After hearing that Sami Al-Arian confessed to a dirty laundry list of terrorism related activities, I was eager to see how the liberal St. Petersburg Times would handle the story. Today they posted an editorial about "The Real Al-Arian," writing about all the horrible things he has done and lies he told. But is that an accurate account of the role the Times played in defending him? Maybe when you consider it is a newspaper that employs a former ACLU director as a columnist and has a Huffinton Post contributor for a reporter and an F.B.I. wiretap exposing a Times reporter acting as Al-Arian's media coach.
With the benefit of this hindsight, hindsight that the rest of us had little problem seeing in foresight, let's take a look at some past quotes. One has to wonder why a huge newspaper with vast resources couldn't see what the rest of us saw so easily.
Robyn Blumner: "...[USF President] Genshaft's stated intention to fire tenured computer science professor Sami Al-Arian due to the swirl of controversy over his activist Islamist views. Here Genshaft cannot deflect blame for besmirching the university's reputation. She made the call, and it's once again the wrong one for academic freedom and free speech...
The Associated Press held their annual luncheon yesterday and invited media darling Senator Barack Obama to lay out the media's talking points for the next election. The only surprising thing about the event was that it opened with a prayer.
Apparently Democrats want the press to focus on global warming as the core issue in the next election cycle. No doubt focus groups have reaffirmed that it is the only topic democrats can successfully obfuscate. If I may, I'd like to respond to one paragraph of Obama's message, and perhaps he can respond back to me - should he happen to be a faithful reader of Newsbusters.
(14:49) "What we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to the point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to potential catastrophe. Since 1980 we've experienced 19 of the 20 hottest years on record."
That's interesting, because since 1980 we've also experienced 28 of the 29 most powerful solar flares ever recorded. This just 400 years after a lack of solar flares, which just happened to coincide with the "Maunder Minimum", otherwise known as the Little Ice Age. In science, that's known as a pattern.
Perhaps Barack can explain how fossil fuels caused NASA to detect a sharp increase in recent global warming - on Mars.
And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress.
Perhaps it is all the SUVs used by Martian soccer moms.
Even if democrats actually had a plan to move away from fossil fuels, they have no authority to force the rest of the world to follow it. It would seem the best play for democrats is try to make political inroads by continuing to blame man for all the problems in the universe. All the better if the media goes along with them. Now what are the chances of that?
Kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll is now safe, thank God for that. But the mainstream media is playing this story completely different than they would if it were a non-journalist.
Remember when the New York Times violated our safety by printing classified information, all because it is the right of the people to know everything? Remember how every MSM talking head and editorial criticized the White House for being secretive? Do you recall the MSM ranting that nothing is so important that it should be kept from the public?
But new speculation arose today that money might have been the initial demand... Cook would not comment, and other reporters in Baghdad said only that such speculation had been growing. "There are indications that [the demand] was for money, but we don't know if any changed hands," said Steve Butler, Knight Ridder foreign editor who had been in touch with his reporters in Baghdad today. He said learning too much about what occurred behind the scenes could be harmful. "These things are sometimes better left unresolved," he added. "It could harm the next one or close off options in the future if too much is known."
So in this case MSM thinks it is best that the public not know anything about the actions behind this story, because they might be able to do the same thing again in the future, whatever it is that this was. Perfect. By the way, that doesn't count for US secrets that might save the lives of US soldiers or average citizens.
It reminds me that here we are two months after Bob Woodruff was blown up while the cameras were rolling, and we still haven't seen the footage. I've seen lots of US soldiers being blown up, I've seen other victims barely clothed, barely alive, tubes out of their arms and faces in the most visually vulnerable way, but no Bob Woodruff. I bet there hasn't been hundreds of TV remote trucks parked on the front lawn of Woodruff's house either, waiting for the family to take the garbage out and give a soundbite.
It must be nice to be a journalist with all the special rights afforded to them that the rest of us somehow don't deserve.
This is a confidential message to my fellow mainstream media journalists. All other "civilians" are to stop reading this right now.
First, I thank my commrades for the negative spin put on recent news of nearly full employment for college graduates. ABC News did a fine job of including this graf in their copy:
"Even as demand and salaries rise, college students should not be lulled into thinking that the job search will be easy or that jobs will be handed to anyone with a degree," he warned.
Sure, everyone might have a job, but your life will never be easy under this oppresive Bush regime. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you; just because this Bush economy is running great doesn't mean you have to paint it that way.
Speaking of ABC News, we all know it's perfectly acceptable to talk among ourselves about how much we hate Bush and ways we can destroy him, but come'on John Green, you need to remember that it can't be sent over your blackberry! As long as those Nazi's control the NSA, they will send all of that stuff straight to Drudge!
University of Saskatchewan newspaper, The Sheaf, has gone over the top taking a jab at Christians. Just a week after the newspaper refused to run the Danish cartoons because it so offended militant rioters in Europe, the paper ran a cartoon of Jesus performing oral sex on a "capitalist pig". They are blaming it on "editorial oversight", the editor has already resigned.
The real story I'd like to point your attention to is the lack of coverage in the Antique Media with regard to this story; it happened a week ago tomorrow. Right now there is a whopping 7 articles on Google News from huge mainstream papers like "Novopress" and "Fort Frances Times", and while a story from the "Saskatoon Home Page" is listed on Google News, the story has been removed. Where are you LA Times, NY Times, and Boston Globe?
Such coverage may lead Kayne West to proclaim "MSM doesn't care about Jesus Christ."
Orlando Sentinel ombudsman Manning Pynn apologizes for unknowingly exposing incompetence in the Florida school system. In a story that ran last week about how middle-income kids aren't getting what they should from schools, the Sentinel ran a picture of a teacher standing in front of a whiteboard with the word "government' written on it. Except the "r" was missing.
Wouldn't you want to know if your children were in a classroom with a teacher who can't spell 'government'? Not if you're a left-bent journalist covering for the education status quo.
Although that photo had been in the newsroom since it was taken Dec. 14 and had been seen by numerous editors, no one noticed the misspelling until early the morning of publication, well into the press run -- too late to redesign the front page. "We should have caught it," Photo Editor Ken Lyons lamented. He's right, of course. But if editors had caught the misspelling before the presses rolled, should they have substituted another picture? Would that act of seeming compassion have distorted reality and shielded readers from the truth? Yes and definitely not.
The real story here is that public education is a broken system, and journalists deliberately try to frame this story in a way that fuels more money being poured into the broken system rather than in a way to promote vouchers. Why? The short answer is control. When you have a voucher, you choose where you child goes and what they learn to a much larger extent. That is antithetical to journalists who would much rather your child be indoctrinated in a system that rejects God, promotes sex, "alternative lifestyles", and embraces tranny teachers.
Ellen Goodman writes an advice column for the Democrats, as journalists sometimes are wont to do. I have to admit, I see this as a huge opportunity for the Democrats:
The good news for the Democrats was and is that unmarried women are the most progressive block in the demographic neighborhood.
In the words of Republican pollster and soundbitetress Kellyanne Conway, "Women who have what we call the four magic M's — marriage, munchkins, mortgages and mutual funds — are much more likely to vote." And vote Republican... Women who are unmarried because of three magic D's — delay, divorce and death — are more likely to vote Democratic. But less likely to vote at all... Many believe the best place for Democrats to go fishing for new voters is in the pond of 20 million single women who either aren't registered or don't vote.
[says Anna Greenberg] "Unmarried women are insecure about politics." They know less, are more likely to admit it, and a good half told her that people shouldn't vote unless they are informed... We know, alas, that women are less informed about objective facts such as, say, how many justices serve on the Supreme Court.
Ok, so the game plan for the Democrats is to drag out 20 million warm bodies activist candidates who are completely uninformed about how the world works, i.e. the perfect Democrat, and get them to vote by any means possible.
I find it facinating, this admission that the "most progressive block in the demographic neighborhood" is also the most uninformed. Maybe if they spent a little time learning about the world it might help them find a man, not to mention find a better political candidate.
According to the report, the Times newsroom is currently 82.5 percent white, slightly less than the industry average of 86.5 percent. Only 14 percent of newsroom managers are minorities, the council found, and there are currently no minorities on the newspaper masthead and only one nonwhite on the company's executive committee.
It apparently isn't just George Bush who doesn't care about black people.
My personal favorite part of the article:
The council defined diversity in terms of employees' race, gender and sexual orientation. Religious and political differences were not accounted for.
When Progress for America tried to air a commercial with Minnesota veterans defending U.S. war policy in Iraq, they soon found their money was no good at KSTP - Channel 5. What was the offending remark in the ad that caused this censorship?
The message contains the idea "That the media only reports the bad news" and "you would never know it from the news reports, but the enemy in Iraq is al Qaeda."
This is over the line for KSTP, who believes the statements to be untrue. "That, says [General Manager Rob] Hubbard, is plainly false. He points out that both KSTP and ABC, its parent network, have reported on the Iraqi elections, progress concerning reconstruction of the country, and the reopening of its schools--all of which qualifies as 'good' news. 'When someone is watching our news, we're "the media."' Hubbard explains. 'We know that [the claim in the advertisement] is inaccurate as it relates to us.'"
Apparently they believe it is inaccurate as it relates to all media, because the commercial never mentioned KSTP. I looked through the KSTP Web site to see all these examples of reporting "good news". I couldn't find a single story, perhaps they could point us toward some of this work. For instance, an article about the Iraqi elections opines:
Staff Writer Ted Vaden of the News & Observer hits Rush Limbaugh for reading a "satirical" article about the Dick Cheney shooting. The crux of the argument is that everyone should have known that the article was satirical. Have a look at the article in question for yourself. Do you see "Satire" at the top? Is there a disclosure to note that fake news follows?
Limbaugh read about half the column over the air. But he left out the half that made clear that the N&O columnist was satirizing the Cheney affair. Not quoted, for instance, was this line: "When obstinate countries declare their unwillingness to negotiate with Secretary of State Condi Rice, all we have to do is roll out Deadeye Dick."
So it was that line that was supposed to clue us all in that it was a fake article? It reads just like any other moonbat column to me. 500 people responded to the article, all failing to pick it up as "satire."
Here are some tips for other journalists wanting to practice writing fake news:
If you print fake news "satire" where truthful facts should reside, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite you.
If you want to risk the credibility of your newspaper on making a political point, there is no need to ask later what happened to your credibility and subscriber base.
You can act like The Daily Show but you won't get their accolades, age group or the ratings that they have, and you aren't even close to being as funny.
One thing you can count on in life is that if your vulnerability is caught on tape, the news media is going to use it. If you get caught after a hurricane shirtless, they'll use it whether you like it or not. If a police dog rips off your clothes -- even if you're innocent -- they're going to use it. If a carjacker beats you up in the most humiliating way and it is caught on tape, watch the news because you'll be on it.
The dignity of others is of no consequence when you have advertising minutes to sell and ratings to get, and a personally embarrassing video is pure gold to a struggling news room because everyone can identify with it.
Bob Woodruff and his camera operator, Doug Vogt, were hit by an IED today while recording a stand-up. Godspeed to their recovery, but I have to wonder why this video hasn't aired yet. If it were anyone else it would be exploited with a constant loop. No doubt someone at ABC is rethinking the concept of privacy, unfortunately that concept of privacy will never be extended to any of us.
ABCNEWS executives have made the controversial decision to hold off airing video footage that was being taped when anchorman Bob Woodruff was injured by an explosive in Iraq, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned... MORE...
A conversation took place at ABC to discuss whether that tape should air. Do you think the network has ever called the family of a soldier to ask if they wanted the tape of their loved one getting killed or maimed aired on network TV?
Democrats have figured out how to use the interwebs thingy. Staffers of Democrat representative Marty Meehan have gone into Wikipedia and removed all the (truthful) things they didn't like. Meanwhile, politicians wag a finger at Google for basically doing the exact same thing. You probably haven't heard anything about this story though because it was a Democrat and unless Karl Rove changes his Wikipedia entry it won't get much further than the Lowell Sun.
Bob Woodruff and his camera operator, Doug Vogt, were hit by an IED today while recording a stand-up. Godspeed to their recovery, but I have to wonder why this video hasn't aired yet. If it were anyone else it would be exploited with a constant loop. No doubt someone at ABC is rethinking the concept of privacy, unfortunately that concept of privacy will never be extended to any of us. While the impious media will probably plea for Woodruff and Vogt tonight, those of us with a soul will say a prayer for them.
Media darling and Court TV founder Steven Brill came out and said journalism school "is a giant waste of time." Huzzah.
Arianna is still taking shots at Tim Russert for being a pushover. NYDN would have you believe Russert blew a gasket, puffed up his chest and had his publicist send the NY Daily News a "ballistic email". The nearly too-hot-for-primetime email said "The last time we heard from Ms. Huffington, she was hiring private eyes to investigate reporters." Oooh, snap. Liberals can't even get along with themselves.
Couric did, however, spend over eight minutes of air time this morning searching for "the best pants for every behind," exploring "why some outfits make women's derrieres look too large," and letting female viewers know how to make the best of their butts.
Thanks, CJR, for pointing that out. I hadn't noticed in the last twenty years that The Today Show was filled with mindless nonsense stories.
Note: Today marks the beginning of a regular column here on NewsBusters called "Media Roundup." It'll keep track of that day's media news. Feel free to post a link to other stories you see in the comments for each entry.
Sugar Ray Nagin is still in the news for that horrible chocolate comment. I found the back tracking to be even more ridiculous than the original comment; "Do you know anything about chocolate? How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That's the chocolate I'm talkin' about." I know enough about dark chocolate to know that when you pour milk on it you get more of a chocolate cereal than a delicious drink. Calls to determine where that leaves Asians in New Orleans went unreturned.
Readers of the Louisville Courier-Journal may not know what we're talking about. Their Ombud explains:
Nagin's reference to "chocolate New Orleans" had been edited out of that same story in these pages. Instead, our version read, "Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be rebuilt and again will be 'a majority African American city.' " So, what gives? The short answer: We messed up.
CNN finally hired a conservative talker, Glenn Beck. Media Matters is all flustered about the whole thing, but in the end they are just ticked off they are going to have to watch another hour of conservative TV every day.
Wishy washy mayor Ray Nagin said hurricanes are messages that God is mad at us for being in Iraq, and that New Orleans will be "chocolate" again (is that what you call it?) Don't worry, the media will only portray Pat Robertson as crazy for purporting to know what God is thinking.
Al Gore is on a rampage claiming that George Bush is a criminal for
New York Times Public Editor Byron Calame agrees that the refusal to answer a single question about the spy story is "woefully inadequate."
I e-mailed a list of 28 questions to Bill Keller, the executive editor, on Dec. 19, three days after the article appeared. He promptly declined to respond to them. I then sent the same questions to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, who also declined to respond. They held out no hope for a fuller explanation in the future.
With the top Times people involved in the final decisions refusing to talk and urging everyone else to remain silent, it seemed clear to me that chasing various editors and reporters probably would yield mostly anonymous comments that the ultimate decision-makers would not confirm or deny.
Keller's response to me: "There is really no way to have a full discussion of the back story without talking about when and how we knew what we knew, and we can't do that."
The New York Times syndicated cancer has an editorial about the NSA spy story that hit some newspapers today. This time they have outsourced the dishonesty to James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, a 23 year old book on the NSA.
For the agency to snoop domestically on American citizens suspected of having terrorist ties, it first must to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, make a showing of probable cause that the target is linked to a terrorist group, and obtain a warrant.
As we all now know, that is flat out untrue. But who even said the calls intercepted were American citizens? This NSA program looks at calls to terror states or terrorist suspects. How does Mr. Bamford and the NYT know the person placing that call is a US citizen rather than a visitor from abroad?
The Chairman Mao book requesting student speaks out to the public through the duped newspaper that is valiantly protecting his fragile identity.
"The fact is that my being panicked about this hole (sic) event led me to unfortunately prop up my story (i.e., fabricate it), for that I have to apologize to you and to my professors. I have spoken to my family about the whole issue and the fact is that they were understandibly (sic) angry. My name has been dishonored within my family and so I will spend the rest of the winter trying to restore even a little bit of it back, at least."
Apparently there is no writing requirement at UMass Dartmouth. As for your dishonored name, you might want to free up the spring too. They're really doing fabulous work with the kids at Darmouth. I'm sure all the doors swing both ways, if my Far Side friends know what I'm talking about.
The newspaper used this for the headline: "When a story is too good to be true" apparently admitting that they wanted Bush to have library stalking gestapo.
The article describes how it happened, too long to reprint here but worth a read if you want to laugh. The reporter didn't even have confirmation of the story from the two main subjects -- the student or Homeland Security -- yet they ran the story anyway. It's the kind of reporting you'd expect from a couple of kids with mom's typewriter.
"Mulligan - A golf shot not tallied against the score, granted in informal play after a poor shot especially from the tee." - The American Heritage Dictionary
A Mulligan is where you act like what just happened didn't really happen even though everyone really knows what really happened. The following, in my opinion, are the 8 worst Mulligans the collective media took in 2005. They are areas of failure in the media that we are supposed to pretend don't exist.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 - The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.
Yes, we know we already reported this exact story, but you didn't return the outrage against Bush we were looking for. Actually, his poll numbers are up (thank you Big Media brother Jersey Journal for finding a way to paint a negative - localize, newspapers, localize.) Let's all just take another shot at this. We'll add a few technical words like "switches", some anonymous sources that may or may not be the same anonymous sources from last time, and it will seem like a whole new article. All the usual suspects can then write hundreds of articles about this article, we'll talk about it on the Sunday talk shows, and with all of your determined help, we can bring down this evil conservative and the majority of Americans who recently elected him. again.
Last week an article came out claiming that the big brother tactics of the Patriot Act were abused to go after a poor little old college student just trying to do a paper on Chairman Mao. Apparently he had requested "The Little Red Book" and the next thing you know agents "dressed in black suits with thin black ties, 'just like the guys in Men in Black'" showed up to harass him and deliver a brow beating signed by President Bush. The gullible college jumped in on the act:
"My instinct is that there is a lot more monitoring than we think," he said. Dr. Williams said he had been planning to offer a course on terrorism next semester, but is reconsidering, because it might put his students at risk. "I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that," he said. "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."
But while most urged the paper to better explain what went into the decision-making process, others praised the Times' journalistic effort and stressed that the onus should be on what the Bush administration is doing, not the paper.
...Some noted a weariness over the paper continuing to be hammered for its actions, while others were angry that people were ignoring the fact that the paper broke a major story and continued to break others.
Others say that the powerful journalism underlying this latest controversy should be the issue, not the related elements.
Dan Rather, September 9, 2004:
"Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story but on the documents that were part of the support of the story."
Gee, don't you wish it was the 80s again. Back in the good old days when the public didn't have a voice to ask questions and just followed mainstream media stories blindly.
Perhaps you'd like to take a few moments to gather yourselves and figure out which of your stories are correct and which stories are politically motivated fabrications.
COURT SAYS U.S. SPY AGENCY CAN TAP OVERSEAS MESSAGES
By DAVID BURNHAM, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (NYT) 1051 words Published: November 7, 1982
A Federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency may lawfully intercept messages between United States citizens and people overseas, even if there is no cause to believe the Americans are foreign agents, and then provide summaries of these messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Because the National Security Agency is among the largest and most secretive intelligence agencies and because millions of electronic messages enter and leave the United States each day, lawyers familiar with the intelligence agency consider the decision to mark a significant increase in the legal authority of the Government to keep track of its citizens.
UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose releases results from a study that objectively quantifies media bias.
Take a wild guess how that came out.
Yes, Virginia, there is a leftist media bias. The only real surprises are that the Wall Street Journal news pages and the Drudge Report are more liberal than they get credit for.
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left. ...
It's with a convenient indignation that the New York Times goes after Bush for something they would have you believe is illegal. The dishonesty of the Times calling this new or as they put it "a sea change" is shameful. Was the NY Times brain dead when they published this article about Bob Barr and other republicans trying to make this very practice accountable to congress? In 1999? When Bill Clinton was in the White House?
Since the Times can't seem to do any research on their own, I'd like to juxtapose two articles. The opening of the Times article and a section from the (now archived) Catching Americans in NSA's Net by the Baltimore Sun, published ten years prior.
New York Times December 15, 2005 Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
The Baltimore Sun December 12, 1995 ...the basic rules set by Executive Order 12333, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and a few court decisions are as follows: NSA can intercept any communication -- phone call, fax, electronic mail, etc. --as long as at least one end is in a foreign country.
This weekend you might have seen one of the 370 stories about Mel Gibson signing a deal to make a Holocaust mini-series. They ran with headlines like "Furor over Gibson Holocaust project". Yes, it appears Mel wants to make up for the sins of his father in his own way, and no doubt he will still be flogged by the press for it.
Chris Wallace: Mike Wallace Has 'Lost It' "Fox News Sunday" anchorman Chris Wallace says father Mike Wallace has "lost it" - after the legendary CBS newsman told the Boston Globe last week that the fact George Bush had been elected president shows America is "[expletive]-up."
The San Francisco Chronicle created a comic today to suggest what it would look like if al Qaeda planted propaganda stories in US newspapers. This is evidently a take on the recent story of the US using the means necessary to do what needs to be done in Iraq.
Let me be the first to suggest al Qaeda doesn't need to; MSM is doing just fine on their own. But seriously, if they were to plant stories the headlines might read like this: