web counter Media Lies: Musings from the past

Saturday, September 18, 2004

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Musings from the past

When you read an article like this one in Newsweek, you wonder what world these people live in. Eleanor Clift writes in "Where's the Outrage?"
From the Kerry campaign's perspective, this was another week lost to the Republicans. George W. Bush's proven failure to fulfill his National Guard duties was widely reported, but because of CBS's flawed journalism, the GOP was able to shift the story away from Bush's credibility to Dan Rather's.
The fantasy world Clift writes about doesn't exist, yet she still has a job. What more do you need to know about old media?

"George Bush's failure to fullfill his National Guard duties was widely reported" is true in the sense that the old media picked up that water bucket and carried it, but it failed to gain traction because it's false! Numerous blogs have addressed the issues with Bush's Guard service, and it has been proven conclusively to everyone except pertinacious liberals and the imperceptive old media that Bush entered the Guard on his own steam, served honorably and fully and was honorably discharged precisely because he was not derelict in his duties.

"CBS's flawed journalism"? Using forged documents and a partisan liar to try and discredit a political candidate is not "flawed journalism". It's partisan hackery. If Clift can't recognize that, then she should be writing for the Enquirer.
Republican lapdogs on Capitol Hill rushed to cash in on "Rathergate." Rep. Chris Cox, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, urged the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications to investigate CBS's use of potentially falsified documents. This is a party that launches investigations into Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction--and now this--while ignoring the intelligence lapses that led the country into an unnecessary war in Iraq, and covering for Bush when he exaggerates the progress in that nation's development. The National Intelligence Estimate prepared for the president in late July, and reported Thursday by The New York Times, describes Iraq in far more pessimistic terms than Bush does on the campaign trail, with civil war a likely outcome.
I can't resist the opportunity to ask the obvious. Were the shoe on the other foot - had CBS aired a story that debunked Kerry's Vietnam service using a partisan Republican liar and forged documents - where would Clift's outrage be then? Would she be writing about "Democratic lapdogs" rushing to cash in? Somehow I think not.

Objective people of every political persuasion should be outraged at Rathergate, and they are. Only people who don't give a damn about America could sit idly by while a major media outlet tries to influence the outcome of an election by publishing complete falsehoods with forged supporting documentation while ignoring strong evidence to the contrary.

What conclusion should we draw from Clift's bleatings? Mine is quite simple. She prefers a certain outcome to the truth. She's not troubled by the publication of false stories if they contrbute to her view of the way things out to be. That should trouble Newsweek and MSNBC a great deal.

There's nothing wrong with a media outlet having a partisan bent so long as their reporting isn't influenced by it. Fox News is a good example of a blend of objective reporting with partisan commentating. The trouble with old media is they don't want to admit to their bias while they allow it to influence their reporting.

Unfortunately for them, many people can tell the difference.