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Calling Bullshit On The Media Bashers.

Typical Bush-hating liberal.


There's a steady yap, yap, yap about liberal bias in the media. Some of it comes from a writer I genuinely like and admire, Callimachus from Done With Mirrors. And a lot of it comes from idiots.

The fact that the number one news network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP matters not at all. The fact that the largest-circulation newspaper in the country, the Wall Street Journal, (assuming you don't count USAToday, and really . . .) is owned by Dow Jones and reflects a consistently conservative line, matters not at all. And talk radio, dominated by the Right? That doesn't count either.

No, it's all a vast Left-wing conspiracy to poison the minds of the American people with anti-American propoganda. And the leaders of this terror-coddling cabal? The New York Times and the Associated Press.

Before we start, let's consider a map. Why a map? Well, the headquarters of the New York Times is on West 43rd Street, New York City. Why does that matter? Using my handy Google Earth measuring tool I make it 3.4 miles from Ground Zero. The theory is, apparently, that the writers and editors at the New York Times who work about ten minutes away from Ground Zero are determined to help the terrorists who blew a hole in their city. The AP is ten blocks closer. These are the people who breathed the dust and smoke from 9-11 and yet, we are supposed to believe, it is they who most desire the triumph of Al Qaeda.

Here is Callimachus grinding the anti-MSM axe today:
(italics indicates the news story quotes)

What's left out can be as telling as what's included. In a story such as this, for instance, which leads off with Bush's comments at as news conference.

"President Bush asserted Friday that critics who claim the Iraq war has made America less safe embrace "the enemy's propaganda."

It then goes on through many details and permutations of the war, the world scene, the political scene. It allows time for Bush's critics to respond:

With just over five weeks left before congressional elections, Democrats were quick to react. "President Bush's election-year attacks are the product of a desperate White House with no credibility left with the American people," said Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"It was yet another example of how he is in denial over what is happening in the war on terror," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Now, what was entirely missing from this story -- astonishing, since it was another headline on the same day -- was the newly released barrage of "enemy propaganda" by Ayman al-Zawahri of al-Qaida. And sure enough, it sounds exactly like Bush's domestic critics:

"Can't you be honest at least once in your life, and admit that you are a deceitful liar who intentionally deceived your nation when you drove them to war in Iraq? ... Bush, you deceitful charlatan, 3 1/2 years have passed since your capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, so how have you found us during this time? Losing and surrendering? Or are we launching attacks with God's help and becoming martyrs?

... What you have perpetrated against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Muslim captives in your prisons and the prisons of your slaves in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere is not hidden from anyone, and we are a people who do not sleep under oppression and who do not abandon our revenge until our chests have been healed of those who have committed aggression against us."

Yep. He touched all the bases in Michael Moore Field. Does that guy watch CNN or what?

But you get not a whiff of that in the Bush story. All you'd get is Bush's remark and the political response from Democrats. Nobody even had the guts to ask, "well, is their rhetoric essentially the same as the enemy's propaganda?" The leading Democrats certainly aren't going to bring that up on their own. The similarity is rather embarrassing to them, I'd think.
This is not, I hasten to add, Cal's usual level of thoughtfulness. And I'm not looking to flame him. Really.

But the logic of the above piece suggests that if John says "blah, blah, blah" and Frank says "blah, blah, blah," there is necessarily a connection between John and Frank. Or, to put it in political terms, if a Jew hates Nazis and Communists hate Nazis it follows that Jews are Communists.

Of course Cal's a bit more subtle, but only a bit. He only suggests that since the Zawahiri letter appears simultaneously with the above report of Mr. Bush's speech, the media should have drawn a big arrow from one to the other. "See? Mr. Bush is right. There is a distinct similarity between what Zawahiri says and what Democrats say."

Sorry. Bullshit. Transparent bullshit. And it's bullshit I'm tired of hearing.

If the media wanted to shithammer Mr. Bush they'd be running a crawl under his every televised appearance that read PROVEN LIAR. And they'd be right. That would be an entirely accurate sobriquet. They would be right if every account of a Bush speech on the topic of Iraq included a caveat to the effect that just about every one of the Bush administration's statements on Iraq have been proven false. They could do that and that would be the truth.

Each time the media lets Mr. Bush speak and does not superimpose the words "Demonstrated Incompetent" in the lower third they are doing the president's bidding. Each time they cover a speech without reminding us that he has been caught lying six ways from Sunday, they are acting as unwitting tools of the White House.

You want honest, impartial media? Fine. Every time Ted Kennedy gives a speech run a sidebar on Chapaquidick and each time the president shows up run a sidebar on Mr. Bush's many dishonest conflations of Osama and Saddam and do it all under a banner that reads "Mission Accomplished."

The fact that at this point the press corps does not hoot in derision at this discredited, failed president's press conferences is tacit collaboration with Mr. Bush's White House.

Liberal media my ass. You want the truth? You want the media to report the truth? Mr. Bush is a fucking disaster. And any time the news media leaves out that salient fact they are witholding the truth and working to further the president's propaganda.

It is absurd to demand that the media should run Mr. Bush's purely political, blatantly McCarthyite accusations against Democrats, buttress those accusations with a helpful arrow pointing to a letter from Mr. Zawahiri and pretend that somehow the objective here is fair and balanced reporting.

If that's what MSM critics want, I have an alternate suggestion: there's a story of an Iraqi kid kidnapped by Shiite militia and drilled with 45 power drill holes. Tell you what: next time Mr. Bush tells us how well things are going in Iraq what with their wonderful democratic government, how about we run the morgue photo of that Iraqi alongside? You want context? You want full disclosure? You want fairness? That would be fair.

(NOTE: I've corrected three instances above where I wrote "Zarqawi" and should have written "Zawahiri." I have a mental block about the two names. For the record one, Zarqawi, is dead.)

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“Calling Bullshit On The Media Bashers.”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Cal also fails to apply the same standard to the quotes taken from Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi for the article.

    If Dean claims Bush has lost credibility with the American people, shouldn't that claim be immediately supported, perhaps with poll data?

    If Pelosi claims Bush is in denial, shouldn't the article then describe in lurid detail how Bush has started drinking again?

    Clearly, the AP is devoted to the Democrats' demise.

    Tom Strong

  2. Anonymous Kevin Says:

    The liberal media bias is further proff that if you repeat something often enough, it will be taken as fact. Are individual sources biased, absolutely. Is the media on the whole biased, no.

    As for what Zawahri is saying, well, sometimes truth makes for the best propaganda. Crap, does that make me another America hating liberal?

  3. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    M. Tak, respectfully, go back over and read my latest comments (one just posted a few minutes ago). I'm not going to repeat them here, at least just yet, because they'd be out of context.

  4. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    If Dean claims Bush has lost credibility with the American people, shouldn't that claim be immediately supported, perhaps with poll data?

    No. Although, frankly, given that, in fact, Bush has lost credibility on particular issues with a significant portion of the American people, there wouldn't be a damn thing wrong with it--depending on how it was written, organized and presented.

  5. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    Each time the media lets Mr. Bush speak and does not superimpose the words "Demonstrated Incompetent" in the lower third they are doing the president's bidding. Each time they cover a speech without reminding us that he has been caught lying six ways from Sunday, they are acting as unwitting tools of the White House.

    What a load of crap (On so many levels), utterly useless in a serious discussion about the role of media and how it can best serve us, or even how it does or does serve us.

    Flamethrower? Bombthrower? No more.

  6. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    "does or does not," that should be.

    Better yet "does or does not--does AND does not, for and from whatever perspective"

  7. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    RIA:

    I'm not responding to a serious discussion by Cal. He's suggesting the press has a duty to provide support for Mr. Bush's McCarthyism.

    If it were a "serious" discussion, Reader, we'd have examples from Cal of media criticisms that weren't entirely one-sided. Instead all criticisms are of alleged leftist bias. Is this because no portion of the media ever displays a rightist bias? The Washington Times, say, or Fox or the WSJ? No, it's because this is not about how the media can better serve us but rather about how the media can serve this administration's peculiar goals.

  8. Blogger Tully Says:

    The fact that the largest-circulation newspaper in the country, the Wall Street Journal, (assuming you don't count USAToday, and really . . .) is owned by Dow Jones and reflects a consistently conservative line, matters not at all.

    Note: the op/ed page side of the WallStJrnl is certainly conservative. The news side is most certainly NOT. In a 2004 study of media bias, it beat out every other outlet studied(including the NYT) for most liberal news outlet studied. (Poking Godwin: My spies tell me that the news side refers to the op/ed side as "Nazis" on a regular basis.)

    Also blowing out the conventional wisdom, NPR came in as pretty much middle-of-the-road. USA Today came in as simply mindless.

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