Terrorists in Iraq know they can rely on CNN to carry their propaganda as if it were straight news, now the Taliban is having success in placing "news" with the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation.
A group of active duty soldiers, called a "grassroots group" by some in the media, is speaking out against the war in Iraq and calling on Congress to bring the troops home. Fine with me - they have every right to speak their mind (I know nothing about the military rules - I'm speaking in the realm of First Amendment rights). Having the freedom to speak out is one of the great benefits of living in the United States of America.
BUT it is disconcerting and disingenuous to report this group as a simple grassroots group trying to get their voices heard. The "Appeal for Redress" group is sponsored by three of the most virulent anti-war groups that use their "desire for peace" as a cover for their blatant anti-Americanism. You've heard of these groups - Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Whenever you see Cindy Sheehan or any of her comrades, you will see members of these organizations. VFP and IVAW members include several deserters, conscientious objectors and some "soldiers" that turned out to not be what they portrayed. Some members claim to have witnessed war crimes including the wholesale slaughter of innocent Iraqi women and children. Some members traveled to Venezuela with CodePink to pay homage to Chavez. Some have testified at "global" forums against America, the terrorist state.
When media outlets publish militarily significant information and make it known to a wider audience (something they seem to do with more frequency during Republican administrations), they generally excuse their actions with claims that they are fulfilling an obligation to the public's "right to know."
Aside from the question of whether the public has a right not to know something, another question presents itself: are journalists obligated to be "neutral" observers, even to the point of endangering the lives of fellow Americans?
Marc Danziger raises that question in an editiorial at the D.C. Examiner:
I’ve blogged about the “journalist vs. citizen” thing. Let me explain through an anecdote:
1987, PBS sponsored a colloquium called “Under Orders, Under Fire” as a
part of their great Ethics in America series (many episodes can still
be found at www.learner.org/resources/series81.html). While the episode
was about military ethics, the bombshell was a sidebar on journalism
between Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace.
Jennings was asked what
he would do if he was embedded with forces fighting U.S. soldiers - and
became aware they had set an ambush for him. He replied, from a James
“If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came
upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn
“Even if it means losing the story?” he was
asked. “Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life,”
Mike Wallace, however, disagreed: “I think some
other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously
referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as a story they were
there to cover.”
Ah, the refined sensibilities of the Associated Press. Far be it from that paragon of journalistic impartiality to insert itself in the controversy over whether George Bush & Co. intentionally murdered thousands of Americans on 9-11 via the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center.
And so it is that the Associated Press preciously entitled its article about the decision of 9-11 conspiracy nut Steven Jones to retire from his BYU professor's post:
"BYU Scholar, Sept. 11 Theorist, Resigns".
A "scholar" and a "theorist." Impressive! Might that be some kind of hybrid between a 'gentleman and a scholar' and a theoretical physicist, perhaps? Now, in fairness, I wouldn't expect the AP to adopt my "conspiracy whack job" nomenclature in its headline - although it would be entirely accurate. But the utter neutrality of "theorist" coupled with the honorary title of "scholar" seems excessive. Would the AP describe David Duke as a "racial theorist," for example?
The lead story for the June 23 New York Times exposed a U.S. terrorist surveillance program involving international bank transfers ("Bank Data Sifted In Secret By U.S. To Block Terror"):
"Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials."
Boy, it didn’t take long for Katie Couric to go from media darling to whipping girl, did it? You’d think the perky one did something really obscene, like stating that she was voting for a Republican in the upcoming midterm elections. Yet, there it was in large type at USA Today: “Couric Fails to Keep CBS News on Top for Long” (hat tip to TVNewser). In reality, that might be the kindest statement in this article about Couric which began (emphasis mine throughout):
Mr. Mallaby goes on a long diatribe that contradicts itself so many times that an informed reader would get whiplash from the experience. And all those head turing points are attacks against the effectiveness, sincerity, and well-meaning of American policy.
He begins his screed by negatively invoking a Ronald Reaganism, saying "It's not exactly morning in America", after which he regales us on how nothing worthwhile has come from Iraq, "a special Rumsfeldian screw-up".
On last night's Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas offered assessments of the way in which the independence of two of his fellow conservative commentators is viewed. While acknowledging that the two top-rated talkers have recently chided the administration, he suggested there is a perception that, by and large, the pair lack political autonomy.
In the context of a discussion of President Bush's efforts to shore up support among conservative radio talk show personalities, Thomas stated:
"Even Rush Limbaugh,whois seen as being in the pocket of the administration, has been critical of Republicans not being more like Republicans."
Air America is grasping for straws in some mighty odd places. A mass email from Air America host Thom Hartmann today touts the parallels between the plight of the bankrupt left-wing radio network and, of all things, Fox News Channel [FNC] and the Washington Times.
"There are times when doing the profitable thing is also doing the right thing. That's certainly what Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch thought when they lost an average of $90 million a year for about five years before the Fox News Channel became profitable."
Reuters explains the latest mainstream meme, the public is "numb" to Iraq war deaths:
But with the U.S. military death toll hitting 2,787 on Friday, and with 73 deaths so far in October, it is shaping up to be the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Falluja offensive two years ago.
Analysts said even local media coverage struggles to overcome the numbing affect of the steady flow of deaths.
NBC's efforts to reestablish itself have gone poorly, and its cable network MSNBC is still stuck in last place. Execs are considering putting MSNBC's two biggest stars, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, on business channel CNBC, and using the rest of MSNBC for taped programming about "murder mysteries" and similar tabloid material. From Broadcasting and Cable:
NBC Universal employees are bracing for the worst as Chairman-CEO Bob Wright and NBC U TV Group CEO Jeff Zucker are convening town hall meetings in Los Angeles and New York for what is expected to be news of restructuring and job cuts.
Sources say Wright will appear on the Universal Studios lot near Burbank on Thursday while Zucker holds a similar meeting with East Coast employee in New York. NBC press reps were not available at press time.
GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 18 -- President Bush said Wednesday that the current surge of violence in Iraq "could be" comparable to the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, a succession of battles that became a milestone because it helped turn the American public against the conflict and its political leadership.
What the WaPo won't come right out and say is that it wasn't the Tet Offensive itself that had such a devastating effect upon civilian morale, it was the abjectly incompetent reporting of the event by American journalists.
On the 30th of September I wrote a post on Newsbusters about how the BBC is using their reporting on the Global War on Terror to advance their ideological bias against the war instead of merely reporting the facts of the news.
On the BBC website a segment called The Editors appeared on Oct. 2nd and raises this very posting of mine and makes an attempt to refute it.
Alistair Burnett (editor of "The World Tonight") made a weak attempt to nay say my point.
Is the BBC trying to make a political point when it uses the expression 'so-called War on Terror' or 'The Bush Administration's War on Terror' or 'the American-led War on Terror'?
"This was a threat that appeared on a Web site. It said that dirty bombs would be detonated this Sunday outside NFL games in seven U.S. cities: Miami, New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland, and Cleveland.
"The Department of Homeland Security is saying there is no credible intelligence to support these claims, no credible information to indicate such attacks will take place. But, out of an abundance of caution, they informed the NFL and other officials, so they can take the actions that they deem to be appropriate."
Despite DHS's statement, CNN political analyst and Clinton boot licker Paul Begala was quick to suggest a conspiracy:
It’s always amusing to see media code words and phrases that seem to say one thing but, upon reflection, end up meaning less than at first thought. Phrases like "sources say" would lead one to imagine whole rafts of insiders are affirming a story's bias when really it is just one disgruntled person as the "source", or words like "many" when it is but a very few are used all the time to inflate the importance of a reporter's bias or justify his story.
The L.A. Times used a classic today in the story titled "Some See 'Pink Purge' in the GOP". Notice the word "some"? What exactly does "some" mean? According to the story "some" seems to be the thought of many Christian Republicans.
How much of a network newscast depends on anonymous sources? And isn't it more suspicious when the anonymous sources all agree on the liberal-media thesis (actually, the John Kerry thesis) that the best we can hope for in Iraq is a stable dictatorship? Friday night's NBC Nightly News led with a British general saying all is lost, and notice how Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski presents Pentagon opinion constantly through anonymous sources (and a couple of prominent and regular Bush war critics). Apparently, all the finest military minds are unanimous, and a debate is unnecessary:
Brian Williams, beginning the show: "It was the shot heard around the world, and it came from the commander of the British Army. He is on the record as saying British troops have no business in Iraq and should come home. While he has since changed his stance a bit, his words sent shock waves through British forces. It wasn't what American forces needed to hear, either, as they are already facing an unraveling and violent situation on the ground, counter to their goal of democracy taking hold. We begin here tonight at the Pentagon with our Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. Jim, good evening."
In keeping the the liberal mantra that the Republican leadership is the most "secretive" ever, the Post seemed worried that the House rules change is somehow a danger to American democracy because the persons chosen by Speaker Hastert to succeed him has not been made public knowledge.
The Post's story over this rules change is filled with foreboding, doubt and dread over a possibility that is remote at best as well as a list that is simply perfunctory.
Contrary to what these so-called news reporters lead their readers to believe, ex-Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbechev did NOT help us "end the cold war" in any other way but to LOSE it! He was not on the same level with Ronald Reagan who is really the one responsible for ending the Cold War.
I have seen this many, many times, but it is always a good idea to continue pointing out this bias to keep people aware of just what Gorbachev's role was in the Cold War. "News" services like Reuters continue to uplift Gorby to the level of benevolent leader and kindly grandfather for helping us "end the cold war". But it just isn't true at all. Should Gorby have had his way, Russia would STILL be under the crushing thumb of the U.S.S.R. and its oppressive system.
From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):
First openly gay person elected to Congress dies
BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.
Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds:
Saturday's Washington Post includes the article "Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes." Authored by staff writer Shailagh Murray, the story states: "By a combination of luck and design, Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of uncommonly good-looking candidates.
"The beauty gap between the parties, some on Capitol Hill muse, could even be a factor in who controls Congress after Election Day.
"Democratic operatives do not publicly say that they went out of their way this year to recruit candidates with a high hotness quotient. Privately, however, they acknowledge that, as they focused on finding the most dynamic politicians to challenge vulnerable Republicans, it did not escape their notice that some of the most attractive prospects were indeed often quite attractive."
Now it's not my desire to be mean. And certainly I'm not known for my own good looks.
But it seems to me that a party boasting such attractive folks as Barbara Mikulski, Rosa DeLauro, Janet Reno, Madeleine Albright, Michael Moore and John Kerry hasn't practiced "the politics of beauty" all that much.
Keeping in line with the Associated Press' penchant for running interference for the Democratic Party, we have another fine example in today's story about the five year prison sentence handed down to Tennessee state senator Roscoe Dixon, a Democrat.
Dixon, convicted of taking $9,500 in bribes, was sentenced as a result of an FBI investigation of Tennessee politicians called Operation Tennessee Waltz.
Amazingly, the AP found no room in their story for party labels. Naturally, they also don't bother to emphasize the many OTHER Democrats that have been indicted in this scandal.
Among others, the top indictments were as follows:
State Senator John Ford (Democrat) of Memphis, TN, State Senator Roscoe Dixon (Democrat) of Memphis, State Senator Kathryn Bowers (Democrat) of Memphis, State Senator Ward Crutchfield (Democrat) of Chattanooga, State Representative Chris Newton (Republican) of Cleveland, Tennessee Barry Myers of Memphis (Democratic Political operative) Charles Love of Chattanooga (Democratic Political operative)
Now imagine if this story was about 6 Republicans and only one Democrat involved in such a deeply disturbing corruption scandal. Do you think Party labels would be left out of the AP story in that case? Who could doubt that, were it a passel full of Republicans under indictment instead of Democrats, the headline would read "Tennessee Republican Corruption Scandal" instead of "Tenn. Senator Gets 5 Years for Bribes"?
So, here we have a story of endemic corruption in the Tennessee state house featuring a gaggle of 99% Democrats... and the AP somehow forgets to mention Party affiliation.
Traditional or "mainstream" media outlets continue to wither away in the face of never ending charges of liberal bias and attempts to indoctrinate America with the agenda of the left.
As these strong and meaningful changes are taking place opinion writers and pundits search for answers that will explain away the audience abandonment across the entire spectrum of traditional news outlets. Huge audience losses are being logged for network television news. Major newspaper and news magazine publications show significant decline in circulation numbers. Talk radio formats for the counter position to conservative talk have failed.
The only bright light on the news horizon seems to be The Fox News Channel...and it is the latest entry into cable news. Today, while celebrating its tenth year on the air, Fox News rightfully boasts it is the Number One cable news network. According to Glenn Garvin, writing for McClatchy Newspapers it has held this ranking...”for the past 58 months with an audience almost as big as its two main competitors combined. It took Fox News just five years to surpass MSNBC, with its powerful corporate backers, and CNN with its 16 year head start.” Garvin goes on to say that Fox News reached the 90 million-subscriber mark faster than any cable channel in history.
Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe is continuing his campaign to educate Americans about the media's tendency to listen and repeat alarmist rhetoric about the environment. His latest Senate speech focused on the New York Times and its prepostrous flipping back and forth between believing in massive global cooling/warming:
My recent speeches detailing the embarrassing 100 year history of the media’s relentless climate hype and its flip flopping between global cooling and warming scares must have struck a nerve in the old gray lady of the New York Times. A significant portion of my 50 minute Senate floor speech on September 25th was devoted to the New York Times history of swinging between promoting fears of a coming ice age to promoting fears of global warming. Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods.
The New York Times October 12, 2006 editorial accused me of possessing “a hysteria of doubt” about human caused catastrophic global warming. But in reality, there is no doubt that it is the New York Times that possesses a hysterical and erroneous history of climate alarmism.
Here is a quote from the February 24, 1895 edition of the New York Times reporting on fears of an approaching ice age: “Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.” But on March 27, 1933, the New York Times reported: “America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-year Rise” Then in 1952, the New York Times was back on the global warming bandwagon declaring that the “trump card” of global warming “has been the melting glaciers.” And a 1975 New York Times headline trumpeting fear of a coming ice age read: “Climate Changes Endanger World’s Food Output.”
The headline from this Associated Press story reads, "Army: Troops to stay in Iraq until 2010." Yikes! The Army has decided that we need 141,000 troops in Iraq at least through 2010? Surely, this is a clear indication that the situation is much more dire than the American public has been lead to believe?
Actually, no. The information in the story doesn't match the headline.
"A federal grand jury has indicted Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, a top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, on charges that he demanded millions of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms seeking business from the state teachers' pension system, according to an indictment unsealed today."
The story describes Rezko as a "longtime Chicago developer and active supporter of Republicans and Democrats."
According to Newsmeat.com, which tracks Federal Election Commission data, between 2002 and 2004 Rezko made political contributions (not to Blagojevich) of $20,500. Every dollar went to Democratic candidates.
It’s fascinating that this decision came on September 19 and virtually went unreported up until now, but a Florida woman has been awarded a startling $11.3 million in her “Internet defamation” lawsuit. Without question, this decision has startling ramifications for Internet denizens, bloggers, and message board posters, as it makes it quite clear that folks can’t just write whatever they want regardless of facts with total impunity. As reported by WebWire (emphasis mine throughout):
It is not often a person is awarded $11.3 million dollars from a jury of their peers. But in the case of Sue Scheff and her organization Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (PURE) v. Carey Bock, the jury felt compelled to send a very strong message – which they have. Included in their $11.3 million dollar verdict, they awarded Sue Scheff and PURE $5 million in punitive damages. “The punitive damages speak volumes,” says Scheff, “it was set to punish the defendant for what she did to my children and me. Just because you don’t like someone or what they do, it does not give you carte blanche to post false statements about a person on the Internet.”
The article continued, documenting threatening Internet exchanges that are altogether too common to those that spend a lot of time at message boards or comment sections:
In a recent article, More Guns, More Problems, the author considers getting a concealed carry permit in her new home state, and consults some “anti-gunners” to help her decide.
This idea is just wrong, said Joshua Horwitz, the executive director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Horwitz was quick to point out that Naveed Afzal Haq, the man who shot up a Jewish community center in Seattle last month, had a concealed carry permit.
“I think the idea that these people [legal concealed carriers] don’t do any damage is wrong,” said Horwitz. “More guns equal less crime is just false.”
Everybody's got an opinion about what should've been done, and what needs to be done, about North Korea's nuclear weapons tests - especially, newspapers. An article by Susan Jones of CNSNews.com recaps how papers are blaming Bush and China, and providing foreign affairs advice about how to defuse the situation.
We've been here before; the similarities are, well, eerie.
First, the sensational story in the closing weeks of an election, attributed, of course, to an anonymous source. A blogger, William "Wild Bill" Kerr of Passionate America, using clues gleaned from ABC's own website, reveals the name of one of the "victims," and the fact that he was not, as reported by ABC, under 18 at the time of the Instant Message exchange.
ABC News has just released this statement explaining how blogger Wild Bill of Passionate America was able to learn the real screen name of Mark Foley's Instant Message correspondent:
On Friday, ABC News published instant messages between a former page and Congressman Foley with the IM screen name of the teenage victim redacted. Immediately, we discovered that in one instance, the screen name of the teen on one IM exchange had not been properly redacted. ABC News immediately took down the posting [version 1], redacted the screen name and re-published the posting [version 2]. We certainly believed that we had taken care of the issue quickly. Last evening, after an inquiry from Matt Drudge, it came to our attention that a blogger was able to access our deleted file [version 1] by typing in a slightly modified web address. To be clear, no one visiting our website would have simply stumbled on the old version. We thank the blogger and Drudge for bringing this to our attention.