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[P]
Media Revision

By snowlion in Media
Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 03:36:02 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Daniel Pearl's widow: "Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism."

AP Report: [via Yahoo!] "Thanking "all of the people throughout the world who have given Danny and me support and encouragement," she said the struggle against terrorism was everyone's responsibility."


My girlfriend originally gave me Mariane Pearl's "honesty to question our own responsibility" quote after she read it in a Yahoo news story. Later, I told her about the misleading "struggle against terrorism was everyone's responsibility" paraphrasing, and she searched her My Yahoo page to reread the story she had told me. She exclaimed, "They took it out!" She believes that the paragraph was removed.

I don't know; Human memory is bad. Maybe Amber read a different story the second time. But I wouldn't rule it out.

I'm going to whip out ye olde John Swinden quote now, etched into page 1 of my notebook on society, even though rusty comforts me that it doesn't apply to our present day. (Respect to Rusty, of course, for making this conversation possible.) John Swinden was the head of the New York Times in 1953, when he gave the following toast to the National Press Club:

"There is no such thing at this date of the world's history in America as an independent press. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write his honest opinion, and if you did, you know beforehand it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things. And any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allow my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours, my occupation would be gone.

"The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread.

"You know it, and I know it, and what is this folly of toasting an independent press? We are the tools and the vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks. They pull the strings, and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

I think that the quote is interesting, and that things have not changed much. Noam Chomsky has written many books on the subject: Necessary Illusions, Media Control, and Maunfacturing Consent. Articles: What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream , Force and Opinion, The Propaganda System.

I think the important questions to ask now are:

  1. Was the paraphrasing intended to be misleading, or did it happen by accident? More difficult to determine, did Yahoo update their page to remove her full quotation?
  2. If it was intentionally misleading, was it ethical?
  3. If it was a manipulation, how did this happen? What elements caused the news to be made misleading? (Note: Conspiracy not required) Is this a case of "It just wouldn't do to put it in print," as Noam Chomsky is famous for saying? Was an editor involved in the paraphrasing?
  4. How often does this happen?
  5. Do other news agencies exhibit similar behavior? Perhaps by doing as Yahoo did, implying that she wants us to all do our duty to stop the terrorists (presumably by applying force or supporting forces), or merely by ignoring her claims, while, including the claims of Pearl's parents instead?

I think this is important because I believe our decisions are important. We make decisions by engaging our emotions, intellect, and intuition with our perceptions, and our perception of what is happening in the world generally come through news media.

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Related Links
o Yahoo
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o rusty comforts me that it doesn't apply to our present day
o What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream
o Force and Opinion
o The Propaganda System
o Conspiracy not required
o Also by snowlion


Display: Sort:
Media Revision | 85 comments (70 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
Welcome to America (2.33 / 12) (#1)
by Zeram on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:39:35 AM EST

One corporate republic for the plutocrats, of the plutocrats, and by the plutocrats.

This is a good topic for discussion, but it vaguely borders on the sky is blue...
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Commercial Media will never be honest (2.88 / 26) (#3)
by Jin Wicked on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:55:39 AM EST

Not ever. People argue that commercial media is bound to be fair overall, but this assumes that different new agencies will be owned by different people with significantly different interests, meaning that overall the new reported will approach any given subject from all angles.

This is obviously untrue. From any reasonable perspective, the interests of one news reporting corporation are pretty much identical to the interests of another. The only vary in how much they pimp their associated companies - Fox has various newspapers, sports teams, satelite television channels, CNN has the entire Time Warner/AOL franchise.

It may be argued that regulation can somehow alleviate matters, but this is nonsense too. Perhaps such reformist attitudes can create a slightly more unbiased news reporting climate, but not by much.

Another solution is to have a system like the BBC in England. This would never work in America though, because the US Government would find it very difficult not to boss about a news organisation in its pay. For that to work, your country needs a tradition of respect for the rights of others, which America does not. Countries like Britain do, it is in their culture so they don't even need it codified in law, and the BBC can work there - not here, though.

Nothing short of revolution will be successful. The channels of news reporting and distribution are owned by corporate power interests, but instead they should be democratically owned by the people. Nothing less will do. indymedia is a reasonable start, but it is perhaps too democratic and anarchic. It needs a proper degree of peer review and filtering, not unlike that employed here at kuro5hin.

I truly believe World Socialism is the only honest path to democratic and fair news coverage and reporting. Your complaint, fundamentally, is addressed at the power interests who control the news sites you frequent. Only smashing those power interests finally, once and for all, will free us.

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


wow. (2.83 / 24) (#8)
by garlic on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 10:00:00 AM EST

World socialism: gets rid of rape and fixes taking quotes out of context. Who knew! Now only if it helps fight tooth decay too...

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

If only (1.00 / 14) (#18)
by Jin Wicked on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 12:44:34 PM EST

It got rid of little idiots like you.

I'd hate to think you are capable or argument, and not just contentless insults.

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
Tooth decay and socialism (3.50 / 2) (#66)
by linca on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 09:37:41 AM EST

Fighting tooth decay was one of the few things the communist Soviet Union was competent in. According to my mother, who went in the Caucase in the 70's, every last old man had nice, steel or gold teeth,paid for by the government. On the other hand, it's true that the Pravda wasn't that good at not taking quotes out of context.

[ Parent ]
Respect!?! (3.37 / 8) (#11)
by vambo rool on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 11:31:54 AM EST

a tradition of respect for the rights of others, which America does not. Countries like Britain do,
What? I suggest you ask the Welsh or the Irish or the Scots or the Indians or the Rhodesians or South Africans or the Palestinians or the Arabians or the Egyptians or the Belizians or any

P.S. thanks for the link to wsws.org. They said the same thing I did.

His [Daniel Pearl] writings exemplified the schizophrenic character of the Wall Street Journal, where the reactionary frothings of the editorial board are regularly contradicted by the conscientious dispatches of the newspaper's best reporters.



[ Parent ]
Pot, Kettle, Black (4.00 / 10) (#5)
by Bad Harmony on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 08:32:02 AM EST

The author of this article did the same thing that he is accusing the news media of doing, taking a quote out of context. Read the complete statement from Mrs. Pearl, not just the fragment that he selected.

54º40' or Fight!

I've Misrepresented Her? (3.57 / 7) (#6)
by snowlion on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 08:38:11 AM EST

Taking a quote out of context is itself not a problem. We have to do that in order to write articles and stuff; To post the entire thing (when I can just as easily link to it) is not only wasteful, it also detracts attention from the pertinant paragraph. To make it a little clearer by means of exageration: If I quote you, I write a few sentances that you have said in your life. I do not put the complete context of everything that you have ever said in your life down.

What Yahoo has done is, to not only quote her, but to make it look like the author meant something entirely different than intended..!

I have read the complete statement, and do not see how it changes her message to us, nor absolves Yahoo, nor shows me up for guilty of what Yahoo has done.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Shut up, shut up, shut up!!! (2.28 / 7) (#12)
by regeya on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 11:41:56 AM EST

I have read the complete statement, and do not see how it changes her message to us, nor absolves Yahoo, nor shows me up for guilty of what Yahoo has done.

In your original article, you left it open to interpretation. Here, you're blaming Yahoo! for misinterpreting a quote, taking something completely out of context.

You've no idea what you're talking about, of course.

As others have pointed out, Yahoo! runs wire stories. Wire stories are available, essentially, to anyone. They can come, essentially, from anyone. This could have been written by some two-bit reporter at some one-bit newspaper and edited by an editor without a lick of sense. Heck, I live in the middle of nowhere, and I know people who've had their stories published semi-nationally thanks to AP or other wire services. And quite frankly, the only editor (or former editor) that has ever impressed me as having any sense was former U.S. Senator Paul Simon. Not that I would make a good case study, but still. :-)


[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Why does it matter if its by Yahoo!? (3.50 / 4) (#13)
by JeffWilkins on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 12:09:55 PM EST

Ok Yahoo! didnt write the story Munir Ahmad did, he misinterpreted it or misrepresented it. Just because this was not written by Yahoo! does not prevent either it or Associated Press from revising the story.

Since its out of Islamabad it was most likely accidental, with Munir just putting in the quote for effect, having not read (or had access to) the whole transcript. But it doesnt remove the possibility that Munir may have written it that way on purpose, in order to give it that pro-war feel.

[ Parent ]
Blah. (3.25 / 8) (#20)
by regeya on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 01:14:39 PM EST

Show me some proof. Show me the DAMNED PROOF BEFORE YOU CONTINUE TO SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF ABOUT "MAYBE HE DID IT ON PURPOSE?"

Personally, I don't think kuro5hin.org is the place for tabloid journalism!

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Come on.. (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by Danse on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:07:33 PM EST

You know that there is practically no way to prove such a thing. Regardless of whether he did it on purpose or not, the outcome is the same, a very misleading quote. Whether it was due to laziness, incompetence, a genuine lack of information, or personal bias doesn't change the outcome. The fact that the story was changed after it was posted doesn't make it look any better for the guy though. Yahoo! should fix the quote immediately.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Is there a better system? (4.88 / 9) (#14)
by daystar on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 12:21:05 PM EST

All of my life I've heard that the US media is horribly biased, self-censoring and useless. It's a mantra among the left that the right has picked up only recently. Now everyone hates the US media.

The thing is: I don't know what information I am missing out on by relying on them. There have been times in my life when I've noticed just the kind of editorial epilepsy that you're talking about, but it always looked like an attempt to dumb down the content for the sake of the reader. I can't really blame reporters for catering to their audience, I just wish I knew where the "news for smart people" is.

So, since everyone seems to agree that the US media is not free or honest, could someone point me to a quality media outlet? One that is NOT clearly the mouthpiece of some political group. One that presents facts in the least filtered way. Is there anything like that out there?

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.

Impartiality (3.60 / 5) (#24)
by marx on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 03:00:15 PM EST

So, since everyone seems to agree that the US media is not free or honest, could someone point me to a quality media outlet? One that is NOT clearly the mouthpiece of some political group. One that presents facts in the least filtered way. Is there anything like that out there?

I don't know of any such international outlet. I think the principle under which the Swedish state-run TV runs works quite well however. Every documentary program (including news) is required by law to present both sides of the issue. It is also forbidden to take sides. This presents the viewer with the necessary information, and allows him to make the judgement, not the media.

You can never have a perfect system, but at least with such laws I can sue, and force a retraction, if I find glaring omissions or distortions.

I think the BBC works under a similar principle, but I'm not sure.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, so? (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by Demiurge on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 10:43:30 PM EST

There's a right of response law in the U.S., and laws similiar to ones in European countries stating that the media has to portray both sides of the issue. Does it work? In America or anywhere else? No way.

[ Parent ]
Right of response laws.... (4.66 / 3) (#59)
by daystar on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 11:48:06 PM EST

... seem like a bad solution to me. The only effect that I can see (in the american press) is that "reporting" is forced to give the views of two polar opposites, when an issue may not be that simple. After all, we view US politics as a battle between republicans and democrats, when the two are identical on many issues, and completely miss the point on a number of questions. Still "both" sides get to have their say after the state of the union. Of course, the media could not be forced to represent EVERY view on an issue either, who has time to listen to THAT?

I'm willing to leap out on a limb and say something (that I'm pretty sure you agree with): Government control of the press is a bad solution to just about any problem. A surprising number of people seem to consider it acceptable, though.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]

Not control (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by marx on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 04:20:22 AM EST

I don't think the government should control the media, that's a bad idea. In my experience, what works really well is a free media, with private media companies, but also state-run media companies. The law I mentioned only applies to the state-run companies. This way you can get a balanced view, but you can also make sure the state isn't lying to you, by listening to the private media as well.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Multiple sources (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by wiredog on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:13:24 PM EST

Especially if you have web access. Read Washington Post, The Times, The Guardian. Look at The Nation, and the Weekly Standard.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
In addition (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by pietra on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:05:46 PM EST

Read Salon for anything except articles on videogames. While they aren't necessarily unbiased, they do take a great deal of glee in pointing out flaws in other publications' articles. They're also very fond of interviews with actual live people, which can often provide a more balanced if not entirely honest perspective.

[ Parent ]
Reliability of the media (4.83 / 6) (#31)
by wiml on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:32:39 PM EST

Think about the last time the evening news reported on some issue you had particular knowledge of. Perhaps some technical issue: open source, RIAA stuff, etc. Or maybe you have an obscure hobby. Did the TV news get the details of the story right? No, of course not, unless your TV news is a whole lot better than the stuff I see. Did they get the overall picture right? In my experience, they do occasionally, but not always, or even most of the time.

(The most glaring example for me was the reporting on the WTO demonstrations here in Seattle a few years back. The disjuncture between what I would see out the window or hear by talking to people, vs. what I would see on TV or read online, was stunning.)

But, for some reason — despite the fact that when I can check the news' accuracy they don't score very well — I still tend to believe them when they're talking about something I can't verify. Is this rational?

I don't believe in any sort of Media Conspiracy (I'm just mentioning that to head off the inevitable respondents who think that any criticism of the media is an accusation of conspiracy...); I think they're just lazy. Any news story must be pigeonholed before it can be presented. If the story doesn't fit one of the story archetypes they're used to, they'll drop or reëmphasize details until it does. Sometimes this process fundamentally changes the nature of the story.

[ Parent ]

Occam's Razor? ;) (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by Anonymous 7324 on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:19:25 PM EST

no text

[ Parent ]
Nope. Hanlon's (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by gauntlet on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 10:10:38 AM EST

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Quack quack ! (4.50 / 8) (#32)
by Chep on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:33:52 PM EST

I mean... Le Canard Enchaîné. (the Chained Duck. "Canard" is also French slang for newspaper) This is a weekly satirical paper, which has been published in France every Thursday (save a couple of dark years at the middle of the century) since 1915. It was born out of the frustration by some journalist-soldiers, fed up of the censorship and the skull-jamming which was commonplace then in the trenches (the real ones...) and behind the lines. Nowadays, it specialises in a mix of unearthing corruption scandals (with usually very well-researched inquiries), reporting politic gossip, and humoristic cartoons. Nobody would seriously think Pres. Chirac is corrupt without them... yet, even with his functional immunity, he's in trouble now (and not all proofs have been destroyed...) Back to my point. Le Canard takes a very special pride, in that it belongs only to its authors and its readership (no corporate money at all, very strict ownerhsip cap rules, strict transparent accounting) and has never run a single advertisement (in 87 years). Okay, that doesn't solve the problem, and they're not an omniscient outlet. Basically, I think one not too bad way is to read news (now online it's easy) from different places in the world; even blatantly biased papers are valid, as long as they have a markedly different bias from the press which surrounds you (many "closed" countries have one official English-speaking daily. Not always online, but there are some...)

--

Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
Thucydide II, 37


[ Parent ]

It's a mantra among the left (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by FredBloggs on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 08:48:01 AM EST

And among just about anyone outside the states who has an open mind.

"The thing is: I don't know what information I am missing out on by relying on them"

Exactly.

"So, since everyone seems to agree that the US media is not free or honest, could someone point me to a quality media outlet?"

Just one? No. Not that i know of. But you could start by looking at both side - both the US side, and the most extreme opposite viewpoint. Perhaps check out the BBC, or other state owned media outlets around the world.

Even those hopeless bands of reactionary `independant media` groups (wasters with video cameras) are worth checking out from time to time.

Look for books/magazine articles on the issue you are concerned with. You know, with full, footnoted quotes that you can look up and check whether or not they`ve been invented.

Check out `manufacturing consent` by Chomsky too.

[ Parent ]
Blarg (3.68 / 16) (#15)
by Wondertoad on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 12:26:58 PM EST

Okay, you've taken a simple lazy writer or editor and turned it into a massive, all-encompassing conspiracy bent on revisionism.

Did you intend to be misleading, or did it happen by accident?

If you were intentionally misleading, were you ethical?

How often does this happen?

Do other posters exhibit similar behavior?


Conspiracy Not Required (2.66 / 3) (#28)
by snowlion on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:17:01 PM EST

In the post, I explicitely linked to a story indicating that conspiracy is not required for manipulation to take place.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Weak (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by Wondertoad on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:16:45 PM EST

First of all, quoting Vin Suprynowicz in the same post as Noam Chomsky ought to invoke some sort of Godwin's law.

But what Mr Suprynowicz was referring to was a pseudo-conspiracy: the press doesn't mean to be pro-administration, but it will be if it likes to be part of the game. What I was pointing out was something entirely different. This was probably just a case of simple incompetency, but somehow you've managed to invoke both Suprynowicz and Chomsky out of it. Good gawd.

In all likelihood, the idiot writer simply failed to correctly comprehend Ms. Pearl's statements while summarizing them. But you prefer to believe that the writer decided consciously to summarize the comments in a way that reflected his own beliefs, which in turn reflected the beliefs of the current administration.

But nobody will hear my side of the story if you keep modding my comments down.



[ Parent ]
I feel I should point out... (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by chrome koran on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 01:25:25 AM EST

that it is considered to be bad form when you:
      submit an article
      someone disagrees with you and you moderate his comment down
      after moderating his comment down, you reply to it
Generally speaking, you do not moderate a comment in a sub-thread in which you are posting a rebuttal...that is the same thing as mod-ing your own posts up. I hit you with a 0 in this thread because of that and because I checked and this is not the first time you have done it...(And before you say it, I am NOT posting an opposing viewpoint in this thread - I am in fact undecided and somewhat ambivalent about it. I am commenting on the moderation behavior.) This sort of incestuous moderation behavior taints the system.

[ Parent ]
Modding Etiquette (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by snowlion on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 04:21:16 AM EST

Eh; You are entitled to your opinion, but I have never felt that way.

I am following the golden rule; I think that we should moderate each other's counter args. Here's a general scale I use, when modding others' counter args:

0. Intentionally cruel, full of deceit. Hideous.

1. Grossly unfair, absurd, silly. I don't know, the K5 equivelent of a "I'm rubber your glue everything you say bounces off me and sticks on you". (I don't know if that's just a US kids saying, or not.

2. Strongly disagree, very poorly reasoned.

3. Disagree, or strongly disagree, but a reasonable point made, that might use some discussion.

4. Disagree, or strongly disagree, but a number of good points are made, and they are understandable and could use some further discussion.

5. Disagree, might strongly disagree, but very well argued, excellent points are made, indicitave of a deep understanding (even though rivaling understanding), could certainly use some further discussion. Most likely, we will both discover something in the argument, or come to a common understanding.

Funny posts, of course, can add a point.

So in short, I disagree with your ethic.

I would hope that you would give me a 2-4, based on my own rating scale (I can't ask anything else; Matthew 7:1-2 and all); You are moderating me 0 to punish me. We are having a disagreement.

Perhaps this is something we should talk about, and it may even make an interesting story.

I think people mod too infrequently; I wish people mod'ed more. I think people arguing should mod. Yes, I have given a 5 to people I disagree with before, though it is not common. More common is the 2-4 range. I hate giving 0-1's, but then again, I usually hate their posts, and imagine you (in the generic) would as well.

Fair? I'm not saying you have to agree with me, but I do mod as I would be modded.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
No quibbles with scale... (none / 0) (#85)
by chrome koran on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 08:00:06 PM EST

it's a pretty good guide to moderation.

However, I disagree with your premise because I find it extremely unlikely that most people (you are perhaps an exception) are able to moderate in such an unbiased manner. You shouldn't moderate in your own thread for the same reasons that we don't allow people to sit on a jury at a trial for their brother -- i.e., it is quite possible that you will be fair and unbiased, however it is far more likely that you will be unfairly prejudiced in favor of your sibling.

I think it is very easy to deceive yourself into thinking you are giving your antagonist (pardon the dramatic word) the same rating you would give someone who agrees with you (all things being equal), but it is much more difficult to actually pull it off. Not saying you don't but I think you would be in the minority and I certainly wouldn't advocate moderating your own thread as solution that will work well for the majority of our posters, no matter how enlightened we think they are.

[ Parent ]

I'll Have to Think About It. (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by snowlion on Tue Feb 26, 2002 at 04:40:31 AM EST

K-5 in-joke: "Antagonists? You mean like, Lex Luthor and Superman?"

But seriously-

I don't know, I would compare it to voting for president- the candidates get to vote for themselves.

But I follow what you are saying. Your line of reasoning is a new thought to me; I'll have to think about it for a while; I can't quite make up my mind yet.

Maybe I just trust K5 users more to mod right, even when arguing against someone. I'll have to think about it; I'll think about it some more. I'm afraid this is one that's just going to have to sit in my brain for a while before I come to a conclusion.

Thank you for the discussion.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Both AP and Reuters have full quote (4.66 / 9) (#19)
by mech9t8 on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 12:50:34 PM EST

Both Reuters and AP, in their stories specifically about Pearl's widow, have stories with the full quote.

What's interesting is the AP story still includes the paraphrase...

Thanking "all of the people throughout the world who have given Danny and me support and encouragement," Mariane Pearl, a French citizen, said it is everyone's responsibility to work against terrorism.

"Revenge would be easy," she said, "but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism."

I'm going to have to say it's a poor paraphrase that doesn't really capture the spirit of what she said, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't think they were intentionally trying to hide or misrepresent her true meaning.

--
IMHO
That's fine, but- That's not the citation (3.60 / 5) (#30)
by snowlion on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:20:24 PM EST

The paraphrasing that you've submitted is just fine, that is, it is not misleading, and is good because it quotes her and honors her perspective.

However, the article that I was quoting totally botched things up, in a very misleading way.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
totally botched? (4.57 / 7) (#39)
by mech9t8 on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:10:52 PM EST

I didn't mean to imply that you were in error. But the article you cited had the Pearl quote summarized as a smaller part of a larger article; the paraphrase in your article probably was derived from the paraphrase in the AP article I quoted: "the struggle against terrorism was everyone's responsibility" and "it is everyone's responsibility to work against terrorism" are both pretty similar.

And she did say that: "I trust that our struggle will ultimately serve the greater purpose of resisting those evil people casting a shadow upon our world... This responsibility rests with each one of us no matter our age, our gender, our nationality, our religion." (from the CNN article) She goes on for several paragraphs about that aspect.

The stories simply chose to emphasize that part, instead of the "questioning" part. A more accurate summary could've been, say, "she said the struggle against terrorism was everyone's responsibility, and we should question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism."

But the thing she seemed to emphasize was the "everyone" part, so I think the simplest explanation was the writers were simply trying to share that emphasis in as succinct a way as possible when they paraphrased.

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

RE: Swindon quote.. (4.20 / 5) (#22)
by eightball on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 01:50:48 PM EST

I am not sure why the unsupported opinion of one person in the field actually proves anything.

The quote is so absolute that to prove it wrong I would only need to find one published 'honest opinion' about the most irrelevant topic to disqualify the whole statement. Unless he qualifies it further, it means nothing.

At the time the House Committee of Unamerican Activities was in full swing and they could ruin your career with no proof. Now-a-days, even Chomsky admits it must be 'manufactured'.

ps - this is meant to supplement the criticism thoughtfully linked by the author

In itself it proves nothing (5.00 / 4) (#44)
by entropist on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 06:29:37 PM EST

Sure it proves nothing if what you require is demonstrative, scientific knowledge. Nothing in rhetoric gives such assurance. But it is an excellent example of what since Aristotle we have called expert testimony. Look at his credential again: editor of the leading daily in the United States, arguably the only national newspaper at the time. If there were someone who could be found with a sufficiently privileged "insider" perspective to declare that the WHOLE of our mainstream journalism was a crooked charade serving as a mouthpiece for interested parties, it would be the person occupying that job. In that view of the world, the man in that job is the foremost crook. And he came forward of his own accord and made his self incriminating statements in a setting where mutual self-congratualtion among newsmen is the norm, never criticism. Anybody else in the business might be listened to politely and their opinions weighed for a half a moment, but all hearing it would agree on one thing : this idiot's career is over as of today. However, the criticism, coming from the possessor of the most coveted seat in American journalism, is utterly damning. I remember running across it before and feeling smacked in the face. Not because of what was said, but because someone in that uppermost rank of journalists, the Pope of Print, had had the honesty to say it and had said it in such an emphatic and exaggerated way that no later quotation or paraphrase could mitigate the criticism he intended. (And also because I had never heard of it before in high school or college.) It is as though the Party Chairman of the old USSR had declared in open session "you know, this State Socialism thing is not just a temporary compromise of communist ideals but a complete and fatal betrayal of all our stated goals and civilized values." On the other hand , if several of the nation's leading editors said the same thing about our free press at the same time, wouldn't it beg the question: if so many men at the top of their industry can doubt its independence, then the powers that supposedly control the free press haven't been doing a very strict job weeding out dissenters and people of honesty and controlling the press, have they? So I think we have to content ourselves that one person at the very top of the journalistic heap crying Bullshit is about as strong an admission of guilt as we could reasonably ever hope for. There will never be a "consensus of the wise" in this matter, not if we define top news editors as the only wise experts whose opinions count. And it's not as though there aren't many outside critics of the mainstream press saying basically the same thing as Mr Swinden. Yes, he made a sweeping generalization and I think clearly it was intended that way. After all, he wasn't writing for the New England Journal of Medicine here, he was accusing a bunch of collaborators, yellow pressmen, fellow intellectual prostitutes, right to their professional painted faces. He doesn't just make an absolute statement, he lards it with insults. (jumping jacks marionettes, prostitutes) So why would he go over the top like this? Well, you know how journalists are unusually good at twisting the meaning of someone's statements, taking their words out of context, colorizing their thoughts, so that it can be used to dupe the readership into believing the quoted person said something opposite of what he actually intended, right? Just try that with Swinden's remarks. He made damn sure everyone present knew exactly what he was getting at. He got their attention, and also he made sure that in the future his remarks could not be twisted around to something politely beige and noncomittal by the use of paraphrase. He wanted to say that powerful monied interests control and use the "free press" like a latex prophylactic as they fuck the public; fifty years later his intent still comes through loud and clear. Which probably explains why most of us have never heard his remarks before.

[ Parent ]
Wish I knew where this quote was from... (4.00 / 4) (#33)
by Lancer on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 04:34:30 PM EST

...but I feel it applies here:

"Never attribute to malice what can just as easily be explained by incompetence."

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.
Never attribute malice... (none / 0) (#45)
by wiml on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 06:34:36 PM EST

This saying ("Never attribute malice to what can adequately be explained by stupidity") is sometimes known as Hanlon's Razor.

[ Parent ]
Napoleon (none / 0) (#52)
by wiredog on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 08:57:18 PM EST

According to Pournelle, anyway.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
The banality of. . . (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by johnny on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 10:24:14 PM EST

"The banality of evil" is the famous phrase that Hannah Arendt used in discussing the idea that evil could be the result of perfectly unthinking, commonplace, everyday actions. However, as she wrote (and her subject was the Nazi Holocaust), it hardly matters whether horrible things arise from laziness or from intention. What matters is the horrible things, and what we do about them.

With regard to this story about the distortion of the remarks of Mrs. Pearl, to say, "there was no conspiracy" or "there was no evil intent" means nothing to me. What matters is the distortion of the truth by the agency of the powerful. "I was stupid" is not a very compelling defense.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]

So, which one is right? (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by seebs on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:05:04 PM EST

Not having heard anything else she's said, I can't tell. You seem to be assuming that the literal quote is more accurate and representative. How do we know? What if that was a single poorly-phrased sentence in the middle of something that the paraphrase captured much better?

I just think it's interesting to see the biases we bring to this. I made the same assumption you did the first time I compared the quotes.


Did you read the whole letter? (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by snowlion on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:08:21 PM EST

Read the whole letter; I linked to it from the front story, and its not terribly wrong. It is clear that she is against vengeful retaliation, and thinks we should look at what he have done that would provoke terrorism.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Okay, thanks. (none / 0) (#40)
by seebs on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:11:24 PM EST

Well, that answers my question quite nicely. Thanks! The sources I'd seen didn't have it, and I didn't follow all your links, because I didn't realize they were new information (other than the stories I'd already read).


[ Parent ]
from the BBC... (4.00 / 4) (#38)
by invdaic on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:10:49 PM EST

the BBC has this statement "Mrs Pearl said terrorism was not a problem facing one country but the responsibility of everyone." here.

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation [and] is but a reflection of human frailty." --Albert Einstein

experience the fnord ! (3.25 / 4) (#41)
by fhotg on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:37:17 PM EST

Language is a powerful and subtle thing. A story evokes a stream of pictures, attached emotions , judgements and sorts the reported facts into the drawers your view of the world is made up of.

Not only the "facts", that can objectively be veri- or falsified, make up the quality of the report, but also the concious or unconcious influence of the reporter, his personality, her wordview etc. These factors are hard to single out or isolate from a written piece but nevertheless shape your rendering of "reality" very much.

One way to grasp the relation of reported vs. real is to actually observe and research a situation, an event which will be reported by the main-stream press and is politically/ideologically charged. (One of those anti-glob demos is cheap and easy. You don't have to take part, just play reporter for yourself).

When you later read the newspapers, the result of your automatic reality rendering by reading clashes with the actually perceived reality from your memory. You are in for a little spark of illumination, which probably will let you avoid newspapers for a while.

It's not that bad. (4.50 / 4) (#42)
by seebs on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:39:52 PM EST

Her comments were, as you point out, much longer than the paraphrase suggests. However, the specific quote you give is, in fact, not the only thing she said - and some of the rest of what she said meets the paraphrase quite well.

For instance, she said:
---
This responsibility rests with each one of us no matter our age, our gender, our nationality, our religion. No individual alone will be able to fight terrorism. No state alone will be able to wage this battle. We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way
---

That is very well summarized by the paraphrase given of her comments.

While, if you compare the literal quote with the paraphrase, they don't line up well, both are good attempts to capture some important part of the original material.

I don't see this as "misleading" at all. It's a fair and accurate portrayal of one of the things she said.


A reducing, a diluting, a watering-down. (4.75 / 4) (#50)
by Perianwyr on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 07:23:00 PM EST

She says that it's everyone's responsibility to fight terrorism- and then goes on to say what she means by that.

The watered-down version simply says to fight terrorism, and leaves the definition up in the air- which is to say, in the hands of those with the most repeated definition. That definition is whatever our leaders say, not what she had to say.

There's manipulation, and it probably wasn't even deliberate.

It is what I would call bad journalism, which makes up nearly 100% of it nowadays.

[ Parent ]
I didn't read it that way. (none / 0) (#53)
by seebs on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 09:34:42 PM EST

I read this as two separate points, not as one point and a clarification.


[ Parent ]
She never defined terrorism (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by delmoi on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 08:36:05 PM EST

She just said we needed to work together to try to stop it.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Yahoo's wire stories... (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by dvena on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 05:41:53 PM EST

Yahoo posts stories as they come across the wire. many MANY times a current story is pulled for a revised one, and it has nothing to do with revisionism.

Ah, the irony (4.37 / 8) (#55)
by Demiurge on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 10:39:08 PM EST

Snowlion, who has the gall to style himself a journalist, deliberately misquotes the statement CNN(a member of the corporate media bogeyman) has in full on their site.

He takes what's a perfectly innocent summarization of a paragraphs long statement, plucks out a few words from Mariane Pearl's statement that support his own twisted worldview, and screams that the corporate fascist media is deliberately misleading the people, or some such bullshit.

Before any of you begin to display your latent paranoias, how about actually reading the entire statement from Pearl's wife?

If this a ploy by mass media, then why is it CNN, and not Snowlion, who has given the full account of what has been said?

Precisely. (3.00 / 3) (#58)
by regeya on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 11:23:30 PM EST

Yet, the story hits the front page, largely due to (IMHO) the kuro5hin.org groupthink, attributing to malice and manipulation what can largely be attributed to innocent idiocy.

And, yes, what you point out is true as well.

It's funny that people have such a large distrust of corporate media when so many in mass-media news (at least, those I've had the pleasure of dealing with) are by and large interested in disseminating news. Once advertising gets thrown into the mix, however, things get complicated.

Which gets us to the subject of the world being a far more complex place than the average kuro5hin'er (and yes, I'm counting all kuro5hin'ers, especially the "USians are stupid, uncultured clods" whining morons) is willing to admit, but that's a tale for another day.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Have YOU? (2.33 / 3) (#74)
by snowlion on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 09:49:32 PM EST

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.

"My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."

It seems pretty obvious what her intent was, and what AP actually conveyed.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
I wonder if Swinden would have said that... (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by Kasreyn on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 10:46:43 PM EST

...had he seen an exercise in cooperative, open, and largely anonymous public journalism like, oh, say, K5?...

Maybe he'd have found something to hope for in what we're doing here. =)


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Snowlion is a liar. (3.84 / 13) (#60)
by DarkZero on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 03:51:35 AM EST

Anyone that reads even a few paragraphs into the CNN article can plainly see that Snowlion is trying to deceive us, and I find it sad that, in spite of how obvious his bullshit is, this still managed to get to the front page. The "...the struggle against terrorism was everyone's responsibility" quote was paraphrased from this paragraph of what she said:


"This responsibility rests with each one of us no matter our age, our gender, our nationality, our religion. No individual alone will be able to fight terrorism. No state alone will be able to wage this battle. We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way.

Anyone that reads the full article will see that this paragraph was obviously the crux of her full statement, as well. Snowlion, on the other hand, takes the small afterthought about finding the roots of terrorism within an entire statement that obviously expresses hatred toward these terrorists as well as others, and then cries "revisionism". It should have been pretty obvious that he is biased, deceptive, and at times just flat-out lying, but it seems from the voting tally that a full 163 people did not bother to check the articles to see if this was bullshit or not, and that only 38 did.

This is a pretty sad slip-up for K5, especially on the front page. In the future, please at least read the links if you're going to vote on a story, and especially if you're going to vote it to the front page.



or perhaps it was an honest mistake? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by klash on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 04:51:24 AM EST

Anyone that reads even a few paragraphs into the CNN article can plainly see that Snowlion is trying to deceive us, and I find it sad that, in spite of how obvious his bullshit is, this still managed to get to the front page.

Snowlion doesn't need me to defend him, but I feel compelled to say that as someone who knows him in real life, I don't believe he would intentionally be deceiving. He's a very genuine, good-natured person.

The crux of his article was an observation that the Yahoo story changed over the course of a few hours. Apparently he drew the wrong conclusion; other posters have pointed out that this is how wire services work. So find fault in his conclusion, but don't accuse him of being intentionally deceiving when there is no evidence to suggest that.

Oh, and I'm calling your bluff: where in the article is he "flat-out lying?"

[ Parent ]

self-deception at work (4.25 / 4) (#64)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 05:59:47 AM EST

I happen to believe that Snowlion is lying, though much more to himself than to the rest of us.

He -- and probably his girlfiend too -- has evidently bought into Chomsky's theories of media complicity in, uhh, ummm, errr... well a whole bunch of bad things. His beliefs are his perogative, but Snowlion has clearly projected those beliefs (echoing Chomsky's arguments concerning media-power-society) onto coverage of Daniel Pearl's murder. The result was that he fell flat on his face.

An inconsistency in AP newswire coverage of the Pearl Saga does not necessarily mean that "The Media" had intentionally hatcheted Pearl's widow's compassionate statement into a rallying cry for the Plutocrats' "War on Terror."

He's seeing spin where there isn't spin. Where there is the most anti-Muslim spin on this story is in the British lefty rags so adored by the "progressive" community. Rampant smears of Islam in coverage (complete with "edited version of a statement by Daniel's widow") by Chomsky perennial favorite Independent on Sunday must be particularly galling to self-styled Chomskyists. I keep hearing about the NYT's distortions, but I'm seeing much worse in the Independent and if I wanted to whip the masses up into an "anti-terrorist" fervor, I'd be pushing articles like those of the Independent's Popham. How do you reconcile this ugly exception to Chomsky's rule? Ignore it.

In this specific case, did Snowlion try to reconcile the fact that the New Left media have hpying and spinning Pearl's death harder than "media bound to the interests" with his assertion about media and interests and power? No, he just kept harping on the manufacture of consent, missing the rather obvious truths that the Pearl story is so sensational (even compared to other murders of journalists) that it needs little help and that loud, sensational stories tend to sell more papers than dull stories.


[ Parent ]

Chomsky's theories (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by marimba on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 01:50:58 PM EST

"has evidently bought into Chomsky's theories of media complicity in . . ."

Don't you mean 'read his writings, investigated his sources, and found his conclusions reasonable'?



[ Parent ]
Raising an unprecedented demand...not for revenge. (2.50 / 2) (#71)
by snowlion on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 09:43:46 PM EST

Look at this:

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.

"My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."

Okay, now, from the AP article, it looks like we should all be supporting the US war on terrorism. But by her quotes, no where mentioned, she seems to be advocating quite the opposite.

I am neither deceiving myself, nor anyone else.

I guess this is sort of like homosexuality in Card Captor Sakura: You either see it, or you don't. And if you don't, nothing can reveal it to you. It's quite clear to me.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
stop spinning for a sec... (5.00 / 2) (#75)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 10:31:21 PM EST

Here's Mariane Pearl's entire statement:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=105001680

Taken as a whole it's not clear at all that Mariane Pearl is advocating support of or dissension from the War on Terror. IMHO, she's calling for greater mutual understanding between the peoples and nations of the world. Indeed, Daniel Pearl was on his way to do precisely that by writing an expository article on Pakistani militants for the WSJ (not to be confused with WSJ.com's reactionary OpinionJournal).

Meanwhile, the AP article does imply that terrorism is evil, but it does not assert that anyone should be supporting the current war.

Alas, what we have here is yet another case of the facts not fitting into Chomsky's model. It's time for a new model!



[ Parent ]

Crux of her Statement (1.50 / 2) (#72)
by snowlion on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 09:46:21 PM EST

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.

"My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Pearl was a Jew. Media asked not to report it (none / 0) (#63)
by Hopfrog on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 05:22:07 AM EST

It turns out the Daniel Pearl was actually a Jew, and an Israeli citizen, like his father.
The father asked the media not not to report this, as it would not help his situation. The Israeli media reported it, however.
This is censorship in a way, lying by ommision, but I guess it is to be understood in a way.

Hop.

Correct link (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by Hopfrog on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 06:57:46 AM EST

I don't know what happened to the last one. Here is the correct link.

Hop.

[ Parent ]
I have to say... (none / 0) (#69)
by drquick on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 02:48:28 PM EST

I think he was killesd solely because he was Jewish!

[ Parent ]
Unreal (5.00 / 9) (#67)
by BurntHombre on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 01:49:18 PM EST

I know this has been brought up already, but I think it's important and bears repeating. Here are a few *other* paragraphs from the statement made by Pearl's widow:

"This responsibility rests with each one of us no matter our age, our gender, our nationality, our religion. No individual alone will be able to fight terrorism. No state alone will be able to wage this battle. We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way.

"I think we are now all aware that terror is not a problem facing one country alone, not Pakistan, not the United States. It is the worldwide responsibility of governments and we as journalists, professionals of all kinds and human beings -- mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. We are all going to need courage and commitment. Let us inspire each other to goodness.

I think the Yahoo paraphrase is very obviously an accurate reflection of these comments and is in no way misleading, unless you try to claim it's a paraphrase of something it's *not*.

This leads me to wonder:
a) Is snowlion intentionally trying to deceive us in order to further some agenda? Or,
b) Is snowlion so blinded by his own biases and expectations that he was able to convince himself of a controversy that clearly did not exist?

What She Said (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by snowlion on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 09:47:39 PM EST

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.

"My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
What She Really Said (4.20 / 5) (#76)
by Lode Runner on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 10:35:24 PM EST

Here's Mariane Pearl's ENTIRE statement:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=105001680

If you want to see a case of distortion through omission, have a look at this post's parent.



[ Parent ]

What, you don't like that message? (3.57 / 7) (#79)
by snowlion on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 02:09:35 AM EST

I included a link to her entire quote, the same you linked to, in the original story.

People started saying, "Hey, you liar, the crux of her argument is that we all need to fight terrorism!"

That is, most people want to take her statement to get all fucking pumped up about throwing nails into the skulls of terrorists.

But I show that that is not what she wanted us to do, and the last two paragraphs show that. I was emphasising the last two paragraphs, in which she says the most important things. Everyone knows that terrorism is bad. Everyone knows that her husband was a good guy.

What everyone doesn't know, and what people like you don't want to hear, is that revenge is not the way, and we need to look at our own contributions to terrorism (ie palestine, nicaragua, etc.,.) if we want to truly end terrorism.

This is not distortion through omission- I think I've linked directly to the original article, unlike many newspapers, content only to quote as necessary to say "She wants us to all join in the fight on terrorism", neglecting to mention "by looking at our own actions".

This is an emphasis, and an emphasis you don't want to hear. The boilerplate stuff isn't nearly as important as what she's actually trying to communicate.

The newspapers don't want her to communicate that. They want to communicate revenge.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
You're guilty of the sin you denounce (4.60 / 5) (#82)
by Stickerboy on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 09:43:35 AM EST

Here's the relevant parts of the interview in its full context, just so that no one is confused:

"From this act of barbarism, terrorists expect all of us to bow our heads and retreat as victims forever threatened by their ruthlessness. What terrorists forget is that they may seize the life of an innocent man or the lives of many innocent people as they did on September 11, but they cannot claim the spirit or faith of individual human beings.

"The terrorists who say they killed my husband may have taken his life, but they did not take his spirit. Danny is my life. They may have taken my life, but they did not take my spirit.

"I promise you that the terrorists did not defeat my husband no matter what they did to him, nor did they succeed in seizing his dignity or value as a human being. As his wife, I feel proud of Danny. I trust that our struggle will ultimately serve the greater purpose of resisting those evil people casting a shadow upon our world.

"This responsibility rests with each one of us no matter our age, our gender, our nationality, our religion. No individual alone will be able to fight terrorism. No state alone will be able to wage this battle. We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way.

"I think we are now all aware that terror is not a problem facing one country alone, not Pakistan, not the United States. It is the worldwide responsibility of governments and we as journalists, professionals of all kinds and human beings -- mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. We are all going to need courage and commitment. Let us inspire each other to goodness.

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.

"My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."

Like most rational, ordinary people without an overtly political agenda, Mrs. Pearl draws three conclusions:

1. Terrorism is evil, and her husband was a victim in body but never in mind or spirit.

2. Terrorism needs to be fought against, not just by the US, but by peoples, countries, and professions around the globe.

3. Terrorism's root causes must be addressed for the symptoms of terrorism to be treated successfully - the nations of the world need to work to alleviate the conditions that cause the mindset of terrorism, and simply trading blows with the terrorists won't help us in the long run.

In your article, snowlion, you claim that Yahoo rewrote her comments to fit a political agenda. You claim, on the front page of K5, that Mrs. Pearl said Point #3 while the newspapers rewrote her commentary to mean Points #1 & 2.

I've quoted 7 paragraphs from her statement; of the 7 paragraphs, the last 2 deal with Point #3. Nowhere does she not say that the terrorists do not need to be brought to justice; nowhere does she say that the current actions being taken against terrorism are wrong or misguided. The first 5 paragraphs, however, more than adequately back up my contention that Mrs. Pearl did mean to say Points #1 & 2.

Yahoo, at worst, is guilty of error by omission - at no point does Yahoo rewrite her words to mean something that she did not. But this article you submitted to K5 claimed (or claimed by implication) that Yahoo did, and that Mrs. Pearl did not mean Points #1 & 2, but Point #3. You ignore (at best) her own words to come to your own conclusion, if not twist them entirely.

Error by omission.

Interesting... isn't that what you find so wrong?

[ Parent ]
Yes; That is exactly it. (3.66 / 3) (#84)
by snowlion on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 03:52:18 PM EST

Yes; That is what I find so wrong here. Points 1 & 2 are really boilerplate material. Everyone knows them, they are just there to pay dues to people's understandable anger.

Point 3 is something many people do not want to hear. I have been called a traitor and told to leave the US for saying point 3. Many newspapers have omitted point 3, while feeding feelings of revenge by focusing on the 7 month unborn.

Yeah, that's wrong.

I did make a mistake by not seeing that point 2 was what they were paraphrasing; That was an honest mistake I made.

But I think that many newspapers have intentionally omitted point 3, and that they have used her body and unborn child and grief to promote the opposite of point 3- that is, to rouse people for revenge.

I don't think that my own "omission" is terribly grevious, given that everyone already knows points 1 & 2, and since I didn't omit it at all- I linked to the full article in my story. I didn't feel the need to put it in my aforemention reply either, since people had already been quoting the original paragraphs.

Rather, I was drawing emphasis to the final two paragraphs that people don't like, and newspapers don't like. Go to the seattle pi papers, and look through their stories on Pearl. So far, I have found not 1 story that acknowledges Mrs. Pearl's point 3, though many talk about her unborn child, quote a letter from Mr. Pearl's parents (angry, of course), and on an occasion or two (if I recall correctly), mention her points 1 or 2. But not 3. Oh, not 3. That wouldn't do.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Media Revision | 85 comments (70 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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