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DaveGate

By felixrayman in Op-Ed
Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 06:43:12 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

It started out innocently enough. Last Monday, David Letterman, a late-night talk show host with a penchant for sharp humor, aired a clip of President Bush giving a speech in Orlando, Florida. Introduced under the title "George W. Bush Invigorates America's Youth", the video clip showed an obviously bored and exhausted young man attempting to stay awake during a Bush speech. The young man yawns repeatedly, checks his watch, twists his head, and ends up with his hands on his knees trying to stay upright and conscious during the speech.

A very amusing clip. Laugh out loud funny as anyone who has seen it will probably agree.

After that, things start to get very strange.


The next day, CNN picked up the clip and showed it on one of its broadcasts, as CNN sometimes does with late-night comedy clips. Coming back from a commercial break after showing the clip, CNN announcer Daryn Kagan claimed that, "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting". Later in the day, CNN changed it's story a bit as another CNN anchor claimed that, "We're told that the kid was there at that event, but not necessarily standing behind the president".

On Tuesday night's Late Night broadcast Letterman summarily dismissed both claims. Letterman called the assertions that the videotape had been doctored "An out-and-out, 100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there and he absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape". His statement is described in the press as a "rant", which apparently is press-speak for "claiming that something that happened is true in the face of false CNN denials".

The next day CNN admitted the tape was real, and said that its statements to the contrary were due to "a misunderstanding among our staff". On Thursday, CNN apologized on air to Letterman for suggesting that the tape was altered. Letterman claimed that it was the first time in the long history of his show that someone else had ever apologized to him.

On tonight's broadcast, Letterman gave his theory of what had happened. "I'm pretty sure the White House contacted CNN", he said. Dave's theory tonight was that the big-money contributors to the Republican Party had reacted to his clip and asked the White House to put pressure on CNN. Friday's Late Show will feature as a guest the bored kid who started the whole brouhaha. His parents seem to be pretty amused by the whole thing, and claim the young man was sleepy due to staying up late the night before the speech.

The sequence of events leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth to tell the truth. Do CNN anchors hallucinate calls from the White House? Or do CNN journalists report such calls without the most basic fact checking? What the hell happened here? On Fox News you expect this stuff but on CNN? Does anyone still believe in the So-Called Liberal Media? It may seem to you like a petty matter but it isn't. It's like a Phillip K. Dick novel where what you thought was reality slips away and you don't know who to believe anymore. Or as the CBS web site suggests, "Perhaps the White House truly believes the kid wasn't there due to faulty intelligence".

A final note to CNN and the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. Trust me on this one, he's simply more believable than you are.

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DaveGate | 138 comments (125 topical, 13 editorial, 4 hidden)
What most likely happened (2.74 / 31) (#1)
by epepke on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 04:50:01 AM EST

I've said it elsewhere, and I'll say it here. What most likely happened was this.

  1. Bush gives an hour-long speech at a fundraiser with some snot-nosed kid in the background.
  2. Over the course of an hour, the kid makes a few "bored" gestures.
  3. The Letterman staff edits it down into a minute-long bit.
  4. CNN picks it up.
  5. Some underpaid joker at the White House does call CNN, which they probably do every time Bush appears in any context whatsoever. In this conversation, said joker points out that the video was edited.
  6. This goes through a succession of lackeys who distort the message according to the normal procedure of the game "Telephone," and "edited" gets changed to "edited in."
  7. The announcer recieves a note scrawled on a piece of paper and turns it into reasonable-sounding language.

This should really surprise nobody with any experience with a) CNN, b) government jobs, or c) lackeys.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


CNN is most likely lying? (2.36 / 11) (#2)
by felixrayman on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 05:03:07 AM EST

Which would mean CNN are bald-faced liars - they now claim the call from the White House never happened. If you had an admission from CNN that something like what you described happened that's one thing. But according to your scenario, CNN is completely 100% knowingly lying about what happened - they (now) point blank say there was no White House call, not that there was a misinterpreted call.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
They are bald-faced liars, no matter what happened (3.00 / 8) (#11)
by atomicokc on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 11:28:48 AM EST

Either they lied when they said the white house called, or they lied when they said they didn't call... Either way, their credibility is shot...

[ Parent ]
Credibility? (none / 1) (#112)
by Merc on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 12:28:23 PM EST

When, exactly, was the last time CNN had credibility?

The most they have from me is a belief that if they say "a plane crashed" then a plane crashed somewhere. I won't trust them on any finer details than that, however, like the airline, the flight number, the reason it went down, or anything else.

I'm not saying there's a source I trust more, however. It's just that they get those sorts of facts so wrong, so often, that there's no point in even listening.

This is exactly why so many people think that the late night comedy shows are good sources of news. You still get the same news "a plane crashed", with slightly funny fluff surrounding it.



[ Parent ]
Sure (2.50 / 8) (#28)
by epepke on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 05:09:32 AM EST

Which would mean CNN are bald-faced liars - they now claim the call from the White House never happened.

Um, are we surprised or something? Have we perhaps not noticed anything from CNN for two fucking decades?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Welcome back [n/t] (none / 0) (#20)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 04:48:41 PM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
It's only when I get bored elsewhere [n/t] (none / 0) (#29)
by epepke on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 05:10:38 AM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i don't know but (none / 3) (#49)
by nimms on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 09:28:58 PM EST

this kind of story seems to come up every second week where the bush administration is trying to hide something or explain a statement they made a year ago that has turned out to be false etc. After a while it gets hard to blame some underpaid joker for yet another white house blunder..

[ Parent ]
Blame, shmame (none / 2) (#52)
by epepke on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 10:42:55 PM EST

I have no interest in blame. I'm just describing what seems to me by far the most likely sequence of events. I think it likely that a low organization did call CNN, and that it happens all the time, but in this case a sarcastic performer made an issue about it, which elevated the case, and for damage control they claimed that no call had been made. I suspect also that whoever did call CNN has been fired and probably is going to have his and/or her life ruined.

What gets me is that people seem to be so astonished that CNN and/or the White House could ever possibly lie.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Snot nosed kid? (none / 1) (#94)
by firefox on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 07:14:28 PM EST

Showing your bias there.

[ Parent ]
This isn't the creepiest part... (2.31 / 16) (#4)
by wrinkledshirt on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 06:23:39 AM EST

Okay, work with me on this timeline. I've seen the episodes and I'm having trouble reconciling a few facts.

Episode 1: Letterman airs bored kid tape.
Episode 2: Letterman airs two comments from CNN, and gets a call mid-show that the anchors misspoke.
Episode 3: Matter is cleared up, White House did call.

The part that gets me is that David Letterman isn't broadcast live. It's taped that day and then aired later on. How is it that CNN knew what Letterman was going to air, and had the initiative to phone in any comment during Letterman's taping of the show?

I guess it's easily explainable. Letterman's staff tips CNN off that it's going to use some of its segments in a show, and CNN, knowing that they're going to be busted on something, sends an ambiguous message to Letterman that the commentator misspoke, without being specific about what actually was misspoken.

On the other hand, though, I find it really creepy that CNN doesn't have the guts to get its news right in the first place, and instead has to go about this is in a roundabout fashion to try to maintain some credibility.

I COMPLETELY agree with the author of this article when he points this out as an example of the mythical nature of the liberal media. A so-called liberal media would have been all over this, not broadcasting White House responses to it. And CNN wouldn't have had to worry about its own credibility if had they not parroted White House knee-jerk responses.

And if they'd parrot this, what else would they parrot?

Except - the white house didn't respond... (2.22 / 9) (#10)
by atomicokc on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 11:26:30 AM EST

From the article.... "The truth was: The White House never complained, and the footage was real. " But hey, why read the article, or use facts? Let's just post half truths, because, you know, it's cool and "in" to attack GWB and the white house, and let's all do the mind group thing, and not think for ourselves...

[ Parent ]
Truth (2.00 / 8) (#37)
by marx on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 03:17:40 PM EST

What do you mean: "The truth was"? Do you mean that as soon as someone says: "the truth is x", then x must be true? The truth is, you're a pedophile. Now it's true, there's nothing you can do about it.

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

Dipshit (1.20 / 10) (#48)
by atomicokc on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 08:21:10 PM EST

I didn't use the word "truth". The article did. If you trust the article at all, you have to trust all of it. Otherwise, why even have a link to it. But hey, let's be selective, you ignorant ass...

[ Parent ]
Some people and organizations.... (none / 2) (#62)
by bjlhct on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 03:39:32 AM EST

know more about some things than others. You, for, example, probably know a fair amount about something - just not media.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
That isn't true at all. (none / 3) (#81)
by cburke on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:51:53 PM EST

If you trust the article at all, you have to trust all of it.

That simply isn't true.  You don't "have" to trust all of it in exactly the same way the author doesn't "have" to tell only the truth or only lies.

The source for the article's statement that you quote is CNN.  CNN, the ones who first claimed that the White House had called, then retracted that by saying "the anchorwoman misspoke."  How do you "misspeak" in such a way as to fabricate a non-existant call from the White House?  So when the author of your article writes "The truth was:" he is simply passing on the latest word from CNN, whose grasp on "truth" is the very issue in question.

You have to each statement in an article on its own.  

[ Parent ]

one thing (2.28 / 7) (#5)
by karb on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 07:06:17 AM EST

Remember when someone in the bush administration said something, and then after public outcry took it back?

Neither do I (except for that one economist). This white house is very disciplined.

Anyway, the bored kid might be damaging to Al Gore, but not to GWB. He's definitely not going to lose any votes because people think he's boring.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

Ummmm ... yes (3.00 / 7) (#22)
by Woundweavr on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 08:15:48 PM EST

From just two weeks ago. Not, perhaps, in "the face of public outcry" but in the face of conflicting facts. Thats just one issue.

I'm not a mindless Bush attacker (I do think the administration is a Bad Thing) but you can't really call his group consistant.

[ Parent ]

Er (2.50 / 10) (#38)
by marx on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 03:27:27 PM EST

How about the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION? How could you miss that?

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

and don't forget.. (none / 3) (#102)
by CoolSpot on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 01:07:11 AM EST

He gassed his own people started an ILLEGAL WAR!

[ Parent ]
Remember? (none / 0) (#107)
by fn0rd on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 09:10:52 AM EST

Must be nice to have such selective memory. Or perhaps you never heard that Condi was not supposed to testify in front of the 9/11 comission, and now whe is. And that's just last week.

Lay off the crack.

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

DId the white house call ? (1.66 / 6) (#6)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 09:53:08 AM EST

In the last sentence, you imply that it is the whitehouse that had suggested the clip was a fake, but your links disputes this. Letterman's speculation aside, The links suggest the Whitehouse did not call CNN. It is more likely that CNN is trying to instigate a media conflict, between the Whitehouse, and Letterman. -1 unless you change to a clear reporting of the facts



CNN said that (none / 3) (#7)
by marx on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 10:05:21 AM EST

But then CNN host Daryn Kagan added: "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting."

Later, during CNN's "Live From ...," anchor Kyra Phillips reran the tape but cautioned viewers: "We're told that the kid was there at that event, but not necessarily standing behind the president."

You'd better have some facts backing up:
It is more likely that CNN is trying to instigate a media conflict, between the Whitehouse, and Letterman.
Where are those facts?

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

Did you read the links ? (none / 1) (#8)
by minerboy on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 10:52:15 AM EST

Generally, you should read the links posted with a story. From here - "CNN ran the clip Tuesday, but anchors said the White House told the network that the boy had been edited into the video. In reality, the White House never said that, and the tape had not been altered. CNN called Letterman's headquarters to fess up." - now admit you were wrong, it will make my day.



[ Parent ]
Don't be stupid (2.70 / 10) (#12)
by marx on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 12:11:36 PM EST

Yes, I did.
In reality, the White House never said that
What do you you (or they) mean "in reality"? Is there suddenly now some reality recorder which you can go back to and confirm a story?

What has happened is that CNN has changed their story. First they say that the White House claims the boy is edited in. Now they say that the White House never claimed such a thing.

One (or both) of the CNN statements are incorrect or lies. You want to believe the second one is correct. What do you base this belief on?

I find it very implausible that CNN would accidentally say that the White House claims that a video is a forgery. If the White House never contacted CNN about this story in the first place, then why did CNN dream that up? And if the White House did contact CNN about this, then why is CNN now saying they didn't?

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

Who knows? (none / 2) (#9)
by felixrayman on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 11:01:25 AM EST

The links suggest one of two things.
  1. White House called CNN to falsely claim that the video was edited, broadcast the claim with no fact checking, and later lied when saying that the announcer had "misspoken".
  2. CNN hallucinated a call from the White House or reported someone else's report of a call from the White House again with no fact checking whatsoever.


Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
How to find the Liberal Bias In The Media. (2.42 / 14) (#13)
by Kasreyn on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 01:57:26 PM EST

Well, take the third left over there and go through the gates. Watch out for groundskeeper Bernie, he's creepy! Anyway, you want to take the third right and park about 200 feet along. Climb the hill with the tall pines (you'll know the one) and it's 5 to the east from the big mausoleum.

Feel free to leave flowers, but no real ones, please, just plastic. Bernie goes berserk if he has to clean up wilted dead flowers too.


-Kasreyn

P.S. More evidence of the stupidity of BushCo. If they hadn't said anything, it would have simply gone away in a day or two and no one would have remembered come November, so why would they overreact like this?


"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.
CNN sucks (2.64 / 25) (#18)
by Blarney on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 04:10:39 PM EST

CNN is a shitty source of news. Their problem is that they're far too highly vested into relationships with their sources to ever report honestly, for fear of having their inside information curtailed.

Compare, for example, the National Geographic coverage of Saddam-era Iraq with the CNN equivalent. CNN portrayed a mighty foe, and would cheerfully broadcast footage of a small number of troops marching in a circle as if it was a serious statement of military might. National Geographic didn't bother reporting Saddam's delusions - they don't need to. They won't send another reporter for maybe 20, maybe 30 years. But if CNN pissed Saddam off, they'd be out of Iraq and perhaps their local guides would be tortured to death. See how CNN ends up being Saddam's tool! And they actually apologized for this AFTER Gulf War II when it no longer mattered - but anyone who bothered to read other news sources would have noticed this anyway.

Similarly, CNN is not going to report anything that could cause them to lose their White House access. This means that they will be tempted to just take orders from the Administration on what the news is and how it should be presented.

Any big news organization is going to get too cozy with their sources to really be useful - they will end up in no position to speak truth to power. And worse, they'll outcompete smaller news organizations - because the small sources don't have the same audience - and because the small sources won't get press access to the same degree because they can't be easily controlled.

Now throw in a useless bunch of lying rhetoricians like today's Republicans telling CNN what to say, in a completely inconsistent and nonsensical manner, and you get stuff like this.

+1 delusional (1.25 / 4) (#40)
by DominantParadigm on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 06:21:53 PM EST



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


[ Parent ]
I saw the pics (1.12 / 16) (#26)
by NaCh0 on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 11:40:22 PM EST

And they only reinforce the idea that you shouldn't trust fat people...kids included.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
+1FP: CNN sucks, thanks for not linking 'em -n/t (1.07 / 13) (#31)
by Azmeen on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 08:53:46 AM EST




HTNet | Blings.info
Maybe he can get GWB on the show. (1.23 / 17) (#32)
by Little Surfer Girl on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 08:58:01 AM EST

I haven't seen an episode with Stupid Pet Tricks in a while, and a talking dog would be pretty interesting.
-- Don't criticize Ronald Regan, or your K5 account will get zapped, too.
It's been done (none / 0) (#103)
by fenix down on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 01:10:50 AM EST

And considering he used the staff's clothes to clean his glasses I doubt they'd invite him back.

[ Parent ]
Spin is America's #1 Export (2.85 / 14) (#35)
by Peahippo on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 12:01:16 PM EST

Here's one thing you learn from watching the elite: they hate being ridiculed. They see themselves as superior forms of life and not worthly of disrespect or mediocrity.*

Which is why no matter what happens, the House of Whiteness will get on the horn to whatever media outlet is responsible for disseminating such parodies, and will either squash or discredit the event.

* Which in itself is a very disrespectful and mediocre way to live.


On the other hand (none / 1) (#93)
by Ralp on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 07:12:11 PM EST

On the other hand, I love being ridiculed and I'm sure you do too.  That's what makes us different!  Right?

[ Parent ]
It Depends ... (none / 0) (#95)
by Peahippo on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 07:50:05 PM EST

... on the reason why you don't like to be ridiculed. Is that so since you labor under the assumption that are truly a superior Human breed and your every effort is for the advancement of all Mankind?

And do you respond to ridicule by abuses of power and denial of rights?

I would be very interested in your answers.


[ Parent ]
Super Human What? (none / 0) (#136)
by ThanatosNL on Sat Apr 10, 2004 at 01:39:17 AM EST

I know it's en vogue to dislike our rulers, but from what data do you draw this conclusion?

Granted, many times members of the Bush administration have cited both executive privelege and national security as reasons that naturally give rights to the White House that citizens do not have. This is a far cry from claiming that they think that the current crop of rulers belong to a super breed of humans; it's more of a claim that our rulers have super-human responsibilities.

I am an opponent of the Bush administration in general, but this seems like a completely baseless attack. Though if there were some real evidence here, I wouldn't be totally dismissive.

The best thing you can do for your government is criticize it.
[ Parent ]

Ridicule (none / 0) (#105)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 05:00:35 AM EST

Just because we don't agree doesn't mean that you have to insult the majority of web editors and readers. ;-P

I don't know.  I hate baseless ridicule.  If, however, I realize that I deserve it... well, it might be uncomfortable at the moment, but I deserved it.  So no, I don't hate to be ridiculed.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

CNN and psyops (2.85 / 7) (#41)
by danharan on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 06:41:00 PM EST

CNN once allowed government propaganda experts to work for them. (FAIR: original article and follow-up)

Given this, it doesn't seem extraordinary to me that they would subserviently say whatever the White House wants us to deem true. I even suspect that the White House need not call them.

The kid should be thankful (none / 3) (#43)
by xmedar on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 07:24:06 PM EST

He could have ended up in Gitmo, on an unrelated note I have this image of Bush turning to the kid and in a Joe Pesci Goodfellas moment, saying "Do I bore you? Am I dull, like a lying murdering sociopath in a nice suit?"

[ Parent ]
Just curious, but (2.22 / 9) (#42)
by virtualjay222 on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 07:21:22 PM EST

What does everyone think about the NY Times publishing the rather gruesome picture of charred bodies hanging from a bridge on their frontpage. I understand that it's news, but I have to question their rational for publishing it on the front page - it seems to have only incited anger (though that reaction is justified).

I understand that actual footage from the incident was shown on European news programs. To tie this back to the thread - what is the primary responsibility of the media today?

Reactions?

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


Bitter Irony (2.60 / 5) (#45)
by cribcage on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 07:39:14 PM EST

I find the situation ironic. When the massacre was the news story, several newspapers published the picture without hesitation. Now that the picture itself has become a story, no one will touch the photo with a ten foot pole.

In other words, when the photograph was incidental, editors happily published it for shock value. But now that the photograph has become germane, and the ethics of good taste are challenged by a legitimate journalistic rationale, no editor will publish the photo.

Liberal or conservative bias aside, I'd think we can all agree on one thing: Most news editors act like businessmen first, and journalists second. They're far more concerned with how their newspaper sells and is perceived, than they are with reporting the news.

My two cents.

crib

Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]

The NYT has done this before. (none / 1) (#50)
by Another Scott on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 09:37:17 PM EST

I'm almost positive that the NYT published Eddie Adams' famous photograph of Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong guerilla with a pistol shot to the head on its front page.

The NYT has the reputation as the US's "paper of record" so it probably feels that it's necessary to present images that it views as important.

My $0.02.

Cheers,
Scott.

[ Parent ]

Comparison (none / 2) (#54)
by felixrayman on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 10:44:13 PM EST

The interesting thing to do would be to compare which newspapers and tv news networks published graphic images from Somalia during a similar situation there vs. which newspapers and tv news networks published the recent graphic images from Iraq, and to make a wild ass guess why those decisions were made.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
On canadian tv too (none / 0) (#61)
by Hillman on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 03:09:18 AM EST

And primetime.

[ Parent ]
In case you haven't seen them, (none / 1) (#67)
by anticlimax on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 05:35:13 AM EST

Ogrish has six detailed pictures up:

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six

Here's the index in case of some direct linkage crapout.

[ Parent ]
Because newspapers exist for only 1 reason: (none / 3) (#87)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:19:53 PM EST

To sell newspapers. The more, the better. "Facts?" Fuck that, we need to make mo' money!

-------
"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

To make me laugh (none / 1) (#88)
by hummassa on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 05:25:02 PM EST

At what USofAns are doing outside their borders. Green go... go home.

[ Parent ]
Same as for every other business: (3.00 / 4) (#98)
by JayGarner on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:54:50 PM EST

To tie this back to the thread - what is the primary responsibility of the media today?

To increase value for our shareholders.

[ Parent ]

Asleep under a rock (2.00 / 13) (#46)
by Brandybuck on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 07:47:50 PM EST

What the hell happened here? On Fox News you expect this stuff but on CNN?

Where the hell have you been? Every news outlet it biased. What makes Fox different is merely that they admit it. Objective unbiased journalism is a myth.

You have to filter everything you see in the media through your cognizance that they're not telling you the whole truth, and in some cases may actually be making stuff up.

Does anyone still believe in the So-Called Liberal Media?

Yes, I still believe in it. CNN is a very good example of it. A "bias" is a slight to moderate leaning in a direction. CNN doesn't have to have an extremist slant in order to be biased. They DO try to broadcast a balanced report of events, but the collective world views of their reporters and anchors skews the coverage.

Ha (3.00 / 10) (#47)
by Wah on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 07:54:13 PM EST

What makes Fox different is merely that they admit it.

They don't admit it, it's just so obvious to everyone watching it's taken as fact.
--
K5 troll comment rating guidelines....
The Best Troll Comment Evar, really great stuff, trips up a bunch of people, and wastes a day. == 1
Any
[ Parent ]

Right wing bias (none / 2) (#82)
by Brandybuck on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 02:27:54 PM EST

As someone who has not watched television for the past five years, could you give me examples of Fox's obvious bias? Examples of today's broadcast preferably.

I'm asking because I have some friends who so totally despise Fox News it borders upon the absurd. We walk into a restaurant and a tiny 12" television with the sound off above the bar is showing FN and these friends insist on leaving to find somewhere else more enlightened to eat.

[ Parent ]

It's quite simple (3.00 / 5) (#83)
by Wah on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 03:04:50 PM EST

I'm asking because I have some friends who so totally despise Fox News it borders upon the absurd.

Do you trust your friends' judgement?  Are your friends normally absurd?  Yes, it is that bad.

As someone who has not watched television for the past five years

Considering that my comment was that this should be obvious to any observer, why not watch Fox news for an hour and decide for yourself. Bias is one of those beauty words, I can tell you what I think it is, but proof is going to be difficult, and could only be considered true by consenus.  It's not quantifiable and besides, maybe in your world everybody to the left of Bush is a crazy commie bent of the destruction of Western civilization.  So in that case, you might not think Fox is biased.

Pay particular attention to the news troller at the bottom, and how certain words are said.  Paticularly when other, less inflammatory words, would do just fine.

Now for the really hard part, watch Fox and another station, and read google news, and see what kind of stories they don't even mention.  That where 'negative bias' comes in, and it's even harder to 'prove' than a positive one.

If you do these things and stay true to the merits of objective observation, you will note, day in and day out, a bias against a particular ideology, and towards an opposing ideology.  If you were to take a notepad, and decide what was 'good' and 'evil' based on those slight biases, you would then see a correlation between right-wing idealogy (good) and anything else,i.e. 'librulls' (evil) very quickly.  They are quite consistent in this perspective and presentation of information.

This bias is there, day in and day out.   You should be able to see it within an hour.  Good luck.  If you are still confused, record the next hour of programming, and I'd be happy to go over it with you.  

Or conversely, find a major promoted commentator on their station who hasn't written a series of books that could be summarized 'Left Bad, Right Good!"
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[ Parent ]

Gee! (none / 1) (#131)
by Brandybuck on Wed Apr 07, 2004 at 02:53:17 AM EST

If you do these things and stay true to the merits of objective observation, you will note, day in and day out, a bias against a particular ideology, and towards an opposing ideology.  If you were to take a notepad, and decide what was 'good' and 'evil' based on those slight biases, you would then see a correlation between right-wing idealogy (good) and anything else,i.e. 'librulls' (evil) very quickly.  They are quite consistent in this perspective and presentation of information.

Gee! I observe the exact same thing about the mainstream newspaper and radio media, but in the OTHER direction! (By "radio", I mean the top-of-the-hour news, and not talk shows.)

Newspapers are the most interesting, because if you read the headline and top half of the stories, they seem as if they were written by a completely different person than the bottom half. If you don't bother flipping back to page 17, you will NOT get the entire story. It is the bottom half of the stories that invariably present the "other side" of whatever the headline is screaming.

[ Parent ]

You are correct! (none / 0) (#132)
by Wah on Wed Apr 07, 2004 at 12:39:40 PM EST

Gee! I observe the exact same thing about the mainstream newspaper and radio media, but in the OTHER direction!

I think you are correct.  I've been working (currently sidelined) on a method to identify just that kind of stuff on the Net through a nice front end, kind of like the 'distributed proofreading' site.

Now, if we can both compare actual media sources (rather than 'the media' at large) we'll probably be able to deduce each other's political standpoint from our varied judgements of the same sources.

And while I do know that all media sources have bias (hey, this is what my degree is in), Fox is far and away the MOST biased.  In that, while you would see a certain leaning in many sources, Fox takes it to a new level.  They don't lean, they bend.  Note: this is the difference between a linear and non-linear progression. I think Fox is the latter.  

But that's just me. :-)
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[ Parent ]

talking points (none / 1) (#85)
by kurthr on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:06:09 PM EST

Note that the anchor's talking points are usually taken directly from those of the white house. That means that they use the same words as Bush and Condi all day so that "the people" don't have to think about all the "complificated" things reported in other (ie foreign) media.

[ Parent ]
Quick example (3.00 / 4) (#90)
by damiam on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 05:49:40 PM EST

Look at their You Decide 2004 presidential coverage page. Notice how there's a big picture of Bush. And notice the stories next to it:

  • Bush: 'The Economy Is Getting Stronger'
  • Economy Adds 308,000 Jobs in March
  • Kerry Ad Hits Bush on Jobs
  • Kerry Renews Bush Debate Challenge

That smacks of bias right there (implying that Bush is right that the economy is getting better). Poke around on that page a little further for more subtle bias.

For less subletly, look to the pages of their featured prime-time shows. The O'Reilly Factor asks "what tactics can President Bush do to bury Kerry?" Hannity and Colmes ask "is the senator from Massachusetts a 'tax and spend liberal?" (scroll down the page a bit). On the Record features a sympathetic interview with the (fundamentalist Christian) mother of the girl in the "under God" pledge case. After Hours is interviewing Bush's wife and his advisor. And Special Report's headline claims "U.S. employment rises last month at fastest pace in nearly four years, easily outstripping expectations".

Obviously, you can find bias in anything if you look hard enough, and nothing Fox does is really blatant (with the exception of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity), but there are so many subtleties - the stories they feature, the way they phrase things, and and bunch of other little things they do that make it obvious (to me, anyway) that there's quite a bias there.

In addition, Fox is own by Ruper Murdoch, on of the biggest right-wingers around. I can't conceive of him sanctioning any kind of true "far and balanced" media.

[ Parent ]

Still don't see it. (none / 1) (#130)
by Brandybuck on Wed Apr 07, 2004 at 02:46:08 AM EST

Look at their You Decide 2004 presidential coverage page. Notice how there's a big picture of Bush. And notice the stories next to it:

I'm looking at the page right now, and it says such obviously right wing stuff as:

  • Kerry Vows to End Tax Breaks for Jobs Exporters [Kerry looks good]
  • Bush, Kerry Rely on Big Campaign Donors [neutral]
  • Public Approval for Bush Handling of Iraq Slipping [Bush looks bad]
  • Kerry Says Bush Refusing to Face Facts on Iraq [Kerry looks good]
  • Bush Leads Kerry in Fla. Poll [Bush looks good]
Overall score: Kerry looks good.

For less subletly, look to the pages of their featured prime-time shows.

Those prime time shows are NOT the news. They are discussion panels, opinion shows, and the like. Everyone knows this before they tune in. My friends presumably walked out of the mentioned restaurant because they thought they might be subjected to Hannity or O'Reilly. But what would they think of me if I walked out if it were showing Donahue or Larry King?

Sidenote: Isn't the Colmes half of H&C a liberal? Is he such a small man that the bias is obviously towards Hannity?

On the Record features a sympathetic interview with the (fundamentalist Christian) mother of the girl in the "under God" pledge case.

Now I'm beginning to understand where their motto "fair and balanced" comes from. Until this very moment, I did not know that this girl's mother was a Christian. I've heard and read innumerous news stories on this girl, and not one of them mentioned the mother.

p.s. I notice you put the religious affiliation of the interviewee in parenthesis. Is this to imply that any interview with fundamentalist Christians smacks of obvious right wing bias?

And Special Report's headline claims "U.S. employment rises last month at fastest pace in nearly four years, easily outstripping expectations".

From my personal recollection of the last four years, it's probably true. Do you have any statistics that show another period within that four years that had a faster pace of employment?

Frankly, I don't consider good news about the economy during an election cycle with the Dems are out of office to be obvious right wing bias.

In addition, Fox is own by Ruper Murdoch, on of the biggest right-wingers around.

Sheesh, every media mogul other than Ted Turner is conservative. What of it? They don't write the news any more than Mr. Turner does.

Obviously, you can find bias in anything if you look hard enough, and nothing Fox does is really blatant (with the exception of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity), but there are so many subtleties - the stories they feature, the way they phrase things, and and bunch of other little things they do that make it obvious (to me, anyway) that there's quite a bias there.

That subtle bias is everywhere, not just Fox. When people talk about the liberal bias in the media, that is what they are referring to. They aren't talking about blatant campaigning for Kerry, but the subtle stuff in the way they select which stories to run, or which quotes to air.

My favorite instance of liberal bias was with CNN's Brian Lamb several years ago. He had on a British socialist and US conservative talking about Clinton. Both sides ended up agreeing in disagreeing with every Clinton policy. Mr. Lamb had to cut the program short because it wasn't "balanced" anymore. I thought it was hilarious, but Mr. Lamb was visibly mortified that someone wasn't speaking out in favor of Clinton.

[ Parent ]

I'm not well informed here (none / 0) (#134)
by damiam on Wed Apr 07, 2004 at 09:45:52 PM EST

Because I don't watch Fox (or any other TV, much). But here are a few responses:

Yes, Colmes is such a small man that the bias is obviously towards Hannity. The show was created as Hannity and Liberal to be Determined. Hannity got to pick his own cohost, and he chose Colmes. What does that say about Colmes?

Until this very moment, I did not know that this girl's mother was a Christian. I've heard and read innumerous news stories on this girl, and not one of them mentioned the mother.

Really? I get most of my news from NPR and even they mentioned it.

I notice you put the religious affiliation of the interviewee in parenthesis. Is this to imply that any interview with fundamentalist Christians smacks of obvious right wing bias?

Not any interview necessarily, but the one they did was rather sympathetic. I hope you'll agree that fundamentalist Christians are generally right-wing?

From my personal recollection of the last four years, it's probably true. Do you have any statistics that show another period within that four years that had a faster pace of employment?

It's probably true. But the way they put it is pretty superlative.

That subtle bias is everywhere, not just Fox.

Well, true. Listening to NPR, reading the NYT, etc., you can tell that some of the reporters have liberal opinions (although NPR's non-news stuff is not anywhere near as partisan as Fox's). However, I don't think there's much of a liberal bias in the mainstream media. Have you read Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them? Al Franken's obviously not who you go to for unbiased investigative reporting, but he presents a fairly good case against the common belief in a liberal media.

Fox News in general is not that bad (although there's a definate conservative slant). The network as a whole, though, is blatently biased. Not a single one of their prime-time shows has any kind of liberal slant, while several are blatently conservative. And then there's the oft-cited misconception study, showing that people who get their news from Fox are enormously more likely to hold pro-Bush misconceptions (we've found WMD in Iraq, etc.) than those who get it from NPR/PBS.

[ Parent ]

'fair and balance' fox (2.88 / 9) (#51)
by cronian on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 09:45:25 PM EST

How does a station that claims to be 'fair and balanced' admit they are biased? Any station is going to have some bias. However, Fox News isn't just biased; They are a right-wing propanganda machine.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
odd. (1.00 / 11) (#56)
by /dev/trash on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 11:42:14 PM EST

So the right gets one Station, Foxnews.  While the left gets NBC,CBS,ABC,CNN,MSNBC, and CNBC

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Well.. (2.87 / 8) (#60)
by Kwil on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:58:38 AM EST

..maybe that's left to you.

To a good chunk of the rest of the world, those other stations are still a good ways off to the right.

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


[ Parent ]
Only in the US (3.00 / 13) (#68)
by scruffyMark on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 05:40:54 AM EST

...would ABC, CNN, or MSNBC be called liberal (I've never seen the other stations). OK, maybe in South Korea and Singapore as well, but nowhere else, really.

Seriously, I'm amazed that US Americans even think they have a liberal party. They don't - they've got a conservative party, and a borderline-fascist party.

[ Parent ]

You're right... (1.28 / 7) (#73)
by darthaggie on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:54:41 AM EST

Seriously, I'm amazed that US Americans even think they have a liberal party. They don't - they've got a conservative party, and a borderline-fascist party.

Yes, and I wish the Democrats would drop the fascisim.


I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

but it's all we have! [nt] (none / 0) (#101)
by fenix down on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 12:35:49 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Lying is not journalism (3.00 / 11) (#53)
by felixrayman on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 10:43:55 PM EST

Objective unbiased journalism is a myth.

There is a difference between biased journalism and lying. That is what we are discussing here.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]

CNN's problem isn't their "bias" (none / 0) (#120)
by Merc on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 03:17:03 PM EST

Their (biggest) problems are that what's shown is what makes them the most money, not what's most important, and that it's more important to be first than it is to be right.



[ Parent ]
It's not the act, it's the pattern! (2.95 / 23) (#55)
by barc0001 on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 11:34:04 PM EST

So CNN is now saying the White House did call them over this.  This is very very disturbing for one reason:

If they're willing to lie/misdirect about something as pointless as this, what does it say about their behavior in things that actually matter?

You nailed it (none / 2) (#66)
by omegadan on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:53:47 AM EST

Thats exactly the thing. The White House simply refuses to accept reality as it is and has no hesitation about fabricating new realities.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Yeah, CNN's been the dumps lately. (none / 0) (#135)
by RyoCokey on Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 05:28:49 PM EST

Even when they do have coverage, it seems less detailed than many other news agencies. I prefer the BBC these days.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
Not just any kid, either... (none / 2) (#57)
by QillerPenguin on Sat Apr 03, 2004 at 11:57:08 PM EST

but the son of the Orange County Commission chairman, Richard Crotty. Crotty's a big Republican, but a sane one. I presume his pull in the local Repub party was how his kid got to be on the stage that night.

Orange County is one of the most powerful counties in Florida, as big or bigger than Dade/Broward, Hillsborough/Pinellas or Duval (Jacksonville). It's powerful enough that recent govenors of Florida started their campaigns in Orlando/Orange County.

FYI...

"All your Unix are belong to us" - SCO, 2003.

CNN White House Phone Call (1.87 / 8) (#58)
by commissar on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:03:04 AM EST

Bil Schneider called up Karl Rove: Read the transcript.

the question is (none / 2) (#59)
by xutopia on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:55:14 AM EST

where can we see this video?

Wish I knew (none / 1) (#65)
by felixrayman on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:23:18 AM EST

Wish I had an answer for you, the only place I saw it was on Letterman, he played it Thursday and Friday. Couldn't find it with a Google news search.

Anyone else find it online anywhere?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]

p2p (none / 0) (#69)
by mumble on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 06:58:03 AM EST

I did a quick search on Kazaa and shareaza and didn't find it using the search term "davegate". Anyone else succeed?

-----
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[ Parent ]
here ya go (3.00 / 4) (#89)
by needless on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 05:36:54 PM EST

Bored Boy Behind President Gets Nationwide Attention

[ Parent ]
you americans are lucky (2.50 / 4) (#63)
by szo on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 03:42:03 AM EST

In hungary, this yawning guy now would be called a built-in man, an agent of the commis, a traitor.

Szo
--
I guess it wasn't the dove...

I heard Hungarian politics were turning rightward (none / 0) (#72)
by Battle Troll on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:54:19 AM EST

Care to expand?
--
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Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
CNN now genuflects to the White House, but (2.50 / 4) (#64)
by stpna5 on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:16:32 AM EST

was a whole 'nother animal --- avant the aol/Time Warner glom-on. Have you ever compared coverage by CNN in 1991 to CNN 2001? It is a stark-contrast, fright-night snapshot/lab-smear study of the numerous illnesses that infest the corpulent, corporate behemoths of infotainment which have now subdvided and fenced off the grazing lands of once-numerous herds of wild news beasts which populated TV.

i have a question (1.50 / 10) (#70)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 07:34:07 AM EST

what if... zzzz... oh i'm sorry, this story put me to sleep there for a second...

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

It's CNN...duh... (1.83 / 6) (#71)
by darthaggie on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:50:42 AM EST

Or do CNN journalists report such calls without the most basic fact checking?

This is CNN, the people who bent over backwards for Saddam Hussein and parrotted whatever he wanted parrotted just so they could keep their Baghdad office...

You do the math.


I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

Careful! (none / 0) (#125)
by Wulfius on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 04:28:07 AM EST

Your comment "This is CNN, the people who bent over backwards for Saddam Hussein and parrotted whatever he wanted parrotted just so they could keep their Baghdad office... " can be used equally well to describe any federal agency that was dealing with Saddam in the 10 years that he was our friend.


---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Yawn! (2.00 / 11) (#74)
by Alhazred on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:59:23 AM EST

So, you finally woke up and noticed that we haven't had a free press for the past 30 years? Huh! How brilliant!

Its really not a matter of liberal vs conservative 'bias' in the press guys. THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THE COUNTRY AND BY EXTENSION THE WORLD OWN THE PRESS LOCK STOCK AND BARREL.

Sure, they can't yet completely reign in the likes of Letterman, but it won't be too many more years before everything going out over the airwaves has a 2 minute delay and there's some asshole sitting with his finger on the 'cut to commercial' button with orders to deep six this kind of thing. What do you think that little Janet Jackson stunt was about? Can't risk having any titties on primetime again, so we gotta put that delay in there, have that govt sensor on the button.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

Don't we already have that? (none / 0) (#100)
by fenix down on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 12:16:44 AM EST

some asshole sitting with his finger on the 'cut to commercial' button with orders to deep six this kind of thing.

I think they call him Jay Lenno.

[ Parent ]

Now now (none / 0) (#111)
by Alhazred on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 11:44:59 AM EST

Jay is a very nice HairDoo... ;o).
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
Liberal media, conservative media (2.50 / 8) (#75)
by dennis on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 11:02:04 AM EST

There are minor variations in one direction or another, but in general, there's no liberal media, conservative media, or unbiased media.

There's just Media, which by and large looks out for its own interests and sides with the powerful.

When the FCC considers a spectrum giveaway to media corporations, you don't hear about it on the news.

When Congress debates a law making the media corporations the only entities in the country whose political expression is still protected by the First Amendment, it's presented purely as a way to fix corruption.

And whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge, the media play nice to the extent that they are able to do so, without losing all credibility.

When congress considers (none / 1) (#86)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 04:15:29 PM EST

strengthening the already draconian copyright laws (there are 2 under consideratuion right now- one would allow databases to be copyrighted, and the other would completely outlaw downloading of music, much to the detriment of indie artists.

So, they've been discussing this at length in the paper? WHAT paper???

-------
"Those who would give up, um, yada yada yada" -Anonymous Coward
[ Parent ]

Less biased news, where are you? (none / 1) (#77)
by PunkAssBitch on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 11:51:09 AM EST

Ok, the vote is in. The consensus, regardless of political leanings, seems to be that Big News is biased. CNN's approach is more subtle than Fox's daily bull-in-china-shop tiptoe through the facts, but perhaps this is a further source of confusion for those of us who question the news. At least we know for sure that Fox's funny yet creepy "fair and balanced" label should be read "staunchly conservative." But, doesn't this Internet thing offer a solution? In the world of TV: Big Capital Requirements + Big Capital Investors + Big Capital Preservation Interests = Big News But, in the Internet world: 3 young journalists + 0.5 Web geeks + $20/month in hosting fees = Any Sort of News Those Young Turks Want Of course, most such homegrown news sites will suck / shutdown / not get any attention / be horribly biased / etc. BUT, the incredibly low startup costs imply lots of entrants and lots of results, with plenty to choose from, leaving CNN and Fox for the unwashed hordes of AOL users and Britney Spears fans. So, my question for the wise readers of K5 is this: where are the good less biased news sites (with the understanding that "unbiased" news is as mythical as the unicorn and the honest politician)?

Unbiased news - news.google.com (none / 1) (#79)
by DrPollo on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:30:55 PM EST

At the moment, the most unbiased news I read are news.google.com, well, they aren't exactly unbiased, but you can choose from a wide variety of options, and for sure you can get a good idea of the facts as the most independent mass media see them.

But, this is for sure not enough unbiased, for seeing the opposite side and know what the so called independent media say it's good to start at www.indymedia.org.

The thing I do here in Spain is to read the headlines on news.google.es, news.google.com, maybe one or two articles of those, to know what the media think, then I go to www.rebelion.org (in spanish) and www.lahaine.org (also in spanish) to know what they think too. I consider I'm well informed.

DrPollo

[ Parent ]

google aggregates (none / 1) (#84)
by kurthr on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 03:52:55 PM EST

Google just aggregates the biased news we already get. It is entirely chosen by algorithms, which I would guess have to do with the frequency of queries typed into their search engine:

http://news.google.com/intl/en_us/about_google_news.html

If you are looking for more than one source about a pop-news story, then it's the place to go. They do often have several foreign news suppliers on the front page... usually in the sports section.

[ Parent ]

The Economist. (none / 1) (#96)
by bakuretsu on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 08:20:34 PM EST

The Economist (www.economist.com) is usually fairly moderate in its analysis of American events... Mostly because they're Brits.

Check out their latest article on the Bush propaganda machine. It is, in fact, very moderate. I enjoyed reading it.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

Pfft (none / 1) (#97)
by poyoyo on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 10:10:56 PM EST

Don't get me wrong, the Economist is a great paper, but it can hardly be described as "unbiased". They've got an axe to grind. You can bet, for example, that if Bush (or anyone else) makes some protectionist moves, the Economist will spray him with vitriol, and if he makes an environment-trashing move, they'll downplay or ignore it. They may be moderate as far as the Democrat/Republican divide goes, but they're very much opinionated on specific issues.

At least they're honest about their slant. They openly admit that they have opinions and don't hesitate to include them in otherwise factual articles. In many ways this is a good thing: you know exactly what sort of bias you're getting on your plate, and it lets them show the "big picture" instead of sticking to the raw immediate facts. But "unbiased" they are not.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 1) (#113)
by PunkAssBitch on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 12:43:37 PM EST

The Economist is one of my favorite magazines, although I haven't had a subscription for a while. The writing style is a pleasure to read. Most articles start by building up one side of an issue, then end by carefully tearing it back down and supporting the other side. You're right - there is a bias there, and without that bias and corresponding style it wouldn't be nearly the interesting read that it is. But, at least it's clear, and both sides of most issues see some daylight under their coverage.

[ Parent ]
Some questions (2.60 / 5) (#78)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 12:45:15 PM EST

Shouldn't it be a big issue if CNN claims that the White House said something it didn't? What's the White House going to do about it?

People in my country know the CNN is biased anyway coz the CNN has repeatedly shown stuff contrary to what we see with our own eyes. Heck all of them are biased, you just have to be aware what their bias is. Even if the journalists are independent, the editors can change a story a LOT just by cutting out "unessential/confusing" details to "save space".

Another trick some news orgs may pull, ask X people for quotes, and then pick the quotes/answers to suit the story (aka bias) they want[1].

To me it just seems like that some people are getting rather arrogant - they believe they can say whatever they want and get away with it. Sure there may be some grumbles and noises, but they believe they will still get away with it. So far evidence seems to show they are right. The US people seem powerless or unwilling to do anything about it. They just fall in the trap of thinking it's the Democrats vs the Republicans or similar stupid stuff.

I suppose it is near impossible to find enough politicians with integrity, let alone find enough money to get them elected.

Good luck.

[1] Heck I bet many of the "Independent Research" stuff is done that way too, naturally costs more if the sponsor wants something that requires chucking out 99.9% of the studies. The researchers are independent, sponsor gets the results they want, money changes hands, everyone is happy.


This is a great time to be a 'Merican. (none / 2) (#80)
by MattOly on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 01:46:38 PM EST

A final note to CNN and the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. Trust me on this one, he's simply more believable than you are.

Thanks for the sig line!

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.

Bread and games (2.25 / 4) (#91)
by cpghost on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 06:11:16 PM EST

That's just like in old rome: Panem et circences. A big news media circus, politicians as gladiators, and a happy, amused crowd. Oh, wait, that's news media fighting against each other, this time...

Or, to put it less sarcastically: does it really matter?

That's an amusing, funny story. And because it was so funny, there'll always be a way to give it an additional spin to make it even more interesting. Conspiracy theories have always attracted people, and that's a great way to increase one's audience, isn't it?


cpghost at Cordula's Web
Did it ever occur to you... (1.83 / 6) (#92)
by SPYvSPY on Sun Apr 04, 2004 at 07:08:33 PM EST

...that CNN is populated by a bunch of lazy fuck ups, sorta like the people who sit around worrying about whether their news is being manipulated? Frankly, most people don't deserve (or want) the truth, and even if you give it to them, they deny it.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

bad argument (none / 0) (#106)
by phred on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 08:36:17 AM EST

...that CNN is populated by a bunch of lazy fuck ups, sorta like the people who sit around worrying about whether their news is being manipulated? Frankly, most people don't deserve (or want) the truth, and even if you give it to them, they deny it.

Thats just a bad all around argument. CNN is most likely not populated by a bunch of lazy fuckups, even considering that they may have slipped on on this one. Secondly, you can't advance your viewpoint very well by insisting that the public deserves only lies.

I doubt that many right wingers share your view.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 1) (#110)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 11:43:39 AM EST

...it's quite likely that CNN *is* chock-full of people who make sloppy errors all the time. Most people in broadcast journalism is bozos, with a few notable and prominent exceptions. Spend a day behind the scenes and you'll see what I mean.

As for truth-telling, the public just doesn't care. They just don't. Every time Justin Timberlake says "I didn't know her dress was gonna malfunction", the public eats that shit up. Sad but true.
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[ Parent ]

reiterating my disagreement (none / 0) (#115)
by phred on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 01:53:37 PM EST

...it's quite likely that CNN *is* chock-full of people who make sloppy errors all the time. Most people in broadcast journalism is bozos, with a few notable and prominent exceptions. Spend a day behind the scenes and you'll see what I mean.

I haven't spent time behind the scenes (except in local broadcasting, probably not applicable at the national level). Even without that experience, I'm going to reiterate my belief that CNN is probably only able to get away with whatever commonly accepted levels of bias are customary. Clearly also, there looks to be a slipup here as CNN has admitted as much.

I can't reflect on your experience with national media, so you'll have to speak on that, and what you say will be awarded whatever credibility you've accumulated here. Of course you'll understand my hesitancy to change my world view based on your posts although I encourage you to still post them. I continue to believe that CNN has folks who genuinely want to be journalists and don't go to work with the daily mission of telling lies or being negligent and putting their careers at risk, although I know that there has been cases of journalistic fraud in todays media.

As for truth-telling, the public just doesn't care. They just don't. Every time Justin Timberlake says "I didn't know her dress was gonna malfunction", the public eats that shit up. Sad but true.

I know that theres specific groups of folks who aren't going to get independent confirmation of what they see on TV news, but I also know that there are groups of people who will. Based on the existence of folks who really care, I can happily reject your thesis as incorrect. Now if you'd like to discuss a qualification of your statement, I'll gladly participate, but as it stands I disagree.

[ Parent ]

Negligence... (none / 0) (#116)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 02:30:48 PM EST

...and ineptitude are necessarily without intent. Feel free not to believe me--the news media is populated with yahoos to a degree that rivals advertising.
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[ Parent ]

What matters are the percentages. (none / 0) (#123)
by wombat68 on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 10:48:31 PM EST

I know that theres specific groups of folks who aren't going to get independent confirmation of what they see on TV news, but I also know that there are groups of people who will. Based on the existence of folks who really care, I can happily reject your thesis as incorrect.

Before you can reject that thesis you would have to know the relative percentages of the two groups of people you mentioned. Those that accept what they see on TV and are not interested in confirming or denying the truth of that, and those that will follow up with an independent source.

If the first group of people make up 80% of the population, or more importantly >50% of the voting population, then one can consider the consequences of either laziness or lying to be small.

Assuming that is true, how do we determine whether it was laziness or lying?

Personally, I don't believe that laziness would lead to this kind of mistake. I think that, if anything, laziness would lead to the exact opposite. Let's say the video in question WAS a fake, then the laziness hypothesis would lead to the conclusion that CNN would pick up the fake video and run with it without confirming it's validity.

So that leaves lying. But for what reason? Does the Emperor really not have any clothes on?

[ Parent ]
comments (none / 0) (#126)
by phred on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 08:08:07 AM EST

About the lying, I'm not that worried about the percentages, as I find it a poor speaker who bases his truthfulness on the chances of getting away with any lies.

Now this doesn't remove my suspicions regarding the possibilities of any lies, nor whether CNN did indeed lie. I'm simply disregarding that on CNN's part, lying would be routine.

Now on the governments part, I do believe that lying is routine and to be expected as they've been plainly revealed and I can agree that the public is building a tolerance for lies. This is still not reason enough for me to be a cheerleader for governmental lying in general.

I guess I'm being particular here, the general case of whats going on with the story is beyond me.

[ Parent ]

Gah. People are dumb. (2.25 / 4) (#99)
by jmzero on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 12:15:23 AM EST

Why would the White House try to say the clip was fake, when they would have had to have known that it wasn't - and that that would become very obvious soon?  You don't make lies that can be clearly repudiated - and anyone who thinks the administration is that dumb is deluding themself.

Simple answer: "they" didn't call CNN.  Maybe somebody talked to somebody in the administration who thought this was fake.  But probably the whole White House thing is fabricated.  Most likely, somebody at CNN just made that up because they were sure it was fake and decided on imagining an authoritative source for the quote (as otherwise it wouldn't have been aired, and somebody wanted to say it).  Normally, nobody would catch this kind of flubbery - except in this kind of case where what they said is wrong.

If anyone has been watching the media in the last few years, this is what they should have learned: not that the media is biased either way, but that they are incredibly lazy - and willing to insert stupid little lies like this (pretending you're somewhere when you're not, attributing your own thoughts to quotes from non-existent people, etc...)

Big media is worthless, but it's not some government plot.  
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Lies (none / 3) (#104)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 03:34:10 AM EST

Why would the White House try to say the clip was fake, when they would have had to have known that it wasn't - and that that would become very obvious soon? You don't make lies that can be clearly repudiated - and anyone who thinks the administration is that dumb is deluding themself.

*Cough* Say what?

Lemme dig up a quote for you. . .

"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.

The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.

Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end." ~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

The Bush government has been lying every time they open their mouths. Most of their lies are easily refuted, but nobody bothers to do so in the media, and so it goes. This particular incident just sounds like business as usual to me, with the exception that Dave Letterman decided to throw in a monkey wrench.

-FL

[ Parent ]

You're obviously not an experienced liar. (none / 1) (#114)
by jmzero on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 01:09:51 PM EST

The size of the lie isn't a big factor.  Deciding to lie has everything to do with whether and how clearly it can be discovered, what the consequences of that are, and the benefits of lying.

In this case, the benefits are small, the odds of discovery are "certain", the lie's repudiation would be perfectly clear, and the embarassment of being discovered is fairly large.  

"The administration" is not going to tell that kind of lie - and, again, you're deluding yourself if you think they would.

Compare this to, say, talk of WMD in Iraq.  Big benefits, good chance of it not being discovered or at least not cleanly repudiated (and there was a good chance they'd find "something"), and a lack of definition makes it easy to move away from later as desired.  This is a winning lie.  

Look over my scenario.  Don't you think that's a little more likely?
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Controlling media is an advantage (none / 0) (#117)
by Pholostan on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 02:33:43 PM EST

If big media is in your pocket, why care? Just lie, lie, lie and lie again. Anyone who tries to "expose" your lies is miscredited and ridiculed in big media. It doesn't matter. You can lie all you want, and the greater the lie...
- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
Paranoid. (none / 0) (#119)
by jmzero on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 02:56:49 PM EST

The administration will always fight with the media for control of what message goes out.  Bush has had some big victories, but also some defeats.  

You may have some bizarre fantasy that you live in a country where the government controls everything and the media are its puppets, but that's really not the way it is.

I guess your sig really explains your age/point of view - "And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside".  Don't worry, you'll grow out of this awkward phase.  One day, you may even understand your parents and why they make those rules.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Well and good then (none / 0) (#121)
by Pholostan on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 06:54:01 PM EST

You don't need absolute control over the media, soviet style. You only need to have farly good control over a large "credible" portion of media.

Ofcorse, credebility is dependant on public opinion. Media outlets that are credible in the mind of a majoroty of the people will suffice. If they really are credible or not is beside the point. It is what people imagine that matters.

I don't live in the USA. If some politican would even contemplate to try some of that crap the Bush regime have done over the years, he would be out of politics for life. Big media would see to that here, as almost all media is very anti goverment.
Said politico would probably end up in jail for years.

Hmm, you say that media isn't biased in any way - that people working in media just are lazy. And then you say that I think that my goverment controls everything. I think I know who it is who are living in a bizarre fantasy.

--

FYI: My sig comes from a song on the album "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" by Blind Guardian. It was released in mid 1998. More specifically, the line comes from the song "Blood Tears", track number eight. Blind Guardian makes kick ass speed metal. You should check it out.

My favourite though, is track number 13 on that album.

Time Stands Still At The Iron Hill
By Blind Guardian

o/~
Light fails at dawn, the moon is gone
An deadly the night reigns

Deceit

Finally I've found myself in these lands
Horror and madness I've seen here
For what I became a king of the lost?
Barren and lifeless the land lies

bridge:
Lord of all Noldor
A star in the night, and a bearer of hope
He rides into his glorious battle alone
Farwell to the valiant warlord

chorus (repeat 2x):
The fate of us all
Lies deep in the dark
When time stands still at he iron hill

I stand alone, noone's by my side
I'll dare you come out
You covard, no it's me or you!

He gleams like a star
And the sound of his horn's
Like a raging storm
Prodly the High Lord challeges his doom
Lord of slaves he cries

Slowly in fear the Dark Lord appears
Welcome to my lands
You shall be dammned!

bridge

chorus

The Iron Crown is getting closer
brings his hammer down on him
Like a thunderstorm he's crushing down
The Noldor's proudest king

Under my foot, so hopeless it seems
You have troubled my day
Now feel the pain

bridge

chorus

The Elvenking's broken, he stumbles and falls
The most proud and most valiant
His spirit survives

Praise our King
Praise our King
Praise our King
Praise our King
~\o

 

[ Parent ]

Meh (none / 0) (#122)
by jmzero on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 10:26:12 PM EST

Hmm, you say that media isn't biased in any way - that people working in media just are lazy. And then you say that I think that my goverment controls everything

Media isn't biased any way, it's biased every way.  I live in Canada - I get a smorgasbord of biases, any bias I want.  Even within a certain news source - like CNN - there are thousands of voices, each with their own spin.  Sometimes the CBC is rabidly anti-Bush, and sometimes it passes on propaganda untouched.  

People gravitate to the news that spins things the way they want.  It's very rare in America that newspapers or television channels will enforce an editorial policy - and it's obvious when it happens (see Raines at the Times).  Instead, media sources try to appeal to many different niches.  For the most part, these facts add up to a media that is actually fairly varied - and certainly not slave to "the administration".
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Bias (none / 0) (#138)
by Pholostan on Mon Apr 26, 2004 at 03:33:07 PM EST

Media isn't biased any way, it's biased every way

No. Media is biased, period. Many media utlets have a well defined bias. At least that is the fact where I live, Sweden.

Slave and slave... media in the USA tend to support the administration. Why? 'cause it pays off to have the administration as a friend. Hot news pays off, and the source of hot news are very often the administration. If a media outlet "offend" the administration, they might not get the hot news as fast as others. The current administration in the US seems to take offence very easily. So the media outlets are quite loyal.


- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
This administration? (none / 1) (#124)
by cgenman on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 03:05:39 AM EST

Let's see...  

Richard Clarke, Bush's head of counterterrorism, was out of the loop.

"There is no proven link between air quality and asthma."

The president was not planning on attacking Iraq before 9/11.

Saddam Hussein's (an athiest) Iraq was "the heart of the base" for Al Qaeda (a fundamentalist group).

Oil reserves are increasing, not decreasing.

The people in Guantanamo Bay are neither Prisoners of War or Civilians, and as such are covered under no international laws.

After taking a gunshot and stab wounds, Jessica Lynch was rescued in a valiant firefight by a group of American Heros (who rescued a Lynch from a hospital completely free from enemy forces without firing a single shot.  Jessica Lynch was unharmed.)

The President served out all of his time in the National Guard, which the documents he has provided prove (assuming the documents he's provided the press are accurate, President Bush served a MINIMUM of 1/2 of the days he was supposed to be in the National Guard)

"I said when I was running for President, I supported ethanol, and I meant it." (Bush shortly thereafter cut ethanol completely from his federal budget)

"This administration is committed to your effort. And with the support of Congress, we will continue to work to provide the resources school need to fund the era of reform." (He then went on to cut his own 'No Child Left Behind' act by 90 million, which he had previously underfunded to the tune of 7 billion dollars)

Depleted Uranium is no risk to the general population.

Bush supports a Patients Bill of Rights (actually opposes, and is trying to stop a PBOR bill from going through congress).

The Medicare Drug bill will be quite affordable under current policy (Foster, the US Medicare Actuary, said he was threatened in writing with "extremely severe" consequences if he shared his cost figures with Congress.)

There are a ton more, that range from somewhat obscure political points (claiming to support increased border patrols, then cutting their funding) to blatant factual contradictions (Mercury is not poisonous).  It's hard not to bump into the lies by this president on a weekly basis if you are paying even the slightest bit of attention.  

The size of the lie doesn't seem to be important, neither is the possibility of being discovered.  It seems that the administration is banking on consistency of message, in that the position of President has (had) enough credibility that so long as he never goes off message publicly the press will believe him over any other contradiction from a less reputable source.  

-
- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]

Bah. (none / 0) (#128)
by jmzero on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 10:57:20 AM EST

I'll just pick a random example, and excuse it: Depleted Uranium is no risk to the general population.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Whoops. Accidentally clicked post there... (none / 0) (#129)
by jmzero on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 11:04:11 AM EST

You've obviously spent some time looking up your lies.  

They're all the kind of lies you can excuse with things like "we've had to change our priorities since 9/11", or "you watch our upcoming budget", or "that's not what I meant" or "there's always risks in defending freedom" or the like.  The lies you picked might be good for convincing someone not to like Bush (an effort wasted on me), but they just aren't the same kind of thing.  In some cases, they were just slips or gaffes.  In many cases, the lie also had significant rewards, or at least a long period before it would be discoverable.  Did you read my posts?

Again, I acknowledge that some random White House staffer who didn't know may have said this - a possibility that I don't really care about.  But "the administration" is not going to be this stupid - that was my whole point.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

A Very Insightful Comments (none / 1) (#109)
by EXTomar on Mon Apr 05, 2004 at 10:48:29 AM EST

A final note to CNN and the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. Trust me on this one, he's simply more believable than you are.

When did it become status quo that new orgs are assumed to have an agenda while entertainment is expected to be accurate? This should point out how bad a shape the 4th Estate is currently in.



Around the time reporters abandoned impartiality (none / 1) (#133)
by pla on Wed Apr 07, 2004 at 02:31:07 PM EST

When did it become status quo that new orgs are assumed to have an agenda while entertainment is expected to be accurate? This should point out how bad a shape the 4th Estate is currently in.

I'd add that I (and many others) also consider The Daily Show as a better (as in, less biased) source of news than any major network's crap.

The problem? Once upon a time (A mythical time? I know not in my life), reporters had an underlying doctrine of unbiased reporting of the news. They didn't have an agenda (aside from micro-agendas such as "must expose this particular scum"), they just gave the facts.

Now, (forgive my vagueness, I don't have a link), surveys of college grads in journalism show one of the most common motivations for such people as a strong desire to change the world. WRONG. Journalists do not "desire to change the world". They report the facts, nothing more. If change occurs as a result, fine, but having that as a goal from the start automatically means introducing bias.

So, why do we get better news from the likes of Dave L and Jon S? Simple - They have the goal of entertaining us, not changing the world. They may put a humorous spin on what they report, but not a partisan spin. Big difference there... They don't care who they make fun of, they'll mercilessly make fun of anything. OTOH, compare any major network's coverage of a minor scandal by either party, where on one side they play it down, and on the other they make it sound like the end of the world.

"Kerry, in a show of baseness, vanity, and intolerance, swears at his SS guard while showing off on the slopes for a press op", while "Bush valliantly emerged from the F14 on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, to greet an awed and admiring crowd". Whatever.


[ Parent ]
Politics Is 99% Boredom (none / 0) (#127)
by n8f8 on Tue Apr 06, 2004 at 08:31:27 AM EST

The vast majority of politics is boring. Like it or not, most politicians spend their time voting and discussing completly mundane stuff. Go visit a city council meeting or the state senate some time. They shouln't have tortured the kid in the first place. The only thing more boring than watching politicians politic is watching ploiticians give stump speeches. I mean really, what is more boring than listening to someone you agree with?

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
I lost my faith in CNN back in September 2001... (none / 1) (#137)
by Chakotay on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 05:01:40 AM EST

On 9/11/2001 my sister was in Peshawar, in the west of Pakistan, close to the Afghan border, in fact, right in the middle between Khabul (the Afghan capital) and Islamabad (the Pakistani capital). In Peshawar, a large percentage of the population is of Afghan origin - people who fled from the terror that the Taliban has caused in their country of origin ever since they took power.

The very moment that the Pakistani gouvernment announced that Pakistan would side with the US, all of Peshawar broke out in one giant party. Everybody was out in the streets, celebrating the fact that Pakistan would help the US. My sister was of course out in the streets as well, and everybody asked her if she was American, and were somewhat disappointed upon finding out that she was "only" Dutch.

So, we have an entire city celebrating the Pakistani-American pact.

And what do we see on CNN?

A handful (well, somewhere between 50 and 100) anti-american, pro-taliban protestors.

Uh, hello? Where's the OTHER side of the story? Why didn't they show that the other 99% of the Peshawar population was out in the streets in an all-out PRO-American, ANTI-Taliban party?

That was the last time I watched CNN. I preferred watching that Iraqi information minister. At least you could be sure that what came from his mouth was nothing but lies... ;)

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

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