This thread is the spawn of 2 other threads that I’ve posted to recently. Instead of veering those threads off into a big tangent, I felt it best to just throw it into a new thread of its own. For reference, the threads that I’m talking about can be found:
Finally, before I start, I want to give fair warning that this will be a long post (well, the longest I have ever written). So please accept my apologies, hamsters.
I’ll start with the first thread. In post #72 I ask for some cites showing a liberal bias in news networks like CNN (I will probably be focusing on CNN, rather than on all the major networks, just for simplicity). furt helps me out by providing a couple of web sites (that he acknowledges are conservatively biased). I will be talking about the first cite (I haven’t even gotten to the second one-- sorry) that furt provided: Oh, That Liberal Media, going through the list of problems that the web site brings up.
- “CNN Buries Kerry Connection to Indicted Fundraiser”
Summary: Charles Kushner, a real-estate developer and political fundraiser in New Jersey, is being charged for violating federal
tax and fraud statutes, and federal campaign contribution laws.
The web site is shows disdain for CNN because the news network doesn’t mention that Kushner has donated to several Democratic politicians
(Hillary, John Kerry, etc.) “until the 13th paragraph of the story.” The web site goes further, suggesting that had the entrepeneur
donated to the republican party, the story would have been much more prominent, and contained a headline like “Bush Backer Indicted in
Personally, I think that the fact that CNN didn’t mention who the man donated to until the 13th paragraph merely reflects decent
reporting. The story is about how the man is being indicted for very shady “money practices”. While it is kind of relevant
that he donated (perhaps illegally) money to democrats, it is not something that should be pointed out within the first or second
paragraph. If that were the case, then the story would be blatantly biased, because the focus would be directed to the politics, rather
than the man’s (alleged) crime.
Also, I’m not completely convinced that, had the man donated to the republican party, the “Bush Backer Indicted” story would fly as far
as the web site suggests. I think that conservative commentators would like to have us believe this, but I do not think that it is
actually the case.
- “Concealing the Subject’s Political Affiliation”
Summary: Kathie and Tom Bunch, parents of a millitary reservist, are interviewed by CNN’s Judy Woodruff. They are upset about the
call-up of over 5,000 Individual Ready Reserves, to be deployed to the Middle East; among them their 29 year-old son. They also feel that
their son has not had “sufficient training” to be deployed for active duty.
The website shows disdain for CNN for several reasons:
– The parents need to deal with the “fact” that their son didn’t receive enough training (not too sure why this is a fault on CNN’s
part, but ok)
– CNN didn’t mention that Tom and Kathie are democrats.
The story here is that Kathie and Tom Bunch are upset about the depolyment of some 5,600 reservists who received “minimal training” and
“no specific orders”. Jon, their son, said that he was honored to serve the Army. The political affiliation of the Bunch family is
completely irrelevant to the story. If it had been brought up, a bias would have been introduced, because focus would have, more than
likely, shifted towards political aspects; getting away from the story (which is actually more like a “Feature” story, than a news
- “Pentagon Memo Release Causes CNN to Do a 180”
I can’t make any sense out of this gibberish. I originally thought that the web site had a problem with CNN not reporting that Rumsfeld
only approved the “mildest” of the torture methods. But that’s not the case, because CNN did report on it. What exactly is the
- “Putin: Saddam Planned Terrorism in US”
Summary: Putin provided intelligence to the U.S. that Saddam planned “terrorist attacks” against the U.S., but did not have any
evidence that showed Saddam was involved in any terrorist attacks. (Apparently Bush did not disclose that Russia was the source of this
intelligence, because Russia still held diplomatic relations with Iraq in 2003.)
The website shows disdain for CNN because the news network didn’t immediately throw itself to the mercy of the Bush Administration,
pleading “We didn’t know! Please forgive us!”… or something like that. Actually, the website doesn’t like how CNN made the comment that
“The [9/11] panel also found ‘no credible evidence’ that Iraq was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks carried out by al Qaeda
hijackers,” calling it a non-sequitur. Perhaps it was to offset (read: balance) the paragraphs that came before the statement, including
passages like “[Bush:] This is a regime which gave cash rewards to families of suicide bombers. This is a regime that sheltered terrorist
- “CNN Sues for Access to Florida Voter Rolls”
Summary: While thousands of voters were mistakenly disenfranchised during the 2000 election in Florida, an analysis by the Palm
Beach Post shows that 5,600 felons illegally cast votes in the election. If these 5,600 felons did not vote, Bush would have won Florida
with a larger margin.
This is an interesting one. The first one that really gets me to thinking “What the hell?!” In fact, the really interesting
thing is how I can’t seem to find the actual Palm Beach Post “computer analysis” that came to these conclusions (I have searched their
entire web site). So, I have contacted the Palm Beach Post, requesting any infomation they have about this analysis. Because if this is
true, then the situation in Florida would certainly look a lot different (and the “liberal media” – including Fox News! – would really
look like a bunch of asses). Of course, if this does not turn out to be true, then we got nothin’ here.
When (or if) I hear back from the Palm Beach Post, I will be sure to post the response here. Also, if anyone has a copy of, or a link
to, the actual analysis I would be greatly appreciative if you could present it here.
- “Record” Gas Prices … Well, Not Really"
Summary: The record gas prices we keep hearing about in the media are not actually “records”, if you adjust for inflation.
The website shows disdain for CNN because they keep referring to the “record high gas prices”. The website also frowns upon: Reuters,
NBC, ABC, and CBS. I feel that I should note that Fox News (which wasn’t on the list) does actually mention these record high gas
prices, as well.
So I guess if you want to be anal-retentive about this… the problem isn’t that the media is liberal; just dumb.
- “CNN: Shill for Kerry?”
Summary: CNN runs a story talking about Kerry’s agenda on the Vietnam War, after returning from it. The story details how Kerry
felt about the war. As a “counterpoint”, CNN presented a statement made by John O’Neill, who served in the same Navy patrol unit as
The website shows disdain for CNN because “That’s all that CNN presents by way of counterpoint: 64 words [O’Neill] against 428 [Kerry],
or a ratio of 6.7 to 1 in Kerry’s favor on an article that supposedly was about the effect he had on other veterans.”
Let me point out the headline of the story: “Kerry’s 1971 testimony on Vietnam reverberates; Vivid words alleged atrocities by soldiers”.
Reading the article (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/23/kerry.vietnam/), I don’t think that it was falsely advertised, or that the
headline was misleading at all. My reaction as to why CNN didn’t spend more time focusing on O’Neill’s point of view? Because the
argument that O’Neill is making is a fallacy. Kerry never said that all soldiers were “baby killers”, or that all soldiers carried out
these atrocities. So, it’s a moot point. And, IMHO, that point of view parallels the one that suggests that we do not question the
actions of our troops. As we have seen from the Abu Ghraib, some soldiers are capable of atrocities. Certainly not all,
- “CNN Turns to … Anita Hill(!) for Condi Comments”
Summary: CNN anchor Heidi Collins interviews Anita Hill the day before Condoleezza Rice was to tesify before the 9/11 Committee.
The website shows disdain for CNN for several reasons:
– Hill had nothing substantive to offer (matter of opinion-- and wrong, in mine)
– Hill knows nothing about national security, terrorism, “[p]ast administrations’ takes on Islamic radical”
– The only reason is because she is a black female. Oh, and she testified during the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991. (ding ding
This CNN article was obviously lost on the author(?) of the website. The first words out of Heidi Collins’ mouth, to Anita Hill, were:
Now, while it’s not a direct connection, it’s definitely not a far reach to see the connection that was being made. Well, except for
- “If We Fight Terrorism, the Terrorists Have Won”
Summary: CNN reports on how the “American-led interim administration” shut down the Iaq newspaper, Al Hawsa, for an article that
called on Iraqis to kill “all spies and those who cooperate with the U.S.” CNN also reports response of the Al Hawsa newspaper: “If the
Coalition forces are going to keep on presenting us with such messages… they can just dream about any sort of end to terrorism.”
The website is apparently pissed off at this Catch-22. Now, what the problem is with CNN’s reporting of this story? I have no idea.
- “AP Calls the Election for Kerry”
Summary: According to an Associated Press story, Howard Dean’s organization, “Democracy for America”, “will play a role in helping
Kerry win the presidency in November.”
The website has its panties in a bundle (do websites wear panties? I always assumed boxers or something…) because the APsaid that the
organization “will play a role in helping Kerry win the presidency…” instead of “will play a role in helping Kerry try to win
I get the feeling that they’re not even trying anymore.
- “Not Reviewing the Situation”
Summary: God only knows.
This is another one I can’t make heads or tails of. If someone could explain it to me, right on. If not, I don’t feel like I’ll be
- “Soft on the Mullahs”
Summary: According to Reuters:
According to the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran:
The website is wondering why we have this seemingly “conflict” between the two stories. Instead of quickly jumping to the conclusion that
the liberal media just wants us to believe that everything is peachy keen in Iran, we could look at a couple of factors that probably
play into this.
– There is about an 8 hour gap (time zones) between the east coast and Iran. While the CNN/Reuters story was posted at 6:37PM EST,
that would translate to about 2:37AM in Iran. By this time, in Iran, it appears that some violence began to break out. I don’t think
Reuters refused to report any violence, I just think that there wasn’t any violence to report, when the reporter(s) was(were)
collecting information for the story.
- “CNN’s Bizarre Exercise in Self-Parody and Stealth Editing”
Summary: CNN reported on a small gathering of protestors in Washington, that were preparing to march to the White House in protest
of the Iraq war. At first, CNN claimed “more than 60 people” gathered… but then changed the number to “more than 100 people”, using
their high-tech stealth-edit feature.
The funny thing is: the website really thinks that some kind of “stealth editing” took place. I have an even better explanation. Now,
to follow me here, you’re going to have to read a little more than the lead of the CNN story, but trust me- it will make sense in
the end. [/patronizing tone]
The lead of the CNN article states:
Now, if you go down to the 1…2…3…4…5…6th paragraph, you will see the following:
Now, don’t you think that it’s, at least remotely, possible that your source (Tim Blair) might have caught the story as it was
still developing? That is, they saw “blahblahblah more than 60 people blahblahblah”, and then saw “blahblahblah more than 100 people
blahblahblah” when looking at the story later? Immediately thinking “Oh my God! I just witnessed CNN pulling the biggest cover-up of the
In conclusion (to this website): Most of the accusations that are made on this website (this particular page, at least) are not
structurally sound. I got the impression that most of them stemmed from a knee-jerk reaction, and a stubbornness to believe that other
explanations existed for the situations.
For the remaining accusations, the website described how it thought the stories should have been reported. IMHO, if the stories
were reported in the fashion suggested by the website, they would not only be “unbiased”, but rather “conservatively biased”. One step
forward, two steps back, and all that.
(And it looks like I have to split this into 2 posts. When did they start enforcing a 20,000 character maximum? :eek: )