Media Bias

Posts filed under Media Bias

Domestic: The New International

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, War on Terror

Spying. Eavesdropping. Surveillance. Warrantless Searches. What do all these terms have in common? The MSM continually insist on describing these activities, with respect to the much-aligned NSA program of intercepting calls originating outside the US by known al qaeda aperatives, as being "domestic" - every single time. When challenged about this terminology, the MSM seems confused as to why calls from one country to another are "international":

Q Back to the NSA. The White House last night put out paper backing up its claims that this was a terrorist surveillance program, saying the charges of domestic spying — you defined what “domestic” meant. Isn’t one end of that phone call on domestic soil? Why is the charge of it being domestic spying so far off?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the same reasons that a phone call from someone inside the United States to someone outside the United States is not a domestic call. If you look at how that is billed on your phone records, it’s billed as an international call, it is charged the international rate. And so that’s the best way to sum that up. Because one communication within this surveillance has to be outside of the United States. That means it’s an international communication, for the very reason I just said.

(Emphasis added by source)

(HT: Allman's Electric Stove)

For the terminologically challenged, I offer the following entries from dictionary.com:

do·mes·tic
adj.

  1. Of or relating to the family or household: domestic chores.
  2. Fond of home life and household affairs.
  3. Tame or domesticated. Used of animals.
  4. Of or relating to a country's internal affairs: domestic issues such as tax rates and highway construction.
  5. Produced in or indigenous to a particular country: domestic oil; domestic wine.

in·ter·na·tion·al
adj.

  1. Of, relating to, or involving two or more nations: an international commission; international affairs.
  2. Extending across or transcending national boundaries: international fame.

Oh, but let's get back to the exchange, shall we?

Q Right. But one of the people being eavesdropped on is on domestic soil.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it leaves an inaccurate impression with the American people to say that this is domestic spying.

Q Why is that inaccurate?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the reasons that General Hayden has said, for the reasons that others have said within the administration, and for the example I just provided to you. You don’t call a flight from New York to somewhere in Afghanistan, a domestic flight. It’s called an international flight.

Q Right, but –

Right, but... you're either an idiot, delusional, or intentionally trying to mislead.

I take that back; I'm guessing you're all three.

Plume-Gate

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias

Much has been said around the Blogosphere about Karl Rove's alleged role in outing a CIA agent. (Of course, as we know - but not that the MSM will report - no law has been broken, regardless of the source of the leak.) Rush spent about two hours on this non-issue hyperbole and diversion by the MSM and Libs today.

I can't help but thinking, though, that The Mastermind is once again performing a rope-a-dope - setting up the frothing MSM and lackey Libs with just enough rope to hang themselves on this issue. Consider, perhaps: 1) Rove knows he is not the source of the leak, 2) Rove knows the true source, and 3) the true source would prove an embarassment to either the MSM, or Democrats (or both). Implausible? Maybe, but maybe not. I'll just throw it out there. Time will tell...

(Hat Tip: Lucianne)

Well, At Least They Admit It…

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, Missouri, Saint Louis

Editor and Publisher reports that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will remain "Liberal" under new owner Lee Enterprises:

When Lee Enterprises Inc. agreed to purchase Pulitzer Inc. for $1.46 billion, it also agreed that the flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch will keep its longstanding liberal editorial slant for at least the next five years, according to the purchase agreement mailed to Pulitzer shareholders Friday.

Well that's comforting; wouldn't want the Compost-Disgrace to become, you know, balancecd or anything...

United Blogs of America?

Filed in PoliticsTags: Internet, Media Bias

Rebecca MacKinnon asks an interesting question in her post on global blogging, with respect to the lack of global content among the mostly American blogosphere:

Why don't American bloggers link very much to bloggers around the world? People in the room suggested there are 2 main reasons: One reason is that they don't know where to find the good blogs from other countries - unless Instapundit or somebody has linked to them. Another reason is that people don't have enough context or knowledge about events going on in foreign countries to blog about them.

Both explanations are plausible, but let me add a third: Sphere of Concern versus Sphere of Influence.

A huge part of the rise of the blog phenomenon - from the "A-List" to the Tail - at the expense of the MSM is the frustration of literally millions of individuals who recognize the blatantly biased, one-sided, agenda-driven product that for too long has been passed off ostensibly as "news". As has been detailed in such books as Blog and South Park Conservatives, this disparity led to the rise of Conservative talk radio (pioneered by Rush Limbaugh, and followed by many), the FOX news network, and most recently, the mostly Conservative internet explosion known as the blogosphere. I won't re-hash that history here; I only mention it as background.

The blogosphere is a unique addition to this rise of "New Media". It is the modern incarnation of the combination of the power of Gutenberg's printing press with the influence of Martin Luther's ideas. While few bloggers fancy themselves neo-Lutheran in their ability to influence the masses and subvert the controlling authorities in the process, most appreciate their role in participating in that foundational tenet of a free society: the free-flow of information and ideas.

So what's my point? Just this: American bloggers tend to focus their work on American issues because it is those issues over which they may - individually for some, and corporately for the rest of us - exert some level of influence. While American bloggers may - and, I would guess, most do (take, for example, Gateway Pundit) - have in their Sphere of Concern global issues, they recognize that such issues are far-removed from their Sphere of Influence.

Again, the reason that the blogosphere experienced such explosive growth - primarily among Conservatives - is that would-be bloggers recognized blogging as a means to counter-balance the MSM; in other words, the intent of blogging is to exert influence (no matter how minimal that influence may be for anyone not named Glenn Reynolds). It is logical to assume that most bloggers believe their influence could be exerted most effectively with respect to America-centric issues. Coincidentally, the first showdown between "old" and "new" media took place during the most recent American Presidential election cycle.

If this explanation holds true, then as the blogosphere matures, it will attempt to exert its influence not just in American issues, but in increasingly global issues. (Cases in point: the Darfur crisis and the UN Oil-For-Food scandal.) However, I would go even farther: the MSM focus on several global issues only because those issues are first introduced, investigated, and discussed in the blogosphere.

Currently On The Coffee Table

Filed in PoliticsTags: Books, Conservatism, Media Bias, Republicans

South Park Conservatives: The Revot Against Liberal Media Bias: Brian Anderson


Letters to a Young Conservative: Dinesh D'Souza

What would Jesus Do…?

Filed in Politics, ReligionTags: Christianity, Media Bias

Arianna Huffington acrimoniously asks "What would Jesus do... with Tom Delay?" and then fatuously answers her own question:

Would Jesus strong-arm lobbyists to pay for his golfing trip to St. Andrew’s in Scotland? Would Jesus let a lobbyist pay for him to stay at the Bethlehem -- I mean, London -- Four Seasons?

Would Jesus, were he to smoke, and were he to be smoking on federal property, and were he asked politely not to, then reply: "I am the federal government."

Would Jesus say, "Judges need to be intimidated. They need to uphold the Constitution… We're going to go after them in a big way."

If DeLay and his pious pals had been around for the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the most famous line about humility ever spoken would have been given a rewrite:

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth… unless the pushy hire Jack Abramoff at 750 shekels an hour; then the meek (and the Indians) are screwed."

Oh, why not? I'll have a go at it. Of course, I'll just use one example - actual words of Jesus - as He might have responded to Arianna Huffington and her rock-wielding circle of friends:

If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.(John 8:7 NIV)

Columnists Gone Wild

Filed in PoliticsTags: Judiciary, Media Bias, Missouri

Several St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnists downed a full dose of Liberal Kool-Aid today...

First is Jo Mannies' giddy commentary on several examples of apparent conservative dissention:

"We're frustrated that we have to fight this issue with Republicans in charge," said Messer, who's also a lobbyist for the Missouri Baptist Convention. "We hadn't expected it."

That seems to be a frequent complaint among conservative activists as they head into the session's final week. Social conservatives eager to take on abortion, gambling and stem cell research are shocked at seeing their dreams stymied by those they'd helped elect last fall to control the state House, the state Senate and the Governor's Mansion.

The new Republicans in charge have chosen to focus primarily on economic and education issues, while also opposing some of the social conservatives' initiatives.

Ironic, isn't it, that the party constantly maligned for consisting of rank-and-file marching lock-step in tune to the "party line" - not to mention, for being under the control of "right-wing" special interest groups - elicits such elation from a liberal columnist for the implied detriment of doing just the opposite?

Next up is Robert Joiner, who is beside himself in reaction to President Bush nominating Catherine Hanaway as the US Attorney for Eastern Missouri:

Hanaway's nomination, in contrast, seems to belie her party's platitudes about merit and qualifications. If she were African-American and Democrat, I suspect you would hear hard-line conservatives mouthing the usual cliches about affirmative action run amok. There has been no such whispering from the right about Hanaway, once known as much for her vindictiveness in Jefferson City as for her trademark cigars.

No, what I expect to hear from hard-line conservatives this time is . . . silence, as they figure out how to rationalize this embarrassing contradiction between what they preach and what they practice.

Such vitriol from the Party of Tolerance. And what, pray tell, are your views on the US Senate Democrats' obstruction of Justice Priscilla Owen; or more telling: Janice Rogers Brown, who happens to be not only black, but also eminently qualified to fill the position to which she has been nominated? Which party is it, again, that consistently plays the Race Card?

Finally - and still on the subject of judicial activism - we have a Post-Dispatch editorial that still can't understand how judicial activism undermines the role of the judiciary in the check-and-balance system:

Under the proposal, known as House Joint Resolution 23, impeachment trials would be conducted by the state Senate instead of by leading judges. Let us count the ways this is a bad idea: One, it ignores the lessons of Missouri history. Two, it would subject judges to political pressures in violation of the concept of separation of powers. Three, it stems from a profound ignorance of the role of the judiciary in a democratic society.

The only "profound ignorance of the role of the judiciary" apparent here is that of the Post-Dispatch editorial board. A fundamental premise of the check-and-balance system is that powers are separated between the three branches, and that the three branches cannot act independently of each other. How can the judicial branch be truly "checked" if it polices itself - as is the case with the judiciary carrying out impeachment proceedings on judges? Apparently, most of the rest of the United States agrees:

He says he simply wants Missouri to follow the same procedure for impeachment that is followed in 48 other states and the federal government, with the Senate holding trials. That also was the Missouri procedure before the 1945 state constitution was enacted.

And what was it that happened prior to 1945, that was so egregious that the rules were changed? Somebody almost was convicted by a partisan state senate in an impeachment trial:

In 1931, Democratic state Treasurer Larry Brunk was acquitted by the state Senate of converting state money to his own use, thus frustrating the House member who managed the effort to remove Mr. Brunk... Mr. Brunk got off because he was a former state senator himself. Mr. Limbaugh said that only the partisan politics of the Senate trial saved Mr. Brunk.

So... what? By most counts, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson happened for purely partisan reasons, and to this day, democrats whine that President Clinton's impeachment for obstruction of justice and perjury before a federal grand jury was a similar ploy of partisan politics. Would supposedly impartial judges provide any better balance than a bicameral legislature buffered by a two-party system? As if we need any more evidence of the editorial board's bias, they state it here, explicitly:

The group says that judges should be impeached if a decision is "clearly in opposition to the plain meaning of the constitution," even if a judge "simply misunderstands" the law.

The proposed amendment might be dismissed as the rantings of fringe groups and legislators...

Holding judges accountable to uphold the law, as written by the legislature and enacted by the executive, against bench-legislation and incompetence, embodies rantings of fringe elements? And the Post-Dispatch editorial board deigns to presume whom does and does not understand the role of the judiciary in a democratic society...

(Hat Tip: JohnCombest.com)

More Reuters Bush Bashing

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, War on Terror

Vyvoda asks what "Bush supporters" have to say about this Reuters article, which in typical roto-Reuters fashion is headlined World Terror Attacks Tripled in 2004 by U.S. Count:

The U.S. count of major world terrorist attacks more than tripled in 2004, a rise that may revive debate on whether the Bush administration is winning the war on terrorism, congressional aides said on Tuesday.

The number of "significant" international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed on the numbers by State Department and intelligence officials on Monday.

Sounds pretty bad for the Bush Doctrine, and the Global War on Terror, no? Oh, but wait; let's dig a bit deeper, shall we? Elsewhere in the article, we find:

Waxman's letter said that of the about 650 significant attacks last year, about 300 reflected violence in India and Pakistan, leaving some 350 attacks elsewhere in the world -- double the total 2003 count.

He suggested this reflected enhanced U.S. efforts to monitor media reports of violence, thereby leading to the identification of "many more attacks in India and Pakistan related to Kashmir."

Okay, stop right here. Which is it? Terrorist attacks tripled, or we just weren't counting them in the first place? Is it even plausible that the number of terrorist attacks in Kashmir alone is double the total number of terrorist attacks in the entire world just a year prior? Obviously, this year's count reflects better information/intelligence gathering with respect to world terror. So, this story is really a non-story, right? Oh, no - Reuters can't end it without letting some Democrat hack take a cheap shot at Bush:

"What it effectively means is that the Bush administration and the CIA haven't been putting the staff resources necessary and have missed 80 percent of the world's terrorist incidents" in past years, said a Democratic congressional aide. "How can you have an effective counterterrorism policy from that?"

So, it's Bush's fault! Of course! But, wait; a little earlier in the article we read:

It later said the number killed and injured in 2003 was more than double its original count and said "significant" terrorist attacks -- those that kill or seriously injure someone, cause more than $10,000 in damage or attempt to do either of those things -- rose to a 20-year high of 175.

(Emphasis added)

So what's the implication? Roto-reuters would have you believe 1) Bush's counterterrorism policy has been an abject failure due to its inability to count terrorist attacks accurately, and 2) Bush's counterterrorism policy has been an abject failure due to its inability to prevent terrorism from spiraling to more than three times its 20 year high.

So what's the truth?

Congressional aides said about 10 full-time employees worked on the 2004 count, up from about three in past years, and that this produced a more complete count.

So, Bush put together the Department of Homeland Security, has made a good-faith effort to enact intelligence changes proposed by Congress, and is generally putting significantly more resources into HumInt than previous administrations ("previous administrations", referring directly to Clinton, is the correct translation of Reuters' misleading "past years") - and Roto-reuters manages to blame him at every turn.

A better analysis of this information is that world terrorism was higher all along, and the Bush administration should be praised for dedicating the manpower to track and count terrorist acts more accurately and completely.

If This Isn’t Terrorism, What Is?

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, War on Terror

Michelle Malkin comments on yesterday's atrocity in Iraq, in which a civilian helicoptor was shot down, and then a survivor murdered.

The Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed responsibility and posted video it claims is of the wreckage. Shocking footage of the terrorists shows them discovering a survivor of the crash (whom analysts say is one of the Bulgarians); helping him to his feet; and then shooting and murdering him.

Let us take a survey of how the MSM describes those who perpetrated this atrocity:

The New York Times, "A Private Copter Crashes in Iraq; 6 Americans Die"

Eleven people, including six Americans from the security firm Blackwater USA working for the United States military, were killed Thursday when a commercial helicopter crashed near the capital, according to officials from Blackwater and the company that chartered the aircraft.

Several officials said the helicopter appeared to have been brought down by hostile fire but there was no official confirmation of the cause of the crash.

The Washington Post, "Insurgents Down Civilian Helicopter Near Iraqi Capital"

Insurgents shot down a helicopter with a heat-seeking missile north of the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing all six American security contractors and five others on board, according to U.S. officials and insurgents.

The attack marked the first time in the two years of the U.S.-led occupation that fighters in Iraq have succeeded in bringing down an aircraft contracted for transporting civilians. Planes and helicopters are being used increasingly around the country as attacks make road travel on vital routes deadly for Iraqis and foreigners alike.

Reuters, "Commercial Helicopter Shot Down in Iraq, 11 Dead"

Guerrillas shot down a Bulgarian commercial helicopter in Iraq Thursday, killing all 11 on board including six Americans, as hopes of forming a new government were dashed by last-minute disagreements.

Times (UK) "11 killed as guerillas shoot down helicopter"

GUERRILLAS killed 11 international workers in Iraq yesterday when they shot down a civilian helicopter 20 miles north of Baghdad.

Six American contractors working for the Blackwater security company, two Fijians and three Bulgarian crew died after their Mi-8 helicopter was apparently struck by a missile.

The Islamic Army in Iraq, a militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. If confirmed, it would be the first shooting-down of a civilian aircraft in Iraq.

So we have the usual suspects: "insurgents", "guerillas", "militants", "rebels", and of course, the Gray Lady refuses to say the helicopter was shot down at all, though admitting that "hostile fire" alegedly brought down the aircraft.

Now my question is this: had this attack taken place at any other time in history, in any other place - especially right here in the US - by adherents of any other ideology, how would it have been covered? Just as a reminder, let's take a look at some commonly accepted definitions of terrorism:

Dictionary.com aggregates several definitions, as summarized by this one from the American Heritage Dictionary:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

The Council on Foreign Relations gives the following criteria:

In another useful attempt to produce a definition, Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, argues that there are four key elements of terrorism:

  1. It is premeditated—planned in advance, rather than an impulsive act of rage.
  2. It is political—not criminal, like the violence that groups such as the mafia use to get money, but designed to change the existing political order.
  3. It is aimed at civilians—not at military targets or combat-ready troops.
  4. It is carried out by subnational groups—not by the army of a country.

Clearly, yesterday's attack meets both the dictionary definition of as well as the criteria for classification as terrorism. Yet the MSM, once again blinded by their own ideology, will fail to report this attack accurately as an act of terrorism (as with all the other acts of terrorism carried out in Iraq). The MSM have no problem referring to the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing a terrorist attack, especially, as exemplified by ABC, when such attacks can be labeled as "right-wing".

And as the MSM continue to refuse to separate themselves from their own ideology, they continue to separate themselves from all remnants of relevance and usefulness in a post-9/11 world.

Top 10 categories of MSM/DNC bias

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias

The Cassandra Page exhaustively chronicles the many manifestations of MSM bias:

Bias in the MSM/DNC takes many forms. I am forced to compare these forms each time I catalogue another "lie" for the 2005 list. Much of the MSM/DNC behavior constitutes mere spin or bias, slanted headlines or failure to report opposing points of view. Those items, while reprehensible, do not constitute "lies." For the sake of clarity and so that we can more easily discuss the tactics of the MSM/DNC, I have categorized here some of those MSM/DNC tactics

Great list, required reading. And by referencing it I give implicit permission for anyone to call me on using any of the bias methods mentioned.

(Hat tip:PoliPundit)