Oh, that liberal media

With all the distortions, lies and mistakes journalists make, you’d think they be somewhat humble.   Instead, journalists love to wax philosophically about their higher calling and how any bias is simply their search for the truth.  Editor & Publisher prints a hilarious email from the Seattle Times editor (h/t Opinionjournal.com):

I ask you all to leave your personal politics at the front door for one simple reason: A good newsroom is a sacred and magical place in which we can and should test every assumption, challenge each other’s thinking, ask the fundamental questions those in power hope we will overlook.

If we wore our politics on our sleeves in here, I have no doubt that in this and in most other mainstream newsrooms in America, the majority of those sleeves would be of the same color: blue. Survey after survey over the years have demonstrated that most of the people who go into this business tend to vote Democratic, at least in national elections. That is not particularly surprising, given how people make career decisions and that social service and activism is a primary driver for many journalists.

Talk about a load of self-important hooey.  Well, at least he is honest about the newsroom being overwhelmingly liberal and Democrat. 

Back to those distortions, lies and mistakes.  The American Thinker compiled a long list of media misteps.  Two themes are the mistakes almost always hurt Republicans, and the New York Times and CNN sure mess it up a lot.  My favorites:

  • CNN, Operation Tailwind, CNN NewsStand (1998).  Lying/fabricating.  The televised special claimed that the U.S. military used nerve gas in a mission to kill American defectors in Laos during the Vietnam War, but the story had no factual support.  CNN later retracted the story.
  • CNN and Eason Jordan (2003).  Admitted bias, slanting the news.  Eason Jordan, CNN’s news chief, admitted that CNN withheld reporting on Saddam Hussein’s atrocities so as to continue getting favored treatment from Saddam.
  • Mark Halperin, ABC News (2004).  Admitted bias.  He wrote a memo to news staff telling them to hold George Bush to a stricter standard than John Kerry:  “Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and makes] mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.  We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn’t mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides ‘equally’ accountable when the facts don’t warrant that.”

Read them all.  Its like a trip down memory lane.  The only fault I see is the author forgot to include the New York Times headline declaring the phony documents about George Bush’s national guard service as “Fake but Accurate.”  In other words, damn the facts, if liberals believe it, it must be true!

Of course, Fox News is not mentioned, despite the protestations from liberals about it being “Faux News.”

A perfect example of “fake but accurate” is the debate over FISA.  This simple program allows U.S. intelligence agencies to listen in on conversations where one of the parties is a foreign terrorist.  The media has twisted it into “domestic spying”, giving the misleading impression that the government is listening in on your conversation with granny.  Of course, unless you or granny is a terrorist, you have nothing to worry about.

The Captain reprints a fascinating interview with the National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.  He explains how the media may be partially responsible for deaths of Americans.

Q. So you’re saying that the reporting and the debate in Congress means that some Americans are going to die?

A. That’s what I mean. Because we have made [FISA] so public. We used to do these things very differently, but for whatever reason, you know, it’s a democratic process and sunshine’s a good thing. We need to have the debate. The reason that the FISA law was passed in 1978 was an arrangement was worked out between the Congress and the administration, we did not want to allow this community to conduct surveillance, electronic surveillance, of Americans for foreign intelligence unless you had a warrant, so that was required. So there was no warrant required for a foreign target in a foreign land. And so we are trying to get back to what was the intention of ’78. Now because of the claim, counterclaim, mistrust, suspicion, the only way you could make any progress was to have this debate in an open way.

By “for whatever reason” he means the media hatred of Bush that drove them to “report” sensitive information, even over the objections of far-left Congressman Jack Murtha.  That touched off a firestorm in the leftwing fever swamps of the netroots, and unfortunately for America, those fever swamps now run the Democrat Party.  The result has been that Democrats now oppose an important intelligence program that they once supported.  That partisan battle that has hurt American intelligence gathering.


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