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Media and the War

By kpaul in Media
Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 12:48:33 PM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

Living in the United States and not having a satellite dish, I'm limited to watching television news that is broadcast from this country. I read a lot of foreign press on the Internet, though. Below are some of my observations on how the war is being covered so far from my vantage point in America. If all goes well, you'll chime in (especially those not in the U.S.) and share your thoughts on how the war is being covered in your part of the world.


All I had here was a Clear Channel owned, AM talk radio station out of Cincinnati, Ohio. They definitely backed the war against Iraq. The radio is frustrating to me, though, because I find myself wishing I could 'comment on' or moderate a caller's comment and can't do it. I basically just listen when I'm in the car on the way to or from work.


Editor and Publisher magazine has been watching a number of the larger U.S. dailies for a while, with most newspapers taking an anti-war stance editorially. As of March 17, they "found that 18 newspapers support war now while 24 want to give diplomacy more time. Seven did not editorialize on the war this week. The Boston Globe still has not made up its mind."

Unfortunately, the paper I work for is pushing for the war and supports it. Interesting conversation with the Editor about it today, though, one of the things I still enjoy about my job. But I digress.


One thing that struck me (not sure why now) was that NBC has a lot of outlets. I had a choice between NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC, each doing their own thing.

ABC dropped the ball. Not only were they one of the last TV news outlets to announce the official start of the war, I caught them once with a shot of Baghdad, obviously at night, around 11 p.m. or so EST (can't remember the exact time). In reality, the sun had already risen in Baghdad, with a few more cars driving down the street that happened to have a camera pointed at it.

That was another thing, I guess. I saw this lone car driving down some Baghdad street and wondered who it was. He was most likely watched by millions of people across the globe. I wondered about him (or her) personally. What they were thinking living there at that point in space and time? I have to imagine it would be different than the relative life of luxury I enjoy here in the U.S.

While I would say I'm probably middle-middle-class, even some of those a few tiers down from me enjoy more than some in Iraq (and countries like it) around the world. I try not to take it for granted, try not to lust after more material things.

Speaking of materialism, the commercials were noticeably absent. They're sliding back, though, at least on the networks. I saw a few flipping through the channels today, but they were for the most part still gone from the cable stations.

Fox News channel irritated me. For one thing, they run an uber ticker that takes up a third of the screen most of the time. Secondly, on that immense ticker, they kept running a line that said, "This is not the 'Shock and Awe' campaign," as if to say, don't be too disappointed, you ain't seen nothing yet. Or maybe I just read it the wrong way or the audience that usually watches Fox saw it another way.

CNN's man at the Pentagon, after listening to Ari Fleischer's one sentence announcement of the start of the 'disarmament of Iraq' was repeated as 'liberation of Iraq.' Aaron Brown back at HQ corrected him tactfully, though, and moved on.

Locally, our governor appeared on network television. He was noticeably shaking. Personally, I'm not very good at public speaking so I knew (to a point) what he was feeling. I don't know if it was the message he had to give or what, but he didn't set me at ease. His speech was almost counterproductive.

A day after the official start of the war, the cable news stations are starting to run a lot of coverage from their embedded journalists. The pictures are choppy, sometimes nearly useless in relaying information, but they're live and therefore used. Anchors from the studio talk and glance at the data coming in as reporters who travel with U.S. military forces report and try to stay objective.


Online, Drudge Report, Rense, Antiwar.com, Google News, and Debka.com are my current sources for a lot of the stories I find and read. I rarely go to just one or two sites (e.g. CNN.com or FoxNews.com) and pick them clean online. Rather, I go to sites that aggregate headlines and jump around that way.

Israel has warned a couple websites about publishing information before it was cleared with the Government. Chief Censor Rachel Dolev sent a letter to Rotter.net and Fresh.co.il. Unfortunately, neither of them have an English edition that I could find. Besides Debka (which I take with a couple grains of salt), I check out Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

I also occasionally peruse Times of India, The News International, and many other international sites. I like to get a wide range of ideas on whatever the situation might be. I've found that the truth usually lies somewhere in between the two poles of most conflicts.

Also on the Internet, I've signed up to a couple breaking news email alert systems. I get the ABC variant at my personal address, and another at my work email account. Not being in the newsroom and hearing the constant chatter of cable news in the background, it helps to let me know if anything major happens while I work on other things.

Sometimes, though, I think they go a little overboard, announcing smaller events. Interesting to see them evolve as a source of distributing news, though. It will probably play a larger role when wireless becomes more ubiquitous.

Eventually I find myself at a site like K5, discussing and participating rather than passively receiving the news. This, perhaps, is one of the best ways to get a real handle on the pulse of the current state of the world.


I want to close with something recently written by Stephen Glover at The Spectator:
Journalists, I know, are not greatly loved. But over the next few weeks, as you peruse your morning newspaper or watch the ten o'clock news, spare a thought for the reporter who at some risk to herself or himself is bringing you the news. It is a lonely business: all you have on the other end of the line is a foreign editor who may be out to lunch, and a deputy foreign editor who is on the telephone to the correspondent in Shanghai. It is dangerous, and you never quite know where the danger is coming from. Let's hope for every conceivable reason that Saddam's forces collapse like a pack of cards, and that there is no fighting in Baghdad. But as I write the handful of brave correspondents who remain there do not know what is going to happen.


I really want this to stick to how the media is covering the war and not have it degrade into a 'the war is right/wrong' debate. I'm sure I'll have things to add in the comments below if this story floats, and I hope to be able to see how other people perceive the situation. Preemptively, thanks for your cooperation.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Media coverage of the war?
o Good. 7%
o Not so good. 9%
o Terrible. 30%
o Depends on which war and which media. 44%
o No comment. 8%

Votes: 84
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o newspapers taking an anti-war stance
o last TV news outlets
o embedded journalists
o Drudge Report
o Rense
o Antiwar.co m
o Google News
o Debka.com
o warned a couple websites
o letter
o Rotter.net
o Fresh.co.i l
o Jerusalem Post
o Haaretz
o Times of India
o The News International
o written by Stephen Glover
o Also by kpaul

Display: Sort:
Media and the War | 99 comments (79 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
I checked out CBC... (none / 0) (#1)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 08:38:49 PM EST

And thought y'all would get a kick out of this... first suspended election (legal, though) of the war...

Also, it's hard to tell for sure, but CBC seems to be slanted against the war

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!

ack... election *race* was cancelled... (none / 0) (#2)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 08:39:50 PM EST

So no suspended election there...

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!

[ Parent ]
From what I've seen.. (none / 0) (#3)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 08:47:25 PM EST

..CBC is definitely slanted against GWB -- they have absolutely no problem with airing folks who don't like what he's doing, even if (IMO) their arguments are sometimes pretty thin (and I'm saying this as an anti-Bush person myself).

On the other hand, it does look like they're at least trying to present some balancing coverage as well, which is generally more than I can say for the American stations.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

[ Parent ]
Another interest thing on the CBC site... (none / 0) (#7)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 09:10:32 PM EST

Exiles from Iraq

Favourite Quote (about the Persian Gulf war in 1991) : "We took our clothes and our private things and we went to the basement of my parents. It is the area where they bombed the shelters and they burned them, hundreds of them, because it turns out that the American airplanes have the technology to bomb the air raid shelters."


Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!

[ Parent ]
Good mix in Canada (5.00 / 2) (#61)
by Pablito on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 04:49:17 PM EST

I must say that Canada gets all sides with (too) many choices.  We get all the same U.S. coverage, our own version of the same, and lots of coverage from outside.  Toronto is a news junkie's heaven on earth.

I'm ashamed of the likes of CNN mainly because they are viewed as authoritive, NOT.  No need to comment on Fox "Faux News".

CBC while being a bit left is more balanced.

BBC is one of the best.  Instead of the entertainment style "reality show" that most of the networks are running they summerize the news into a documentary style with everything in context.  I can wait a few hours to get it all at once with all the pieces in a nice package that tells the story.

I'm not interested in waiting on the couch for some flashy crap that happens to be live.  Tedious high tech low resolution live coverage of featureless desert just because it is live is just entertainment for most.

Seeing a proper video of the highlights later in the day is better information.  Those "Ohh and Awe" light shows didn't just happen in Bagdhdad.  Shit happened elsewhere and not always a pretty sight.

I want the straight news without so much bias or propaganda.  Commentary in a forum format is great too (CBC does some great forums).  When they put the two together with so many "experts" trying to tell me how to think and what will come next when they have no idea is painful.

You have to read four newspapers in this town to get two sides of the story.
[ Parent ]

CBC Newsworld (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Merc on Mon Mar 24, 2003 at 12:09:56 AM EST

I'm really impressed with how they've been covering things. Last night I was up way too late watching TV. On CNN they were obsessed with covering the first-ever live televised battle. The problem was that it was dead boring and content-free. All you could see was Marines lying down along the side of a road, and a few tanks milling about. When they thought there might be an explosion they'd even stop talking and aside from the ticker, bug and other various banners all you'd see is a still shot and no audio.

Meanwhile CBC newsworld was airing a documentary called "Generation of Hate". It was a documentary about Iraq and how they feel about the US and their own government. Being a news channel they'd also open a small "live" window whenever somewhat interesting things were happening in the battle, but they didn't stop the documentary.

CNN seems to fill dead time by rehashing old stories and having videophone interviews with random people with nothing to say; CBC Newsworld fills dead time with panel discussions on the war and call-in shows where people can ask the various experts questions.

While CBC Newsworld might carry a story 15 minutes later than CNN, I think everything else they're doing more than makes up for that.

[ Parent ]
ABC (none / 0) (#6)
by godix on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 09:09:35 PM EST

Last night after our 40 cruise missle assination attempt I thought I heard ABC call it a 'subtile' attack. I might be wrong, I wasn't paying close attention at that point and only caught the end of the comment. Can anyone else confirm/deny that ABC called 40 cruise missles 'subtile'?

Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Are you sure.. (none / 0) (#40)
by Kwil on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 01:17:57 PM EST

..you don't mean "subtle"?

I mean, I didn't watch the coverage, but I'm fairly sure they weren't talking about an attack from under the kitchen.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

[ Parent ]
Fairly sure (none / 0) (#48)
by godix on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:26:36 PM EST

It could have been from under the kitchen, Saddam would never expect it.

Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]
Same thing (none / 0) (#98)
by avery on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:39:15 PM EST


[ Parent ]
bbc (5.00 / 4) (#8)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 09:31:39 PM EST

bbc is a great source. not america-centric.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

sidenote (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by martingale on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 10:20:58 PM EST

Radio and television is realtime, whereas k5 is not. Sure discussions can develop quickly when proponents are simultaneously online, but most discussions aren't realtime. If radio was like this, it would be like CNN, and other 24 hour news channels, hearing the same discussion over and over with an extra sentence or two tacked on at the end every once in a while. Except that on the web, you don't need to read through the comments you've seen before. On radio, you'd have to sit through the whole discussion waiting for the end, to get the new stuff.

Took it out because ... (none / 0) (#11)
by kpaul on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 10:32:01 PM EST

it kinda seemed out of place. Originally I'd had a sidenote that wondered what K5 would be like as a radio talkshow...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
ABC apologizes... (none / 0) (#14)
by kpaul on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 12:45:07 AM EST

ABC, Caught Unprepared, Apologizes to Its Affiliates

2014 Halloween Costumes
BBC rules (5.00 / 5) (#23)
by fhotg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 03:44:24 AM EST

First of all, a very interesting topic. Now it's an opportunity to compare what and how is reported from different sources and draw conclusions. Not so much about "what's really happening", but about how the media works.

The best reporting I can get seems to come from the BBC (as usual). They are better informed than for example German sources I rely on and have a journalistic integrity as opposed to all US sources i can think of.

An example: Who else reported that a convoy of marines had to flee back to Kuwait when they faced stronger than expected Iraqi resistance short behind the border ? ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2871189.stm)

BBC's ok (4.50 / 2) (#24)
by drquick on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 04:05:22 AM EST

BBC is alright. Generally speaking British media are good. Except the Murdoch ones of course. However, in this war Britain is one of the fighting parties. BBC does a lot of supporting our troops bullshit. The news reporting is not quite objective even if there is a solid effort in that direction.

[ Parent ]
Better, not "best" (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by snupples on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:10:11 AM EST

I mostly agree with your sentiment. However, a Reuters article was on the nytimes.com website, albeit not on the front page.... http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-iraq-marines-halt.html

[ Parent ]
yep, Reuters good too (nt) (none / 0) (#35)
by fhotg on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:01:56 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Differences in media (5.00 / 4) (#26)
by otmar on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 05:57:05 AM EST

This is IMHO an important topic and could be discussed in different contexts as well. You've got my +1FP.

I'd like to draw attention to this article in the Washington Post. Quotes:

A rift now separates the United States and the world -- not just a diplomatic gap, but a perception gap. One sign of the sundering is the discrepancy in how journalists here and abroad have treated some recent stories. Repeatedly, unflattering aspects of America's foreign policy have gotten big play overseas while receiving fleeting comment or shrugs at home.


Finally, there's the case of the forged documents. In case you missed it, last week Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that the documents provided by the United States and Britain showing that Iraq bought uranium from Niger between 1999 and 2001 were, as he diplomatically phrased it, "not authentic." Irate cries overseas that U.S. and British leaders were doctoring evidence to make their case for war barely resonated here, where most journalists and readers accepted official claims that it was an innocent mistake.


+1 FP (none / 0) (#27)
by CmderTaco on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:51:54 AM EST

Anything about the war get +1 FP
'liberation' of iraq (4.14 / 7) (#28)
by karb on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:58:39 AM EST

We had much less reason to go into panama. We had 1989 technology, so, percentage-wise, collateral damage was much more than it will be in this war.

Furthermore, we didn't give the panamanians enough aid after the war, and there is still significant economic hardship there. I read an article in a san francisco paper about a journalist there. There is a girl who crippled and blinded herself jumping out of a building set afire from bombs targeted at noriega's house. She is a national figure, symbolic of the failures of the US invasion. Universally, the panamanians said the US didn't liberate the country correctly.

However, all of them were glad the US came (except perhaps the crippled blind girl). We tend to forget that it's just no fun living under a dictator. In five years there may not be too many iraqis who are particularly fond of the US. But I don't think there will be many who won't be glad we came.
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

A dictator is an employee who outlived his usefuln (5.00 / 4) (#37)
by glauber on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:15:45 AM EST

Well written. Reading this i almost forgot that it was the loving care of the US for the Panamanian people who put and kept Noriega in power.
glauber (PGP Key: 0x44CFAA9B)
[ Parent ]
That's irrelevant ... (2.00 / 2) (#39)
by karb on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:27:57 AM EST

First, the US also had supported Saddam, but it's questionable that neither saddam nor noriega would have come to power without US support. It's sometimes beneficial to provide money to seedy people in an attempt to keep them from becoming more seedy (north korea).

Furthermore, it's irrelevant, because even if the US was solely responsible for bringing Saddam into power, the right thing is still to remove him. In fact, if we're solely responsible, that makes it even _more_ urgent that we remove him. :)
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Yeah, after all it's our world...? (4.75 / 4) (#55)
by basse on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 05:05:12 AM EST

Would you please explain exactly how it comes that the U.S. has the right to meddle with governments all over the world, against the will of the UN? What would you want the world to do if somebody tried to remove the Bush government from power by force? Just applause it and cheer? And the situation is even worse in Iraq because it was U.S. foreign policy that but him there in the first place!

In current U.S. foreign policy there seems to be two sets of rules: one for U.S. and one for the rest. That is outright scary!

[ Parent ]

duplicity (none / 0) (#78)
by karb on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 12:21:52 PM EST

against the will of the UN

No resolution has passed the UN stating that what the US is doing is wrong. Even losing a vote on a resolution (and the resolution was withdrawn) Does Not Mean The UN Has Approved The Opposite. In fact, there are a number of resolutions that give the US the authority to do what they are doing right now.

What would you want the world to do if somebody tried to remove the Bush government from power by force? Just applause it and cheer?

There is a widely recognized difference between removing corrupt and murderous dictators from power and removing a popularly elected premier. If you do not recognize the difference you have problems with the foreign policies of more countries than just the US.

And the situation is even worse in Iraq because it was U.S. foreign policy that but him there in the first place!

US foreign policy backed Iraq because it feared the islamic fundamentalism of Iran. However, the Shah was not deposed until 1979, at which time Saddam had been recognized as the de facto premier of Iraq for two years. The US gave Saddam military assistance. The US did not put him in power, or even really strengthen his regime.

Furthermore, if the US _had_ put Saddam into power ... wouldn't they be that much more responsible for removing him?

In current U.S. foreign policy there seems to be two sets of rules: one for U.S. and one for the rest. That is outright scary!

Every country has two sets of rules, one for themselves, one for everybody else. All sovereign nations must act in their own self interest ... it's just that most of the time that means you listen to other countries.
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

I know it's fun playing God (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by decaf_dude on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 02:06:42 PM EST

But don't come crying to me when Devil rears his ugly head.


[ Parent ]
Mental association (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 07:25:49 AM EST

I cannot for my life figure why, but the instant I read your title my brain translated to 'The Hooker and the 1000-dollar-bill'.


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

Observations (4.80 / 5) (#30)
by loomingleaf on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 07:34:41 AM EST

I wonder how many governments around the world will be seeing the coming days/weeks/months as "good days for bad news" while the world's media are tunnel-visioned on the obvious conflict. In the UK, John Prescott intends to force striking firefighters into settlement with two arrows in his quiver: It has had relatively little news coverage and he can now state that their strikes are "extraordinary and unacceptable" because there is a war on. The US have sent around one thousand troops back into Afghanistan to raid towns and villages, also with little television coverage here. I believe that it is during these times when public opinion is distracted that governments will push through opposed/disputed issues and major news will simply be missed.

This morning there was a great example of how mixed up coverage can be even from the home front. I had just watched a B52 bomber taking off live on ITV. I switched to BBC as they finished a report, took up exactly the same live feed as ITV had had, but by now the second bomber was taking off and reported: "Here is the first B52 leaving for Iraq." Simply incorrect, and from the Beeb too. If they can't get it right when it's happening down the road, how many mix-ups must there be over thousands of miles and from the middle of a war?!

"It makes you wonder what you're putting on your hook when you keep catching the same fish."

in a bizarre state of affairs (none / 0) (#63)
by wumpus on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 06:25:56 PM EST

Bush is slipping his tax cuts through congress. Apparently, for the first time ever, US citizens have finally realize that they get to pay those bills eventually. Thus the subterfuge (usually they announce these things from the rooftops).


[ Parent ]

We Begin Combing in Five Minutes! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by kpaul on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:04:01 AM EST

The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.

The British network broadcast 1 minute and 37 seconds of presidential primping to hundreds of millions of viewers in 200 countries around the world (and locally on WETA, Channel 26) before Bush's formal address at 10:15 p.m. Yesterday the BBC's White House producer, Mark Orchard, profusely and repeatedly apologized to irked staffers for airing video of an "unauthorized" portion of the pool feed while Washington anchor Mishal Husain chatted up a colleague about the significance of the moment.

2014 Halloween Costumes
Smoking Gun has the feed (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by kpaul on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 03:37:08 PM EST

available here.

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
My sources (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by krek on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 11:26:32 AM EST

Most of the sites that I go to seems to be at least leaning soft anti-war to hard-anti-war, and for a bit of balance I go to a couple US news sites.

Here are the sites that I frequent:
CBC News
The Globe And Mail
BBC World News
AlterNet.org The Sydney Morning Herold
The Guardian
CNN World News
The New York Times
Fox News
The Beijing Review
Al Ahram Weekly
The Jerusalem Post
and FAIR

As for how news is being covered, I would say that everyone, on both sides and in the middle, is desperately trying to push their agenda, and stuff like ommissions, indirections, personal attacks and even outright lies have not, so far, been deemed 'unfair play'.

Disclaimers (none / 0) (#43)
by 8 out of 10 doctors on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 03:04:17 PM EST

"The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect those of the news papers themselves."

I don't care about accuracy I want spin :) (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by MajorMajor on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 04:01:05 PM EST

I have to say I think a large proportion of people tend to get their news from the sources they prefer. For example, if you're a lefty person you might read The Guardian, wheras conservatives tend to read The Telegraph and nazis read the Daily Mail (sorry, couldn't resist :)

Objectivity doesn't really matter too much as long as what's reported isn't an outright lie. I expect all papers to be economical with the truth, but I like to see things through my own pair of tinted spectacles. Reasoned, factual debate is boring and doesn't give the cut and dried results people like to hear. Far better instead to read what the other side does and then dismiss it as totally biased propaganda :)

Fox (none / 0) (#47)
by SleepDirt on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:26:18 PM EST

Fox news is just terrible... the stuff they run on their scrolls isn't being reported by anyone else and ends up being false half the time. They report as fact "Iraqi government crumbling from within" Um, says who? We have vauge suggestions from US government but nothing even close to fact.

It just pisses me off... they're so bias.

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson

Friends over enemies... (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by kpaul on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 06:41:51 PM EST

For the 8 p.m.-11 p.m. prime-time period, ABC's news coverage averaged 10.83 million total viewers, behind NBC's 13.65 million viewers for its mix of half-hour comedies and "Dateline." At 8 p.m., NBC's long-running hit comedy "Friends" drew nearly 4 million more viewers than ABC's news, even though it was a repeat episode.

It amazed me the other day, but after asking two people about the tractor guy in DC, they had no idea what I was talking about...

2014 Halloween Costumes
1 way media (none / 0) (#50)
by Nucleus on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 07:14:57 PM EST

The radio is frustrating to me, though, because I find myself wishing I could 'comment on' or moderate a caller's comment and can't do it.

I constantly want to mod down peoples comments on radio and TV... of course sometimes up, but mostly down ;-)

Socialism for needs, capitalism for wants

i wonder ... (none / 0) (#51)
by kpaul on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 07:47:02 PM EST

if you could somehow (in the near future) take a site like K5 and run it through a text to speech program and listen to the highest modded comments on your way to work.

you could have a special voice command to mod the comment after you listen to it, or even add your own comment. hmmm...

anyone know if it could be done with current satellite radio technology?

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Neat idea (1.00 / 1) (#62)
by Nucleus on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 05:42:07 PM EST

Maybe that could become an application of GNU Radio.

Socialism for needs, capitalism for wants
[ Parent ]

i voted FP but (none / 0) (#52)
by postindustrialist on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 07:49:12 PM EST

only because i want to see more discussin on the matter. i think that US media (and media in general) is a total disgrace to what it should be. it should be about delivering the unadulterated truth, regradless of the opinions either it or its superiors hold. i find alot of the times we're given something tha is watered down to the point where the news tells us nothing more than what we already know, ad as a jourtnalist, i find your searching through what other journalists say kinda unfavorable (but not apalling or to a degree of such) as to how you yourself, being in the industry, get your information.. whether for a story on the subject (which i doubt its for) or not...

i can only say this though, bush wasn't wanted as a president by popular vote in 2000 and ever since then he's only done more to make me, (and several others) look down upon him. i find our media has a trendency to play it safe on issues of the governemtn (either siding conservative or to the side of whomever has majority of positions in office) if the majority of the newspapers are now against him, there's gotta be something dead wrong here and if ya want, i'll race ya to the canadian border.

either that or we can start practicing "heil bush" :P
oooh.. looks likes somebody has anger problems.
question everything.
this sig is only one hundred and fifty characters long and it's still not eno

Hello, have you met me? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by RyoCokey on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 08:08:42 PM EST

either that or we can start practicing "heil bush" :P

Since you might need to be introduced to your new facist overlords, I'm what's commonly known as a Grammar Nazi. Your shift and/or caps lock key appears to be nonfunctional.

Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
-- Francis Schaeffer,
[ Parent ]
that they are.... (none / 0) (#88)
by postindustrialist on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 03:52:37 PM EST

and my period seems to stick....

oh well...



oooh.. looks likes somebody has anger problems.
question everything.
this sig is only one hundred and fifty characters long and it's still not eno
[ Parent ]

chiming in... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by opilio on Fri Mar 21, 2003 at 09:27:16 PM EST

I don't have a TV, and my own political bias (Green, basically) makes it unlikely I find pro-war positions advocated in the papers I prefer to read (taz, Le Monde Diplomatique, Süddeutsche Zeitung). Not that I would expect to find much of them elsewhere, since even the Christian Democrats (conservative) are divided on the issue. Almost all Bush supporters here are on the right wing, a rather silly exception being some extreme left wing nutcases who are opposed on principle to anything any German government supports.

For good measure, I just looked up the website of Germany's leading conservative daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German, in English), and I have to admit that right wing rag seems to present a pretty broad range of views. F.ex., one article I read was written by the director of the Aspen Institute at Berlin (oddly signed with "null", under the nifty title Kollateralgewinne (Collateral Gains)), while another one calls Donald Rumsfeld a "guerillero of unilateralism".

Mostly, I get my information from the radio stations I listen to in less troubled times as well. That's primarily the BBC World Service (surprise, surprise!) and the two branches of my favourite domestic broadcaster, DeutschlandRadio, which is the public radio company transmitting nationwide. For all practical purposes, you can regard them as the domestic analogue of Deutsche Welle (in English).

I wouldn't say the DeutschlandRadio journalists try to impose their own views on their listeners, but they don't hide the fact they have views, either. Appropriately, the Washington correspondent is, and always has been, the one the most sympathethic to the US government. Germany's answer to Alistair Cook, in a way, only younger :-)

As for the quality of reporting, I notice CNN and (US and other) government spokespersons get quoted quite a bit. The print media have been suffering from dwindling circulation for a long time now, with all the cutbacks on staff, market concentration, and loss of quality that entails.

All of this is of course not very interesting for a foreign audience, unless you happen to be specifically interested in a German perspective on world events, or in things going on here. It may be worth mentioning that there are at least two German TV correspondents (that I happen to know of) still in Iraq. (However, the site of the news programme they are working for in one case uses video footage from Baghdad adorned with the logos of CNN and Abu Dhabi TV.) It appears CNN has been told to leave yesterday (Friday).

A final note on noteworthy reasons for bad journalism other than malice or bias: I unfortunately can't find the article anymore, but I remember that a year or two ago a renowned DeutschlandRadio journalist lamented about the effects of financial restraints and ever handier equipment on the quality of reporting. TV stations cut back on permanent studios abroad. Instead, she said, you put a journalist and a technician onboard a plane in Frankfurt, and when they land in Sarajevo an hour or so later, you have a Balkans expert...

Und die Halme schrein, wenn du den Rasen mähst. -- Element of Crime, Mach das Licht aus, wenn du gehst

Iraqi Media (none / 0) (#56)
by kpaul on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 01:16:38 PM EST

BBC has an article regarding what the media in Iraq is sending out on television and radio.

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democracynow.org -- live from baghdad (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by turmeric on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 03:39:27 PM EST

www.democracynow.org the show on friday had an interview with an 'iraqi peace team' american who is in baghdad right now. it also had an interview with two iraqi young people.

there was also a segment from a few weeks back before the war, a 'dialog' between young people in iraq and young people in the us.

no its not perfect reporting. but you cannot deny the 'unique' perspective given by the people who show up on that program.

Nice (none / 0) (#69)
by mmealman on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 02:04:42 AM EST

Yeah, really un-biased.

I especially liked the celebatory news report where Saddam released a bunch of political prisoners.

Man, what a great guy. Sure he locks people up in prison for thinking the wrong thing and his son rapes little girls. But that's no reason for us evil Americans to kick him out of power...

What really cracks me up is the site is called "democracy now!" and yet they blast Bush for a war that will do more for democracy in Iraq in 12 weeks than 12 years of economic sanctions ever did.

[ Parent ]
la la la (none / 0) (#72)
by turmeric on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 07:54:23 AM EST

amy goodman was in east timor getting shot at by us armed & trained troops while you and your freedom loving buddies were chuggin brewskies before your final exams.

[ Parent ]
Clear Channel (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by Actifish on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 03:48:43 PM EST

Here's a Chicago Tribune article about Clear Channel's support of the war.

"Clear Channel radio stations in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Antonio, Cincinnati and other cities have sponsored [pro-war] rallies attended by up to 20,000 people.
Vivez sans temps mort!
CNN.com (none / 0) (#59)
by gmol on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 04:02:01 PM EST

I found the CNN coverage a little corparate...

The first time where I saw the change in the page


Why did CNN change their page formatting when the war started?  And why this partcular pseudo-newspaper-headline format? Is it to say that it bears more importance then the usual tech/world/entertainment news?  But they still have their ad banner up.  Further more, there are prominent (and enticing) links to video that you must pay to get into.

Now I am relatively sure that the gross revenue increase they get from people who paid to watch the videos isn't all that much...(?)....but it does come across somehow war profiting...

I also found the offer to see 3d models of the planes as somehow 'war fetishy'.

Bandwidth conservation (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by RyoCokey on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 08:04:26 PM EST

Lots less graphics to load, I believe. They dramatically altered it to almost nothing but text during the 9/11 tragedy.

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
You can watch BBC TV news online (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by chrisseaton on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 04:34:49 PM EST

You can watch the various BBC TV news outlets online at the BBC website.

It's encoded in Real and excellent quality. You can watch the latest morning, noon, afternoon and evening programmes, seperate pieces, or watch News 24 live.

Real (none / 0) (#67)
by bugmaster on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 01:26:13 AM EST

Is there a free, or at least cheap, version of RealPlayer that does not come with 20 different spamware programs ? It got to the point where I simply couldn't handle the deluge anymore, so I uninstalled it. But, I'd still like to watch the news...
[ Parent ]
Maybe SpybotSD could help? (none / 0) (#76)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 11:38:03 AM EST

Not sure about this (i.e. untested), but maybe SpybotSD can find the spyware and disable it. Or are you talking about what's built into Real Player?

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Built-in (none / 0) (#87)
by bugmaster on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 03:23:31 PM EST

Yeah, the stuff is mostly built-in. For example, there is a process called tkbell.exe (last time I checked) that runs in the background all the time and pops up ads in front of your face. You can disable it by deleting it from HKLM/.../run, but real will just reinstall it next time you play a video. And that's just one of the little gifts from RealMedia... there are oh so many more.
[ Parent ]
Be sure (none / 0) (#89)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 04:06:07 PM EST

to let me know if/when you ever find an alternative. Stuff like that just isn't cool. ;)

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Sites for News (none / 0) (#66)
by pfooosk on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 01:25:42 AM EST

You must be in range of an National Public Radio station; although they lean like everyone else, I find their news to be more factual. Their guests, "analysts" and "advisors" aren't generally any more respectable than the commercial houses, but they do offer call in on some programs. They are far better than CNN or FOX News.

Otherwise, it's like you said... Go around digging for opposing views and try to filter and reconcile for the facts. I find that sites that offer up video reports are nice, but these reports are understandably brief and usually lack real depth.

Sites that have info:
www.wbur.org (live broadcasts of NPR shows)
www.economist.com (pay site, some free content, well worth it, good analysis)
winmedia.ish.de/al-jazeera (good video, but in Arabic)

I've been watching the Al-Jazeera feed and listening to NPR on my laptop along-side the CNN, Fox and BBC America broadcasts, and I find that once I glean enough from all, I come up with a decent idea of what's going on. (How's that for multitasking ?)

What's worrisome are those who only have access to one or two local news sites. From what I can tell, US networks are very biased in support of the Administration. Others are clearly much more 'macro' in their views...

pfooosk, inc.
Media Bias (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by Timandra on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 01:47:22 AM EST

There has been a lot of talk recently about American media bias, especially from so called embedded journalists. On Friday, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) published an excellent report, suggesting many things which I think a lot of people know namely that CNN, NBC ABC etc are promoting the US government?s stance. Well worth the reading!

Incidentally, if you're looking for good coverage, which is for the most part fair try CBC


TV should be like the Internet (none / 0) (#70)
by hymie on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 02:32:59 AM EST

So FAIR is complaining that 75% of the people interviewed on TV were officilas and former officials, thereby excluding "grassroots" commentators. See, what would be much better would be to let every Bozo in the world have his say. Sort of like K5. It's so unfair that they only interview people who are presumed to know something. Have liberals just gone completely insane?

[ Parent ]
Remember the 'experts' during the DC sniper thing? (none / 0) (#74)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 11:33:03 AM EST

Average 'joe on the street' type of views are very, very relevant, imho. The paper I work for has recently started doing them - mugshot and what they think about a certain subject.

A lot of the time, an average citizen has more relevant things to say about a situation then so called 'experts.' Or, if nothing else, a refreshing view on things...

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
The people who know (none / 0) (#80)
by Znork on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 01:26:20 PM EST

If you really believe that you're going to be very susceptible to propaganda. They only interview people who are presumed to know something, but not only that, they only interview people who are presumed to know something _who support the official position_.

For all we know, CIA and other government analysts could be deeply opposed to the war being a good idea, but the internal opposition isnt very likely to be in front of the cameras. It would be career suicide not to mention the risk of actual imprisonment for violating security.

The only thing we get out of official channels is the official view and whatever evidence the people who are presumed to know something can come up with to support that position. The material that does not support that position, even if it were massively larger in quantity, will not be aired to the public. Those who do not feel confident in the official position are not the ones holding the press conferences.

And considering the rather shaky support that has been produced on order, I suspect there are rather deep rifts within the various departments.

[ Parent ]

This is what I heard on US Media bias.. (none / 0) (#75)
by bobzibub on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 11:33:10 AM EST

Of course they "rally behind the troops" during war, but before that..

To get invited to Rumsfield's or Fleisher's or any major government's news conferences, etc. is a big deal for media companies, and all other journalists.  There is not enough room for everyone.  So if someone asks questions that are too pressing, they just might not get that invite next time.  For news outlet, this is a very big deal and a potentially huge loss of revenue.  The US government is a monopolist source right now.

So media cow tow and never ask questions that may embarrass the administration.


[ Parent ]

American Media Sins of Omission (5.00 / 4) (#71)
by slur on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 05:17:54 AM EST

It really began to stick in my craw (whatever that is) when the American Media almost universally ignored the embarassing story that the very British Intelligence report cited by Colin Powell in his "shocking" presentation to the UNSC had been largely plagiarized from a 10-year-old paper written by a graduate student.

This and other omissions have led me to the belief that the media has learned that outright lies are best left to Conservative politicians, and that they can do their part just as well by simply omitting facts that might lead to popular dissent. The media doesn't require a political bias to be a war monger: The promise of increased sales and viewership is justification enough for the media to promote war. Of course that's just Hearst 101.

Read more about media bias at these links:

On War / Media Critics:

On Protest Reporting

Media Lens!

| slur was here

(more) media omissions or mixups... (none / 0) (#73)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 11:29:55 AM EST

Via The Memory Hole:
When Bush gave his second prime-time press conference in two years (on 6 March 2003), in a flustered moment, he admitted that the production was "scripted." But in transcripts of the event, all media outlets, except one, have changed or removed that embarassing moment.

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Survivor: Iraq [The Reality Show] (4.50 / 2) (#77)
by Eric Green on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 12:15:45 PM EST

It seems to me that the U.S. press is playing up the whole thing as just some high-tech reality show, where, at the end of the day, the director yells "CUT!" and all the folks who were "voted off the island" rise up from their shallow graves and get together for martinis and canapes.

Strangely enough, at yesterday's Pentagon briefing it was a PENTAGON spokesperson who gently rebuked journalists for that. A journalist asked a question about when were we going to do a spectacular attack like had been promised, and she replied along the lines that war was not a video game, war was not an entertainment, and that what qualifies as awe-inspiring force in the context of war is not a fireworks display but a display of intelligence and accuracy.

Unfortunately, it appears that our U.S. press continues to play up the notion that war is just another "reality" show, rather than a serious affair where people die. I noticed this phenomenon during Gulf War 1 also, with all the bomb camera footage etc. But, as William Tecumseh Sherman put it so bluntly, war is hell (and if anybody would know that, he would). Our men and women in uniform know it. No matter how gung-ho they are, I know of no true warrior who would start a war unless it was absolutely necessary, because they understand the true nature of war. Our politicians have decided, for whatever reason (whether you believe the official reason or the "it's about the oil" reason shouted by the protesters) to go to war. It behooves us to treat this with the somberness and seriousness that is warranted, for the efforts of our men and women in uniform is not a video game, and is not just "Survivor: Iraq" writ bold, and we demean our men and women in uniform when we treat war like a game.
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...

Online Broadcast linkage (none / 0) (#79)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 01:02:57 PM EST

Fairly comprehensive source of audio and video feeds here...

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Free Reuters Raw Video Feeds (5.00 / 1) (#81)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 02:06:59 PM EST

Available here. (Wouldn't work in Mozilla, but worth firing up IE for...)

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that... (none / 0) (#82)
by Run4YourLives on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 02:48:30 PM EST

is some amazing footage

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
shooting the river... (none / 0) (#83)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 02:56:25 PM EST

that was interesting footage.

i wish more was available through this - a more complete picture of everything going on...

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
turkish proposal (none / 0) (#84)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 03:02:04 PM EST

This was an interesting one too - troops getting into buses. Couldn't understand what the by standers were saying, though.

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Newsroom Attention Deficit Disorder (none / 0) (#85)
by avdi on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 03:04:21 PM EST

My very subjective impression of radio and TV coverage over the last few days is that of an unprecedented amount of live information available, and of news anchors that don't know what to do with it.  I keep watching and listening to front-line reports, interviews, where the anchor inevitably cuts in after a few seconds to move on to blab out yet another repetition of the current news summary or to some irrelevent interview from with a farmer in BF Iowa about how he feels about the war.  It's like the news agencies are so used to having too little to work with that they are trying to insert gobs of filler material even while there are real stories to be told. They seem to be compelled to cut off every report at sound bite size, no matter how interesting.

Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
American Media... (none / 0) (#86)
by Run4YourLives on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 03:08:07 PM EST

As a Canadian, I get a lot of American media, from local Seatle stations, to CNN and others.

I also get other news from CBC and BBC in the same frequency.

The bias in american media is astounding!

At any time, American media reports pro-American news. Just last night, NBC's "headline bar" continued to flash the Basra had fallen into US hands, even while a reporter explained that UK/US troops were not planning on entering the city!

The BBC has been reporting "stiff" resistance from the Iraquis, while US media outlets report massive surrenders. What gives?

Most unfortunately, CNN has even admitted it won't show anything that will "offend" it's viewers. That's crap, IMO. They aren't sopposed to "support" a war, they're supposed to report the facts about it.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

Alternate New Sources (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by QuantumEvent on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 04:54:20 PM EST

The question I have been pondering lately is "what is true in the media?".

Independant Media Center Several links into bio-regional areas as well. International in scope.

D.R.O.P. Distributed Radio Open Project

Guerrilla News Network

Radio Internet Story Exchange

From The Wilderness Publications on the web

KEXP::Mind Over Matters

WPKN::Between The Lines

Center for Global Reseach

another indie source (none / 0) (#91)
by kpaul on Sun Mar 23, 2003 at 09:46:44 PM EST

Although it seems to be down a lot, War in Iraq has interesting info. It's supposedly run by Russian journalists and military experts...

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coverage of rallies was interesting (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by ethereal on Mon Mar 24, 2003 at 05:01:54 PM EST

I don't know if this is a trend, or not, because frankly I haven't watched a lot of TV coverage of the hostilities and attendent protests. So take this for what it's worth:

MSNBC takes 20 minutes or so to show the two faces of protest in the U.S. First they show a highway in Clarksville, TN, near a military base. Everybody's out, waving flags, sun is shining, cars honking as they go by, small children running around, and local yokels send one out to their relatives who are in the military. Everything's light, sunny, and patriotic. The reporter talks up a number of local quirky folks with cheerful, patriotic thoughts and red, white, and blue headgear.

Contrast this with the immediately following footage of an anti-war march in Washington DC the same day: riot police and barricades out in force, huge, somber crowd streaming along with signs but not making a huge amount of noise or apparently having fun. All footage is shot from overhead or a high vantage point, rather than "man on the street", making the attendees look like ants or some sort of undifferentiated horde, rather than individual people. No individuals are interviewed, and the man on the scene makes unsupported comments about the proceedings from offscreen, so in fact no real human presence is involved in the coverage at all.

Granted, an anti-war rally is going to have more of a somber atmosphere than a "yeah troops!" rally, but the difference in how the two were covered really struck me. The pro-troops rally, with probably 1/10th of the attendees or less, received about twice the airtime (mostly due to man-on-the-street interviews). The riot police were an oppressive reminder that the anti-war crod were Not Welcome, even though they were behaving well, but in Tennessee, all the local kids were playing on the shoulder of a major highway with traffic, without a policeman in sight to keep them safe.

It was pretty clear from the MSNBC perspective who were just normal folks out celebrating the USA, and who were a dangerous crowd of subversives who Bear Watching. Or maybe I'm reading too much into a few minutes of tape, I don't know. But that 20 minutes definitely was not an unbiased portrayal of rallies in the U.S.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

US vs non US media coverage. (none / 0) (#94)
by smog on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 12:13:07 AM EST

Is the filtering in the US really as much as is suggested in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Do the US people really want a sanitised and entertainment view of what is going on, or the truth ?

The coverage from Portugal.. (none / 0) (#95)
by Endaemon on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 01:32:15 AM EST

The media here tries to be imparcial about it... local TV doesnt supresses the "bad stuff", and it displays both the pro-war people and the against-war.

Either way, public opinion tends to be against the war all over europe.

Other than several local magazines/tv/radio sites in my native tongue, the international news sources I check regularly regarding the subject are:

Yahoo News(wich features assorted news from AP, Reuters, New York Times among others)
BBC online

I avoid watching CNN, prefering BBC, ever since the first started selling biased info.
As for FOX news.. its a blatant brainwashing tool. Its good for laughing at, as whitehouse.org is, and almost as reliable.

I also check newamericancentury.org to see what the neocons in america are up to from time to time, and veteransforcommonsense.org when my opinion about american mainstream folks starts to get dangerously low.

BBC somewhat biased: under fire from local news (none / 0) (#97)
by Endaemon on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:08:26 AM EST

Truthout posted an article from a local UK newspaper regarding BBC own bias :)


[ Parent ]

There are some (none / 0) (#96)
by jope on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 06:55:20 AM EST

There is good coverage of the war, even in the US. Read the New York Times and The International Herald Tribune. From Europe, I recommend El Pais www.elpais.es (no more free online version, unfortunately), Die Süddeutsche www.sueddeutsche.de, and Le Monde www.lemonde.fr. Forget mainstream TV like CNN or Al-Jazeera, it is pure propaganda.

American media is a bit fearful of the war (none / 0) (#99)
by Drift Reality on Wed Jun 18, 2003 at 09:56:08 AM EST

I recently spoke with a producer and a DC based news organization and was told that, "the American media (conventional media) is wary of crossing the Bush administration because of their 'with us or against us' stance." I think many mainstream news outlets are fearful of criticizing the Bush administration's decisions and this has really tainted coverage of the war.

Media and the War | 99 comments (79 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
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