web counter Media Lies: Journalists and high blood pressure

Sunday, September 05, 2004

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Journalists and high blood pressure

Reading a newspaper nowadays can be dangerous for your health. I don't mind the back and forth of politics. That's what makes our country great. I don't even mind people who see the world completely differently than I do. That's what makes humankind great. What I do mind is arguments based upon falsehoods. They mislead and confuse. When they come from people whose job it is to tell the truth, it's particularly irritating.

On the front page of the Dallas Morning News (DMN) an article discusses the dramatic shift in the polls in favor of President Bush. You can't honestly discuss that issue without addressing the impact the Swiftvets have had on the race, but it ought to be done honestly. Unfortunatley, "journalists" seem to struggle a great deal with honesty these days. The offending graf reads, "The Kerry campaign also continues to tangle with Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. The group, backed in large part by wealthy Texas Republican contributor Bob Perry,....."

This is simply false. According to public records, Bob Perry has contributed $200,000 to the group. A large contribution, no doubt. Much more than most people could contribute. However, Perry's contributions now represent less than 10% of the total contributions to the Swiftvets. In fact, they have raised over $3,000,000 from over 42,000 contributors and the donations continue to pour in. There are only two reasons I can think of for a journalist reporting this incorrectly; laziness or dishonesty. Neither speaks well of the profession.

In another story in the "Weathervane"column of the Sunday Reader (opinion section) the paper reports a controversy over comments Arnold Schwarzenegger made at the convention. The crux of the argument is that Schwarzenegger lied about seeing Soviet tanks in Austria as a child because the place he lived was in the British zone, not the Russian zone.

Of course the blogosphere has already shot that false story down in flames. You would think by now the stupid media would get it. You can no longer lie and get away with it. Got it?

In yet another irritiating little piece in Sunday's paper, we read a quote from Frank Rich of the New York TImes, the bastion of truth, justice and the American way. Rich writes, "Only in an election year ruled by fiction could a sissy who used Daddy's connections to escape Vietnam turn an actual war hero into a girlie-man."

Here's a clue for you, Frank. No one turned Kerry into a girlie-man. He did it all by himself. Only in the fiction-filled world of the New York Times could Kerry be called a war hero. Try actually doing some research some time, Frank. You'll find it quite refreshing, although you might have to adjust some of your religious beliefs.

Under the category of "They just don't get it", the DMN once again tries to link the so-called ties between Bush and the Swiftvets. This time the angle of attack is Karl Rove's much quoted line, "I don't attack people in their weakness. That usually doesn't get the job done. Voters already perceive weakness."

So because Rove said this back in 1994, this proves he's behind the Swiftvets. It's simply not possible that anyone else could have employed the same strategy, is it? Rove would be the only one in the entire world smart enough to do that, right?

I'm going to take nap. Maybe when I wake up, "journalists" will too.