A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oh That Liberal Media

Honestly, I think the MSM has gotten a bit better overall in peeling back its biases. The Jourtinel has definitely made an effort to do so-- and the fact that I still think it leans to far left, while temporary costello believes it to now be a conservative rag probably means it's found a pretty good balance-- and I think a lot of other major media outlets have as well.

An interesting roundup of the virulently anti-U.S. media types that have had their bias-- and their ineptitude-- clearly highlighted in the past few years can be found here. Interestingly, the most recent reporter mentioned in the article, Terry Lane of Australia, has not lost his job. Despite biting hook, line and sinker on a fake report of American atrocities that should have taken virtually no time to disprove, Lane will be retained by the Sunday Age.

The reason given for Lane being so easily duped by the fake report? He wanted to believe that it was true. He wanted to believe that a U.S. Ranger's job in Iraq had been to kill innocent women and children.

See, its crap like this that makes me believe that the mainstream media is biased-- it has nothing whatsoever to do with Rush Limbaugh or Charlie Sykes saying that it is. I have a brain. I choose to use it. It is capable of some pretty indepth analysis. Much more complicated than: Reporter is a Marxist=Biased reporting against the most capitalistic country on the planet, aka, the United States.

It still stuns me, though, that he not only thought it could be true that a U.S. Ranger could be a cut-throat, bloodthirsty monster-- anything is possible, and such a monster could make his way into the Rangers-- but that he wanted to believe it was true. And he didn't even lose his job.

Nope, no bias there. Nothing to see folks, move along.


It is troubling that Lane, an established member of the press who has written for the The Sunday Age since 1989, didn't do the most rudimentary of fact checking on a fraud who was exposed back in May of this year.

I'd like to believe that Lane missed the Jesse Macbeth fiasco because, back in May, he was too busy covering the confessions of seven islamic terrorists to the beheading of three Christian schoolgirls on Sulawesi Island (Indonesia), the arrest of the two Saudi Arabian men (who initially claimed to be from Morocco when questioned by deputies) who boarded a public school bus that was taking students to a Florida high school, or the riots in Iran amongst the ethnic Azeris in Eastern Azerbaijan over a cartoon of a cockroach speaking Azeri (not over the mohammed cartoons). Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that he would rather search for any bit of information that could portray those fighting the war on terror as evil cut-throats, all the while ignoring the atrocities of the actual throat-cutting terrorists.

The practice of going quickly to press when there is some fault on the part of the West, whether real or imagined, is hurting our image worldwide, and at the same time it is providing our enemies with free and priceless propaganda. More frustrating is that it does not seem to be the same practice when our enemies do something wrong. In those instances, it appears that the MSM would rather take the time to meticulously research the issue and, even if it is true and damning, and if it ever actually makes it to press, the story often comes across in a watered down version so as not to create a backlash against those "communities" within the West itself.

This bias affects the world-view of the many who get the bulk of their information from the MSM, which in turn will drive public opinion, which will eventually shape public policy. When anything indicating fault on the part of the West makes the front page, while the actions of our enemies are buried deep within (if they are presented at all), it helps to generate policies that make our enemies continue to view us as nothing more than a paper tiger.

The view of the West as appearing strong, but truly being inconsistent and weak, is what makes our enemies confident that their policies of terror will eventually bring them some semblance of success. That confidence, and the West's current fickle nature, is what, in my opinion, will bring more attacks to our shores.
It seems to me that a greater indicator of possible bias in the media appears to lie more in which stories are actually followed on the front pages and top story segments of news organizations, and not necessarily in the stories themselves.

Take, for example, Mel Gibson. During my lunch hour this past Thursday, I checked the top stories on the websites for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Artiles about Mel Gibson, in relation to his DUI arrest and subsequent anti-Jewish rant six days earlier, were in the top stories sections of ABC (Gibson DUI Charge: Favoritism?), CBS (Should Mel Be Forgiven?), and CNN (Advice for Mel). The articles weren't in the entertainment section, and they weren't something that you had to scroll down the page and search for; each one was one of the top news stories for three of these five news sites. Fox News and MSNBC also carried Gibson related stories on their main page, but not as a top story.

I looked for articles about another incident that took place on 28 July 2006, but I could find it nowhere on the main pages of any of those five major news websites. The other incident that I was looking for was of the muslim gunman who killed one woman and wounded five others at a Jewish center in Seattle.

While I do understand that there is a certain voyeuristic interest when one of the beautiful people falls, I don't think that the Gibson incident had a greater newsworthiness than the Seattle shooting incident. Both incidents took place on the same day, both incidents involved anti-Semitism, but only one of the incidents involved the death and serious injury of innocent people. Gibson didn't hurt anyone (luckily), he just made a major-league ass of himself. Naveed Afzal Haq (he's the muslim gunman from the attack on the Jewish center in Seattle) put a gun to a 13-year-old girl's head in order to coerce someone to open the security doors of the Jewish Federation building, and once he got inside, he let the teenage girl go before beginning his murderous rampage.

Further, outside of Gibson's apology and the questions about releasing his arrest tape, there was nothing new in regards to the Gibson incident. The Seattle shooting incident, however, had the major development late Wednesday of Haq being charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of Pamela Waechter; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of first-degree kidnapping; one count of first-degree burglary; and one count of malicious harassment under the state's hate-crime law.

Look at all of that and then tell me, which one of those two incidents should have been listed amongst the top stories of the day at Noon on Thursday? I honestly think that most people would say that the Seattle shooting would trump the rantings of an actor/producer during his drunk-driving arrest.

I still think that there is a bias in many of the stories presented by the MSM, not that the writers are lying outright, but rather with the choices of quotes used (and if they are taken out of context), the facts that are and are not presented to the reader/viewer, and the manner in which they are presented (as I expressed with a four paragraph re-write of a CBS/AP story back in November). I believe that the greater bias, though, remains in which of those stories the media chooses to cover heavily, and which ones are buried quickly.

Remember that inaccurate story about the desecration of Korans at Guantanamo? That stayed on the MSM radar for weeks, while most people haven't heard or read about U.S. guards at Guantanamo being routinely attacked by the terrorists detained there. The abuse of U.S. guards at Gitmo was in an AP story that was released on Monday, and that story disappeared quickly that same day.

Therein lies the greater bias of the MSM, in my opinion.
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