Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Early this morning, I posted a comment here that linked you to Mary's blog, FREEDOM EDEN, which in turn should have linked you (if you clicked it)to a copy of the legal brief filed in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. This brief was filed by 36 different news organizations in behalf of Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller, the 2 reporters that are in trouble over their refusal to reveal their sources in the matter of the alledged leak of "classified Information" about Valerie Plame,the wife of Joe Wilson and CIA employee.

I was feeling vindicated over what appears to be proof that I was right all along, that Karl Rove is indeed not guilty of committing a crime. Indeed, I was gleeful. The brief indicates that the media has been knowingly lying to us, the American people, about this matter.

Now, however, I am not feeling so gleeful. This revelation has far reaching and ominous implications for every American, and in turn, every person on the Earth. I am now troubled. Very troubled.

It is the press, the media, that we depend on every day, every hour, to keep us informed about what is happening in our world. Undoubtedly, we must reason that they have lied to us before, but now we seemingly have proof of a vast network of misinformation and partisan propaganda. This goes beyond mere political back biting and subterfuge. This is frightening in it's relation to what it means to us. All of us. How often have they lied to us before? And what have they lied to us about? What major catastrophes have been perpetrated upon us in the effort to assassinate some politicians characters? WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

Most importantly, How can we ever trust the media again?

We have always known that some reporters have used suppositions, innuendo, inferences, half truths, exaggerations, and yes, even blatant lies to further their own personal agendas. But this was a concerted effort.

It no longer matters if Karl Rove leaked information or if he didn't. The scandal over the news media, in general has overshadowed any perceived scandal in the Bush administration. It also overshadows Any perceived scandal in the Clinton administration. For you see? If the media can lie to us about this, they can lie about anything. And we don't have a clue what is true and what is not.

Did the President lead is to war with false information? We don't know. Did Ted Kennedy murder his secretary? We don't know. Did the US put astronauts on the moon? We don't know. Did the Holocaust in Germany really happen? We don't know. Did President Clinton really lie under oath before a grand jury? We don't know.

Is there anything we can know for sure anymore? The only source we have to determine if any of the news we get is true is the media. If we can't trust them, who can we trust?

The press was an honorable profession. Now it's words are of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. They mean nothing. I am disenchanted. The last bastion of freedom has been compromised. Can we ever regain confidence in them?

We can only hope.

Addendum: Since the revelation that the American news media lies whenever it wants to undermine people and establishments and administrations according to it's own ideologies, don't even try to use media resources to back up your points when responding to my posts, because I will no longer believe them. Unless it is from Fox News, one of the few not on the list of news organizations that made their startling admission in court.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


I hope your feelings on the media don't run into paranoia and conspiratorial ideas.

Certainly the media does a lot to shape our thoughts and push what stories they think is noteworthy to report.

But I think it's a rarity that you have to question basic facts...such as 9/11 did happen, and a plane did in fact hit the Pentagon....or not so conspiratorially: that there are al-Qaeda/Saddam links, but that the Bush Administration never said Saddam had a hand in orchestrating 9/11.

You should go to Hugh Hewitt. In the past week, he's blogged about old media and "journalism 101", and the success of bloggers; especially the ones who are center-right.

The beauty of the internet is that, yes anyone can say anything and there's lots of disinformation out there; but there's also a great deal more news information and interpretation of the news which we have access to, thanks to the technology of the internet. Old media no longer has a monopoly on pushing their stories and any hidden agendas, purposeful or unconscious. While mainstream news reports on tragedies, giving us a skewed perspective that LA has drive-by shootings all the time and that our soldiers are stuck in a quagmire in Iraq....you can listen to what Iraqi bloggers and military bloggers who are over there, are actually saying...thanks to the internet and the blogosphere. Guys like Hugh Hewitt are every bit as credible as any journalist you will find at the New York Times, or on 60 Minutes (can anyone say "Rathergate"? Jayson Blair?). And they want us to question the integrity of bloggers?

I don't believe in nonpartisan news; but I do believe that for the most part, news is not just made up out of thin air. There's no media conspiracy like that going on.

Mark said...

"Certainly the media does a lot to shape our thoughts and push what stories they think is noteworthy to report."
Yes they do. One only needs to review the polls that indicate the approval ratings of the President are going down and confidence on America's ability to win a war is losing ground to see how much the nedia manipulates peoples thinking processes.
We can take your premise that truth can be found in the blogs a step further. Since we bloggers get our information from the media, our opinions are no better than and as baseless as those of the media.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Since we bloggers get our information from the media, our opinions are no better than and as baseless as those of the media.

I know what you are saying; but not necessarily. What the journalist bloggers do, such as Instapundit, Captain's Quarters, and Hugh Hewitt, is to balance perspective on some of the liberally-pushed news stories; or help bring under-reported stories to the forefront, that the mainstream tries to ignore.

And it's not so much that when I read the New York Times, that I think they are essentially lying. It's a matter of taking the "facts" of their story, reading between the lines and realizing the journalist's own biases in reporting, and then digesting it appropriately. We all have perspectives. Both those left of center and right of center may agree upon the same facts of Abu Ghraib, but each side will put the story into a differing context....a different perspective; and will emphasize and de-emphasize the nuances of the story.

And ultimately, I think the majority of reasonable Americans can see the irrationality of the Guantanamo-type stories. The center-right bloggers have helped reveal the transparency of the "liberal noise machine" in the mainstream elitist manner of reporting news. I think declining viewership and readership subscriptions to influential primary news sources such as the New York Times, is as much to do with transparent liberal bias, as much as simply having a wider variety of competitive, alternative news sources to choose from, thanks to technology.

And as far as the polling, I do blame that on the influence of bad press from a hostile White House press and liberal media. When they report nothing but tragedy news, is it a wonder that poll numbers show disapproval over Iraq? But these polls are so "grain of salt"...phrase it in a certain way, and even I might give an answer that may appear to give Bush a negative.

What I love about this President, is that like Roosevelt and Churchill, Bush and Blair know that you just don't lead a nation based upon the latest gallup polls. Sometimes, leaders just have to lead...and make the right decisions, even when they might not be the popular decision, at the time.

Erudite Redneck said...

1. You are overestimating the communication that takes place between the front office of any news organization and the line reporters. It is virtually nonexistent. I do not know what the other people on my section of my paper are working on most days, let alone whatever agenda, if there is one, is in place at the top. Truth be told, the agenda at my paper, a major metro daily, is to get at the truth.

2. Specifically when it comes to media lawyering, the last people to know what the front office "really" knows is the reporters who work their butts off every day to do the job that most of them see as a calling.

3. STOP talking about "the media" as if it were a solid that moves in mass. The little bunch of self-important jerks who cover the White House make up a tiny percentage of the "media" in this country.

4. If ya don't quit ringin' yer hands so hard, yer not going to be able to type.

5. Mark, maybe you are too close to DC to know what it's like right now in the rest of the country. Outside blogdom, the development of which all of us are still trying to gauge, nobody really much gives a hoot in hell about Rove. Or the Beltway press.

6. It's not politics as much as power at work here. This administration shat on the media, just like Dubya pretty much did as governor in Texas, and this is what happens. You do not pick a fight with people who buy iunk by the trainload -- or who operate airwaves by ... the ... uh, whatever airwaves come in. Bushco came in with a big chip on its shoulder as regards the Fourth Estate. They asked for it. Then 911 changed the mood. Now everything is back to normal. Tit here. Tat there.

Daffy76 said...

I just get all my news from the Blogosphere :)

Poison Pero said...

Good on ya Daffy......Come on over to the Right is Right.

Mary said...

I sometimes get the impression that people think the issue of the MSM's liberal slant was born when Bush was inaugurated in 2001.

It certainly stretches back much, much farther than that. It had reared its head at least forty years ago, in the Vietnam War era. (Check out Walter Cronkite's reporting on the Tet Offensive and then check out the facts.)

I don't think it's a conspiracy. I think it's reality. The sources that have supplied this country with news for decades (the Big Three networks, the NYT, the Washington Post, etc.) are decidedly liberal. The "facts" are interpreted through a liberal lens. Sometimes the impact of that mindset has been subtle, sometimes obvious.

Now, with the rise of alternative media sources, the monopoly that the liberal outlets once had over their audience has been splintered.

It seems to me that they feel very threatened by conservative talk radio, certain cable news organizations, and bloggers.

They should feel threatened because they no longer are in control. Their word is no longer gospel. It's challenged.

The troubling thing that the disclosure of this brief reveals is that the Mainstream outlets had no qualms about saying one thing in court and then completely disregarding it in their coverage of the Rove story.

Increasingly, it's becoming more and more difficult to trust the MSM and with good reason. Rathergate, the Abu Ghraib obsession, the Tom DeLay demonization, Karl Rove...the list is enormous.

The good news is now we can get the other side of the story; but we still need to be aware that complete objectivity is impossible.

Fairness is all one can hope for. With Rove, the MSM did not report what they knew about Plame's CIA status. That shows no effort on their part to be fair.

There's a problem when journalists turn into propagandists.

(Sorry, I got so long-winded.)

Erudite Redneck said...

Mary, re: "The troubling thing that the disclosure of this brief reveals is that the Mainstream outlets had no qualms about saying one thing in court and then completely disregarding it in their coverage of the Rove story."

I stand by my No. 1, above.

Mark said...

ER, you know I have the utmost respect for you and I know that you are at honest in your opinions, and that's all any of us can ask for.
Did you see the brief that Mary and I are referring to? There were 36 different news organizations that admitted to the court that the story of Karl Rove is a lie. My point in this is that now that we know major news organizations encourage lies in their reporting. One lie and ut is now safe to assume they will always lie. All news gatherers may not be liars, in fact, Fox News and the National Review are not on the list of news services that filed the brief. from this we can infer that either they are more disreputal than the 36, or that they are mire trustworthy. I think I'll take my chances that Fox News is trustworthy. I will never watch the big networks again nor read Time, Newsweek, or the New York Times or Washington post. They and the others have sullied their reputations and I will make it my goal to make sure everyone I talk to boycotts the 36 outlets on the list.

tugboatcapn said...

Okay ER, then I will address point no.1.

I don't know about the environment where you work, but I would be willing to bet that if you searched until you found 2 solid Republicans in the whole building, then you would have done a full day's work.

Any time I tell anyone about anything, be it a Geopolitical event, or what I had for breakfast, I will include (and stress)the details which are important to me. If whomever I told about this event then tells someone else about it, then THEY will, in turn relate the details which were important to them.
Once again, I am not saying that this is the case in your particular office, but when the ENTIRE population of a particular newsroom believes with all of their heart that President Bush is a scumbag, then there does not need to be coordination from the front office for there to be an anti-Bush slant to the whole shooting match.
The line reporters will include the anti-Bush details and tiny little digs embedded within their stories, and then the editors will let it slide because it looks perfectly normal to them. Since everyone knows that Bush is a scumbag, then they all feel that they must tell the public how big a scumbag he is, and why.
And in this environment, these reporters will, to a man, firmly believe that they are doing their duty to expose corruption, while constantly slanting everything they publish.
It's not a conspiracy, it's a mindset which pervades the popular press. (Present company excluded.)

Mark said...

Tug, in this case it is not just a slant. it is a blatant lie. And it was a concerted effort on the part of 36 different news organizations who deliberately propogated the lie. I don't usually go along with conspiracy theories. That is the liberals job.
I will say this: In this case it is NOT a conspiracy theory. It is conspiracy FACT.

Erudite Redneck said...

Tug, I work for one of the most conservative major-metro dailies in the country. Lots of Dems in the office, sure. But many of 'em are conservative Dems. And there's some Repubs in there, too. I acknowledge that my paper is the exception. And now I get off the subject of my workplace: That is there, this is here. :-)

A liberal slant in the press as a whole is not news, as Mary pointed out. But it didn't start during Vietnam. It has always been there, I mean since newspapers starting attempting to be objective, which really occurred only after the turn of the 20th century.

But it's not politics, alone. By definition, those who accept the status quo are conservative. By definition, those who question authority are "liberal" in comparison. Reporters and editors' jobs are to ask questions and to challenge the status quo, ergo they are "libersl."

Now, as for the apparent lie revealed in the amicus brief: I still stand by my assertion that what goes on in the board rooms of the media in this country, especially when lawyers are present, is one thing, and what goes on in the newsrooms is another. Until I see someone from one of those outlets say, write or otherwise declare that they were in on the deal all along, I will assume the best, not the worst, of my colleagues, even the lefty ones.
Y'all, of course, will continue to draw your own conclusions.

But please, Mark, don't think you're getting objective, "fair and balanced" reporting from Fox. I mean, I believe Fox is reliable, but it is a conservative news organization, so it, by definition, is no more "objective" than any of them.

Objectivity is a myth, by the way. I'm not objective, because I have values and I personally care about some of the issues I report on. But I acknowledge it and work extra hard to overcome my biases -- as almost everyone in the news biz does.

Another thing. TV "news" sucks. Twas always thus! Internet "news" is even worse. And blogdom, as cool as it is, and as useful as it is -- and, admittedly, as threatening as it is to the mainstream media -- is the worst of the lot in some ways. Every man an editor!

Blodgom is a throwback to the pampleteering of the days of yore. Not necesarrily a bad thing: Pamphleteers helped fan our own Revolution. But they didn't do it by being fair and balanced -- and they didn't even get the concept of objectivity.

Give me an old radio man, a la Edward R. Murrow, or an old newspaper hand like David Brinkley -- and their modern-day descendents -- any day.

For me, my blog is my pamphlet. The paper I work for, perhaps an anachonism, and I dare say virtually every other newspaper out there, has the best of intentions, even the reliably liberal WaPo and the establishment-limosine-liberal NYT.

I can't speak for TV, or the 'Net. We all would be better off if they did not exist and more people read their news rather than listening to it, or getting it in slips in scraps on-line.

Daffy76 said...

Pero, I do with great enjoyment.

As far as bias in the media goes, I think we also have to factor in the ability of the listener to hear it wrong. Like playing the game where you whisper something in one person's ear and then they whisper the same thing in the next person's and so on. When the message gets back to you, it's usually completely different than it was when it started. I think our news comes through a lot of filters before it actually reaches the public. The chances for the message to get tainted are endless.

I've always had a certain amount of distrust for the media (no offense to those who work in this field). I imagine it is very hard to seperate work and personal beliefs to the degree you would have to in order to be completely unbiased. Since we are human and prone to such biases the trick is in learning to find the truth amongst them. In other words, take it all in and then decide what you believe.

That's one reason why I like the blogosphere. You know that the person writing is usually trying to be biased. You may not agree with what a particular blogger says about the subject, but in order to present a decent argument one must document some facts. Plus, you not only get the story, but also an opinion to agree or disagree with. It allows objective thought--a great concept for those who have the ability to use it.