed the status quo forever. But God’s Warriors fails to explain how or why the Six Day War started. It hides from its audience the fact that Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran (an international waterway), an act of war under international law, denying all shipping to Israel and that the Arab States, including Jordan, which controlled the Old City, brought their armies to the border. Had they not taken those actions, the Six Day War would have been averted. By ignoring all that and instead focusing on Israel’s attack on the Old City, God’s Warriors guides its audience to the conclusion that the purpose of the War was Israel’s intention to grab the Old City of Jerusalem.

6. SHARON - The documentary is critical of Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, which enraged Muslims and allegedly started the Second Intifada.  It also mentions his “responsibility” in allowing Lebanese Christians to massacre Muslims at Sabra and Shatila. Yet, it ignores his critical decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza in an attempt to jump start the peace process. Nor does it mention the Palestinian response to the withdrawal - the election of Hamas - a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel - as the new Palestinian government.

7. TEMPLE MOUNT - The documentary fails to emphasize that the Muslims, to whom Israel gave the authority to administer the Temple Mount, strongly discourage any Jew from coming there despite the fact that it is the holiest site in all of Judaism (whereas, the holiest sites in Islam are, in fact, Mecca and Medina). On the other hand, the Western Wall, which is under Israeli control, regularly welcomes visitors of all faiths.

8. RELIGIOUS LEADERS - CNN presents the senior Imam in charge of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, who explains the site’s holiness to Muslims. But rather than interview the Chief Rabbi of Israel to describe the sacredness of the site for Jews, CNN contents itself with allowing an extremist layperson to explain the importance of the Temple Mount to Jews. Where is the fairness?

9. TWO STATE SOLUTION - God’s Warriors ignores the origins of the Arab/Israeli conflict: the Arab refusal to accept the 1947 United Nations Partition of Palestine, which called for both a Jewish state and an Arab State. The Jews accepted the plan – the Arabs rejected it. Had the Arab world accepted the two-state solution then, much of the bloodshed would have been averted. There’s a lot of talk about settlements, but no talk at all of the consistent Arab policy from 1948 until 1978 to make no compromises with Israel.

10. A HUMAN FACE ON TERROR - God’s Warriors keeps mentioning the “despair” that many Arabs feel, as if that is a justification for the insane behavior of honoring people as martyrs because they murdered innocent civilians they never knew. Why patronize terrorists and even humanize them if we are going to allow the conversation to be dominated by their despair? The parents of these terrorists should be confronted with the simple truth that despair has existed throughout time – that billions of people throughout history have felt pain without reverting to mass murder. Following the defeat of Nazism, the Holocaust survivors were also in despair. They lost their families, but they didn’t resort to killing innocent civilians as a way of alleviating their pain. Neither did the 750,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries following the 1948 War – they too, did not become suicide bombers.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 27, 2007, 08:11:26 AM
Excellent find Buz.  Tom, this piece exemplifies the reasons I hold CA in low regard.

Changing subject briefly-- it appears that the dhimmitude faction of the Wash Post has notched up another victory
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on August 27, 2007, 12:28:53 PM

Had a busy weekend training and fantasy football drafting, so I couldn't respond right away. The significant other was also wanting to drag me from the keyboard to run errands and such.

1) Are you saying that favoring the survival of Israel is the position of a fanatic?

Absolutely not.

I may be mistaken, but I believe that was the bent of the Amanpour piece. The topic of her coverage was religious "warriors". Upon review of my earlier writing, I did not clarify that the goals of each religion's "warriors" were interpreted by the MSM, not myself. I have already stated the media's spin on fanaticism is deeply flawed, and I don't attempt to condone it.The piece Buz just posted does a great job of pointing out many of these flaws.

2) Are you suggesting moral parity amongst all three groups?

Again, no. But I do believe that actions of religious extremists of any bent are worthy of examination and careful observation.

Buz, I am not put off in the least by your response. I find all the exchanges on this forum to be well worth my time and energy, and I thoroughly enjoy the back and forth. Actually, I think it would be great to have a sit down drink, dinner, and conversation with a number of people on this forum.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 27, 2007, 02:40:32 PM
Buzwardo, I won't lose any sleep because you refuse a little transparency. Though it was nice of you to apologise to SB Mig.
Which was part of the reason for my asking you to share a little of yourself...since you seem to have no problem criticizing others.
Its all good......
I actaully did take a look at your posting record, to find that you posted less than 2% on the martial arts threads......any chance you might actaully share your martial arts experiences....Or is the question somthing you would rather not share....anyway....
I'am just kinda wondering whats your attraction to a martial arts forum.
Please post on a more apropriate thread if your so inclined.
Title: Of Mormons, Bread Crumbs, and Semaphore Flags
Post by: buzwardo on August 27, 2007, 03:16:46 PM
Lotta transparent stuff has been posted of late that your gaze has failed to penetrate, and you've yet to give me a compelling reason to cut stuff into pieces small enough for you to chew. Again--are you listening this time?--I'm not going to put more effort into explaining things than you put into understanding them.

Didn't realize I was required to post my martial arts pedigree to participate here, though Crafty anecdotally knows of mine. Pester him for it if you must, but I'm not gonna cater to your hamfisted attempts to dictate the terms of debate. I will say that I'm a pretty mediocre martial artist and hence choose not to speak of things I not particularly well versed in. There's a lesson there if you're paying attention, but I'm not gonna lay a trail of bread crumbs the size of boulders, enlist the lung power of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or empty an aircraft carrier and ask all the sailors to wave semaphore flags in the hope they'll lead you to it.

Next inane challenge, please. . . .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: buzwardo on August 27, 2007, 03:25:33 PM
Buz, I am not put off in the least by your response. I find all the exchanges on this forum to be well worth my time and energy, and I thoroughly enjoy the back and forth. Actually, I think it would be great to have a sit down drink, dinner, and conversation with a number of people on this forum.

Cool. I know I can get pretty darn intense, particularly when annoyed on other fronts. It's not my intention to treat you like a piñata.

You ever get out to VA drop me a line; be glad to tip one or more with ya.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 27, 2007, 03:31:31 PM
Buzwardo, You seem to bear a little to the defensive side....As I said its all I good. I will not pursue, you conversation further after all as you so handly show I'am by no means in your league.
Well Iam off to slay dragons else where......I think to make my pursuit.....white, Buddhists living on the East coast...named Chuckie :roll:
I bid you ado.......
Rides off into the sunset gathering bread crumbs as he goes :wink:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 27, 2007, 06:00:02 PM
There was a big story on global warming this month of some downward corrections in recent temperatures that makes the 1930s again hotter than any year of late.  Credit goes to Buzzwardo for posting the NASA corrections here and to the source he linked of coyoteblog for timely and enlightening info.

I predicted elsewhere that the NY Times would pick up this story in a few days maybe on page 47.  In fact, it took them 16 days and they changed the context to be a story about right wing blogs making a big deal out a quarter of a degree "fix".  For that reason I moved my reply to 'media issues'.

A larger point I took from the story is that they don't measure temperature, they gather readings and then adjust, balance, tweak and make changes to the data according to some secret and flawed algorithms from some scientists who have their own bias and investment in the outcome.

Here is that NY Times story:

Quarter-Degree Fix Fuels Climate Fight

Published: August 26, 2007

Never underestimate the power of the blogosphere and a quarter of a degree to inflame the fight over global warming.

A quarter-degree Fahrenheit is roughly the downward adjustment NASA scientists made earlier this month in their annual estimates of the average temperature in the contiguous 48 states since 2000. They corrected the numbers after an error in meshing two sets of temperature data was discovered by Stephen McIntyre, a blogger and retired business executive in Toronto. Smaller adjustments were made to some readings for some preceding years.

All of this would most likely have passed unremarkably if Mr. McIntyre had not blogged that the adjustments changed the rankings of warmest years for the contiguous states since 1895, when record-keeping began.

Suddenly, 1934 appeared to vault ahead of 1998 as the warmest year on record (by a statistically meaningless 0.036 degrees Fahrenheit). In NASA’s most recent data set, 1934 had followed 1998 by a statistically meaningless 0.018 degrees. Conservative bloggers, columnists and radio hosts pounced. “We have proof of man-made global warming,” Rush Limbaughtold his radio audience. “The man-made global warming is inside NASA.”

Mr. McIntyre, who has spent years seeking flaws in studies pointing to human-driven climate change, traded broadsides on the Web with James E. Hansen, the NASA team’s leader. Dr. Hansen said he would not “joust with court jesters” and Mr. McIntyre posited that Dr. Hansen might have a “Jor-El complex” — a reference to Superman’s father, who foresaw the destruction of his planet and sent his son packing.

Blogs are still reverberating, but Mr. McIntyre, Dr. Hansen and others familiar with the initial data revisions are clarifying what is, and is not, at issue.

One thing not in question, Mr. McIntyre and Dr. Hansen agree, is the merit of shifting away from energy choices that contribute heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Mr. McIntyre said he feels “climate change is a serious issue.” His personal preference is to shift increasingly to nuclear power and away from coal and oil, the main source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Mr. McIntyre and Dr. Hansen also agree that the NASA data glitch had no effect on the global temperature trend, nudging it by an insignificant thousandth of a degree.

Everyone appears also to agree that too much attention is paid to records, particularly given that the difference between 1934, 1998, and several other sets of years in the top 10 warmest list for the United States are so small as to be statistically meaningless.

Mr. McIntyre said that when he posted the revised list under the heading “A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open,” “I just was sort of having some fun with it as much as anything.”

He added: “The significance of things has been misstated by Limbaugh and people like that.”

Dr. Hansen and his team note that they rarely, if ever, discuss individual years, particularly regional findings like those for the United States (the lower 48 are only 2 percent of the planet’s surface). “In general I think that we want to avoid going into more and more detail about ranking of individual years,” he said in an e-mail message. “As far as I remember, we have always discouraged that as being somewhat nonsensical.”

Jay Lawrimore, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center of the Commerce Department who works on assembling the climate records that NASA analyzed, said his agency could probably do a better job of emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding its annual temperature announcements.

Indeed, there is enough wiggle room in the numbers that the center has a different list of the 10 warmest years than those produced using NASA’s and Mr. McIntyre’s analyses. By the climate center’s reckoning, 1998 remains the warmest year for the 48 states (with 2006 second and 1934 third).

Dr. Lawrimore, Dr. Hansen and other experts said that trends are far more important than particular years, and the recent widespread warming trend has been clear — and very distinct from the regional hot spell that drove up United States temperatures in the 1930s.

Mr. McIntyre and the government scientists do agree on at least one more thing: the need to improve the quality of climate data gathered around the world, including in the United States, which has by far the planet’s biggest network of meteorological stations.

Mr. McIntyre is not alone in pointing out that the need to adjust and revise such data — with the attendant risk of mistakes — would be reduced with more care and consistency taken in collecting climate data.

The National Academy of Sciences has repeatedly called for improvements in climate monitoring. An independent group of meteorologists and weather buffs is compiling its own gallery of American weather stations at, with photographs showing glaring problems, like thermometers placed next to asphalt runways and parking lots.

Dr. Lawrimore said that the government is preparing to build a climate reference network of more sophisticated, and consistent, monitoring stations that should cut uncertainty in gauging future trends.

In any case, he said, the evidence for human-driven warming remains robust. “Saying what they’re saying has just provided an opportunity for them to create doubt in people’s minds,” he said of the bloggers.
Title: Adieu Ado
Post by: buzwardo on August 27, 2007, 08:14:25 PM

Well after all the snarky things I've said I expect this will have a hollow ring, but it's clear to me you've got a good heart. You joined the fray and kept at it despite the fact a polysyllabic SOB came at you from all directions. Many would have started flinging obscenities, you stuck to your guns and kept moving forward. 

Not so sure, however, you're right about my defensive nature. Be they words or sticks, when something comes at me I tend to charge back at it, making my nature an offensive one, alas often in both senses of the word.

As that may be, as someone who failed three semesters of high school English, I ought to have a better handle on what it's like when some supercilious ba$tard blue-pencils every utterance. I got past my English issues--hell I taught English at a community college, which really should have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum or something--and found in doing so it's remarkably similar to learning a martial art: learn the basic elements, put them together into simple phrases, combine the phrases into more complex structures, and, once you have the basics down, start riffing on structures from there.

Expect if we ever crossed sticks you'd teach me more than I'd teach you; if you ever want to flip that around where writing is concerned drop me a line and we'll see where it leads. Be aware that my methods are unorthodox, just ask the class where I used a 10 inch French Knife and a sharpening steel as props. The Dean was not amused. . . .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 27, 2007, 11:37:48 PM
Christiane vs. Christians and Jews   
By Phyllis Chesler | 8/27/2007

Dhabah Almontaser, the nearly anointed principal of Brooklyn's madrassa and CNN's fully annointed Christiane Amanpour both agree that in Arabic, "Intifada" means a "shaking off." Amanpour gave an example of how to use the word by saying that "Palestinian (terrorists) were (merely) shaking off the Israeli Occupation;" Almontaser, when challenged about the infamous tee-shirts, said that "Intifada-NYC" referred to young Muslim girls "shaking off oppression."

In November of 2005, Fox's O'Reilly showed live footage of the French Intifada as it raged in Paris. According to WorldNetDaily, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, (aka Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz AlSaud), who owns 5-6% of the Fox News Channel, personally called Rupert Murdoch and asked him to change the offensive (but accurate) caption: "Muslim Riots" to the less offensive (and less accurate) "Civil Riots." Within thirty minutes, the Prince had his way.

To paraphrase New York Post columnist Cindy Adams: Only in America kids, only in America.

Our fine Saudi prince also owns shares in Times-Warner/AOL/CNN, which he first acquired in 2002. According to Forbes, the London Guardian, and other media outlets, in 2002 the Prince "claimed to own 1.4 billion in AOL 2003 he bought another 450 million of AOL stock." God knows what he owns now. (Yes, he's the very Prince whom Presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani humiliated when he refused to accept his ten million dollar donation for humanitarian aid immediately following 9/11).

Has bin Talal's ownership influenced Amanpour's highly touted, highly slanted, and highly tedious three part series "God's Warriors?" I have no inside information here but I doubt that any overt bribes were involved.

Amanpour dresses in safari-like bush jackets but they are never grungy, and are in fact glamorous in color and fit. She is no Oriana Fallaci, no Susan Sontag, but is probably the best CNN has to offer in terms of Talking Heads who presumably think. To those unfamiliar with Amanpour's background, she lived in London (still does), attended schools in America, and her husband, James Rubin, is Jewish. He once worked for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--another Jew who did not know she was one.

After watching Amanpour's segment on the Jews, I was disheartened and outraged. How long will people have to suffer Big Lies on our screens and be forced to react defensively, only after the fact? How much Saudi money might really be involved in CNN's series? In addition to bin Talal, we do know that the Saudis have been buying up shares in the Western media, (UPI for example), influencing curriculum on campuses, and in some instances, buying certain journalists outright. (There is a scandal about this still under wraps in Europe right now. Stay tuned for an update).

Amanpour, whose father is a Muslim Iranian, her mother British, and who spent the first eleven years of her life in Teheran, set out to portray Jews as religiously driven terrorists, illegal land-grabbers, and fat-cat American lobbyists with dual loyalties. She interviewed former President Carter and John Mearsheimer (but not anyone of stature who can easily rebut what they say). Both men believe that Israel is an apartheid state and that the Zionist lobby controls American foreign policy. (See CAMERA'S excellent point by point refutation of Amanpour).

Amanpour makes sure to track down Israelis who have advised the government that "settling an occupied land" violates the Geneva convention and international law (such as Theodore Meron); the Jewish Israeli lawyers who defend Palestinians and who often successfully, challenge the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes. She has female settlers on camera who allegedly say that they believe Palestinians should be killed or expelled. She shows the security wall at its ugliest without context and she focuses on individual Palestinians who are indeed being seriously harmed by its creation. (No, she does not show the Jews being blown up, week after week, in a non-stop series of 9/11s that might explain the desperate need for such a tragic but strategic structure).

In my no doubt alarmist and paranoid view, she is trying to position American and world Jewish support for Israel as essentially equivalent to American and world Muslim support for Hamas and for other Muslim terorrist organizations who also engage in humanitarian aid and social service projects. Just as the leaders of the Holy Land foundation are being tried as supporters of terrorist organizations in America today, Amanpour's portrayal of Jewish support for an allegedly "illegal," "racist," or "apartheid" Jewish "settler state" with a "handful of Jewish terrorists" may now lead to simiilar attempts to shut down American-based fundraising for Israel and to dampen Congressional support for military foreign aid to Israel.

Perhaps Amanpour does not envision this at all but merely wishes to show that there is terrorism on both sides of the divide. But this is not true. While there is indeed a "handful" of "Jewish terrorists" or ideologue of Jewish reprisals, (Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, and the Jewish Underground are named), such figures are just that--a handful, and their attempts at indiscriminate violence have either been prevented or immediately and seriously punished by the Israeli government.

Further, Amanpour fails to draw the right conclusions from what she does show on camera. In every instance, Israeli government officials, including former Shin Bet and IDF spokesmen are the ones who prevent Jewish terrorists from striking, who arrest and imprison them when they commit violence, who sentence them to between 7-15 years in jail or to life sentences. There are no posters all over Israel glorifying their violent deeds as there are on the West Bank for their shahids and shahidas and in the no-longer occupied Gaza strip. Israeli textbooks and television videos do not sing their praises in Israel as is the case among the Palestinians.

It gets worse. She views the Muslim claim to Al Aqsa and the Temple Mount, not as equal to but as superior to the ancient Jewish claim. She fails to draw a single conclusion from the fact that Muslims did not--and still do not--allow non-Muslims access to their holy Jewish or Christian religious sites although Jews guarantee that access to all religions.

So, there I was, licking my wounds when I turned on the TV to see Amanpour's second segment.

Amanpour has never met an Iranian or for that matter a Muslim whom she does not like; yes, even the terrorists and one fundamentalist imam in "the holy city of Quom" receives only a flirtatious wag of her finger when he rather cheerfully admits that women are not allowed to do certain things and are condemned to other things--but that's for their own good, to protect them. She is warm with him, much less warm with his so-called Israeli counterparts.

She opens her segment on Muslim Warriors with a charming, well-spoken, highly westernized young man, Ed Husain, who was deceived, or who rebelled and became associated with a terrorist group in his native London. Once he realized that they are killing innocent people, even children, he backed away. He has written a book about leaving Islamism.

Ed Husain does not represent most Muslims who at best, remain silent and who do not condemn Islamist imperialism, religious fundamentalism, or America- and Jew-hatred. There are a handful of Muslims who criticize Islam openly. Many are tortured, killed, forced into exile, impoverished, live in hiding, publish under psedonyms. Her interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was very, very brief --no more than a minute altogether. On the contrary, she kept returning to former nun Karen Armstrong whose views on Jews, Israel, and Zionism are anti-Semitic with a vengeance. Armstrong also defended veiling and compared it her own habit as a nun. (Stay tuned for more to come about this).

As to women? Amanpour does not tell us any stories of honor killings or women who avoided being honor-murdered but instead focuses on a happy, modestly veiled Muslim-American woman who describes how her choice to "cover" is denigrated and held suspect in America.

Each and every portrait of a Muslin or of a Muslin terrorist's family presents soulful, thoughtful people, perhaps a bit "different" than you and I but still human, likeable, charming--maybe even made of better stuff than you and I in the west who crave material posessions, display female bodies, allow men and women to intermingle in sexually charged ways, drink alcohol, and refuse to live in a God-centered world.

Amanpour is worse than all the others (writers mainly) who have been blasting Judaism and Christianity but mainly in order to be able to also blast, but in a lesser way, Islam. The thesis is that we are all guilty, all to blame, that each religion is clannish, "different," its texts support violence, its extreme followers are but a handful, nothing for the world to worry about.

These are all false assumptions and outright lies.


In her three part series, Amanpour is far more combative and confrontational with both Jewish and Christian religious leaders than she is with Muslim leaders. She is warmer, softer, more "at home," with even the most extreme of Islamist leaders, perhaps even more respectful, than she is with their allegedly Jewish or Christian counterparts.

Amanpour completely fails to make the distinction between Islamists who teach hatred of infidels and women and who blow infidel and Muslim civilians up (as well as honor-murder their own women); Israelis who are under perpetual terrorist seige and who are trying to defend themselves against Islamist attacks; and conservative Christians who are trying to moblize votes, change laws, or win hearts and minds with words, not bombs (although she certainly has lots of footage of the bloody bombings at abortion clinics--bombings I personally abhor and mourn--as do many Christians).

Amanpour wants us to like Muslims--even the most extremist among them. They are human, prick them will they not bleed? But she does not want us to like Christians or Jews, especially those who are Zionists.

Amanpour does not seem to show the same respect towards conservative Christians who wish to dress modestly, remain chaste until marriage, and avoid a secular culture of rampant pornography and rape as she shows their far more extremist counterparts in the Islamist world or than she shows, at great length, one well-spoken Muslim-American woman who decides to "cover."

In one instance, Amanpour accuses Ron Luce, a Christian leader of teenagers, as being like the Taliban. He actually answers Amanpour in a rather charming, disarming way. She will not be moved. Amanpour herself takes no stand on what Luce says about an American secular and popular culture which allows virgin teenager America to be raped on the sidewalk as we pass by without stopping or caring.

Perhaps Amanpour can't forgive these "radical" Christians their support for Israel, their "Zionism." She presents Pastor John Hagee (together with the late Jerry Fallwell) as Doctor Strangeloves. Hagee, by the way, sees Iran as a threat to America and Israel. As he speaks of his Christian love of Zion, Amanpour cuts to a presumed Israeli air attack againt innocent civilians, replete with weeping, civilian Arab women.

Amanpour again returns to former President Jimmy Carter--this time to have him tell us that he had to break with evangelical Baptists over their sexist position on women in the church. Carter who believes that Israel is an "apartheid" state and whose library has been hugely funded by the Saudis is the new feminist in town.

Amanpour has a definite political agenda--no less so than the Christian conservatives whom she attacks for daring to conduct "stealth politics, under the radar" when they engage in Christian voter drives. Amanpour wants to put a Democrat in the White House. She wants someone there who will move against the so-called Israel Lobby and who will finally stop funding Israel. She wants our next Commander in Chief to engage in nicey-nice diplomacy with Iran. She wants Americans to stop fearing that every Muslim might be a terrorist and to start accepting a parallel Islamic/Islamist universe right here on our own soil.

Yes, our ethnically super-trendy, British-accented war correspondent really wants exactly this. And she wants us to see that such right-wing Christians are no different than Islamists, including Bin Laden, who want a world Caliphate. (We are all the same, all cultures are equal, remove the mote from your own eye before you judge anyone else, etc.)

To accomplish her goal, Amanpour presents Christian conservatives as truly scary, as mounting a Crusader-like Army against liberal secular America--but not necessarily a violent war against terrorist Islamism. Amanpour exploits America's hottest domestic issues (abortion and gay marriage) in order to accomplish her own foreign policy aims.

By the end of her third and final segment we are meant to fear and loathe the Christian conservative right far more than we are meant to fear or loathe Amanpour's Amadinejad whom --incredibly--she never accuses of funding Hezbollah's terrorist work abroad. What she mainly shows us in Iran are Shi'a Muslims at prayer, engaged in theatrical-religious rituals. We do not see them funding and masterminding Hezbollah as it takes down civilian (and Christian) Lebanon, lays seige to Israel, blows up the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. She shows us the child-martyrs (one estimate has 850,000 dying in the Iran-Iraq war) as themselves true believers as opposed to victims of sadistic adult handlers.

Her third segment is one long running advertisement for a Democratic candidate for the next Presidency. She is electioneering as hard as she accuses the Christians of doing.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 28, 2007, 06:48:16 AM
Buzwardo, My first inclination is to not respond to your post, after all I've already ridden off into the sunset.
However I just don't want you to feel sorry for me, and my inferior vocabulary and my inablity to translate it across the computer key board.
I do feel my best attributes may be as a orator....Also I may be somewhat uninformed and often post on personal opinon....I may over argue my points....but also feel myself a big enough man to be willing to admit "I was wrong"

As for learning the English language....While I may never have the same mastery as yourself, if ever I feel a need to improve on it, I will consult my mother who was a English major.......As I did mention in a previous post I prefer to communicate in a way that transcends all levels...therefore not excluding anyone from conversation.
Neither am I overly concerned about my abilitys to learn nor attain knowledge, as I'am quite proud of my education having made it through Nursing school and currently working as a nurse in a "in" patient Hospice facility, I have no problem communicating with doctors or other medical professionals on a regular/daily baisis......
So....please don't feel sorry for me.....I'am pretty confortable where I'am at :wink:
By the way, I found all I care to know about you on  your "my space page" Pretty intresting pictures :wink:
Title: Buzwardo ©
Post by: buzwardo on August 28, 2007, 08:55:32 AM
Eh, I'm not up on Myspace and consider it one of the biggest wastes of time invented. Guess I'll have to copyright my handle.

Don't feel sorry for you and don't mean to condescend; just trying to wish a fellow traveler well.

Happy trails. . . .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Howling Dog on August 28, 2007, 10:01:32 AM
Buzwardo, Not sure a copywrite would help, but this guy bears some similarites, that may lead one to beleive it to be him being a English lit. major and also from  a similar, general  geographic location  as well as a percieved general personality similar to yourself. (as I percieve it).
Sorry for the case of mistaken identity......imagine two Buzwardos in the world :-o
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 28, 2007, 10:12:10 AM
I've met our Buz, and the myspace Buz most certainly is not him :lol:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 28, 2007, 11:13:24 AM

Suppressed by the MSM.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 28, 2007, 11:35:32 AM

Doing the work the MSM won't do.
Title: Not Myspace
Post by: buzwardo on August 28, 2007, 12:06:50 PM
I like how Mr. Wallace boycotts consumerism with a digital camera in his hand.

Had my pic snapped while I was cooking at a recent event, holding the same knife and steel that horrified the Dean a ways back. As you can see, I don't much resemble the Myspace boho:

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 28, 2007, 08:07:37 PM

Mark Steyn is right, as usual.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 30, 2007, 09:11:50 AM
By Kevin Mooney Staff Writer
August 30, 2007

( - A conflict of interest involving the radical Nation of Islam and the Washington, D.C., affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is an example of unethical journalism that benefits extremist Muslims, according to a national security expert and a Hollywood filmmaker.

Martyn Burke, director of documentary films at ABG Films, and Frank Gaffney, president of the conservative Center for Security Policy, produced a documentary for a PBS series - "America at a Crossroads" - that focused on Muslims in America, Europe, and Canada who speak out against Islamist extremists.

Their documentary, "Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," was, after a protracted battle, rejected in April by WETA, the PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.

The film is going to air on an Oregon PBS affiliate this month, and some other affiliates may run it as well. However, one of the more controversial aspects over the film is that PBS chose to have the documentary reviewed by the radical Nation of Islam prior to its decision to cancel the film.

The Nation of Islam (NOI) and its long-time leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan have a history of espousing racism and anti-Semitism. Farrakhan stepped down as NOI's leader in 2006 for health reasons.

PBS's decision to pass the film to NOI for review was a serious "breach of journalistic ethics," said Burke.

"Is there anyone who understands that no functioning journalist - or network, or publication can ever allow this kind of outrageous action?" Burke wrote in an e-mail to PBS officials.

"This utterly undermines any journalistic independence. ... It virtually hands the story to the subject and allows them to become an active party in shaping it. That is advertising, not journalism. Is that not obvious?" he added.

Burke noted that PBS hired Aminah McCloud as an adviser for the "Crossroads" series. McCloud, director of Islamic World Studies at DePaul University, is a "radical professor," according to Burke, and it was she who gave a "rough cut" of the documentary to the Nation of Islam.

Burke, in an interview with Cybercast News Service, further said that the PBS producers and advisers involved in the "America at a Crossroads" series were favorably disposed to the Islamist perspective and this was detrimental to the filmmaking. PBS officials claimed the "Muslim Center" film, a part of the series, was overly subjective and one-sided. They thus decided against airing it as part of the series. (See Related Story)

In addition, Jeff Bieber, WETA's executive producer, demanded that Gaffney and his CSP colleague Alex Alexiev - a national security expert who specializes in Islamic extremism - be fired from the filmmaking because they are conservatives, said Burke.

But "I'm not going to fire anyone from the right or the left unless their politics start skewing the truth as we understand it," Burke said. "So, when WETA asked me 'don't you check into the politics of the people you work with?' I said I can't believe I'm hearing this in America."

When PBS officials failed to blacklist conservatives associated with the project, they shifted strategy and began to attack the film directly, Gaffney told Cybercast News Service in an interview. Leo Eaton, the "Crossroads" producer for WETA, and other PBS officials pushed for editorial changes that would dilute the over-arching theme and central message of the film, said Gaffney.

The criticisms Eaton presented on behalf of PBS-WETA in a series of notes called for significant modifications to the content - changes that would portray Islamic extremists in a favorable manner, detached from reality, according to Burke and his CSP partners.

"What began as a struggle to prevent people like me from playing in the left's sandbox at PBS mutated into a concerted effort to ensure that a film that told the story of anti-Islamist Muslims never made it on the air," said Gaffney.

"I am personally committed to preventing PBS from doing business the way it has been doing it up until now. There's no doubt that part of what was going on at PBS with our film was a naked antipathy toward conservatives," he added.

A letter from Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, to Gaffney was dismissive of the concerns the filmmakers expressed over the hiring of McCloud and her subsequent activities.

With regard to McCloud's decision to exhibit a portion of the film to the Nation of Islam, Rockefeller wrote: "I am informed that while she regrets causing you and WETA any concern, she thought it was her duty as an advisor to check out the accuracy of information she believed to be incorrect, both for the benefit of WETA and the show producers."

The "Crossroads" series was conceived and financed through the liberal Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with $20 million in federal funds. The Burke and Gaffney film, "Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," cost $675,000.

Allegations directed against public television officials that touch on questions of journalistic ethics have caught the attention of key congressional figures who are now seeking an investigation.

In a letter to Kenneth Konz, the inspector general for CPB, three Republican senators and two Republican representatives expressed concern over apparent conflicts of interest that may have affected PBS's decision to not run the "Muslim Center" in the series.

When the "Crossroads" project was initially launched, top officials within CPB, including former Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, expressed a strong desire to bring in a mix of views, including conservative voices, not traditionally heard on public television.

Tomlinson resigned in 2005 after an inspector general's report raised issues about some of his political activities.

Concerning this mix of views, it "was an initiative that came from CPB that did not necessarily have the concurrence of PBS," said Steve Bass, president and CEO of the Oregon Public Broadcasting System, which is now airing the "Muslim Center" film.

"The fact that you are broadening the pool of people involved in the film series and casting a wider net is almost by definition going to cause some problems," he said.

The creative and political differences that typically beset film projects were further exacerbated in the case "Islam vs. Islamists," Bass surmised, because public money was involved.

"We were attacked for having a point of view, which is astonishing since my understanding is that by definition documentaries have a point of view," said Burke.

"We set out to answer a simple question: Where are the moderate Muslims? What we found is they are speaking out, but they are speaking out in a vacuum and often at great peril and always with great difficultly," Burke added.

In his written correspondence with the filmmakers, Eaton described the film as a "one-sided narrative" that featured the conflict between so-called moderates and extremists in "very subjective and very claustrophobic terms."

For his part, Burke told Cybercast News Service that "wherever possible" anyone in the film advocated radical behavior was permitted to say so at length.

Although he found the film to be "quite compelling" and worthy of airtime, Bass said he felt some of the proposed changes the filmmakers were asked to make could have improved the overall product.

"If I found any fault with it, there were parts of the story that to me needed a little bit more information," he said.

"The film assumed a level of understanding on the part of the viewer that may not be there universally. That's why we decided to add the panel discussion. We think it poses the film in a greater base of understanding with more information," Bass added.

A panel discussion featuring Zuhdi Jasser, co-founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AISD), Rafia Zakaria, an associate executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, and Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of CAIR in Chicago has been produced to run alongside the film.

But individual stations are free to decide whether or not to include the panel, Bass explained.

Although Burke and Gaffney think the film's treatment at WETA warrants further investigation, they agree "Islam vs. the Islamists" has the potential to reach an even larger audience than it otherwise would have if aired as was originally intended on the "Crossroads Series."

Cybercast News Service attempted to contact Eaton and Bieber via e-mail, but did not receive a response.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 01, 2007, 08:36:29 PM

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 02, 2007, 01:55:03 PM

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 05, 2007, 09:56:37 AM
-- John Fund
Some Religions Are Funnier Than Others

For the second Sunday in a row, the Washington Post declined to publish the popular "Opus" cartoon strip, written by Berkeley Breathed, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his daily cartoon "Bloom County" in 1987. Because the Post is Mr. Breathed's syndicator, other papers apparently took the cue and nixed the cartoons as well.

The offending strips featured the hippy, fad-chasing Lola Granola, who has decided, for the moment, to adopt the pose of a victimized "radical Islamist," veil and all, which she calls the "hot new fad on the planet." Amy Lago, the comics editor for the Washington Post Writers Group, told Fox News: "I don't necessarily think it's poking fun [at Islam... but the question with Muslims is, are they taking it seriously?"

Even as it spiked Mr. Breathed, the Post last Sunday had no trouble publishing on its Web site (under the heading "On Faith" no less) an attack on Christianity by author Sam Harris, who called the doctrine of Christ dying for humanity's sins "a direct and undisguised inheritance of the scapegoating barbarism that has plagued bewildered people throughout history." For his part, Mr. Breathed has been an equal-opportunity satirist over the years, once lamenting that the Bush administration's bumbling had all but made parody impossible. Perhaps his next target will be the selective sensitivities of newspaper editors.

opinion journal WSJ
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 07, 2007, 11:49:10 AM

Guilty in the Duke Case

By Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A21

One night in jail: So concludes the Duke lacrosse rape case -- rape fraud, as it turned out. The legacy of this incident should include hard thinking about the deep pathologies underlying the media sensationalism and the perversion of academic ideals that this fraud inspired.

The 24-hour sentence was imposed on Mike Nifong, the disbarred former district attorney of Durham, after a contempt-of-court trial last week for repeatedly lying to hide DNA evidence of innocence. His prosecution of three demonstrably innocent defendants, based on an emotionally disturbed stripper's ever-changing account, may be the worst prosecutorial misconduct ever exposed while it was happening. Durham police officers and other officials aided Nifong, and the city and county face the threat of a massive lawsuit by the falsely accused former students seeking criminal justice reforms and compensation.

All this shows how the criminal justice process can oppress the innocent -- usually poor people lacking the resources to fight back -- and illustrates the need for reforms to restrain rogue prosecutors. But the case was also a major cultural event exposing habits of mind among academics and journalists that contradict what should be their lodestar: the pursuit of truth.

Nifong's lies, his inflaming of racial hatred (to win the black vote in his election campaign) and his targeting of innocent people were hardly representative of criminal prosecutors. But the smearing of the lacrosse players as racist, sexist, thuggish louts by many was all too representative.

Dozens of the activist professors who dominate campus discourse gleefully stereotyped and vilified their own students -- and not one member of Duke's undergraduate faculty publicly dissented for months. Duke President Richard Brodhead repeatedly and misleadingly denigrated the players' characters. He also acted as though he had no problem with Nifong's violations of their rights to due process.

The New York Times and other newspapers vied with trash-TV talk shows hosted by the likes of CNN's Nancy Grace, a biased wacko-feminist, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, a right-wing blowhard, in a race to the journalistic bottom. The defendants -- who endured the ordeal with courage and class -- and their teammates were smeared nationwide as depraved racists and probable rapists.

To be sure, it was natural to assume at first that Nifong had a case. Why else would he confidently declare the players guilty? But many academics and journalists continued to presume guilt months after massive evidence of innocence poured into the public record. Indeed, some professors persisted in attacks even after the three defendants were declared innocent in April by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper -- an almost unheard-of event.

Brushing aside concern with "the 'truth' . . . about the incident," as one put it, these faculty ideologues just changed their indictments from rape to drunkenness (hardly a rarity in college); exploiting poor black women (the players had expected white and Hispanic strippers); and being born white, male and prosperous.

This shameful conduct was rooted in a broader trend toward subordinating facts and evidence to faith-based ideological posturing. Worse, the ascendant ideology, especially in academia, is an obsession with the fantasy that oppression of minorities and women by "privileged" white men remains rampant in America. Its crude stereotyping of white men, especially athletes, resembles old-fashioned racism and sexism.

Can this trend be reversed? The power of extremist professors will continue to spread unless mainstream liberal academics, alumni and trustees stop deferring to them and stop letting them pack departments with more and more ideologically eccentric, intellectually mediocre allies.

As for the media, the case shows the need for editors and watchdogs to remind journalists that they are supposed to be in the truth-telling business and that truth emerges from facts and evidence.

The case did feature one hero, who showed how academics as well as journalists should behave: Professor James Coleman of Duke Law School. Long a champion of liberal causes, Coleman broke ranks with his guilt-presuming colleagues after Brodhead named him to lead a committee investigating the team's culture. Yes, the report Coleman's committee issued in May 2006 said that some lacrosse players drank unlawfully or excessively and had committed such petty offenses as having noisy parties. But alcohol aside, the report was a stunning vindication. Team members had "performed well academically"; respected the Duke employees with whom they came into contact; behaved well on trips; supported current and former African American players; and had no history of fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist slurs.

The media long ignored this portrayal, which did not fit their mythical story line. Coleman later became the first -- and for months the only -- Duke figure to publicly denounce Nifong's violations of the players' rights. The media long ignored that, too.

Washington Post
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 11, 2007, 09:29:25 AM
A Real 9/11 Cover-Up
September 11, 2007; Page A18

A year ago today, ABC ran the docudrama I wrote, "The Path to 9/11," at the peak of a firestorm of political protest designed to discredit and shut down the miniseries before it aired. Left-leaning pundits, politicos and bloggers waxed hysterical about its supposed inaccuracies and anti-Clinton bias, though the vast majority of them had not seen it.

They were determined that no one else should see it, either. But they failed, and the miniseries garnered nearly 28 million viewers and seven Emmy nominations. One year later, however, there is another attempt to shut down "The Path to 9/11" -- this time the DVD version.

Despite what these would-be censors and the conspiracy theorists of the blogosphere fervently believed a year ago, the miniseries was never about Bill Clinton, the political left or right, but about our common enemy then and now: Islamist terrorism. It dramatizes a clearly linked chain of historical events, beginning with the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, continuing through the multiple attacks on American embassies and interests abroad, and culminating in the horrific attacks on American soil six years ago.

The miniseries depicts not only the institutionalized lapses and errors along the way, noted in the 9/11 Commission Report and other sources, but also the efforts of ordinary American heroes who did their best to defend this country from its enemies. Both the failures and the successes are historical facts, and neither the Clinton nor Bush administration is spared its failures or denied its successes in the miniseries, as its many millions of viewers can attest.

After the broadcast the controversy went away. The threatened lawsuits never materialized, and the attacks on the miniseries' credibility dissipated. Indeed, experts such as Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit, and Gary Schroen, the first American field agent into Afghanistan after 9/11, both came forward to confirm the accuracy of the docudrama.

The current battle against the DVD version is not taking place in a frenzy of unfounded accusations, but in silence. The normal time frame from broadcast to DVD for miniseries and movies is approximately four months. Originally I was told by ABC that the DVD release date would be in January. January came and went, and I was told June was the new release date. Then July. Now ABC's official statement is, "We have not decided on a release date at this time." No further explanation.

Privately, I was told by an ABC executive that "If Hillary weren't running for president, this wouldn't be a problem." The clear message is that ABC/Disney isn't eager to reopen the wound, or feel the pressure again from politicians anxious to whitewash their legacy. Executive Producer Marc Platt, a well-known Hollywood liberal, even had to finance the limited Emmy campaign himself because Disney/ABC refused to do so (unheard of for such a high-profile production). This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose. The result is the same: the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians.

This was a $40 million project that, because of the overblown controversy, attracted no sponsors and thus made not a penny of profit from its broadcast. It is a quality production, both entertaining and educational, that has the potential to recoup a significant part of its cost, if not actually turn a profit, through the sales of an eagerly anticipated DVD. Does ABC/Disney not owe it to its shareholders to make this basic effort to reclaim some of their $40 million?

But profit, while not an insignificant consideration, is not at the heart of the matter here (certainly not for me personally, as I would make literally a fraction of a penny for each DVD sold). The issue is that corporate timidity is preventing millions of Americans from finding "The Path to 9/11" on DVD -- though other politically controversial movies are readily available, such as "Loose Change," which argues that the Bush administration targeted American citizens for death in an elaborate and sinister plot, or Michael Moore's unabashedly biased "Fahrenheit 9/11." These highly charged movies, which don't offer even a pretense of balance, and others can be found online or in retail outlets and DVD rental stores across the country -- and so they should be, just as "The Path to 9/11" should be.

Whatever one may think of the miniseries or of me as the writer, the American way is not to let the docudrama languish in a cowardly purgatory but to release it for the general public to judge. If there is controversy, all the more reason it should be made available for every American to decide for himself. In fact, I suggested to Disney executives that members of the Clinton administration be allowed to speak their piece in the DVD's special features, a suggestion which was met with -- that's right -- utter silence.

A year ago, the amped-up outcry preceding the airing of "The Path to 9/11" nearly drowned out the truth. This Sept. 11, it is the corporate silence regarding the DVD that is deafening.

Mr. Nowrasteh wrote the screenplay for "The Path to 9/11" and is one of its producers.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 13, 2007, 11:49:49 AM
The World According to Univision
September 13, 2007; Page A17

John Edwards has not taken a definitive position on abortion. Hillary Clinton's position on the issue is that "she will fight for the defense of children." And Barack Obama wants taxes to be "as low as possible."

Each of these statements is misleading, at best. Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Clinton support "a woman's right to choose" and Mr. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts. But on Univision, a Spanish-language TV network with an average prime-time audience of about 3.5 million viewers, these and other slanted statements about the presidential candidates are commonplace.

These statements appeared on Univision's Web site, but like much of the network's reporting, were missed by the mainstream media because they appeared only in Spanish. I have taken an extensive look at Univision and found that these are a tiny fraction of the biased views of American politics regularly presented by the network.

This is something all of us need to be concerned about. Earlier this week, Democrats participated in a Univision-sponsored presidential debate held in south Florida. The candidates used the forum to reach out to Hispanic voters and many Democrats have noted that only one Republican -- Sen. John McCain -- has agreed to participate in a similar debate for GOP candidates originally scheduled for this coming Sunday. Their aim is to portray Republicans as biased against Hispanics.

But context matters. Faced with an onslaught of biased reporting, Republicans are right to have reservations about Univision. They should, however, engage the network, as it is far too important to be ignored. Late last month, Nielsen began comparing Univision to other broadcast networks in a single viewer sample, and found that it is the most-watched TV network (ahead of Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC) for viewers 18-34.

If their views were presented fairly, it's likely that Republicans would connect with Hispanic voters. That may be why the network's news coverage often downplays issues that make Hispanics dislike Democrats (abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes) and sensationalizes the immigration issue as a way of demonizing Republicans -- even those who are not anti-immigrant.

Rudy Giuliani, who is attacked by some for making New York a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants during his time as mayor, was blasted as anti-inmigrante in a recent op-ed by star reporter Maria Elena Salinas on Univision's Web site. Apparently the mayor earned the label because he was tough on crime and supports border security, notwithstanding the fact that he carried 43% of New York City's Hispanic vote (a bloc that tends to be heavily Democratic) when he ran for re-election in 1997.

Republicans must engage and demand fairness from Univision, rather than let it propagandize the most conservative segment of the Hispanic population -- the 40% who may speak English, but who are "Spanish-dominant" and consume their news in their native language. According to a July 2006 study of previous elections by the New Democratic Network, English-speaking Hispanics are more reliably Democratic, and "the movement towards Bush has come from the Spanish-dominant, as they have gone from 82%-18% Clinton-Dole in 1996 to 52%-48% Kerry-Bush."

Univision isn't alone. Bias is a problem throughout Spanish media. In South Carolina, Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican and supporter of the failed comprehensive immigration reform bill, was surprised to see a December 2005 headline in El Periodico Latino that, when translated, read: "BAD NEWS FOR IMMIGRANTS: Congressman Inglis will support President Bush's position on immigration." Of course, the Bush plan was the most pro-immigration proposal on the table.

Univision is the largest and most important part of the Spanish-language media, yet it features some of the most unbalanced political news coverage on television and it continues its leftward drift. Marcela Salazar, a former staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was hired recently as the producer on Univision's new political show, "Al Punto," which is hosted by two left-wing journalists. A Democratic friend of mine, who works as a strategist for a Democratic presidential campaign, told me last week: "She'll do us a lot of good there."

As a group, Latinos are more pro-life and more supportive of traditional family values than non-Hispanic whites, less likely to divorce and three times as likely to have started a business in the past decade. Given that all of these are strong Republican identifiers, GOP strategists are asking themselves why they vote so lopsidedly Democratic.

The answer rests, in part, in the bias in the Spanish-language media. Republicans should counteract that by participating in Univision's debate, if only so they can speak over the heads of biased reporters and directly to the network's audience.

Ms. Sanchez, director of the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education from 2001-2003, is author of "Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 18, 2007, 10:53:03 AM
There was quite a media firestorm ignited when security at USC's library tasered a late night Iranian who refused to ID himself and/or leave.

Why did this not receive similar coverage?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2007, 05:10:12 AM
Dead Metaphor?
Here is a story to brighten your weekend: Early this afternoon we received an email from one of our most loyal readers. We'll withhold his name, because our purpose here isn't to make him look silly. Suffice it to say that he writes us several times a week, his nickname for President Bush is "Chimpy," and the following message, which we quote verbatim, is actually quite a bit more temperate than his usual fare:

No wonder the entire world sees this fool for the complete moron that he is.

I now see that his supporters, such as your august self, have truly, really, fundamentally no shame and no sense of embarrassment. Bush makes us all look like dopes--after all he was elected twice (ooops, make that stole the election twice--my bad)

If only his idiot gaffs were the worst of it...

He is truly worthless as a president and as a man!

Our correspondent sent us a link to a blog called First Draft, in which someone styling himself "Holden Caulfield" says of the president, "Christ, what a dumbass," and links to the following Reuters dispatch:

Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.

"It's out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush's comments received worldwide coverage. . . .

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday. . . .

References to his death--Mandela is now 89 and increasingly frail--are seen as insensitive in South Africa.

So, what did President Bush actually say? Here's the quote in context, from the White House transcript:

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein's brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where's Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place. And it's hard work for them. And I understand it's hard work for them. Having said that, I'm not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government's reconciliation efforts.

In this context, it is clear that the literal meaning of "Where's Mandela?" is "Where is the Iraqi who will play the role in his country that Mandela played in postapartheid South Africa?" This was a pithy metaphor, not an "embarrassing gaffe."

Now, how did Reuters get the story wrong? There are, it seems to us, three explanations:

Stupidity. The reporter was so bone-headedly literal-minded that he simply did not understand the rhetorical device Bush was employing.

Laziness. The reporter wasn't actually at the press conference and didn't bother to check the context of the quote.

Dishonesty. The reporter knew full well that Bush was speaking metaphorically and deliberately twisted his meaning in order to fit the stereotype that Bush "has a reputation for verbal faux pas."
In the case of the particular Reuters dispatch "Caulfield" links to, laziness is the most likely answer. It's datelined Johannesburg, so the reporter surely was not at the press conference. But ultimately the explanation for the "worldwide coverage" this "gaffe" has received is either stupidity or dishonesty. Some journalist either failed to understand or deliberately misrepresented Bush's remark. And the joke is on people like our Bush-hating correspondent, who gullibly eat this stuff up.

political journal WSJ
Title: Dan Rather
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 24, 2007, 09:14:07 AM
“Dan Rather seems divinely inspired to crash more times than a Kennedy driving home from an office party. The multimillionaire semi-retired newsman is suing [CBS] for $70 million, $1 million for every year he’s been alive since he was 5 years old. Which is fitting, because that’s what he sounds like. The gist of his lawsuit is that CBS used him as a ‘scapegoat’ in the Memogate story to ‘pacify the White House.’ The swelled-headed former anchor, who used to brag incessantly about his toughness and independence, also whines in his suit that the network forced him to apologize under duress when ‘no apology from him was warranted,’ and that the former managing editor of CBS News ‘was not responsible for any such errors.’ Indeed, according to Rather and his lawyers, the only mistakes made were by CBS management, which, in its eagerness to ‘appease angry government officials,’ had the temerity to apologize for passing off fake documents as real ones in a news story intended to sway a presidential election... Frankly, we need this. And by ‘we,’ I mean a grand coalition of people who delight in watching one of the 20th century’s most pompous gasbags fall from the top of the laughingstock tree and hit every branch on the way down. These are dour times, and if Gunga Dan and Hurricane Dan and What’s-The-Frequency-Kenneth Dan want to trade their Afghan robes, yellow windbreakers and enormous tinfoil hats for some baggy pants, bright-orange wigs and floppy shoes, I say let them. I just hope all of the Dans show up at the courthouse in a teensy-weensy clown car.” —Jonah Goldberg

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on September 24, 2007, 01:49:26 PM
I'm curious to see what actually comes out in court during this lawsuit.

First off, it should be acknowledged that while the supposedly forged documents show that Bush didn't even fulfill his service requirements, the evidence of Bush evading the draft by using family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard was overwhelming even without them.  The attack on CBS sought to make those documents the central issue and thus avoid the substantive (and proven) claim that Bush used family connections to get out of the draft.

Rather claims that the network-appointed "Independent Review Panel" investigating his reporting was extremely biased and in fact never even determined whether or not the forgery claim was true.  I assume his lawyers will demand that CBS produce their evidence that the documents were forgeries.  If it turns out that CBS fired a long-time veteran journalist solely on the word of some right-wing blogger claiming the documents were produced by Microsoft Word, CBS is basically screwed.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 24, 2007, 03:24:45 PM
Agreed that the suit has the potential to be very interesting.  I have a supply of popcorn (organic of course) on hand and suspect none of the parties will come out of it looking very good :-D
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 24, 2007, 09:31:44 PM
I'm curious to see what actually comes out in court during this lawsuit.

First off, it should be acknowledged that while the supposedly forged documents show that Bush didn't even fulfill his service requirements, the evidence of Bush evading the draft by using family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard was overwhelming even without them. 

**Supposedly forged? Please explain how the Texas Air National Guard was using Microsoft Word in 1973. This should be priceless.**

The attack on CBS sought to make those documents the central issue and thus avoid the substantive (and proven) claim that Bush used family connections to get out of the draft.

**Please post the non-fabricated documents that prove that assertion.**

Rather claims that the network-appointed "Independent Review Panel" investigating his reporting was extremely biased and in fact never even determined whether or not the forgery claim was true.  I assume his lawyers will demand that CBS produce their evidence that the documents were forgeries.  If it turns out that CBS fired a long-time veteran journalist solely on the word of some right-wing blogger claiming the documents were produced by Microsoft Word, CBS is basically screwed.


Here is the RIGHT-WING (cue scary music) Blogger's post.
Please debunk it for me.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 24, 2007, 09:40:31 PM

Here is the cool graphic overlay of the two images. Amazing the TANG had word processors in 1973. Karl Rove must have a time machine! :-o
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on September 25, 2007, 12:04:45 AM
Read the guy's blog posts, and all I can say is if that's all CBS went on, they don't stand a chance in court.

Did any known authorities on document forgery agree with his conclusions and state so publicly?  Did the Bush administration itself officially make this claim?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 25, 2007, 02:47:57 AM

Read it and weep. :evil:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 25, 2007, 06:47:13 AM

Moving right along, here's this from the WSJ:

Other People's Politics
In defense of the New York Times.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Two bastions of liberalism are discovering the nasty side of campaign finance reform now that it has landed in their own backyards.

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the New York Times admitted it had "made a mistake" when it charged the radical group a special discounted rate for an ad accusing General David Petraeus of betrayal in advance of his Congressional testimony. Meanwhile, DailyKos's Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has faced a Federal Election Commission inquiry into advertising sales at his blog, which has become a force in pushing the Democratic Party to the left on various issues--among them, campaign finance reform.

DailyKos holds forth regularly that "our democracy is in danger" from money in politics and loudly supports McCain-Feingold and other campaign and media restrictions. The New York Times position on campaign finance reform is that it "has not gone far enough," and that more should be done to control donors and prevent changes that would "open the spigots to corporate and special-interest money."

Of course, it's always other people's influence that's a threat to democracy. DailyKos's misadventure was resolved with a Federal Election Commission ruling that allowed it (quite properly) to escape the rules it wants foisted on everybody else. And we certainly defend the Times's right to sign advertising contracts at whatever price it wants to charge--without the FEC combing through its books in search of rate discrepancies.

Unfortunately, the Times's passion for regulating everyone else's speech has now boomeranged, with politicians calling for an investigation into its favor to MoveOn. This is getting to be a bad Times habit: Recall its campaign for a special counsel to investigate media leaks that turned into a probe of its own sources and led to judicial rulings that limited press freedom.
House Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Tom Davis (R., Va.) wants hearings on whether the MoveOn discount represented a contribution in violation of campaign finance laws, and whether those laws are actually enforceable. Mr. Davis is indulging in some partisan opportunism here, and we wish instead that he was explaining that the problem is not that these organizations slipped through some campaign finance net. The problem is the net.

The DailyKos argues that it qualifies for the "commentary" exception under McCain-Feingold, while the Times would presumably qualify under the newspaper exception. Anyone who reads either one quickly figures out that they are both stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party and liberal causes. This is their right, but it's hard to see why their political speech deserves any more special legal protection than that of Big Labor or the NRA. As for the Times's ad discount, we also don't see why it shouldn't be as protected as the paper's inevitable endorsement next year of Hillary Clinton for President. Won't that be an "in-kind" political contribution worth at least a few thousand dollars?

The FEC deserves a pat on the back for backing away from media content oversight. But the real solution here is for the Supreme Court to rediscover its First Amendment principles and strike down campaign finance restrictions. As long as McCain-Feingold is on the books, regulators will be running around damming up leaks wherever they imagine they've found them. Sooner or later they'll come after the press, as maybe the Times and other left-wingers are beginning to figure out.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on September 25, 2007, 09:03:13 AM
Woof GM,

Perhaps you can point to some specific parts of that report you consider absolutely fatal to whatever argument you think I'm making?

I only skimmed the report (I have a full-time job), and I did see one part where they state clearly "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents were forgeries".  It goes on to say that Rather took them to be authentic based on the authenticity of a signature, and was responsible for ensuring their authenticity before reporting them as fact.  It's basic conclusion is that Rather is guilty of shoddy reporting because he was in a rush to report the story first.

Should be an interesting court proceeding.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 25, 2007, 09:20:57 AM
As reported in Iran:

IRI President addresses students at Colombia University
New York, Sept 25, IRNA
Ahmadinejad-Colombia Varsity-Address
Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.
On second day of his entry in New York, and amid standing ovation of the audience that had attended the hall where the Iranian President was to give his lecture as of early hours of the day, Ahmadinejad said that Iran is not going to attack any country in the world.
Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.
He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.
Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement.
The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.
At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on September 25, 2007, 10:16:55 AM
Woof GM,

Perhaps you can point to some specific parts of that report you consider absolutely fatal to whatever argument you think I'm making?

I only skimmed the report (I have a full-time job), and I did see one part where they state clearly "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents were forgeries".  It goes on to say that Rather took them to be authentic based on the authenticity of a signature, and was responsible for ensuring their authenticity before reporting them as fact.  It's basic conclusion is that Rather is guilty of shoddy reporting because he was in a rush to report the story first.

Should be an interesting court proceeding.


The report doesn't give any "dead-bang" statements that the documents are forgeries because the originals can't be examined. All they have are the photocopies of documents that pefectly match up with Microsoft Word. The originals would put the final nail in the document's coffin. If Fox News ran a similar story right before the 2008 election with photocopies of alleged memos from Hillary Clinton ordering Vince Foster's murder and the "documents" had the same shady pedigree, I can only imagine the howls of outrage from the MSM and the left.

Of course, Fox News doesn't have a history of such journalistic scandals, unlike the NY Times, the New Republic and "See B.S."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 26, 2007, 05:57:52 AM
From today's NY Times:

Iran’s Media Assail President’s Treatment

Published: September 26, 2007
TEHRAN, Sept. 25 — Iranian state television on Tuesday sharply criticized the way President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been treated during his Columbia University talk and asserted that he had triumphed over his adversarial hosts, whom it described as Zionist Jews.

Commentary, interviews and video broadcast in Iran of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s appearance at Columbia on Monday depicted a resolute leader who overcame an ambush of personal insults to present his views on topics like the Holocaust, Israel, the Palestinians and nuclear weapons, views that were described as having been well received by the audience.

“In the end, who was the winner?” asked one television commentator, leaving the answer to a quote from John R. Bolton, a former American ambassador to the United Nations and an outspoken Iran critic, who said Mr. Ahmadinejad was the “big winner” for being able to talk at the university.

The evening news showed scenes of the large crowd that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s talk had drawn inside and outside the university. “Mr. Ahmadinejad was the center of the world news for the past few days,” said the reporter.

“Some media even called on students to boycott the speech,” the reporter added, saying that instead Mr. Ahmadinejad got a warm welcome.

The program repeated scenes that showed the audience cheering Mr. Ahmadinejad, suggesting that a lot of the audience was made up of his supporters. “I saw even Jewish students who walked out of the talk saying Mr. Ahmadinejad was very convincing,” a woman wearing a head scarf told the program in English.

It also pointed out that the president of Columbia, Lee C. Bollinger, had made insulting remarks, without elaborating on them. Mr. Bollinger had said that Mr. Ahmadinejad exhibited “all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” and that he was “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.”

The television broadcasts also showed video of the audience booing Mr. Ahmadinejad when he said there were no homosexuals in Iran. It added that a protest was orchestrated by a Zionist lobby that had brought schoolchildren.

Mohsen Rezai, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards, denounced on the state-run news channel the inhospitable treatment of Mr. Ahmadinejad. “He is the president of a country,” he said. “It is shocking that a country that claims to be civilized treats him that way.”

In an interview with the Aftab Web site, Ali Ahmadi, a member of Parliament, also spoke harshly about Mr. Ahmadinejad’s treatment, and criticized those in the Iranian government who had advised him to appear at the university.

“New York is the headquarters of Zionist Jews, and they have control over Columbia University,” he said. “It seems that our diplomacy apparatus had not given complete information to the president.”
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 26, 2007, 11:55:53 AM
Political Journal WSJ

Maybe Liberals Should Find a Radio Host Named 'Laura'

Liberals in Congress have signaled they would like nothing better than to revive the New Deal-era Fairness Doctrine -- which would hobble talk radio by mandating a balanced presentation of all views -- should Democrats win both the White House and Congress next year.

They have a simple motivation. Liberal talk radio just can't seem to make it in the marketplace. Maybe it's because National Public Radio, which is taxpayer-subsidized, leans left enough to satisfy liberal listeners' ideological sweet tooth. Maybe the talk radio audience is skewed to the self-employed who drive much of the day or to conservative retirees. Or maybe it's because liberal arguments presented in their full-throated glory just don't sell in a center-right country.

Air America, the liberal talk radio network that debuted in 2004, is in perpetual trouble and has seen Al Franken, its big star, flee for the relative security of a U.S. Senate campaign. Or take the talk radio network started last year by feminists Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem. The GreenStone radio network offered cutting-edge liberal thinking pitched to a female audience -- and flopped completely. By the time the network's two sugar-mommas pulled the plug late last month, GreenStone had signed up only eight affiliates, all in medium-sized or small markets. The network's staff say they are distressed to find that talk radio continues to be dominated by conservative and male voices.

They need to think again. Female talk radio personalities are doing quite well, thank you. Laura Ingraham's blend of conservative politics and pop culture attracts over five million listeners a week. Laura Schlessinger has almost eight million listeners for her mix of personal advice and stern conservative moral messages. Both have significant female audiences, proving that the message and not the medium is the problem with liberalism's inability to connect with mass audiences on radio.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 01, 2007, 02:15:07 AM
Trigger-Happy Journalists
Some of our finest special-op soldiers serve companies like Blackwater.

Monday, October 1, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

"They are immature shooters and have very quick trigger fingers," says an anonymous lieutenant colonel.

"Why are we creating new vulnerabilities by relying on what are essentially mercenary forces?" asks a nameless intelligence officer. "They often act like cowboys over here," says an unidentified commander.

Ever since a recent shootout in downtown Baghdad, newspapers have been ablaze with charges that private security contractors in Iraq are trigger-happy.

This rush to pass judgment is hardly surprising. Frequently derided as "mercenaries" and "rent-a-cops," security contractors make an easy target for war opponents.

As a former employee of a major Blackwater competitor, I find this categorical smearing of contractors to be starkly at odds with my experience. I served as an officer in the Navy SEALs for six years. After I left, I joined a private security firm and was promptly sent to Iraq.

Contrary to the popular belief that Blackwater contractors are "thugs for hire," most are highly professional and well trained. Blackwater operates the world's largest private military training facility. Its 1,000 contractors working in Iraq are drawn from the ranks of former military and law enforcement officials. Many of its workers are former SEALs or veterans of other special-operations units.
The risks these workers assume are underscored by the infamous 2004 ambush in Fallujah, in which four Blackwater contractors were murdered and mutilated. To date, Blackwater has lost 30 contractors. For all anyone knows, last month's incident could have turned into another Fallujah had Blackwater's contractors reacted differently. The details are still terribly unclear.

The contractors--and the U.S. diplomats they were escorting--claim they were ambushed. Yet Iraq's Ministry of Interior almost immediately issued a report declaring that the contractors were "100% guilty." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has charged that the operators killed "in cold blood."

With conflicting reports, condemnations should not be made until the joint Iraqi-U.S. investigation is completed. The media, however, has accepted the Ministry of Interior's version of events, all but writing off the accounts of both Blackwater and the State Department.

This follows a long-established pattern of unfounded claims in the press about security contractors. For instance, numerous reports reference contractors making over $1,000 a day--far more than active-duty soldiers. Some point to the more than $700 million Blackwater has received in State Department contracts in order to denounce security firms as war profiteers.

The truth, however, is that contractors are cost-effective. Blackwater contractors, for example, are generally paid $450-$650 a day. More important, unlike U.S. servicemen, they usually receive no benefits and are paid only for the days they work. Security contractors at the better firms have typically retired from active duty or left the military on their own accord after extended service. They are honorable veterans who have chosen to risk their lives to protect American diplomats in a war zone.

Instead of depleting our armed forces, security contractors allow the government to recapture its investment in these men during wartime and avoid the extraordinary expense of training new recruits. In short, they're already trained and experienced--and cost money only when they're needed.

Another common myth is that contractors are above the law. True, the June 2004 Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 exempts contractors (and other diplomatic personnel) from local prosecution. But that doesn't mean that contractors have been granted blanket immunity from prosecution. In fact, the order clearly states that this immunity is limited only to acts necessary to fulfill contracts. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians--as alleged in last month's incident--are not covered.
Contractors are also subject to numerous U.S. statutes and regulations, as well as international treaties. Just last year, Congress amended the Uniform Code of Military Justice to include contractors. Contractors can also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000, which permits charges to be brought in federal court for crimes abroad.

Like soldiers, security contractors are sometimes forced to make split-second decisions with enormous consequences. They must be--and are--accountable to our government for their actions. But the people I worked with in Iraq, including veterans working for Blackwater, were hardly rogue cowboys. I did, however, meet some trigger-happy journalists over there.

Mr. Ryan is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer who spent time in Iraq as an employee of Triple Canopy, a private security firm.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 01, 2007, 02:00:44 PM
I post this article here because although it is not about media issues, it is responsive to the previous post on this thread about media coverage of Blackwater.

Blackwater has fired 122 personnel

By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 5 minutes ago

Private security contractor Blackwater USA has had to fire 122 people over the past three years for problems ranging from misusing weapons, alcohol and drug violations, inappropriate conduct, and violent behavior, according to a report released Monday by a congressional committee.

That total is roughly one-seventh of the work force that Blackwater has in Iraq, a ratio that raises questions about the quality of the people working for the company.

The report, prepared by the majority staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also says Blackwater has been involved in 195 shooting incidents since 2005, or roughly 1.4 per week.

In more than 80 percent of the incidents, called "escalation of force," Blackwater's guards fired the first shots even though the company's contract with the State Department calls for it to use defensive force only, it said.

"In the vast majority of instances in which Blackwater fired shots, Blackwater is firing from a moving vehicle and does not remain at the scene to determine if the shots resulted in casualties," according to the report.

The staff report paints Blackwater as a company that's made huge sums of money despite its questionable performance in Iraq, where Blackwater guards provide protective services for U.S. diplomatic personnel.

Blackwater has earned more than $1 billion from federal contracts since 2001, when it had less than $1 million in government work. Overall, the State Department paid Blackwater more than $832 million between 2004 and 2006 for security work, according to the report.

Blackwater, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Moyock, N.C., is the biggest of the State Department's three private security contractors. The others are Dyncorp and Triple Canopy, both based in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs.

According to the 15-page report, Blackwater has had more shooting incidents than the other two companies combined.

The report was distributed to committee members on the eve of a hearing on private security contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater's founder and chairman, Erik Prince, will be one of the witnesses.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell had no comment on the specifics in the report.

"We look forward to setting the record straight on this issue and others tomorrow when Erik Prince testifies before the committee," she said.
On Friday seven of the oversight committee's 18 Republican members called on Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the panel's chairman, to postpone the hearing until more is known about a recent incident in Iraq involving Blackwater guards.

On Sept. 16, 2007, 11 Iraqis were killed in a shoot-out involving Blackwater guards protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Baghdad. Blackwater says its guards acted in self-defense after the convoy came under attack. Iraqi witnesses have said the shooting was unprovoked.
Several investigations are under way, including one by the State Department and another by a U.S.-Iraqi commission that is also examining the broader issue of how private security contractors in Iraq operate.

In a Sept. 28 letter, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and six other Republicans said the committee should wait until these investigations are complete.
"We feel it would be irresponsible for the committee to rush to judgment until all the facts are considered," the letter states.

Rep. Tom Davis or Virginia, the committee's top Republican, did not sign the letter.

Spokesman Brian McNicoll said Davis has no objection to the hearing taking place because several State Department representatives are scheduled to testify.

In addition to Prince, the witnesses include: David Satterfield, the department's Iraq coordinator, Richard Griffin, assistant secretary for diplomatic security, and William H. Moser, deputy assistant secretary for logistics management.
On the Net:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 02, 2007, 07:30:56 AM

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Palestinian Propaganda Coup
October 2, 2007; Page A17

Last month, a French court heard an appeals case whose forthcoming verdict will have far-reaching ramifications for all who value truth and accuracy in Middle East news reporting. The case involves Philippe Karsenty, a French journalist and media commentator, who was found guilty of defamation after he called for the firing of two France 2 Television journalists responsible for the Sept. 30, 2000, news report on the alleged killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

It has been seven years since France 2 Television broadcast the excruciating footage of Mohammed and his father Jamal crouching in terror behind a barrel in Gaza's Netzarim Junction while, according to the report, under relentless fire from IDF soldiers. The 59-second clip, which ends with the boy apparently shot dead, was presented around the world as an unambiguous case of Israeli savagery.

The tape fanned the flames of what became known as the second intifada. The boy Mohammed was the iconic martyr, his name and face gracing streets, parks and postage stamps across the Arab world. His memory was invoked by Osama bin Laden in a jihadist screed against America, and in the ghastly video of the beheading of American Jewish journalist, Daniel Pearl.

Shortly following the al-Dura incident, however, a series of inquiries cast grave doubt on the accuracy of the original France 2 report. The official IDF investigation concluded that, based on the position of IDF forces vis-à-vis the Duras, it was highly improbable, if not impossible, that an Israeli bullet hit the boy. Research by the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and Commentary magazine concurred. Then a German documentary revealed inconsistencies and probable manipulations in the account of France 2's lone journalist on the scene that day, Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahmeh.

And yet France 2 refused to release Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. It did, however, agree to let three prominent French journalists view the footage. All three concluded that it comprised blatantly staged scenes of Palestinians being shot by Israeli forces, and that France 2's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin had lied to conceal that fact.

Subsequently, alleging gross malfeasance, Mr. Karsenty called for the firings of Mr. Enderlin and France 2 News Director Arlette Chabot. But France 2 stood defiant, suing Mr. Karsenty for defamation.

The defamation trial passed almost unnoticed in Israel, to the apparent detriment of Mr. Karsenty's case. In his ruling in favor of France 2, judge Joël Boyer five times cited the absence of any official Israeli support for Mr. Karsenty's claims as indication of their speciousness.

Israel's decision to stay on the sidelines was unfortunate because the truth always matters. The al-Dura incident wasn't the only media report to inflame passions against Israel in recent years, but it was the one with the highest profile. Moreover, if, as Mr. Karsenty and others have claimed persuasively, the al-Dura incident is part of the insidious trend in which Western media outlets allow themselves to be manipulated by dishonest and politically motivated sources (recall the Jenin "massacre" that never was, or the doctored Reuters photos from Israel's war against Hezbollah in 2006), then France 2 must be held accountable.

It is important to note that the al-Dura news report profoundly influenced Western public opinion. When I served in the Israeli government as minister of Diaspora Affairs from 2003 to 2005, I traveled frequently to North American college campuses. I heard first hand how Mohammed al-Dura had shaped the perceptions of young people just beginning to follow events in the Middle East. For many Jewish students, the incident was a stain of dishonor that called into question their support for Israel. For anti-Israel students, the story reaffirmed their sense of Zionism's innately "racist" nature and became a tool for recruiting campus peers to the cause.

To its credit, Israel has come to recognize that it must play an active role in uncovering the truth. The IDF recently sent a letter to France 2 demanding the release of Talal Abu Rahmeh's 27 minutes of raw footage, asserting the implausibility of IDF guilt for the death of Mohammad al-Dura, and raising the possibility that the entire affair may have been staged.

Tragically, there is no way to repair the damage inflicted on Israel's international image by the France 2 report, much less restore the Israeli and Jewish victims whose lives were exacted as vengeance. It is possible, however, to deter slanderous news reporting -- and the violence that often accompanies it -- by setting a precedent for media accountability via the handover of Talal Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. Encouragingly, the judge presiding over Mr. Karsenty's appeal has now requested the tapes. France 2 must make a full public disclosure. If there is nothing to hide, why should it refuse?

Mr. Sharansky is chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.


Title: Modern Heroes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 04, 2007, 05:59:51 AM
Modern Heroes
Our soldiers like what they do. They want our respect, not pity.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I'm weary of seeing news stories about wounded soldiers and assertions of "support" for the troops mixed with suggestions of the futility of our military efforts in Iraq. Why aren't there more accounts of what the troops actually do? How about narrations of individual battles and skirmishes, of their ever-evolving interactions with Iraqi troops and locals in Baghdad and Anbar province, and of increasingly resourceful "patterning" of terrorist networks that goes on daily in tactical operations centers?

The sad and often unspoken truth of the matter is this: Americans have been conditioned less to understand Iraq's complex military reality than to feel sorry for those who are part of it.

The media struggles in good faith to respect our troops, but too often it merely pities them. I am generalizing, of course. Indeed, there are regular, stellar exceptions, quite often in the most prominent liberal publications, from our best military correspondents. But exceptions don't quite cut it amidst the barrage of "news," which too often descends into therapy for those who are not fighting, rather than matter-of-fact stories related by those who are.

As one battalion commander complained to me, in words repeated by other soldiers and marines: "Has anyone noticed that we now have a volunteer Army? I'm a warrior. It's my job to fight." Every journalist has a different network of military contacts. Mine come at me with the following theme: We want to be admired for our technical proficiency--for what we do, not for what we suffer. We are not victims. We are privileged.

The cult of victimhood in American history first flourished in the aftermath of the 1960s youth rebellion, in which, as University of Chicago Prof. Peter Novick writes, women, blacks, Jews, Native Americans and others fortified their identities with public references to past oppressions. The process was tied to Vietnam, a war in which the photographs of civilian victims "displaced traditional images of heroism." It appears that our troops have been made into the latest victims.
Heroes, according to the ancients, are those who do great deeds that have a lasting claim to our respect. To suffer is not necessarily to be heroic. Obviously, we have such heroes, who are too often ignored. Witness the low-key coverage accorded to winners of the Medal of Honor and of lesser decorations.

The first Medal of Honor in the global war on terror was awarded posthumously to Army Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith of Tampa, Fla., who was killed under withering gunfire protecting his wounded comrades outside Baghdad airport in April 2003.

According to LexisNexis, by June 2005, two months after his posthumous award, his stirring story had drawn only 90 media mentions, compared with 4,677 for the supposed Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay, and 5,159 for the court-martialed Abu Ghraib guard Lynndie England. While the exposure of wrongdoing by American troops is of the highest importance, it can become a tyranny of its own when taken to an extreme.

Media frenzies are ignited when American troops are either the perpetrators of acts resulting in victimhood, or are victims themselves. Meanwhile, individual soldiers daily performing complicated and heroic deeds barely fit within the strictures of news stories as they are presently defined. This is why the sporadic network and cable news features on heroic soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan comes across as so hokey. After all, the last time such reports were considered "news" was during World War II and the Korean War.

In particular, there is Fox News's occasional series on war heroes, whose apparent strangeness is a manifestation of the distance the media has traveled away from the nation-state in the intervening decades. Fox's war coverage is less right-wing than it is simply old-fashioned, antediluvian almost. Fox's commercial success may be less a factor of its ideological base than of something more primal: a yearning among a large segment of the public for a real national media once again--as opposed to an international one. Nationalism means patriotism, and patriotism requires heroes, not victims.

Let's review some recent history. From Sept. 11, 2001, until the middle of 2003, when events in Afghanistan and Iraq appeared to be going well, the media portrayed the troops in an uncomplicated, positive light. Young reporters who embedded early on became acquainted with men and women in uniform, by whom they were frankly impressed. But their older editors, children of the '60s often, were skeptical. Once these wars started going badly, skepticism turned to a feeling of having been duped, a sentiment amplified by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
That led to a different news cycle, this time with the troops as war criminals. But that cycle could not be sustained by the facts beyond the specific scandal. So by the end of 2004, yet another news cycle set in, the one that is still with us: the troops as victims of an incompetent and evil administration. The irony is that the daily actions of the troops now, living among Iraqis, applying the doctrines of counterinsurgency, and engaged regularly in close-quarters combat, are likely more heroic than in the period immediately following 9/11.

Objectively speaking, the troops can be both victims and heroes--that is, if the current phase of the war does indeed turn out to be futile. My point is only to note how the media has embraced the former theme and downplayed the latter. The LexisNexis statistics reveal the extent to which the media is uncomfortable with traditional heroism, of the kind celebrated from Herodotus through World War II. If that's not the case, then why don't we read more accounts about the battlefield actions of Silver Star winners, Bronze Star winners and the like?

Feeling comfortable with heroes requires a lack of cynicism toward the cause for which they fight. In the 1990s, when exporting democracy and militarily responding to ethnic and religious carnage were looked up upon, U.S. Army engineering units in Bosnia were lionized merely for laying bridges across rivers. Those soldiers did not need to risk their lives or win medals in order to be glorified by the media. Indeed, the media afforded them more stature than it does today's Medal of Honor winners. When a war becomes unpopular, the troops are in a sense deserted. In the eyes of professional warriors, pity can be a form of debasement.

Rather than hated, like during Vietnam, now the troops are "loved." But the best units don't want love; they want respect. The dilemma is that the safer the administration keeps us at home, the more disconnected the citizenry is from its own military posted abroad. An army at war and a nation at the mall do not encounter each other except through the refractive medium of news and entertainment.
That medium is refractive because while the U.S. still has a national military, it no longer has a national media to quite the same extent. The media is increasingly representative of an international society, whose loyalty to a particular territory is more and more diluted. That international society has ideas to defend--ideas of universal justice--but little actual ground. And without ground to defend, it has little need of heroes. Thus, future news cycles will also be dominated by victims.

The media is but one example of the slow crumbling of the nation-state at the upper layers of the social crust--a process that because it is so gradual, is also deniable by those in the midst of it. It will take another event on the order of 9/11 or greater to change the direction we are headed. Contrary to popular belief, the events of 9/11--which are perceived as an isolated incident--did not fundamentally change our nation. They merely interrupted an ongoing trend toward the decay of nationalism and the devaluation of heroism.

Mr. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic and a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, is the author of "Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground," just published by Random House.


Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 05, 2007, 08:56:45 AM
Anatomy of a BIG Lie: ‘Phony Soldiers’
Regular readers are aware that, since The Patriot’s founding a decade ago, we’ve included a short section within Friday’s Digest called, “The BIG Lie.” It’s a section we’ve reserved for egregious examples of Leftist disinformation.

There is an old maxim that if one repeats a lie often and loud enough, it will eventually be perceived as the truth.

Adolf Hitler defined that dictum in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf, writing that a big lie must be so “colossal” that the public would be confident that no national leaders “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

After Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, used the Third Reich’s big-lie apparatus to fortify the Nazi campaign against Jews. Goebbels blamed the Jews for Germany’s inability to recover from World War I, and this big lie led to the Holocaust—the wholesale murder of some six million men, women and children.

After Germany’s WWII defeat, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and subsequent Communist leaders perfected the big-lie propaganda machine with media “dezinformatsia” campaigns. The primary organ for disseminating this disinformation was the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Pravda, which in English means “the truth.” Even the name is a big lie.

Here in the U.S. , the organs of Leftist disinformation have assumed equally impressive identities: The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NPR, and the list goes on. (For a weekly recounting of the MSM’s biggest whoppers, please see the “Dezinformatsia” section of our Wednesday Chronicle.)

Most recently, the Democrats’ dezinformatsia machines were running overtime to discredit Gen. David Petraeus, commander of our Armed Forces in Iraq. In advance of his congressional testimony about the progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Leftmedia gave endless play to those Demo-gogues who have bet their 2008 electoral prospects on failure in and retreat from Iraq.

On the morning of Gen. Petraeus’s testimony, the Democrats’ most effective web-based organ of disinformation,, was given a deep discount by the Democrats’ most effective print-based organ of disinformation, The New York Times, to run an appalling full-page lie under the heading, “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”

Democrats and the George Soros-funded MoveOn thought they could, with impunity, brand one of our nation’s most distinguished warriors a traitor. By extension, they branded as traitors all American forces fighting jihadi terrorists in Iraq and around the world. However, Leftist politicos and MoveOn grossly underestimated the new media’s ability to expose such a colossal lie and grossly overestimated the public’s tolerance for such accusations once brought to their attention.

In short, the Left got caught in a big lie and was severely rebuked.

In an effort to offset that rebuke, Democrats and their radical cadre have fabricated another big lie—this one targeting Rush Limbaugh.

Rush, of course, is the arch-nemesis of the Left. He broke ground for conservative perspective on the radio, much as Fox News did for television and The Patriot did for the Web.

To recap: Rush had been responding to an on-air caller who noted that the MSM has continually dredged up a handful of troops—some real, some fake—to provide antiwar statements to support the Demos’ desire for defeat and retreat. Rush agreed, noting that some of these anti-warriors, in particular Jesse MacBeth, have flat-out lied about their military service. He rightly dubbed them “phony soldiers.”

For the record, Jesse MacBeth, the prototypical anti-OIF poster boy, was in fact born Jesse Al-Zaid. Al-Zaid claimed to have served in Iraq, even receiving a Purple Heart after being shot. He claimed to have witnessed atrocities committed by “fellow soldiers.” But it turns out that Al-Zaid never completed boot camp, being discharged after 44 days because of his “entry level performance and conduct.” He was not a Green Beret, never in Special Ops, never in Iraq—though he even attempted to defraud the VA of more than $10,000 for “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Al-Zaid, whose protest diatribes have been circulating for several years, is indeed a phony soldier.

But the truth never deters the Left’s big lies.

Their so-called “watchdog group,” Media Matters for America, removed from context the two words “phony soldiers” and blast-broadcasted the big lie that Rush had branded that label on the handful of anti-OIF protestors who actually served in Iraq. In lock step, that smear was dutifully regurgitated by the MSM and then picked up by opportunistic Demo-gogues in Congress, desperately seeking a reversal of charges after their disastrous attempt to question the patriotism of Gen. Petraeus.

Chief among the most despicable of those propagating this dezinformatsia campaign from their Senate soapboxes are John Kerry and Tom Harkin.

Kerry, like Jesse Al-Zaid, embellished his military record and then used his “hero status” as a platform to falsely accuse ground troops in Vietnam of all manner of atrocities. (He is the target of a national petition to indict him for acts of treason, which now has more than 200,000 signers.)

Kerry’s most notable commentary on Iraq in the past year was his assertion that American service personnel are “stuck in Iraq” because they are too stupid to get a better job.

This week he led the charge against Rush, saying, “In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate.”

This is the same Jean-Francois Kerry who, back in 2005, accused U.S. forces in Iraq of “going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, uh, uh, uh, you know, women...”

Iowa Demo Sen. Tom Harkin, who also falsified his military record by claiming to have been a Vietnam combat pilot when he actually flew repaired aircraft from Japan to U.S. bases in Vietnam, perpetuated the lie, saying, “I must say that as a veteran, I find it offensive that Rush Limbaugh would attack the patriotism and the dedication of any soldier fighting in Iraq... I also find it disturbing that his offensive comments have not been condemned by our Republican colleagues or by the Commander in Chief, all of whom are so quick to condemn a similar personal attack on General Petraeus several weeks ago.”

Of course, as Limbaugh said in response, “Why should they condemn something that wasn’t said? You know what ought to be condemned here is [the Left’s] wanton inability to find the truth.”

Further perpetuating the big lie—and further wasting the taxpayers’ hard-earned money—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his cadre of MoveOn Demos sent a letter to Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel Communications, which broadcasts Rush’s program via more than 1,200 stations. The letter demanded that Mays condemn “Limbaugh’s hateful and unpatriotic” remarks.

Further, former Democrat presidential wannabe, General Wesley Clark, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, is demanding that Rush be removed from the Armed Forces Radio network.

In the House, Lefty Mark Udall introduced a big-lie resolution condemning Limbaugh, and 26 Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors.

And what of Media Matters, the propaganda organ that launched the lie?

My colleague, National Review essayist Byron York, offered this analysis: “Media Matters is much more than a traditional media-watchdog group. Indeed, it is probably more accurate to view Media Matters as part of the constellation of groups that have come together on the left in the last year or so, all aimed at electing a Democratic President. Their [donors list] reads like a Who’s Who of those who have financed the new activist Left.”

“Constellation of groups”? In other words, a Socialist propaganda network that would make even Goebbels blush with pride!

Patriot Post
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 06, 2007, 06:55:48 AM
Ted Koppel, even though he often let his Democrat preferences show, always impressed me.  Here's this on what he's doing now:

“Nightline” had its privileges, one being that viewers knew just where to find Ted Koppel during his quarter-century tenure there.

Skip to next paragraph
Times Topics: Ted Koppel
 Additional articles and information about Mr. Koppel.
He’s now nearly two years removed from the program that made his name. But Mr. Koppel no doubt is still being discovered on the Discovery Channel, a comparative wilderness where he can indulge himself in the extended documentaries that long ago roamed free on broadcast television.

His latest two-hour effort, “Koppel on Discovery: Breaking Point,” is a report on the “overloaded and understaffed” California prison system. Escapist TV it’s not. And it will be tough to get much traction opposite the likes of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

Mr. Koppel’s efforts are no less valuable, though. This is television journalism the way it was drawn up in some mythical Edward R. Murrow playbook. Pertinent, eye-opening information is imparted. Individual stories flesh it out. All sides are heard. The correspondent is visibly involved yet unobtrusive. What a concept.

“Breaking Point” focuses on California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville, where a onetime indoor basketball court is now H Dorm. Designed for 200 inmates, it houses more than 340. They’re stacked three bunks high in a cauldron rife with “drama and politics,” Mr. Koppel says.

“It’s about turf and protection, drugs, weapons and prostitution,” he continues. “It’s a rigid code of segregation along ethnic and racial lines. And most of all it’s about gangs.”

All told, a California prison system built to hold 100,000 inmates is bursting with 173,000, Mr. Koppel says. Each prisoner costs taxpayers $43,000 annually. Many are repeat offenders serving mandatory sentences of 25 years to life as part of the “three strikes and you’re out” law.

The impetus for that legislation was the 1993 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, Polly Klaas, by a man who had just been paroled from prison. Mr. Koppel interviews her father, Marc Klaas, identified as a “victims’ advocate,” who has an understandable enmity toward violent criminals.

“As far as I’m concerned, you can stack these guys like cordwood,” Mr. Klaas says. “And you can keep them locked away forever.”

Many of the long-term inmates were not convicted of violent crimes, however.

One is Joey Mason, who says he voted in favor of the three strikes law before being convicted of a nonviolent burglary. He has since been imprisoned two more times for the same offense and is not eligible for parole until 2019. Believe him or not, though, Mr. Mason tells Mr. Koppel he’s a changed man.

“I really believe I’d be a better taxpayer than a tax taker,” he says.

“Breaking Point” is divided into chapters, and one of the more striking is called “Powder Keg.”

“Race guides every aspect of prison life,” Mr. Koppel tells viewers before inmates and prison officials back him up. Cellmates are invariably of the same race by design. Prisoners eat and share food only with their own kind. Fights are almost always between inmates of different races. No one, inmates say, wants to be branded a “race traitor.”

“It is as rigid a form of segregation as ever existed in this country,” Mr. Koppel says.

A recent court order has mandated that California prisons be integrated. An inmate named Darren Doucette, among others, isn’t in favor of that.

“I think it’s bad,” he tells Mr. Koppel, “because someone’s son’s gonna die.”

There are some bright spots, too. The chapter “Graduation Day” is surprisingly moving, with a relative handful of inmates proudly wearing caps and gowns to receive their G.E.D. diplomas. Friends and relatives applaud after a prison official intones, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the spring 2007 graduating class.”

Mr. Koppel quickly adds, “Keep in mind that these inmates are the exception.”

“Breaking Point” is exceptional. Real-life looks at prison life generally aren’t crowd-pleasers, even if fictional depictions often are. But Mr. Koppel and his longtime executive producer, Tom Bettag, have fought another good fight on behalf of in-depth television journalism about a subject of true import.

Ed Bark, a former television critic for The Dallas Morning News, is now proprietor of the television Web site
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on October 17, 2007, 05:44:26 PM
Wasn't sure whether this belonged here or the in "Dogs, Wolves, & Canines" thread.

I know that neither Ellen or the Fairness Doctrine are very popular in this forum :), but what are you guys' thoughts about Ellen using however much of her daily nationwide TV show to say whatever she wants about the dog adoption agency that's now receiving death threats?

Not to mention that Ellen gave up on socializing the dog with her cats after *10 days*!?  What a softcore.

Ellen DeGeneres' dogfight continues to intensify.

Marina Baktis, who runs the nonprofit rescue agency Mutts and Moms with business partner Vanessa Chekroun, filed a police report Tuesday night, after receiving death threats in the wake of DeGeneres' tearful on-air plea for the return of her adopted pooch to her hairdresser's family.

The Pasadena Police Department said it was investigating the source of "several threats [made to Baktis'] cell phone and work phone from several angry persons who threatened her life and her property."

"This is horrible. I rescue dogs. I can't believe this," Baktis told Access Hollywood.

"I haven't eaten, I'm sick and I've had heart palpitations."

Mutts and Moms has also been targeted by an Internet-powered call for a boycott, launched by dog-loving DeGeneres fans via Craigslist.

Batkis said DeGeneres' A-list status does not make her exempt from the agency's rules.

"Celebrities, you know, they get preferential treatment. They have lots of money. They go into a restaurant, they get a table. And so you know, this contract was breached. It was breached. So, people need to understand when you enter a binding legal agreement that you can't just go, 'And here you go, I don't want you,' " Batkis told Access Hollywood.

In an exclusive phone conversation with E! News' Ryan Seacrest Wednesday, DeGeneres reiterated her dismay over the dog being taken away and denied she had been deliberately trying to disregard the agency's policies, saying, "The whole situation is surreal."  (Get the full audio of Ryan and Ellen.)

"I will say this: We never filled out an application. We never had a home evaluation," she told Seacrest, indicating the agency was somewhat unpredictable about adhering to its own rules.

Her celebrity status, she said, had nothing to do with it.

"I didn't say you can't come to my home, I didn't say I won't fill out a form. She didn't ask me to," DeGeneres said.

"We're not trying to be anything other than a regular person trying to adopt a dog."

DeGeneres first took to the airwaves sobbing Tuesday, as she recounted the tale of her four-month-old adopted Brussels Griffon mix, Iggy, whom she passed off to her hairdresser after he wasn't getting along with her cats.

Upon learning DeGeneres had relocated the pet without permission—a violation of the agency's adoption policy—a Mutts and Moms representative went to the hairdresser's home with a police escort and seized the dog.

DeGeneres, 49, who admitted on her show she had not read through the adoption paperwork carefully enough, suggested to Seacrest that the owners of the agency had a vendetta against her. She said she pleaded with them not to take out her mistake on the dog and the family and begged them to just go to the home to evaluate Iggy's new living situation. Instead, she said, the representative entered the house and snatched the dog away.

She said her hairdresser's 11- and 12-year-old daughters were devastated by the loss of the dog, after begging with the agency for three hours to let them keep their pet.

"I thought I did a good thing," an emotional DeGeneres said Tuesday during her show. "I tried to find a loving home for the dog, because I couldn't keep it.

"I feel totally responsible for it, and I'm so sorry. I'm begging them to give that dog back to that family. It's not their fault. It's my fault. I shouldn't have given the dog away. Just please give the dog back to those little girls."

However, Mutts and Moms, which has a policy of not working with families with children under 14, has declined to do so.

"[Batkis] doesn't think this is the type of family that should have the dog," attorney Keith A. Fink, who does not represent the owners but was authorized to speak on their behalf, told the Associated Press. "She is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world…They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want."

DeGeneres' publicist, Kelly Bush, said her client was simply interested in ensuring the dog was in a good and loving home.

"It's very upsetting to hear that someone is getting those kinds of calls," Bush told the AP about the threats directed at Mutts and Moms. "Ellen just wants the dog reunited with the family."

A more composed DeGeneres said as much on her show Wednesday, while renewing her plea for Iggy to be given back to her hairdresser.

"It's become so insane," she said. "The dog just needs to go to the family."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on October 17, 2007, 05:54:52 PM
I know, this post may be more appropriate for the "political rants" thread...

DeGeneres, 49, who admitted on her show she had not read through the adoption paperwork carefully enough, suggested to Seacrest that the owners of the agency had a vendetta against her. She said she pleaded with them not to take out her mistake on the dog and the family and begged them to just go to the home to evaluate Iggy's new living situation. Instead, she said, the representative entered the house and snatched the dog away.

She said her hairdresser's 11- and 12-year-old daughters were devastated by the loss of the dog, after begging with the agency for three hours to let them keep their pet.

"I thought I did a good thing," an emotional DeGeneres said Tuesday during her show. "I tried to find a loving home for the dog, because I couldn't keep it.

This really &*@^ing burns me.  She admits she didn't thoroughly read the contract she signed, but insists the agency has some kind of beef with her.

The arrogance is just astounding.  Apparently the agency has a specific policy about not adopting dogs to families with children younger than 14 (as if the decision of whether a given dog will do well in a home with small kids is one that just any shmo like her is qualified to make), but as far as Ellen's concerned, those kinds of issues (and abiding by a contract she signed) are just for little people.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 18, 2007, 05:47:05 AM
I'm not really following this Rog.  Are you saying that there should be a FD here so that the agency gets to respond to EG on her show?

Also, I'm not getting why the hairdresser and family gave up the dog.  Some third part comes to my door wanting my children's dog has got a serious problem.  What kind of parent coughs up their children's dog?  If the agency wants the dog, let them sue.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on October 18, 2007, 09:55:08 AM
I'm not really following this Rog.  Are you saying that there should be a FD here so that the agency gets to respond to EG on her show?

Not necessarily, but IMO the adoption agency should sue Ellen's ass off for damages.  IMHO, Ellen airing this issue (a personal business dispute) on her show is completely inappropriate and defamatory.  Keep in mind that the woman from this adoption agency has received death threats over this, a boycott, etc.

Also, I'm not getting why the hairdresser and family gave up the dog.  Some third part comes to my door wanting my children's dog has got a serious problem.  What kind of parent coughs up their children's dog?  If the agency wants the dog, let them sue.

IIRC from the article, the agency woman had a cop escorting her, so I don't see what choice they had but to comply.

But the fact is that it wasn't that family's dog.  If anybody's to blame for making the kids sad, it's Ellen for making the mistake of giving them the dog in the first place.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on October 18, 2007, 01:52:33 PM
Thanks for the dog story. I'm not much of an Ellen fan or of anyone else in showbiz - still couldn't help wondering how they came to have kids,so I googled it:

Ellen DeGeneres denies adoption reports, Saturday, February 10 2007 ... denied claims that she is planning to adopt a child with girlfriend Portia De Rossi. The talk show host insisted that she has no plans to have children and praised De Rossi for making her life "almost perfect". "We're not adopting and we don't want to have children," she explained. "No babies - neither of us want children.

But also found:
DEGENERES TO ADOPT? Comedian Ellen DeGeneres reportedly has plans to adopt a child with her actress girlfriend Alexandra Hedison. ...pals say they're now ready to seal their romance with a child. ( - oops, wrong 'spouse')

And this:
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are said to be considering cementing their romance by becoming first-time parents. Although the two stars did not reveal their choice for adoption or for natural birth, comedienne DeGeneres confessed she's been thinking about motherhood - and she's aware she has to act fast. "I think we should do it (have a child) soon... When I'm around babies, I just melt. It's a big responsibility", she told America's People magazine.

I guess they really 'cemented their relationship' when they took the next big step after a kid and added a dog... File it all under media issues. :?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 18, 2007, 10:00:00 PM
Why would a cop accompany the agency to enforce a civil contract?!?  Does this make any sense Rog?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on October 19, 2007, 08:44:54 AM
I don't know what discussions went on between the agency and ED before this, but I suspect the agency had reason to believe that the hairdresser would not surrender the dog without a police presence.  But I assume you agree that with a cop present, refusal to surrender the dog was not an option.

You do understand that this was a rescue dog that ED adopted and kept for 10 days, and then gave away to her her hairdresser because the dog didn't get along with her cats?  From the agency's POV the dog was given to a family they know absolutely nothing about other than that they're friends of ED, in clear violation of the contract ED signed.

If this were a case of cops (or anybody) showing up at somebody's house to seize a dog they've had for years and is unquestionably theirs, I'd be with you 100%, but that's  not the case here.  I don't know how long this dog was with the hairdresser before being taken back, but it couldn't have been more than a week or so.

Had this hairdresser ever owned a dog before?  If a friend of mine offered to give me a dog she just adopted 1-2 weeks ago, the first question I'd ask is whether that's OK with the agency she got him from.  Or did Ellen just assure her this wouldn't be a problem, assuming no lowly dog adoption agency would dare question the judgment of an A-list celebrity concerning what's an appropriate home for the dog?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 20, 2007, 06:23:00 AM
"But I assume you agree that with a cop present, refusal to surrender the dog was not an option."

My question is why a policeman would be there at all?  ED broke her contract with the Agency, but why does this give the agency the right, without a court ruling on the merits, to take a dog from someone who was not party to the contract?  Why would the court compel specific performance as vs. pay damages? etc etc etc. 

Anyone, for me this is all much ado about nothing.  Perhaps it is ED's rather maternal instincts coming out of the closet? :lol:

Back to the subject matter of this thread:

Reid letter sells for $2.1 million on eBay
Limbaugh chastises senator for attempting to 'horn in' on charity effort
Posted: October 19, 2007
2:20 p.m. Eastern

© 2007

A final eBay bid of $2.11 million secured a letter from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that demanded an apology from radio talk host Rush Limbaugh over his "phony soldiers" comment.
On his show today, Limbaugh announced the winning bidder was Betty Casey, a noted philanthropist and trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation in Gaithersburg, Md.
It was the largest bid ever in an eBay charity auction, breaking the $800,000 mark paid for a Harley Davidson motorcycle bearing the signature of "Tonight" show host Jay Leno.
"The Eugene B. Casey Foundation believes freedom of speech is a basic right of every citizen of this country," the foundation said in a statement on the auction. "Their purchase of the smear letter was to demonstrate their belief in this right, and to support Rush Limbaugh, his views, and his continued education of us."
Meanwhile, Limbaugh chastised Reid for taking credit for the money raised by the letter during comments to colleagues today on the Senate floor posted by
Reid is trying to "horn in" on the effort, said Limbaugh, who pointed out the Nevada Democrat has not apologized for accusing him of smearing troops who opposed the Iraq war.
"Now he has the audacity to climb aboard this, praising the effort, saying he never knew it would get this kind of money," Limbaugh said.
Directing his comments to Reid, Limbaugh said, "It wasn't your letter that raised this money. It was your abuse of power that is responsible for raising this money."
If it were any other letter by Reid, he said, "people wouldn't pay a dime for it."
"This one represents an abuse of power by a U.S. senator, who after besmirching me by name on the Senate floor, gets a hold of my syndicate partner, asking him to confer with me about something he thought improper," said Limbaugh.
'That is why your letter is historic," he continued. It's "a full fledged, undeniable, 100 percent abuse of power."
(Story continues below)
Limbaugh announced last week he would sell the original letter addressed to the head of Clear Channel Communications in order to benefit the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity offering financial assistance to the children of Marines and federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The No. 1-rated talk host said he wouldmatch the winning bid, and he challenged each of the 41 Democratic senators who signed the letter to match it as well.
Limbaugh said the winning bidder, Casey, has been a listener of his program since its inception.
"We cannot thank her enough for her support of this," Limbaugh said. "I am honored and proud and happy to be matching her $2,100,100."
Reid claimed Limbaugh's use of the phrase "phony soldiers" was an attack on all U.S. troops who oppose the war in Iraq. However, a transcript from Limbaugh's Sept. 26 show suggests the "phony soldiers" remark specifically addressed the case of Jesse MacBeth, an anti-war activist who claimed to have witnessed atrocities as a Purple Heart recipient in the Army Rangers. MacBeth never served in Iraq and was expelled from the military after 44 days in uniform.
The message on the letter's eBay listing said: "This historic document may well represent the first time in the history of America that this large a group of U.S. senators attempted to demonize a private citizen by lying about his views. As such, it is a priceless memento of the folly of Harry Reid and his 40 senatorial co-signers. BID NOW!"
Limbaugh, noting he serves on the board of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, said he would bear all costs of the auction: "Every dollar of your winning bid will go to this charity, which has to date distributed over $29 million."
Clear Channel Chief Executive Officer Mark P. Mays responded to Reid's letter with a defense of Limbaugh's right to express his opinions openly on the airwaves.
Many elected officials, mostly Democrats, expressed their displeasure with talk radio following the defeat of what President Bush called his "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" legislation – a plan characterized by many talkers as "amnesty." There were a number of calls for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine – which has also been called the "Hush Rush" bill.
As WND reported, another Democratic leader, Rep. Henry Waxman of California, angrily denied a report claiming he's investigating Limbaugh and other conservative radio talk-show hosts, but the magazine which made the allegation is not issuing any retraction.
As WND reported, one radio station in Oregon decided to "hush Rush" for a day and replace Limbaugh's talk program with music after receiving some requests from local listeners.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: rogt on October 20, 2007, 11:59:06 AM
"But I assume you agree that with a cop present, refusal to surrender the dog was not an option."

My question is why a policeman would be there at all? 

In case the hairdresser decided to pull a Crafty and refuse to give up the dog?  :)

ED broke her contract with the Agency

OK then.  So what right to ED or her hairdresser have to bitch about how unfairly they're being treated?  If I rent a car and just give it away to my friend, does the rental agency have no right to take it back because hey, my friend never signed any contract with them?  Your legal reasoning here is not sound IMO.

It's not like ED couldn't have simply gone to the pound and adopted a dog she could pretty much do whatever she wanted with, but she chose to go to this boutique adoption agency where they spend a lot of time trying to find the right homes for their dogs, and naturally they're going to object somebody just giving one of their dogs away to somebody they (the agency) knows nothing about.

That's not to say that all (or even many) adoption agencies are pleasant to deal with.  They can be annoyingly self-righteous and tyrannical, and turn away people who would provide a perfectly good home for a dog because they use the wrong kind of collar or their yard isn't big enough.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 20, 2007, 01:07:09 PM
Are we really talking about Ellen's doggie-drama here?  :roll:

I don't know the laws of the People's Republic of Kalifornia, but in my state, police officers take great pains to avoid getting involved in civil disputes. There are "civil stand-bys" where cops will stand by as a referee where there is contention between parties, but the only way I as a peace officer would seize a dog was with a court order requiring I do so, aside from it being evidence in a crime or a victim of abuse or a threat to public safety and order.

Were I a citizen of the PRK, i'd be more worried about the state of the CDC. I was in a "Security Threat Group" training class several months ago (STG is the PC term for prison gang) and the instructor discussed how once upon a time the CDC was the model for corrections and dealing with STGs. Now, they are throwing their hands up as the CDC spirals out of control.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2007, 07:01:56 AM
GM makes my point on the doggie drama, a subject with which I am done.  Last word yours Rog  :-)
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2007, 06:08:14 AM
Apocalypse No
The New Republic's editors seem to have mistaken Vietnam movies for real life.

Friday, October 26, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

"I love chicks that have been intimate with EDS's," he announced to his fellow soldiers sitting in the chow tent in Camp Falcon in Baghdad. "It really turns me on--melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses." The soldiers laughed so hard they almost fell from their chairs. They enjoy running over dogs in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, luring them in and then crushing their bones as they whelp. When a soldier comes upon a mass grave, he picks up a human skull, places it merrily on his head, and marches around.

This is from the now-famous "Baghdad Diaries," in The New Republic, carrying the byline of soldier-writer Scott Thomas. They are an attempt to capture the tragedy and dehumanization of war, how it coarsens men in ways that you, safe in your bed, cannot fathom. They are a lost generation, battered by war, and struggling, with the real weapons of war's survivors--mordant wit, pitiless humor, the final surrender to nihilism--to survive in a world they never made. Do I overwrite? Do I sound like an idiot? I'm just trying to fit in.

To read the Thomas pieces was, simply, to doubt them. And to wonder if its editors had ever actually met a soldier on his way to or from Iraq, or talked to any human being involved in the modern military.

The diaries appear to be another case of journalistic fabulism. This week came word, via the published transcript of a telephone conversation between "Thomas," who is actually Scott Thomas Beauchamp, and his editors. It is actually painful to read. The editors almost plead with him to stand by his work, after months of critics' picking them factually apart. He won't do it. He doesn't want to talk to "the media." He's said enough.

Everyone in journalism thought first of Stephen Glass. I actually remember the day I read his New Republic piece on the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in 1997, a profile of young Republicans as crude and ignorant pot-smoking alcoholics in search of an orgy. It, um, startled me. After years of observation, I was inclined toward the view that there's no such thing as a young Republican. More to the point, I'd been to the kind of convention Mr. Glass wrote about, and I thought it not remotely possible that the people he painted were real. I also thought: Man, this is way too convenient. The New Republic tends to think Republicans are hateful, and this reporter just happened to be welcomed into the private world of the most hateful Republicans in history.
On the Thomas stories, which I read not when they came out but when they began to come under scrutiny, I had a similar thought, or a variation of it. I thought: That's not Iraq, that's a Vietnam War movie. That's not life as it's being lived on the ground right now, that's life as an editor absorbed it through media. That's the dark world of Kubrick and Coppola and Oliver Stone, of the great Vietnam movies of the '70s and '80s.

If that's what you absorbed during the past 20 or 30 years, it just might make sense to you, it would actually seem believable, if a fellow in Iraq wrote for you about taunting scarred women, shooting dogs, and wearing skulls as helmets. This is the offhand brutality of war. You know. You saw it in a movie.

If you'd had a broader array of references, and were less preoccupied by the media that is the great occupying force in our own country, and you were the editor of the Thomas pieces, you might have said, "Whoa." Just whoa.

I'll jump here, or lurch I suppose, to something I am concerned about that I think I am observing accurately. It has to do with what sometimes seems to me to be the limited lives that have been or are being lived by the rising generation of American professionals in the arts, journalism, academia and business. They have had good lives, happy lives, but there is a sense with some of them that they didn't so much live it as view it. That they learned too much from media and not enough from life's difficulties. That they saw much of what they know in a film or play and picked up all the memes and themes.
In terms of personal difficulties, they seem to have had less real-life experience, or rather different experiences, than their rougher predecessors. They grew up affluent in a city or suburb, cosseted in material terms, and generally directed toward academic and material success. Their lives seem to have been not crowded or fearful, but relatively peaceful, at least until September 2001, which was very hard.

But this new leadership class, those roughly 35 to 40, grew up in a time when media dominated all. They studied, they entered a top-tier college, and then on to Washington or New York or Los Angeles. But their knowledge, their experience, is necessarily circumscribed. Too much is abstract to them, or symbolic. The education establishment did them few favors. They didn't have to read Dostoevsky, they had to read critiques and deconstruction of Dostoevsky.

I'm not sure it's always good to grow up surrounded by stability, immersed in affluence, and having had it drummed into you that you are entitled to be a member of the next leadership class. To have this background in the modern era is to come from a ghetto, the luckiest ghetto in the world, a golden ghetto beyond whose walls it can be hard to see. There's much to be said for suffering, for being on the outside or the bottom, for having to have fought yourself up and through. It can leave you grounded. It can give you real knowledge not only of the world and of other men but of yourself. In some ways it can leave you less cynical. (Not everything comes down to money.) And in some ways it leaves you just cynical enough.

Journalistically, I was lucky enough to work at CBS News when it was still shaped by the influence of the Murrow boys. They knew and taught that "everyone is entitled to his own opinions"--and they had them--"but not his own facts." And I miss the rough old boys and girls of the front page, who'd greet FDR with "Snappy suit, Mr. President," who'd bribe the guard to tell them what the prisoner said on the way to the chair, and who were not rich and important but performed an extremely important social function.
They found out who, what, where, when, why. And they would have looked at the half-baked, overcooked junior Hemingway of Scott Thomas Beauchamp and said, "That sounds like a buncha hooey."

Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on

Title: More on Beauchamp's Bogus Reporting
Post by: buzwardo on October 26, 2007, 02:32:17 PM
Shattered Diarist
Ask Peter Arnett for advice next time.

By James S. Robbins

It was nice to see the Scott Thomas Beauchamp/New Republic scandal back up on the radar screen yesterday. There was never a satisfactory conclusion to the story; it just faded out over the summer. Now it is back in a big way, with the Drudge Report releasing internal Army documents related to the case, and a very revealing transcript of a conversation between Beauchamp, various luminaries from The New Republic, and Beauchamp’s TNR-supplied lawyer.

TNR’s first response to the release was typical of the tone-deafness with which they have approached the entire affair — denouncing the selective leak of official documents. It is always suspect when journalists take a principled stand against leaks. It might be more convincing if TNR pledged never to use leaked information in its reporting ever again, maybe then they’d have some credibility. As it happened, the Army report recommended releasing the findings to the media, while TNR was frantically trying to get Beauchamp to cancel all his press interviews. TNR Editor Franklin Foer said that Scott owed it to the magazine to talk only to them to let them “control the way the story proceeds.” I suppose because they were doing such a great job of controlling it thus far.

The Beauchamp affair should be taught in journalism schools as a case study of how not to conduct damage control. When it quickly became obvious that there were serious problems both with Beauchamp’s “diaries” and with the author himself, TNR should have cut bait. The magazine could quite reasonably have made a statement that they were taken advantage of by someone they trusted, who was married to someone on their staff who presumably vouched for him, and retracted the stories. It would have been embarrassing, but the matter would have concluded. Instead TNR stood by Beauchamp, tying the magazine’s credibility to his, and suffering accordingly. Rather than admitting error and moving on, they invested time, money, and apparently a degree of political capital in fighting a clearly losing cause with no discernable upside even if they had prevailed. It is mystifying — like Dan Rather defending those bogus National Guard documents, or Peter Arnett sticking to the story of the U.S. conducting Sarin gas attacks against captured American troops in Vietnam. How can people who are so successful make such astonishing errors in professional judgment?

Maybe TNR didn’t think there was much there. Unlike the above-mentioned stories the “atrocities” Beauchamp claimed to have documented were unremarkable. Killing dogs? There are justifiable reasons for doing so in combat conditions — if a dog with a backpack is approaching your AFV you had better take it out quickly. As well, packs of vicious or rabid dogs roaming civilian areas need to be controlled. Playing around with a skull from a mass grave? I can see bored privates doing that briefly until their platoon sergeant barked at them to knock it off and keep digging. But the thing that should have given the TNR editors pause if they had any understanding at all of military culture was the tale of mocking a disfigured woman in a mess hall in Iraq (later changed to Kuwait, but whatever, just details, right?) No solider would publicly mock a woman wounded in an attack unless he was looking for a serious ass kicking. This is not how our troops behave. The fact that this alleged incident did not raise a red flag to the TNR editors demonstrated how out of touch they are with the military — or how willing they were to believe the worst about our fighting forces.

The Army’s report on the Beauchamp incident is good reading and confirms what was widely believed, namely that Scott either made up or wildly exaggerated the events he described. It is a shame that all we got to see was the report itself and not the supporting documentation, especially the statements of other soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit. Maybe the next leak won’t be as selective. But the real gold is the transcript of the telephone call, which reveals TNR was in much closer contact with Beauchamp throughout the controversy than they were willing to admit.

Poor Scott comes across as pitiable. He found out that there is a major difference between publishing sophomoric anti-military musings on his sparsely viewed blog and impugning the American Solider in a national opinion journal. “[T]his whole thing it’s…it’s…spun out of control and mutated into something that’s it’s just like…it’s not something that…it’s just insane,” he said. “I’m basically saying, like, I basically want it to end.”

Beauchamp could certainly have ended it by just admitting that his stories were fake. TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic — who went out of his way to mention that he was “not around the office” when the stories were edited and published (did he know this was being taped?) — gave Scott ample opportunity. He pointed out that the magazine stood up for Scott while they have been dragged through the mud, and nevertheless if “certain parts of the story are bullshit, then we’ll end it that way.” He just asked Beauchamp to summon up some personal responsibility and be straight with them.

But why start being responsible now? Beauchamp masterfully avoids giving direct answers. He isn’t talking to anyone about the articles any more. He wants to concentrate on being a Soldier. He won’t talk to the media — TNR included. He has an excuse for everything. He can’t get the copies of the investigative documents TNR wants because he’s busy. “Time is different from time where you are,” he states. If people think his stories aren’t true, well, people will view what he wrote in a lot of ways, that can’t be helped. But are they true or not? “I’m not commenting on the stories,” Beauchamp said. “That’s what I’m saying…I’m not discussing them at all. Um, which is not an admission of anything.” Um, right.

It is amusing to see TNR on the receiving end of Beauchamp’s dissembling. Did they expect gratitude? Forget it. Scoblic’s frustration is evident — he points out that TNR really went to the mat to defend Beauchamp and now he was lumping them in with the rest of the media. TNR did a variety of things for Beauchamp, including “making sure you were okay via a number of pretty high level channels.” (How high? Through whom? Interesting story there I’ll bet.)  When Beauchamp sloughs it all off by saying he is a Soldier and not a writer, he’s going to focus on his duty to his comrades in arms, the next line from Scoblic is “(Unintelligible.)”  Fill in the blank yourself.

It is hard to see how TNR can continue to stand by Beauchamp, or why they should. He certainly cares little about them, and the findings of the official report, leaked or not, give the magazine an opportunity to publicly recant. That is, if they can stomach agreeing with the Army. Or they could stick with the type of tactics that have brought them to their current state of disrepute; denounce the report, say the testimony was coerced, that the Soldiers involved were threatened with reprisal, that Beauchamp is too intimidated to speak, and so forth, which might find an audience with the hard-core conspiracy minded, but will only serve to keep the issue festering until the next revelation.

The bright side of the case study is in illustrating the power of the web to police reporting — to act as a watchdog over the watchdogs. In particular it reconfirms the critical role of the milbloggers. A prescient, award-winning essay by Army Major Elizabeth Robbins (relation by marriage) pointed out that if members of the military were prevented from blogging, this corner of the information domain would be left to the Beauchamps of the world, where they could indulge their biases unchecked. “To silence the most credible voices — those at the spear’s edge — and to deny them this function is to handicap the Army on a vital, very real battlefield,” Robbins writes. “The Army’s reputation is maintained on many fronts, and no one fights harder on its behalf than our young Soldiers. We must allow them access to this fight.” Had milbloggers not intervened, who knows what absurd, fantastic, vicious and wholly contrived events Beauchamp’s fourth and fifth “diary” entries would have contained? And how many people would have believed them?

 — James S. Robbins is the director of the Intelligence Center at Trinity Washington University , senior fellow for national-security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, and author of Last in Their Class: Custer, Picket and the Goats of West Point. Robbins is also an NRO contributor.

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 29, 2007, 05:53:12 AM
'Fairness' Is Foul
Liberals vs. the First Amendment.

Monday, October 29, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

It wasn't that hard for Indiana's Rep. Mike Pence to build media and congressional support for his Free Flow of Information Act, which would protect the confidentiality of contacts between reporters and sources. It passed the House this month by an overwhelming vote of 398-21. His next battle will be a lot harder--to permanently ban the Fairness Doctrine, the regulation many liberals are now actively trying to revive in an effort to silence their critics.

Until the FCC scrapped the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, it required broadcasters to provide equal time to all sides of "controversial" issues. In practice, this led to what Bill Monroe, a former host of NBC's "Meet the Press," called "timid, don't-rock-the-boat coverage." On radio, Newsweek's Howard Fineman notes, it "effectively kept partisan shows off the airwaves," so that in 1980 there were a mere 75 talk radio stations. Today there are 1,800.

But the Fairness Doctrine has always had fans in the corridors of power because it gave incumbents a way of muzzling their opponents. The Kennedy administration used it as a political weapon. Bill Ruder, Kennedy's assistant secretary of commerce, explained: "Our strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue." The Nixon administration similarly used the doctrine to torment left-wing broadcasters.

Democrats who have become "Fairness" mongers insist they simply want to restore civility and balance to the airwaves. Al Gore, in a typically overheated speech last year bemoaned "the destruction of [the] marketplace of ideas" which he blamed in part on the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, after which "Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein rails against "one-sided programming" that has pushed the American people into "extreme views without a lot of information." She thinks Americans deserve to know "both sides of the story." Isn't it enough that National Public Radio, subsidized by the government, serves as a vehicle for liberal voices in just about every community in the country?

True, commercial radio is dominated by conservatives, but perhaps that's because liberal arguments in their full-throated glory just haven't sold as well. Air America, the liberal talk radio network that debuted in 2004, is in perpetual financial trouble. Then there's the GreenStone talk radio network started last year by feminists Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem. It offered cutting-edge liberal thinking pitched to a female audience--and flopped completely.

Rep. Pence says he knows all about the power of talk radio because he used to host a statewide show in Indiana, where he describes himself as "the decaf Rush Limbaugh." He believes the Fairness Doctrine would "amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves." In June his first effort to impose a one-year moratorium on any revival of the Fairness Doctrine by the FCC passed, 309-115, with nearly half of House Democrats voting in favor.
But a one-year moratorium was an easy vote, because there is no reason to expect the Fairness Doctrine to make a comeback before 2009, when a new president--perhaps a Democrat--appoints a majority of FCC commissioners.

That's why Mr. Pence is proposing the Broadcaster Freedom Act, a bill that would permanently bury the Fairness Doctrine. Because House Democratic leaders are unlikely to allow it to come to the floor for a vote, Mr. Pence has launched a "discharge petition," a device to bypass House committees and move the bill directly to the floor. He needs 218 members--a House majority--to sign the petition. He has collected 185 signatures, but all from Republicans. Democrats are being told by their leadership that signing such a petition would undermine their control of the House.

Mr. Pence, says that "freedom should not be a partisan issue" and that he is optimistic that he can collect the signature of every Republican and then pluck off some 20 of the Democrats who voted for his one-year moratorium last summer (he'd need at least 18).

The stakes are high. "Lovers of liberty must expose calls to restore the Fairness Doctrine for the fraudulent power-grab that they plainly are," writes Brian Anderson, editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal.

That's because the attempts to control the airwaves won't stop with so-called equal time rules. Al Franken, the liberal former Air America host who is now running for the Senate in Minnesota, is already slipping into the role of potential legislative censor of his old industry. "You shouldn't be able to lie on the air," he told Newsweek's Mr. Fineman earlier this year. "You can't utter obscenities in a broadcast, so why should you be able to lie? You should be fined for lying."

In fact, you can be "fined" for lying, if the person you lie about successfully sues for defamation. But the First Amendment makes it exceedingly difficult for defamation plaintiffs to prevail, especially if they are public figures--and for good reason. Under a more pro-plaintiff legal regime, "the pall of fear and timidity imposed upon those who would give voice to public criticism is an atmosphere in which the First Amendment freedoms cannot survive," Justice William Brennan wrote in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964).

Justice Brennan used to be a liberal hero. If he were alive today, he would surely be dismayed to learn that liberals seem to have concluded they have no use for the First Amendment.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 31, 2007, 10:11:54 AM
 to Eternity
One of the ways in which the media bolster their anti-Iraq narrative is by maximizing the number of U.S. casualties. The figures you hear for the number of deaths--currently approaching 4,000--almost always include noncombat deaths. Roughly 20% of "Iraq war" deaths are from illness, accident, suicide or other "nonhostile" causes.

By this standard, of course, every serviceman in Iraq is doomed, and so are the rest of us. Even for those who perish in combat, war is only the proximate cause of death.

A striking example of "Iraq war" deaths that weren't appeared last week in the New York Times:

The Department of Defense has identified 3,825 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans on Tuesday:

CAMACHO, Anamarie Sannicolas, 20, Seaman, Navy; Panama City, Fla.; Naval Support Activity.

GRESHAM, Genesia Mattril, 19, Seaman, Navy; Lithonia, Ga.; Naval Support Activity.

The San Francisco Chronicle published news of Camacho's and Gresham's deaths under the headline "U.S. Toll in Iraq," and the text said they had died "in Iraq."

This is false, as the Chronicle's own Web site confirms. The paper has a database with details of all the deaths "in Iraq," and both Camacho's and Gresham's entries show that they "died Oct. 22 in Bahrain during a non-combat related incident." (Nonetheless, the heading on the Chronicle's database pages reads "Portraits of Sacrifice: U.S. Casualties in Iraq.")

To find out how they died, we turn to the Gulf Daily News, an English-language Bahraini paper:

Anamarie Sannicolas Camacho, 20, and her colleague Genesia Mattril Gresham, 19, were shot dead at the Naval Support Activity Base, Juffair, at around 5am on October 22.

Their alleged killer, fellow serviceman Clarence Jackson, 20, is still clinging to life after apparently shooting himself in the head immediately after the murders.

He is now at the National Naval Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, US, after being transferred to the US from a specialist hospital in Germany. . . .

[Camacho's mother, Jovie] Paulino, who served in the US Air Force for six years, is also angry at the way the navy have handled the shooting.

"I had entrusted my daughter to the navy when she joined and this is what has happened, I just don't understand," she said. "I was in the military and right now I feel so angry and disappointed. She put her life on the line for our freedom and the only thing they should do (in return) is protect her."

Her comments echo that of Ms Gresham's mother Anita, who earlier blamed officials for leaving her daughter exposed to danger from a man she said turned nasty when she tried to cool their "casual" relationship.

Ms Gresham revealed Jackson had a restraining order against him and had been on suicide watch, after he allegedly attacked Miss Gresham less than four months ago.

She was also angry that Jackson was allowed to carry a gun after his alleged attack on her daughter and that officials were not telling her what happened in the run-up to the killings.

If Jackson dies of his wounds, will the Times and the Chronicle list him as another casualty of the "Iraq war" rather than of his own twisted rage?

The incident does illustrate an uncomfortable truth: that romantic entanglements can be harmful to military discipline. This is why servicemen can be prosecuted for adultery, and it is one reason that the military excludes open homosexuals and restricts the roles in which women may serve. This was a horrific and senseless crime. Imagine how disruptive it would have been in a combat unit.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 15, 2007, 08:21:42 PM
An example of the profoundly anti-semitic bigotry affecting so much of the coverage of Israel

rticle in The by Melanie Phillips
The al Durah blood libel
Wednesday, 14th November 2007


I am in Paris where I have attended the Court of Appeal special session called to witness the 27 minutes of hitherto unseen footage of the ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah which the court had required France 2 to produce. For readers who are unfamiliar with this scandal, I wrote about it here, here and here.

Suffice it to say here that the iconic image of the child Mohammed al Durah, pictured crouching with his father behind a barrel next to a concrete wall in an apparently vain attempt to shelter from the gun-battle between Israel and the Palestinians that was raging around them before he was allegedly shot dead by the Israelis, served to incite terrorist violence and atrocities around the world after it was transmitted by France 2 at the beginning of the second intifada. Yet it is clear to anyone looking at this in detail that the whole thing was staged, not least from the devastating evidence here which shows the boy raising his arm and peeping through his fingers seconds after the France 2 correspondent Charles Enderlin said he! had be en shot dead.

After Philippe Karsenty, founder of the French online media watchdog, Media Ratings, accused France 2 of staging the al Durah ‘killing’ and called for the resignation of both Charles Enderlin and France 2’s News Director, Arlette Chabot, France 2 and Enderlin sued Karsenty for defamation, and won. In a disgraceful piece of judicial cronyism after the gratuitous intervention of the then French President Jacques Chirac, the court decided against Karsenty and in favour of France 2 and Enderlin. Karsenty appealed; the judge ordered France 2 to produce the unscreened footage of this incident; today it did so.

Well, sort of. What it actually produced was 18 minutes out of the 27 it was required to bring forward. From this footage, which according to France 2’s Palestinian cameraman was filmed during an implausible 45 minutes of continuous shooting by Israeli soldiers, there is no evidence that anyone at all was killed or injured -- including Mohammed al Durah who by the end of the frames in which he figured seemed to be still very much alive and unmarked by any wound whatsoever.

The drama of today’s hearing was enhanced by the appearance of Enderlin himself, who until today had not graced this case with his presence. As the film was shown to a packed and overheated (in every sense) courtroom, Enderlin and Karsenty offered rival interpretations of the images on the screen. If Enderlin thought he would thus demonstrate the inadequacy of Karsenty’s case, he was very much mistaken. On the contrary, parts of his commentary were so absurd that the courtroom several times burst into incredulous laughter.

Enderlin offered only a vague, rambling and unconvincing explanation of why he had only produced 18 minutes of footage rather than the 27 he claimed to have received from his cameraman in Gaza (Enderlin himself was not in Gaza when these events occurred). After the hearing Professor Richard Landes, one of the people who had already seen the contested footage, said that two scenes had been cut out which clearly showed that the violence had been staged -- including one in which a Palestinian preparing to throw a missile is suddenly picked up and carried into an ambulance despite showing no signs of injury. This scene, said Landes, was filmed by Reuters, who actually filmed the France 2 cameraman filming it. Yet there was no sign of it today.

What struck me very forcibly about the 18 minutes overall was that, although this was supposed to have been filmed during continuous firing by the Israelis for 45 minutes, much of the footage consisted merely of a violent demonstration by stone throwing youths, many of whom who appeared to be enjoying the exercise. One child was pictured riding a bicycle through the melee. There was no evidence of any of them being killed or injured. From time to time, to be sure, youths were dragged onto stretchers and into ambulances – but there was no sign of anyone actually being shot, no-one falling under fire, no sign of any blood or injuries whatever. The nearest it got to an injury was a sequence in which a young man coyly pulled his shirt open a little to provide a glimpse of a neat red circle on his stomach, which he claimed was a (rubber?) bullet wound. But since he appeared to be in no pain whatever and was grinning throughout his turn for the camera, this seemed an eminently ! implaus ible way for someone who had just been hit by gunfire to behave.

There were many very strange things about this footage which just didn’t add up. When it came to the footage of the ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah, the following stood out:

* This sequence was not a continuous narrative but was repeatedly broken up and spliced onto footage of other scenes from the demonstration

* Although the France 2 cameraman had told a German film-maker, Esther Shapira, that he had filmed six minutes of the al Durah father and son under continuous Israeli fire, the footage of them lasted for less than one minute

* There was a camera tripod next to them

* There was no evidence of the boy actually being hit

* At one point, people in the crowd cried out that the boy was dead, while he was sitting up large as life clinging onto his father with his mouth wide open


* After he was said to be dead, he moved his arm (the sequence I have already reported which has been available on the web for years).

The Appeal Court is not due to give its verdict in this case until next February. As of today, such are the fresh contradictions and questions thrown up by the showing of this footage it would seem that France 2 has painted itself into a corner from which it will find it increasingly hard to escape.

But this scandal goes far beyond France 2. Soon after it transmitted the 55 seconds which showed the ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah, it helpfully sent various news agencies three minutes of the footage of this incident – including the frames in which the ‘dead’ child is seen moving, but which of course it had not broadcast. For reasons which invite speculation, not one of these agencies broadcast it either. Had they done so, there would have been no ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah and untold numbers of subsequent deaths would have been avoided.

It is therefore not surprising, but no less shocking, that with a couple of heroic exceptions the mainstream media has until very recently ignored the evidence suggesting that a monumental and deadly fraud was perpetrated here, indicators which have been around for years. As of today, the Karsenty case has been totally ignored by the mainstream French media. It is also deeply troubling that the Israel government ignored this evidence for seven years, that it is only very recently that its press spokesman Danny Seaman said the incident was staged, and that even now certain representatives of the Israel government are playing a most ambiguous role in defending their country against this modern blood libel.

The ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah was swallowed uncritically by the western media, despite the manifold unlikeliness and contradictions which were apparent from the start, because it accorded with the murderous prejudice against Israel which is the prism through which the Middle East conflict is habitually refracted. This scandal has the most profound implications not just for the media, not just for the Middle East conflict but for the western world’s relationship to reason, which seems to grow more tenuous by the day.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 21, 2007, 08:10:14 AM
Courage and Journalism
November 21, 2007; Page A18
Among the blessings this fair land can give thanks for tomorrow is a free press. In much of the rest of the world, that's a freedom that remains elusive at best. The men and women who report the news often do so at great personal risk.

Four such journalists were honored in New York City yesterday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit group that promotes the right of journalists world-wide to report without fear of reprisals. The honorees work in four countries on three continents. Each has a harrowing tale to tell. Three have colleagues who were murdered while on the job.

Adela Navarro Bello is the general director of Zeta, a weekly magazine in the border town of Tijuana, Mexico. Zeta covers organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption in Mexico's northern states, including the collusion between police and criminals. The cost of its investigative reporting has been high. Zeta's co-founder and a co-editor were murdered, and Ms. Navarro has received death threats. On a visit to the Journal's offices on Monday, she described the milieu in which she works: "Journalists have been assaulted, murdered or simply disappear."

Pakistan's Mazhar Abbas works for ARY One World Television, one of the TV stations closed down in President Pervez Musharraf's current state of emergency. After his name appeared on the hit list of an ethnic group allied with Mr. Musharraf, Mr. Abbas was among three journalists who found an envelope containing a bullet taped to his car. A recent trend is for the families of journalists also to be targeted.

Dmitry Muratov is founder and editor in chief of Novaya Gazeta, the Russian newspaper for which the late Anna Politkovskaya was working when she was murdered last year. Mr. Muratov's newspaper is known for its probes of high-level corruption, human-rights abuses and the war in Chechnya. "The [Vladmir Putin] government views the country as its personal business enterprise," he told us, "and we are basically trying to expose them." In addition to Ms. Politkovskaya, two other Novaya Gazeta reporters have been killed.

The fourth honoree is Gao Qinrong, who was released recently from a Chinese jail. He served eight years on a series of bogus charges brought after he exposed government corruption in an irrigation project in Shanxi province. Beijing refused to issue him a passport so he was honored in absentia. There are 29 journalists currently in jail in China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Mr. Muratov spoke for all the winners when he told us, "We do what we can." Such modesty belies their courage and dedication.

Title: NY Times at it as usual
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 27, 2007, 05:55:48 AM
Political Journal

Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off
Australia held an election over the weekend, and voters turned out the Liberal Party (which is on the Australian right) in favor of the left-wing Labor Party. Showing its penchant for Angry Left parochialism, the New York Times headlines the story "Ally of Bush Is Defeated in Australia," and the first and third paragraphs were about America rather than Australia:

Australia's prime minister, John Howard, one of President Bush's staunchest allies in Asia, suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of the electorate on Saturday, as his Liberal Party-led coalition lost its majority in Parliament.

He will be replaced by Kevin Rudd, the Labor Party leader and a former diplomat. "Today Australia looks to the future," Mr. Rudd told a cheering crowd in his home state, Queensland. "Today the Australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward."

Mr. Howard's defeat, after 11 years in power, follows that of José María Aznar of Spain, who also backed the United States-led invasion of Iraq, and political setbacks for Tony Blair, who stepped down as Britain's prime minister in June.

It also followed the victories of pro-American prime ministers in Germany, Canada and France; and the last we heard, Belgium didn't even have a government. But elections in foreign countries are generally not referendums on the American president. The world does not revolve around George W. Bush, even if the world of the Times does.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 30, 2007, 10:13:08 AM
Quote of the Day

"I think CNN does itself a great disservice when it doesn't apply the exact same kind of criteria to both debates. I covered both of them. In the Democratic debate, I don't think there were any questions that were clearly coming from, you know, a Republican point of view. They were generally sympathetic. They were about global warming and health care and education, all kind of Democratic issues. They weren't challenging them. There was one kind anti-tax question, I think, but they weren't challenging the basic principles of the Democratic Party. There were lots of questions last night [at the GOP debate] that were. I think the question about the Bible was mocking. I think one of the abortion questions was clearly not from someone who was pro-life" -- Mara Liasson of National Public Radio on the Republican and Democratic presidential debates sponsored by CNN and Google's YouTube affiliate.

CNN's Bumper Crop

Last week, CNN's Anderson Cooper quipped in an interview with that "campaign operatives are people too" and CNN wasn't worried if political partisans posed questions at the GOP debate he'd be moderating the following Wednesday. "We don't investigate the background of people asking questions [by submitting video clips]. It's not our job," he said.

Yet now CNN's logo has egg splattered all over it as the network scrambles to explain how a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's veterans' committee was allowed to ask a video question on gays in the military at Wednesday's debate. The questioner, retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, was flown at network expense from California to the debate site in Florida so he could repeat his question to the candidates in person. CNN claims it verified retired Brig. Gen. Kerr's military status and checked his campaign contribution records, contradicting Mr. Cooper's blasé attitudes. But the network still somehow missed his obvious connection to the Hillary campaign which any Google search would have turned up.

CNN later airbrushed Mr. Kerr's question out of its rebroadcast of the debate, indicating that it apparently doesn't think "campaign operatives" are legitimate questioners at the network's debates.

Now it appears that an amazing number of partisan figures posed many of the 30 questions at the GOP debate while pretending to be CNN's advertised "undecided voters." Yasmin from Huntsville, Alabama turns out to be a former intern with the Council on American Islamic Relations, a group highly critical of Republicans. Blogger Michelle Malkin has identified other plants, including declared Obama supporter David Cercone, who asked a question about the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans. A questioner who asked a hostile question about the pro-life views of GOP candidates turned out to be a diehard John Edwards supporter (and a slobbering online fan of Mr. Cooper). Yet another "plant" was LeeAnn Anderson, an aide to Leo Gerard, president of the American Steel Workers Union and a prominent Edwards backer.

It seems more "plants" are being uprooted with each passing day. Nearly one-third of the questioners seem to have some ties to Democratic causes or candidates. Another questioner worked with Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's staff. A former intern with Democratic Rep. Jane Harman asked a question about farm subsidies. A questioner who purported to be a Ron Paul supporter turns out to be a Bill Richardson volunteer. David McMillan, a TV writer from Los Angeles, turns out to have several paeans to John Edwards on his YouTube page and has attended Barack Obama fundraisers.

Given CNN's professed goal to have "ordinary Americans" ask questions at its GOP debate, how odd that so many of the video questioners selected by CNN turned out to be not just partisan Democrats, but actively hostile to the GOP's messages and candidates.

political journal WSJ
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 17, 2007, 05:58:37 AM
The NY Times covers the AP.  Caveat Lector!

Case Lays Bare the Media’s Reliance on Iraqi Journalists
Published: December 17, 2007
Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi photographer who had a hand in The Associated Press’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize for photography before being jailed without charges by the United States military, finally had a day in court last week. But his story, which highlights the unprecedented role that Iraqis are playing in news coverage of the war, is really just beginning.

He was held for around 20 months by the military — in Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere, with no right to contest his detention —before being turned over to an Iraqi magistrate, who will act as a one-man grand jury and decide if there is enough evidence to link him to the insurgency. He has not been formally charged with a crime.

The Associated Press has staunchly defended Mr. Hussein, pointing out that his role as a journalist involved getting close to the insurgency. Over the last three years, the American military has held at least eight other Iraqi journalists for periods of weeks or month without charges and released them all, apparently unable to find ties to the insurgency, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent nonprofit organization.

As for Mr. Hussein and his lawyers, “they were not given a copy of the materials that were presented and which they need to prepare a defense,” The Associated Press said in a statement last week, noting that Mr. Hussein was still being detained without formal charges. “The Associated Press continues to believe that claims Bilal is involved with insurgent activities are false.”

A spokesman for the military said that Mr. Hussein had been detained as “an imperative security threat” and that he has persistently been “treated fairly, humanely and in accordance with all applicable law.”

In a lengthy e-mail message, the spokesman said that Mr. Hussein had been named by “sources” as having “possessed foreknowledge of an improvised explosive device (I.E.D.) attack” on American and Iraqi forces, “that he was standing next to the I.E.D. triggerman at the time of the attempted attack, and that he conspired with the I.E.D. triggerman to synchronize his photograph with the explosion.”

The e-mail message did not say whether the photograph in question is the one that Mr. Hussein took in Falluja on Nov. 8, 2004, of Iraqi insurgents firing a mortar and small arms, which was among the 20 from The Associated Press that collectively won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.

The military spokesman said further: “The Associated Press was informed that the sources had reported Mr. Hussein’s knowing and willing offer to provide a false Iraqi national identification card to an alleged sniper, whom Mr. Hussein knew was wanted” by the military, “in order to assist the sniper in eluding capture.”

For its part, The Associated Press hired a New York lawyer and former prosecutor, Paul Gardephe, to investigate the situation. He published a 46-page report that concluded “there is no evidence — in nearly a thousand photographs taken over the 20-month period — that his activities ever strayed from those of a legitimate journalist.” Mr. Gardephe was in Iraq last week defending Mr. Hussein.

The role of Iraqis as front-line reporters, and the dangers they face working for Western news organizations, is well known. In a few recent examples, in October a journalist for The Washington Post, Salih Saif Aldin, was shot dead in a Baghdad neighborhood rife with sectarian violence. That death occurred three months after a local journalist working for The New York Times was killed in the same area. Of the 124 journalists killed in Iraq since the war began, 102 have been Iraqi, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

And while Western journalists do depend on Iraqi freelancers, several news organizations, including The New York Times, continue to have resident correspondents who leave their compounds to report in Baghdad and beyond.

Several editors and reporters overseeing Iraqi coverage for Western news organizations said they worked hard to vet their local hires for sectarian and political ties that could slant their coverage, and offered extensive training in the rules of Western journalism. But there are no official background checks that can be conducted, as American and European companies routinely do when making domestic hires. Rather, news organizations try to get to know their prospective Iraqi hires in person and then judge them by the work they produce.

“A person is usually recommended by another journalist and brought in for an interview, and you sit down and have a long discussion with that person,” said John Daniszewski, The Associated Press’s international editor. “Like any job applicant in the states, people go through a probationary period. They are given lessons, it’s like an apprenticeship relationship.”

Mr. Daniszewski added, “When you are working side by side, you get to know the person, and if the person seems unreliable, or if you ever see someone not completely honest with you, he is out the door.”

Page 2 of 2)

The reporters and editors said that they often had to filter out obvious sectarian biases from news copy, and, as a matter of policy, would not run statistics like death counts from the field without official confirmation from the military. But, these journalists emphasized, there is a big difference between bias seeping into news copy and insurgents infiltrating news organizations.

According to The Associated Press, Mr. Hussein, a 36-year-old member of a prominent Falluja farming family, had a modest job history before the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq: he worked in a grocery store, an auto parts joint and handed out goods as part of a United Nations assistance program. Photography was his hobby, and an uncle had set up a darkroom for him.

When soldiers and journalists flooded into Falluja in April 2004, Mr. Hussein began working as a driver and helper for The Associated Press. “He said he always wanted to be a professional photographer,” Mr. Daniszewski said. “And we had a need there. We gave him training, equipment and he just did good work.” In April 2006, Mr. Hussein was detained in Ramadi by the United States military, which said it had evidence linking him to the insurgency, but did not press charges.

The situation has not dissuaded foreign news organizations from continuing to lean heavily on local stringers. “They’re essential,” said Marjorie Miller, the foreign editor of The Los Angeles Times. “We couldn’t do our job without them, more so than in any other war we’ve covered.”

David Schlesinger, the editor in chief of Reuters, said, “using local staff is something we do everywhere in the world. But it’s become so dangerous in Iraq, we’re even more dependent on local staff there than in other places.”

In any foreign outpost, Western news organizations rely on locals to get the job done, often as drivers or translators. “The reliance on local staff is nothing new, whether it be in the West Bank, or Gaza or other places,” said Joel Campagna, Middle East program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. “News organizations know how to vet and scrutinize information.”

However, he said, Iraq “is the most dangerous conflict we’ve seen at C.P.J. in our 26 years. In Iraq, the ubiquity and scale of danger has really hampered the ability of journalists to gather news.”

Mr. Hussein is one of more than 24,000 individuals held by the American military worldwide, most in Iraq, according to statistics cited by The Associated Press. But not even the nudging of a giant Western news organization was enough keep him from spending 20 months behind bars without being formally charged with a crime.

“The Iraqi courts seem to be completely overwhelmed,” said Linda A. Malone, a law professor at the College of William and Mary who advised the Justice Department during the trial of Saddam Hussein. “There’s a tremendous backlog. That’s not to say this one might not be a priority. Hopefully that would be the case given the issue of journalistic freedom versus national security.”

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2008, 08:44:49 AM

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The Lancet's Political Hit
January 9, 2008
Three weeks before the 2006 elections, the British medical journal Lancet published a bombshell report estimating that casualties in Iraq had exceeded 650,000 since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. We know that number was wildly exaggerated. The news is that now we know why.

It turns out the Lancet study was funded by anti-Bush partisans and conducted by antiwar activists posing as objective researchers. It also turns out the timing was no accident. You can find the fascinating details in the current issue of National Journal magazine, thanks to reporters Neil Munro and Carl Cannon. And sadly, that may be the only place you'll find them. While the media were quick to hype the original Lancet report -- within a week of its release it had been featured on 25 news shows and in 188 newspaper and magazine articles -- something tells us this debunking won't get the same play.

The Lancet death toll was more than 10 times what had been estimated by the U.S. and Iraqi governments, and even by human rights groups. Asked about the study on the day it was released, President Bush said, "I don't consider it a credible report." Neither did the Pentagon and top British authorities. To put the 655,000 number in perspective, consider that fewer Americans died in the Civil War, our bloodiest conflict.

Skeptics at the time (including us) pointed to the Lancet study's manifold methodological flaws. The high body count was an extrapolation based on a sampling of households and locations that was far too small to render reliable results. What the National Journal adds is that the Lancet study was funded by billionaire George Soros's Open Society Institute. Mr. Soros is a famous critic of the Iraq campaign and well-known partisan, having spent tens of millions trying to defeat Mr. Bush in 2004.

But "Soros is not the only person associated with the Lancet study who had one eye on the data and the other on the U.S. political calendar," write Messrs. Munro and Cannon. Two co-authors, Gilbert Burnham and Les Roberts of Johns Hopkins University, told the reporters that they opposed the war from the outset and sent their report to the Lancet on the condition that it be published before the election.

Mr. Roberts, who opposed removing Saddam from power, sought the Democratic nomination for New York's 24th Congressional District in 2006. Asked why he ran, Mr. Roberts replied, "It was a combination of Iraq and [Hurricane] Katrina."

Then there is Lancet Editor Richard Horton, "who agreed to rush the study into print, with an expedited peer review process and without seeing the surveyors' original data," report Mr. Munro and Mr. Cannon. He has also made no secret of his politics. "At a September 2006 rally in Manchester, England, Horton declared, 'This axis of Anglo-American imperialism extends its influence through war and conflict, gathering power and wealth as it goes, so millions of people are left to die in poverty and disease,'" they write. See YouTube for more.

We also learn that the key person involved in collecting the Lancet data was Iraqi researcher Riyadh Lafta, who has failed to follow the customary scientific practice of making his data available for inspection by other researchers. Mr. Lafta had been an official in Saddam's ministry of health when the dictator was attempting to end international sanctions against Iraq. He wrote articles asserting that many Iraqis were dying from cancer and other diseases caused by spent U.S. uranium shells from the Gulf War. According to National Journal, the Lancet studies "of Iraqi war deaths rest on the data provided by Lafta, who operated with little American supervision and has rarely appeared in public or been interviewed about his role."

In other words, the Lancet study could hardly be more unreliable. Yet it was trumpeted by the political left because it fit a narrative that they wanted to believe. And it wasn't challenged by much of the press because it told them what they wanted to hear. The truth was irrelevant.

Title: WSJ
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 10, 2008, 06:56:14 AM
IMHO the Wall Street Journal, especially its editorial page, is an extraordinary newspaper.

Our Philosophy

The Wall Street Journal has a long tradition of vigorous and independent editorial commentary. As early as 1902 Charles Dow wrote a column called "Review & Outlook," and that title runs today over our editorials in editions on three continents. In the boom of the 1920s, the paper was distinguished by the reporting and commentary of its proprietor, C.W. Barron. In the years after World War II, Bernard Kilgore was the publishing genius who forged the Journal into a national and now international institution. (See "Barney Kilgore Built His Dream.") But it was for editorial writing that his Journal won its first two Pulitzer Prizes, to William Henry Grimes in 1947 and Vermont Royster in 1953. In 1951 Mr. Grimes famously spelled out The Journal's approach to reporting and editorializing in "A Newspaper's Philosophy."

Looking back over this history, what's surprising is not the change of views but their constancy. (See "Journal Editorials and the Common Man.") They are united by the mantra "free markets and free people," the principles, if you will, marked in the watershed year of 1776 by Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations." So over the past century and into the next, the Journal stands for free trade and sound money; against confiscatory taxation and the ukases of kings and other collectivists; and for individual autonomy against dictators, bullies and even the tempers of momentary majorities. If these principles sound unexceptionable in theory, applying them to current issues is often unfashionable and controversial.

Even regular readers often inquire about how our articles and views manage to appear five days a week, or how many people write the editorials? This is not as simple a question as it seems. When we counted the other day, the full-time budgeted staff of the editorial page numbered 43. This staff is responsible for the editorial and op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the daily Leisure & Arts pages of the domestic Journal and the critical reviews and Taste page for the Weekend Journal, and with its substantial body of original content.

At last count, about 22 of the 43 staff members have written at least one editorial over the last year. But there are many other things to do. Ten are involved in producing the pages (i.e., formatting the electronic images that fill printing plates or computer screens), clerical and business-management tasks. Six are principally involved in arts and cultural reviewing, which on this newspaper are recognized as an opinion function. Eight are mainly involved in the two international editions, both writing editorials and editing feature articles, and two devote most of their time to producing the Web site features.

In New York and Washington, a core group of 12 people is principally involved in writing editorials or our proprietary columns. Another four are principally involved in editing features from outside contributors and letters to the editor. Of course, many editorials and articles are used in more than one edition, often with appropriate customization. And some writers or editors may be doing editorials one day, cultural reviews the next and feature articles the third. Out of this maelstrom, three sets of editorial and op-ed pages across the world get filled every morning. Our tradition has long been to avoid set-piece meetings but to gather come-who-wants informally. This tradition is now giving way to e-mail exchanges, and we've adopted one formal meeting a week for more free-ranging discussion.

But coordination of policy positions is not as difficult as an outsider might think, for we all share a similar world view. The most important coordinators--Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot and Deputy Editors Daniel Henninger and Melanie Kirkpatrick--have worked together for decades. They are guided by the tradition of free people and free markets set out by Charles Dow and elaborated by a long string of editors.

A word is due here about journalistic philosophy, as opposed to political philosophy. The Journal editorial pages are obviously in themselves a substantial journalistic enterprise. But they are dwarfed by the Journal news department: more than 600 reporters on the global news staff and another 900-plus on Dow Jones Newswires. Following the American newspaper practice, the heads of News and Editorial report independently to the publisher, Gordon Crovitz.

We expect our editorial writers to do their own reporting, developing their own sources and seeking news from their own perspective and insights. It may sometimes happen that news sources get calls from both news and editorial departments. Sometimes the dispatches of news and editorial seem to disagree, primarily in reflecting different sets of news sources. While this can be confusing, we do not see that the reader is the loser.

We believe that the ultimate function of the editorial pages is the same as the rest of the newspaper, to inform. But in opinion journalism we have the additional purpose of making an argument for a point of view. We often take sides on the major issues of politics and society, with a goal of moving policies or events in what we think is the best direction for the country and world. We recognize that others may disagree but see little value in equivocation. In stating our own views forcefully, we hope to raise and sharpen the level of debate and knowledge. And we hope that our editorials reflect not merely the passing whim of passing editors, but a body of thought shaped by a century of tradition.
Title: NY Slimes caught in flagrante delito again
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 14, 2008, 06:26:51 PM

We Stand Behind Our Stereotype
January 14, 2008

There is a school of thought in journalism according to which it is bad form to mention the race or ethnicity of a criminal suspect or defendant unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The idea is that such references gratuitously perpetuate stereotypes while imparting information that is of no use to the reader.

But racial and ethnic groups are not the only ones who take offense at such stereotypes, as the New York Times reports:

Veterans groups have long deplored the attention paid to the minority of soldiers who fail to readjust to civilian life.
After World War I, the American Legion passed a resolution asking the press "to subordinate whatever slight news value there may be in playing up the ex-service member angle in stories of crime or offense against the peace." An article in the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine in 2006 referred with disdain to the pervasive "wacko-vet myth," which, veterans say, makes it difficult for them to find jobs.
The wacko-vet myth is alive and well. This very passage comes from a 7,000-word front-page piece in yesterday's Times titled "Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles":

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment--along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems--appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.
Are they depraved on account of they were deployed? In fact, the Times's data are not sufficient to establish a correlation, much less a casual relationship, between stateside homicide and previous service in Afghanistan or Iraq.

To determine whether there's such a correlation, we'd need to know, in addition to the number of war vets charged with homicide, the corresponding figure for the general population, as well as the denominators--i.e., the number of war vets and the size of the population as a whole. A serious analysis would also take into account the demographic characteristics of the veteran population, which is disproportionately young and male.

This the Times does not do. Power Line's John Hinderaker conducts some back-of-the-envelope calculations and finds that if the Times's numbers are correct, "the rate of homicides committed by military personnel who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan is only a fraction of the homicide rate for other Americans aged 18 to 24."

The Times, however, pre-empts this line of argument by acknowledging a defect in its methodology:

To compile and analyze its list, The Times conducted a search of local news reports, examined police, court and military records and interviewed the defendants, their lawyers and families, the victims' families and military and law enforcement officials.
This reporting most likely uncovered only the minimum number of such cases, given that not all killings, especially in big cities and on military bases, are reported publicly or in detail. Also, it was often not possible to determine the deployment history of other service members arrested on homicide charges.
If the numbers aren't comprehensive, what exactly is the Times trying to prove here? This is where things get interesting:

The Times used the same methods to research homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans for the six years before and after the present wartime period began with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
This showed an 89 percent increase during the present wartime period, to 349 cases from 184, about three-quarters of which involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. The increase occurred even though there have been fewer troops stationed in the United States in the last six years and the American homicide rate has been, on average, lower.
What the Times has discovered, then, is a dramatic increase in the number of news reports in which homicide defendants are identified as servicemen or recent veterans. Does this mean that those who've served their country are more crime-prone now than they were in peacetime? Or does it mean that reporters are more prone to perpetuate the wacko-vet myth than they were during peacetime?

The Times is trying to prove the truth of a media stereotype by references to media reports. It might have proved nothing more than that it is a stereotype.
Title: WSJ needles NY Slimes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2008, 04:22:59 PM
Underwhelmingly Iraqi
One of our favorite sports is mocking the New York Times for the roundabout way in which it tries to avoid acknowledging that al Qaeda in Iraq is connected with al Qaeda everywhere else. Here's a particularly inviting example, from yesterday's paper:

Some critics contend that estimates of insurgents who actually belong to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which American officials say is overwhelmingly Iraqi but has foreign leadership, tend to be overstated. Many insurgents who are lumped into the group, they say, are Sunnis who simply need money or who are angered by the sectarian bias of Iraqi security forces, but who have no wider allegiance to al Qaeda.
If "many" insurgents who are Iraqi are wrongly "lumped into this group," isn't the obvious conclusion that al Qaeda in Meso-whatever is underwhelmingly Iraqi? The Washington Post adds this:

U.S. military officials in Iraq said they now think that nine out of 10 suicide bombers have been foreigners, compared with earlier estimates of 75 percent.
This is further evidence that the New York Times is right, inasmuch as the New York Times is saying the New York Times is wrong.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 31, 2008, 07:04:18 AM
Edwards Yay, Giuliani Eh
Each of the two bye-kus above this item links to an Associated Press story about the respective candidate's decision to withdraw from the race, and the contrast is quite striking. Here is the AP's Nedra Pickler on the lovely and talented Edwards:

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.
Wow, how did the AP learn that Edwards's campaign was "scrappy" and that it "steered his rivals toward progressive ideals"? That must've taken some heavy-duty research!

Pickler also credits Edwards with having "waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals." It seems that he "burst out of the starting gate with a flurry of progressive policy ideas":

The ideas were all bold and new for Edwards personally as well, making him a different candidate than the moderate Southerner who ran in 2004 while still in his first Senate term. But the themes were eventually adopted by other Democratic presidential candidates--and even a Republican, Mitt Romney, echoed the call for an end to special interest politics in Washington.
Who'd a thunk that "even a Republican" would endorse Edwards's bold new idea of "an end to special interest politics in Washington"?

By contrast, the AP's Devlin Barrett covers the Giuliani withdrawal straight:

Rudy Giuliani, who bet his presidential hopes on Florida only to come in third, prepared to quit the race Tuesday and endorse his friendliest rival, John McCain.
The former New York mayor stopped short of announcing he was stepping down, but delivered a valedictory speech that was more farewell than fight-on.
Giuliani finished a distant third to winner John McCain and close second-place finisher Mitt Romney. Republican officials said Giuliani would endorse McCain on Wednesday in California. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the public announcement.
Barrett notes that the former mayor's distant third-place finish in yesterday's Florida primary "was a remarkable collapse for Giuliani"--ultimately a matter of opinion, we suppose, but one with which it's hard to disagree. In describing Giuliani's background, he has some kind words, but they are much more tempered than Pickler's on Edwards:

Giuliani hung his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on his leadership. His stalwart performance as New York mayor in the tense days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks earned him national magazine covers, international accolades and widespread praise.
Yet, Giuliani was always a Republican anomaly--a moderate-to-liberal New Yorker who backed abortion rights, gay rights and gun control in a party dominated by Southern conservatives.
Now it is true that everyone, even reporters, is human. If you spend a good portion of your life covering politics, you are going to develop feelings about politicians, and if you're not careful, they may slip into your news coverage. What bothers us about this Pickler dispatch--and about many other instances of media bias we've pointed to over the years--is that the reporter doesn't even seem to have bothered to be careful. It may not be possible for a reporter to achieve the ideal of perfect objective detachment, but that's no excuse not to try.

James Taranto WSJ
Title: NY Times conspiracy?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 23, 2008, 07:18:52 PM
Question:  Let me see if I have the timeline on this correct:  The NYTimes was siiting on its McCain-Lobbyist story at the same time it was endorsing him?  The better to set up a Dem victor?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on March 09, 2008, 04:54:13 PM
**Here is a nice little example of media bias. Listen to this ISNA infomercial on NPR and contrast it with what is really known about ISNA.**

ISNA's Lies Unchallenged Again

by Steven Emerson
Counterterrorism Blog
August 11, 2007

In an otherwise important article published by Newsweek this past Wednesday (An Unwelcome Guest), reporters Mike Isikoff and Mark Hosenball detailed a Department of Justice outreach event, cancelled at the last minute because of one of the invitees was a high ranking official with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) - a potentially embarrassing fact since ISNA was recently named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the current trial against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) in Dallas.

The cancelled event was slated for the same day as President Bush's speech at the Islamic Center of Washington D.C., problematic in its own right for several reasons, as I reported at the time, including the presence of Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also an un-indicted co-conspirator in the HLF case. Recent testimony and evidence in the HLF trial has conclusively linked CAIR's founders with HAMAS, and its American affiliate, the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But back to ISNA; Newsweek put a call into ISNA to ask about its status as un-indicted co-conspirators in the HLF trial, and this is the result:

In a brief telephone interview with NEWSWEEK Wednesday, Magid pointed a reporter to an e-mail statement saying that the ISNA was seeking an immediate retraction of the government's "unfounded allegations" in the Holy Land case. "ISNA is not now and has never been involved in any covert or illegal activity and has never supported any terrorist organizations," the statement read. "Rather, ISNA is an open and transparent membership organization that strives to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization … ISNA hereby reaffirms its unqualified condemnation of all acts of terrorism." (emphasis added)
Isikoff and Hosenball, however, let that statement go unchallenged. And this is the same Newsweek that, several months ago, uncritically reported that new ISNA President Ingrid Mattson was, "bringing the moderate viewpoint to the world."

Yet, as I recently reported here, ISNA's sympathy with terrorism, and individual terrorists, runs quite deep.

ISNA has never condemned terrorist groups like HAMAS or Hizballah by name. More notably, in June of 1997, two and a half years after HAMAS was officially designated as a terrorist organization by the United States government (and long after common sense and reality indicated as such), top HAMAS official Mousa Abu Marzook thanked ISNA (and several other U.S.-based Islamist and "civil rights" organizations), writing that ISNA supported him through his "ordeal" – Marzook had been detained at JFK airport in 1995 and arrested and the Israelis were seeking his extradition. Marzook wrote that ISNA's efforts had "consoled" him.

ISNA's magazine, Islamic Horizons, is a hotbed of pro-jihadist literature, and has long championed HAMAS and HAMAS officials, notably Mr. Marzook himself. In the November/December 1995 issue, almost a full year after HAMAS was officially designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, Islamic Horizons published an article titled, "Muslim Leader Hostage to Israeli Interests." That leader was Marzook, characterized by ISNA as:

[a] member of the political wing of Hamas, disliked by the Zionist entity for its Islamic orientation, continues to be held hostage in the U.S. at the whims of his Zionist accusers.
And in the September/October 1997 issues, two and a half years after the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group, Islamic Horizons published an article describing Marzook as:

[j]ailed without trial in New York for-months for alleged ties to organizations seeking Palestinian rights.
The pro-Hamas rhetoric and apologia in Islamic Horizons is off the charts, yet ISNA continues to get a free pass as a "moderate" organization by much of the government and media, who have probably not bothered to pick up a copy of its magazine.

Additionally, evidence has been introduced during the HLF trial which further exposes ISNA's claim of "unqualified condemnation of all acts of terrorism" as lies, at the same time, undercutting HLF's innocent claims that the organization only assisted impoverished widows and orphans, and establish long-standing ISNA ties to HAMAS. Exhibits entered into evidence a few days ago at the HLF trial include an expense voucher from the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an ISNA subsidiary, made out for $10,000 in the name of Musa Abu Marzook, as well as a check drawn on a NAIT account in the same amount made out to Marzook. Another check for $10,000 on the same account was made out to Marzook's wife, Nadia Elashi. Another check for $30,000 was made out to the Islamic University of Gaza (and has Shukri Abu Baker/OLF written on the memo line), a school long known to be controlled by HAMAS, and which counted such notables as former HAMAS leader Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantissi and current HAMAS leader Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar as professors, and the recently deposed HAMAS Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is a former dean of the University.

Beyond the evidence in the HLF trial, ISNA counts among its former leadership such luminaries as convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative Sami al-Arian. According to his own bio:

Dr. Al-Arian has also been an active community leader. He helped establish the largest grass roots organization in the U.S., the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1981, and its many affiliates such as the Muslim Arab Youth Association (1977), the Islamic Association for Palestine (1981), Islamic Committee for Palestine (I.C.P), Islamic Community of Tampa (1987) and Islamic Academy of Florida (1992). (emphasis added)
ISNA also granted an official "Certificate of Affiliation" to al-Arian's "charity," the Islamic Concern Project (a.k.a. the Islamic Committee for Palestine/ICP).

Al-Arian was a frequent speaker at ISNA events, which have also hosted speakers such as Abdurrahman Alamoudi, currently serving a 23 year prison sentence for acting as a financial courier for a State sponsor of terrorism, having admitted his role participating in an Al Qaeda-inspired plot to assassinate the then-Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed Salah, recently convicted and sentenced for obstruction of justice related to lying about his HAMAS connections in a civil law suit against U.S.-based HAMAS front groups.

ISNA officials can say they "condemn acts of terrorism" all they want, but the evidence supporting their ties to, and true feelings about, terrorist groups like HAMAS and PIJ, is overwhelming. The Department of Justice has started to take note. One can only hope that other branches of the government and mainstream media will follow suit.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 12, 2008, 09:24:05 AM
Spitzer's Media Enablers
March 12, 2008; Page A21

The fall of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer holds many lessons, and the press will surely be examining them in coming months. But don't expect the press corps to delve into the biggest lesson of all -- its own role as his enabler.

Journalists have spent the past two days asking how a man of Mr. Spitzer's stature would allow himself to get involved in a prostitution ring. The answer, in my mind, is clear. The former New York attorney general never believed normal rules applied to him, and his view was validated time and again by an adoring press. "You play hard, you play rough, and hopefully you don't get caught," said Mr. Spitzer two years ago. He never did get caught, because most reporters were his accomplices.

Journalism has many functions, but perhaps the most important is keeping tabs on public officials. That duty is even more vital concerning government positions that are subject to few other checks and balances. Chief among those is the prosecutor, who can use his awesome state power to punish, even destroy, private citizens.

Yet from the start, the press corps acted as an adjunct of Spitzer power, rather than a skeptic of it. Many journalists get into this business because they want to see wrongs righted. Mr. Spitzer portrayed himself as the moral avenger. He was the slayer of the big guy, the fat cat, the Wall Street titan -- all allegedly on behalf of the little guy. The press ate it up, and came back for more.

Time magazine bestowed upon Mr. Spitzer the title "Crusader of the Year," and likened him to Moses. Fortune dubbed him the "Enforcer." A fawning article in the Atlantic Monthly in 2004 explained he was "a rock star," and "the Democratic Party's future." In an uncritical 2006 biography, then Washington Post reporter Brooke Masters compared the attorney general to no less than Teddy Roosevelt.

What the media never acknowledged is that somewhere along the line (say, his first day in public office) Mr. Spitzer became the big guy, the titan. He had the power to trample lives and bend the rules, while also burnishing his own political fortune. He was the one who deserved as much, if not more, scrutiny as onetime New York Stock Exchange chief Dick Grasso or former American International Group CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg.

What makes this more embarrassing for any self-respecting journalist is that Mr. Spitzer knew all this, and played the media like a Stradivarius. He knew what sort of storyline they'd be sympathetic to, and spun it. He knew, too, that as financial journalism has become more competitive, breaking news can make a career. He doled out scoops to favored reporters, who repaid him with allegiance. News organizations that dared to criticize him were cut off. After a time, few criticized anymore.

Instead, reporters felt obligated to run with whatever he handed them. Consider the report in the wake of a 2005 op-ed in this newspaper by John Whitehead. A respected Wall Street figure, Mr. Whitehead dared to criticize Mr. Spitzer for his unscrupulously zealous pursuit of Mr. Greenberg. Mr. Spitzer later threatened Mr. Whitehead, telling him in a phone call that "You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done." Some months later, after more Spitzer excesses, Mr. Whitehead had the temerity to write another op-ed describing what Mr. Spitzer had said.

Within a few days, the press was reporting (unsourced, of course) that Mr. Whitehead had defended Mr. Greenberg a few weeks after a Greenberg charity had given $25 million to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation -- a group Mr. Whitehead chaired. So Mr. Whitehead's on-the-record views were met with an unsourced smear implying bad faith. The press ran with it anyway.

In 2005, Mr. Spitzer went on national television to suggest that Mr. Greenberg had engaged in criminal activity. It was front-page news. About six months later, on the eve of a Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Spitzer quietly disclosed that he lacked the evidence to press criminal charges. That news was buried inside the papers.

What makes this history all the more unfortunate is that the warning signs about Mr. Spitzer were many and manifest. In the final days of Mr. Spitzer's run for attorney general in 1998, the news broke that he'd twisted campaign-finance laws so that his father could fund his unsuccessful 1994 run. Mr. Spitzer won anyway, and the story was largely forgotten.

New York Stock Exchange caretaker CEO John Reed suggested Mr. Spitzer hadn't told the truth when he said that it was Mr. Reed who wanted him to investigate Mr. Grasso's pay. The press never investigated.

Mr. Spitzer's main offense as a prosecutor is that he violated the basic rules of fairness and due process: Innocent until proven guilty; the right to your day in court. The Spitzer method was to target public companies and officials, leak allegations and out-of-context emails to a compliant press, watch the stock price fall, threaten a corporate indictment (a death sentence), and then move in for a quick settlement kill. There was rarely a trial, fair or unfair, involved.

On the substance, his court record speaks for itself. Most of Mr. Spitzer's high-profile charges have gone up in smoke. A New York state judge threw out his case against tax firm H&R Block. He lost his prosecution against Bank of America broker Ted Sihpol (whom Mr. Spitzer threatened to arrest in front of his child and pregnant wife). Mr. Spitzer was stopped by a federal judge from prying confidential information out of mortgage companies. Another New York judge blocked the heart of his suit against Mr. Grasso. Mr. Greenberg continues to fight his civil charges. The press was foursquare behind Mr. Spitzer in all these cases, and in a better world they'd share some of his humiliation.

Instead, remarkably, they continue to defend him. Ms. Masters, his biographer, was on CNN the day Mr. Spitzer's prostitution news broke, reassuring viewers that the governor really was a "lovely" guy. Other news reporters were reporting what a "tragedy" it was that such a leading light in the Democratic Party could come to such an ignoble end.

There's little that's tragic about Mr. Spitzer, unless you consider his victims (which would appear to include his own family). The press would do well to meditate on that, and consider how many violations they winked at and validated over the years. Politicians don't exist to be idolized by the press, at least not by any press corps doing its job.

Ms. Strassel, who covered Eliot Spitzer's investigations, now writes the Journal's Potomac Watch column from Washington.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on March 12, 2008, 03:59:40 PM

Are Iraqi Insurgents Emboldened by Antiwar Reporting?
By Alex Kingsbury
Wed Mar 12, 2:44 PM ET

Are insurgents in Iraq emboldened by voices in the news media expressing dissent or calling for troop withdrawals from Iraq? The short answer, according to a pair of Harvard economists, is yes.

In a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the authors are quick to point out numerous caveats to their findings, based on data from mid-2003 through late 2007.

Yet, their results show that insurgent groups are not devoid of reason and unresponsive to outside pressures and stimuli. "It shows that the various insurgent groups do respond to incentives and shows that a successful counter insurgency strategy should take that reality into account," says one of the paper's coauthors, Jonathan Monten, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The paper "Is There an 'Emboldenment' Effect in Iraq? Evidence From the Insurgency in Iraq" concludes the following:

--In the short term, there is a small but measurable cost to open public debate in the form of higher attacks against Iraqi and American targets.

--In periods immediately after a spike in "antiresolve" statements in the American media, the level of insurgent attacks increases between 7 and 10 percent.

--Insurgent organizations are strategic actors, meaning that whatever their motivations, religious or ideological, they will respond to incentives and disincentives.

But before partisans go wild on both sides of the aisle, here are just three of the important caveats to this study:

--The city of Baghdad, for a variety of reasons, was excluded from the report. The authors contend that looking at the outside provinces, where 65 percent of insurgent attacks take place, is a better way to understand the effect they have discovered. Other population centers like Mosul, Basra, Kirkuk, and Najaf were included in the study.

--The study does not take into account overall cost and benefit of public debate. Past research has shown that public debate has a positive effect on military strategy, for example, and, in the case of Iraq, might be a factor in forcing the Iraqi government to more quickly accept responsibility for internal security.

--It was not possible, from the data available, to determine whether insurgent groups increased the overall number of attacks against American and Iraqi targets in the wake of public dissent and debate or simply changed the timing of those attacks. This means that insurgents may not be increasing the number of attacks after all but simply changing the days on which they attack in response to media reports.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on March 19, 2008, 08:31:57 AM

March 16, 2008 12:00 AM
Four short segments of conservative views were enough to flood NPR with angry phone calls and email. So much for “fairness,” writes Pam Meister.
Support Pajamas Media; Visit Our Advertisers
by Pam Meister

Imagine you’re a typical NPR listener, tuning in as you sip your Starbucks Café Latte — made with skim milk and a shot of cinnamon — work the New York Times crossword puzzle, and think about how great it is that you don’t have to stop for gas on your way to work this morning because you drive a Prius. Suddenly, you’re jolted out of your comfortable morning routine by the unimaginable: a segment entitled “Conversations with Conservatives.”
Choking on your latte and misspelling “pestiferous” on your crossword, your head begins to spin as Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, discusses the status of evangelical voters. But surely it’s just an anomaly. An early April Fool’s Day joke. Yeah, that must be it! And fortunately, it was only seven minutes.
But the next day, you hear Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, talking about which fiscal policies appeal to Republican voters. And the day after that, radio talk show host and CNN personality Glenn Beck discusses core conservative values. And on the last day of February, you are treated to David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, blathering on about the challenges that Sen. John McCain faces when it comes to proving himself to the conservative base.
If there’s a reason to abolish Leap Year and February 29, then having David Keene spoil your Starbucks experience surely must be it. Who can you call? There has to be someone.
The Washington Times reports that for daring to air the views of conservatives on its morning drive show during the final four days of February, NPR fielded “more than 60 angry e-mails and phone calls … calling the programming ‘shameful’ and a ‘lovefest with radical, right-wing nuts.’ There were only a few … that praised the series as ‘refreshing’ and ‘articulate,’ among other things.”
National Public Radio is funded in part by federal tax dollars. The last time I checked, both liberals AND conservatives are required to pay federal taxes. So what’s wrong with having four seven-minute segments out of the year where conservative ideas are brought forth? You know, throw them a Milk Bone once in a while to pretend you care about them while you spend their money on things like Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion.”
The problem with many liberals is that while they say they espouse tolerance, love for your fellow man, and discussing problems instead of resorting to fisticuffs, when they’re actually expected to “walk the walk,” things get ugly. To them, just listening to conservative ideas is akin to Dracula finding out about a nationwide tainted blood supply. It’s painful when liberals realize that not everyone thinks the way that they do: that there are unenlightened souls out there who don’t recycle, who go to church once in a while, who respect our military, and who don’t think that the sun shines out of Barack Obama’s nether regions. So, being the enlightened, progressive types that they are, instead of listening respectfully to what the other side has to say — and possibly learning something new — they stick their fingers in their ears, chant “I can’t hear you,” and complain to the person in charge about how awful the experience was.
It’s sort of like the people who believe that vandalizing and bombing military recruiting stations is a great way to get their message of peace out to the masses.
They also institute “speech codes” at universities — ostensibly so that no college student will get his widdle feewings hurt — but in reality limiting students’ First Amendment rights in the name of keeping certain “unwanted speech” off campus.
In an ironic twist, the same people want to see the Fairness Doctrine brought back. They think that it’s a way to silence folks like Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz, whose very existence means that even driving that Prius isn’t enough to erase the negative feelings that must result from knowing these individuals are adding to the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere simply by existing. Wait a minute, that’s it: Rush Limbaugh causes global warming!
But the knife cuts both ways. Want the Fairness Doctrine? Fine, but be prepared to listen to more conservatives on NPR. In fact, NPR’s ombudsman Alicia Shepard has a wish list that includes “Thomas Sowell, Janice Shaw-Crouse, Shelby Steele, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr. as possible guests.
“’There are dozens of diverse conservative voices, but NPR and all news organizations need to work much harder to bring them into the conversation,’ Ms. Shepard noted.”
And if they don’t want conservatives on NPR, that’s fine too. Just send conservatives a refund for their portion of the taxes that support it.
Now that’s progressive.
Title: The NYTimes rationalizes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2008, 08:33:57 AM
The NYTimes tries to cover its *ss, but fails-- the truth is simple: the coverage is less because things are going much better.
The War Endures, but Where’s the Media?
comments (70)
Yahoo! Buzz

Published: March 24, 2008
Five years later, the United States remains at war in Iraq, but there are days when it would be hard to tell from a quick look at television news, newspapers and the Internet.

Readers' Comments
"The fact that the economy and the election are now of major interest to the public is part of the reason for the war being put on the back burner."
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Media attention on Iraq began to wane after the first months of fighting, but as recently as the middle of last year, it was still the most-covered topic. Since then, Iraq coverage by major American news sources has plummeted, to about one-fifth of what it was last summer, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The drop in coverage parallels — and may be explained by — a decline in public interest. Surveys by the Pew Research Center show that more than 50 percent of Americans said they followed events in Iraq “very closely” in the months just before and after the war began, but that slid to an average of 40 percent in 2006, and has been running below 30 percent since last fall.

Experts offer many other explanations for the declining media focus, like the danger and expense in covering Iraq, and shrinking newsroom budgets. In the last year, a flagging economy and the most competitive presidential campaign in memory have diverted attention and resources.

“Vietnam held the media’s attention a lot better because it was a war with a draft that touched a lot more people; people were sent against their will, and many more Americans were killed,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard.

“In a conventional war, like World War II, there’s dramatic change, a moving front line, a compelling narrative,” he said. But after the triumphal first months, Iraq became a war of insurgents vs. counterinsurgents, harder to make sense of, “with more of the same grim news, day after day.”

The three broadcast networks’ nightly newscasts devoted more than 4,100 minutes to Iraq in 2003 and 3,000 in 2004, before leveling off at about 2,000 a year, according to Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the broadcasts and posts detailed breakdowns at And by the last months of 2007, he said, the broadcasts were spending half as much time on Iraq as earlier in the year.

Since the start of last year, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a part of the nonprofit Pew Research Center, has tracked reporting by several dozen major newspapers, cable stations, broadcast television networks, Web sites and radio programs. Iraq accounted for 18 percent of their prominent news coverage in the first nine months of 2007, but only 9 percent in the following three months, and 3 percent so far this year.

The policy debate in Washington that dominated last year’s Iraq coverage has almost disappeared from the news. And reporting on events in Iraq has fallen by more than two-thirds from a year ago.

The drop accelerated with a sharp decline in violence in Iraq that began at the end of last summer. The last six months have been safer for American troops than any comparable period since the war began, with about 33 killed each month, compared with about 91 a month over the previous year.

“The available news hole got so much smaller because election and economic news took up so much of the space,” said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Center.

There are no authoritative figures for most media coverage before 2007. But a check of several large and midsize newspapers’ archives shows a year-by-year decline in articles about Iraq, and an increase in the proportion supplied by wire services. Experts who follow the coverage say there is no doubt about the trend.

“I was getting on average three to five calls a day for interviews about the war” in the first years, said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow on national security at the Brookings Institution. “Now it’s less than one a day.”

He argued that Americans who support the war might not have wanted to follow the news when it was bad, and that Americans against the war are less interested now that the news is better. And the presidential candidates, he said, have shown “surprisingly little interest in discussing it in detail.”

Many news organizations have fewer people in Iraq than they once did, though no definitive numbers are available. Coalition officials have said that although there were several hundred reporters embedded with military units early in the war, the number has been measured in tens in recent months.

Violence against journalists makes reporting on Iraq costly and difficult; executives of The New York Times have said that the newspaper is spending more than $3 million a year to cover Iraq. The risks have forced news organizations to hire private security forces and Iraqi employees who can go places that Westerners cannot safely explore.

From the start of the war through 2005, journalists and their support workers were killed in Iraq at a rate of one every 12 days, according to tallies kept by the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists. In 2006 and 2007, the rate was one every eight days. Most of those killed have been Iraqis.

“Danger and the expense are gigantic factors,” Mr. Jones said. “The news media have to constantly revisit how much money and risk to expend.”
Title: The Al Durra Case
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 27, 2008, 09:58:13 AM

Al-Durra Case Revisited
May 27, 2008

It's hard to exaggerate the significance of Mohammed al-Durra, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli bullets on Sept. 30, 2000. The iconic image of the terrified child crouching behind his father helped sway world opinion against the Jewish state and fueled the last Intifada.

It's equally hard, then, to exaggerate the significance of last week's French court ruling that called the story into doubt. Not just whether the Israeli military shot the boy, but whether the whole incident may have been staged for propaganda purposes. If so, it would be one of the most harmful put-up jobs in media history.

You probably didn't hear this news. International media lapped up the televised report of al-Durra's shooting on France's main state-owned network, France 2. Barely a peep was heard, however, when the Paris Court of Appeal ruled in a suit brought by the network against the founder of a media watchdog group. The judge's verdict, released Thursday, said that Philippe Karsenty was within his rights to call the France 2 report a "hoax," overturning a 2006 decision that found him guilty of defaming the network and its Mideast correspondent, Charles Enderlin. France 2 has appealed to the country's highest court.

Judge Laurence Trébucq did more than assert Mr. Karsenty's right to free speech. In overturning a lower court's ruling, she said the issues he raised about the original France 2 report were legitimate. While Mr. Karsenty couldn't provide absolute proof of his claims, the court ruled that he marshalled a "coherent mass of evidence" and "exercised in good faith his right to free criticism." The court also found that Talal Abu Rahma, the Palestinian cameraman for France 2 who was the only journalist to capture the scene and the network's crown witness in this case, can't be considered "perfectly credible."

The ruling at the very least opens the way for honest discussion of the al-Durra case, and coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general. French media could stand some self-examination. The same holds for journalists elsewhere.

On that Saturday in 2000, Palestinians faced off against Israeli troops at Gaza's Netzarim junction. Two months before, Yasser Arafat had walked out of the Camp David peace talks. Two days before, Ariel Sharon had visited Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The second Intifada was brewing. The French network's cameraman, Mr. Abu Rahma, filmed the skirmishes and got the footage to the France 2 bureau in Israel. Mr. Enderlin edited the film and, relying only on his cameraman's account, provided the voice-over for the report. He suggested Israeli soldiers killed the boy. He didn't say he wasn't there.

Along with the Temple Mount incident, the al-Durra shooting was the seminal event behind the second Intifada. Israel apologized. But nagging doubts soon emerged, as Nidra Poller recounts here. An Israeli military probe found that its soldiers couldn't have shot the father and son, given where the two were crouching.

Others including Mr. Karsenty asked, among various questions, Why the lack of any blood on the boy or his father? Or why did France 2 claim to have 27 minutes of footage but refuse to show any but the 57 seconds on its original broadcast? Mr. Enderlin said, "I cut the images of the child's agony, they were unbearable."

Under pressure from media watchdogs, and after years of stonewalling, France 2 eventually shared the additional film. It turns out that no footage of the child's alleged death throes seems to exist. The extra material shows what appears to be staged scenes of gun battles before the al-Durra killing. For a sample, check out, a site run by Richard Landes, a Boston University professor and one of Mr. Karsenty's witnesses.

Judge Trébucq said that Mr. Karsenty "observed inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions in the explanations by Charles Enderlin."

We don't know exactly what happened to Mohammed al-Durra. Perhaps we never will. But the Paris court ruling shows that France 2 wasn't completely open about what it knew about that day. It suggests the Israelis may not have been to blame. It makes it plausible to consider -- without being dismissed as an unhinged conspiracy theorist -- the possibility that the al-Durra story was a hoax.

To this day, Islamic militants use the al-Durra case to incite violence and hatred against Israel. They are well aware of the power of images. Mr. Karsenty is, too, which is why he and others have tried to hold France 2 accountable for its reporting.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.

Title: On Charles Krauthammer
Post by: ccp on May 29, 2008, 06:23:49 AM
Interesting read. Charles was Canadian graduted from Harvard Medical School and taught psychiatry at Mass General and made significant contributions to the concept of bipolar disorder.
I thought he is in a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis but it is the result of a long ago auto accident.  I like him because I usually agree with his views.  He has accomplished a lot especially while disabled.  There is no overt evidence he lets his disability get in his way.  In fact one can almost never tell that he is in a wheelchair when he is on the air.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on May 31, 2008, 02:16:51 PM
Whitewashing the Thai Jihad   
By Robert Spencer | Friday, May 30, 2008

In a story Wednesday on a jihadist attack on a wedding party and other jihad activity in Thailand, Agence France Presse added a concluding paragraph that was typical of mainstream media coverage of the Thai jihad and of jihad activity in general. For while AP, Reuters, AFP and the rest never saw a piece of Palestinian propaganda they didn’t like, they also never saw a jihad they couldn’t whitewash.

AFP’s concluding paragraph blandly placed all the blame for the conflict on the non-Muslim Thai government:

More than 3,000 people have been killed since separatist unrest broke out in January 2004 in the south, which was an autonomous Malay Muslim sultanate until mainly Buddhist Thailand annexed it in 1902, provoking decades of tension.

All was well, you see, until the Buddhists of Thailand, motivated apparently only by rapacious imperialism, annexed the poor autonomous Malay Muslim Sultanate. AFP does not mention, of course, that the Malay Sultanate at that time was making war against the Siamese during the war between Siam and Burma, and Thailand conquered it in that context -- making it Thai by a right of conquest that has been universally recognized throughout human history (except, of course, when it comes to Israel and to any Muslim land that is conquered by non-Muslims).

Along with this come the media’s allergy to the word “jihad,” and its frequent recourse to the passive voice when discussing what the jihadists did. Sometimes inanimate objects act, apparently of their own accord. For example, in a March story on bombings in southern Thailand, Reuters’ lead paragraph stated: “Bombs killed three men and wounded 21 people in three separate attacks in Thailand’s troubled Muslim far south, police said on Sunday.” Reuters gives no hint as to who is doing the bombing and who are the victims – which in itself is a clear indication that the bombers are not the government or pro-government vigilantes, but jihadists.

The story continues in this vein. Its second paragraph tells us that a bomb was hidden in the car, but with no hint as to by whom. In paragraph 5 we learn that in the three southern provinces, “2,500 people have been killed in gun and bomb attacks since a separatist insurgency erupted in January 2004.” The separatist insurgency just erupted, you see, like a volcano. It was an act of God, a force of nature. Here again Reuters gives the reader no hint as to who the separatist insurgents are, or who killed the overwhelming majority of those 2,500 people. In paragraph 6, we learn how the “suspected militants” set off another bomb, but once again are given no hint as to who these militants are.

Same thing in paragraph 7: unidentified “insurgents” ambush the security forces. In paragraph 8, it’s simply a “bomb,” a random, accidental object, that unaccountably wounded four people. But also in that paragraph we learn that this is all taking place in “the three far south provinces which formed an independent sultanate until annexed by Thailand a century ago.” Reuters and AFP are in step on this: the only background they give suggests that Thailand is entirely responsible for provoking the conflict, and should simply have left the Malay Muslims alone.

Only in paragraph 10 of the Reuters story are we finally told that “Buddhist monks” are among the chief targets of the still-unidentified “militants” -- which should lead the informed reader to identify them as Islamic jihadists and Sharia supremacists. But they come to that identification with no help from Reuters.

In reality, the Thai jihadists are uniquely brutal even by the standards of their jihadist brethren, and are fighting to correct the outrage, as they see it, of non-Muslim rule over a Muslim population in southern Thailand. But the AFP and Reuters stories exemplify the kind of coverage that jihad activity receives from the mainstream media as a matter of course. The perpetrators of jihad violence are not identified, their ideology is never discussed, and the conflicts they provoke are blamed on their victims. This kind of coverage is of a piece with the U.S. government’s new see-no-jihad, speak-no-jihad, hear-no-jihad policy: both appear to be based on wishful thinking. Both seem to emanate from the idea that if we simply do not allow ourselves to notice jihad activity, it will somehow fade away from neglect. If we pretend that Islam is peaceful, violent Muslims will lay down their arms.

The price we will have to pay for these fantasies could be very high.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is coming this November from Regnery Publishing.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 06, 2008, 05:23:08 PM

Contrast the media from then to now.
Title: Re: Media Issues - Tim Russert
Post by: DougMacG on June 17, 2008, 09:38:07 PM
I didn't like Tim Russert very much professionally due to my heavy conservative bias, but he was the second best in the business to Jim Lehrer IMO and his show was the giant of the political shows so I defer to Thomas Sowell who is far smarter than me for a wonderful tribute to this legend who died WAY too young.

Tim Russert (1950-2008) by Thomas Sowell

Only with Tim Russert's sudden death at the age of 58 has his true stature as a landmark journalist become as widely recognized as it has long deserved to be.

To ask who will replace him as host of "Meet the Press" is to confront the reality that there is no one comparable on the horizon. Those of us who have followed "Meet the Press" since the long ago days of Lawrence Spivak know that Russert was the best of some very good hosts.

What made Tim Russert special was not some trademark catchword or contrived persona. What you saw was what you got-- a down to earth guy who came on the air having thoroughly researched the subject and having a keen insight into politics and politicians.

He didn't flaunt his knowledge. He was one of the few very smart people who seemed to feel no need to impress others that he was smart. But, if you knew the subject that he was talking about, you realized that he had really done his homework.

There was something else that set Tim Russert apart from many other journalists, whether print journalists or broadcast journalists: His agenda was bringing out the facts.

He didn't let the politicians he interviewed get away with slippery statements and inconsistent positions. But it was not "gotcha" journalism. It was not trying to filter or slant information to promote some political or ideological agenda.

No doubt Tim Russert had his own opinions. He had, after all, been on the staff of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and on the staff of former New York governor Mario Cuomo.

But, whatever Tim Russert's political opinions were then or later, that was not what his program was about. He was there to serve the audience by bringing out the facts about the political world, a world where spin is the usually name of the game.

Often critics who complain about media bias argue as if what is needed is to be "fair" to "both sides." But what is far more important is to be honest with the audience-- who are seeking information and understanding about the real world, not about the ideology or the agenda of the journalist.

This is not to denigrate opinion journalists, who have a valuable role to play, just as reporters like Tim Russert do. But, with both opinion journalists and reporters, the question is whether you play it straight with the audience, instead of filtering out inconvenient facts in order to manipulate the audience in favor of some agenda.

In short, the issue is honesty rather than "fairness." The question is whether journalists put their cards on the table. Russert put his cards on the table-- and they were high cards.

A small personal note: A few months ago, an old friend said that he would like to get a videotape of my interview on "Meet the Press" back in 1981. I dug up an old videotape in my garage but, after several summers in a hot garage, it was not in very good shape.

As a long shot, I decided to write to "Meet the Press," to see if they would sell me another copy of the interview, if it was still available.

This interview took place back in the days when Bill Monroe was the program's moderator. But, since the only name I knew of at "Meet the Press" was Tim Russert, I addressed a note to him, figuring that one of his secretaries might get back to me with the information.

Instead, I received a DVD of that interview and a brief, handwritten note from Tim Russert, with a transcript of the interview thrown in.

How people treat those who cannot do them any good or any harm reveals a lot about their character. For me, Tim Russert scored high in that department as well.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 18, 2008, 07:13:07 AM
From various media entities, including those from the "evil" Fox News, it seems that everyone that knew Tim Russert personally liked him and respected his journalistic professionalism. Having said that, how many cops and military personnel died in the line of duty while the MSM ran endless clip memorializing Mr. Russert. Not slamming him, just pointing out the self-centeredness of the MSM.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 22, 2008, 12:55:58 PM

New York Slimes
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 22, 2008, 02:04:56 PM
I saw that as part of reading their interrogation article-- which I hope to get around to posting later on the "Intel" or "Legal Issues" thread.  What $#%@#$% scum they are at the NYTimes!!! :x :x :x
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 23, 2008, 01:06:07 PM
Smearing Judge Kozinski
June 23, 2008; Page A15
Even scandals now operate at Internet speed. Ten days ago, it looked as if an investigative reporter had uncovered a pornographic Web site operated by a federal judge. By last week, the case instead showed how easily privacy is breached online, how mainstream media botch a story, and how bloggers can redeem journalism by reporting facts.

It's not every day that a judge's wife uses a blog to defend her husband as not a pornographer. The Los Angeles Times scoop charged that the chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, had posted sexually explicit material online. His wife, lawyer Marcy Tiffany, then wrote a lengthy letter defending her husband that was published on the L.A.-based blog "The fact is, Alex is not into porn – he is into funny – and sometimes funny has a sexual character." She complained that the L.A. Times article used "graphic descriptions that make the material sound like hard-core porn when, in fact, it is more accurately described as raunchy humor."

Indeed, Judge Kozinski is well known for taking the law very seriously, but himself not at all seriously. He was born in Romania, came to California when he was 12, and at 18 went on "The Dating Game" and won. At 35, he was the nation's youngest federal appeals court judge. More recently, he applied to and won a gossip blog's "judicial hottie" contest ("I have it on very good authority that discerning females and gay men find graying, pudgy, middle-aged men with an accent close to Gov. Schwarzenegger's almost totally irresistible," he wrote in his application.)

There's even a law review article entitled "Humor, the Law, and Judge Kozinski's Greatest Hits." In his spare time, Judge Kozinski once served as the videogame reviewer for The Wall Street Journal. He sends an occasional blast email of slapstick jokes to friends. Full disclosure: I have been known to laugh out loud at them.

The L.A. Times claimed that Judge Kozinski posted the images and videos in question onto a Web site. Instead, this content – almost all emailed to him by others – existed on a file server never meant to be accessible by the public. You can now find the images online through a Google search, and you will know pornography when you see it, or when you don't see it, but in any case you can judge. For example, what the L.A. Times described as a "video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal" (which got upgraded to a "bestiality" video by the San Francisco Chronicle), was in fact a big hit on YouTube, watched some 500,000 times. It shows a rancher urinating in a field, then being surprised by a donkey chasing him around. Silly, but not pornography. The Wonkette blog dismissed the pictures and video as "the sort of naughtiness you'd find in the dirty birthday cards section at Spencer Gifts."

Still, Judge Kozinski felt compelled to recuse himself from hearing an obscenity case just getting under way in Los Angeles, and also requested an ethics investigation. "Those of us who know him know that he could have tried this case fairly, but the public would have thought the court system had lost its marbles if Kozinski had stayed on the case," said law professor Stephen Gillers. That's true, given the misleading coverage in the mainstream media around the world. The New York Daily News headline was "Trial (& Titillations) End for Kinky Judge."

A subplot was how the L.A. Times got its bad scoop. The source was Cyrus Sanai, a Beverly Hills lawyer whose hyperlitigious antics drew the wrath of several judicial opinions, which Judge Kozinski supported. Mr. Sanai figured out that by adding "/stuff" to the address of Judge Kozinski's Web site, he could access a subdirectory that contained the cartoons and videos. Mr. Sanai admits he shopped the story for months, to several news organizations (including The Wall Street Journal, he says), before the L.A. Times ran with it – timed to wreak havoc with the obscenity trial. For Mr. Sanai, dipping into Judge Kozinski's files and hoping to embarrass him was "part of a litigation strategy."

Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig in his blog objected that "the real story here is how easily we let such a baseless smear travel – and our need is for a better developed immunity (in the sense of immunity from a virus) from this sort of garbage." He compared Mr. Sanai's accessing of the Kozinski family home computer to breaking and entering: "Some disgruntled litigant jiggers the lock, climbs into the window, and starts going through the family's stuff."

All's well that ends well. Within a week of citizen-journalist bloggers establishing this as a nonscandal, it was left to the humor site The Onion to put a fine point on the absurdity of the accusations. It published a fake person-on-the-street interview, soliciting this quote responding to Judge Kozinski having to recuse himself from the obscenity trial: "Well, good luck finding a judge that doesn't run a bestiality site." In this case, the Onion earned its tongue-in-cheek tagline as "America's Finest News Source."

Write to
Title: NYTimes Columnist: Bush was right?!?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 24, 2008, 02:23:52 AM
The Bush Paradox
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Published: June 24, 2008
Let’s go back and consider how the world looked in the winter of 2006-2007. Iraq was in free fall, with horrific massacres and ethnic cleansing that sent a steady stream of bad news across the world media. The American public delivered a stunning electoral judgment against the Iraq war, the Republican Party and President Bush.

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David Brooks

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The Conversation
Times columnists David Brooks and Gail Collins discuss the 2008 presidential race.

All Conversations » Expert and elite opinion swung behind the Baker-Hamilton report, which called for handing more of the problems off to the Iraqi military and wooing Iran and Syria. Republicans on Capitol Hill were quietly contemptuous of the president while Democrats were loudly so.

Democratic leaders like Senator Harry Reid considered the war lost. Barack Obama called for a U.S. withdrawal starting in the spring of 2007, while Senator Reid offered legislation calling for a complete U.S. pullback by March 2008.

The arguments floating around the op-ed pages and seminar rooms were overwhelmingly against the idea of a surge — a mere 20,000 additional troops would not make a difference. The U.S. presence provoked violence, rather than diminishing it. The more the U.S. did, the less the Iraqis would step up to do. Iraq was in the middle of a civil war, and it was insanity to put American troops in the middle of it.

When President Bush consulted his own generals, the story was much the same. Almost every top general, including Abizaid, Schoomaker and Casey, were against the surge. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was against it, according to recent reports. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki called for a smaller U.S. presence, not a bigger one.

In these circumstances, it’s amazing that George Bush decided on the surge. And looking back, one thing is clear: Every personal trait that led Bush to make a hash of the first years of the war led him to make a successful decision when it came to this crucial call.

Bush is a stubborn man. Well, without that stubbornness, that unwillingness to accept defeat on his watch, he never would have bucked the opposition to the surge.

Bush is an outrageously self-confident man. Well, without that self-confidence he never would have overruled his generals.

In fact, when it comes to Iraq, Bush was at his worst when he was humbly deferring to the generals and at his best when he was arrogantly overruling them. During that period in 2006 and 2007, Bush stiffed the brass and sided with a band of dissidents: military officers like David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno, senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and outside strategists like Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute and Jack Keane, a retired general.

Bush is also a secretive man who listens too much to Dick Cheney. Well, the uncomfortable fact is that Cheney played an essential role in promoting the surge. Many of the people who are dubbed bad guys actually got this one right.

The additional fact is that Bush, who made such bad calls early in the war, made a courageous and astute decision in 2006. More than a year on, the surge has produced large, if tenuous, gains. Violence is down sharply. Daily life has improved. Iraqi security forces have been given time to become a more effective fighting force. The Iraqi government is showing signs of strength and even glimmers of impartiality. Iraq has moved from being a failed state to, as Vali Nasr of the Council on Foreign Relations has put it, merely a fragile one.

The whole episode is a reminder that history is a complicated thing. The traits that lead to disaster in certain circumstances are the very ones that come in handy in others. The people who seem so smart at some moments seem incredibly foolish in others.

The cocksure war supporters learned this humbling lesson during the dark days of 2006. And now the cocksure surge opponents, drunk on their own vindication, will get to enjoy their season of humility. They have already gone through the stages of intellectual denial. First, they simply disbelieved that the surge and the Petraeus strategy was doing any good. Then they accused people who noticed progress in Iraq of duplicity and derangement. Then they acknowledged military, but not political, progress. Lately they have skipped over to the argument that Iraq is progressing so well that the U.S. forces can quickly come home.

But before long, the more honest among the surge opponents will concede that Bush, that supposed dolt, actually got one right. Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.

Life is complicated. The reason we have democracy is that no one side is right all the time. The only people who are dangerous are those who can’t admit, even to themselves, that obvious fact.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on June 24, 2008, 03:51:24 AM
***Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.***

Don't expect any real honesty like this from BO.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 24, 2008, 06:50:54 AM
***Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.***

Don't expect any real honesty like this from BO.

Or any other opponent of the war....
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 25, 2008, 03:37:42 PM
- Pajamas Media - -

The Times, It Ain’t a-Changin’
June 25, 2008 - by Bruce Bawer

Just imagine the world picture of somebody whose primary — or even (God forbid!) sole — source of news is the New York Times.

In particular, imagine that person’s image of Islam — and of the problems and issues surrounding the growing presence of Islam in the West today. At the Times — as at other important news organizations — the slant on Islam has been shaped almost exclusively by apologists like Karen Armstrong (author of Muhammed: A Prophet for Our Time) and John Esposito (director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University). In March, the New York Times Magazine published a long essay by another major apologist, Harvard law professor and Times Magazine contributing writer Noah Feldman, who took (shall we say) an exceedingly generous view of sharia law and its proponents. Last Sunday, the magazine ran a [1] new piece by Feldman, arguing that Muslims are Europe’s “new pariahs” and that the only real problem related the rise of Islam in Europe today is — guess what? — European racism.

It’s a familiar claim, to put it mildly, and Feldman served up the usual rhetoric, conflating the nationalist bigots of Belgium’s Vlaams Belang party with people like the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders, whose views on the Islamization of Europe are rooted in liberal values. Feldman dismissed as “prejudice” concern about first-cousin marriages among Muslims — never mind that almost all such marriages are forced, that the overwhelming majority involve rape and abuse, and that those who have campaigned hardest against them are not “racists” but women’s rights advocates. Feldman deep-sixed the catastrophic rise in rape, gay-bashing, and other crimes by young European Muslim males, the extensive abuse of European welfare systems that is helping to destroy them, and the broad-based cultural jihad which ultimately seeks nothing less than the replacement of democracy with sharia. Feldman insisted that “a hallmark of liberal, secular societies is supposed to be respect for different cultures, including traditional, religious cultures — even intolerant ones.” That’s easy to say about things happening on the other side of an ocean from your Ivy League office. I’d like to see Feldman tell this to gay people in Amsterdam, where ten years ago they felt safer than anyplace else on earth and where Muslim youths now beat them up in broad daylight in the middle of town. Or why doesn’t he try this line on Jewish children in France, who according to a French government report can no longer get an education in that country because of severe harassment (and worse) by Muslim classmates? Feldman further equated Islamic and Roman Catholic views of gays and women — as if the Church’s “rejection of homosexuality and women priests” could be compared to the execution of gays and the wholesale subordination of women to the will of men. Feldman scored Europeans for failing to treat immigrants “as full members of their society” — yet while such prejudice does indeed exist, somehow immigrants from places like Vietnam and Chile nonetheless persevere and thrive (in the U.K., Hindus are more economically successful than the average Brit), while Muslims don’t. The difference has to do not with European prejudice but with Islam.

Since 9/11, the kind of brazen sugarcoating of Islam that Feldman served up last Sunday has become a convention in the Times and other mainstream media. Routinely, news organizations suppress, downplay, or misrepresent developments that reflect badly on Islam; they go out of their way to find stories that reflect (or that can be spun in such a way as to reflect) positively on it; and they publish professors and intellectuals and “experts” like Feldman, who share the media’s determination to obscure the central role of jihadist ideology in the current clash between Islam and Western democracy and to point the finger instead (as Feldman does) at European racism.

Yet while a number of media consumers are wise to this policy regarding Islam, relatively few realize that it’s a fresh variation on a well-established tradition. This tradition — which may be fairly characterized as one of solicitude, protectiveness, and apologetics when reporting on totalitarian ideologies, movements and regimes — involves habitual practices that can be attributed partly to institutional stasis, passivity, and timidity, partly to a desire to maintain access to this or that tyrant, partly to profound failures of moral insight and responsibility, partly to inane notions of “fairness” and “balance,” partly to an unwillingness to face aspects of the real world that need to be acknowledged and dealt with, and partly to an inability to grasp (or, perhaps, to face the fact) that the status quo has changed.

To get an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s examine some highlights from the history of the Times — not only America’s most famous newspaper, but the one from which the nation’s media have, to an extraordinary extent, taken their lead for generations. These highlights do not even begin to tell the whole story of the Times’s treatment of totalitarianism over the decades, of course, but they point to something chronic, unhealthy, and dishonest at the heart of the Gray Lady’s editorial sensibility that has yet to be effectively addressed - and that has its counterparts in countless less prominent media on which the Times has long exerted a major influence.

First case in point: Walter Duranty, the Times’s Moscow correspondent during much of the Stalin era. The celebrated British author Malcolm Muggeridge once commented that “no one…followed the Party Line as assiduously” as Duranty did; Tim Rutten, in a 2003 Los Angeles Times article, called Duranty “an active agent of Soviet propaganda and disinformation - probably paid, certainly blackmailed, altogether willing.” Author of a novel, One Life, One Kopeck (1937), that was pure Communist cant and a non-fiction book, The Kremlin and the People (1941), that another old Moscow hand, Louis Fischer, described as a “Song of Praise” for Stalin, Duranty was an unswerving Kremlin apologist: he praised a 1932 law that forbade peasants to leave their collective farms, insisted (to Trotsky’s consternation) that the false confessions extracted at Stalin’s show trials were true, and condemned the Berlin Airlift. It was Duranty who coined the term “Stalinism” and who, rationalizing Stalin’s brutality, first said “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Duranty claimed to want to bring about “Russian-American…understanding” — which is to say that he used the word “understanding” in exactly the same way that it’s often used now vis-à-vis Islam. (What’s being encouraged, of course, isn’t understanding at all but its opposite — a determination not to understand, see, or acknowledge certain facts. In the 1930s, Britons who were desperate to avoid war with the Nazis also spoke about “understanding” in this way - refusing to recognize that there are some things that, once properly understood, must be actively resisted and destroyed.)

Duranty’s position afforded him immense power to shape the American public’s image of the Soviet Union. As Muggeridge biographer Ian Hunter put it in 2003, Duranty was “the most influential foreign correspondent in Russia,” a man whose articles were “regarded as authoritative” and “helped to shape U.S. foreign policy.” While Stalin was shipping people to the Gulag, Duranty’s rosy dispatches were taken by many American leftists as confirmation that the USSR was indeed a veritable workers’ paradise.

His crowning disgrace was his reporting on the Ukraine famine of 1932-33. It began when Stalin, out to forestall a counter-revolution, forced Ukrainian peasants onto collective farms, seized the 1932 crops, confiscated food, grain, and livestock, made it a crime to supply villages with food, and put grain supplies under armed guard while children starved nearby. The historian Robert Conquest has described the Ukraine during this period as “one vast Bergen-Belsen”; in the end, the famine — which many experts and governments, including America’s, officially regard as an act of genocide — killed about a quarter of the Ukraine’s population. (Most estimates of the death toll range from seven to ten million.) Yet Duranty denied that Ukrainians were starving. Reports he filed from the region appeared under such headlines as “Soviet Is Winning Faith of Peasants” and “Abundance Found in North Caucasus.” His biographer, S.J. Taylor, has summed up his spin as follows: “He spoke of happy workers, plentiful harvests, congenial conditions. Any talk of famine, he said…was ‘a sheer absurdity.’” Though in a few articles he came somewhat closer to telling the truth (apparently having seen conditions so horrible that even he felt, if only momentarily, the pull of conscience), he soon reverted to full denial mode. That his colossal misrepresentations were deliberate is proven by records of a private conversation he had with a British official in 1933, in which he admitted that “as many as 10 million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year.”

While Duranty presented Soviet lies about the Ukraine as the unvarnished truth, others risked life and limb to get the facts out. A 1932 report by Andrew Cairns outlined in detail the catastrophe Stalin had brought about, but Stalin’s supporters on the British Left made sure it was never published. Arthur Koestler, who spent the winter of 1932-33 in the Ukraine, described entire villages that perished of starvation; and Muggeridge’s own admiration for Stalin dissolved in the face of what he described in the Guardian as “one of the most monstrous crimes in history, so terrible that people in the future will scarcely be able to believe it ever happened.” (The result of Muggeridge’s exposés? Thanks to Stalinists in high places, he was unable to find work in Britain.) Perhaps most intrepid of all was a young Welshman, Gareth Jones, who published at least twenty articles in the U.S. and Britain about the famine. Because, unlike Duranty, he had no impressive institutional credentials, Jones’s articles drew little notice; yet one of them, which appeared in the Manchester Guardian, so unsettled the Kremlin that the Soviet Press Censor, Constantine Oumansky, gathered together all the Western correspondents in Moscow and persuaded them — apparently with little difficulty — to write articles calling Jones a liar. Duranty came through like a trouper: in a piece headlined “Russians Hungry, But Not Starving,” he savaged Jones’s reportage. Taylor calls Duranty’s mendacity about the famine “the most outrageous equivocation of the period. Yet the statement seems to have pacified almost everyone.”

Duranty’s Moscow dispatches add up to an appalling legacy, and the Times was intimately implicated in every last bit of it. A State Department document that was declassified in 1987 revealed that in 1931 Duranty admitted to a U.S. embassy official in Berlin that “in agreement with The New York Times and the Soviet authorities,” his articles consistently reflected “the official opinion of the Soviet regime.” Throughout his long tenure at the Times, there were critics — most but not all of them marginal (Time Magazine decried him as “the No. 1 Russian apologist in the West”) — who pilloried the Times for printing Duranty’s disinformation. Yet Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger dismissed all criticism of what he called Duranty’s “faithful and brilliant work at Moscow.” Sulzberger’s successors, moreover, while acknowledging the validity of the criticism, have invariably done so in tame, vague, and thoroughly inadequate terms. To this day, moreover, the Times has stubbornly resisted calls to return the Pulitzer that Duranty won for a 1931 series of articles singing the praises of the economic policies that laid the famine’s foundations.

Indeed, just as Duranty not only lied about the famine but slandered those who told the truth about it, so Times editor Bill Keller, in a remarkably callous 2003 response to a Ukrainian group that sought to have Duranty’s Pulitzer rescinded, compared the petitioners to the dictator who had slaughtered so many millions of their people, suggesting that revoking the award “might evoke the Stalinist practice to airbrush purged figures out of official records and histories.” When a member of Gareth Jones’s family wrote to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., in 2003, asking him to return Duranty’s award, Sulzberger — whose family’s newspaper had been instrumental in airbrushing Jones from history — didn’t even bother to reply. And when the Pulitzer board decided that same year not to rescind the prize, Sulzberger released a statement alluding to “defects” and “lapses” in Duranty’s work — weak language indeed to describe the covering up of a holocaust — and offering a few feeble, euphemistic words of “sympathy” for “those who suffered as a result of the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine.”

In the end, as Taylor has written, “fewer words were actually published” in the Western press about the Ukrainian famine “than the number of men, women, and children who had perished.” The New York Times and its man in Moscow deserve an enormous share of the responsibility for this, given the extent to which the American press followed the Times’s lead. (Indeed, many U.S. papers’ Soviet coverage consisted largely or entirely of syndicated Times articles.) Since the U.S. and British governments exerted little or no pressure on Stalin to end the Ukrainian famine, frank and vivid reporting about the famine in the Times might have forced their hands. Taylor notes that of all those who witnessed “the greatest man-made disaster ever recorded,” only Duranty “had sufficient prestige and prominence to exert an influence”; had he “spoken out loud and clear…the world could not have ignored him.” Andrew Stuttaford, writing in National Review in 2001, agreed: “Had he told the truth, he could have saved lives.”

Yet the obloquy is not Duranty’s alone. Sulzberger and his editors understood very well what kind of game their man in Moscow was playing. It was a game of access and of influence. The Times, to be true to its image of itself, simply had to be assured that if, for example, Stalin wanted to give an exclusive interview to only one Western newspaper, he would choose the Times; and in order for the Times to retain that predominant position, it had to play ball (just as CNN, decades later, would play ball with Saddam’s regime in order to be able to keep operating out of Baghdad). Sulzberger and company knew, too, that for the Times to retain its authoritative image on the American Left, it couldn’t challenge the Left’s image of Russia too aggressively. What’s more, they may have thought they were serving a cause they perceived as greater than truth — namely, the cause of peace and solidarity between Russia and the West. Similar motives appear to shape the relationship of the Times and other media today to the complete truth about Islam and to the contemporary Gareth Joneses who have sought to tell it. Duranty endeavored to cover his bases on Stalin, moreover, in the same way that many journalists today seem to be trying to cover their bases on Islam. As Muggeridge explained it, Duranty attempted to write in such a manner that, whether “the famine got worse and known outside Russia” or, alternatively, “got better and wasn’t known outside Russia,” he would be able in either case to point to what he’d written at the time and claim that he’d gotten the story right. In short, he embodied cautious, cynical careerism at its worse.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 25, 2008, 03:38:49 PM
Not only did the Times give America a fraudulent picture of the Soviet Union in the 1930s; its coverage of the Holocaust in the next decade suggests a determination both to maintain an appearance of impartiality and to preserve an illusion that Hitler’s regime was not as monstrous as it really was. Hitler’s destruction of the Jews was so blatantly evil that to write about it in a civilized and responsible manner meant taking sides; but that was apparently too much for the Times to ask of itself. Though it was already well established by 1942 that the Nazis intended to exterminate European Jewry, as Laurel Leff notes in her 2005 book Buried by the Times, the newspaper’s European correspondents “would not be the ones to disclose this information.” Though the Times (then as now) prided itself on covering even relatively minor international news, it managed not to report the decimation of the Jewish populations of whole cities and countries. When the State Department confirmed the murder of approximately two million Jews in German-occupied areas, the Times ran the story on page ten. When the Times did run stories about the Holocaust, moreover, it deliberately obscured the fact that the victims were being killed because they were Jews. It even avoided using the word “Jews,” routinely referring to the victims as “refugees” or identifying them by nationality. And it repeatedly served up the fiction that they had been killed because they were opponents or perceived opponents of the Nazi regime.

Leff’s exhaustive account of this ignominy makes it clear that the Times considered it more important to seem objective than to tell the whole truth about Nazi genocide. In a letter written at the time, Sulzberger explained that he had to remain “disassociated from active participation in any movement which springs from the oppression of the Jews in Germany” so as not to compromise “the unprejudiced and unbiased position of the Times.” In other words, he was holding up as a journalistic ideal a neutral stance toward the extermination of millions. Amoral though this insistence on “objectivity” was, however, even it seems to have been largely a cover for something else — namely a simple failure of institutional courage. Reading Leff’s book, one gathers that if those in power at the Times chose to systematically mute the facts about the Holocaust, it was largely for no more profound reasons than that they, like their counterparts today who sugarcoat Islam, didn’t want to endanger their position in the cultural elite, or even risk, say, a modicum of discomfort at the occasional dinner party. It was more important to them to maintain their own status, not to mention the newspaper’s reputation, than to fully and honestly report the facts about a historically unprecedented act of monstrous evil.

One also has the impression that the Holocaust-hiders then, like the whitewashers of European Islam now, felt that, all in all, it was best to soft-pedal horrors — almost as if denying the terrible truth, or at least drastically diminishing it, would somehow make it less real or less horrible. Michael Marrus (quoted by Leff) speaks of reporters’ “unwillingness to break established patterns to help the Jews” — which strikingly echoes an observation by Harrison Salisbury (quoted by Taylor) that Duranty was “incapable of reporting something that broke the pattern he had established.” Indeed, it can seem that for the Times, when it comes to the very biggest and most disturbing stories, the “news that’s fit to print” was, and is, often the news that best fits the paper’s pre-existing picture of the world. In this sense, the Times is not a liberal newspaper at all, but deeply conservative, determined above all to provide its largely comfortable and affluent readers with a consistent, predictable picture of the world that doesn’t challenge their own worldview in any significant way or make them feel obliged to deal with things they’d prefer not to deal with. Certainly a loyalty to “established patterns” is a factor in the refusal by the Times and other media today to report honestly on the dramatic changes in European society wrought by the continent’s ongoing Islamization.

At both the Holocaust-era and present-day Times, one senses a dread over appearing to take the side of European Jews — whether the Jews are being exterminated by Germans (as they were then) or tormented by Muslims (as is the case today). Leff’s conclusion is striking: “When confronted with the facts of mass murder, journalists reacted as if they had no understanding of what those facts meant.” She quotes an observation by Saul Friedlander about “the simultaneity of considerable knowledge of the facts and of a no less massive inability or refusal to transform these facts into integrated understanding.” This is a remarkably apt description of the Times’s approach to Islam in the West today: the facts, the anecdotes, the statistics, all add up to a clear, coherent picture of what some of us have called cultural jihad or soft jihad; but the Times, and the innumerable news organs around the world that follow its lead and/or share its mindset, categorically decline to add the pieces up. In the 1940s, reporters recognized the reality of the Holocaust even as they refused, or on some level were unable, to accept it; a similar psychological process seems to be in operation today with regard to Islam. As Seth Lipsky noted in a cogent review of Leff’s book, its importance “is in helping us to understand what happened so that we can…avoid the same mistakes now that a new war against the Jews is under way and a new generation of newspaper men and women are in on the story.”

One should also mention, in this context, the very special relationship between The New York Times and Fidel Castro. William F. Buckley, Jr., put it memorably: Fidel Castro got his job through the The New York Times. To be more specific, he got it through the Walter Duranty of mid-century, Herbert Matthews, who fell head over heels for Castro much as Duranty did for Stalin. Glenn Garvin put it this way in Reason in March 2007: “Matthews was the first American reporter to interview Fidel Castro and the last to recognize the man as a ruthless and slightly mad totalitarian murderer.” At the time when Matthews was portraying him as a romantic guerrilla hero who enjoyed broad popular support and represented a serious threat to the government of Fulgencio Batista, Castro was in reality a washout with a ragtag group of no more than eighteen followers; but Matthews’s landmark front-page article of Sunday, February 24, 1957 (in which he called the revolutionary “overpowering,” a “man of ideals, of courage, and of remarkable qualities of leadership”), gave him a new lease on life and established the still potent Castro myth.

As was the case with Duranty and Stalin, moreover, Matthews’ articles and private confidences strongly influenced State Department views of Castro; and his rhapsodies about the Cuban, like Duranty’s hymns to the Georgian, were echoed throughout the Western media. Matthews insisted repeatedly that Castro was not a Communist, and he smeared reporters (just as Duranty had smeared Gareth Jones) who disagreed. As Duranty had excused Stalin’s crimes with the blithe sentiment that “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs,” so Matthews justified Castro’s abuses by saying that “A revolution is not a tea party.” And though Castro’s victory, in which Matthews was proud to have played a part, led to the murder of countless Cubans by firing squads, the reporter was ready to play down such uncomfortable details, excuse them, and even misrepresent them — in the same way that Duranty had done with the Ukraine famine. Just as Duranty defended Stalin’s show trials and the executions that followed, so Matthews dismissed Castro’s post-Revolution bloodbaths, calling Cuba “the happiest country in the world” (a lie that has lived on for decades in PC circles). In one editorial, Matthews referred to Castro as a “friend”; Castro, in a personal note professing his “deep and lasting affection,” addressed Matthews as “Mi Querido Amigo.”

And with Matthews, as with Duranty, the Times was a willing accomplice. In 1959, when Castro visited the Times offices in New York to “thank the Times for its role in the revolution” — as Matthews’s biographer, Anthony DePalma, put it – Sulzberger was there to “welcome” him, and “Castro thanked Sulzberger and several editors profusely.” (Castro would visit the Times’ offices twice more, in 1995 and 2000.) In a memo written shortly after the revolution, Matthews told Sulzberger that Castro “really wants advice and guidance and constructive criticism from sources he knows to be friendly, such as The New York Times.” Eventually, the Times stopped running Matthews’s pieces on Cuba — not because they were too heavily slanted toward Castro, but because Matthews was so public about his friendship with the dictator. What mattered to the Times, in short, was not maintaining objectivity but preserving an illusion thereof. “It is bad enough,” Buckley later wrote, “that Herbert Matthews was hypnotized by Fidel Castro, but it was a calamity that Matthews succeeded in hypnotizing so many other people, in crucial positions of power, on the subject of Castro.” Indeed. The lingering influence of Matthews’s idolization of Castro — who executed political rivals and put homosexuals in concentration camps — could be observed, as Garvin notes, in such nauseating spectacles as Dan Rather’s chumminess with the dictator in a 60 Minutes interview, Barbara Walter’s hosting a dinner party for him, and Diane Sawyer’s greeting him with a kiss.

This overview would not be complete without at least a brief mention of Times Indochina correspondent Sydney Schanberg, who was immortalized by actor Sam Waterston in the film The Killing Fields. In a 1975 article, Schanberg looked forward to the fall of the Lon Nol government in Cambodia, writing that “for the ordinary people of Indochina . . . it is difficult to imagine how their lives could be anything but better with Americans gone.” This line was quoted in 2003 by Myron Kuropas, who went on to cite Schanberg’s backhanded defense of the genocidal Khmer Rouge:

Was this just cold brutality: a cruel and sadistic imposition of the law of the jungle which only the fittest will survive? Or is it possible that, seen through the eyes of the peasant soldier and revolutionaries, the forced evacuation of the cities is a harsh necessity? Perhaps they are convinced that there is no way to build a new society for the benefit of the ordinary man, hitherto exploited, without literally starting from the beginning; in such an unbending view people who represent the old ways and those considered weak or unfit would be expendable and would be weeded out.

The weasel words “harsh” and “unbending” aside, this passage amounts to a reprehensible attempt to justify pure evil on what we would today call multicultural grounds. Similar language was used to defend Stalin and Hitler. Indeed, to read Duranty, Matthews, Schanberg, and the Times’ Holocaust-era European correspondents is to be struck by how much alike they all sound. Whether they were in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Castro’s Cuba, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia, these reporters evinced the selfsame fascination with tyrants and offered the selfsame justifications for tyranny. This mentality is still on view today in the pages of the Gray Lady, as one after another of Duranty’s heirs continue to try to sell the line that Islam is a religion of peace, that “jihad” means spiritual struggle, that only a minuscule minority of Muslims in the West want to exchange democracy for sharia, and that the only real problem with Islam in Europe is European racism.

The Times should have learned a valuable lesson or two from its past. But it’s making exactly the same mistakes today with Islam in the West that it did with Stalinism and Hitlerism, ignoring and discrediting the testimony of honest observers while giving legitimacy to tyranny’s sympathizers and apologists. The Times’s power is such that it might play an immensely positive role in educating its readers about the situation before them and helping them to recognize where their own responsibilities lie. Instead it’s pursuing an editorial policy that bids fair to be every bit as disastrous as was its approach to Stalin, the Holocaust, and Castro. And a large segment of the mainstream Western media is following its example.

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Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on June 27, 2008, 06:06:18 PM

A perfect example of the MSM's bias and corruption.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 28, 2008, 09:20:56 AM
Indeed!!!  I try to stay focused on what the success of what I perceive to be the mission, but there are moments when I wonder if the America of our Founding Fathers will survive.   :cry: :cry: :cry:
Title: NYT: WSJ editor to take over at Wa Po.
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 08, 2008, 06:11:00 AM
Signaling a generational change at one of the nation’s most influential newspapers, the new publisher of The Washington Post on Monday selected an outsider as the paper’s top editor.

Marcus W. Brauchli has spent most of his career as an editor and overseas correspondent at The Wall Street Journal.

Marcus W. Brauchli, a former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, will become the executive editor of The Post on Sept. 8, at a time of great upheaval in the industry. At age 47, he is young enough to remain in place for many years, working alongside the publisher, Katharine Weymouth, who is 42 and has been in her job for five months.

He will succeed Leonard Downie Jr., 66, who has led The Post’s newsroom for 17 years, guiding it to numerous accolades, including six Pulitzer Prizes this year, the most in its history.

But Mr. Brauchli (pronounced BROW-klee) and Ms. Weymouth take the helm at a time when The Post, like the newspaper industry as a whole, is buffeted by budget cuts, a shrinking newsroom, falling advertising revenue and declining circulation.

“I don’t think it’s a case of her wanting to shake the place up as much as her having to,” said Benjamin C. Bradlee, a former executive editor who is a vice president of the Washington Post Company. “She feels the urgency to change and adapt, and thank heaven.”

The Post is trying to meld its print and online news operations — something The Journal has already done — and that task is high on the priority list of Ms. Weymouth, the first Post publisher with direct control of its Web site. The two operations have been kept apart to a degree that is rare in the industry — the Web site even has a separate newsroom, in Virginia — which has bred duplication and turf wars.

In a statement, Ms. Weymouth said that Mr. Brauchli’s experience at The Journal would “help us navigate the new world of media.”

Her decision to pass over candidates within The Post and hire Mr. Brauchli comes shortly into a tenure that has already made clear that she intends to shake up the venerable but financially troubled paper. She is in the fourth generation of her family to head the paper that her great-grandfather, Eugene I. Meyer, bought in 1933, and is considered the likely successor to her uncle, Donald E. Graham, 63, as chairman and chief executive of the Post Company, which also owns Newsweek magazine and the Kaplan educational business.

But her choice of Mr. Brauchli is a surprising one at a paper best known for its political coverage and inside-the-Beltway savvy. Some editors and reporters at The Post say that changing the leadership in the midst of a hard-fought presidential campaign is an unorthodox and potentially disruptive move.

Mr. Brauchli has little experience in Washington, but at The Journal he helped oversee coverage of presidential campaigns and served as a foreign correspondent. Former colleagues say he has no trouble adapting to new territory.

“He has one of the quickest minds, and he has the ability to accumulate an enormous amount of information and very quickly become sophisticated on any topic,” said Stephen J. Adler, editor in chief of BusinessWeek and a former Journal editor.

It is not clear what role will be played by The Post’s second-ranking editor, Phillip Bennett, who has the title of managing editor and was a candidate for the top job. People who have discussed the matter with Post executives — and who insisted on anonymity to avoid upstaging those executives — said that an arrangement with multiple managing editors was under consideration.

The other serious contenders for executive editor were Jonathan Landman, the deputy managing editor of The New York Times; Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek; and David Ignatius, a Post columnist and former editor.

When Mr. Brauchli became the managing editor of The Journal, the top newsroom position there, in May 2007, he was a popular choice among his colleagues. Seven months later, the paper was taken over by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and Mr. Murdoch and the publisher he installed, Robert Thomson, pressed for an array of changes in the content of The Journal and the way the newsroom was organized — changes that much of the newsroom opposed.

Mr. Brauchli resigned in April to become a consultant to the News Corporation, saying, “I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing.” Mr. Thomson then took his place. Some of Mr. Brauchli’s former colleagues were bitter that he did not fight the changes made by The Journal’s new owners, but many others said his position was untenable from the start.

Mr. Brauchli left The Journal with a severance package that news reports valued at several million dollars; it is not clear whether joining The Post changes the terms of that package, if at all. He declined to comment for this article, as did Ms. Weymouth.


At The Post, he takes on a set of serious challenges. Since 2000, the paper’s weekday circulation has declined to 673,000, from about 800,000, but is still the seventh-highest among American newspapers. Its Web site draws more than nine million unique visitors monthly, according to Nielsen Online, making it the third-highest for a newspaper Web site.

 But like all newspapers, The Post has been unable to convert that heavy Web traffic into enough dollars to outweigh the loss of print advertising and circulation revenue. The Post has responded to the economic pressures by reducing its news staff from more than 900 people early in this decade to about 700, and executives there expect it to shrink further in the next few years.

The newspaper division of the Post Company, which consists mostly of The Post itself, reported an operating profit of just $1.2 million in the first quarter, on revenue of $206.1 million, down from $14.9 million in profit a year earlier.

On the whole, the Post Company is less threatened by the industry’s transformation than most of its newspaper brethren, because it is far less reliant on newspapers, bolstered by its Kaplan educational unit and its broadcast and cable television holdings. It reported earnings of $39.3 million in the first quarter, down 39 percent from a year earlier, despite an 8 percent increase in revenue, to $985.6 million.

The company’s stock is down 42 percent from its peak in 2004, reflecting a broad decline in the industry.

Ms. Weymouth is the granddaughter of Katharine Graham, the longtime Post publisher, and daughter of Lally Weymouth, a Newsweek editor and correspondent on foreign affairs. She practiced law for a number of years before joining the Post Company in 1996 as an in-house lawyer, and most of her experience with the company has been in advertising.

Several people she has worked or consulted with — most of them requested anonymity to avoid alienating her — describe Ms. Weymouth as very smart and determined to move quickly to adapt to the challenges posed by the Internet. And they say she is less deferential to some of The Post’s traditions than her predecessors were.

She talked for a time of getting an office in the newsroom, which would be seen at some papers as a breach of the traditional separation of the business and news operations, but company officials say that idea has been shelved.

Soon after taking over, Ms. Weymouth began conferring with a number of people inside and outside the company about possible editors. Casting a wide net quickly made it a fairly public process, at a time when Mr. Downie and the paper insisted publicly that there were no immediate plans for him to leave — and it was seen by some of his loyalists as putting pressure on him to go.

But those who have discussed the succession with her said that Ms. Weymouth recognized her lack of news experience and wisely sought the advice of a wide range of people.

“It was pretty un-Graham-like to be so public, but it was what she needed to do,” said one of the contenders who lost out to Mr. Brauchli. “She sees that the industry’s in crisis.”

Title: Rehabbing the DC Snipers
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 10, 2008, 07:20:17 AM
Rehabbing The D.C. Snipers
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 4:30 PM PT

Media Bias: Why would two Muslim men travel 3,000 miles to kill random people in the nation's capital a year after 9/11? CNN investigated and found Islamic terror had nothing to do with it.


Related Topics: Media & Culture


In its special marking the fifth anniversary of the sniper attacks, the network downplays the religious angle to the story in a reprise of its original shameless coverage.

When news of the snipers' identity first broke, CNN anchors were so determined to avoid making the obvious connection to radical Islam that they called the lead sniper, a Muslim convert, by his old name. Police were looking for John Allen Muhammad, but CNN insisted on referring to him as John Allen Williams.

Jailhouse sketches, including this one containing references to 'jihad,' 'holy war' and 'infidels' were entered into evidence in the 2003 trial of convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. His attorneys said they were evidence of indoctrination by Malvo's accomplice, John Allen Muhammad. But the only drawing shown in a new one-hour special on CNN shows Malvo shedding tears.
Now the network has completely scrubbed Islam from the picture, offering child abuse (boo-hoo) and spousal revenge as alternative motives for the snipers' bloody rampage.

Nowhere in its one-hour special — promoted as "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers" — is Islamist brainwashing even hinted as a motivating factor behind their serial assassinations. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that they were on a jihad.

In their own words, Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo traveled across the country to terrorize Washingtonians on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — first by picking off random people and then by blowing up school buses using plastic explosives loaded with ball bearings.

Their plan was to ramp up their shootings to 25 a day before moving on to explosives, killing scores of children. Thankfully, they were caught before they could put phase two into effect.

Muhammad and Malvo, now in prison in Virginia, still managed to kill 10 and wound three — including an elementary school kid shot in the back — while paralyzing the nation's capital for three full weeks.

The jailhouse drawings of the younger sniper, Malvo, tell it all:

• One sketch of Osama bin Laden exalts him as a "Servant of Allah."

• A self-portrait of him and Muhammad is captioned: "We will kill them all. Jihad . . . Allah Akbar!"

• A sketch of the burning Twin Towers has as its caption: "America did this. You were warned."

• A poem scribbled alongside an American flag and star of David drawn in cross hairs reads: "Our minarets are our bayonets, Our mosques are our baracks, Our believers are our soldiers."

• The Quran (Surah 2:190) is quoted as follows: "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you and slay them wherever ye catch them." Also: "Islam the only true guidance."

• The White House is drawn in cross hairs, surrounded by missiles, with the warning: "Sep. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you," and "you will bleed to death little by little."

• Another warning reads: "Islam. We will Resist. We will conquer. We will win."

Somehow CNN's "special investigations unit" managed to overlook this pile of courtroom evidence. It showed only one drawing — a self portrait of Malvo shedding tears.

CNN maintains that Malvo, an alleged victim of negligent parents, now has remorse for his victims — even though he wrote in one notebook: "They all died and they all deserved it. We will not stop. This war will not end until you are all destroyed utterly."

CNN also omitted the fact that while Muhammad and Malvo were in county jail awaiting trial, their lawyers insisted they be fed Islamic "halal" meals, such as veggie burgers, instead of ham sandwiches. They also got copies of the Quran.

According to Knight Ridder and others reporting at the time, the director of a shelter where the two men stayed for a spell in Washington state tipped off the FBI that Muhammad "might be a terrorist."

That incident mysteriously disappeared from an interview that CNN host Soledad O'Brien conducted with the same source for the special.

The revisionism and sanitization of Islam continued with O'Brien's interview with Muhammad's ex-wife, who insisted that jihad and hatred of America had nothing to do with her husband's cold-blooded killings.

Her head covered with a hijab, Mildred Muhammad claimed that she and she alone was the target of his attacks, and that the dozen-plus victims were an attempt to cover up the real target. CNN bought her story, even packaging it as an exclusive.

But a simple check of local news stories at the time would have revealed that neighbors reported seeing Muhammad visit with his former wife and children at their Maryland town house before and during the shootings. One neighbor said he even jogged with him.

Police even staked out her house in the hope he would visit again.

By leaving out all these facts — never even mentioning that the subjects of its investigation had converted to Islam — CNN committed professional malpractice.

Its "special investigation" is nothing more than a politically correct whitewashing of the truth aimed at pleasing Muslim groups like CAIR, which has argued that "there is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims."

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 10, 2008, 07:32:35 AM
Just like the MSM's recent coverage of honor murders in the US. Funny how the "M" word is avoided like the plague.  :roll:
Title: NY Times at it again
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 14, 2008, 08:05:30 PM
Terrorist Telephone
July 14, 2008

An article in Friday's New York Times drew lots of attention from those who like to wring their hands about U.S. "torture" of terrorists, but to our mind it's awfully thin:

Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book. . . .
The book, "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals," by Jane Mayer, who writes about counterterrorism for The New Yorker, offers new details of the agency's secret detention program. . . .
Citing unnamed "sources familiar with the report," Ms. Mayer wrote that the Red Cross document "warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted." Red Cross representatives were not permitted access to the secret prisons where the C.I.A. conducted interrogations, but were permitted to interview Abu Zubaydah and other high-level detainees in late 2006, after they were moved to the military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. . . .
The book says Abu Zubaydah told the Red Cross that he had been waterboarded at least 10 times in a single week and as many as three times in a day.
The book also reports that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, told the Red Cross that he had been kept naked for more than a month and claimed that he had been "kept alternately in suffocating heat and in a painfully cold room."
To sum up: The New York Times reports that a new book reports that unnamed sources reported to the author that a report exists that says terrorists reported being tortured.

That is, not only are we being asked to take the word of terrorists--whose training material instructs them to claim they have been tortured--but we are being asked to trust terrorists' claims that are reaching us fifth-hand (or fourth-hand if you spend $27.50 for the book). It's a big game of telephone.

And we thought the New York Times was against listening to terrorists' phone conversations.
Title: 3 anchors follow BO
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 18, 2008, 07:24:29 AM

3 Anchors to Follow Obama's Trek Abroad

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 17, 2008; C02

The three network anchors will travel to Europe and the Middle East next week for Barack Obama's trip, adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza.

Lured by an offer of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidate, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will make the overseas trek, meaning that the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts will originate from stops along the route and undoubtedly give it big play.

John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months, all unaccompanied by a single network anchor.

Obama has "proven adept at generating excitement," says David Folkenflik, media correspondent for National Public Radio. He said the anchors hope "a little bit of that excitement will rub off on their newscasts if they can convey an American phenomenon abroad, if that's what it turns out to be. Senator McCain is not as magnetic a figure in that way."

Jim Geraghty, a columnist for National Review Online, said Obama's paucity of foreign travel as a presidential candidate makes the trip a natural draw for news organizations, while "McCain has been around forever, and he's probably been to all these places before." But, he says, "the networks will be acting as a PR wing for the Obama campaign if they treat any of these photo ops as truly newsworthy breakthroughs."

The plan is for Williams, Gibson and Couric interviews to be parceled out on successive nights in different countries, giving each anchor a one-day exclusive. (Correspondents could have done the interviews instead, but a certain competitiveness sets in once one or two anchors agree to go.) The Washington Post is withholding the scheduled locations for security reasons.

Some 200 journalists have asked to accompany Obama on the costly trip, which will include stops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the campaign will be able to accommodate only one-fifth that number. No itinerary has been announced.

The senator from Illinois has been drawing far more media attention than his Republican rival from Arizona. With this week's Newsweek cover story on Obama's religious beliefs, he has been featured on Time and Newsweek covers 12 times in the past three years, compared with five for McCain. This week's New Yorker includes a 14,600-word piece on Obama's political rise in Chicago. Obama and his wife, Michelle, were recently on the cover of Us Weekly and were interviewed -- with their young daughters, which Obama later said he regretted -- by "Access Hollywood."

When McCain visited Britain, France and Israel in March and met with their leaders, no network anchors tagged along. NBC and ABC sent correspondents; CBS did not. None of the evening newscasts covered his trip to Canada last month. And McCain's swing through Colombia and Mexico two weeks ago was barely covered, although NBC and ABC sent correspondents.

The upcoming Obama trip, by contrast, has already generated stories about how large his crowds will be and whether German authorities will allow him to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. "Europe Awaits Obama With Open Arms," the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 18, 2008, 07:29:12 AM
I don't mind, as long as they wear "Obama 2008" t-shirts while broadcasting.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on July 18, 2008, 09:22:52 AM

There is obviously some Obama bias in the media. But would you not agree that the first viable African American presidential candidate's trip Europe and the Middle East deserves a bit more coverage than usual? And might it be possible that Obama's "flavor of the week" celebrity is driving a lot of the coverage? The networks know a lot of people will watch him, so they're going to force the rest of us to sit through it.

If I were the other side, I'd be happy for Obama's excessive media coverage, as it gives him plenty of opportunity to shoot himself in the foot. And with the number of gaffes that McCain has thrown out in the past few weeks, he's proving himself to be about as poor a "live television" guy as possible.

I'd be perfectly happy not seeing either one of them on television for the next 2 1/2 months, until debate time.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 18, 2008, 01:40:42 PM

I think that's like saying there is some anti-semitism found at a "nation of islam" gathering....
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 18, 2008, 01:43:28 PM

Anchors Away!

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Journalism: Barack Obama is headed overseas, with the three network anchors trailing behind him like groupies ga-ga over a rock star. And they say that media bias is just a myth.

Obama will begin his travels Friday with a visit to Europe and continue on to the Middle East. These are not normal campaign stops for a man running for president. But Obama is no common man — at least as the media see him.
They have uncritically anointed him a savior and are eager to be in his presence as he makes his "historic" trip. NBC News anchor Brian Williams, ABC anchor Charles Gibson and CBS anchor Katie Couric will be on hand, and they'll scratch and claw each other to get that exclusive interview.
Obama's arrogance — playing president and planning to speak in front of Berlin's symbolic Brandenburg Gate — is unseemly enough. But the media fawning is a disgrace. Other than those reporters assigned to John McCain, do they even know that Obama's opponent in the fall has made not one, but three trips overseas since March?
Not only did the anchors pass on those tours, their respective networks "provided little if any coverage of any of them," according to an analysis by the Media Research Center. When McCain was in Europe and the Middle East for a week in March, the networks that will immortalize Obama's triumphant tour carried only four full stories on the trip.
"CBS did not even send a correspondent along" and offered "only one report consisting of only 31 words" over 10 seconds for "the entire week Sen. McCain was abroad," the MRC reports.
The media, which seem endlessly interested when Obama downs a hot dog or picks up a basketball, and which feel a collective tingle in their legs whenever he speaks, couldn't even limit their description of the junior senator's haircut to 31 words.
Network chiefs say they need to be with Obama on this trip to record how he performs on the world stage. That's plausible. We'll believe it, though, only if Obama commits a gaffe and the press actually does more than gloss over it.
The liberal national media are free to put all their resources into Obama coverage, encourage Americans to vote for him and ignore McCain entirely. Our Constitution gives them the liberty to do just that. What rankles us is the facade of objectivity they put up. All we're asking for is some honesty.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 18, 2008, 01:49:22 PM

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 18, 2008, 07:02:58 PM

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on July 19, 2008, 08:35:45 AM

Anchors Away!

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Journalism: Barack Obama is headed overseas, with the three network anchors trailing behind him like groupies ga-ga over a rock star. And they say that media bias is just a myth.

Obama will begin his travels Friday with a visit to Europe and continue on to the Middle East. These are not normal campaign stops for a man running for president. But Obama is no common man — at least as the media see him.
They have uncritically anointed him a savior and are eager to be in his presence as he makes his "historic" trip. NBC News anchor Brian Williams, ABC anchor Charles Gibson and CBS anchor Katie Couric will be on hand, and they'll scratch and claw each other to get that exclusive interview.
Obama's arrogance — playing president and planning to speak in front of Berlin's symbolic Brandenburg Gate — is unseemly enough. But the media fawning is a disgrace. Other than those reporters assigned to John McCain, do they even know that Obama's opponent in the fall has made not one, but three trips overseas since March?
Not only did the anchors pass on those tours, their respective networks "provided little if any coverage of any of them," according to an analysis by the Media Research Center. When McCain was in Europe and the Middle East for a week in March, the networks that will immortalize Obama's triumphant tour carried only four full stories on the trip.
"CBS did not even send a correspondent along" and offered "only one report consisting of only 31 words" over 10 seconds for "the entire week Sen. McCain was abroad," the MRC reports.
The media, which seem endlessly interested when Obama downs a hot dog or picks up a basketball, and which feel a collective tingle in their legs whenever he speaks, couldn't even limit their description of the junior senator's haircut to 31 words.
Network chiefs say they need to be with Obama on this trip to record how he performs on the world stage. That's plausible. We'll believe it, though, only if Obama commits a gaffe and the press actually does more than gloss over it.
The liberal national media are free to put all their resources into Obama coverage, encourage Americans to vote for him and ignore McCain entirely. Our Constitution gives them the liberty to do just that. What rankles us is the facade of objectivity they put up. All we're asking for is some honesty.

Maybe that is because Sen. McCain is soooooo boring???  I mean listen to him speak; even his supporters
fall asleep.  The networks are a business.  They go where the ratings will be.  Who/What does
America want to watch???  What will drive ratings?  And it isn't McCain.

And good grief, McCain is over 70 years old!  Most people retire at 65; most top investment firms
and nearly all top accounting firms have mandatory retirement at 60 - they want fresh new ideas
and energy from people at their prime.  I mean we all should love and respect our Grandfather, but ...

ps  Didn't Sen. McCain earlier criticize Obama for not going overseas and on at least two occassions didn't he taunt
Obama to do so?  I guess Obama just listened and followed his advice.  And now McCain complains that Obama
gets all the attention???  hmmm 
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 19, 2008, 01:16:30 PM

Maybe that is because Sen. McCain is soooooo boring???  I mean listen to him speak; even his supporters
fall asleep.  The networks are a business.  They go where the ratings will be.  Who/What does
America want to watch???  What will drive ratings?  And it isn't McCain.

**Is Obama more interesting than McCain? Sure. Should we as a people select a president using the same criteria we'd use to select a talk show host? Especially in a time of war and loose nukes? Should the MSM have at least try for a superficial attempt at impartiality?**

And good grief, McCain is over 70 years old!  Most people retire at 65; most top investment firms
and nearly all top accounting firms have mandatory retirement at 60 - they want fresh new ideas
and energy from people at their prime.  I mean we all should love and respect our Grandfather, but ...

**Obama's ideas aren't new. Some of them date back to the Carter administration. His pursuit of an American defeat in Iraq is very 60's. Perhaps having seen the impact of those ideas firsthand, McCain is in a better position to avoid the repeat of those mistakes.**

ps  Didn't Sen. McCain earlier criticize Obama for not going overseas and on at least two occassions didn't he taunt
Obama to do so?  I guess Obama just listened and followed his advice.  And now McCain complains that Obama
gets all the attention???  hmmm 

**I'm glad Obama is traveling overseas. Sadly, the trip is probably now one of the more important accomplishments in his wafer thin resume, not that the anchors will be pointing this out in the midst of their fawn-fest.**
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 19, 2008, 04:05:45 PM

"ps  Didn't Sen. McCain earlier criticize Obama for not going overseas and on at least two occassions didn't he taunt
Obama to do so?  I guess Obama just listened and followed his advice.  And now McCain complains that Obama
gets all the attention???  hmmm"

There are two separate points here:

1) Failure to go to Iraq and Afg, and its rectification (not without having formed yet another opinion first  :roll: )
2) Media coverage thereof.

Concerning the latter, the disparity is huge-- what is happening on this trip has been happening every day.  In my hometown LA Times, I regularly find BO on the front page and McC on page 15 or page 8.

Furthermore, the superficiality of the coverage boggles the mind. 
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 19, 2008, 08:54:05 PM
I'm glad to see that NPR is all over the wave of hunger in America.

I blame Bush!
Title: NY Times outdoes itself
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 21, 2008, 06:34:43 PM
McCain Campaign: New York Times Blocked Op-Ed Response to Obama
Monday, July 21, 2008
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McCain: John McCain and former President George H.W. Bush arrive for a news conference at the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP Photo)

The New York Times on Friday blocked an opinion piece submitted by John McCain to the newspaper shortly after it printed a piece by his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, McCain campaign officials confirmed to FOX News on Monday.

Obama’s piece detailed his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan. While McCain’s proposed piece also discussed Iraq, The Times told McCain’s advisers that it would not accept the op-ed in its current form because it did not offer new information. Obama’s speech previewed a series of speeches leading up to a highly publicized trip to war zones in the Middle East.

“I’d be very eager to publish the senator on the op-ed page. However, I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. I’d be pleased, though, to look at another draft. Let me suggest an approach,” Times op-ed editor David Shipley wrote the campaign via an e-mail later distributed by McCain’s team.

“It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan,” Shipley wrote.

Shipley, who was named deputy editor in January 2003, served in the Clinton administration as a senior presidential speechwriter and special assistant to the president from 1995 to 1997.

McCain campaign Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker said the two candidates “have very different world views” about Iraq and the campaign wanted an opportunity to state its candidate’s view.

“We have elections in this country, not coronations and it’s unfortunate that The New York Times wouldn’t allow their readers to hear from John McCain and make their own judgment,” Hazelbaker told FOX News.

“John McCain believes that victory in Iraq must be based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables. Unlike Barack Obama, that position will not change based on politics or the demands of the New York Times,” added McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

The New York Times issued a statement defending its process of posting op-eds.

“It is standard procedure on our Op-Ed page, and that of other newspapers, to go back and forth with an author on his or her submission.  We look forward to publishing Senator McCain’s views in our paper just as we have in the past.   We have published at least seven op-ed pieces by Senator McCain since 1996.  The New York Times endorsed Senator McCain as the Republican candidate in the presidential primaries.  We take his views very seriously,” said Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.

Obama’s op-ed ran on July 14, days before the Democratic presidential candidate departed for Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a congressional delegation that received coverage from all three broadcast networks’ news services. It is the first time the networks have traveled overseas with a candidate.

Hazelbaker said that it’s not her job to police the media coverage, but the campaign would have liked to have “made our case directly to the voters.”

“We think the American voter is smart enough to make the call on their own,” she said.

FOX News’ Shushannah Walshe contributed to this story.
Title: Here's what the NY Times would not print
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 21, 2008, 11:54:36 PM

By Sen. John McCain

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City — actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.
I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 22, 2008, 09:37:03 AM

Crush on Obama.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 22, 2008, 09:41:50 AM

The 2008 Election
Is the Media Trying to Elect Obama?
by Dee Dee Myers
July 21, 2008, 5:15 PM

Tomorrow, CBS’s Katie Couric will interview Barack Obama from Jordan. On Wednesday, ABC’s Charlie Gibson will chat with him from Israel. And on Thursday, NBC’s Brian Williams will do the honors from Germany. Call it the presidential campaign equivalent of Shooting the Moon.
And to think, a few short months ago the Washington establishment was buzzing about the press’s pending dilemma: With Obama and John McCain looking like the all-but-certain nominees of their respective parties, how would the media choose between its new crush, Obama, and its long-time paramour, McCain? The Illinois senator has been a media darling since he burst onto the scene at the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2004, and during the Democratic primary season, he bested Hillary Clinton in both quantity of coverage (he got more) and tenor (his was way more positive). But McCain has gotten so much favorable media attention over the years that he often joked that the press was his political base. In a head-to-head competition, who would win?
So far, the answer is clear: Obama is The One. In the first quarter of the general election, he has simply gotten more and better coverage than McCain. For those who need more evidence than the enormous press entourage that is treating Obama’s current trip not like the campaign swing of a presidential candidate, but like the international debut of the New American President, there are several new studies which help quantify the disparity.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism, which evaluates more than 300 newspaper, magazine, and television stories each week, found that from June 9 (after Obama had wrapped up the Democratic nomination) until July 13, Obama was more prominently covered every single week. During one particular week, July 7–13, McCain was a significant presence in 48 percent of the stories—but Obama met that mark in 77 percent of the pieces. Similarly, the Tyndall Report, a media monitoring group, found that Obama received substantially more media attention.
I can only imagine what the gap must be like this week, as Obama continues to meet with world leaders and adoring crowds, while the mere presence of media’s biggest and brightest stars stamps each and every event as important!
Given all that, it’s not surprising that voters, particularly those of the Republican persuasion, think the media is more or less in Obama’s pocket. A recent survey by Rasmussen found that 49 percent of the likely voters they talked to believed that reporters would favor Obama in their coverage, while just 14 percent said the same about McCain. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans thought the press would try and help Obama win, while only 21 percent of Democrats thought journalists were in bed with McCain. Complaints about bias are only exacerbated when the New York Times (the bête noire of the right) rejects an opinion piece written by McCain comparing his position on Iraq to Obama’s—just days after the Times ran a similar piece by Obama.
Suspicions of pro-Obama bias began in the primaries. A Pew survey in late May and early June found that 37 percent of Americans believed that Obama received preferential coverage; only eight percent said the same about his principal opponent, Hillary Clinton.
There are lot of “explanations” for the lopsided coverage: Obama is new and what’s new is “news.” As the first African-American to run a serious race, let alone win a major party’s nomination, Obama is running an historic campaign. Obama has created a “movement,” and Americans are simply more interested in him than in his opponents. Obama is running a smarter campaign, and he knows how to court media attention. It’s also true that intense media coverage is a double- edged sword: the attention is great when things are going well, but it can doom a candidate if and when things start to go badly. And so far, Obama has had way more good days than bad days. Each of those rationales is largely true—and somewhat less than satisfying.
At the end of the day, this will be a long campaign, and what’s true in July may not be true in November. But what seems indisputably true—to quote another dazzling young Democrat who received disproportionately favorable media attention, John Kennedy—is this: “Life is unfair.”
Title: Media contributions to dems 15 to 1.
Post by: ccp on July 25, 2008, 07:37:35 AM
OK Pelosi et al are upset over talk radio.  They proclaim we need a "fairness doctrine".
Conservative talk radio *is* as it is, the closest thing to fairness.  Why take a look at the "mass media".  There is little fairness there.
Of course Pelosi is silent about that.  BOs lead of ~48 to 42% is roughly the same as Clinton's margins of winning.  Our country remains as divided as ever.  Having a person with a flaming liberal history (BO) proclaim he is going to get past that and unite us would be as absurd as seeing Pat Robertson doing the same thing from the right.  I don't know, has our country ever been as split since the Civil War?

This should be the headlines on all the newspapers.  But we will never see it.

IBD Editorials

Putting Money Where Mouths Are: Media Donations Favor Dems 100-1

By WILLIAM TATE | Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:20 PM PT

The New York Times' refusal to publish John McCain's rebuttal to Barack Obama's Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money.

Even the Associated Press — no bastion of conservatism — has considered, at least superficially, the media's favoritism for Barack Obama. It's time to revisit media bias.

True to form, journalists are defending their bias by saying that one candidate, Obama, is more newsworthy than the other. In other words, there is no media bias. It is we, the hoi polloi, who reveal our bias by questioning the neutrality of these learned professionals in their ivory-towered newsrooms.

Big Media applies this rationalization to every argument used to point out bias. "It's not a result of bias," they say. "It's a matter of news judgment."

And, like the man who knows his wallet was pickpocketed but can't prove it, the public is left to futilely rage against the injustice of it all.

The "newsworthy" argument can be applied to every metric — one-sided imbalances in airtime, story placement, column inches, number of stories, etc. — save one.

An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans .

Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.

And while the money totals pale in comparison to the $9-million-plus that just one union's PACs have spent to get Obama elected, they are more substantial than the amount that Obama has criticized John McCain for receiving from lobbyists: 96 lobbyists have contributed $95,850 to McCain, while Obama — who says he won't take money from PACs or federal lobbyists — has received $16,223 from 29 lobbyists.

A few journalists list their employer as an organization like MSNBC, or ABC News, or report that they're freelancers for the New York Times, or are journalists for Al Jazeera, CNN Turkey, Deutsche Welle Radio or La Republica of Rome (all contributions to Obama). Most report no employer. They're mainly freelancers. That's because most major news organization have policies that forbid newsroom employees from making political donations.

As if to warn their colleagues in the media, MSNBC last summer ran a story on journalists' contributions to political candidates that drew a similar conclusion:

"Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left."

The timing of that article was rather curious. Dated June 25, 2007, it appeared during the middle of the summer news doldrums in a non-election year — timing that was sure to minimize its impact among the general public, while still warning newsrooms across the country that such political donations can be checked.

In case that was too subtle, MSNBC ran a sidebar story detailing cautionary tales of reporters who lost their jobs or were otherwise negatively impacted because their donations became public.

As if to warn their comrades-in-news against putting their money where their mouth is, the report also cautioned that, with the Internet, "it became easier for the blogging public to look up the donors."

It went on to detail the ban that most major media organizations have against newsroom employees donating to political campaigns, a ban that raises some obvious First Amendment issues. Whether it's intentional or not, the ban makes it difficult to verify the political leanings of Big Media reporters, editors and producers. There are two logical ways to extrapolate what those leanings are, though.

One is the overwhelming nature of the above statistics. Given the pack mentality among journalists and, just like any pack, the tendency to follow the leader — in this case, Big Media — and since Big Media are centered in some of the bluest of blue parts of the country, it is highly likely that the media elite reflect the same, or an even greater, liberal bias.

A second is to analyze contributions from folks in the same corporate cultures. That analysis provides some surprising results. The contributions of individuals who reported being employed by major media organizations are listed in the nearby table.

The contributions add up to $315,533 to Democrats and $22,656 to Republicans — most of that to Ron Paul, who was supported by many liberals as a stalking horse to John McCain, a la Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos with Hillary and Obama.

What is truly remarkable about the list is that, discounting contributions to Paul and Rudy Giuliani, who was a favorite son for many folks in the media, the totals look like this: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans (four individuals who donated to McCain).

Let me repeat: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans — a ratio of 100-to-1. No bias there.

Tate is a former journalist, now a novelist and the author of "A Time Like This: 2001-2008." This article first appeared on the American Thinker Web site.

© Copyright 2008 Investor's Business Daily. All Rights Reserved.***
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 27, 2008, 07:30:12 AM


January 15, 2008 -- THE New York Times is trashing our troops again. With no new "atrocities" to report from Iraq for many a month, the limping Gray Lady turned to the home front. Front and center, above the fold, on the front page of Sunday's Times, the week's feature story sought to convince Americans that combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan are turning troops into murderers when they come home.
Heart-wringing tales of madness and murder not only made the front page, but filled two entire centerfold pages and spilled onto a fourth.

The Times did get one basic fact right: Returning vets committed or are charged with 121 murders in the United States since our current wars began.

Had the Times' "journalists" and editors bothered to put those figures in context - which they carefully avoided doing - they would've found that the murder rate that leaves them so aghast means that our vets are five times less likely to commit a murder than their demographic peers.

The Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, should crunch the numbers. I'm even willing to spot the Times a few percentage points (either way). But the hard statistics from the Justice Department tell a far different tale from the Times' anti-military propaganda.

A very conservative estimate of how many different service members have passed through Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait since 2003 is 350,000 (and no, that's not double-counting those with repeated tours of duty).

Now consider the Justice Department's numbers for murders committed by all Americans aged 18 to 34 - the key group for our men and women in uniform. To match the homicide rate of their peers, our troops would've had to come home and commit about 150 murders a year, for a total of 700 to 750 murders between 2003 and the end of 2007.

In other words, the Times unwittingly makes the case that military service reduces the likelihood of a young man or woman committing a murder by 80 percent.

Yes, the young Americans who join our military are (by self- selection) superior by far to the average stay-at-home. Still, these numbers are pretty impressive, when you consider that we're speaking of men and women trained in the tools of war, who've endured the acute stresses of fighting insurgencies and who are physically robust (rather unlike the stick-limbed weanies the Times prefers).

All in all, the Times' own data proves my long-time contention that we have the best behaved and most ethical military in history.

Now, since the folks at the Times are terribly busy and awfully important, let's make it easy for them to do the research themselves (you can do it, too - in five minutes).

Just Google "USA Murder Statistics." The top site to appear will be the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. Click on it, then go to "Demographic Trends." Click on "Age." For hard numbers on the key demographics, click on the colored graphs.

Run the numbers yourself, based upon the demographic percentages of murders per every 100,000 people. Then look at the actual murder counts.

Know what else you'll learn? In 2005 alone, 8,718 young Americans from the same age group were murdered in this country. That's well over twice as many as the number of troops killed in all our foreign missions since 2001. Maybe military service not only prevents you from committing crimes, but also keeps you alive?

Want more numbers? In the District of Columbia, our nation's capital, the murder rate for the 18-34 group was about 14 times higher than the rate of murders allegedly committed by returning vets.

And that actually understates the District's problem, since many DC-related murders spill across into Prince George's County (another Democratic Party stronghold).

In DC, an 18-34 population half the size of the total number of troops who've served in our wars overseas committed the lion's share of 992 murders between 2003 and 2007 - the years mourned by the Times as proving that our veterans are psychotic killers.

Aren't editors supposed to ask tough questions on feature stories? Are the Times' editors so determined to undermine the public's support for our troops that they'll violate the most-basic rules of journalism, such as putting numbers in context?

Answer that one for yourself.

Of course, all of this is part of the disgraceful left-wing campaign to pretend sympathy with soldiers - the Times column gushes crocodile tears - while portraying our troops as clichéd maniacs from the Oliver Stone fantasies that got lefties so self-righteously excited 20 years ago (See? We were right to dodge the draft . . .).

And it's not going to stop. Given the stakes in an election year, the duplicity will only intensify.

For an upcoming treat, we'll get the film "Stop-Loss," starring, as always, young punks who never served in uniform as soldiers. This left-wing diatribe argues that truly courageous troops would refuse to return to Iraq - at a time when soldiers and Marines continue to re-enlist at record rates, expecting to plunge back into the fight.

Those on the left will never accept that the finest young Americans are those who risk their lives defending freedom. Sen. John Kerry summed up the views of the left perfectly when he disparaged our troops as too stupid to do anything but sling hamburgers.

And The New York Times will never forgive our men and women in uniform for their infuriating successes in Iraq.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Wars of Blood and Faith."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on July 27, 2008, 09:58:39 AM

From The Sunday Times
July 27, 2008
Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy

Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes

Sarah Baxter in Washington
SCRATCH John Edwards off the list of potential vice-presidential candidates. The former White House contender, who had been hoping to get the nod from Barack Obama, is in the midst of a full-blown sex scandal.

Every supermarket shopper knows that the preternaturally youthful former senator for North Carolina may have fathered a love child with a film-maker while Elizabeth, his saintly wife, is dying of cancer. There are sensational new details on the National Enquirer website, although most of the media have done their best to ignore them.

The tabloid magazine cornered Edwards, 55, leaving a Los Angeles hotel where Rielle Hunter, his alleged mistress, and her baby were staying, at 2.40am last Tuesday. He ran down a hallway and dived into the men’s bathroom. A hotel security guard confirmed the encounter. “His face just went totally white,” the guard said.

The story has been bubbling away for months, but so far there has been not a word about it in the mainstream newspapers, even though Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate in 2004 and has been tipped for a prominent job in an Obama administration – if not vice-president, then attorney-general or antipoverty tsar.

Edwards volunteered recently: “I’m prepared to consider seriously anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country.”

He can stop waiting by the telephone. News of the “gotcha” rapidly circulated on the internet via the Drudge Report and has been buzzing on the blogs. The Enquirer’s story appears to be well sourced.

According to the magazine, Edwards arrived at the Beverly Hilton on Monday at 9.45pm after attending a meeting on homelessness in Los Angeles and was dropped off at a side entrance. Two rooms were allegedly booked for Hunter in a friend’s name.

Edwards emerged hours later and was confronted by journalists from the Enquirer. His usual spokesmen and defenders have scurried for cover behind a wall of “no comment”, while the details of the story have gone unchallenged.

Even so, Tony Pierce, editor of the Los Angeles Times, issued an edict to the paper’s own bloggers to stay off the subject. “Because the only source has been the National Enquirer, we have decided not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations,” he wrote.

Mickey Kaus, a blogger for Slate magazine, leaked the memo. He noted: “This was a sensational scandal that the Los Angeles Times and other mainstream papers passionately did not want to uncover when Edwards was a formal candidate and now that the Enquirer seems to have done the job for them it looks like they want everyone to shut up while they fail to uncover it again.”

The New York Times has not deigned to touch the story, although it recently ran thousands of words on a relationship between McCain and a female lobbyist, which appeared to be based more on innuendo than fact.

Byron York, a conservative journalist, finally broke the silence in The Hill, a reputable, non-partisan congressional newspaper. “The media looks down on the National Enquirer but you look at the Edwards story and say, ‘Wow! There appears to be a lot of knowledge there’. It is darned fishy,” York said.

Edwards appeared at a press conference on poverty in Houston shortly after the Enquirer story broke. All he would say was: “I don’t talk about these tabloids. They’re tabloid trash and just full of lies.” There was no explicit denial.

York believes sympathy for Edwards’s wife may partly account for the media blackout. “She’s a very high-profile wife and she’s suffering from cancer. But if the story is true, this was going on when he was running for president.”

If Edwards is the father of Hunter’s child, he may also be responsible for an elaborate cover-up which would call into question his political integrity as well as his fidelity. An aide to Edwards had previously claimed via a lawyer that he (the aide) was the father.

Hunter’s existence was first mentioned by Newsweek in 2006, when the magazine claimed that the little-known film-maker had been commissioned by the millionaire candidate to make behind-the-scenes web videos of his presidential campaign after they “met in a New York bar”.

Hunter, a former aspiring actress, was paid $114,000 (£57,000) for her work. Months later, a writer on The Huffington Post website wondered what had happened to the videos, which had vanished from Edwards’s campaign site. The headline read, “Edwards mystery: innocuous videos suddenly shrouded in secrecy”.

As the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination gathered pace in October last year, the Enquirer claimed that Hunter was the candidate’s mistress. “It’s completely untrue. Ridiculous,” Edwards said. “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30 years.” Two months later the magazine revealed that Hunter, a 43-year-old divorcee, was six months pregnant.

The story took a bizarre turn when she claimed that Andrew Young, a long-time aide to Edwards and a married family man, was the father of her child. Young’s lawyer acknowledged his paternity.

Hunter moved from New York to the same gated community in North Carolina as Young and his wife and young children, raising speculation that he was really her minder. Young has not commented on the latest allegations.

The National Enquirer may publish photographs corroborating Edwards’s presence at the hotel this weekend. A reporter for The Washington Post said yesterday: “To be quite honest, we’re waiting to see the pictures. That said, Edwards is no longer an elected official and he is not running for office now. Don’t expect wall-to-wall coverage.”

The Clinton Connection

Roger Altman, who has a controlling stake in the National Enquirer, is a former official in Bill Clinton’s administration. Some wags believe the magazine poured resources into the love child story to scupper John Edwards’s chances of beating Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination.

Were the latest revelations timed to finish him off as a potential running mate? Despite the rumours, it is not likely. Few people think Clinton is still on Barack Obama’s shortlist.

David Perel, the Enquirer’s editor-in-chief, said the magazine’s parent company had “nothing to do with the editorial side, which I run”.

“We stayed on the story,” he said. “We did it the old-fashioned way with lots of legwork. We did what the [big] news organisations used to do. We knocked on doors, ran down leads and talked to people.”
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 03, 2008, 04:52:46 PM

Hollywood Takes on the Left
David Zucker, the director who brought us 'Airplane!' and 'The Naked Gun,' turns his sights on anti-Americanism.
by Stephen F. Hayes
08/11/2008, Volume 013, Issue 45

Los Angeles
For anyone who has ever been on a movie set, the commotion inside Warner Brothers Studio 15 will be familiar: serious-faced actors and actresses quietly rehearsing their lines; the director of photography huddled with his assistants around two high-definition screens inside a small black tent reviewing the last scenes; extras lounging around the set trying both to stay out of the way and to get noticed; carpenters busily working to construct the set for the next scene; a frazzled first assistant director guzzling Red Bull and yelling instructions to anyone who will listen.

"Rolling," he shouts.

Others throughout the cavernous studio echo his call.

"Rolling! Quiet please!"

David Zucker is sitting in a high-backed director's chair with his name on it. (I'd always assumed they were just used for effect in movies, but here one was.) Zucker is looking at a monitor showing the inside of an empty New York City subway station. It's actually just a set--a stunning replica of a subway station--and it sits 15 feet to Zucker's right.

The first assistant director breaks the silence.


The set jumps to life. Two young men--both terrorists--enter the station. They are surprised to see a security checkpoint manned by two NYPD officers. "I'll need to see your bag, please," says one of the officers. The lead terrorist glances nervously at his friend and swings his backpack down from his shoulder to present it to the cops. Just as the officer pulls on the zipper, however, a small army of ACLU lawyers marches up to the policemen with a stop-search order. The cops look at each other and shrug their shoulders. "This says we can't search their bags."

The young men are relieved. They smile fiendishly as they walk toward the crowded platform. As the lead terrorist once again slips the backpack over his shoulder, he mutters his appreciation.

"Thank Allah for the ACLU."

Zucker's latest movie, An American Carol, is unlike anything that has ever come out of Hollywood. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives. Until now, conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo.

David Zucker believes we are in a "new McCarthy era." Time magazine film writer Richard Corliss recently joked that conservative films are "almost illegal in Hollywood." Tom O'Malley, president of Vivendi Entertainment, though, dismisses claims that Hollywood is hostile to conservative ideas and suggests that conservatives simply haven't been as interested in making movies. "How come there aren't more socialists on Wall Street?"

But Zucker's film, together with a spike in attendance at events put on by "The Friends of Abe" (Lincoln, not Vigoda)--a group of right-leaning Hollywood types that has been meeting regularly for the past four years--is once again reviving hope that conservatives will have a battalion in this exceedingly influential battleground of the broader culture war.

Zucker has always been interested in politics. He was raised in Shorewood, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, in a household where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was viewed as either a hero or a dangerous conservative. He was elected president of his senior class at the University of Wisconsin, and, when he addressed his classmates at commencement in the spring of 1970, his speech was serious--a friend describes it as "solemn" and political. Among other things, Zucker condemned the Kent State shootings and lamented the mistreatment of America's blacks. Two years later, he appeared on stage with lefty leading man Warren Beatty and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. Zucker says at the time he was "very liberal." (His brother Jerry remains an unreconstructed liberal and recently optioned a sympathetic movie about the life and times of serial fabulist Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame.)

David Zucker got his start in entertainment right after school. In 1971, he teamed up with his brother and two friends to create an irreverent revue called Kentucky Fried Theater. They drew large crowds to cafés and small theaters in Madison and soon outgrew the college town. They went to Hollywood to chase the dream, and, surprise, the show worked in Southern California, too.

They caught the attention of some of Hollywood's boldfaced names--the show would serve as one of Lorne Michaels's inspirations for Saturday Night Live--and in 1977 they released their first film, The Kentucky Fried Movie. It was the first of many classics: Airplane!, Top Secret!, The Naked Gun, BASEketball. Actually, BASEketball sucked, but by the time it was released in 1998, Zucker had put together enough of a streak that he was widely regarded as a comedic genius. Matt Stone, who together with Trey Parker created South Park, starred in BASEketball. He described Zucker's influence this way: "I used to sit at home with my friends in high school and watch Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane! and vomit from laughing."

Although these films had some political jokes, the movies themselves did not carry overt political messages. Naked Gun 2 came closest with a vaguely pro-environment theme. (It opens with George H.W. Bush meeting with the heads of America's coal, oil, and nuclear industries: the representatives of the Society for More Coal Energy [pronounced SMOKE]; the Society of Petroleum Industry Leaders [SPIL]; and the Key Atomic Benefits Office of Mankind [KABOOM].) Zucker, who owns a Toyota Prius and derives a third of the energy for his house from photovoltaic cells, is still an environmentalist.

In 1984, one of Zucker's college friends, Rich Markey, suggested he listen to a local Los Angeles talk radio show, "Religion on the Line," hosted by Dennis Prager. Zucker took the advice and soon struck up a friendship with Prager, whose conservative views appealed to Zucker as common sense. Although his politics were evolving, Zucker remained supportive of California Democrats, giving $2,400 to Senator Barbara Boxer in the mid-1990s. He contributed another $600 to an outfit called the "Hollywood Women's Political Committee" which, with members like Jane Fonda, Bonnie Raitt, and Barbra Streisand, probably wasn't calling for low taxes and abstinence education.

Zucker was still nominally a Democrat when George W. Bush was elected in 2000. "Then 9/11 happened, and I couldn't take it anymore," he says. "The response to 9/11--the right was saying this is pure evil we're facing and the left was saying how are we at fault for this? I think I'd just had enough. And I said 'I quit.'"

He decided to write a letter to Boxer, sharing his disgust and telling her not to expect any more of his money. Having never done this before, he asked a friend with the Republican Jewish Committee for help. This friend recommended Zucker contact Myrna Sokoloff, a former paid staffer for Boxer, who had recently completed a similar ideological journey.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Sokoloff had worked for several stars of the Democratic party's left wing. She served on the campaign staff of Mark Green, a close associate of Ralph Nader, when he ran for Senate in New York against Al D'Amato. She worked for Jerry Brown's 1992 presidential campaign and in 1998 was a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer's reelection effort.

Sokoloff had begun to sour on the Democratic party and the left generally during the impeachment of Bill Clinton. "As a feminist, I was outraged," she recalls. "If he had been a Republican president we would have demanded his resignation and marched on the White House." When she made this point to her Democratic friends, she says, they told her to keep quiet.

Although she didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2000, Sokoloff says she was glad that he won. Less than a year later, she understood why. "When 9/11 happened, I knew Democrats wouldn't be strong enough to fight this war."

Sokoloff and Zucker never did write the letter to Boxer, but their partnership would prove much more fruitful.

As the 2004 presidential election approached, Sokoloff and Zucker looked for a way to influence the debate. Their first effort was an ad mocking John Kerry for his flip-flops that the conservative Club for Growth paid to put on the air. In 2006, Sokoloff and Zucker followed that with a series of uproarious short spots mocking, in turn, the Iraq Study Group, Madeleine Albright and pro-appeasement foreign policy, and pro-tax congressional Democrats.

The Iraq Study Group ad was the most memorable. It opens with news footage of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain celebrating the signing of the Munich Agreement. A newspaper stand boasting "Peace with Honour" flashes across the screen.

Neville Chamberlain: "This morning, I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler. Here is the paper, which bears his name upon it, as well as mine."

The spot cuts to footage of German bombers over Warsaw. "Well," intones a narrator, "that negotiation went well. Fifty million dead worldwide. Nicely done, Mr. Chamberlain."

Then viewers are shown footage of imaginary negotiations between James Baker, Syria's Bashar Assad, and "Iranian madman" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Baker's Iraq Study Group had formally recommended talks with Iran and Syria as part of its proposed solution to the problems in Iraq.

When Ahmadinejad asks Baker for permission to develop nuclear weapons so long as Iran promises not to use them, Baker agrees. Triumphant music plays loudly in the background and the diplomacy pauses for a celebration and some photos.

The music stops and Baker returns to the table with Ahmadinejad and Syria's Bashar Assad.

"Next item: You must agree to stop supplying the explosive devices that are killing our American soldiers in Iraq," Baker insists.

"We won't do that."

"Well, can you reduce the number?"

"Okay, how about 10 percent?" Assad proposes.

"Twenty percent," Baker responds.




The music starts again and Baker, like Chamberlain, triumphantly waves the signed agreement.

"Now, this thing about destroying Israel," he says to Ahmadinejad.

"We will do that," says the Iranian leader.

Baker shrugs. "That's fair," he says, affixing his signature to yet another agreement and once again waving it before the cameras.

Zucker says that the idea to do a feature film grew out of those ads, and several of the actors in the spots, including Turkish actor Serdar Kalsin, who plays Ahmadinejad, have speaking roles in the film.

If An American Carol grew out of Zucker's work on these commercials, the narrative device dates back to 1843. An American Carol is based loosely--very loosely--on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

"Why be original?" Zucker asks. "I've done that. It doesn't work, like BASEketball"--as he says this, he rolls his eyes and moves his right hand across his body to indicate a car going off a cliff.

The holiday in An American Carol is not Christmas and the antagonist is not Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead, the film follows the exploits of a slovenly, anti-American filmmaker named Michael Malone, who has joined with a left-wing activist group ( to ban the Fourth of July. Along the way, Malone is visited by the ghosts of three American heroes--George Washington, George S. Patton, and John F. Kennedy--who try to convince him he's got it all wrong. When terrorists from Afghanistan realize that they need to recruit more operatives to make up for the ever-diminishing supply of suicide bombers, they begin a search for just the right person to help produce a new propaganda video. "This will not be hard to find in Hollywood," says one. "They all hate America." When they settle on Malone, who is in need of work after his last film (Die You American Pigs) bombed at the box office, he unwittingly helps them with their plans to launch another attack on American soil.

The entire film is an extended rebuttal to the vacuous antiwar slogan that "War Is Not the Answer." Zucker's response, in effect: "It Depends on the Question."

Zucker had originally hoped to cast Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy) as Malone, but a timing conflict kept him from getting it done. After briefly considering Frank Caliendo, a fellow Wisconsinite, a colleague passed him a reel from Kevin Farley, the younger brother of the late Chris Farley, and Zucker, who recalled seeing Kevin Farley in an episode of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm, was interested.

Zucker and Sokoloff met Farley in April 2007. Zucker described his new film with words he had chosen carefully. "I figured he was like everyone else in Hollywood--a Democrat," Zucker recalls. "And we knew that this was not a Democrat movie." It would be a satirical look at the war on terror, he told Farley, and explained that he and Sokoloff were political "moderates."

Farley hadn't seen any of Zucker's ads and assumed he was like everyone else in Hollywood--a Democrat. So he answered with some strategic ambiguity of his own. "I consider myself a centrist," he said, worried that they might press him more about his political views.

Zucker gave Farley the script and, concerned that Farley's agent would advise him against accepting the role because of the film's politics, told the actor not to show it to anyone. Farley, best known for his recurring role in a series of Hertz commercials, read the script and called back the next day to accept.

When he met Zucker and Sokoloff on the set as shooting on the film began, he told them that he, too, had long considered himself a conservative. "I couldn't believe it," says Sokoloff. "We were afraid that he would not want to be involved in something that was so directly taking on the left and that he would not want to play the Michael Moore character."

Farley told me this story during a break in filming at the Daniel Webster Elementary School in Pasadena, last April, with Steve McEveety, the film's producer, listening in.

"I thought that the minute we started talking about politics that would be the end," Farley recalls. "There was this dance that we did--a dance familiar to conservative actors in Hollywood. Lots of actors have done it."

"All three of you," said McEveety.

"Yeah, all three of us."

Farley is not aggressive about his politics and has chosen simply to opt out of political discussions when they have arisen on other projects. "I usually just bite my tongue unless it gets too ridiculous," he says. "The only thing that really bothers me is when they go off about the president. It just gets annoying."

If Farley is nervous that his proverbial big break is coming in a film with politics that might make getting his next big role more difficult, he doesn't show it. "If it's the last movie I do, I'll go work for Steve's company," he says.

"If this doesn't work," McEveety deadpans, "I won't have a company."

Yes, he will. He founded the company, Mpower Pictures, two years ago with John Shepherd, a former child actor, and Todd Burns, who helped put himself through law school by working as an EMT. McEveety, whose producing credits include Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, and The Passion of the Christ, is far too well-established to live or die based on the success of one film. And he created Mpower in part because he wanted the freedom to take risks on film projects others in Hollywood wouldn't consider. One such film, The Fallen, will be out later this fall. The film, based on a powerful book by Iranian journalist Friedoune Sahebjam, tells the true story of a young Iranian woman who is framed by her husband on false charges of infidelity and persecuted under the strictures of sharia law. According to McEveety, the Iranian regime has already begun an effort to discredit the film.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 03, 2008, 04:53:50 PM
McEveety is one of several big names that will make it hard for the Hollywood establishment to ignore An American Carol. Jon Voight plays George Washington. Dennis Hopper makes an appearance as a judge who defends his courthouse by gunning down ACLU lawyers trying to take down the Ten Commandments. James Woods plays Michael Malone's agent. And Kelsey Grammer plays General George S. Patton, Malone's guide to American history and the mouthpiece of the film's writers.

I chatted with Grammer on the set at Warner Brothers studios. "I'm glad some of the bigger guys jumped in--Dennis Hopper, Jon Voight, James Woods."

Grammer has been out as a conservative for several years and has publicly mused about running for office. His name comes up periodically when California Republicans are brainstorming about candidates to take on Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein for their Senate seats. It's not hard to see why. He is passionate about the issues that matter most to conservatives and extraordinarily articulate.

"The accepted way to speak about America is in the voice that disrespects it. And the voice that's unacceptable is the one that loves America," he says, wearing the uniform of an Army general and sipping from a bottle of pomegranate juice. "How did we get here?"

Over the course of two hours, we are joined by several others working on the movie and talk about everything from taxes--"the rich in this country are being criminalized"--to Iraq. "Petraeus has to couch every bit of optimism in some convoluted formulation to avoid the promised rush of disrespect," Grammer says.

Eventually, the conversation turns from policy to punditry. Grammer, who is friends with Ann Coulter, says he quoted her once to some of the young people who work for him.

"'Ann Coulter,'" he says, recalling their horror and assuming their voice. "'She's the antichrist.' And I said: 'What the f-- do you know about the antichrist? You don't even believe in Christ.'"

Robert Davi, who plays the lead terrorist in the Zucker film, joins us as the discussion turns from policy to the cable pundit shows. Davi is one of those actors with an instantly recognizable face--he was the villain in the Bond film Licence to Kill--but whose name is unknown to most of the country.

"I can't stand Keith Olbermann," says Davi. "Jesus Christ, I want to slap that guy."

"I just sit there and watch these shows"--he picks up an imaginary remote from the table in front of him, points it at the imaginary television somewhere to the right of my head and begins clicking--"I watch them all. I cannot watch the murder shows anymore. Greta comes on and"--he changes the channel once more.

Our discussion continues over lunch and we are joined by Myrna Sokoloff, Kevin Farley, and Chriss Anglin, who plays JFK. Lunch lasts an hour, and we discuss marginal tax rates, the Democratic primary, whether John McCain will pick Condoleezza Rice as his running mate, the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and whether the talk of closing Guantánamo is serious or just campaign rhetoric.

Eventually, the conversation turns to the war and the opposition to it--the subject of their current project. "No one on the left wants to admit that radical Islamists want to kill Americans, the Jews--everyone in the West," Davi says. "I try to talk to my friends on the left and they just don't get it. Most of them have never even heard of Sayyid Qutb. How can you have an intellectual discussion about the war we're in without knowing who Sayyid Qutb is?" he asks, raising his voice so that actors from other tables glance over to see what's causing the commotion. JFK concentrates on his food.

Later that same day, I spoke to Lee Reynolds, who plays the New York police officer whose efforts to search the terrorists are thwarted by the ACLU. Reynolds, too, is a conservative--something David Zucker did not know when he cast Reynolds in the anti-Kerry ad he produced in 2004. Reynolds was active duty military for 12 years and shortly after 9/11 worked as the chief media officer for detainee operations at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

When he returned, he took a job as a production assistant on a film--he asked me not to name it--shot in several locations across the United States. Reynolds worked hard and, he says, won the confidence of the film's directors, who gave him more responsibility. But just as he was making a name for himself, word began to spread that he had been in the military and, far worse, that he supported the efforts of his uniformed colleagues in the war on terror.

"Once they found out I was a Republican, unfortunately for some people it was a problem," he recalls. Several people who had talked to him regularly throughout the shoot simply stopped. And a trip that he was to have taken to participate in an offsite shoot across the country was abruptly cancelled. Another person was sent in his place. Reynolds says that he had only two colleagues who treated him the same way they had before, including "an anti-Bush lesbian" who was disgusted by the dogmatism of the others on the film. Reynolds, now a reservist, is scheduled to leave for Iraq in early 2009. The more Zucker is known as a conservative, the more frequently he has encounters with others who consider themselves conservative.

On one of the days I was on set, McEveety had invited Vivendi Entertainment president Tom O'Malley to meet Zucker. Vivendi had just agreed to distribute the film and had promised wide release--news that had the cast and crew of An American Carol in particularly good spirits.

O'Malley and Zucker chatted about the fact that O'Malley is the nephew of Candid Camera's Tom O'Malley and that they are both from the Midwest, among other things. Zucker thanked him for picking up the movie, which will be one of the first for Vivendi's new distribution arm. O'Malley told Zucker that he was particularly interested in this film in part because he, too, leans right.

Such revelations are common occurrences at the periodic meetings of the secret society of Hollywood conservatives known as the "Friends of Abe." The group, with no official membership list and no formal mission, has been meeting under the leadership of Gary Sinise (CSI New York, Forrest Gump) for four years. Zucker had spent a year working on a film with Christopher McDonald without learning anything about his politics. Shortly after the film wrapped, he ran into McDonald, best known as Shooter McGavin from Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore, at one of these informal meetings.

"It's almost like people who are gay, show up at the baths and say, 'Oh, I didn't know you were gay!' " Zucker says.

From the beginning, Zucker knew what the political message of An American Carol would be. His problem was how to make it funny.

The war on terror, of course, does not lend itself to hilarity. But Zucker knows comedy and has spent nearly four decades making people laugh. With his friend Lewis Friedman, a comedy writer, Zucker went looking for the absurd in the political left and found an abundance of material.

Zucker and Friedman poked fun of the know-nothing culture of antiwar protests. During a rally at Columbia University, students chant: "Peace Now, We Don't Care How!" Some of their protest signs are ones you'd find at any antiwar rally. Some are not. "9/11 Was an Inside Job," "Kick Army Recruiters Off Campus!" "End Violence--War Is Not the Answer!" "End Disease--Medicine Is Not the Answer!" "It's Too Dark Outside, The Sun Is Not the Answer!" "Overpopulation--Gay Marriage Is the Answer!"

Other claims were so absurd they didn't require exaggeration. "We really didn't have to do a lot of stretching," says Zucker.

When he heard Rosie O'Donnell claim that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state," he knew he had several minutes of material.

In the film, a rotund comedian named Rosie O'Connell makes an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor to promote her documentary, The Truth About Radical Christians. O'Reilly shows a clip, which opens with a pair of priests walking through an airport--as seen from pre-hijacking surveillance video--before boarding the airplane. Once onboard, they storm the cockpit using crucifixes as their weapon of choice. Next the documentary looks at the growing phenomenon of nuns as suicide bombers, seeking 72 virgins in heaven. A dramatization shows two nuns, strapped with explosives, board a bus to the cries of the other passengers. "Oh, no! Not the Christians!" O'Connell's work ends with a warning about new threats and the particular menace of the "Episcopal suppository bomber."

Zucker is plainly not worried about offending anyone. David Alan Grier plays a slave in a scene designed to show Malone what might have happened if the United States had not fought the Civil War. As Patton explains to a dumbfounded Malone that the plantation they are visiting is his own, Grier thanks the documentarian for being such a humane owner. As they leave, another slave, played by Gary Coleman, finishes polishing a car and yells "Hey, Barack!" before tossing the sponge to someone off-camera.

It is one of just two references to the ongoing presidential campaign. (The other one, more cryptic, comes in a scene that's a throwback to the Iraq Study Group ad. Neville Chamberlain, after polishing Adolf Hitler's boots, signs the Munich Agreement, and declares: "We have hope now.") But Tom O'Malley, president of Vivendi, believes that the timing of the film's release--October 3--will give it special relevance to the current debates. And several of the film's leading figures have strong opinions about Barack Obama. "Obama is not qualified to be president, and it'll be a disaster," says Zucker, who then pauses as if he's said something he should have kept to himself. "Shouldn't I be allowed to say that?"

Zucker says that one of the major differences between the left and the right in America today is that leftists think of their political opponents as evil. "I don't think that Obama is an evil guy, I just think he's wrong. But I do think we face real evil in Ahmadinejad and the mullahs and all these crazy guys."

Does Obama understand that?

"I don't think so. I don't think so."

Zucker points to a National Journal study that found Obama to be the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. "John Kerry was, and Obama is. Fortunately, Kerry was a stiff. But Obama isn't a stiff and he's really adaptable. He's like a really clever virus who adapts. Obama's the farthest left of all of these guys. And that's why he associated with all of those crazies--terrorists, preachers of hate."

Jon Voight, who says he was "duped" as a young man into rallying against the Vietnam war, is also troubled both by Obama's associations and his willingness to end them so abruptly. "When I look at the other side, when I look at Barack Obama, I see expediency," he says, pointing to Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and assuming Obama's voice. "He's like family. I could never disown him. I didn't know him. I didn't hear those words in that church."

If those behind the film have similar views about Obama, many of them have opposing views about the long-term impact of a film like An American Carol on the movie industry.

"If this does well, it'll change everything," says Grammer.

"I think it would be pompous to say that," says Voight. "It's a movie. It's a satire. And it's a funny satire. I don't want to point to this thing, just because there are so few films from conservative sources, and make it a target. It's a movie. Let's not burden this little horse with additional weights."

David Zucker seems to be of two minds. When I ask him if he had an objective in making the film, he borrows a line from his friend and former partner, Jim Abrahams. "Avoid embarrassment."

He adds: "I don't have any desire to be taken seriously. Really, I really don't. But having said that, I really believe this stuff. Why can't I put it out there? And I'm scared to death of Obama. If I didn't do something about it I would feel--My kids would ask: 'What did you do in the war Daddy?'"

"I donated my career to stop this s--."

Stephen F. Hayes, a senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD, is the author of Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President (HarperCollins) .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 04, 2008, 10:49:50 AM
Published on (
British Writer Claims MSM Silence on Edwards Scandal Reflects Newspaper Decline

By P.J. Gladnick
Created 2008-08-04 06:28
Perhaps it takes a foreigner looking from the outside in to give us a clear look at the overall meaning of the mainstream media silence on the alleged John Edwards scandal. In this case it is Guy Adams writing in his US Media Diary [1] in the UK Independent about "The 'scoop' the US papers ignored." (emphasis mine):

That old cliché about everything being bigger in America seems especially pertinent when attempting to describe the sheer scale of the crisis currently afflicting the US newspaper industry, which makes all Fleet Street's woes look like a summer picnic.

Last week, The Los Angeles Times decided to flog its historic downtown offices, on top of sacking 150 of its 870 journalists. So did The Chicago Tribune. Almost every title in the land is now shedding staff; a hundred New York Times hacks have been offered voluntary redundancy; Newsweek recently announced cuts. It's a bloodbath out there, as US media companies attempt to claw a pound of flesh from haemorrhaging readerships.

Consider, against this backdrop of falling circulation and a failing industry, the decision of every mainstream paper in America to ignore the juiciest political story of the month (and possibly the year): the discovery by National Enquirer hacks of John Edwards, in the corridors of a Beverly Hills hotel, where his alleged mistress and alleged love child were also staying, at half past two on the morning of Tuesday, 22 July.

Since Edwards was, until recently, hoping to be president and will almost certainly have a prominent role in any Barack Obama administration, his marital integrity is a matter of public interest. It could yet become an election issue. Yet neither the highfalutin NYT, nor the Tribune, nor even the LA Times, on whose patch the whole sordid business occurred, have yet stepped up to the plate to report it. Their old-fashioned reticence seems quaint, in this day of kiss'n'tell and chequebook journalism. But it's also depressing: one of the reasons America's newspapers are dying is their perceived pomposity. Readers say they are too timid to rock the boat; right-wingers complain (with some justification) that they conspire to suppress damaging stories about Democrats. The general public thinks they have simply become boring.

The Edwards story could be selling truckloads of newsprint. It is attracting enormous traffic online, and has been devoured by viewers of Fox, the only TV network to report it. In ignoring the affair, newspapers are sacrificing potential readers and repeating the mistakes of the 1990s, where they loftily decided against reporting Bill Clinton's many bedroom misdeeds, allowing internet sites to claim the Monica Lewinsky "scoop."

The editor of the LA Times, Tony Pierce, has higher concerns, though. He recently sent staff an edict. "There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair," it read. "Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations."

I can't pretend to know what Mr Pierce does with his 870 journalists. But if he'd asked just one of them to check out these "salacious rumours" regarding John Edwards the LA Times might have a few more readers, and fewer of the 870 staffers might have to be cut from its bloated payroll.

And in the MSM Wall of Silence category comes this report from a Kansas City Star TV writer, Aaron Barnhart, featured here [1] in NewsBusters last Friday. In contrast to his earlier claim that the MSM has finally begun to report on the John Edwards scandal, Barnhart has now backtracked [2] on his earlier position about the new "openness" of the media on this topic (emphasis mine):

Perhaps I spoke too soon about the whole "John Edwards story going mainstream" business. After a couple of reports by my colleagues elsewhere in the vast McClatchy chain appeared last week, there was bupkis out of the MSM. I mean, I got more traction trying to climb Airport Road in my 1961 Ranchero during an ice storm.

I think all the serious political reporters are just waiting for the National Enquirer to break more news. Then they'll pounce. It's a weird way to do journalism, for sure, but not that surprising. There's very little upside for news editors to be early on this story (no one is talking up Edwards as a VP right now), while the downside is considerable. The blogosphere, however, has gone wild over this story, and simply by deigning to talk about it, TV Barn — a blog, mind you, kept by a MSM entertainment critic — just had its biggest weekend in a decade of service.

Kudos to Mr. Barnhart for being man enough to admit his error and correcting it. Oh, and also thanks for the inadvertent shoutout by referencing this blog as "the adverserial" in the following description of the blogosphere reaction to his earlier piece:

Reaction to my piece has ranged from the adversarial [2] to the hotly adversarial [3] to off-the-charts, like this blogger [4] whose line-by-line analysis of my story would make any JFK/9-11/TWA 800 conspiracy theorist proud.

However, I do think Barnhart was a bit harsh in his latter description of the DBKP blog [5] as making a "conspiracy theorist proud." Any blog that describes [6] your humble correspondent in the following manner deserves praise, not scorn (emphasis proudly mine):

PJ Gladnick, of Newsbusters Writer Claims Edwards Scandal Story Has Finally ‘Trickled Out’ Into MSM [6], does a complete demolition of Barnhart’s other claims about why the MSM didn’t cover the story.

Of course, NewsBusters also took a pass on the story in December. But, NBs has been all over the story in its July reincarnation, chiefly through the efforts of Gladnick. Gladnick’s NewsBusters coverage has been a key element in holding the media’s feet to the fire over the last two weeks.


Source URL:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on August 05, 2008, 11:51:35 AM

August 5, 2008 --
AFTER a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association last week, a reporter thrust a mike toward me and asked if I thought I should be tried for war crimes for my columns in The Post supporting our military.

The reporter - who avoided revealing what outlet he was with - thought he was being wonderfully clever, but what fascinated me about the silly encounter (it was in San Francisco, after all) was how unintentionally revealing it was about the shameless hypocrisy of the left.

Think about it: For expressing my views to readers like you on these pages, hardcore leftists believe I should be put on trial as a war criminal.

It tells you all you need to know about the extreme left's view of the First Amendment: Free speech is great, as long as it's their free speech (or extreme pornography). But dissenting views must be censored. The more effective the opponent, the more important it is to shut him down.

The extreme left loves to pretend it stands for freedom. It never has and never will. From the Reign of Terror in Paris onward, its core agenda has been the tyranny of egomaniacal intellectuals. The hard left hates an open debate - especially these days, when it's out of new ideas.

The left pretends that campuses should enjoy freedom of speech, yet activist students shout down, harass and even attack speakers whose views they dislike. That's brownshirt behavior, folks - as surely as show trials are Stalinist.

Hardcore leftists never welcome a freewheeling debate - they'd rather force their beliefs on the rest of us. It's an article of faith for the left that folks like you and me are too stupid to know what's good for us (we're so dumb, some of us even believe in God).

For many years, the left's tactic was to pretend to care about average citizens. In the last century, the motto was the "dictatorship of the proletariat" (still a dictatorship, of course). Then, when American workers showed no interest in the Sovietization of Michigan, outraged leftists retreated into the Dictatorship of the Intellectuals.

Now we have the would-be dictatorship of the pseudo-intellectuals.

The stunning hypocrisy of the march-in-step left was brought home to me again on Sunday while I waited in a green room for a C-Span spot.

The show preceding mine featured a young woman, Mahvish Rukhsana Khan, who's published a book about the poor, innocent, kitten-loving prisoners at Guantanamo. Her interview climaxed with the claim that Guantanamo is the equivalent of the Holocaust.

I guarantee you that no one from MoveOn or DailyKos questioned that outrageous comparison. (Nor did the patsy interviewer challenge it.)

The Holocaust's victims were 6 million innocents. The handful of prisoners at Guantanamo are accused terrorists. Guantanamo has no gas chambers; prisoners aren't forced into slave labor. They aren't tortured or starved or shot. And their trials are open to members of the press.

The truly outrageous aspect of such comparisons is that the American left, with its Stalin-redux willingness to rearrange history, neglects to mention that, outside of Japan, all of the 20th century's great totalitarian regimes had roots on the political left.

It wasn't just Lenin and Stalin whose propaganda machine prefigured MoveOn. Nazi is an acronym for "National Socialist." Read Mein Kampf. It isn't a tribute to free-market capitalism, folks. Mussolini was a populist. Mao was a leftist, as was Pol Pot. The last century's worst censors and book burners all emerged from leftist ideologies.

At the moment, the American left evokes our Communists in 1939, who contorted themselves to justify the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Stalin and Hitler. As this column recently pointed out, Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home! disappeared from the political scene the instant Obama called for sending those troops to Afghanistan and Pakistan, instead of back to Fort Hood.

For the hardcore left, the party line always trumps conscience. MoveOn isn't new - it's just Pravda with poor punctuation.

The more I think about that proposed war-crimes trial, the more excited I get. If we could just delay it until President Obama invades Pakistan, he and I could share the prisoners' docket together.

Of course, the charges he'd face would be far worse, given that Saddam Hussein was a genocidal dictator and Pakistan's a democracy. But the left is right: We can't let war crimes go unpunished.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World."
Title: Brent Bozell on Helen Thomas
Post by: ccp on August 10, 2008, 04:29:17 PM
And they wonder why people to the right of center on the political spectrum flock to Fox news and listen to talk radio?   We have no where else to go if we want balanced news and journalism.

It's like today on "Meet the Press". Someone points out that talking has not helped the situation in Georgia which is opposite of Obama's claims and then you have this guy Dionne literally jumping into the conversation as fast as possible to fix this thought to one in align with the candidate he loves and says this situation actually shows why the US needs to talk more with its European allies in order to deal with the Russian-Georgian problem "so Obama's approach is still completely correct". 

Are we to take this spin from a supposedly objective "journalist" by not simply changing the channel?  Needless to say I turned off Meet the Press as fast as possible.

Yet Helen Thomas denies any of this.  And of course she gets honored.  Will there be an HBO documentary honoring Robert Novak who sounds terminally ill? 

***Doubting Helen Thomas
by L. Brent Bozell III
August 6, 2008 Tell a friend about this site

At a screening of a forthcoming HBO documentary honoring liberal journalist Helen Thomas in Washington, Thomas was asked whether most White House reporters are liberal. “Hell no!” she thundered. I’m dying to find another liberal to open their mouths [sic]. Where are they?”

Is this Grande Dame of Journalism serious? The answer, of course, is yes. Since Ms. Thoms is dying to find vocal liberals in the news media, the least we can do is point her in the right direction.

Let’s see...

ABC’s Claire Shipman says the taxpayers, not the politicians, should sacrifice to close the budget deficit: “If every American were to pitch in $2,000, we could pay off this year's deficit.... Or, if we handed over, each of us, 500 gallons of gasoline or, in terms we could all really understand, if every American gave up 666 lattes for a year, we could pay off this year's deficit.”...Dan Rather predicts Big Oil will try to manipulate the election for John McCain: “The people who can affect the price of oil would prefer a Republican presidential candidate. Watch the price of oil. If it goes down, which it may very well, it could help John McCain quite a bit.”

The Associated Press swoons: “It's not only Obama's youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic. Obama has raised expectations of a chance for the nation to redeem itself in the role that Europe has loved, respected and relied upon.”...CBS’s Mark Phillips melts in Berlin: “The 200,000-plus crowd confirmed his rock star status, and his more cooperative sounding rhetoric was what the crowd wanted to hear.”...Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times rejects charges of pro-Obama bias with this doozy: “Mr. Obama's weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas.”

On “Meet the Press,” NBC’s Tom Brokaw prods Al Gore: “How can you, given the passion that you feel about this issue, turn down the idea that you could be in the administration as a Vice President or as an energy czar or as both?”...With a straight face, retiring New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse claims, “President Clinton played to the center, not the left, in selecting Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.”...NBC labels the late Jesse Helms an “outspoken ultra-rightist,” but waxed about Howard Metzenbaum as a “populist” who “always fought for the little guy.”

NBC’s Matt Lauer presses Barack Obama – as not liberal enough, quoting hotheads at the New York Times: “Senator Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He’s lurching right when it suits him, he's zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that's guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash.”...New polls from battleground states delight MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “I'm thrilled with this. Obama's strength in the Northeast, the West Coast and the Great Lakes.”

CBS’s Katie Couric sees bias now: “However you feel about her politics, I feel that Senator Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I’ve ever seen.” … And Time’s former Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson pens, “If there’s anything we need to rescue us from the last eight years, it’s brains, good judgment and experience. Obama has the first two. Gore has all three.”

NBC’s Lee Cowan waxes, "In victory and in defeat Michelle Obama had always been there, dressed as brightly as her husband's smile"....In reference to John McCain’s wife Cindy, New York Times reporter Alessandra Stanley writes: “As the Equal Rights Amendment faded as a cause and conservatism made a comeback, Republican spouses became ever more careful to stay three steps behind their men and the times.”

Former ABC reporter Linda Douglass, now an Obama spokesperson, reveals the obvious: “I have fundamental differences with John McCain on the issues and always have. I don't have any problem criticizing John McCain." …AP reporter Charles Babington cheers: “Obama is something special, a man who makes difficult tasks look easy, who seems to touch millions of diverse people with a message of hope that somehow doesn’t sound Pollyannaish.”

Conservative columnist Bob Novak tells it like it is: "I've been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate than when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I'm telling you right now, the enchantment with Obama beats the JFK syndrome."

But Helen Thomas, the so-called Dean of the White House press corps, doesn’t know any liberals in the news media.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 11, 2008, 04:32:33 PM
CCP,  I share your sentiments about slanted news coverage.  I always regret finding out important facts through right wing sources instead of from my local paper, the evening news or a show like Meet the Press.  For example, I shouldn't have to learn new, relevant facts on the opinion page of the WSJ.  Those should be on page one and not just in the WSJ.

I missed the Sunday shows and was reading transcripts this am.  Even on Fox, Chris Wallace was very hard on Treasury Secretary Paulson, trying to match the other shows.  Assuming Paulson is guilty of something and denying it, then I would understand the tone, but he is OUR (US) treasury secretary and doing his best as far as I know.  It seems that a discussion/interview tone could have worked just fine to get the facts out instead of having 100% of the questions being combative. At least he does that to both sides.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 08, 2008, 11:08:19 AM

Ha! :-D
Title: This is a good start.
Post by: ccp on September 08, 2008, 01:22:33 PM
The following is pretty much what I suspected.  Kind of obvious really.  Another one pushing her agenda on the rest of us.

Speaking of ridiculously biased MSNBC, here's another:

****From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rachel Maddow

Born Rachel Anne Maddow
April 1, 1973 (1973-04-01) (age 35)
 United States
Occupation Radio host
TV host
Partner Susan Mikula
Rachel Anne Maddow (born April 1, 1973) is an American radio personality and political pundit. She is the host of The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America Radio and an MSNBC TV show host.[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Education
2 Radio career
3 Television career
4 Personal life
5 References
6 External links

[edit] Education
A graduate of Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California, Maddow later obtained a degree in public policy from Stanford University in 1994. She then received a Rhodes Scholarship in 1995 and used it to obtain a D.Phil. in political science from Lincoln College, Oxford University.[2] Her political activism has focused on AIDS and prisoners' rights, especially the prevention of the spread of HIV and AIDS in prisons. She is an outspoken advocate for gay and progressive issues.

[edit] Radio career
Maddow got her first radio hosting job at WRNX (100.9 FM, Amherst, Massachusetts) when the station held a contest for a new on-air personality.[3] She was hired on the spot to co-host WRNX's then premier morning show, The Dave in the Morning Show. She later went on to host Big Breakfast on WRSI, in Northampton, Massachusetts, for two years. She left the show to join the newly created Air America in March 2004.[2] There she hosted Unfiltered along with Chuck D and Lizz Winstead until its cancellation on March 31, 2005.[4] Two weeks later (April 14), her own two-hour-long program, The Rachel Maddow Show, began airing; it was expanded to three hours on March 10, 2008. It currently airs live from New York from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET on weekdays, with David Bender filling in the third hour for the call-in section when Maddow is on TV assignment.

[edit] Television career
Maddow was a regular panelist on MSNBC's Tucker. During and after the November 2006 election, she was a frequent guest on CNN's Paula Zahn Now. In January 2008, Maddow was given the position of MSNBC political analyst and is now a regular panelist MSNBC's Race for the White House with David Gregory and MSNBC's election coverage, as well as a frequent contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.[2]

On April 4, 2008, Maddow was the substitute host for Countdown with Keith Olbermann, her first time hosting a news program on MSNBC. Maddow described herself on air as "nervous," but Keith Olbermann complimented her work and she was brought back to host "Countdown" on May 16, 2008; that day, Countdown was the highest rated news program in the key 25–54 year old demographic.[5] For her success, Olbermann awarded Maddow the 3rd ranking in his regular segment, "World's Best Persons" on the following Monday, calling her "World's Best Pinch-Hitter."[6] Maddow filled in again on Countdown for eight-and-a-half broadcasts while Olbermann was on vacation in July 2008 (including the latter half of the July 21 show).[7] Maddow has also filled in for David Gregory as host of Race for the White House.[2]

It was announced on August 19, 2008, that Maddow will take over the 9 pm ET time slot on MSNBC on September 8, 2008, replacing Dan Abrams.[8] The name of her new show will be 'The Rachel Maddow Show'.[9]

[edit] Personal life
Maddow lives in Manhattan and Western Massachusetts with her partner, artist and accountant Susan Mikula.[10][11] The couple met in 1999, when Mikula hired Maddow, who was then working on her doctoral dissertation, as a gardener for her country house. They moved in together a year and a half later.[10]****

Title: NYTimes removes article
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 11, 2008, 08:03:03 AM Removes Article Mentioning Obama's Muslim Roots

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Removes Article Mentioning Obama's Muslim Roots

By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
September 9, 2008 - 10:25 ET

UPDATE: Link to article in question now works as of 6:45PM.

On March 6, 2007, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof published an article entitled "Obama: Man of the World."

In it, Kristof addressed Barack Obama's upbringing, including his early life in Jakarta when he "got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school."

For some reason, the link to this piece doesn't work anymore. Does the New York Times no longer want folks to read the following paragraphs (h/t Gateway Pundit via NBer mitchflorida):

"I was a little Jakarta street kid," he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office (excerpts are on my blog, He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics -- and more likely to be aware of their nationalism -- if he once studied the Koran with them.

Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it'll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."

Moreover, Mr. Obama's own grandfather in Kenya was a Muslim. Mr. Obama never met his grandfather and says he isn't sure if his grandfather's two wives were simultaneous or consecutive, or even if he was Sunni or Shiite.

Further complicating the matter is that Kristof posted a link to this piece at his "On the Ground" blog the night before it appeared in print, and solicited opinions.  That link doesn't work, either.  Even more mysterious, Obama's official campaign website still has the article available. Makes one wonder what the Times is feeling so squeamish about.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 14, 2008, 06:04:03 AM
This site comes recommended to me:

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on September 14, 2008, 07:57:38 AM
This site comes recommended to me:

I looked at this site; rather than impartial information, it's so biased it's.......

For example, I like and do a lot of photography. One of the comments on this site was that the angle of the camera on Palin and Gibson during their interview was intentionally biased against Palin.  The site went on to say, in contrast, look at two examples of Obama and Hilary; notice how the camera makes them look equal...  But the site didn't mention that the one particular camera shot that they chose as an example had Gibson (over 6'0" tall and Palin around 5'4") standing and facing each other.  Of course there are height differences.  What the article left out is that in most of the interview they were both seated (the two of them looked equal) and/or the camera was on Palin alone looking quite strong.  The site is dribble; simple biased reporting rather than factual news.  Now I am not a Palin for VP fan, but as one site said, "she appeared confident, disciplined and responded in a manner that showed her readiness to lead."  Now maybe you do or don't like her answers to Gibson, or that Gibson was "too" aggressive (that is his job and Palin should be able to handle it) but that is another issue.   But don't absurdly slant the facts and blame the cameraman because you don't like how Palin did in the interview.

Other foolish examples exist on the same site. No facts; it's simply biased reporting in it's worst form.  To paraphrase GM, maybe they should sell McCain/Palin T shirts on their site.

Title: Bozell, Newsbusters, and the MRC
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 14, 2008, 09:14:12 AM
I'm not a big fan of Newsbusters. It's one of many offshoots from Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, all of which imbue a fairly pro-catholic and religion bias in most of their reporting. They publish CNS News Service which has always struck me as a shrill and one dimensional information source. MRC does some occasional empiric analysis of the MSM that mostly involves frequency counts, i.e. how many times a negative story appears about one candidate compared to his opponent, and tidbit can be derived from its various organs. However, much as I don't like posting pieces from Reverend Moon's house organ The Washington Times, I don't like citing the findings of the MRC and its organs as you often have to excise their orthodoxies first.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 14, 2008, 02:46:58 PM
Sounds like I should have read it first  :oops:  The source from whom I received the recommendation has been downgraded from "relaible source" to "usually reliable source"  :lol:
Title: Blankley on the MSM's propaganda
Post by: ccp on September 25, 2008, 01:32:58 PM
Tony Blankley is a reasonable guy in my opinion, but I couldn't agree with him more.  MSNB/CNBC have given up any pretenses of objectivity and are just propaganda outlets for the crats.  Tony is also correct about the Economist's review of the Freddoso book which actually surprised me.  I beleive the Economist pieces are almost always tilted to the left and clearly are wraped to the advantage of the crats.  So it very much surpirsed me when I read the piece on the Freddoso which essentially agreed that BO's ties with Ayers is a huge eye opener to extreme left this guy is coming from and how his handlers have reconstructed him out of thin air to be a reconciliator which is completely at odds with his political life.  As for BOs gaffs - yes generally not one peep from the MSM about them.   Hey did anyone hear Biden's comments about FDR coming out and speaking to the citizens of the US after the 1929 crash on television - before he was President and before TV was invented?  :-D

BLANKLEY: Media covering for Obama
Obama remains unknown
Tony Blankley
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight out propagandists for the Obama campaign. While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08 for the first time, the major media are consciously covering for one candidate for president and consciously knifing the other. This is no longer journalism — it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Volkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.) And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly and even half way honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs — the press.

The image of Barack Obama that the press has presented is not a fair approximation of the real man. They have consciously ignored whole years in his life, and showed a lack of curiosity about such gaps that bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct. Thus, the public image of Mr. Obama is of a "Man who never was." I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real life WWII British intelligence operation to trick the Germans into thinking the Allies were going to invade Greece, rather than Italy, in 1943. Operation "Mincemeat" involved the acquisition of a human corpse dressed as a Maj. William Martin, R.M. and put into the sea near Spain. Attached to the corpse was a brief-case containing fake letters suggesting that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the operation credible, British intelligence created a fictional life for the corpse — a letter from a lover, tickets to a London theater, all the details of a life — but not the actual life of the dead young man whose corpse was being used. So, too, the man the media has presented to the nation as Mr. Obama is not the real man.

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeats any McCain gaffes, while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Internet sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Mr. Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventual one or two clear sentences from Mr. Obama. Nor do you see Mr. Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the United Nations. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

More appalling, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters. That scene was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate for Senate in Minnesota. Talk about incest.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen.Barack Obama, D-Ill., greets supporters before his speech in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina on September 21, 2008. (UPI Photo/Nell Redmond)

But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting, is the shocking gaps in Mr. Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply has not reported on Mr. Obama's two years at Columbia University in New York, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers— after which they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Mr. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Mr. Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks the media has focused on all the colleges Mrs. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago and the close criticism of Mrs. Palin's mayoral political opponents. But in two years they haven't bothered to see how close Mr. Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Mr. Obama's rise in Chicago politics — how did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great — and unflattering details on Mr. Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book, the mainstream media continues to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, the Economist, to give Mr. Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Mr. Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Mr. Obama, his publicist David Axelrod and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

Perhaps that is why the National Journal's respected correspondent Stuart Taylor has written that "the media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis." That conspiracy has not only photo-shopped out all of Mr. Obama's imperfections (and dirtied up his opponent Mr. McCain's image), but it has put most of his questionable history down the memory hole.

The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Mr. Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.

Tony Blankley is a syndicated columnist.
Title: VP debate moderator is a huge BO fan
Post by: ccp on October 01, 2008, 06:56:43 AM


I would give serious consideration to cancelling the debate if I were with McCain's camp.  This is really ridiculous.  I also noticed Couric's interviews with Palin are "gotcha" journalism.  Conservatives only voice is talk radio and a few on Fox - such as Hannity (who I actually think is way too partisan and "talking point-like").

VP debate moderator Ifill releasing pro-Obama book
Focuses on blacks who are 'forging a bold new path to political power'

Posted: September 30, 2008
8:35 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Gwen Ifill

The moderator of Thursday's vice-presidential debate is writing a book to come out about the time the next president takes the oath of office that aims to "shed new light" on Democratic candidate Barack Obama and other "emerging young African American politicians" who are "forging a bold new path to political power."

Gwen Ifill of the Public Broadcasting Service program "Washington Week" is promoting "The Breakthrough," in which she argues the "black political structure" of the civil rights movement is giving way to men and women who have benefited from the struggles over racial equality.

Ifill declined to return a WND telephone message asking for a comment about her book project and whether its success would be expected should Obama lose. But she has faced criticism previously for not treating candidates of both major parties the same.

During a vice-presidential candidate debate she moderated in 2004 – when Democrat John Edwards attacked Republican Dick Cheney's former employer, Halliburton – the vice president said, "I can respond, Gwen, but it's going to take more than 30 seconds."

(Story continues below)


"Well, that's all you've got," she told Cheney.

Ifill told the Associated Press Democrats were delighted with her answer, because they "thought I was being snippy to Cheney." She explained that wasn't her intent.

But she also was cited in complaints PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler said he received after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered her nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month.

Some viewers complained of a "dismissive" look by Ifill during her report on Palin's speech. According to Getler, some also said she wore a look of "disgust" while reporting on the Republican candidate.

At that time she said, "I assume there will always be critics and just shut out the noise. It is surprisingly easy."

Ifill, who also works with her network's "NewsHour," is making preparations to moderate this week's debate between the two candidates for vice president, Palin and Democratic Sen. Joe Biden.. She told she thinks debates "are the best opportunity most voters have to see the candidates speaking to issues."

She said she is concerned only about getting straight answers from candidates.

"You do your best to get candidates to answer your question. But I also trust the viewers to understand when questions are not answered and reach their own conclusions," Ifill told BlackAmericaWeb.

"Four years ago, when neither John Edwards nor Dick Cheney proved capable of answering a question about the domestic epidemic of AIDS among African-American women, viewers flooded me with reaction," she said.

She said she will make her own decisions about what questions to ask, adding "the big questions matter."

In the promotion for her book, Ifill is described as "drawing on interviews with power brokers," such as Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In an online video promoting her book, she is enthusiastic about "taking the story of Barack Obama and extending it."

It focuses on four people, "one of them Barack Obama of course," she said.

"They are changing our politics and changing our nation," she said.

On, Ifill is praised for her "incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama."

"Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history," the review says.

She told AP her view of Obama: "I still don't know if he'll be a good president."

She also describes how she met him at the 2004 Democratic convention and since then has interviewed the Illinois senator and his family.

She also boasted that by the time of the debate, "I'll be a complete expert on both" Palin and Biden.

The debate will be held at Washington University in St. Louis, which has posted information about the evening's events online.

Ifill's profile there describes her as a longtime correspondent and moderator for national news programs and includes her service as moderator of the 2004 debate between Edwards and Cheney.

However, there's no mention of her upcoming book. Nor does the website for the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is organizing the meetings of the candidates, mention her book.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 02, 2008, 02:20:38 PM

Ifill Ethics Commission Clears Ifill

By Gwen Ifill
PBS Chief Political Correspondent
and Gwen Ifill
President, Ifill Center for Media Ethics
and Gwen Ifill
Editor, BarackBeat Fanzine

WASHINGTON - As expected, a blue ribbon panel from the Ifill Center for Media Ethics cleared award-winning political journalist Gwen Ifill of all charges today, ending a lengthy 20 minute investigation into "ethics" charges that most observers believe were motivated by politics and racism. Ifill, like dynamic groundbreaking President-in-Waiting Barack Obama, is Black. The complete exoneration clears the way for Ifill to moderate the Vice Presidential debate tonight between respected Senate veteran Joe Biden and former beauty pageant loser Sarah Palin.

"I would like to thank Ms.Ifill for her complete cooperation into this unnecessary politically-motivated witch hunt," said Commission Chairperson Gwen Ifill. "On behalf of the entire panel, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for dragging her in and wasting her valuable time on the basis of such obviously flimsy and bogus allegations."

Displaying her famous grace, Ifill said she harbored no ill will toward the inquiry.

"I'm satisfied by the result," said the objective, down-the-middle reporter whose work has earned her numerous awards for broadcast excellence as well as several honorary doctorates in Journalism Ethics. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got debate questions to prepare."

The Ifill Ifill commission was convened late yesterday in the wake of a whispering campaign by racist internet operatives for cancer-ravaged reactionary Senator John McCain. The scurrilous charges included objections to Ifill serving as debate moderator because of her coming best-seller, President Obama: The Audacious Winning Campaign of the African-American Adonis Who Healed the Planet and Stopped the Oceans' Rise, available November 6 from Harper Collins. Save 20% of the $29.95 list price by preordering with your Amazon or Barnes and Noble card.

Some of the whispering campaign focused on the "issue" that Ifill forgot to mention the book to the debate commission, even though the respected media professional has had much on her mind lately, including the massive economic meltdown spurred by years of failed trickle-up Republican economic policies.

Some anonymous partisan critics also faulted Ifill for her work as Editor of BarackBeat Magazine Giant Poster Pullout Special, with over 100 commemorative Obama stickers and free mini-CD of the Jonas Brothers hit "Hope Is In The House," available on newstands now -- for the low cover price of $5.95!

Those criticisms were quickly dismissed by the blue ribbon ethics panel consisting of Ifill, MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann, and veteran Washington press correspondent Gwen Ifill. In its official report, the commission ruled that Ifill's book deal was consistent with prevailing journalism ethics standards, noting that 86% of national broadcast media personalities had similar pending Barack Obama book deals.

Ifill did not escape some criticism from the panel however, as she was warned several times by ranking member Olbermann that "your position of moderator is no excuse not to violently attack Palin."

"As journalism professionals, we are counting on you to do the right thing," said Olbermann, presenting her with the Center's "Dan 'Mr. October' Rather Journalist of the Year" commemorative baseball bat.

"You can depend on me," said Ifill, calmly pounding spikes into the engraved Louisville Slugger. "I promise to conduct myself in the highest traditions of Gwen Ifill."
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 02, 2008, 02:24:32 PM
Question: Would Gwen Ifill wearing an "Obama 2008" be more or less ethical than her refusal to recuse herself after not disclosing her book?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 02, 2008, 03:12:43 PM
Unlike Clinton, Biden Gets Pass for Saying He Was 'Shot At' in Iraq
When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia, she was accused of "inflating her war experience" by Barack Obama's campaign -- but the campaign has been silent about Joe Biden telling his own questionable story about being "shot at" in Iraq. 
By Bill Sammon

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Barack Obama and Joe Biden wave to the crowd as they arrive for a rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Saturday. (AP Photo)

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia, she was accused of "inflating her war experience" by rival Democrat Barack Obama's campaign.

But the campaign has been silent about Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being "shot at" in Iraq.

"Let's start telling the truth," Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. "Number one, you take all the troops out - you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die."

But when questioned about the episode afterward by the Hill newspaper, Biden backpedaled from his claim of being "shot at" and instead allowed: "I was near where a shot landed."

The senior senator from Delaware went on to say that some sort of projectile "landed" outside a building in the Green Zone where he and another senator had spent the night during a visit in December 2005. The lawmakers were shaving in the morning when they felt the building shake, Biden said.

"No one got up and ran from the room-it wasn't that kind of thing," he told the Hill. "It's not like I had someone holding a gun to my head."

The rest of the press ignored the flap at the time because Biden was viewed as having little chance of ending up on the Democratic presidential ticket. But even after Biden was selected to be Obama's running mate last month, his claim to have been "shot at" drew no scrutiny from the same reporters who had savaged Clinton for making a similar claim that turned out to be false.

FOX News has been asking the Obama campaign for details of the alleged shooting in Iraq ever since Biden was tapped to be vice president. Biden campaign spokesman David Wade promised an answer last week, but failed to provide one.

Meanwhile, the gaffe-prone Biden has again raised eyebrows with another story about his exploits in war zones - this time in Afghanistan. Biden said he will grill Republican rival Sarah Palin in Thursday's vice presidential debate about "the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down."

"If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me," Biden bragged to the National Guard Association. "Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are."

But it turns out that inclement weather, not terrorists, prompted the chopper to land in an open field during Biden's visit to Afghanistan in February. Fighter jets kept watch overhead while a convoy of security vehicles was dispatched to retrieve Biden and fellow Senators Chuck Hagel and John Kerry.

"We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn't have to," joked Kerry, a Democrat, to the AP. "Other than getting a little cold, it was fine."

Biden never explicitly claimed his chopper had been forced down by terrorists. Nonetheless,

John McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Obama-Biden officials have been less than forthcoming about Biden's dramatic war stories.

"They never explained Biden's helicopter story from last week - which is very similar to the story about getting 'shot at' in Baghdad," Rogers said.

Bill Sammon is deputy Washington managing editor for FOX News Channel.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 04, 2008, 06:05:49 PM
**Attention Gwen Ifill/PBS.**

October 2, 2008

WWJ reporter fired for wearing Obama T-shirt


Detroit news radio station WWJ-AM (950) has fired radio personality Karen Dinkins after she wore a Barack Obama T-shirt while covering a presidential rally on Sunday.

Dinkins, contacted at her home today, said she is surprised about the reaction to her firing after Sunday’s rally at the Detroit Public Library. She said a number of news outlets contacted her after the station let her go on Monday. She said she had worked there for 13 years.

“I was really kind of surprised this is a news story,” she said, adding that she wouldn’t comment further. “I didn’t anticipate it.”

Jane Briggs-Bunting, director of the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, believes sending any type of political message — on air or off — is a no-no for journalists.

“Reporters, we’re on duty 24-7,” Briggs-Bunting said shortly before Obama took the stage this afternoon at MSU. She’s worked for Life and People magazines as well as the Free Press. “I can have an opinion, and my opinion will be heard in the privacy of a voting booth. You can’t publicize your political views on a T-shirt you wear, a button you wear, or a campaign sign in your front lawn. You represent your news organization 24-7.”

A call to WWJ-AM (950) management offices wasn’t immediately returned. But a woman who answered the phone in the newsroom said the station had received a number of calls from upset listeners.

Lorain Obomanu, Dinkins’ union representative at the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists’ Southfield office had no comment, a spokesman said today.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 04, 2008, 08:34:05 PM

Just how many chapters on the Obama-Ayers connection can we expect to see in Gwen Ifill's "Age of Obama"?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 05, 2008, 03:17:36 PM

Your, highly ethical, unbiased media at work.
Title: Re: Media Issues, moderator bias
Post by: DougMacG on October 06, 2008, 07:31:41 AM
I mentioned Gwen Ifill's bias annoying in the VP debate  Thanks to the American Thinker for taking the time to go ack over the questions and analyze what we all witnessed:

Gwen Ifill's VP Debate Bias
By Lee Cary
A careful reading of the questions Gwen Ifill asked during the VP debate reveals several that displayed her bias.

The revelation that PBS's Gwen Ifill plans to release a book on Barack Obama on Inauguration Day raised the suspicion that her moderator role at the VP debate might be other than objective. It was. The evidence of her bias is evident in several of her questions to the candidates. Below are a few examples.

The Forced-Choice Question

The forced-choice question aims to force an answer from a choice of options defined by the interviewer. For example, in the early stages of the Afghanistan War, the late Peter Jennings asked Pervez Musharraf, then President of Pakistan, if the United States in Afghanistan was "bombing too much or too little."

It was a classic forced-choice question designed to create one of two headlines: "Musharraf Criticizes American for Bombing Too Much," or "...Too Little."  Mr. Jennings intended to create controversy because controversy sells. Musharraf wisely dodged the question.

During the VP debate, Ifill used forced-choice questions to further her biases. Here's one:

    "As America watches these things [Congress struggling with the bailout bill] happen on Capital Hill, Senator Biden, was this the worse of Washington or the best of Washington that we saw play out?"

Honestly now, how many sane, reasonable people see the bailout ordeal as representing the "best" of Washington?

It was a tee-up question for Biden. He said, "neither the best nor worse," but it was, he said, a reflection of the bad economic policies of "the last eight years." In other words, it was the worse of Washington on the Bush-Republican side.

What would an un-bias question in this venue sound like? How about this: As America watches theses things happen on Capital Hill, what should they reasonably expect to be the outcome, and its impact on their lives?

Here's another example of an Ifill forced-choice question:

    "Who do you think was at fault? I start with you, Governor Palin. Was it the greedy lenders?  Was it the risky home-buyers who shouldn't have been buying a home in the first place? And what should you be doing about it?"

Notice the choice not on the list -- Congressionally driven Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies that forced banks to make loans to people who had no ability to repay them.

Governor Palin accepted the Ifill choices and blamed ‘predator lenders" and Wall Street "greed" and "corruption." 

The Bias-Premised Question

Ifill asked,

    "Senator Biden, how, as vice president, would you work to shrink this gap of polarization which has sprung up in Washington, which you both have spoken about here tonight."

The key twin concepts in that question are "polarization" and "sprung up." The implied bias is that during the Bush administration polarization "sprung up."

Ifill is a smart, educated women. She knows that partisan polarization has been part of Washington since the death of the man the city's named after. She also knows that when the House voted on the first version of the bailout bill, many Democrats voted against it.  The "polarization" over the bailout wasn't based on political parties. It was based on economic free-market philosophy. 

Here's another Ifill bias-premised question:

    "Governor and Senator, I want you both to respond to this. Secretaries of State Baker, Kissinger, Powell, they have all advocated some level of engagement with enemies. Do you think these former secretaries of state are wrong on that?"

This was a back-door effort to support Barak Obama's "no preconditions" statement made during his nomination campaign. Ifill's bias is that there's nothing wrong with what Obama said.

Ifill knows that, diplomatically, "some level of engagement with enemies" goes on all the time, often through back channels using third parties. The idea that we don't communicate with our enemies is a Beltway media myth.

Hers was a cleverly formed question, since a "no" answer to the closed-ended query (a "yes" or "no" type question) with which it ends (Do you think...?) would sustain the notion that what Obama said is consistent with, and analogous to, what the former Secretaries of State say. Ifill uses the question to establish conceptual parity without the opportunity to challenge the premise.

(Peter Jennings tied this tactic once with General Tommy Franks, and Franks made Jennings, unaccustomed to being challenged, sit up straight in his chair by saying, "Peter, I don't accept the premise of your question.")

Here's another example of a biased question.

    "Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the Constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past.  Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?"

Out of left field, Ifill interjects the man Democrats love to hate, Dick Cheney, into the debate. She attributes an unexplained and unsubstantiated interpretation of the Constitution to Cheney, and then asks Palin to defend or attack that interpretation.  (What interpretation?)

It was a question designed to trap Palin, akin to Charlie Gibson's "Bush Doctrine" question.  Palin gave a one sentence non-committal answer, and then moved away from the topic. The question gave Biden another chance to demonize Cheney, and display his strikingly faulty understanding of when the VP presides over the Senate.  He said,

    "The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress."

Say what? This notion when unchallenged by Ifill. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution reads:

    "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

    "The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."

Cheney, and other Vice Presidents, could sit up on the platform and preside over the Senate every time it's in session, but they've other things to do.  This is Biden's "no authority" interpretation.

Here's another example of a bias-premised question from Ifill.

    "Let's come full circle. You both want to bring both sides together. You both talk about bipartisanship. Once again, we saw what happened this week in Washington. How do you change the tone, as vice president, as number two?"

Surely Ifill noticed that both support and opposition to the bailout bill was "bipartisan" in that members of both parties voted both for and against it. And surely she noticed that the most inflammatory language of that week was voiced by Speaker Pelosi when she called Republicans "unpatriotic" (but had no public name-calling for her initial 95 Democrat "no" votes). 

One last example under this category of bias-premised questions:

    "[To Biden] Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples."

This question was designed to get the attention of the conservative Republican base in order to erode Palin's favor there.  Palin noticed that and made a point of saying,

    "But I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go around and round about what that actually means."

Ask yourself this question: What influence does the Vice President have on individual state marriage policies that would warrant this question in a VP debate? The answer is - none. It was all about attempting to embarrass Palin before the GOP base.

The Contrived Dichotomy Question

Listen for the contrived dichotomy buried in this convoluted question from Ifill.

    "Senator Biden, we want to talk about taxes, let's talk about taxes. You proposed raising taxes on people who earn over $250,000 a year. The question for you is, why is that not class warfare and the same question for you, Governor Palin, is you have proposed a tax employer health benefits which some studies say would actually throw five million more people onto the roles of the uninsured. I want to know why that isn't taking things out on the poor, starting with you, Senator Biden."

Nevermind Ifill's specious citation of an unnamed, uncertified source as "some studies." (What studies?)  Note the dichotomy she creates within her question: Biden wants to tax the rich versus Palin wants to take health insurance away from the poor.   

Another tee-up for Biden. He begins his answer with,

    "Well Gwen, where I come from, it's called fairness, just simple fairness."


To conclude that Gwen Ifill's moderating efforts displayed through her questions were without bias requires a willing suspension of disbelief.

Her moderator performance represents another sad day for America's entrenched, and ever less objective, television journalism.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 06, 2008, 08:01:47 AM
Great post.  The bias is eaily there.  All these questions begin the premise that everything BO says is o target and the repsondent can agree or try to disagree.  I didn't watch the debate so I don't know but I would be willing to bet there were no such manipulated questions that could benefit McCain.

McCain was foolish not to demand she be withdrawn as moderator.

That all said, the Republicans tried and failing answer to economic woes which for the last 3o years, is deregulate, lower taxes is woefully no longer enough.  When 1% of the population wons 90% of the wealth in this country there is clearly something wrong.

The game is clearly corrupt and rigged.  I see it in the music "industry" which is nothing more than organized crime.

The Republicans fail to address this and until they do they will always be fighting the uphill battle. 

I have not yet heard one Rebublican leader address this.  Trickle down economics is *not* enough.   
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 07, 2008, 08:10:25 AM

Funny. Accurate. Suppressed.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 07, 2008, 11:44:50 AM
Only the liberal media could come up with this crap about McCain.  The "maverick" label supposedly came from a couple of ultra liberal family members named Maverick.  So of course the logic goes, how dare McCain who is a Republican call himself one.  I recall the label was no problem when McCain was for campaign finance reform at a time when it would have hurt the cans more then the crats.

Leave it to the times to print this. 

Published: October 4, 2008
There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”

Skip to next paragraph
BRAND Samuel Augustus Maverick
But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

Title: PD WSJ
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2008, 01:44:42 PM
If a respected journalist says something controversial at a media conference filled with reporters and bloggers but no one reports it, what is one to make of that?

Mark Halperin, an editor at large for Time magazine and coauthor of the campaign field guide "The Way to Win," was one of several speakers at yesterday's conference on the 2008 election sponsored by Time and CNN in New York. During his panel discussion, Mr. Halperin was asked if the media had been too soft on Mr. Obama. To the surprise of the largely liberal audience, his answer was yes. He went on to say that through the subtle choice of which stories to cover and where to deploy investigative resources, the national media had handed Mr. Obama "hundreds of millions in free publicity." He attributed the positive coverage in part to the historic nature of Mr. Obama's candidacy. But he also noted that only a few hands had gone up in the crowded room when the audience had been asked how many had voted for George W. Bush.

He quickly tempered his remarks by noting that John McCain had similarly been the beneficiary of positive media coverage in his 2000 campaign. "It is interesting that the media's favorite candidates in both parties both won their party's nominations this year," he observed. He called on reporters to look at their 2008 coverage of candidates after the election, in hopes that in the future "they do a better job treating people equally."

Mr. Halperin's comments were pithy, well argued and controversial. Yet, almost 24 hours after they were made, it appears none of the bloggers and reporters present for the event have chosen to report on them -- perhaps providing validation for his core statement about how bias is reflected in the choice of which stories to report and which to ignore.

-- John Fund
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 16, 2008, 03:35:51 PM

More MSM lies.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 16, 2008, 03:40:08 PM

Dare to question Obama, pay the price.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 16, 2008, 05:12:33 PM

Do not question "Dear Leader" Obama.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 17, 2008, 06:30:57 AM
A recent ap/yahoo poll suggests that McCain "popularity" has dropped precipitously.

Frankly I don't believe it.  What I do believe is that this is propaganda designed to throw McCain off his negative attacks because BO is vulnerable.  The MSM can't have that.  Many want us to fall for the dishonest fluff hook line and sinker.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 18, 2008, 06:26:24 AM
It is truly amazing.  Every time I log on to the Yahoo web page there is another assoicated press article trying to make McCain look inept.  Now they criticize him for "Joe" the plumber.  And of course they dismiss Joe as not licensed.
Not once do we hear anything about BO's flip flops, his changes of opinion aka Clinton with direction of whatever the polls tell him to say.  Not once do we hear anything critical about him. 

Oh well.   WE are destined to be a weaker country I guess.  Yes in the beginning BO will look wonderful flying around with photo ops from adoring fans and foreingners who want us weaker.   I fear that by the time the majority of Americans have waken up it will too late.  The Republicans need new leadership and ideas and people who CAN articulate and can string the ideas together into some coherent strategy that appeals to more people.  The old conservatism is too simplistic IMO.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 18, 2008, 11:44:11 AM

And what the f#%^! is this media drivel that McCain should have vetted a private citizen-- in front of his own home yet!-- challenging His Glibness with a focused question that got His Glibness to reveal his heart on a fundamental issue?!?  THAT is what matters here!!!
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 18, 2008, 12:35:29 PM
October 18, 2008, 7:00 a.m.

Joe the Plumber vs. Joe the Hair-Plugger
Put that in your pipe and solder it.

By Mark Steyn

Give a man enough rope line and he’ll hang himself. There was His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer working the crowd at some or other hick burg, and halfway down the rope up pops a plumber to express misgivings about the incoming regime’s tax plans.

Supposedly, under the Obama tax plan, 95 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut. You’d think that at this point the natural skepticism of any sentient being other than six-week-old puppies might kick in, but apparently not. If you’re wondering why Obama didn’t simply announce that under his plan 112 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut, well, they ran it past the focus groups who said that that was all very generous but they’d really like it if he could find a way to stick it to Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and whatnot. So 95 per cent it is.

By the way, like the nightly news shows, this column now has an exclusive lavishly funded Fact Check Unit set up at great expense (a colorful graphic with the words “FACT CHECK ALERT!”) in a lame attempt to pass off our transparent political bias as some sort of scientific exercise. Our accredited credentialed licensed expert Fact Checkers from the University of Factology in the Czech Republic are standing by to rigorously Fact Check the candidate’s claims. We check facts so you don’t have to. All you have to do is sign up to our Fact-Check-Me-Now! service and we’ll send you a daily Fact Check on your Facts Machine, which costs only $79.95 from Radio Shack (sorry, no checks).

Anyway, our Fact Check Unit ran the numbers on the Obama tax-cut plan and the number is correct: “95.” It’s the words “per cent” immediately following that are wrong: that’s a typing error accidentally left in from the first draft. It should read: Under the Obama plan, 95 of the American people will get a tax cut.

Joe the Plumber expressed his misgivings about the President-in-waiting’s tax inclinations, and the O-Man smoothly reassured him: “It’s not that I want to punish your success,” he told the bloated plutocrat corporate toilet executive. “I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

In that sentence about you spreading the wealth around, there’s another typing error: that “you” should read “I, Barack.” “You” will have no say in it. Joe the Plumber might think he himself can spread it around just fine, but everyone knows “trickle-down economics” don’t work. So President-presumptive Obama kindly explained the new exquisitely condescending “talking-down economics:” Put that in your pipe and solder it.

Evidently the O-Mighty One was not happy after his encounter with Joe. He’s still willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But never again will he talk to Joe the Plumber without preconditions. Outraged at the way the right-wing whackos were talking up Joe the Plumber as if he were an authentic regular Joe like Joe Biden, the O-Bots of the media swung into action. Vast regiments of investigate reporters were redeployed from the Wasilla Holiday Inn back to the Lower 48.

“We need you down here checking out this Joe the Plumber,” editors barked to journalists.

“But I’m this close to wrapping up the Wasilla Town Library banned-book investigation!”

“Forget it! The Atlantic Monthly is claiming Joe the Plumber is Trig’s real father. We can’t get behind on this. Get to Minneapolis Airport. Joe the Plumber was seen in the bathroom with Senator Larry Craig.”

“Yes, but he was installing a stopcock…”

“Look, you went to Columbia School of Journalism. This is what we bold courageous journalists do. We’re the conscience of the nation. We speak truth to plumber.”

“Er, shouldn’t that be ‘Speak truth to power’?”

“That’s the old edition of the handbook. Now we speak truth to power-tool operators. Joe the Carpenter, Joe the Plasterer, Joe the Electrician… When you’re building utopia, you don’t want any builders getting in the way.”

Alas, as a result of this massive investment of journalistic resouces, no investigative reporter will be free to investigate ACORN voter-registration fraud or Obama’s ties to terrorist educator William Ayers until, oh, midway through his second term at least.

Under the headline “Is ‘Joe The Plumber’ A Plumber? That’s Debatable”, John Seewer of the Associated Press triumphantly revealed that Joe is not a “licensed” plumber. In fact, he doesn’t need to be licensed for the residential plumbing he does, but isn’t that just typical of Bush-McCain insane out-of-control deregulation? It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that most of these subprime homeowners got Joe in to plumb their subprime bathrooms. Next thing you know, the entire global economy goes down the toilet. Coincidence?

Joe is now the most notorious plumber in American politics since the Watergate plumbers. And they weren’t licensed, either. It turns out Joe doesn’t even make 250 grand, and it’s only the 250-thousand-a-year types who’ll be paying more (please, no tittering) under Good King Barack. Joe Biden — that’s Joe the Bluecollar Senator — said that he didn’t know any 250,000-dollars plumbers in his neighborhood, or even in the first-class club car on Amtrak he rides every night to demonstrate his bluecollar bonafides. On Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer emphasized this point, anxious to give the apostate plumber one last chance to go with the flow:

“Well, I just want to ask you now about the issue that was raised, because it’s been a little confusing to me as I try to sort it out here. To get straight here, you’re not taking home $250,000 now, am I right?”

“No. No. Not even close,” confessed Joe.

So what’s he got to be worried about?

The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That’s why people came here from all over the world. Back in eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: “Hey, look, man. You’re a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you’re never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don’t worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better.” And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he’d like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn’t have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or ten years’ time.

I’m with Joe the Plumber, not Joe the Hair-Plugger. He’s articulated the animating principles of America better than anyone on either side in this campaign. Which is why the O-Bots need to destroy him. As Obama’s catchphrase goes:

“Joe the Plumber!

Can we fix him?

Joe the Plumber!

Yes, we can!”

For the record, I am not a government-licensed pundit. But I expect they’ll fix that, too.

© Mark Steyn 2008

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 18, 2008, 12:43:03 PM

So, while the MSM hammers Joe the Plumber, they kiss up to Louis Farrakhan and the NOI. Given that there is just one degree of separation between Farrakhan and Obama, I guess this makes a twisted sort of sense to the left.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on October 20, 2008, 11:05:18 AM
Oh boy...

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on October 20, 2008, 11:07:59 AM
Can't say that I'm shocked...
Title: Would the last honest reporter please turn out the lights?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 24, 2008, 07:16:00 AM


First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC


By Orson Scott Card
 October 5, 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefitting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled Do Facts Matter? "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 26, 2008, 07:37:55 PM

LA Times Hiding Incriminating Video of Obama with Radical Palestinian? Update: Ayers and Dohrn Attended Khalidi Party with Obama
Politics | Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 8:18:26 pm PST

Gateway Pundit says he contacted the LA Times to ask about a video showing Barack Obama at a party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, mentioned by the LA Times in this article: Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama.

At Khalidi’s going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances,” Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

LA Times writer Peter Wallsten said he won’t release the video or reveal his sources: Confirmed: MSM Holds Video Of Barack Obama Attending Jew-Bash & Toasting a Former PLO Operative... Refuse to Release the Video!

If true, this is media malfeasance of an almost astounding degree. They have a video that could change the stakes in this election and they’re hiding it. And they’ve been hiding it since last April.

Contact the Los Angeles Times and demand that they release this video.

UPDATE at 10/25/08 9:36:04 pm:

It gets even more interesting.

Also attending the farewell dinner described above: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

In Chicago, the Khalidis founded the Arab American Action Network, and Mona Khalidi served as its president. A big farewell dinner was held in their honor by AAAN with a commemorative book filled with testimonials from their friends and political allies. These included the left wing anti-war group Not In My Name, the Electronic Intifada, and the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. (There were also testimonials from then-state Senator Barack Obama and the mayor of Chicago.)

**So Rachel, still confident in Obama's "zionist" credentials?**
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 27, 2008, 10:04:59 AM

October 27, 2008, 6:00 a.m.

The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape
Obama, Ayers, and PLO supporters toast Edward Said’s successor, but the press doesn’t think it’s quite as newsworthy as Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.

Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.

Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?

Do we really have to ask?

So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?

At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.

The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.

Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?

Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it.

Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)

Nor did the Times report the party was thrown by AAAN. Wallsten does tell us that the AAAN received grants from the Leftist Woods Fund when Obama was on its board — but, besides understating the amount (it was $75,000, not $40,000), the Times mentions neither that Ayers was also on the Woods board at the time nor that AAAN is rabidly anti-Israel. (Though the organization regards Israel as illegitimate and has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism, Wallsten describes the AAAN as “a social service group.”)

Perhaps even more inconveniently, the Times also let slip that it had obtained a videotape of the party.

Wallsten’s story is worth excerpting at length (italics are mine):

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."...

[T]he warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

Their belief is not drawn from Obama's speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.

At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."

Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than … his opponents for the White House....

At Khalidi's going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances," Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

Though Khalidi has seen little of Sen. Obama in recent years, Michelle Obama attended a party several months ago celebrating the marriage of the Khalidis' daughter.

In interviews with The Times, Khalidi declined to discuss specifics of private talks over the years with Obama. He did not begrudge his friend for being out of touch, or for focusing more these days on his support for Israel — a stance that Khalidi calls a requirement to win a national election in the U.S., just as wooing Chicago's large Arab American community was important for winning local elections.

So why is the Times sitting on the videotape of the Khalidi festivities? Given Obama's (preposterous) claims that he didn’t know Ayers that well and was unfamiliar with Ayers’s views, why didn't the Times report that Ayers and Dohrn were at the bash? Was it not worth mentioning the remarkable coincidence that both Obama and Ayers — the “education reform” allies who barely know each other … except to the extent they together doled out tens of millions of dollars to Leftist agitators, attacked the criminal justice system, and raved about each others books — just happen to be intimate friends of the same anti-American Israel-basher? (Despite having watched the videotape, Wallsten told Gateway Pundit he “did not know” whether Ayers was there.)

Why won’t the Times tell us what was said in the various Khalidi testimonials? On that score, Ayers and Dohrn have always had characteristically noxious views on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. And, true to form, they have always been quite open about them. There is no reason to believe those views have ever changed. Here, for example, is what they had to say in Prairie Fire, the Weather Underground’s 1974 Communist manifesto (emphasis in original):

Palestinian independence is opposed with reactionary schemes by Jordan, completely opposed with military terror by Israel, and manipulated by the U.S. The U.S.-sponsored notion of stability and status-quo in the Mideast is an attempt to preserve U.S. imperialist control of oil, using zionist power as the cat's paw. The Mideast has become a world focus of struggles over oil resources and control of strategic sea and air routes. Yet the Palestinian struggle is at the heart of other conflicts in the Mideast. Only the Palestinians can determine the solution which reflects the aspirations of the Palestinian people. No "settlements" in the Mideast which exclude the Palestinians will resolve the conflict. Palestinian liberation will not be suppressed.

The U.S. people have been seriously deceived about the Palestinians and Israel. This calls for a campaign to educate and focus attention on the true situation: teach-ins, debates, and open clear support for Palestinian liberation; reading about the Palestinian movement—The Disinherited by Fawaz Turki, Enemy of the Sun; opposing U.S. aid to Israel. Our silence or acceptance of pro-zionist policy is a form of complicity with U.S.-backed aggression and terror, and a betrayal of internationalism.




Barack Obama wouldn’t possibly let something like that pass without a spirited defense of the Israel he tells us he so staunchly supports … would he? I guess to answer that question, we’d have to know what was on the tape.

But who has time for such trifles? After all, isn’t Diana Vreeland about to critique Sarah Palin’s sartorial splendor?

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy chairs the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’s Center for Law & Counterterrorism and is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books 2008).

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 27, 2008, 10:43:36 AM
Well this in no surprise.

Jew hating Farrakhan calls BO the "messiah".

Is it a coincidence that the only Jews BO has associated with are US hating liberals/radicals?

The answer cannot be no.

I would like to put Sarah Silverman on the front lines between Israel and Hamas and Hezbellah and ask her to put her life on the line by trusting a person (BO) who has historically spent his entire adult life hanging out with haters of our country and Jews.

Oh I guess that little twirp is wiser than her grandparents who lived through the holocaust - yes?

Well again I guess we can only hope BO really is the second coming of Lincoln - only time will tell.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 28, 2008, 01:27:51 AM

LA Obamedia at work.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on October 28, 2008, 07:37:40 AM

It is an interesting, albeit long, detailed poll/study published a few days ago, but it clearly shows Jews favor
Obama by nearly a 2:1 margin.  Anotherwords CCP, an overwhelming majority of Jews in America associate themselves
with and prefer Obama and the Democratic party versus McCain or the Republicans.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 28, 2008, 08:54:56 AM
Yes but this is not news.
Jews have for decades been overwhemingly Democratic.
I've posted before that for many Jews the Republicans are as evil as Hitler.
So what is your point?

Many older Jews in Florida reportedly are afraid of BO.
That is where this Sarah Silverman comes in and is doing the (for me) embarassing "great schlep" to Florida thing.

And actually a almost 2 to one margin is less than 66 percent which is less than the historical 75% of Jews who vote Democratic.
So actually the number you pose is actually a *drop* for Democrats among Jewish voters.

Getting most Jews to vote Republican would be as difficult as getting most Blacks to do that.

I guess they either believe BO will protect Jews or want to believe or don't care since he is from their party.   I don't know that BO will not do this but I am highly suspicious and would not risk the survival of Israel to a PResident who has apparantly had roomates and friends who are very much against Israel as has been his spiritual mentor WRight.  I think it reasonable to assume he must have had some agreement with them on this regard.  While there may be scant evidence for this there is absolutely zero evidence he disagreed with the anti Israel people until he was way into his campaign and the Jews around him convinced him he must do so for Jewish votes.

Remember how he will distance him from his friend and mentor of decades REv Wright.  What makes anyone think he wouldn't do the same to Jews if political puch comes to shove?  Just thinking out loud.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on October 28, 2008, 08:57:53 AM
Why McCain is getting hosed in the press
By: John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei
October 28, 2008 10:43 AM EST

Politico political editor Charles Mahtesian was e-mailing the other day with a Republican lobbyist who signed off with a plea that sounded more like a taunt: “Keep it balanced.”

A reader e-mailed us with the same sentiment in different language. “Are you f***ing joking! Your bias has stooped to an all-time low. Wait, it will probably get worse as election day nears.” Those asterisks, by the way, are hers, not ours.

And get a load of this one, from someone in Rochester, N.Y., who did not like our analysis of the final presidential debate. “You guys are awfully tough on McCain. There may be some legitimacy to the claim of press bias. Mom.”

We were all set to dismiss Harris’ mother as a crank. Same for VandeHei’s: a conservative dismayed by what she sees as kid-glove treatment of Barack Obama. Then along came a study — funded by the prestigious Pew Research Center, no less — suggesting at first blush, at least, that they may be on to something.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s researchers found that John McCain, over the six weeks since the Republican convention, got four times as many negative stories as positive ones. The study found six out of 10 McCain stories were negative.

What’s more, Obama had more than twice as many positive stories (36 percent) as McCain — and just half the percentage of negative (29 percent).

OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.

And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.

So what?

Before answering the question, indulge us in noting that the subject of ideological bias in the news media is a drag. The people who care about it typically come at the issue with scalding biases of their own. Any statement journalists make on the subject can and will be used against them. So the incentive is to make bland and guarded statements. Even honest ones, meanwhile, will tend to strike partisans as evasive or self-delusional.

Here goes anyway.

There have been moments in the general election when the one-sidedness of our site — when nearly every story was some variation on how poorly McCain was doing or how well Barack Obama was faring — has made us cringe.

As it happens, McCain’s campaign is going quite poorly and Obama’s is going well. Imposing artificial balance on this reality would be a bias of its own.

Politico was not included in the Pew study. But our researcher Alex Burns pulled out his highlighter pen and did his own study of Politico's October stories last week: 110 stories advanced a narrative that was more favorable to Obama than McCain. Sixty-nine did the opposite.

Our daily parlor game (which some readers, alas, seem to take a bit more solemnly than we do) declaring “who won the day” has awarded the day to Obama by a 2-to-1 margin. It’s doubtful even McCain would say he’s had more good days than that.

Still, journalists should do more than just amplify existing trends. A couple weeks back, Politico managing editor Bill Nichols sent out a note to the campaign team urging people to cough up more story ideas that took a skeptical look at the campaign tactics and policy proposals of the Democrat, who is likely to be president three months from now. As it happened, the response was a trickle (though Nichols and Mahtesian came up with some ideas of their own).

Responsible editors would be foolish not to ask themselves the bias question, especially in the closing days of an election.

But, having asked it, our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election — and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama — ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil.

The main reason is that for most journalists, professional obligations trump personal preferences. Most political reporters (investigative journalists tend to have a different psychological makeup) are temperamentally inclined to see multiple sides of a story, and being detached from their own opinions comes relatively easy.

Reporters obsess about personalities and process, about whose staff are jerks or whether they seem like decent folks, about who has a great stump speech or is funnier in person than they come off in public, about whether Michigan is in play or off the table. This is the flip side of the fact of how much we care about the horse race — we don’t care that much about our own opinions of which candidate would do more for world peace or tax cuts.

If that causes skeptics to scoff, perhaps they would find it more satisfying to hear that the reason ideological bias matters so little is that other biases matter so much more.

This is true in any election year. But the 2008 election has had some unique — and personal — phenomena.

One is McCain backlash. The Republican once was the best evidence of how little ideology matters. Even during his “maverick” days, McCain was a consistent social conservative, with views on abortion and other cultural issues that would have been odds with those of most reporters we know. Yet he won swooning coverage for a decade from reporters who liked his accessibility and iconoclasm and supposed commitment to clean politics.

Now he is paying. McCain’s decision to limit media access and align himself with the GOP conservative base was an entirely routine, strategic move for a presidential candidate. But much of the coverage has portrayed this as though it were an unconscionable sellout.

Since then the media often presumes bad faith on McCain’s part. The best evidence of this has been the intense focus on the negative nature of his ads, when it is clear Obama has been similarly negative in spots he airs on radio and in swing states.

It is not our impression that many reporters are rooting for Obama personally. To the contrary, most colleagues on the trail we’ve spoken with seem to find him a distant and undefined figure. But he has benefited from the idea that negative attacks that in a normal campaign would be commonplace in this year would carry an out-of-bounds racial subtext. That’s why Obama’s long association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was basically a nonissue in the general election.

Journalists’ hair-trigger racial sensitivity may have been misplaced, but it was not driven by an ideological tilt.

In addition, Obama has benefited from his ability to minimize internal drama and maximize secrecy — and thus to starve feed the press’ bias for palace intrigue. In this sense, his campaign bears resemblance to the two run by George W. Bush.

Beyond the particular circumstances of McCain v. Obama, there are other factors in any race that almost always matter more than the personal views of reporters.

The strongest of these is the bias in favor of momentum. A candidate who is perceived to be doing well tends to get even more positive coverage (about his or her big crowds or the latest favorable polls or whatever). And a candidate who is perceived to be doing poorly tends to have all events viewed through this prism.

Not coincidentally, this is a bias shared by most of our sources. This is why the bulk of negative stories about McCain are not about his ideology or policy plans — they are about intrigue and turmoil. Think back to the past week of coverage on Politico and elsewhere: Coverage has been dominated by Sarah Palin’s $150,000 handbags and glad rags, by finger-pointing in the McCain camp, and by apparent tensions between the candidate and his running mate.

These stories are driven by the flood of Republicans inside and out of the campaign eager to make themselves look good or others look bad. This always happens when a campaign starts to tank. Indeed, there was a spate of such stories when Obama’s campaign hit turmoil after the GOP convention and the Palin surge.

For better or worse, the most common media instincts all have countervailing pressures. Countering the bias in favor of momentum is the bias against boredom. We’ve seen that several times this cycle — an outlying poll number being pumped to suggest big changes in a race that is basically unchanged. There’s a good chance you’ll see this phenomenon more in the next week.

Then there is the bend-over-backward bias. This is when journalists try so hard to avoid accusations of favoritism that it clouds critical judgment. A good example were stories suggesting Palin held her own or even won her debate against Joe Biden when it seemed obvious she was simply invoking whatever talking points she had at hand, hanging on for dear life.

Finally, one of the biases of journalists is the same one that is potent for almost all people: the one in favor of self-defensiveness. That’s why, even though we think ideological bias is pretty low on the list of journalistic maladies in this election, it is not viable for reporters to dismiss criticism out of hand.

So there you go, Ma: We’ll look into it.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on October 28, 2008, 09:55:54 AM

Is it a coincidence that the only Jews BO has associated with are US hating liberals/radicals?

The answer cannot be no.

I would like to put Sarah Silverman on the front lines between Israel and Hamas and Hezbellah and ask her to put her life on the line by trusting a person (BO) who has historically spent his entire adult life hanging out with haters of our country and Jews.

Oh I guess that little twirp is wiser than her grandparents who lived through the holocaust - yes?

My point CCP was/is that rather than the ONLY Jews BO has associated with are US hating liberals/radicals as you put it, I think you are wrong, in truth an overwhelming majority of all Jews associate with Obama. 
Or are you saying in your logic that all Jews who support Obama hate the United States?  I believe most Jews love America and an overwhelming majority of Jews support Obama as being best for America.

As for historical margins, this same report goes on to point out "that as of this writing (10.20.08) we would project a 75% - 25% margin in favor of Obama among Jewish voters."  This despite significant changes among
the demographics of Jewish voters since Rooselvelt's time favoring the Republican party.

I don't think it is "reasonable to assume (that Obama would risk the survival of Israel) he must have had some agreement with "them" on this regard."  Proof ??? And, I think the vast majority of Jewish voters are intelligent and conscientious.
They will vote for someone whom they think is good for America, good for Jews in America, and good for Israel.  And they are overwhelmingly choosing Obama over McCain.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 28, 2008, 10:42:03 AM

Well I meant early on it seems the Jews BO had associated with appear to be "radicals" or far left and simply all those who now support him among the larger overall Jewish community.

" I think the vast majority of Jewish voters are intelligent and conscientious."

Yes, but I believe you underestimate many Jew's hatred for all things Republican.

As a Jew who is familiar with the very ardent party affiliation of most Jews and their total hatred for anything Repbublican you overestimate their willingness or even emotional ability to cross over to the Republican side.  If it helps you understand what I mean try to consider the absolute visceral hatred some Blacks have for Republicans.  Many Jews are the same in this regard.  They *will not* open up in this way.  They will put misgivings aside to vote for a guy who is now saying things he has never said to vote party lines.

And no I am not saying Jews who support BO hate the US.  But I have not been made aware of Jews of the political center or the right who he has associated with prior to late in his campaign.  But I have not studied his life history so I could be wrong as to this point.

I am in the minority among my fellow Jews as for my leanings to the right.  Maybe I am like Jackie Mason.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on October 28, 2008, 11:06:38 AM
SB post from Politico?: "...for most journalists, professional obligations trump personal preferences. Most political reporters (investigative journalists tend to have a different psychological makeup) are temperamentally inclined to see multiple sides of a story, and being detached from their own opinions comes relatively easy.

Joking, right??? The main media MISSED nearly all the negative stories and contradictions within the Obama campaign and picked up just a few of them belatedly.  How do they know the polls tell the story if the polls are based on what people read and see through biased coverage.  Was it published ANYWHERE in the mainstream media how much of the drivel from Biden in his debate was false - off by 2000% on his repeated Iraq-Afghanistan cost comparison. "Let me repeat that" Off By 2000%!  Or do we mostly hear that someone spent too much on new clothes for Palin. Where is Obama pounded now for LYING about campaign spending limits, a 3/4 of a BILLION DOLLAR mistake that buys the White House - mostly silence, but the NY Times ran hit piece on Mrs. McCain and another time on some alleged Sen. McCain sex scandal that never turned into anything.  Meanwhile they missed by a year what others carried on the "GOD DAMN AMERICA" pastor disaster.  Was Obama or Biden EVER called on the carpet for use of the false stat that America only has 3% of the world's oil reserves when they only count as reserves the areas where congress already allows drilling? Or that tax increases must be delayed because they will admittedly choke out growth?  If they choke out growth why are they good for us later?  There's a question not likely to be asked by Katie Couric or Charles Gibson. 

I don't know a msm-only reading liberal who even knows that Tony Rezko (convicted felon) owns the Obama's side yard or that ACORN is a leftist political group that was channeled hundreds of thousands of foundation and taxpayer funds through Obama.   I've heard maybe a hundred times, even from McCain himself, of his low finish in school, but never that the Magna Cum Laude candidate picked the bumbling Joe Biden from the bottom 11% of his class. 

Did you see Gibson's interview with Obama June 4 after clinching the nomination: "I'm curious about your feelings last night. It was an historic moment. Has it sunk in yet?" :What did she say?"  "do you say to yourself: Son of a gun, I've done this?"  "did you truly, in your gut, think that a black man could win the nomination of a major party to be president of the United States?" "Is the hardest part of all this behind you or ahead of you?" "Has the joyfulness of this hit home yet? Do you take joy from it?"...   Compare the tone with the grilling of Palin.  Maybe I just don't understand professional detachment.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2008, 11:10:52 AM
I'm born and raised Jewish in a liberal New York home. 

Look at me now  :lol:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on October 28, 2008, 12:27:26 PM

I think the article makes some good points. Are reporters biased? Yes. Have they been more biased towards Obama? Yes. The media is going with their perceived money man 'cuz he's pulling in the readers and viewers. It ain't right, but that the way it goes sometimes. And it's not going to change now, or in the forseeable future.

It has become increasingly apparent that the majority of American public just doesn't care about Obama's past. Period. Do I care who Obama knows and what shady stuff he does? You betcha. But most people don't. Think about it, had a politician with ties to a former radical, crazy business investments, and links to questionable voting run for office in '00 or '04 he wouldn't have lasted through primary season.

And that's not a matter of polls or biased news. It's a matter of people freaking out about their jobs, the economy, two wars. I think many people are thinking "I don't care if the guy has two heads at this point, we just want something different." Not better, not safer, not proven, just plain different. I see people's approach to this election (unless you are a die-hard party liner) like a roll of the dice. "Screw it, I'll go with the new guy.", they're saying. And the media is going along with it 'cuz they can and no one will tell them any differently. Don't like how we report? Fine, watch/read something else.

Fortunately for me, I actually read news from both sides. And I see bias on both sides. And I can base my decisions on my own research. I wish more people would. But I'm guessing a lot of politicians and pundits would be out of  jobs if this was the case.

But really, what do you expect from news these days? Conservatives play to their audience, Liberals to theirs. Everyone one screams bias, and then attempts to force their bias onto the public, all the while acting like the victim.

The argument from conservatives is always that the public are sheep and are being force fed information by the liberal media. "There is no outlet for conservative viewpoints!" is the cry heard over and over. Bullsh*t. The "mainstream media" argument became ridiculous years ago. Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly consistently hold larger market shares than their competitors, as does Fox News. They are officially mainstream now. And reaching huge audiences.

The argument from liberals is always that the public are being propagandized by the right instead of being told "the truth". Who's truth? Ultra liberal leanings by newspapers and newscasts are hardly truthworthy. Making every conservative out to be a war hungry, gun toting, christian evangelical, uneducated racist isn't the way to make friends. And it sure ain't objective.

I for one, appreciate hearing all sides of the argument, but only when presented in an intelligent, objective way. The rantings of the right turn me off, as do the pandering and whining of the left. And yelling louder (on either side) doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem like an a-hole. I consistently listen to conservative talk radio, and read conservative websites and blogs, just as I read independent, liberal, and sometimes crazy conspiracy websites and blogs. Why? Because it is the ONLY way to get a plethora of perspectives and formulate MY OWN OPINION.

Such a shame that this country has turned into "Think my way or your not worth listening to." This election season has managed to lower the discussion to a base "I right. You're wrong.", which is just plain stupid. No concession to others' arguments and certainly no common middle ground. Truly unfortunate. 
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 28, 2008, 02:47:26 PM
Hi Doug,

"Or do we mostly hear that someone spent too much on new clothes for Palin"

I had to wonder if anyone ever question how much Hilary spends on clothes, jewelry, and make up artists.

Every single time  I saw her she wears different top of the line pants outfits.

I am not clear if she ever wore the same carefully chosen outfits twice.  One can only imagine the team of fashion consultants she paid off.   Trying to look like the Presidents of old with her fluffy collars and all.  But that is fine.  No one made and issue of it and neither did I.   It is just the hypocrisy and hatred of Palen by the lefty media that is not.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on October 28, 2008, 05:20:28 PM
Not that I care one way or another about the clothes, bigger issues exist, but Hillary and Obama pay for their own clothes;
they are not asking the DNC to pay for them.  In contrast, $150,000 in political donations paid for Palin's wardrobe.
I think that is the issue.  Wrong or right; I don't know.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 28, 2008, 08:31:05 PM
What of the 5.3 million dollar Barackopolis in Denver? Does the money spent on that offend anyone as much as Palin's clothes?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: DougMacG on October 28, 2008, 09:04:14 PM
Regarding Palin's clothes, I agree it's a PR gaffe, but in context - she had already been ridiculed by the east coast critics for lacking good fashions, not to mention that 2 wars are going on and the world economy is in panic. GM, interesting comparison, will greek-column-gate get 35 times the scrutiny?  I guess not.

SBMig, nice post.  We agree on a lot of it.  I agree the politico piece was a nice addition to the discussion which can get one sided here, especially in the bias thread  :-).  It's very true that there are plenty of outlets for conservatives - Rush, Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, blogs like Powerline.  The conservative sites have huge followings and fill a void but I wish people would get at least a summary of another view from the mainstream.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 29, 2008, 07:10:13 AM
In the realm of opinion, there are obviously conservative voices out there. As far as the Mainstream Media that's supposedly filled with objective and professional journalists, is anyone seriously going to try to argue that they don't have a hard left bias?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 29, 2008, 07:29:58 AM

October 29, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

Snapshots of the Tank
Notorious Obamedia moments of 2008.

By Michelle Malkin

To paraphrase Queen Elizabeth II, 2008 is not a year on which honest journalists shall look back with undiluted pleasure. This has turned out to be even more of an annus horribilis than 2004, when Dan Rather’s fake Bush/National Guard memo fiasco redefined the “BS” in CBS News. There were so many mainstream journalists swimming in the Democratic tank this year, the nation’s newsrooms looked more like overcrowded aquariums at PetSmart.

In less than a week, the campaign season will be over. But the Obamedia’s most shameful biases and notorious blunders shall not be forgotten. Here are my Top Five, by no means comprehensive and in no particular order:

1. The Los Angeles Times and the suppressed Obama/Jew-bash videotape.

In April, L.A. Times reporter Peter Wallsten reported on a 2003 farewell party for Rashid Khalidi, a radical Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman/adviser turned Ivy League professor. The anti-Israel Arab American Action Network sponsored the gala. In attendance: good neighbors Barack Obama and Weather Underground terrorist duo Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Wallsten reported that the “event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.” But the news organization refuses to let readers watch the video of Obama and his left-wing terrorist friends and will not release the tape. It’s “old news” now.

The paper had no problem, however, embedding a video clip of Sarah Palin’s 1984 swimsuit pageant on its gossip blog and deeming it newsworthy.

2. Ogling Obama.
In May, CNN posted “breaking news video” of female journalists on Obama’s press plane fawning over the Democratic presidential candidate as he talked on his cell phone. The caption listed on the network’s website: “Obama in jeans: Sen. Barack Obama surprises the press corps by wearing jeans.”

In the clip, several members of the press corps yell at a Secret Service agent to “sit down” because she’s obstructing the view of their beloved Obama. They giggle and sigh as Obama straddles over a row of seats and they furiously click away on their cameras. “You’re killing us,” one of them says breathlessly.

No, you’re killing yourselves.

Runners-up for Most Drool-Covered Groupies: The journalist who squealed “He touched me!” at the UNITY minority journalists’ convention in July; the MSNBC producer who broke down and shed tears of joy upon learning that The One had clinched the Democratic presidential nomination; MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who proclaimed that he “felt a thrill up his leg” after an Obama speech in February; Oprah Winfrey, who confessed she did a “happy dance” for Obama; and the writer for the German publication Bild, who worked out with Obama at the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin and reported: “I put my arm around his hip — wow, he didn’t even sweat! WHAT A MAN!”

3. The Atlantic Monthly’s deranged photographer.
Publisher David Bradley’s once-esteemed magazine hired celebrity lens-woman Jill Greenberg to snap portraits of John McCain. Greenberg, an outspoken left-winger who goaded children into crying on film and captioned the images with anti-Bush slogans, sabotaged the photo shoot and gloated about it on a photo industry website.

After tricking McCain into standing over a strobe light to create ugly shadows on his face, she then posted vandalized versions of the imagery on her personal website with crude, vulgar labels. One featured McCain with fangs and blood dripping from his mouth — with the Greenberg-added words, “I am a bloodthirsty warmongerer (sic).” Another piece of her “art” showed an ape (a favorite Greenberg subject) defecating on McCain’s head. The highly respected editors at Atlantic professed shock despite Greenberg’s notoriety. The name of her blog: “Manipulator.”

4. The quote doctors and math-manglers at CNN.

In a botched attack on Sarah Palin, CNN reporter Drew Griffin cited National Review writer Byron York allegedly questioning Palin’s abilities and character: “The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can’t tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.” York, however, was characterizing the press coverage of Palin.

In a botched tally, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien proclaimed that an audience poll showed “overwhelming” preference for Joe Biden after the vice-presidential debate. A freeze frame of the show of hands, however, showed the audience split. The mathematically challenged O’Brien also claimed that Palin slashed Alaska’s special-needs budget by 62 percent (which she recycled from the liberal Daily Kos blog), despite the fact that the governor increased special needs funding by 12 percent. Facts, schmacts.

5. Us magazine publisher Jann Wenner’s Obama apparatchiks.
The gossip mag’s partisan slime job on Palin and her family (“Babies, lies, and scandal”) last September opened the floodgates of Palin-bashing across the mainstream media and was the nadir of the year. Wenner — a prominent Obama backer who ran countless hagiographies of him in sister publication Rolling Stone and featured the Obamas with the slavering headline “Why Barack Loves Her” on Us nagazine’s June cover — had his media flack e-mail the anti-Palin hit piece to all media in St. Paul for the Republican National Convention: “Might be useful as an illustration of how the news is playing out,” the flack wrote.

Indeed, the side-by-side covers of the Palin smears and the Obamas’ deification perfectly illustrate the year in Obamedia.


National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: SB_Mig on October 29, 2008, 03:54:26 PM
Khalidi Tape: The L.A. Times Is on Firm Journalistic Ground

By Bill Sammon
Deputy Managing Editor, Washington Bureau, FOX News Channel

I’m no cheerleader for The Los Angeles Times and I’d like to see their videotape of Barack Obama praising a PLO activist as much as the next guy, but as far as I can tell, the newspaper is on firm journalistic ground in refusing to make the tape public.

To me, it’s pretty simple. Reporter Peter Wallsten made an agreement with a source to refrain from publicly disclosing the tape. Unless that source lets Wallsten off the hook, the reporter is journalistically bound to abide by the agreement, regardless of how much heat his newspaper takes from pundits on TV.

Indeed, Wallsten has little choice in the matter. If he were to cave in to mounting public demands for the tape, no self-respecting source would ever give him another shred of information. Nor should they.

Some critics have questioned why Wallsten would agree to withhold the videotape, which purportedly shows Obama with Rashid Khalidi and other Palestinians who expressed criticism of U.S. and Israeli policies. These critics note that Wallsten was allowed to describe the gathering –- a going-away party for Khalidi — in his story, so why can’t he release the tape in full?

This aspect of the debate, while perhaps interesting, is nonetheless irrelevant. Again, a deal is a deal, even if it’s a dumb deal. Besides, there may be a perfectly legitimate reason for withholding the tape, such as the possibility that it contains footage that would compromise the unnamed source’s identity.

Conspiracy theorists now point to the fact that Wallsten’s story, which was published back in April, contained no explanation about the agreement to withhold the tape from public disclosure. The only explanation of any sort, they note, was this cryptic line: “The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by the Times.”

But journalistically speaking, there was no compelling reason for The Times to disclose the particulars of the agreement its reporter had reached with the source. Besides, there was no way of knowing months in advance that the story would become a political football in these final days of the campaign.

Still, other critics have complained that an initial statement released by The Times earlier this week did not mention its agreement with the source. But that does not mean such an agreement did not exist. Unless we have evidence to the contrary, I’m afraid we have to take The Times at its word when it says, however belatedly, that such an agreement indeed existed.

Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson told me today that Republican presidential candidate John McCain was wasting his time attacking the newspaper for not releasing the tape. Wolfson noted that McCain would be better off, at least politically, demanding that Obama, his Democratic opponent, call for the tape’s release.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Title: Nothing to See Here. . . .
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 30, 2008, 11:40:35 AM
October 30, 2008, 1:00 p.m.

The Los Angeles Times’s Strange Notion of Journalistic Ethics
Give us the tape … or at least a transcript of Obama’s radical shindig.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Journalistic ethics?

When it comes to insulting our collective intelligence, the Obamedia soundtrack of the ongoing campaign breaks new ground on a daily, indeed an hourly, basis. Still, the Los Angeles Times takes the cake.

Change you can believe in is a short hop from fairy tales you can be sold. In that spirit, the Times tells us, we’d really, really love to release the videotape we’re holding of that 2003 Khalidi shindig — the one where Barack Obama joined a motley collection of Israel-bashers, including the former terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, to sing the praises of Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for PLO master-terrorist Yasser Arafat. But alas, our hands are tied by journalistic ethics.

Of course the ever ethical Times would never try to skew election coverage in favor of a candidate it has recently endorsed (after blowing kisses at him for two years). Nor would the newspaper give its readers anything but a complete, accurate, and truthful account of an event like the Khalidi Bash that it deemed worthy enough to cover. You can take that to the bank. But, gosh-darn, it turns out that a “source” the Times won’t name supposedly provided reporter Peter Wallsten with the videotape on the solemn promise that the paper would never let it see the light of day … except to report on it as the Times saw fit.

If you believe that one, I’ve got a tax cut for you.

Let’s suspend disbelief for a moment. Let’s pretend that there is really some sentient being out there who actually leaks a videotape to a reporter wanting and expecting the event depicted to be given news coverage but somehow not wanting or expecting the tape itself to be published. And let’s further pretend that this phantom source who doesn’t want to tape disclosed nevertheless gives the tape to the newspaper rather than keeping control over it himself.

Let’s say we buy that this highly unlikely scenario actually happened. That would still not prevent the Los Angeles Times from putting out a transcript of the Khalidi testimonials and other speechifying.

We know, for example, that Barack Obama spoke for several minutes. Yet the Times has provided us with only the most cursory summary — to be more precise, not a summary but an account. A summary is a synopsis that fairly reflects what was said. Reporter Wallsten, to the contrary, fleetingly tells us only that “Obama adopted a different tone [from rabid anti-Israel speakers] in his comments and called for finding common ground.”

How so? We’re not told. Here’s the entirety of the Times description of Obama’s remarks:

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”

How very enlightening. What were the topics of the dinner-table talk? What blind spots and biases was Obama referring to? Did anything in his speech provide clues? We have no idea: the Times doesn’t tell us.

Moreover, we also know that several speakers that night sang paeans to Khalidi — who regards the establishment of a Jewish state in “Palestine” as the Nakba (i.e., “The Catastrophe”) and justifies terrorist attacks against Israeli military and government targets. The Times concedes the party was a forum “where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.” Yet, again, we are given only two blurbs:

[A] young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.” One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”

You know there was a lot more where that came from, spouted by several other speakers whom the Times story fails to name. Why not put out a transcript of what was said and by whom? And if the Times has information about what was in the commemorative book that was prepared for the occasion of Khalidi’s triumphant departure to assume the Edward Said chair at Columbia University, why not put that out too?

Even if you accept for argument’s sake the bunk about honoring the “source’s” supposed wishes, the newspaper wouldn’t need to release the tape in order to give us a more comprehensive account of what happened that evening. So it’s not that the Times is simply withholding the tape. The Times is trying to suppress the story. Not the story as Wallsten spun it back in April. The full story.

The full story couldn’t be more relevant. Barack Obama says he is a staunch supporter of Israel. The importance of the Khalidi festivities isn’t simply that Obama lavished praise on a man who was an Arafat apologist — although that is troubling in itself. What also matters is that many speakers (no doubt including Obama’s good friend Khalidi himself) said extremely provocative things about Israel and American policy.

While that went on, Obama apparently sat there in tacit acceptance, if not approval. He didn’t get up to leave. He wasn’t roused to a defense of his country. He didn’t deliver a spirited condemnation of Islamic terror. He just sat there. And when it came his turn to speak, he spoke … glowingly … about Khalidi. He was clearly comfortable around the agitators and, equally crucial, they were clearly comfortable spewing their bile in front of him — confident that they were certainly not giving offense.

Why would the Times think it’s not newsworthy to tell us in detail what Obama sat through and chose not to refute? He says he supports Israel, but shouldn’t we get a peek at what he actually does when Israel is under attack. After all, he wants to be in charge and soon the attacks may be more than just verbal.

All of that could be made known by the publication of a transcript, without breaching any purported promise to the purported source.

But, the Times sputters, we’ve already done that news story back in April. The material facts have already been publicized thanks to our crack reporting.


Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were at the party. Given the controversy over their extensive relationship with Obama — sitting on boards together, doling out millions of dollars together, lauding each other’s writings, joint appearances at conferences, Obama’s introduction to Chicago politics in the Ayers/Dohrn home, etc. — didn’t the Times think their attendance together at a party for Khalidi was worth reporting?

Given that Obama now preposterously claims he and Ayers barely know each other, didn’t the Times think it was worth mentioning that guest-of-honor Khalidi, a very close friend of Obama, just happens also to be a very close friend of Ayers?


The party was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) — an organization founded by Khalidi and his wife (who also worked for the PLO’s press agency) and lavishly funded by Obama and Ayers when they sat together on the board of the Woods Fund. Did the Times think that was newsworthy?

Again, apparently not. Wallsten’s article does not mention the AAAN’s role in the party. He describes the AAAN “a social service group” which is headed by Khalidi’s wife and was given a $40,000 grant by the Woods Fund when Obama sat on the board. In fact, AAAN is an activist Palestinian organization that regards Israel as illegitimate and supports driver’s licenses and welfare benefits for illegal aliens. Further, it was founded by both Khalidi and his wife, it actually received almost twice as much Woods Fund support as the Times said (i.e., $75,000, not $40,000), and, at the time of those grants, one of Obama’s partners on the board was Bill Ayers.

Besides Obama and Khalidi (about whose speeches the Times tells us precious little), who else spoke at the party? What was said? What was written in the commemorative book prepared for the occasion? The Times doesn’t tell us.

In fact, though the Times’s story runs 2000 words, very little of it is about the party the Times now contends it covered adequately. Most of it is dedicated to probing what Wallsten frames as the alluring mystery of Barack Obama’s position on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. Is he really a strong Israel supporter? Do anti-Israeli Palestinians really have good reason to regard him as a friend? Would he shift away from the strong U.S. alliance with Israel to a more “even-handed” approach—as one Chicago Palestinian-rights activist claims to have heard Obama say he favored (Obama denies it)?

We don’t know. The Times raises these and other questions, acknowledges that they are vexing, but then withholds from us critical information by which we might draw our own informed conclusions.

The mainstream press, of course, is urging Congress to enact a “shield law,” protecting reporters from government subpoenas. To a former prosecutor, that’s worth noting. You see, in matters of great public importance, prosecutors have ethical obligations, too. One of them says that if you provide an incomplete or misleading version of an event to the public’s courts, and you have information in your file that would clarify the situation, you are duty-bound to disclose that information. That way, the factfinder is equipped to make an intelligent, informed decision about what the truth is.

By contrast, the mainstream media want the right to mislead you, to provide you with a woefully incomplete record, but to deprive you of clarifying information even when it is readily at their disposal. You just have to take their word for what happened, and never you mind the details.

Are you comfortable taking the Obamedia’s word for it? Or do you think you ought to have a look at what Los Angeles Times has unilaterally decided not to show you?

The time for a newspaper to start worrying about journalistic ethics is when it publishes the story, not six months later when, in the stretch run of a crucial election, it gets called on an obviously incomplete report. Ethics, furthermore, are about fair and honest treatment. If the videotape at issue involved John McCain rubbing elbows with radicals or the CIA trying to protect national defense secrets, the Times would publish it and revel in the inevitable Pulitzer for its “courage” in doing so.

Let’s see the tape … or at least a transcript.

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy chairs the FDD’s Center for Law & Counterterrorism and is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books 2008).

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 30, 2008, 01:08:48 PM
***Not that I care one way or another about the clothes, bigger issues exist, but Hillary and Obama pay for their own clothes;
they are not asking the DNC to pay for them.  In contrast, $150,000 in political donations paid for Palin's wardrobe.***

Do you really think that distinction if true is the issue?

It was really all about humiliating and embarrasing Palin.  Besides Hillary and co. had 100 million from years of people throwing money to them along with their political aspirations.  Palin doesn't have that kind of money - at least yet.

Title: Mccain Org gave money to PLO spokesman
Post by: rachelg on October 30, 2008, 04:34:09 PM

I am obliviously not a fan of the PLO  and I think both McCain and Obama are Pro-Israel.

The Khalidi Gambit: McCain Attacks Obama for Connection to Palestinian Activist Whose Work McCain Helped Fund

October 29, 2008 10:35 AM

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., did a live interview with Radio Mambi in Miami this morning in which he went after Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for his connections to a “PLO spokesman.”

McCain was referring to Rashid Khalidi, who, five years ago, Obama toasted at a going-away party before Khalidi headed off to New York City to become a professor at Columbia University.

In April, the Los Angeles Times’s Peter Wallsten wrote about the toast, saying a “special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

“His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been ‘consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases...It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary, not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table,’ but around ‘this entire world.’”

Wrote Wallsten: “In the 1970s, when Khalidi taught at a university in Beirut, he often spoke to reporters on behalf of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. In the early 1990s, he advised the Palestinian delegation during peace negotiations. Khalidi now occupies a prestigious professorship of Arab studies at Columbia.

“He is seen as a moderate in Palestinian circles, having decried suicide bombings against civilians as a ‘war crime’ and criticized the conduct of Hamas and other Palestinian leaders. Still, many of Khalidi's opinions are troubling to pro-Israel activists, such as his defense of Palestinians' right to resist Israeli occupation and his critique of U.S. policy as biased toward Israel.”

Wallsten had a videotape of the Khalidi party, which conservatives and, as of today Sen. McCain, are calling upon him to release.

"The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it," Russ Stanton, editor of the LA Times, has said. "The Times keeps its promises to sources."

McCain today said, “The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public...I’m not in the business of talking about media bias...but what if there was a tape of John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit...I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”

But McCain has his own connection to Khalidi.

In 1993, McCain became chairman of the International Republican Institute. He still chairs that respected organization.

That same year, Khalidi helped found the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, self-described as “an independent academic research and policy analysis institution” created to meet “the need for active Palestinian scholarship on issues related to Palestine.” (Its archived Web site is HERE.)

Khalidi was on the board of trustees through 1999.

According to tax returns, the McCain-chaired IRI funded the organization Khalidi founded and served on to the tune of $448,873 in 1998 (click HERE to see the tax return)* as first reported by Seth Couter Walls at HuffPo.

The IRI continued to give money to the CPRS after Khalidi left the group as well.

Asked to respond to this seeming contradiction, McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb writes, “It's long been clear that Obama and Khalidi have a close relationship -- that they were frequent dinner companions. It is another in a series of questionable associations, but it is not the focus of our request that the LA Times release this tape. It's clear from the Times story that the evening featured speeches that were anti-Semitic in tone and anti-Israel in nature.  As our initial statement said, 'This campaign wants to know how Barack Obama responded to that hate-speech, whether he was mingling with Ayers, who he once described as 'just a guy in my neighborhood,' and anything else that might be of interest to voters now deciding who to support in this election.'”

(Goldfarb is referring to two speakers at Khalidi's 2003 farewell party: "a young Palestinian American (who) recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, 'then you will never see a day of peace,'" and another who "likened 'Zionist settlers on the West Bank' to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been 'blinded by ideology.'")

Continued Goldfarb: “Why would the media withhold information that might be damaging to a presidential candidate? It is certainly a luxury that you and your colleagues have never afforded this campaign.”

For his part, Obama was asked about his relationship with Khalidi in May at an event with Jewish voters in Boca Raton, Fla.

“I do know him because I taught at the University of Chicago,” Obama said. “And he is Palestinian. And I do know him and I have had conversations. He is not one of my advisors; he’s not one of my foreign policy people. His kids went to the Lab school where my kids go as well. He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel’s policy.

“To pluck out one person who I know and who I’ve had a conversation with who has very different views than 900 of my friends and then to suggest that somehow that shows that maybe I’m not sufficiently pro-Israel, I think, is a very problematic stand to take," Obama said. "So, we gotta be careful about guilt by association.”
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on October 30, 2008, 04:51:06 PM

You can't see a difference in the degree of connection between Obama and McCain to Khalidi ?
Title: Inane Equivocation
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 30, 2008, 08:00:26 PM
Uhm, yeah, what GM said.

Imagine a Republican sitting in a room where people were being disparaged due to their religion or the color of their skin, and then try to imagine a news organization sitting on a video of the incident. Never happen, it'd be all over the airwaves faster than you can say "news cycle."

Alas, you don't have to imagine someone trying to excuse similar behavior by pointing out tangential associations that have nothing to do with the point under discussion as you've done it already. But hey, if sitting on a board that gives money to an organization that has someone in it who supports terror is bad, then I guess serving on a board where the guy sitting next to you supported terror tactics is even worse, right?

This sort of inane equivocation doesn't bode well for informed discussion. . . .
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on October 31, 2008, 07:12:26 AM
Newspapers often don't give our their notes or support documentation.  And if it was going to be requested, it should have been done six months ago, not a week before the election
and thereby used sole to inflame without chance of explanation.  And yes, McCain too has had association with the Khalidi.

I too think both McCain and Obama support Israel.  And while I am not a fan of the PLO, I think most moderates agree something needs to be done
to resolve this problem or in the end Israel will be the loser. 

BBG as have others have stated "that Khalidi supports terror".  But what is a "terrorist"?  Anyone who opposes us? Anyone who supports the PLO?  Agree or disagree, they too believe they are in a war.
And many countries (allies) are beginning to support the PLO's position.  Just because someone disagrees with you and is Muslim, doesn't make them a terrorist...

And by most articles I have read Khalidi is a moderate.  You may not like Obama, but don't you think someone needs to begin a dialogue, to intercede in this dilemma?  And it is tough to intercede when
you are not willing to listen to both sides.

Wrote Wallsten: “In the 1970s, when Khalidi taught at a university in Beirut, he often spoke to reporters on behalf of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. In the early 1990s, he advised the Palestinian delegation during peace negotiations. Khalidi now occupies a prestigious professorship of Arab studies at Columbia.

“He is seen as a moderate in Palestinian circles, having decried suicide bombings against civilians as a ‘war crime’ and criticized the conduct of Hamas and other Palestinian leaders. Still, many of Khalidi's opinions are troubling to pro-Israel activists, such as his defense of Palestinians' right to resist Israeli occupation and his critique of U.S. policy as biased toward Israel.”

Also, I doubt if Columbia would hire a true "terrorist" in a full professorship position.  A lecturer maybe  :-D  Rather I think Columbia wants a diverse of opinion.  Nothing wrong with that.

Title: Drudge headline
Post by: ccp on October 31, 2008, 07:49:28 AM

For those who maybe don't look at Drudge - you certainly won't see this on MSM unless CNN picks it up only after Fox presses the issue.

To me this is an example of what we are in for and is abuse of power far beyond what the framers of the Constitution would have ever desired.

This is censorship of the press no different than McCarthyism of the 50's and just a starter smaple of what we are in for.

I really can't believe this is happening in 2008.  On the one bright side Novak reports the Dems won't get their super majority so fillibustering is this country's last stand against outright socialism.

Of course the 40% of people who pay no taxes don't have a problem with this as the 20 million illegals who will be made legal in a few months.  Of course the 30% of people in New Jersey who in some way are either government employees or on the dole in some fashion won't mind bigger government.  Don't expect me to be thrilled as a small business man at the concept of taxing me even more and than the Dems giving it right to my employees. 
Why should I bother?  I just might *have* to let one employee go.

I think Republicans just sitting back and hoping that BO will be unpopular in the polls in a few years allowing them to make a comeback with the same old message is a huge tactical blunder.  Hoping BO will look like Jimmy Carter is too big a risk.  He may not.  And he has an adoring press and is dead set on controlling the news, and any opposition.  Unlike anyhting Carter did.

I hope I am wrong but I hope even more the Republicans can adjust their message.

Fri Oct 31 2008 08:39:55 ET



The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!

The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president.


Some told the DRUDGE REPORT that the reporters are being ousted to bring on documentary film-makers to record the final days; others expect to see on board more sympathetic members of the media, including the NY TIMES' Maureen Dowd, who once complained that she was barred from McCain's Straight Talk Express airplane.

After a week of quiet but desperate behind-the-scenes negotiations, the reporters of the three papers heard last night that they were definitely off for the final swing. They are already planning how to cover the final days by flying commercial or driving from event to event.

Developing... ****

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on October 31, 2008, 08:18:35 AM
While I happen to agree with you on the issue of ILLEGAL immigrants; yet unfortunately both Obama and McCain seem sympathetic on this issue.

I do however think your "pay no taxes" group gets a bad rap.

First, based on this logic, if I "pay no tax" now why do I care who wins; I will continue to "pay no taxes" so the Obama plan and the
McCain tax plan is all the same to me, isn't it?  Therefore I doubt if Obama is pandering to this group; they receive no benefit and therefore
no tax incentive to vote for him.

And saying that 40% of the people  "pay no tax" forgets payroll taxes which can be up to 15% of earnings.  That is still a "tax" isn't it? Perhaps
you mean pay no "income" taxes?  But even then that 40% number is misleading.

As for the media, well, when it comes to the plane, I think McCain and Obama both choose their "friends".  I think you even pointed out that
Dowd with the NY Times had been barred from McCain's plane; his choice I say.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on October 31, 2008, 09:11:46 AM
now why do I care who wins; I will continue to "pay no taxes" so the Obama plan and the
McCain tax plan is all the same to me, isn't it?  Therefore I doubt if Obama is pandering to this group; they receive no benefit and therefore
no tax incentive to vote for him.

Did I say this?

BO is offering rebates to the 40%. I didn't say they don't care - I say they are happy to vote for BO who bleieves in redistribution of wealth.
And payroll taxes is not income tax that pays for the supposed federal services that are offered.
Although I guess government borrows from these funds.

No, quite the contrary, I think people who pay no income tax get off easy.   I think they don't get a rap.  And to me that is a problem.
Just as it is a problem that the rich are getting richer and the rest going nowhere is a problem I think 40% paying no federal income tax is also a problem and wrong.
And the more we run to the left the worse this will get.
Yet Reagonimcs while I think is better does not address this wholly either.  Now we have Obamanomics.  That to me is far worse but both fall short IMHO.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on November 01, 2008, 04:34:45 PM

October 31, 2008, 4:00 a.m.

The End of Journalism
Sometime in 2008, journalism as we knew it died, and advocacy media took its place.

By Victor Davis Hanson

There have always been media biases and prejudices. Everyone knew that Walter Cronkite, from his gilded throne at CBS news, helped to alter the course of the Vietnam War, when, in the post-Tet depression, he prematurely declared the war unwinnible. Dan Rather’s career imploded when he knowingly promulgated a forged document that impugned the service record of George W. Bush. We’ve known for a long time — from various polling, and records of political donations of journalists themselves, as well as surveys of public perceptions — that the vast majority of journalists identify themselves as Democratic, and liberal in particular.

Yet we have never quite seen anything like the current media infatuation with Barack Obama, and its collective desire not to raise key issues of concern to the American people. Here were four areas of national interest that were largely ignored.

For years an axiom of the liberal establishment was the need for public campaign financing — and the corrosive role of private money in poisoning the election process. The most prominent Republican who crossed party lines to ensure the passage of national public campaign financing was John McCain — a maverick stance that cost him dearly among conservatives who resented bitterly federal interference in political expression.

In contrast, Barack Obama, remember, promised that he would accept both public funding and the limitations that went along with it, and would “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” Then in June 2008, Obama abruptly reneged, bowing out entirely from government financing, the first presidential nominee in the general election to do that since the system was created in 1976.

Obama has now raised over $600 million, by far the largest campaign chest in American political history. In many states he enjoys a four-to-one advantage in campaign funding — most telling in his scheduled eleventh-hour, 30-minute specials that will not be answered by the publicly financed and poorer McCain campaign.

The story that the media chose to ignore was not merely the Obama about-face on public financing, or even the enormous amounts of money that he has raised — some of it under dubious circumstances involving foreign donors, prepaid credit cards, and false names. Instead, they were absolutely quiet about a historic end to liberal support for public financing.

For all practical purposes, public financing of the presidential general election is now dead. No Republican will ever agree to it again. No Democrat can ever again dare to defend a system destroyed by Obama. All future worries about the dangers of big money and big politics will fall on deaf ears.

Surely, there will come a time when the Democratic Party, whether for ethical or practical reasons, will sorely regret dismantling the very safeguards that for over three decades it had insisted was critical for the survival of the republic.

Imagine the reaction of the New York Times or the Washington Post had John McCain renounced his promise to participate in public campaign financing, proceeded instead to amass $600 million and outraise the publicly financed Barack Obama four-to-one, and begun airing special 30-minute unanswered infomercials during the last week of the campaign.

We know now almost all the details of Sarah Palin’s pregnancies, whether the trooper who tasered her nephew went to stun or half stun, the cost of her clothes, and her personal expenses — indeed, almost everything except how a mother of so many children gets elected councilwoman, mayor, and governor, routs an entrenched old-boy cadre, while maintaining near record levels of public support.

Yet the American public knows almost nothing of what it should about the extraordinary career of Joe Biden, the 36-year veteran of the Senate. In unprecedented fashion, Biden has simply avoided the press for most of the last two months, confident that the media instead would deconstruct almost every word of “good looking” Sarah Palin’s numerous interviews with mostly hostile interrogators.

By accepted standards of behavior, Biden has sadly proven wanting. He has committed almost every classical sin of character — plagiarism, false biography, racial insensitivity, and serial fabrication. And because of media silence, we don’t know whether he was kidding when he said America would not need to burn coal, or that Hezbollah was out of Lebanon, or that FDR addressed the nation on television as president in 1929 (surely a record for historical fictions in a single thought), or that the public would turn sour on Obama once he was challenged by our enemies abroad. In response, the media reported that the very public Sarah Palin was avoiding the press while the very private Joe Biden shunned interviews and was chained to the teleprompter.

For two months now, the media reaction to Biden’s inanity has been simply “that’s just ol’ Joe, now let’s turn to Palin,” who, in the space of two months, has been reduced from a popular successful governor to a backwoods creationist, who will ban books and champion white secessionist causes. The respective coverage of the two candidates is ironic in a variety of ways, but in one especially — almost every charge against Palin (that she is under wraps, untruthful, and inept) was applicable only to Biden.

So we are about to elect a vice president about whom we know only that he has been around a long time, but little else — and nothing at all why exactly Joe Biden says the most astounding and often lunatic things.

Imagine the reaction of Newsweek or Time had moose-hunting mom Sarah Palin claimed FDR went on television to address the nation as President in 1929, or warned America that our enemies abroad would test John McCain and that his response would result in a radical loss of his popularity at home.

In 2004, few Americans knew Barack Obama. In 2008, they may elect him. Surely his past was of more interest than his present serial denials of it. Whatever the media’s feelings about the current Barack Obama, there should have been some story that the Obama of 2008 is radically different from the Obama who was largely consistent and predictable for the prior 30 years.

Each Obama metamorphosis in itself might be attributed to the normal evolution to the middle, as a candidate shifts from the primary to the general election. But in the case of Obama, we witnessed not a shift, but a complete transformation to an entirely new persona — in almost every imaginable sense of the word. Name an issue — FISA, NAFTA, guns, abortion, capital punishment, coal, nuclear power, drilling, Iran, Jerusalem, the surge — and Obama’s position today is not that of just a year ago.

Until 2005, Obama was in communication with Bill Ayers by e-mail and phone, despite Ayers reprehensible braggadocio in 2001 that he remained an unrepentant terrorist. Rev. Wright was an invaluable spiritual advisor — until spring of 2008. Father Pfleger was praised as an intimate friend in 2004 — and vanished off the radar in 2008. The media might have asked not just why these rather dubious figures were once so close to, and then so distant from, Obama; but why were there so many people like Rashid Khalidi and Tony Rezko in Obama’s past in the first place?

Behind the Olympian calm of Obama, there was always a rather disturbing record of extra-electoral politics completely ignored by the media. If one were disturbed by the present shenanigans of ACORN or the bizarre national call for Americans simply to skip work on election day to help elect Obama (who would pay for that?), one would only have to remember that in 1996 Obama took the extraordinary step of suing to eliminate all his primary rivals by challenging their petition signatures of mostly African-American voters.

In 2004, there was an even more remarkable chain of events in which the sealed divorce records of both his principle primary rival Blair Hull and general election foe, Jack Ryan, were mysteriously leaked, effectively ensuring Obama a Senate seat without serious opposition. These were not artifacts of a typical political career, but extraordinary events in themselves that might well have shed light on present campaign tactics — and yet largely remain unknown to the American people.

Imagine the reaction of CNN or NBC had John McCain’s pastor and spiritual advisor of 20 years been revealed as a white supremacist who damned a multiracial United States, or had he been a close acquaintance until 2005 of an unrepentant terrorist bomber of abortion clinics, or had McCain himself sued to eliminate congressional opponents by challenging the validity of African-American voters who signed petitions, or had both his primary and general election senatorial rivals imploded once their sealed divorce records were mysteriously leaked.

The eleventh-hour McCain allegations of Obama’s advocacy for a share-the-wealth socialism was generally ignored by the media, or if covered, written off as neo-McCarthyism. But there were two legitimate, but again neglected, issues.

The first was the nature of the Obama tax plan. The problem was not merely upping the income tax rates on those who made $250,000 (or was it $200,000, or was it $150,000, or both, or none?), but its aggregate effect in combination with lifting the FICA ceilings on high incomes on top of existing Medicare contributions and often high state income taxes.

In other words, Americans who live in high-tax, expensive states like a New York or California could in theory face collective confiscatory tax rates of 65 percent or so on much of their income. And, depending on the nature of Obama’s proposed tax exemptions, on the other end of the spectrum we might well see almost half the nation’s wage earners pay no federal income tax at all.

Questions arise, but were again not explored: How wise is it to exempt one out of every two income earners from any worry over how the nation gathers its federal income tax revenue? And when credits are added to the plan, are we now essentially not cutting or raising taxes, but simply diverting wealth from those who pay into the system to those who do not?

A practical effect of socialism is often defined as curbing productive incentives by ensuring the poorer need not endanger their exemptions and credits by seeking greater income; and discouraging the wealthy from seeking greater income, given that nearly two-thirds of additional wealth would be lost to taxes. Surely that discussion might have been of interest to the American people.

Second, the real story was not John McCain’s characterization of such plans, but both inadvertent, and serial descriptions of them, past and present, by Barack Obama himself. “Spreading the wealth around” gains currency when collated to past interviews in which Obama talked at length about, and in regret at, judicial impracticalities in accomplishing his own desire to redistribute income. “Tragedy” is frequent in the Obama vocabulary, but largely confined to two contexts: the tragic history of the United States (e.g., deemed analogous to that of Nazi Germany during World War II), and the tragic unwillingness or inability to use judicial means to correct economic inequality in non-democratic fashion.

In this regard, remember Obama’s revealing comment that he was interested only in “fairness” in increasing capital-gains taxes, despite the bothersome fact that past moderate reductions in rates had, in fact, brought in greater revenue to government. Again, fossilized ideology trumps empiricism.

Imagine the reaction of NPR and PBS had John McCain advocated something like abolishing all capital gains taxes, or repealing incomes taxes in favor of a national retail sales tax.

The media has succeeded in shielding Barack Obama from journalistic scrutiny. It thereby irrevocably destroyed its own reputation and forfeited the trust that generations of others had so carefully acquired. And it will never again be trusted to offer candid and nonpartisan coverage of presidential candidates.

Worse still, the suicide of both print and electronic journalism has ensured that, should Barack Obama be elected president, the public will only then learn what they should have known far earlier about their commander-in-chief — but in circumstances and from sources they may well regret.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 04, 2008, 12:41:08 PM
I am so glad the MSM has done such a fine job of letting us get to know BO:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on November 04, 2008, 03:24:26 PM
I have heard about these visits on talk radio.
It is not clear what the visits mean in the context of visiting another country of a college friend.

I don't recall that Indonesia is particularly in love with the US.  He lived there for a few years.

I guess the Jews are about to find out what his real relationship with these past associations means going forward.
Hopefully nothing.  But I am fearful of this guy's motives and true intentions.

He is clearly shown a flair for pathologic dishonesty.  He can lie like the best of them.  Without even a flinch or trace of emotion.
This to me is very worrisome.

Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2008, 06:49:24 AM
Chris Matthews, being honest
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: ccp on November 08, 2008, 07:32:00 AM
I assume its Matthews saying he will do everything he can to support and cover for BO "for the good of the country".
Of course when W was President he did everything he could to destroy the President, I assume, "for the good of our country".

Joe Scarborough laughed when Matthews claimed it was "his job" to do this.  "Your job" he asked.  "I thought you are a journalist?"

Matthews was already on MSNBC last night claiming BOs attempt at humor was "really really funny".  I guess he meant the "mutt" comment.
I am not sure if he was claiming BOs Nancy Reagan insult was also funny, because I changed the station.  I thought BOs discussion about the dog was a tangential waste of time.  The cheap shot at NR was just that.  Neither was really really funny but that was Matthews spin at making BO appear to be a raging success.  MSNBC states the USA is already getting dividends from the BO presidency(which by the way hasn't yet started) because Iran congratulated him and Iraq is elated the US will not pull out.

With regards to MSNBC I really don't recall a "MSM" outlet doing everything it can to humiliate and insult people who recently lost an election like they are doing to Palin, McCain, and the losing party in general.

As O'Reilly has pointed out, even any attempt at objective journalist in the USA is past history.  He made an off the cuff comment to Bernie Goldberg that "we are old and almost dead anyway".

I had an elderly patient in her 80s tell me her brother made a similar comment to the effect, "aren't you glad we are on the way out with what is going on today?."

Anyway I digress.

Title: WTF?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2008, 06:55:24 AM
Dan Mirvish, who with Eitan Gorlin created an elaborate Internet hoax complete with a fake policy institute and a phony adviser to Senator John McCain.

Published: November 12, 2008
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

April Fools’ Comes Early: Read All About It (November 13, 2008)
Palin Calls Criticism by McCain Aides ‘Cruel and Mean-Spirited’ (November 8, 2008)
Martin Eisenstadt’s Blog
The Web Site for the Harding Institute
Eitan Gorlin as the phony McCain adviser Martin Eisenstadt.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

Now a pair of obscure filmmakers say they created Martin Eisenstadt to help them pitch a TV show based on the character. But under the circumstances, why should anyone believe a word they say?

“That’s a really good question,” one of the two, Eitan Gorlin, said with a laugh.

(For what it’s worth, another reporter for The New York Times is an acquaintance of Mr. Gorlin and vouches for his identity, and Mr. Gorlin is indeed “Mr. Eisenstadt” in those videos. He and his partner in deception, Dan Mirvish, have entries on the Internet Movie Database, But still. ...)

They say the blame lies not with them but with shoddiness in the traditional news media and especially the blogosphere.

“With the 24-hour news cycle they rush into anything they can find,” said Mr. Mirvish, 40.

Mr. Gorlin, 39, argued that Eisenstadt was no more of a joke than half the bloggers or political commentators on the Internet or television.

An MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, explained the network’s misstep by saying someone in the newsroom received the Palin item in an e-mail message from a colleague and assumed it had been checked out. “It had not been vetted,” he said. “It should not have made air.”

But most of Eisenstadt’s victims have been bloggers, a reflection of the sloppy speed at which any tidbit, no matter how specious, can bounce around the Internet. And they fell for the fake material despite ample warnings online about Eisenstadt, including the work of one blogger who spent months chasing the illusion around cyberspace, trying to debunk it.

The hoax began a year ago with short videos of a parking valet character, who Mr. Gorlin and Mr. Mirvish said was the original idea for a TV series.

Soon there were videos showing him driving a car while spouting offensive, opinionated nonsense in praise of Rudolph W. Giuliani. Those videos attracted tens of thousands of Internet hits and a bit of news media attention.

When Mr. Giuliani dropped out of the presidential race, the character morphed into Eisenstadt, a parody of a blowhard cable news commentator.

Mr. Gorlin said they chose the name because “all the neocons in the Bush administration had Jewish last names and Christian first names.”

Eisenstadt became an adviser to Senator John McCain and got a blog, updated occasionally with comments claiming insider knowledge, and other bloggers began quoting and linking to it. It mixed weird-but-true items with false ones that were plausible, if just barely.

The inventors fabricated the Harding Institute, named for one of the most scorned presidents, and made Eisenstadt a senior fellow.

It didn’t hurt that a man named Michael Eisenstadt is a real expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and is quoted in the mainstream media. The real Mr. Eisenstadt said in an interview that he was only dimly aware of the fake one, and that his main concern was that people understood that “I had nothing to do with this.”

Before long Mr. Gorlin and Mr. Mirvish had produced a short documentary on Martin Eisenstadt, supposedly for the BBC, posted in several parts on YouTube.

In June they produced what appeared to be an interview with Eisenstadt on Iraqi television promoting construction of a casino in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Then they sent out a news release in which he apologized. Outraged Iraqi bloggers protested the casino idea.

Among the Americans who took that bait was Jonathan Stein, a reporter for Mother Jones. A few hours later Mr. Stein put up a post on the magazine’s political blog, with the title “Hoax Alert: Bizarre ‘McCain Adviser’ Too Good to Be True,” and explained how he had been fooled.

In July, after the McCain campaign compared Senator Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, the Eisenstadt blog said “the phone was burning off the hook” at McCain headquarters, with angry calls from Ms. Hilton’s grandfather and others. A Los Angeles Times political blog, among others, retold the story, citing Eisenstadt by name and linking to his blog.

Last month Eisenstadt blogged that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber, was closely related to Charles Keating, the disgraced former savings and loan chief. It wasn’t true, but other bloggers ran with it.

Among those taken in by Monday’s confession about the Palin Africa report was The New Republic’s political blog. Later the magazine posted this atop the entry: “Oy — this would appear to be a hoax. Apologies.”

But the truth was out for all to see long before the big-name take-downs. For months has identified Martin Eisenstadt as a hoax. When Mr. Stein was the victim, he blogged that “there was enough info on the Web that I should have sussed this thing out.”

And then there is William K. Wolfrum, a blogger who has played Javert to Eisenstadt’s Valjean, tracking the hoaxster across cyberspace and repeatedly debunking his claims. Mr. Gorlin and Mr. Mirvish praised his tenacity, adding that the news media could learn something from him.

“As if there isn’t enough misinformation on this election, it was shocking to see so much time wasted on things that didn’t exist,” Mr. Wolfrum said in an interview.

And how can we know that Mr. Wolfrum is real and not part of the hoax?

Long pause. “Yeah, that’s a tough one.”
Title: More Treason from the NYT
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 14, 2008, 10:23:42 AM
The Gray Lady undermines national security ... again
There they go again. The New York Times, continuing its policy of aiding and abetting this nation's enemies, on Monday published the latest classified anti-terrorist program to come to its attention. This revelation covers a secret order that authorized covert military action inside Syria, Pakistan and "elsewhere" (a quick look at the map to see what lies between Pakistan and Syria will discover "elsewhere"). Citing military and civilian sources, The Times reports that nearly a dozen such raids have been carried out since 2004. We can only imagine the gratitude felt by those brave special-ops soldiers carrying out these missions that their activities are public knowledge.

Freedom of the press is one of the most important rights enshrined in the Constitution. Its position as part of the First Amendment is no accident, indicating the importance the Founders gave to a press able to report freely and without fear on the activities of government. Even in wartime, the government should not censor the media unless truly extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise. But there is also a reason for the government's classification of information, including this definition of Top Secret: "information of a highly sensitive nature, whose disclosure could result in grave danger to the national security of the United States." At what point does The Times consider that protecting our national security is more important than scoring political points against the Bush administration?
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on November 14, 2008, 10:46:15 AM
Answer: They don't consider it. The only stories they'll bury is anything that might harm Barack Obama. They are fine with getting SpecOps soldiers killed. They'll then run an op-ed bemoaning the loss of the soldiers, blaming President Bush all the while.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: JDN on November 14, 2008, 11:17:51 AM
I think a lot dates back to the publication or the government's request for restraint of publication of the Pentagon Papers.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the first amendment and justified publication for the greater good.


6-3 The decision finally stated that the Supreme Court agreed with the two lower courts which had originally decided that the Government had not met that burden, so the prior restraint was not justified. This final decision was not signed by any particular justice.
The Per Curiam opinion itself in this case was very brief because all the Court wanted to state was that it had concurred with the decisions of the two lower courts to reject the Government’s request for an injunction. The Justices’ opinions included different degrees of support for the clear superiority of the First Amendment and no Justice fully supported the Government’s case. Because of these factors, no clear and exclusive law appears to have come out of this case. Nevertheless, the significance of the case and the wording of the Justices’ opinions have added important statements to the history of precedents for exceptions to the First Amendment, which have been cited in numerous Supreme Court cases since .
Justice Hugo Black wrote an opinion that elaborated on his absolutist view of the First Amendment. He was against any interference with freedom of expression and largely found the content of the documents to be immaterial. Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980) largely concurred with Black, citing the need for a free press as a check on government.
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. explained how the publication of the documents did not qualify as one of the three exceptions to the freedom of expression established in Near v. Minnesota (1931).
Justice Potter Stewart and Justice Byron R. White agreed that it is the responsibility of the Executive to ensure national security through the protection of its information. However, in areas of national defense and international affairs, the President of United States possesses great constitutional independence that is virtually unchecked by the Legislative and Judicial branch. "In absence of governmental checks and balances," per Justice Stewart, "the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in [these two areas] may lie in an enlightened citizenry - in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government."
Justice Thurgood Marshall established the notion that the term “national security” was too broad when legitimizing prior restraint, and also argued that it is not the Court’s job to create laws where the Congress cannot.
Justice Warren E. Burger, dissenting, argued that “the imperative of a free and unfettered press comes into collision with another imperative, the effective functioning of a complex modern government," that there should be a detailed study on the effects of these actions. He argued that in the haste of the proceedings, and given the size of the documents, the Court was unable to gather enough information to make a decision. He also argued that the Times should have discussed the possible societal repercussions with the Government prior to publication of the material. The Chief Justice did not argue that the Government had met the aforementioned standard, but rather that the decision should not have been made so hastily.
Justice John M. Harlan and Justice Harry A. Blackmun joined the Chief Justice in arguing the faults in the proceedings, and the lack of attention towards national security and the rights of the Executive.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on November 14, 2008, 11:31:12 AM
**The MSM has been propagandizing for dictators and hurting American interests long before the pentagon papers.**

May 7, 2003 8:45 a.m.
Prize Specimen
The campaign to revoke Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer.

We will never know how many Ukrainians died in Stalin's famines of the early 1930s. As Nikita Khrushchev later recalled, "No one was keeping count." Writing back in the mid- 1980s, historian Robert Conquest came up with a death toll of around six million, a calculation not so inconsistent with later research (the writers of The Black Book of Communism (1999) estimated a total of four million for 1933 alone).

Four million, six million, seven million, when the numbers are this grotesque does the exact figure matter? Just remember this instead:

The first family to die was the Rafalyks — father, mother and a child. Later on the Fediy family of five also perished of starvation. Then followed the families of Prokhar Lytvyn (four persons), Fedir Hontowy (three persons), Samson Fediy (three persons). The second child of the latter family was beaten to death on somebody's onion patch. Mykola and Larion Fediy died, followed by Andrew Fediy and his wife; Stefan Fediy; Anton Fediy, his wife and four children (his two other little girls survived); Boris Fediy, his wife and three children: Olanviy Fediy and his wife; Taras Fediy and his wife; Theodore Fesenko; Constantine Fesenko; Melania Fediy; Lawrenty Fediy; Peter Fediy; Eulysis Fediy and his brother Fred; Isidore Fediy, his wife and two children; Ivan Hontowy, his wife and two children; Vasyl Perch, his wife and child; Makar Fediy; Prokip Fesenko: Abraham Fediy; Ivan Skaska, his wife and eight children.

Some of these people were buried in a cemetery plot; others were left lying wherever they died. For instance, Elizabeth Lukashenko died on the meadow; her remains were eaten by ravens. Others were simply dumped into any handy excavation. The remains of Lawrenty Fediy lay on the hearth of his dwelling until devoured by rats.*

And that's just one village — Fediivka, in the Poltava Province.

We will never know whether Walter Duranty, the principal New York Times correspondent in the U.S.S.R., ever visited Fediivka. Almost certainly not. What we do know is that, in March 1933, while telling his readers that there had indeed been "serious food shortages" in the Ukraine, he was quick to reassure them that "there [was] no actual starvation." There had been no "deaths from starvation," he soothed, merely "widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition." So that was all right then.

But, unlike Khrushchev, Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize winner, no less, was keeping count — in the autumn of 1933 he is recorded as having told the British Embassy that ten million had died. ** "The Ukraine," he said, "had been bled white," remarkable words from the journalist who had, only days earlier, described talk of a famine as "a sheer absurdity," remarkable words from the journalist who, in a 1935 memoir had dismayingly little to say about one of history's greatest crimes. Writing about his two visits to the Ukraine in 1933, Duranty was content to describe how "the people looked healthier and more cheerful than [he] had expected, although they told grim tales of their sufferings in the past two years." As Duranty had explained (writing about his trip to the Ukraine in April that year), he "had no doubt that the solution to the agrarian problem had been found".

Well, at least he didn't refer to it as a "final" solution.

As the years passed, and the extent of the famine and the other, innumerable, brutalities of Stalin's long tyranny became increasingly difficult to deny, Duranty's reputation collapsed (I wrote about this on NRO a couple of years ago), but his Pulitzer Prize has endured.

Ah, that Pulitzer Prize. In his will old Joseph Pulitzer described what the prize was designed to achieve: " The encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education."

In 1932 the Pulitzer Board awarded Walter Duranty its prize. It's an achievement that the New York Times still celebrates. The gray lady is pleased to publish its storied Pulitzer roster in a full-page advertisement each year, and, clearly, it finds the name of Duranty as one that is still fit to print. His name is near the top of the list, an accident of chronology, but there it is, Duranty, Times man, denier of the Ukrainian genocide — proudly paraded for all to see. Interestingly, the list of prizewinners posted on the New York Times Company's website is more forthcoming: Against Duranty's name, it is noted that "other writers in the Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage."

Understandably enough, Duranty's Pulitzer is an insult that has lost none of its power to appall. In a new initiative, Ukrainian groups have launched a fresh campaign designed to persuade the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke the award to Duranty. The Pulitzer's nabobs do not appear to be impressed. A message dated April 29, 2003 from the board's administrator to one of the organizers of the Ukrainian campaign includes the following words:

The current Board is aware that complaints about the Duranty award have surfaced again. [The campaign's] submission…will be placed on file with others we have received. However, to date, the Board has not seen fit to reverse a previous Board's decision, made seventy years ago in a different era and under different circumstances.

A "different era," "different circumstances" — would that have been said, I wonder, about someone who had covered up Nazi savagery? But then, more relevantly, the Pulitzer's representative notes that Duranty's prize was awarded "for a specific set of stories in 1931," in other words, before the famine struck with its full, horrific, force. And there he has a point. The prize is designed to reward a specific piece of journalism — not a body of work. To strip Duranty of the prize on the grounds of his subsequent conduct, however disgusting it may have been, would be a retrospective change of the rules, behavior more typical of the old U.S.S.R. than today's U.S.A.

But what was that "specific set of stories?" Duranty won his prize " for [his] dispatches on Russia especially the working out of the Five Year Plan." They were, said the Pulitzer Board "marked by scholarship, profundity, impartiality, sound judgment and exceptional clarity…."

Really? As summarized by S. J. Taylor in her excellent — and appropriately titled — biography of Duranty, Stalin's Apologist, the statement with which Duranty accepted his prize gives some hint of the "sound judgment" contained in his dispatches.

""Despite present imperfections," he continued, he had come to realize there was something very good about the Soviets' "planned system of economy." And there was something more: Duranty had learned, he said, "to respect the Soviet leaders, especially Stalin, who [had grown] into a really great statesman.""

In truth, of course, this was simply nonsense, a distortion that, in some ways bore even less resemblance to reality than "Jimmy's World," the tale of an eight-year-old junkie that, briefly, won a Pulitzer for Janet Cooke of the Washington Post. Tragic "Jimmy" turned out not to exist. He was a concoction, a fiction, nothing more. The Post did the right thing — Cooke's prize was rapidly returned.

After 70 years the New York Times has yet to do the right thing. There is, naturally, always room for disagreement over how events are interpreted, particularly in an era of revolutionary change, but Duranty's writings clearly tipped over into propaganda, and, often, outright deception, a cynical sugarcoating of the squalor of a system in which he almost certainly didn't believe. His motivation seems to have been purely opportunistic, access to the Moscow "story" for the Times and the well-paid lifestyle and the fame ("the Great Duranty" was, some said, the best-known journalist in the world) that this brought. Too much criticism of Stalin's rule and this privileged existence would end. Duranty's "Stalin" was a lie, not much more genuine than Janet Cooke's "Jimmy" and, as he well knew at the time, so too were the descriptions of the Soviet experiment that brought him that Pulitzer.

And if that is not enough to make the Pulitzer Board to reconsider withdrawing an award that disgraces both the name of Joseph Pulitzer and his prize, it is up to the New York Times to insist that it does so.

*From an account quoted in Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow.
** On another occasion (a dinner party, ironically) that autumn Duranty talked about seven million deaths.

— Mr. Stuttaford is a writer living in New York.




Title: The Ukrainian holocaust
Post by: ccp on November 14, 2008, 05:09:05 PM
An elderly patient of mine in her late 80s recently passed away.
Her son told me of her incredible story of survival in Ukraine in the 30s and 40s.  She watched her whole family starve to death before her eyes.  They worked as virtual slaves for Stalin and the saved what food they could only to have the Russians come in a steal it all for their troops.

She was later in Germany during the allied bombings and told stories of the firestorms.  She told her son this was bliss compared to how Russians treated them when they were later shipped to Siberia.

She came to this country in the 1950's.  She was grateful to be here and only asked for one thing.  A job to be able to pay her way.  She was not like the immigrants of today who come here and abuse our systems and expect amnesty and make up phoney social security numbers and then get outright indignant when anyone questions this.

Her son, also a patient of mine stated the Ukrains are terrible publicizers and chronicalers of history.  He rightly pointed out how Jews are great at reminding the world about what happened to them but no one ever hears about what was done to them. He said this in an admiring way.
But then I guess he didn't realize I am Jewish when he told me how one of the Russians generals, "a Jew", suggested to Stalin that the easiest way to deal with the Ukraines was to simply let them starve.   And Stalin took his advice.
I listened.   I thanked him for sharing his mother's story.  I suggested he write it all down.  Maybe he could send it to the Holocaust museum.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on November 18, 2008, 02:40:28 PM

Media malfeasance.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 03:38:11 PM
We are so fornicated , , , :cry:
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: G M on November 23, 2008, 04:18:08 PM

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is it 2008-or 1984?   [Victor Davis Hanson]

We should all let President-elect Obama have some honeymoon time, but that said, so far the sudden cessation in 'hope and change' that became part of the American mindset for two years is surreal, and one of the most remarkable developments in recent American political history. Obama's Clintonite appointments, his reliance on those well-known DC fixtures credentialed by Ivy League Law Schools, and his apparent backtracking on radical tax hikes on the "wealthy", instantaneous shut-down of Gitmo, prompt withdrawal from Iraq, and repeal of anti-terror legislation seem to have delighted conservatives, relieved that the Daily Kos and Huffington Post are not calling the shots. But two minor points, it is still November, not late January. So no one knows anything yet and we should suspend judgement, despite the FDR and Lincoln daily comparisons.

Second, if we should see in January that the government really does not want to evict Khalid Sheik Mohammed & co. from Guantanamo, and does want to stay in Iraq until 2011 to finish up, and does want to let the present tax code ride for a bit, and does want to leave most Bush-enacted homeland security measures in place, then Obama has not merely embarrassed his hard-left base, but has terribly humiliated the media as well.

For years now we have been preached to that Guantanamo is a gulag where Korans are stomped and flushed (not laptops provided to the chief architect of 9/11), that we waged a foolhardy, amoral, and hopelessly 'lost' war against the Iraqi people, that the rich plundered the economy on the backs of the poor, and that the Constitution was burned so that covert agencies could play James Bond. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Given all that, are we now suddenly—in 1984-fashion—around late January either to be told all that was not quite so, or will we simply hear no more about how these Bush legacies have ruined America—or what exactly is the party line to be? There is still such a thing, after all, as Google.

The point is that somewhere around early to mid-2007 ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Newsweek, Time, etc. chose to become—in the manner that they selected, emphasized, and presented their news stories—a quasi-official Obama media, or at least a quasi-official what-they-thought-Obama-was news media. Chris Matthews' asinine statement about his investment in the success of the Obama administration was merely a crude summation of the creed of the more sober and judicious.

I don't really think they can now pull off an Animal-Farm-like 'two-legs were bad', 'now two-legs good' complete turn-about just because they've taken over the manor. I do think that the media's unprofessional lobbying for the cause of Obama—not now, but in a decade or two—will become a classic case study in any graduate class on journalistic ethics.
Title: Re: Media Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 02, 2008, 10:15:58 AM
For purposes of self-justification, Azam Amir Kasab, the only terrorist taken alive in last week's Mumbai massacre, offered that the murder of Jews in the city's Chabad House was undertaken to avenge Israeli atrocities on Palestinians. Two other terrorists cited instances of anti-Muslim Hindu violence as the answer to the question, "Why are you doing this to us?" before mowing down 14 unarmed people at the Oberoi Hotel. And if dead terrorists could talk, we would surely hear Abu Ghraib mentioned as among their reasons for singling out U.S. and British hostages.
David KleinOne suspects the terrorists spent far too much time listening to the BBC World Service.

Let's hasten to add that by no means should the BBC alone be singled out. When it comes to terrorists and their grievances, nearly all the Western media have provided them with a rich diet on which to feed.

In the spring of 2005, Newsweek ran with a thinly sourced item about the Quran being flushed down a Guantanamo toilet. Result: At least 15 people were killed in Afghan riots.

Newsweek later retracted the story, which was the right thing to do but also, in its way, exceptional. Compare that to the refusal of French reporter Charles Enderlin and his station, France 2, to retract or even express doubt about his September 2000 report on Mohammed al-Durrah, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli soldiers during an exchange of gunfire in the Gaza Strip -- an exchange Mr. Enderlin did not witness.

In an exhaustive piece in the June 2003 issue of the Atlantic, James Fallows observed that the evidence that the boy could not have been shot by an Israeli bullet is overwhelming, while the evidence that the entire incident was staged is, at the very least, impressive. In France, the story has been the subject of various lawsuits. In Israel, however, and throughout the Muslim world, Durrah became the poster child for a five-year intifada that took several thousand lives.

Maybe Durrah was somewhere in the minds of the Mumbai killers. If not, there was no shortage of other Israeli "atrocities" for them to choose from, mostly fictitious or trumped up and all endlessly cited in Western media reports: the "siege" of Gaza; the 2002 Jenin "massacre"; the 1982 massacres (by Lebanese Phalangists) in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut; the execution of Egyptian POWs in 1967.

All these fables have real-world consequences, and not only for Israelis. In July 2006, an American named Naveed Afzal Haq ambled into the offices of the Seattle Jewish Federation and shot six people, killing one. One of the survivors testified that Mr. Haq "stated that he was a Muslim, [and] this was his personal statement against Jews and the Bush administration for giving money to Jews, and for us Jews for giving money to Israel, about Hezbollah, the war in Iraq." Wherever did he get those ideas?

As it turns out, often from terrorist suspects themselves, offering their testimonials of Israeli or U.S. malevolence to a credulous Western media. In the Quran-in-the-toilet imbroglio, for instance, the Nation's Ari Berman filed a piece titled "Newsweek Was Right," which cited accounts by former Guantanamo detainees of how their captors abused the Holy Book. Unmentioned in any of this were the instructions contained in al Qaeda's "Manchester Document," obtained by British police in 2000, that told followers to "complain of mistreatment while in prison" and "insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security."

Or consider the tale of Ali Shalal Qaissi, the subject of a New York Times story in March 2006. Mr. Qaissi, founder of the Association of Victims of American Occupation Prisons, claimed to be the black-hooded man standing on a box, attached to wires, ghoulishly photographed by the Abu Ghraib jailers. The Times thought enough of his story to put it on page one, until it turned out he wasn't the man. A March 18, 2006, "Editor's Note" tells us something about how these stories make it to print:

"The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi's insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi's account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account."

Of course, it's always possible to fall for a well-told lie. But it's worth wondering why a media that treats nearly every word uttered by the U.S., British or Israeli governments as inherently suspect has proved so consistently credulous when it comes to every dubious or defamatory claim made against those governments. Or, for that matter, why the media has been so intent on magnifying genuine scandals (like Abu Ghraib) to the point that they become the moral equivalent of 9/11. Some caution is in order: Terrorists, of all people, might actually believe what they read in the papers.
Title: WSJ: Other than that, the story was accurate
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 12, 2008, 09:50:33 AM
Other Than That, the Story Was Accurate

Yesterday's item on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell Barack Obama's erstwhile Senate seat cited a pair of reports from KHQA-TV in Quincy, Ill., contradicting Obama aide David Axelrod's claim that Obama never discussed the Senate appointment with Blagojevich, a claim that contradicted Axelrod's own earlier claim that he knew the governor and the president-elect had discussed the matter.

The first KHQA report, on Nov. 5, said that Obama was "meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss" the nomination. The second, three days later, said that the meeting had taken place. Never mind, KHQA now says:

KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.
The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.
To call this a "clarification" is rather an understatement, like saying that KHQA's performance in this matter is not the proudest moment in the history of American journalism. In any case, the "clarified" KHQA report was, as far as we know, the only evidence, aside from Axelrod's now-recanted statement, that Obama and Blagojevich had discussed the matter. Even assuming no conversation took place between the two principals, we still are left with the question of when the Obama team became aware of Blagojevich's alleged scheme and what if anything they did about it.

Jim Lindgren has a detailed and suggestive timeline. He points to a CNN report from Nov. 9, the Sunday after Election Day, in which "a prominent Democratic source close to" Obama confirms an earlier report by Chicago's WSL-TV "that Valerie Jarrett is Obama's choice to replace him in the Senate."

"On Monday, Nov. 10," Lindgren recounts, quoting the criminal complaint, "Blagojevich holds an incredible 2-hour conference call with multiple consultants: 'ROD BLAGOJEVICH, his wife, JOHN HARRIS, Governor General Counsel, and various Washington-D.C. based advisors, including Advisor B,' discussing his corrupt schemes. He follows this with two calls with Advisor A."

The same day, the CNN story linked above was updated:

Two Democratic sources told CNN Monday that Obama wants Jarrett to serve in the White House, not the Senate.
Here is Lindgren's analysis:

So what happened? The likeliest scenario is that one of the many participants in Blagojevich's Monday phone calls either floated his plans to the Obama transition team to assess their response or tipped off the Obama camp about the reckless ideas that Blagojevich had planned.
In any event, within hours of Blagojevich substantially expanding his circle of confidants, the Obama camp withdrew Jarrett's name from consideration and attributed that withdrawal to the President's wanting Jarrett in the White House. And the Obama staffers went out of their way to depict this as Obama's choice, rather than Jarrett's, which would have been more common. The report claims Obama's involvement in the decision and suggests a direct effort to undercut the idea that Obama was pressuring Blagojevich to appoint Jarrett.
Lindgren speculates that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Blagojevich's successor in the House and Obama's designated chief of staff, was the Obama camp's point of contact with the Blagojevich camp. As National Review's Byron York points out, the L.A. Times asked Obama specifically about this, and he ducked the question (ellipses in transcript):

Q: Have you ever spoken to Gov. Blagojevich about the Senate seat?
Obama: I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time. My strong belief is that it needed to be filled by somebody who is going to represent the people of Illinois and fight for them. And beyond that, I was focused on the transition.
Q: And that was before and after the election?
Obama: Yes.
Q: Are you aware of any conversations between Blagojevich or [chief of staff] John Harris and any of your top aides, including Rahm [Emanuel]?
Obama: Let me stop you there because . . . it's an ongoing . . . investigation. I think it would be inappropriate for me to, you know, remark on the situation beyond the facts that I know. And that's the fact that I didn't discuss this issue with the governor at all.
What would be the significance if Emanuel turned out to have known about the alleged bribery attempt? Legally, not much, according to Lindgren:

It is not a crime to fail to report a bribery attempt. The federal misprision of felony statute would seem to make it a federal crime to fail to report a federal felony. . . .
But case law has conclusively determined that mere non-reporting is not enough. Active concealment or the acceptance of a benefit for concealing is required.
Since all indications are that the Obama camp rejected any corrupt deal, they would seem to be legally in the clear. In their refusal to make a deal, it would appear their instinct for self-preservation served them well. It would be more impressive, though, if it turns out they did the public-spirited thing and reported Blagojevich's conduct to the authorities.

Obama's "ongoing investigation" dodge has drawn criticism from both right and left (the latter has likened it to President Bush's refusal to comment during the investigation of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle). Yet prosecutors generally do not like prospective witnesses to talk about a case publicly, and surely we want Obama and his aides to cooperate with prosecutors. It does put Obama in a politically awkward position, though, especially if the facts he is constrained from discussing publicly reflect well on him and his advisers.

Who Was Dick Simpson?
He is a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago whom Reuters quoted yesterday (as we noted) as saying, "Obama is not related to the corruption pattern in Chicago," and, "He has not been pressing for any person to replace him in his Senate seat."

Simpson is also a former Chicago alderman--a fact that seems relevant, but that Reuters omitted.

Title: Crats have lock on intelligence
Post by: ccp on December 13, 2008, 07:52:22 AM
Republicans are simpletons and Democrats are geniuses.  So says the MSM.  Unfortunately having a Republican President for 8 years who was not adept at expressing himself contributed to this image though the MSM was in adoration with the appearance of sophistication before that, but W certainly served to give them fodder on this point.

***Liberalism = Genius?

by L. Brent Bozell III
November 26, 2008   

If there is a dreadfully overused word in the giddy countdown to the Obama inauguration, it is “smart.” Not just “smart,” but also its stronger cousins like “Brilliant” and “Genius.” These words have been offered shamelessly for nearly every person assigned a role by President-Elect Obama. They are assembling an “all-star cabinet.” This was not an honor for those having attended all the right schools, but a tribute to people who have all the “right” ideas. Liberals are smart because they’re liberals. Conservative beliefs are honed from having been dropped on your head as an infant.

Last week, Newsweek almost comedically compared Obama to Lincoln, hailing the strength of his “humility.” How could anyone stay humble with all these hyper-flattering cover stories about whether you’re Lincoln or you’re Franklin Roosevelt? Nobody asked: But what if he turns out to be another ineffective Jimmy Carter? Then again, not to worry. Just as Time turned Obama into FDR on its cover, they comically projected Carter as Gary Cooper in “High Noon” in the hostage-crisis spring of 1980.

Back in June of 2001, Newsweek headlined an article on an upcoming Bush foreign policy trip with these words: “See George. See George Learn Foreign Policy.” He was painted like a president who couldn’t prove he was smarter than a fifth-grader on TV. Newsweek did attempt a historical comparison. European pols heard Bush advocating missile defense, and one participant joked, “He was like Reagan....without the charisma.” Newsweek concluded school wasn’t working yet for Bush: “Still a student in a most demanding and unforgiving school, he needs all the teachers he can get.”

That dismissive attitude toward Republican politicians will long outlive the Bush presidency, just as it outlasted Reagan’s. Nine days after the election, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham denounced Sarah Palin in the snobbiest of tones on NBC’s “Today” as someone who should “be going into a kind of policy Berlitz course, which one would think would be a relatively sound thing to do.” Plugging Meacham’s biography of Andrew Jackson, NBC’s Matt Lauer added the colorful tale that Jackson threatened to kill his own vice president, so Meacham caustically added, “I don’t know if Senator McCain has thought that along the way.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek’s writers are exploring the inspiring depths of humility of their blessed Barack: “Obama has unusual detachment for a politician. He observes himself as a kind of figure out of literature.” Does that sound humble? Or does it sound astoundingly arrogant? Reagan living in his own movies put him in Fantasy Land, but Obama seeing himself as the Embodiment of Hope on the library shelf is somehow grounded. The Obama-crazed media are hallucinating.

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” co-host Robin Roberts couldn’t stop gushing about the Obama cabinet picks: “Some would say it’s a team of rivals, a la President Lincoln, or is a better comparison a team of geniuses as FDR did?” George Stephanopoulos unsurprisingly agreed: “We have not seen this kind of combination of star power and brain power and political muscle this early in a cabinet in our lifetimes.”

Smelling salts all around, please.

If this proposed incoming Obama administration wasn’t so stuffed with Clintonites, starting with Hillary, that line might have sounded insulting to Bill Clinton. Sixteen years ago, all these same tributes were being offered to Bill Clinton’s superior intelligence, Bill Clinton’s grace under pressure, and a superior incoming Clinton staff. Even Stephanopoulos was ogled back then over the charisma of his “power whisper.”

But looking back, how well did Bill Clinton display a foreign policy genius that made the world a less violent place? Are the mass murders in Rwanda or the massacre in Srebrenica something that every Clinton fan in the media has wiped clean from their brains? Have they all forgotten the Americans killed at the Khobar Towers, or aboard the U.S.S. Cole, our lost diplomats at the embassies of Kenya and Tanzania? Did the overflowing international compassion of Clinton melt the hearts of al-Qaeda into retirement? Why, then, does every media liberal assume that History will open her arms and beckon Obama forward as an early entry into the Pantheon of Presidential Greatness?

Conservatives and Republicans have a very important role to play now in holding this alleged Team of Geniuses accountable. This disgraceful “news” media won’t, period. They will line up to serve Obama only slightly less explicitly than Chris Matthews, who typically blurted out that his new job as a television host was to insure President Obama’s success. We say “blurted out” because Matthews tends to...blurt. But give him credit for one thing: the courage to admit the attitude of servitude that his colleagues so piously deny.***

This is one image the Cans have to dispell.  "Dogma" as Colin Powell puts it is not going to do it.  We need thoughtful, intellectual responses that will appeal to the growing bed of minorities in the US.

Title: Bush: "It was a size 10 shoe"
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 14, 2008, 04:58:12 PM
President Bush shows some good reflexes in dealing with cranky reporter
Title: Woodward & Redford
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 22, 2008, 01:26:09 PM
The Death of Deep Throat and the Crisis of Journalism
December 22, 2008

By George Friedman

Mark Felt died last week at the age of 95. For those who don’t recognize that name, Felt was the “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame. It was Felt who provided Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post with a flow of leaks about what had happened, how it happened and where to look for further corroboration on the break-in, the cover-up, and the financing of wrongdoing in the Nixon administration. Woodward and Bernstein’s exposé of Watergate has been seen as a high point of journalism, and their unwillingness to reveal Felt’s identity until he revealed it himself three years ago has been seen as symbolic of the moral rectitude demanded of journalists.

In reality, the revelation of who Felt was raised serious questions about the accomplishments of Woodward and Bernstein, the actual price we all pay for journalistic ethics, and how for many years we did not know a critical dimension of the Watergate crisis. At a time when newspapers are in financial crisis and journalism is facing serious existential issues, Watergate always has been held up as a symbol of what journalism means for a democracy, revealing truths that others were unwilling to uncover and grapple with. There is truth to this vision of journalism, but there is also a deep ambiguity, all built around Felt’s role. This is therefore not an excursion into ancient history, but a consideration of two things. The first is how journalists become tools of various factions in political disputes. The second is the relationship between security and intelligence organizations and governments in a Democratic society.

Watergate was about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. The break-in was carried out by a group of former CIA operatives controlled by individuals leading back to the White House. It was never proven that then-U.S. President Richard Nixon knew of the break-in, but we find it difficult to imagine that he didn’t. In any case, the issue went beyond the break-in. It went to the cover-up of the break-in and, more importantly, to the uses of money that financed the break-in and other activities. Numerous aides, including the attorney general of the United States, went to prison. Woodward and Bernstein, and their newspaper, The Washington Post, aggressively pursued the story from the summer of 1972 until Nixon’s resignation. The episode has been seen as one of journalism’s finest moments. It may have been, but that cannot be concluded until we consider Deep Throat more carefully.

Deep Throat Reconsidered
Mark Felt was deputy associate director of the FBI (No. 3 in bureau hierarchy) in May 1972, when longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died. Upon Hoover’s death, Felt was second to Clyde Tolson, the longtime deputy and close friend to Hoover who by then was in failing health himself. Days after Hoover’s death, Tolson left the bureau.

Felt expected to be named Hoover’s successor, but Nixon passed him over, appointing L. Patrick Gray instead. In selecting Gray, Nixon was reaching outside the FBI for the first time in the 48 years since Hoover had taken over. But while Gray was formally acting director, the Senate never confirmed him, and as an outsider, he never really took effective control of the FBI. In a practical sense, Felt was in operational control of the FBI from the break-in at the Watergate in August 1972 until June 1973.

Nixon’s motives in appointing Gray certainly involved increasing his control of the FBI, but several presidents before him had wanted this, too, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Both of these presidents wanted Hoover gone for the same reason they were afraid to remove him: He knew too much. In Washington, as in every capital, knowing the weaknesses of powerful people is itself power — and Hoover made it a point to know the weaknesses of everyone. He also made it a point to be useful to the powerful, increasing his overall value and his knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the powerful.

Hoover’s death achieved what Kennedy and Johnson couldn’t do. Nixon had no intention of allowing the FBI to continue as a self-enclosed organization outside the control of the presidency and everyone else. Thus, the idea that Mark Felt, a man completely loyal to Hoover and his legacy, would be selected to succeed Hoover is in retrospect the most unlikely outcome imaginable.

Felt saw Gray’s selection as an unwelcome politicization of the FBI (by placing it under direct presidential control), an assault on the traditions created by Hoover and an insult to his memory, and a massive personal disappointment. Felt was thus a disgruntled employee at the highest level. He was also a senior official in an organization that traditionally had protected its interests in predictable ways. (By then formally the No. 2 figure in FBI, Felt effectively controlled the agency given Gray’s inexperience and outsider status.) The FBI identified its enemies, then used its vast knowledge of its enemies’ wrongdoings in press leaks designed to be as devastating as possible. While carefully hiding the source of the information, it then watched the victim — who was usually guilty as sin — crumble. Felt, who himself was later convicted and pardoned for illegal wiretaps and break-ins, was not nearly as appalled by Nixon’s crimes as by Nixon’s decision to pass him over as head of the FBI. He merely set Hoover’s playbook in motion.

Woodward and Bernstein were on the city desk of The Washington Post at the time. They were young (29 and 28), inexperienced and hungry. We do not know why Felt decided to use them as his conduit for leaks, but we would guess he sought these three characteristics — as well as a newspaper with sufficient gravitas to gain notice. Felt obviously knew the two had been assigned to a local burglary, and he decided to leak what he knew to lead them where he wanted them to go. He used his knowledge to guide, and therefore control, their investigation.

Systematic Spying on the President
And now we come to the major point. For Felt to have been able to guide and control the young reporters’ investigation, he needed to know a great deal of what the White House had done, going back quite far. He could not possibly have known all this simply through his personal investigations. His knowledge covered too many people, too many operations, and too much money in too many places simply to have been the product of one of his side hobbies. The only way Felt could have the knowledge he did was if the FBI had been systematically spying on the White House, on the Committee to Re-elect the President and on all of the other elements involved in Watergate. Felt was not simply feeding information to Woodward and Bernstein; he was using the intelligence product emanating from a section of the FBI to shape The Washington Post’s coverage.

Instead of passing what he knew to professional prosecutors at the Justice Department — or if he did not trust them, to the House Judiciary Committee charged with investigating presidential wrongdoing — Felt chose to leak the information to The Washington Post. He bet, or knew, that Post editor Ben Bradlee would allow Woodward and Bernstein to play the role Felt had selected for them. Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee all knew who Deep Throat was. They worked with the operational head of the FBI to destroy Nixon, and then protected Felt and the FBI until Felt came forward.

In our view, Nixon was as guilty as sin of more things than were ever proven. Nevertheless, there is another side to this story. The FBI was carrying out espionage against the president of the United States, not for any later prosecution of Nixon for a specific crime (the spying had to have been going on well before the break-in), but to increase the FBI’s control over Nixon. Woodward, Bernstein and above all, Bradlee, knew what was going on. Woodward and Bernstein might have been young and naive, but Bradlee was an old Washington hand who knew exactly who Felt was, knew the FBI playbook and understood that Felt could not have played the role he did without a focused FBI operation against the president. Bradlee knew perfectly well that Woodward and Bernstein were not breaking the story, but were having it spoon-fed to them by a master. He knew that the president of the United States, guilty or not, was being destroyed by Hoover’s jilted heir.

This was enormously important news. The Washington Post decided not to report it. The story of Deep Throat was well-known, but what lurked behind the identity of Deep Throat was not. This was not a lone whistle-blower being protected by a courageous news organization; rather, it was a news organization being used by the FBI against the president, and a news organization that knew perfectly well that it was being used against the president. Protecting Deep Throat concealed not only an individual, but also the story of the FBI’s role in destroying Nixon.

Again, Nixon’s guilt is not in question. And the argument can be made that given John Mitchell’s control of the Justice Department, Felt thought that going through channels was impossible (although the FBI was more intimidating to Mitchell than the other way around). But the fact remains that Deep Throat was the heir apparent to Hoover — a man not averse to breaking the law in covert operations — and Deep Throat clearly was drawing on broader resources in the FBI, resources that had to have been in place before Hoover’s death and continued operating afterward.

Burying a Story to Get a Story
Until Felt came forward in 2005, not only were these things unknown, but The Washington Post was protecting them. Admittedly, the Post was in a difficult position. Without Felt’s help, it would not have gotten the story. But the terms Felt set required that a huge piece of the story not be told. The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. That simply wasn’t what happened. Instead, it was about the FBI using The Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and The Washington Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat’s identity.

Journalists have celebrated the Post’s role in bringing down the president for a generation. Even after the revelation of Deep Throat’s identity in 2005, there was no serious soul-searching on the omission from the historical record. Without understanding the role played by Felt and the FBI in bringing Nixon down, Watergate cannot be understood completely. Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee were willingly used by Felt to destroy Nixon. The three acknowledged a secret source, but they did not reveal that the secret source was in operational control of the FBI. They did not reveal that the FBI was passing on the fruits of surveillance of the White House. They did not reveal the genesis of the fall of Nixon. They accepted the accolades while withholding an extraordinarily important fact, elevating their own role in the episode while distorting the actual dynamic of Nixon’s fall.

Absent any widespread reconsideration of the Post’s actions during Watergate in the three years since Felt’s identity became known, the press in Washington continues to serve as a conduit for leaks of secret information. They publish this information while protecting the leakers, and therefore the leakers’ motives. Rather than being a venue for the neutral reporting of events, journalism thus becomes the arena in which political power plays are executed. What appears to be enterprising journalism is in fact a symbiotic relationship between journalists and government factions. It may be the best path journalists have for acquiring secrets, but it creates a very partial record of events — especially since the origin of a leak frequently is much more important to the public than the leak itself.

The Felt experience is part of an ongoing story in which journalists’ guarantees of anonymity to sources allow leakers to control the news process. Protecting Deep Throat’s identity kept us from understanding the full dynamic of Watergate. We did not know that Deep Throat was running the FBI, we did not know the FBI was conducting surveillance on the White House, and we did not know that the Watergate scandal emerged not by dint of enterprising journalism, but because Felt had selected Woodward and Bernstein as his vehicle to bring Nixon down. And we did not know that the editor of The Washington Post allowed this to happen. We had a profoundly defective picture of the situation, as defective as the idea that Bob Woodward looks like Robert Redford.

Finding the truth of events containing secrets is always difficult, as we know all too well. There is no simple solution to this quandary. In intelligence, we dream of the well-placed source who will reveal important things to us. But we also are aware that the information provided is only the beginning of the story. The rest of the story involves the source’s motivation, and frequently that motivation is more important than the information provided. Understanding a source’s motivation is essential both to good intelligence and to journalism. In this case, keeping secret the source kept an entire — and critical — dimension of Watergate hidden for a generation. Whatever crimes Nixon committed, the FBI had spied on the president and leaked what it knew to The Washington Post in order to destroy him. The editor of The Washington Post knew that, as did Woodward and Bernstein. We do not begrudge them their prizes and accolades, but it would have been useful to know who handed them the story. In many ways, that story is as interesting as the one about all the president’s men.
Title: Re: Media Issues, re Friedman on Felt/Woodward/Nixon
Post by: DougMacG on December 22, 2008, 03:53:43 PM
What a great post, very insightful.  True that an informant and a newspaper exposed bad conduct and brought down a presidency.  Also true was the the informant and his base of power, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, was also a story of other government misconduct, far exceeding its authorized powers that deserved exposing, but was never pursued. 

Similar stories happened throughout the Bush administration as the NY Times for example kept exposing the processes that were keeping us safe.  It always seemed that no one looked deeper into the leakers and their own obvious violations.

The media, like the regulators, missed the failures and collapses of everything from Enron to Fannie Mae, AIG, Bear Stearns (and the Soviet Union)  etc. etc. and the ability of the ones we consider mainstream to investigate anything just keeps getting smaller and smaller.  So the news stories become selected by the call-in leakers instead the so-called editors or publishers.
Title: Another Felt Piece
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 23, 2008, 06:38:11 AM
Make many of the points of Crafty's piece above.

Patrick Cockburn: The reality behind Deep Throat
The Mark Felts of this world want to use the media as a weapon against their enemies
Saturday, 20 December 2008

Mark Felt, the senior official at the FBI who was the highly placed informant or Deep Throat who famously leaked information during the Watergate scandal, died this week. His nickname, drawn from a pornographic movie of the day, has since become a generic term for well-informed anonymous source.

It was Mr Felt, with access to all FBI files, who met Bob Woodward of The Washington Post in an underground parking garage in Rosslyn, Virginia. He famously steered him and Carl Bernstein towards exposing the Watergate burglary of the Democratic Party's national offices in Washington as only one part of a general campaign of sabotage and political spying directed by the White House. Mr Felt's role was long suspected but confirmed by him only in 2005.

His motives for directing Woodward and Bernstein towards the links between the White House and the Watergate burglars were two fold. After 30 years at the FBI, Mr Felt had expected to succeed J Edgar Hoover as its director when he died in 1972 and was enraged to be passed over for the job by President Nixon's nominee Patrick Gray III.

There was more at work here than the frustrated ambition of one man. Mr Felt's secret revelations to Mr Woodward were part of a general counterattack by US government law enforcement agencies against President Nixon who had been trying to place his own men in charge of them. The FBI man was not alone. A striking aspect of Watergate was the sheer quantity of leaks damaging to Nixon coming from all parts of the government, from the CIA to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Watergate investigation is often held up as the apogee of journalistic investigation, but the public memory of what happened gives a highly misleading and exaggerated impression of what journalists can achieve. The blow-by-blow account of Woodward and Bernstein in investigating the break-in are at the heart of their book All the President's Men and the film of the same name.

An impression is given that there