2
   

The trouble with your press

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Mar, 2007 04:30 pm
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 May, 2007 05:34 pm
Found a few relevant comics in the Salon This Modern World archive..


http://archive.salon.com/comics/tomo/2007/04/16/tomo/story.jpg



http://archive.salon.com/comics/tomo/2007/05/14/tomo/story.jpg


And one on the Fox News talking head types:


http://archive.salon.com/comics/tomo/2007/03/19/tomo/story.jpg
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 05:31 pm
A spot-on observation Exclamation

Quote:
WELL, WHICH IS IT?

Today we saw an article in The New York Times explaining that Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are squabbling about, among other things, Romney's record on fightin' crime in Massachusetts:

    "I think that Governor Romney is trying to distract attention from what is clearly a mistake that he made, but the other big mistake that he made was crime went up," Mr. Giuliani said. "Violent crime and murder went up while he was governor, and I think that that is something that talks about not just an isolated mistake, it talks about a series of mistakes." The Romney campaign responded that federal crime statistics show that the violent crime rate in Massachusetts, which includes not only murder but also crimes like assault, dropped 7 percent during his tenure.
And in The Washington Post, we also saw the same thing:

    But his toughest comments were reserved for Romney. "Nobody thought of him as a fiscal conservative," Giuliani said. "People did think of me as a fiscal conservative. Romney says he tried to lower taxes. I give him credit for that. But he never accomplished it. I did accomplish it. . . . He wasn't particularly good at reducing crime. I was the most effective in the country at reducing crime. Murder went up when he was governor. Robbery went up. Violent crimes went up." Romney accused Giuliani of mangling his facts. "He's got a real problem checking facts," Romney said during a Sunday afternoon interview, arguing that violent crime in Massachusetts declined 7 percent while he was governor. Giuliani aides immediately challenged that assertion.
Can you tell what's missing?

If I were an editor at one of these fine papers, and my reporters turned in one of these stories, I'd tell them to figure out whether Romney or Giuliani is telling the truth. You won't find it in either story. So which is it?

My curiosity piqued, I did something crazy: I typed "Massachusetts crime statistics" into Google. And you know what I found? This! A page on the state's web site with their crime reports!

So what's the answer? Statistics aren't yet available (at least not there) for 2006, so what we have are data from 2002, the year Romney got elected (which should serve as the baseline), plus 2003 through 2005. And what do we find? In 2003, total crime declined 3.1% from the previous year, and violent crime declined 1.7%. In 2004, total crime declined by 4.5%, and violent crime declined by 3.2%. In 2005, total crime declined by 2.9%, but violent crime increased by 4.75%.

As for the murders Giuliani mentioned, in 2002, before Romney took office, there were 171 murders in Massachusetts. Then there were 139 in 2003, back up to 167 in 2004, and 175 in 2005. Without knowing what happened in 2006, it appears, then, that on the whole we can say that Mitt Romney's tenure saw some decreases in overall crime, but the murder rate was about the same when he left as when he came in.

Was that so hard?

Here's the thing: Politicians lie. The only thing that will keep them from lying is if they know they'll pay a price. And the only ones who can make them pay that price are the reporters whose job it is to tell us what's going on. Unless reporters are willing to step in when candidates are arguing over "facts" and tell you which side is being honest, there is absolutely no incentive for the politicians to tell the truth. Rudy may well now be saying, "Hell, how about next time we just say crime increased on Romney's watch by a thousand percent? Who's going to stop us?"

--Paul Waldman
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 05:46 pm
And a pretty hilarious take-down of your typical TV expert panels, courtesy of The Onion (video):

In The Know: Situation In Nigeria Seems Pretty Complex (2:41)

I can so feel that anchor woman...

It's also a great revenge fantasy of sorts. Wouldnt you want to see those "expert panels" of pundits on TV news shows outed as the idiots they are one day, like these fictional ones are in the vid? See them asked some real questions, on something serious rather than the superficial celebrity politics hype of the day, something that actually requires some expertise rather than mere opinion and tired talking points, something that doesnt fit those neat little conservative/liberal formats either? And see them flaunder and disgrace themselves?

Ah..
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 05:52 pm
I wish timber was here to remind us all to go to www.factcheck.org

~~~

http://www.factcheck.org/announcements/media_fact-checking_on_the_rise.html

Quote:
Media Fact-Checking On The Rise
November 9, 2007
Two Annenberg studies show a surge in fact-checking of political claims.
Newspaper and broadcast journalists both are becoming more aggressive in challenging false or misleading political claims, according to two new studies released Nov. 9 by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Among the findings:

* According to an Annenberg study of stories published in 34 of the largest U.S. newspapers, the number of "adwatch" type stories run in the 2005/2006 election cycle was more than three-and-a-half times larger than the number run in the 1999/2000 election cycle.

* A separate Annenberg survey of all U.S. television stations that originate news programming showed 38.8 percent of those responding ran "adwatch" or "fact-check" stories in the 2006 election cycle.

* The trend is continuing: 45.6 percent of TV stations who responded said they plan to run such stories during the 2008 campaign. And an additional 34.2 percent say they are unsure.

The studies were released as FactCheck.org and the Annenberg Center opened a Washington, D.C. conference to explore this trend. Titled "Pants on Fire: Political Mendacity and the Rise of Media Fact-Checkers," the conference brought together a panel of five journalists at the vanguard of the fact-checking trend.




<media forum media forum media forum>
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 05:54 pm
Yes.

And let me link in Greenwald... http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/28/stenography/
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 06:47 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Nimh,

You have to remind yourself constantly in order to keep it fresh in your mind.

The purpose of the American press is not to report news; it is to make money.


There ya go, that is exactly what was in my mind as i read the posts before this one--the topic here, for whatever Habibi intended, is not journalism, but corporate capitalism.

One big problem comes from the number of outlets. In the days before television news, there were thousands of daily newspapers thriving in this country. There were morning editions, evening editions, weekly commentary magazines on just about any topic which exercised peoples minds--and in addition to that, public speaking was just about the most popular public entertainment in the days before radio and television.

Now, small town newspapers are little more than advertising sheets for local stores, and major cities have at the most a few dailies. Some, such as Columbus, Ohio, have a single daily newspaper, and even that resembles a small town newspaper more than the daily of a state capital. Broadcast news has taken over the role of informing the public, and there are very few competitors in the field, especially in comparison to what was the case when there were thousands of daily newspapers being printed across the country.

I suspect, though, that intelligent people manage to inform themselves carefully even in this situation, and the mass of people who depend on the evening news broadcast of their favorite outlet are no worse informed than were the majority of people in the day when people chose their newspaper on the basis of the favorite social or political prejudices. I suspect, but of course cannot say with any authority, that the situation is not much different in Europe. The wrangling between Americans and Europeans at this site about who is better governed, who is better informed, who is more "enlightened," etc., etc., is carried upon between, largely, well-educated, well-informed people, and not the common run of the "salt of the earth." I doubt that factory workers and farmers in Europe are any better or worse educated and informed than they are in any other industrial nation.

Lets drink to the hard working people
Lets drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Lets drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They dont look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Lets drink to the uncounted heads
Lets think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange

Lets drink to the hard working people
Lets think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Lets drink to the salt of the earth

Lets drink to the hard working people
Lets drink to the salt of the earth
Lets drink to the two thousand million
Lets think of the humble of birth
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 07:38 pm
Setanta wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Nimh,

You have to remind yourself constantly in order to keep it fresh in your mind.

The purpose of the American press is not to report news; it is to make money.

There ya go, that is exactly what was in my mind as i read the posts before this one--the topic here, for whatever Habibi intended, is not journalism, but corporate capitalism.

Absolutely.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 08:21 pm
Hard to believe that was three years ago. Remember writing that like it was yesterday.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 10:20 am
Quote:
BREAKING: State Department official Iraq update is really compilation of plagiarized major media articles
by John Aravosis (DC) ยท 11/28/2007 02:43:00 PM ET



Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what's "really" happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he's right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its "report." And what's really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a "liberal bias." Here's my friend's report:
This is last week's "Iraq Weekly Status Report" from the State Department.

It's described thusly: "This comprehensive status report on Iraq provides weekly updates in the eight key areas identified as pillars of U.S. Government policy."

Scroll through and it looks kind of impressive, lots of information -- good job keeping on top of the game State Department! But scroll to the bottom and it lists the sources for the information. Now it woulda been nice if they included some footnotes in the body of the document to indicate they were including outside information, but as it turns out the entire thing is basically plagiarized word for word from those news articles, with the slightest of adjustments so as to maybe give the impression it's in their own words. Drop this code below in a post to see what I mean, pretty pathetic that the US State Department would send this out as their official "Status Report" on the preeminent foreign policy clusterfuck of our generation, and plays right into Dowd's point about Condi being lost in the funhouse and learning everything from the news.

1. Washington Post, 11/15/07:
Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but "it's unclear how long that window is going to be open."
State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 9):

Senior military commanders now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaida terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. Several U.S. military officials have expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but "it's unclear how long that window is going to be open."

2. AP, 11/14/07:
The Iraqi government seized the west Baghdad headquarters of a powerful Sunni Muslim group today, cordoning off the building and accusing the group of supporting al-Qaida, officials said. The Association of Muslim Scholars, a hardline Sunni clerics group with links to insurgents, has its headquarters in the Um al-Qura mosque in the capital's Sunni-dominated Ghazaliyhah neighborhood.

State Dept Iraq Weekly Status Report, 11/21/07 (page 3,9):
The Iraqi government seized the west Baghdad headquarters of a powerful Muslim group November 14, cordoning off the building and accusing the supporting al-Qaida, officials said. The Association of Muslim Scholars, Sunni clerics group with links to insurgents, has its headquarters in the mosque in the capital's Sunni-dominated Ghazaliyhah neighborhood.
http://www.americablog.com/2007/11/breaking-state-department-official-iraq.html
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 10:24 am
ps...that's just two cases of many noted at the link
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 11:06 am
Unbel... no, believable. Entirely believable.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 11:14 am
According to the Washington Post "Republicans say Barack Obama is a Muslim and Obama says he isn't" is a legitimate story. Modern campaign journalism in all it glory.
http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com/
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 11:31 am
This isn't "mere" plagiarism.

Bad enough if the state department was so devoid of researchers that the information from which they plan and provide accounting back to congress and other branches is often just culled from media. But it is worse than that.

First, the media has broadly and pervasively cut foreign offices and field reporting in order to serve corporate profit interests. Much cheaper to just copy accounts from anywhere or to function as stenographers and type/repeat what government or military briefers (or "leakers") give them.

Second, the military and the administration now have huge and sophisticated public relations operations which have, in part, the goal of managing information and attempting to create consensus in the public which will forward their agendas. False information, misrepresented facts, withheld embarrassing info, etc is part of this operation and mission. They will feed stories to media outlets both in Iraq and here for this purpose. Cheney, for example, will commonly make reference to some newspaper/tv reportage to support some claim he's making, thus giving the impression of reliance on disinterested or objective sources for his claim. But as likely as not, that very bit of reportage he's referencing has been 'leaked' to the news outlet a day or two earlier precisely so that he can pull this trick. This is a modern communication control commonplace.

So, what will be the case in much of what that piece above is detailing, will be
1) a story leaked or planted in the media
2) state department copies it
3) it is forwarded to other branches as factual accounting of ongoing situations/progress

In other words, it is (can be, and will be in many cases) entirely circular with no necessary connection to reality at all.

It's information control for political purposes.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 03:23 pm
Quote:
ENHANCED BULLS***T TECHNIQUES.

December 14, 2007
TAPPED

As we go around and around on waterboarding yet again, I couldn't help noticing that I cannot recall a single instance in which I've seen a journalist simply refer to waterboarding and similar methods of interrogation as "torture." Yet they use terms like "enhanced interrogation techniques" over and over. The Republicans certainly won the language battle on this one.

This is not complicated. Everyone all over the world agrees on what constitutes torture. Torture is the intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering in order to obtain information or confessions. Not hard to understand. Yet Republicans have successfully lured the entire journalistic community into their moral sewer, where there is some degree of suffering (defined not by how awful it is, but by whether it's fast or slow, and whether it leaves visible scars) that marks the line between torture and not-torture. If I rip your fingernails out - torture! If I tie you in a "stress position" designed to gradually inflict elevating amounts of pain, up to sheer agony, over the course of an hour or two - not torture! See, when I punch you in the face, son, I'm not committing child abuse, I'm engaging in enhanced parenting techniques.

I won't bother with the poetic invocations of Orwell. It's enough to say that when we embrace these kinds of euphemisms, we deaden our moral compasses. And every reporter who uses the term "enhanced interrogation techniques" is complicit. [..]
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 04:02 pm
blatham wrote:
This isn't "mere" plagiarism.

Bad enough if the state department was so devoid of researchers that the information from which they plan and provide accounting back to congress and other branches is often just culled from media. But it is worse than that.

First, the media has broadly and pervasively cut foreign offices and field reporting in order to serve corporate profit interests. Much cheaper to just copy accounts from anywhere or to function as stenographers and type/repeat what government or military briefers (or "leakers") give them.

Second, the military and the administration now have huge and sophisticated public relations operations which have, in part, the goal of managing information and attempting to create consensus in the public which will forward their agendas. False information, misrepresented facts, withheld embarrassing info, etc is part of this operation and mission. They will feed stories to media outlets both in Iraq and here for this purpose. Cheney, for example, will commonly make reference to some newspaper/tv reportage to support some claim he's making, thus giving the impression of reliance on disinterested or objective sources for his claim. But as likely as not, that very bit of reportage he's referencing has been 'leaked' to the news outlet a day or two earlier precisely so that he can pull this trick. This is a modern communication control commonplace.

So, what will be the case in much of what that piece above is detailing, will be
1) a story leaked or planted in the media
2) state department copies it
3) it is forwarded to other branches as factual accounting of ongoing situations/progress

In other words, it is (can be, and will be in many cases) entirely circular with no necessary connection to reality at all.

It's information control for political purposes.


Are you suggesting that ANY of this is new or of recent origin?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 04:43 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
blatham wrote:
This isn't "mere" plagiarism.

Bad enough if the state department was so devoid of researchers that the information from which they plan and provide accounting back to congress and other branches is often just culled from media. But it is worse than that.

First, the media has broadly and pervasively cut foreign offices and field reporting in order to serve corporate profit interests. Much cheaper to just copy accounts from anywhere or to function as stenographers and type/repeat what government or military briefers (or "leakers") give them.

Second, the military and the administration now have huge and sophisticated public relations operations which have, in part, the goal of managing information and attempting to create consensus in the public which will forward their agendas. False information, misrepresented facts, withheld embarrassing info, etc is part of this operation and mission. They will feed stories to media outlets both in Iraq and here for this purpose. Cheney, for example, will commonly make reference to some newspaper/tv reportage to support some claim he's making, thus giving the impression of reliance on disinterested or objective sources for his claim. But as likely as not, that very bit of reportage he's referencing has been 'leaked' to the news outlet a day or two earlier precisely so that he can pull this trick. This is a modern communication control commonplace.

So, what will be the case in much of what that piece above is detailing, will be
1) a story leaked or planted in the media
2) state department copies it
3) it is forwarded to other branches as factual accounting of ongoing situations/progress

In other words, it is (can be, and will be in many cases) entirely circular with no necessary connection to reality at all.

It's information control for political purposes.


Are you suggesting that ANY of this is new or of recent origin?


When stupid or nefarious acts of governance are found out, the fact that they may or may not be 'new or of recent origin' is immaterial. The only question is how to stop it.

'everyone does it' is the worst Republican excuse, by far

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 04:51 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
[When stupid or nefarious acts of governance are found out, the fact that they may or may not be 'new or of recent origin' is immaterial. The only question is how to stop it.

'everyone does it' is the worst Republican excuse, by far

Cycloptichorn


Are you then suggesting that today's Democrat leaders in the Congress and their supporters in the media don't do the same???? Or that recent and past Democrat administrations didn't do it even more assiduously????


"Everyone does it" isn't an excuse at all - and it isn't a Republican assertion. It is simply an observable truth. More to the point it is an observable truth that gives the lie to Blatham's fantasy of evil conspiracy -- it is merely democratic politics in motion - as old as the country.

Hyperindignation and ignorance are unseemly partners.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 04:58 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
[When stupid or nefarious acts of governance are found out, the fact that they may or may not be 'new or of recent origin' is immaterial. The only question is how to stop it.

'everyone does it' is the worst Republican excuse, by far

Cycloptichorn


Are you then suggesting that today's Democrat leaders in the Congress and their supporters in the media don't do the same???? Or that recent and past Democrat administrations didn't do it even more assiduously????

"Everyone does it" isn't an excuse at all - and it isn't a Republican assertion. It is simply an observable truth. More to the point it is an observable truth that gives the lie to Blatham's fantasy of evil conspiracy -- it is merely democratic politics in motion - as old as the country.

Hyperindignation and ignorance are unseemly partners.


Lol, we're nowhere near 'hyper-indignation' yet.

Please provide evidence of Democrats in Congress plagiarizing media stories and releasing them as original press releases, without attribution. I am willing to bet money that you either cannot or will not do so.

If past Dem administrations (and I think you must be referring to Clinton) did the same, please provide some evidence of this. I am willing to bet money that you either cannot or will not do so.

I almost got the impression that you were alleging some sort of collusion between the Dems and the Media; I'm sure I don't need to remind you that this has nothing to do with the discussion in question, which was plagiarizing media reports and repackaging them as original gov't reports. One might be tempted to refer to that as a Straw Man.

There is no 'observable truth' that everyone does this. I specifically challenge this assertion of yours.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2007 05:03 pm
Challenge away. If that makes your chosen ignorance more comfortable, you, not me, will be the loser.

I am not inclined to expend much effort to further your education regarding the recent history of this country (say since 1932).

There is no one so blind as one who will not open his eyes and observe.
0 Replies
 
 

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