The mainstream media can't get enough of the sectarian violence between the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds in Iraq. But one kind of sectarian violence that has consistently been under-reported since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 is the persecution of Iraq's native Christian population. A Catholic News Agency story from June 6th reported:
According to the AINA news agency, two churches were attacked in the Baghdad district of Dora. At St. John the Baptist's in Hay Al-Athoriyeen, several security guards who protect the church were killed, and St. Jacob's in Hay al Asya was vandalized and forcibly turned into a mosque. St. Jacob's had previously been attacked in October of 2004.
Surely you've heard the phrase "out of left field" when something is part of a discussion yet it makes no sense to be included? In this case, I have an example of leftist sentiment slamming Richard Nixon at the end of a story that has nothing to do with modern political "sides." It strikes one as quite odd to be where it is. When you see it, you'll cock your head and say, "What the heck is THAT all about"?
You know what I mean, I am sure. It's jarring when someone in the media is talking sports and then suddenly takes a jab at Bush, or when they're talking about fashion and they abruptly throw in a crack at those "evil conservatives", always when it is quite off topic. It makes you go "huh?" It makes you wonder if their hatred of the right is so ginned up in their tiny little minds that they cannot even talk about movies and sports without taking shots their political enemies -- and those enemies are us, folks.
This particular head spinning "Huh?" is in a story in the UK's Telegraph titled, "One filing cabinet held 500 years of history." This is a story that has nothing to do with politics per se, yet this UK paper can't resist a shot at an American Republican. The slam is completely gratuitous and makes no sense in context to the story.
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
Canadians are mad as heck, and this time, they’re not going to take it. Michael Moore went too far to be ignored, which meant that a Canuck really gave him “what for” in the form of a polite but pointed recap of a heated press conference on Saturday for the premiere of “Sicko,” Moore’s one-sided US health-care hit job, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival .
May 20, Toronto Star entertainment reporter Peter Howell wrote in the ideologically left of center paper that the Canadian journalists who saw “Sicko” were less than happy with his “playing fast and loose with the facts” and churning out a one-sided Pollyanna treatment of Canadian health care, presenting a system without problems. After being chastised by some of the most polite people on Earth, he fired back and leveled a truly terrible offense at them by stating their system is barely a step above America's. Quelle horreur!
Read what one of the few articles critical of Moore and his accuracy had to say about the movie's obvious problems with Moore’s film (bold emphasis mine throughout):
Restrained praise is in order for the BBC’s Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism called “Death to America.” The brainchild of senior Washington correspondent Justin Webb, the three-part program examined the hatreds toward America that are bubbling over in France, Venezuela, Egypt and beyond. “A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered,” Webb said of his experience of anti-Americanism in Europe. “A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion—or to magnify those indiscretions—while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched.”
It was this realization, he said, that launched him into the series, which aired three consecutive weeks last month. Any regular consumer of the BBC, if he’s honest, must admit that Webb’s simple insight is rarely if ever heard across the BBC’s media colossus. It took gumption for Webb to approach his superiors about the program concept, and a refreshing measure of fairness for the BBC's top brass to sign off on it. [...]
Anti-conservative bias in the media is not unique to America. Agence France-Presse (AFP) practically portrayed French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy as a modern day, Gallic incarnation of Nero, fiddling while France burns (emphasis mine).:
France's next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta
ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities
across the country were hit by more violent "anti-Sarko" protests.
A few paragraphs later, the AFP article --bearing the loaded headline "Sarkozy rests as France braces for reform -- continued to hold Sarkozy in a sinister light.:
Following the election of conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy to France's presidency, there have been a series of riots from angry protesters upset at his victory. Unfortunately, it's a little hard to know much about the rioters due to the French government's passing a law that makes it a crime to report on riots unless you are a professional journalist:
The French Constitutional Council has
approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of
violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could
lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police
violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French
civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision
approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police
officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George
Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the
end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.
Did you know that the Palestinian Authority believes Al Qaeda-linked groups are trying to assassinate Palestinian political leaders and are responsible for Sunday's deadly attack on a co-ed children's festival at a UN-run elementary school in Gaza? What about the attackers using sharia law as the reason? No? Well, if you weren't reading a handful of the foreign press, you wouldn't know. What little US reporting there was, as is often the case, was based on the AP. Unfortunately, the AP omitted any Al Qaeda references, the rise of Salafism [which the article explained is a branch of Islam that is often referred to as Wahhabism—"a derogatory term...” to many adherents] as well as the “other al-Qaida-linked groups” terrorizing Gaza and the resulting violent enforcement of sharia:
The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh led with what should be the most important parts of this story, especially to US readers (emphasis mine throughout):
Palestinian Authority security officials accused supporters of al-Qaida in the Gaza Strip of carrying out Sunday's attack on a UNRWA-run school [U.N. Relief and Works Agency] in Rafah in which one person was killed and six others were wounded.
"There is no doubt that al-Qaida is operating in the Gaza Strip," a senior PA security official said. "Today's attack carries the fingerprints of al-Qaida." (...)
Reminiscent of an earlier review of "Spider-Man 3" that complained about the American flag's cameo in the superhero blockbuster, Times of London film critic James Christopher added "Sunday School morality" as a black mark against the action flick.
This incessant Tom and Jerry action makes it impossible to actually
care. The Sunday School morality, and the inevitable flash of the
American flag, are perfectly irritating. It’s extraordinary how often
the third movie of a tent-pole franchise fails to deliver, in this case
by trying to deliver too much. It’s hardly the kiss of death for Raimi,
but with a budget as huge as his the pressure is surely on to pull in
more than $400 million.
That's much harsher than critic Leo Lewis, who said it was "disappointing" that director Sam Raimi was unable "to end the romp without a fleeting shot of the American flag."
Michelle Malkin noticed that comedian Roseanne Barr wrote recently on her blog that she's too biased against Israel to be hired for the Barbara Walters daytime gab-fest. Here's what Barr wrote:
In reality, I could never host that show, or any network show, because I have opinions that are not sanctioned by the powers that be who refuse to allow even one dissenting voice over the airwaves of television(in this a "free" country).
I truly believe that millions of jews are not zionists, and that even if they are, they do not support Israeli occupation. I believe that Jews all over this planet choose peace in the middle east over the never ending death machine of hatred and division and terror that exists there now.
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
In a typical move, Europeans want to ban something they don’t like. In an English-language article, the Danish Heise Online reported several members of the European Parliament, which is the elected body of the European Union, will submit a draft of a declaration next week that “calls on providers in somewhat vague language to make provisions against "hate pages" part of their standard terms and conditions” with the ultimate goal to “banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. This is the same environment in which publishing the satirical Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons (images here)was considered an act of Islamophobia, and therefore hate speech. The draft specifically mentions Islamophobia in the preamble, which would likely mean that anti-terrorism sites like Little Green Footballs,the Brussels Journal and Melanie Phillips, publisher of the book, Londonistan could be labeled "hate speech" (emphasis mine throughout):
The ultimate object of the push by five EU Members of Parliament, Glyn Ford and Claude Moraes of the UK's Labour Party, the Hungarian Liberal Party member Viktoria Mohacsi and the two German European Members of Parliament Bern Posselt (Christian Social Union; CSU) and Feleknas Uca (The Left Party), is to banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. The preamble to the declaration mentions anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Romany campaigns. Should the providers refuse to act more forcefully the five initiators of the declaration have vowed to pressure the European Commission into drafting appropriate legislation (the article includes links to the politicians' websites).
In addition to asking ABC's chief climate alarmist Sam Champion about the snow-laden wind farm he
surveyed today and what it says about "global warming," NewsBusters would love to
hear the "Good Morning America" personality chalk 100 trapped sealing boats in Canada up to Americans who use too much fossil fuel and thereby warm the planet.
Here's just a few news sources covering the story:
A NewsBusters reader alerted me a few minutes ago to London Times film critic Leo Lewis and how he threw in a complaint about the American flag's brief cameo in "Spider-Man 3." The superhero sequel is set for wide release in the United States on May 4, Lewis filed his review from Tokyo.
Lewis liked the film overall (3 out of 5 stars) but was disappointed that the evil alter-ego that inhabits Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in the film is "still hopelessly mild-mannered." Of course, unlike say "Grindhouse," "Spider-Man" is intended for a wide audience from fathers and sons to teenagers on a Saturday night date.
At any rate, Lewis then puts in his anti-American potshot with his complaint about a scene featuring an American flag. The scene is similar to one in the first movie with Spidey atop a skyscraper crowned with Old Glory:
The foreign press are having a field day wagging their collective finger at Americans, scolding us over our 2nd Amendment rights. It seems they are all of a mind to take our guns away from us... not that they have any say in the matter. But, at least one paper, the Daily Telegraph of Australia, got themselves in trouble with Americans over their insensitive choice of wording in a story about one of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings.
In the piece "Was gunman crazed over Emily?", the headline as well as the first lines and of the article is so insensitive and sensationalistic that readers deluged the paper with complaints. So many complaints that they had to start a whole new story to address the slight.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud is purported to have once said, cautioning that not everything has a deeper, hidden meaning to it. Well, sometimes a blockbuster blood-soaked action flick is just that, a blood-soaked, special effects-laden action flick.
Just try telling that to cynical, left-wing European journalists.
According to Entertainment Weekly, everyone from gay interest groups to foreign journalists have engaged in armchair psychoanalysis of director Zack Snyder's screen adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "300.":
The Associated Press reports that three journalists are being kicked out of Cuba for writing stories critical of the Communist regime: one BBC reporter, a Chicago Tribune reporter, and a correspondent for El Universal, a Mexican newspaper.
When I read this I recalled a study by MRC's Rich Noyes a few years back about CNN's Cuba coverage, which, by contrast, never incensed the Castro regime. In fact, Noyes found that stories filed from that bureau's chief Lucia Newman amounted to a "Megaphone for a Dictator."
U.S. Tax Revenues Up 9.7% Through Four Months, Deficit Down 57%; U.S. Media Outlets Mostly Ignore the News
There's a good chance you didn't hear about this (original US Treasury report is here):
Both Brian Wesbury at FT Portfolios and yours truly have to confess to being wrong so far this year on revenue growth. We both have been thinking (Wesbury here, BizzyBlog here) that it’s going to come in at 9%, but as you see, through four months it’s actually pushing 10%.
How far will reporters go to get a juicy story: How low will they go? How many rules will they break? How many sacred cows will they make into hamburger? Reporter Riccardo Bocca of L'Espresso is attracting worldwide attention from Catholic media outlets and bloggers. Bocca stealthily visited confessionals at 24 Catholic churches in Rome, Turin, Naples, Milan and Palermo, and lied to each priest he visited, manufacturing false confessions for various sins. He said he wanted to show the disparity between what the church teaches and what priests do. Would they conform to Catholic teaching or slip out of orthodoxy to show sympathy? Bocca found priests who would step away from orthodoxy, although not on abortion.
Fox News explained that the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, was furious: "Shame! There is no other word to express our distress toward an operation that was disgusting, worthless, disrespectful and particularly offensive," the Vatican's paper said in an editorial headlined "Fake confessions in search of a shameful scoop." (Philip Pullella at Reuters also had a story.) I can't imagine even many "secular progressive" reporters finding it ethical to lie your face off in a supposedly sacred ritual.
Imagine you're John Kerry, comfortably installed before your
television in your silk robe this morning, watching David Gregory's
"Today" segment on the way the Dem presidential contenders are
maneuvering their Iraq war positions. Suddenly, the screen fills with
the infamous clip of you claiming you were for the war before you were
against it. Enough to make a man spit out his pain au chocolat!
Adding insult to injury, Gregory points to your performance as an
object lesson of how being too nuanced can hurt a nominee's chances.
That Gregory chose to run the Kerry clip is a mark of how 'fair
& balanced' his segment was this morning. His focus was not so much
on the substance of the various Dem contenders' positions on Iraq, but
on the politics of their positionings, to wit:
ANSWER: Nothing satisfactory, as far as the company is concerned. Google has responded, but generically, and poorly. Meanwhile, press releases that verge on being pure pap are routinely displayed in Google News results.
Background: This post is the latest relating to attempts that began here to get to the bottom of why all but a very small portion of news items published at Centcom.mil and its affliated sites are NOT being found or displayed by the Google News search engine. More background is here, here, here, and here, but this post should stand on its own for those who are new to the issue.
I received this e-mail from Google News early Thursday evening (link supplied by Google News was made clickable for this post):
Thank you for your note about Google News. We apologize for our delayed response. Dan passed your email on to our User Support team so we can assist you. Please be assured that Google News currently includes the news site you mention. You can find articles from this publication in our results at the following link:
Additionally, please be aware that Google News doesn't currently include multimedia content, such as audio or video files. Google News offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. There aren't human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines, and no individual decides which stories get top placement. While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology.
While we aim to include as many sources as possible in Google News, we can’t guarantee the addition of all articles and sources that are submitted to us. We appreciate your taking the time to send us your suggestions for how we can improve this service.
Channel 4, a TV station seen all across England, has decided to embrace the country's coming Islamification. Reports the Daily Mail:
Channel 4 is to reignite controversy over the wearing of the veil - by featuring a Muslim woman in full niqab giving the broadcaster's alternative Christmas message.
The woman, today named only as Khadija and said to be a lecturer in Islamic studies, will go head-to-head with the Queen when she gives her annual speech to the nation on 25 December.
Producers are said to have "discovered" her after a month-long search for a suitable candidate.
A spokesman for the channel added: "We felt it fitting that Channel 4's alternative Christmas message should be given by a Muslim woman in a year when issues of religious and racial identity and freedom of expression have dominated the news agenda.
In advance of his lecture last week at Montreal's McGill University, left-wing journalist Seymour Hersh, now best known for reporting on the Iraq war for the New Yorker, gave an interview to the weekly Montreal Mirror:
"I mean, Americans are pretty f---ing ignorant. What we don’t know is pretty huge. You could never accuse Americans of learning from history or learning from past mistakes...What we don’t know is just breathtaking in my country. To call this ignorance wilful as opposed to general ignorance, I don’t know. On any issue, Americans can display an incredible lack of information. I doubt if there’s a society which has paid less attention to the facts than any else."
The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq.
A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques.
Kurdish officials have refused to comment on the report and Israel has denied it knows of any involvement.
From that point forward the story is literally riddled with assumptions about how other countries and the rest of Iraq will react, without a single quote or attribution from anyone who supposedly will object. Examples throughout the article's text (scare words in bold):
Last night's report by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs that a "Beirut burning" photo that was clearly and clumsily doctored with Photoshop editing tools had made it way onto the wires from Reuters has morphed into what must be considered a full-blown scandal that should, by rights, shake the news service and other "Mainstream" Media outlets to their very foundations, and force them to reexamine how they conduct and control their photojournalistic efforts around the world.
Consider just some of what has happened in the 24 hours or so since my NewsBusters post very early Sunday morning:
Reuters has "dropped" the freelance Lebanese journalist after the image in question was shown to be doctored:
The wire service offered perhaps the lamest excuse ever offered in the history of photojournalism for Adnan Hajj, the photographer involved --
CARACAS, Venezuela Telesur has expanded to 17 Latin American countries in its first year on the air.
Now officials with the TV network financed by Venezuela and four other nations is eyeing U-S markets.
Now for something to amuse us in this day of upheaval…
Chinese propagandists just cannot help themselves, it seems. Even a report on the discovery of some interesting and rare species of giant salamander is fodder for propagandizing how wonderful China is. They can't just make a scientific announcement, but must editorialize how "precious" their discovery is, how its "favorable ecological environment" is filled with "clear streams and ponds" as well as how "waterfalls, springs, pools and linns form along over 100 streams".
Al Jazeera International, the planned English-language news channel, has languished as it encounters unexpected difficulties such as finding U.S. satellite and cable operators willing to carry it.
Another challenge it faces is a loss of independence. Initially, the new channel pledged to be independent from the Arab parent company, as they hired mainstream American journalists and acquired studio facilities in the U.S. But TV Newser reports that the promised independence is now lost due to a corporate shakeup in Qatar, the Middle East country that hosts Al Jazeera.
"You read it here first. Al Jazeera International will launch in November," the U.K.'s Press Gazette's Adrian Monck writes. "And not November 2010 either. This November. Now it doesn't seem that long ago -- November 2004 in fact -- that AJI boss Nigel Parsons was announcing ambitious plans to launch in, erm, November 2005."
Pinkerton reports on his brief foray inside the belly of the 'immigrant rights' beast. Far from being an echo of the black civil-rights movement of the '60s based on non-violence, Pinkerton says that it's a radical 'movimiento' animated by dreams of 'reconquista.'
Pinkerton explains that earlier this week he attended a panel discussion entitled "The New Immigrants Movement," part of a "Take Back America" conference convened in Washington, D.C., by the left-wing Campaign for America's Future.