16 September 2003

Big Media bias watch

[source, source]
p(qq). The following are the words of New York Times correspondent John F. Burns, on his experiences reporting from Baghdad during the war. Excerpted from the book "??Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq??":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592282652/juddsbookreviews, an Oral History by Bill Katovsky and Timothy Carlson, published this week by The Lyons Press, used with permission. From the point of view of my being in Baghdad, I had more authority than anybody else. Without contest, I was the most closely watched and unfavored of all the correspondents there because of what I wrote about terror whilst Saddam Hussein was still in power. Terror, totalitarian states, and their ways are nothing new to me, but I felt from the start that this was in a category by itself, with the possible exception in the present world of North Korea. I felt that that was the central truth that has to be told about this place. It was also the essential truth that was untold by the vast majority of correspondents here. Why? Because they judged that the only way they could keep themselves in play here was to pretend that it was okay. There were correspondents who thought it appropriate to seek the approbation of the people who governed their lives. This was the ministry of information, and particularly the director of the ministry. By taking him out for long candlelit dinners, plying him with sweet cakes, plying him with mobile phones at $600 each for members of his family, and giving bribes of thousands of dollars. Senior members of the information ministry took hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from these television correspondents who then behaved as if they were in Belgium. They never mentioned the function of minders. Never mentioned terror. In one case, a correspondent actually went to the Internet Center at the Al-Rashid Hotel and printed out copies of his and other people's stories -- mine included -- specifically in order to be able to show the difference between himself and the others. He wanted to show what a good boy he was compared to this enemy of the state. He was with a major American newspaper. Yeah, it was an absolutely disgraceful performance. CNN's Eason Jordan's op-ed piece in The New York Times missed that point completely. The point is not whether we protect the people who work for us by not disclosing the terrible things they tell us. Of course we do. But the people who work for us are only one thousandth of one percent of the people of Iraq. So why not tell the story of the other people of Iraq? It doesn't preclude you from telling about terror. Of murder on a mass scale just because you won't talk about how your driver's brother was murdered.
A long quote but worth it. The most common question about this is, what was the point? Why go to Baghdad and suck up to a murdering dictator when you could be Jason Blair and publish lies without going anywhere?
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At least the French know what they do

An article in this week's L'Express pretty much lays bare France's diplomatic aim on the US-Iraq-UN front, namely, to revamp the UN as a useful weapon against the US. This poisonous article has to be read to be believed, but basically the theme is that Bush's offer to get the UN involved again in Iraq is a "poisoned present" that only a "dupe" would accept, but that nonetheless the demarche offers a not-to-be-missed opportunity to restore both "credibility" and "diplomatic survival" to the UN and its Security Council, which alone can hope to control the "all powerful" US. Anyway, here's the last paragraph p(qq). In the name of their credibility, and of their diplomatic survival, the UN and its Security Council can't afford to miss the opportunity to bring back the all-powerful America into the fold and to retake some semblance of initiative on the critically important Iraq dossier. But it remains to measure their hypothetical power, once more, by the measuring stick of concessions from Washington. I reread the article, you know, looking for something about doing good work amongst people who could sorely use some, and found nothing. And there's nothing about bringing democracy to the Middle East either. It's all about bringing the US to heel.
The question isn't why France would do this, but why the New Class considers France a moral exemplar when she does. UPDATE: "USS Clueless":http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/09/PoisonedFrenchpresents.shtml provides a full translation.
Posted by orbital at 10:38 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Motes and beams

I have a message for my liberal friends, relatives, and colleagues: If you think Republicans play dirty and Democrats don't, open your other eye.
Will Saletan goes on to demolish the myths that * The Republican stole the 2000 Presidential elections * The Republicans are stealing the congressional districts in Texas * The Republicans are stealing the governorship in California * That Dole wanted to "cut" medicare (from the 1996 election) In each case, the Democratic Party is arguing that the the will of the people shouldn't be expressed when it benefits Republicans. Not a lot of good policy meat on that bone.
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Feeling wrong

[source, source]
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, suffered a blow yesterday when Islamic scholars boycotted top-level talks between the faiths. The Muslim academics abruptly withdrew from a two-day meeting with Anglican delegates in New York in protest at the appointment of the worldwide Church's first actively homosexual bishop. […] the Muslim group from Al-Azhar university in Cairo, one of the most authoritative centres of the Islamic world, cancelled earlier this week, leaving some of Dr Williams's delegates stranded in America.
Among the many ironies and delusional worlds views on display here, consider this one: despite the alledged interest by the "liberal" Anglicans in understanding and accomodating those of other faiths, that doesn't seemed to have involved any actual _knowledge_ of how those faiths are practiced. The Archbishop probably just _felt_ that it would work out - what more than that would be needed?
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Franciful flights

[source, source]
The French government has told an airline that it is not to ferry British troops to Basra, a ban that will be seen as reflecting "Paris's opposition to the occupation of Iraq":http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$KCAB0XJOAY5VBQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2003/09/14/wirq14.xml. Corsair, which has been chartered numerous times to transport UK forces around the world, pulled out of a contract to fly reinforcements to Basra at the weekend.
France, always working for its allies, even after they've lost the war and been killed.
Posted by orbital at 6:23 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Big Media bias watch

[source, source]
A Sept. 15 article on Vice President Cheney's appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" mischaracterized the vice president's response to a question about releasing information on Saudi Arabia's ties to al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 hijackers. The article quoted Cheney as saying, "I don't want to speculate" about the ties, and said that the vice president went on to say that Sept. 11 is "over with now, it's done, it's history and we can put it behind us." The article implied that Cheney agreed with this point of view. In fact, in his full remarks, the vice president took the opposite view and argued that it is important, in discussing alleged Saudi connections to the hijackers, not to release information that would jeopardize the United States' ability to fight terrorism.
As "JYB":http://junkyardblog.transfinitum.net notes, when do you ever see stories where the speakers views were completely reversed toward the conservative side?
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The fine edge of conversation

[source, source]
CNN news chief Jim Walton had a "private converation" with reporter Christiane Amanpour after she accused her own network of being "intimidated" in its coverage of the Iraqi war. […] A Fox News spokeswoman said: "It's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."
Ooooh, now _that_ is a cutting remark.
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