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Posts Tagged ‘media’

The cyber-collectivist threat

Posted by Richard on July 23, 2010

I was vaguely aware that a group of radical leftists had formed a new organization named "Free Press." And I assumed that their goal was to put control of the flow of information back into the "proper" hands. That they wanted to silence me. Well, not me specifically; they've never heard of me (let's be honest, how many people have?). But everyone like me.

I was right. Adam Thierer has the gory details (emphasis added):

There are many battle fronts in the war for human freedom, but perhaps the least-appreciated of these is the battle over America's communications and media marketplace and whether free markets or government mandates will ultimately rule them. This battle takes on added importance since all other public policy debates depend upon an unfettered press and robust, independent channels of communication.

What many on the far Left have long understood, and many defenders of freedom have failed to appreciate, is that the battle for control of media and communications policy is fundamentally tied up with the broader war for control of our economy and society. "Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution," argues the prolific Marxist media theorist Robert W. McChesney. "While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program."

Normally we wouldn't need to pay attention to what unrepentant ‘60's radicals or neo-Marxist university professors think about media and communications policy. In this case, however, it is essential we pay attention. First, McChesney is right in one sense: history reveals that almost every successful effort to impose sweeping controls over an economy / society was accompanied by government efforts to control press and communication systems. If the State is going to have any luck gaining widespread and far-reaching control of an economy, gaining more control over "the Press" – which means all of us these days – becomes an essential part of the "strategic program" for control. Second, we need to pay attention to these radicals because McChesney and the group that he and John Nichols of The Nation co-founded – the insultingly misnamed Free Press – have given this fight new immediacy with their relentless agitation for media and communications policy "reform." And they are not the only ones.

Read the whole thing. Thierer is correct: control over the flow of information is critical to control over the people. And control over the people is what McChesney, Nichols, and their many friends and ideological allies in the current administration want. 

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Anyone can be an expert on a TV newscast

Posted by Richard on March 25, 2010

We had about 10" of wet, heavy snow yesterday and overnight — typical March storm — and all over Denver there were fallen branches and downed trees and power lines. On one of the local newscasts tonight, they talked with a "tree expert" (I think he was from the Denver Forestry Dept.) about what people should do to save their trees. He advised people to try to knock the snow off because "if it freezes overnight, it'll become twice as heavy."

Who knew that H2O was capable of such an amazing transformation? Is that what they mean by "heavy water"?

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Shocker! Mainstream news outlet uses phrase “global cooling”

Posted by Richard on October 27, 2009

It's definitely a "man bites dog" event when a CBS-affiliated local TV news department headlines a story "Global Cooling Causes Fish Kill In Cherry Creek": 

DENVER (CBS4) – A major fish kill was reported Tuesday afternoon in Cherry Creek in downtown Denver.

Dead fish were spotted from Confluence Park upstream to Speer Boulevard.
The fish were small, between two to four inches long. They were floating in the swift current and sloughing off on the banks of the creek.

The Division Of Wildlife said the kill came as a result of global cooling.

I'm sure the DOW really said something about "recent cooling" or the like, referring to the weather, not climate. And I'm certain that legions of climate change watchdogs are contacting CBS4Denver at this moment, and the offending phrase will soon be scrubbed from the story. But it gave me a laugh. Here's the original preserved for posterity: 

Global Cooling Causes Fish Kill 

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Bowing to the Saudis

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2009

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann recalled the fuss a couple of months ago over whether President Obama bowed to King Abdullah (I think it's clear that he did, but judge for yourself) and argued that he's really bowing to the Saudis on his current Mideast trip: 

First, he is bypassing Israel. Visiting the Middle East and not going to Israel would be like touring North America and omitting a stop in the United States. It only makes sense if you interpret it as a deliberate slap in the face of Jerusalem and a statement to the Arab world that America's pro-Israeli policy is changing.

But as he goes to Saudi Arabia, the United States State Department, headed by Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has announced that it has accepted the ground rules for media coverage of the Obama visit to the royal family and its domain. Reporters will only be allowed to cover the actual meetings between the Saudis and Obama and will not be permitted to visit the rest of the country or report on anything else they see during the trip. Those reporters who violate these terms are subject to arrest and imprisonment by the Saudi government!!

Hillary and Obama accepted these terms.

Since when does the U.S. government act as the assistant to the Saudi monarchy in charge of controlling the media? And since when would an American president permit this shackling of the media and still proceed with the diplomatic visit without a murmur of protest?

Since when? Since Obama became president determined to appease Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and all of the extremists while slighting Israel and turning his back on democracy.

Diana West found confirmation at Time magazine's Swampland blog, where Michael Scherer published the instructions he received from the State Department:

The Saudi government is permitting journalists accompanying President Obama entry into the country without a visa or the usual customs procedures.  While in Saudi Arabia, therefore, journalists are expressly prohibited from leaving the hotel or engaging in any journalistic activities outside of coverage of the POTUS visit.  Those who do so risk arrest and detention by Saudi authorities.


But wait! West noted that Scherer had updated his post with the following: 

Qorvis Communications, which represents the Saudi Government in the United States, emailed reporters Monday night with an statement saying the announcement of restrictions, which was sent from the State Department, is incorrect. The Qorvis email says that the Saudi Ambassador has said journalists can get visas and will be free to go wherever they would like. I am not yet sure the source of the confusion. Will update when I know.

If that's true, it suggests that folks at the State Dept. are eagerly embracing even more dhimmitude than the Saudis have asked for. No less disgusting. (And by the way, I'm certain that most American journalists are decidedly not "free to go wherever they would like" — non-Muslims who enter Mecca or Medina can be put to death.)

But wait! Now it gets weird. I personally saw the above update on Scherer's post early this morning. I just returned to the post to link to it, and the update is gone (the original post remains). Is it just a glitch? Or did Scherer or Time determine that the Qorvis claim was questionable or false? If so, shouldn't there be another update explaining?

For that matter, isn't this kind of kowtowing to medieval autocrats worthy of being reported in the news, not just noted in a blog post that almost no one will see? 

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Paul Harvey, r.i.p.

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2009

We've lost one of the seminal figures and most distinctive voices in the history of broadcast news. Paul Harvey passed away today at the age of 90, ending a remarkable radio career that spanned 75 years.

A sad day. I will miss hearing the r-r-r-rest of the story.

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2007’s top media errors and corrections

Posted by Richard on December 13, 2007

As the year-end approaches, people are putting together lots of best and worst lists. Craig Silverman's Regret the Error has a wonderful collection of choice errors, typos, corrections, and apologies from the news media. The error of the year was the supposed photo of a Russian sub on a voyage to the Arctic. It was distributed around the world by Reuters and broadcast by NBC Nightly News. A 13-year-old Icelandic boy correctly identified the picture as being from the film Titanic.

One of my favorites was this correction from The Sentinel-Review in Woodstock, Ontario:

In an article in Monday's newspaper, there may have been a misperception about why a Woodstock man is going to Afghanistan on a voluntary mission. Kevin DeClark is going to Afghanistan to gain life experience to become a police officer when he returns, not to shoot guns and blow things up.

The Sentinel-Review apologizes for any embarrassment this may have caused

The Guardian had this correction, which really makes me want to read the whole bizarre story:

In They live by night, page 4, G2 August 27, we wrote about a man who beat bats to death with a dingy paddle; we meant dinghy paddle.

I love this typo:

The Houston Chronicle, like just about every other North American media outlet, spent a lot of time reporting on Anna Nicole Smith this past year. In attempting to explain her, um, humble origins, the paper gave itself a measure of comeuppance. And that’s what makes it the typo of the year.

A photo caption in the paper read:

“When Redding, a longtime scout for Playboy, discovered Smith, the model could barely right a sentence…”

Who’s illiterate now?

And  then there's this correction by The Observer (UK) of an unfortunate oversight in a recipe: 

We should clarify that the stir-fried morning glory recipe featured in Observer Food Monthly last week uses an edible morning glory Ipomoea aquatica, found in south east Asia and also known as water spinach. This should not to be confused with the UK Ipomoea, also known as morning glory, which is poisonous.

Oops. Hope all the readers survived. 

There are scores more, ranging from odd to hilarious. Check it out

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Examining media bias

Posted by Richard on November 14, 2007

Investor's Business Daily has created an outstanding three-part editorial series, Uncommon Knowledge, that examines different aspects of "what the media misses, misrepresents and ignores completely." Highly recommended. 

Part One looks at a recent study of media bias by the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School. The source may be surprising, but its findings are consistent with every similar study since forever (and with what any fair-minded observer sees as obvious):

The Harvard study – conducted with the Project for Excellence in Journalism, part of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press – examined 1,742 presidential campaign stories appearing from January through May in 48 print, online, network TV, cable and radio news outlets.

Among many findings, it determined that Democrats got more coverage than Republicans (49% of the stories vs. 31%). It also found the "tone" of the coverage was more positive for Democrats (35% to 26% for Republicans).

… Fully 59% of front-page stories about Democrats in 11 newspapers had a "clear, positive message vs. 11% that carried a negative tone."

For "top-tier" candidates, the difference was even more apparent: Barack Obama's coverage was 70% positive and 9% negative, and Hillary Clinton's was 61% positive and 13% negative.

By contrast, 40% of the stories on Republican candidates were negative and 26% positive.

On TV, evening network newscasts gave 49% of their campaign coverage to the Democrats and 28% to Republicans. As for tone, 39.5% of the Democratic coverage was positive vs. 17.1%, while 18.6% of the Republican coverage was positive and 37.2% negative.

Part Two contends that the media are determined to portray everything in a negative light, at least as long as this administration is in office. Iraq, the economy, and global warming are cited as examples. Regarding Iraq, IBD notes how coverage has changed in recent months:

The surge of 30,000 new troops that began in February and peaked in June has been followed by stunning success in Iraq.

Yet coverage of the Iraq policy debate has tailed off since midyear, when the troop buildup that was announced in January was completed. In other words, the better the news has gotten out of Iraq, the less it's been discussed in the U.S. media.

Earlier in the year, the Iraq debate was the top story week in and week out, grabbing from 11% to 15% of coverage, according to an index compiled by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and monitoring 48 mainstream news outlets.

Over the first six months, and until the surge was in place, the Iraq debate averaged 11% of the coverage. Since then, it's averaged about 7% per week – a decline of 36%. The second-half percentage would be even lower if not for a 36% spike in the coverage during the week of Sept. 9, when Gen. Petraeus delivered his long-anticipated progress report.

Part Three argues that the non-reporting of success in Iraq and the relentlessly negative portrayal of the economy have had profound effects on public opinion:

The percentage of news stories devoted to events in Iraq, moreover, has shrunk to 3%, the lowest since September and barely half the 2007 average. In only three other weeks this year has Iraq coverage been so scanty.

All this in a period when word managed to get out through other sources that:

• U.S. troop casualties have plunged to their lowest level since February 2004, as rocket, mortar and suicide bomb attacks have all hit two-year lows.

• Iraqi civilian casualties are down two-thirds from their peak in December 2006.

• Iraq's government and the U.S. military say al-Qaida has been vanquished in Baghdad, as thousands of Iraqi families return to the capital to rebuild their lives.

• Iraq's government has signed up 20,000 Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites to fight foreign terrorists.

• The U.S. has announced it will remove 3,000 troops, with more to follow in coming months, as the wind-down of the surge begins.

But so it goes with anti-war news organizations that aggressively report setbacks in Iraq but give short, if any, shrift to the positive developments.

… the question remains of how Iraq coverage – or noncoverage, in the current context – affects attitudes in the population as a whole.

In other words, how can Americans led to believe the war in Iraq is a "mess" or "mistake" or "quagmire" (to use terms repeated often in media accounts) ever see it differently if they hear or read nothing to the contrary?

The latest IBD/TIPP Poll suggests they can't. … 

Sadly, although the majority of poll respondents are still hopeful about Iraq, more people today believe the war is already lost than six months ago, despite all the positive developments cited above. Most haven't heard about those developments.

I've barely touched the surface with the above. Read the whole series . But if you only have time for one, I recommend Part Two.

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Smearing Rush

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2007

The slanderous "General Betray Us" ad by the Soros-funded backfired badly and was widely condemned, so the left went into damage-control mode. Yesterday, the Soros-funded Media Matters launched a counter-attack. According to this "media watchdog" organization, Rush Limbaugh, who criticized the ad, was guilty of even worse slander:

During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers."

The media have been quick to parrot the Media Matters claim (without any attempt to verify it or contact Limbaugh, naturally). Members of Congress have denounced Limbaugh and demanded that Republicans and the President condemn his remarks just as they did the ad. 

There's only one problem with this Soros counter-attack: it's false. Rush Limbaugh didn't call soldiers who criticized the war "phony," he called soldiers who are, well, phony "phony." Phony soldiers like Jesse MacBeth, who was just sentenced to prison for lying about his military service. Who, like the Winter Soldiers promoted by Sen. John Effin' Kerry in 1971, lied about atrocities and slandered the U.S. military for political purposes.

Media Matters posted almost the whole transcript of the show segment during which Limbaugh and Mike in Olympia, WA, talked about "phony soldiers." But they omitted the relatively short portion following the line they misrepresented. Susan Duclos has the complete transcript (the public post at Rush's site will probably disappear after a few days). Here's the end of the segment (emphasis added): 

RUSH: … What's more important is all this is taking place now in the midst of the surge working, and all of these anti-war Democrats are getting even more hell-bent on pulling out of there, which means that success on the part of you and your colleagues over there is a great threat to them. It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

Jesse MacBeth was sentenced on the 21st, and Limbaugh has talked about the case several times since. So Limbaugh didn't attack "our troops in Iraq" — he attacked frauds and liars like Jesse MacBeth and "Scott Thomas" who smear our troops, falsely painting them as depraved monsters who routinely commit atrocities and behave "in a manner reminiscent of Jenn-Jiss Kaaaahn," to quote John Effin' Kerry.

But don't expect the media to offer corrections or outraged Democrats to retract their denunciations. You can expect to hear about how "that chicken hawk Rush insulted the troops" for a long time. Hell, I'm still waiting for John Murtha to apologize for calling the Haditha Marines "cold-blooded murderers." Maybe he'll be ordered to do so when Sgt. Frank Wuterich wins his defamation suit.

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Fame and glory

Posted by Richard on April 19, 2007

Thank you, NBC, for fulfilling a very deranged man's sick desire for fame and glory after his death. And thanks to every other network and local affiliate for jumping on the bandwagon and repeatedly airing every Cho picture and video clip you can get your hands on. After all, you can't let squeamishness or worries about copycats or respect for the victims' families stand in the way of ratings points, can you?

Go ahead, bombard the viewing public day after day, newscast after newscast, with Cho's posed photos designed to make him look powerful and scary and "cool" so that other disturbed youths will view him with admiration and awe, the way he viewed Klebold and Harris. 

Just one thing: After 9/11, not a single news organization ever again showed Americans jumping from the Twin Towers because those images were judged "too disturbing" and "inflammatory." Would someone please explain to me why, with complete unanimity, our media leaders have been so sensitive and concerned about the impact of 9/11 images, but couldn't wait until the bodies were buried to exploit the images and rantings of Cho?

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Jamil’s world

Posted by Richard on December 1, 2006

I thought everyone who half-way keeps up with the news out of Iraq had heard about the Associated Press’s bogus "six burning Sunnis" story, but it was news to someone I know who’s reasonably well-informed, so maybe not.

People need to know that this stuff is happening, so I’ll do my little bit to spread the word: If you listen to the reports from Iraq on the evening news or read the wire service stories in your newspaper, you’re being manipulated, misled, and flat-out lied to. The evidence to back up that claim has become overwhelming.

A good place to start is with this Austin Bay column (emphasis added):

In 1980, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wrote a story titled "Jimmy’s World," the startling tale of an 8-year-old "third-generation heroin addict" living in Washington, D.C.

Cooke’s expose’ captured several volatile issues in one tear-drenched package. "Jimmy’s World" had drugs, race, poverty, "fast money and the good life."

In 1981, Cooke won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

Fine and dandy — except she should have won the Pulitzer for fiction.

"Jimmy’s World" was a complete crock. Little Heroin Jimmy didn’t exist. The Washington Post, its publisher, Donald Graham, and Cooke’s editor, Bob Woodward, were all duly embarrassed when Cooke’s fraud was exposed. Her Pulitzer was withdrawn.

We now move from Jimmy’s World to Capt. Jamil Hussein.

Now, if I were "writing hot" — writing for sensational effect — I would have led with the alleged Jamil’s blazing claim: that six Iraqi Sunnis were dragged from a mosque in Baghdad last week, doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Shia mob. Four mosques were also (allegedly) burned.

The Associated Press ran the dousing story on Nov. 24, and the story was repeated worldwide. (I read it online in the International Herald Tribune, a publication owned by The New York Times.)

Sensational, "headline-generating" elements absolutely jam the story: gruesome savagery, mob action, chaos in Iraq.

The AP identified "Police Captain Jamil Hussein" as its source for the story, with a second source identified as "a Sunni elder."

On Nov. 25, the press office of Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNCI) published press release No. 20061125-09 (see The MNCI stated that investigation showed only one mosque had been attacked and found no evidence to support the story of the six immolated Sunnis.

The U.S.-based Website FloppingAces ( has published an email from MNCI to the AP that states "no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi police spokesperson." The email also addresses the story of the Sunnis being burned alive: "… neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. … We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI (Ministry of the Interior) employee." The letter is attributed to U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Dean.

I contacted CENTCOM’s Baghdad press office and received an email confirming that Hussein is not a policeman nor does he work for Iraq’s MOI.

FloppingAces noted that the AP has quoted "Jamil Hussein" in at least eight stories since April 2006.

FloppingAces has tons of stories and updates, so just go check out all the posts of the past week. Michelle Malkin has posted lots of good info and links, too. But if you just want the highlights, Gateway Pundit has your one-stop roundup, with lots of links to more details:

It is now confirmed that:

* Witness Capt. Jamil Hussein is not an Iraqi police officer!
* There were not 4 Sunni mosques torched in the attacks in the Hurriya neighborhood but only one mosque was damaged and not destroyed
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi is described as a University professor, foreign pediatrician, and a Hurriya elder depending on the article
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi says the mosque he was attending was attacked by "rocket-propelled grenades" yet there is no such damage to the mosque
* No bodies were discovered by Iraqi or Coalition investigators nor were there any pictures as evidence
* The AP later produced anonymous witnesses from the neighborhood
* The Multinational Forces Iraq and Baghdad Police did not find any reports of such an incident occurred after investigating the Hurriya neighborhood
* Multinational Forces Iraq claim that the AP source, Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not who he claims he is. He is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee!
* The imam at the mosque in question where the "6 Sunni torchings" supposedly took place is accused of being a member of Saddam’s secret police by his own congregation!
* Attempts by Sunnis to smuggle arms into this mosque were foiled by Iraqi security forces back in December 2003

And that’s just the opening. Go read the rest.

If you have some time, read the original FloppingAces post — there are lots and lots of updates, including a long list from CentCom of potentially bogus news sources — mostly AP — whom they’re trying to track down.

Then check out two JunkYardBlog posts — this one first, and then this one (right above the first) — about other AP stories that cited Jamil Hussein as a source. The common thread tying them together seems to be AP Baghdad correspondent Qais al-Bashir. And Qais al-Bashir has quoted a number of suspect sources, including at least two other "Iraqi policemen" whom CentCom and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior categorically insist aren’t policemen.

Gateway Pundit posted nice roundups (here and here) of news stories quoting two of these bogus policemen, and the stories have something in common: they all describe Shi’ite atrocities committed against poor innocent Sunnis.

The next time you see an al-AP news story about violence in Iraq, remember that it was probably written by a Wahhabi Sunni propagandist quoting Baathist insurgent "witnesses."

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Maybe Rove is right

Posted by Richard on October 18, 2006

The polls all predict disaster for the Republicans, and everybody from the mainstream media to conservative commenters and bloggers seems to believe them. It’s a done deal. Glenn Reynolds even offered a much-discussed "pre-mortem" explaining all the reasons (and they’re good ones!) why voters are likely to punish the Republicans severely come November (see also Glenn’s follow-up).

Prognosticators are so certain of a crushing GOP defeat that the Washington Post seemed genuinely puzzled that this belief isn’t shared by the White House:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.

The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence — based on Bush’s and Rove’s electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command — or of self-delusion. Even many Republicans suspect the latter.

Today in The Corner, Rich Lowry quoted a White House bulletin that suggested viewing all the recent polling data with skepticism (emphasis in The Corner):

A spate of recent polls paints a very gloomy electoral outlook for GOP candidates in next month’s elections. One reason for that, possibly, is a set of samples in recent polls that do not mirror the historical norm for party ID. A memo circulating among Republicans on the Hill, authored by GOP pollster David Winston, takes a look at the historical spread between Democrats and Republicans in House elections and polling over the last 14 years. According to Winston’s analysis, there is a material discrepancy between the party identification listed by people in exit polls (people who actually voted) between 1992 and 2004, and those used over the last few weeks.

Since 1992, the party ID differentials have ranged from +4% Democratic (1998) to +2% Republican (2002). Winston looked at the October polling samples from 8 different polling organizations. The smallest party ID differential was +5% Democratic by CBS/NYT. CNN didn’t provide party ID data. The other six ranged from +7% Democratic (Pew) to +11% Democratic (Newsweek).

Can you say "wishful thinking"? Or "attempting to create a self-fulfilling prophecy"? I wouldn’t bet against Karl Rove just yet.

My take? Glenn and other critics are absolutely correct regarding the failings, betrayals, malfeasance, and incompetence of far too many congressional Republicans. They richly deserve to be punished. But Rush is right when he says that they may deserve to lose, but we don’t deserve the higher taxes, slowing economy, increased federal spending, decreased national security, and other consequences that are sure to follow if Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House and Charles Rangel chairs the Ways and Means Committee.

Voters who are pro-free-market, limited-government conservatives or libertarians should exercise some discretion. If you’re looking at a House or Senate race that’s got an absolute shoe-in incumbent of either major party (and that’s most districts), by all means use your vote in a way that sends the best message — vote Libertarian, Constitution, write-in, or not at all (don’t add to a big-government liberal’s vote total for any reason — that sends entirely the wrong message).

But if you’re in a competitive district or state, don’t just blindly punish a less-than-ideal Republican or tell yourself that this particular Democrat’s pretty moderate, doesn’t support tax increases, etc. — helping to elect that Democrat, no matter how decent and harmless, helps to put Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and friends back in control. What do you suppose the consequences will be for taxes, spending, regulation, national security, judgeships, … ?

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News flash! Islamofascists hate Jews!

Posted by Richard on August 2, 2006

How ignorant and stupid can you be and still be a successful mainstream journalist? How totally clueless? Apparently, pretty ignorant, stupid, and clueless. At least, that’s the conclusion suggested by a segment on Tuesday night’s Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN, in which the big-shot news anchor, Cooper, interviewed the esteemed foreign correspondent  for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg:

Jeffrey, thanks very much for being with us. You know, I reread your article from several years ago about south Lebanon. It is just a fascinating look at life under Hezbollah, and of the inner workings and the message of Hezbollah.

I think what’s been lost in a lot of this coverage is just how anti-Semitic Hezbollah is in the rhetoric.

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, "THE NEW YORKER": Yes, it’s absolutely fascinating, Anderson. The anti-Semitism — there’s two things that are fascinating, rather. One is how embedded in the core of Hezbollah ideology, anti-Semitism is. And I don’t mean anti-Israel thinking or anti-Zionism. I mean frank anti-Semitism.

The other thing that’s so interesting about it is how blunt they are and how frank they are about their anti-Semitism. They don’t hide it. They don’t try to mask it in any way. They state very openly to you when you ask their exact feelings about Jews, which are quite extreme.

COOPER: It’s interesting because I talked to a representative news editor from al-Manar TV, and I asked him, you know, does Hezbollah still want to destroy the state of Israel? And I know Larry King has asked him that same question, and he rarely — he basically doesn’t answer that question. He sort of seems to avoid it. Which is so at odds because I mean Nasrallah himself is very point blank and matter of fact and open about his hatred of Jews.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, al-Manar is an interesting place. They are slightly more schooled in let’s say obfuscation or public relations. The leadership — I mean, one of the things about Nasrallah that’s so interesting is how straightforward he is. And you see that in all of his statements on Israel. And even his statements on America. There’s no attempt to soften the language.

And the other thing about it that’s so shocking, I think, when you first hear it — is I always notice this — and one of the first things I noticed, was the use of epidemiological metaphors to describe the role of Jews in the world. Not just Israel, but Jews. Talking about Jews as a cancer, talking about Jews as a parasite on society. And they generally are very forward about this.

Is that truly bizarre? High-profile professional journalists amazed — shocked, even — that radical Islamists hate Jews and openly express extreme views about Jews? I hardly know what to say — it’s like a Saturday Night Live parody. What reality do these people inhabit?

(HT: Rush)

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Biased reporting

Posted by Richard on July 13, 2006

Thomas Sowell:

The same newspapers and television news programs that are constantly reminding us that some people under indictment "are innocent until proven guilty" are nevertheless hyping the story of American troops accused of rape in Iraq, day in and day out, even though these troops have yet to be proven guilty of anything.

We all need to understand the fraudulence of the claim that these media liberals who have been against the military for decades and who have missed no opportunity to smear the military in Iraq are now in the forefront of "honoring" our troops by rubbing our noses in their deaths, day in and day out.

Troops who have won medals for bravery in battle — including one soldier who won a Congressional Medal of Honor at the cost of his life — go unmentioned in most of the mainstream media that is focused on our troops as casualties that they can exploit.

A recent study by the Media Research Center found that the three big broadcast news networks — CBS, ABC, and NBC — ran 99 stories in 3 and 1/2 hours about the investigation of charges against Marines in the death of Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November.

These remain unproven charges in a country where people on the side of the terrorists include civilian women and children who set off bombs to kill American troops and who can set off lies to discredit those that they do not kill.

But the same networks that lavished 3 and 1/2 hours of coverage of these unproven charges gave less than one hour of coverage of all the American troops who have won medals for bravery under fire.

Every newspaper and every television commentator has a right to criticize any aspect of the war in Iraq or anywhere else. But when they claim to be reporting the news, that does not mean filtering out whatever goes against their editorial views and hyping unsubstantiated claims that discredit the troops.

Those troops deserve the presumption of innocence at least as much as anyone else.

You think Sowell exaggerates about the bias? Look at how little media coverage there was of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester. She was the first woman ever awarded the Silver Star for actual combat (previous female Silver Star recipients, in WWII, were battlefield nurses) and a genuine hero.

You’d think the gripping story of the battle, the heroism and skill of Hester and her comrades, and the historic nature of her achievement would make this a compelling "man bites dog" news story, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. As a commenter at the QandO post about Hester observed:

By the way, notice where in the WaPo the story appeared:


Now, if SGT Hester had put her panties on the head of a terrorist detainee, this would be on page A1 for the next several days. Instead, she gets A21.

Compare the number of stories, column inches, and broadcast minutes devoted to the heroic Hester with the coverage afforded to Jessica Lynch — a victim — and Lynndie England — a villain.

Google results (quotes included in search strings):

"Lynndie England" — 364,000 (plus 37,700 for the misspelling, "Lyndie England")
"Jessica Lynch" — 578,000
"Leigh Ann Hester" — 18,400

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Chinese water torture

Posted by Richard on May 17, 2006

Instapundit linked to a compelling, bitter, and important post at Instapunk which argued that the bloggers and new media are merely the "foam on the whitecaps stirred up by the vast currents and movements in the ocean below" — the mainstream media.

Instapunk concluded that the MSM are winning the war of ideas via something akin to Chinese water torture, repeating the same message over and over again:

It doesn’t have to be true, it doesn’t have to be fair, it doesn’t have to be consistent in its terms. All that matters is that it is repeated with uniform constancy: drip, drip, drip. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. Change the headlines, seem to change the subject. Abu Ghraib. European disdain. Tom Delay. Katrina. Deficits. Valerie Plame. Gas prices. Karl Rove. Death in Iraq. Angry mothers. NSA wiretaps. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, the lede is always the same. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good.

I think he’s onto something. As Glenn said, read the whole thing.

Glenn observed that:

It’s an interesting perspective, though it assumes a shocking degree of cynicism, partisanship and commitment on the part of Big Media.

Umm, Glenn … so, what’s your point?

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This isn’t journalism

Posted by Richard on May 18, 2005

If you don’t believe that the Washington press corps consists largely of biased, angry pseudo-journalists determined to destroy the Bush administration, then go right now to Powerline and read the questions that Scott McClellan was asked at today’s press conference.

These aren’t real questions — the kind real reporters ask to get real information for a real story. These are arguments, diatribes, challenges, snide remarks, and insults. 

As Scott Johnson suggested, go read "Whose side are they on?" too. All of it — there’s a nice bit of Kipling at the end.

I suspect that Glenn is right when he worries about future of press freedom. Recent polls like this one suggest the press is on shaky ground with the public. The Newsweek debacle and the increasing shrillness and hostility illustrated at today’s press conference suggest it’s going to get worse.

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