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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
The "left-wing" media bias...
    #1765679 - 07/31/03 12:29 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Proof positive the media is overwhelmingly right-wing?

So, what motivated Americans to back their president throughout the winter of discontent -- when much of the rest of the world strongly disagreed with the need for war now?

Of course, there were many reasons, ranging from partisan politics to genuine hatred and fear of the evil Saddam. But there was another key factor: Somehow, despite the media's exhaustive coverage of the post-9/11 world and the Saddam threat, a very large segment of the American public remained un- or misinformed about key issues related to the Iraqi crisis. Let's look at a few recent polls.

In a Jan. 7 Knight Ridder/Princeton Research poll, 44% of respondents said they thought "most" or "some" of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were Iraqi citizens. Only 17% of those polled offered the correct answer: none. This was remarkable in light of the fact that, in the weeks after 9/11, few Americans identified Iraqis among the culprits. So the level of awareness on this issue actually plunged as time passed. Is it possible the media failed to give this appropriate attention?

In the same sample, 41% said that Iraq already possessed nuclear weapons, which not even the Bush administration claimed. Despite being far off base in crucial areas, 66% of respondents claimed to have a "good understanding" of the arguments for and against going to war with Iraq.

Then, a Pew Research Center/Council on Foreign Relations survey released Feb. 20 found that nearly two-thirds of those polled believed that U.N. weapons inspectors had "found proof that Iraq is trying to hide weapons of mass destruction." Neither Hans Blix nor Mohamed ElBaradei ever said they found proof of this.

The same survey found that 57% of those polled believed Saddam Hussein helped terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks, a claim the Bush team had abandoned. A March 7-9 New York Times/CBS News Poll showed that 45% of interviewees agreed that "Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," and a March 14-15 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found this apparently mistaken notion holding firm at 51%.

The significance of this is suggested by the finding, in the same survey, that 32% of those supporting an attack cited Saddam's alleged involvement in supporting terrorists as the "main reason" for endorsing invasion. Another 43% said it was "one reason."

Knowing this was a crucial element of his support -- even though he could not prove the 9/11 connection -- the president nevertheless tried to bolster the link. Bush mentioned 9/11 eight times during his March 6 prime-time news conference, linking it with Saddam Hussein "often in the same breath," Linda Feldmann of The Christian Science Monitor observed last week. "Bush never pinned the blame for the [9/11] attacks directly on the Iraqi president," Feldmann wrote. "Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public."

Carroll Doherty, editor of the Pew Research Center, told me last week: "It's very rare to find a perception that's been so disputed by experts yet firmly held by the public. There's almost nothing the public doesn't believe about Saddam Hussein."

http://bernie.house.gov/documents/articles/20030328175457.asp


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: Xlea321]
    #1766196 - 07/31/03 03:43 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

It's truly mind-numbing.

I think this touches on the biggest argument I have against the cries of a liberal, left wing media conspiracy. There is still (although I believe it is lessening) a sense of the whole "You're either with us or you're against us" mentality, both in the general citizenry and in the mainstream media.

Even those media outlets who might normally champion against the overwhelming misunderstanding of the facts and the causal relationships of the War On Terrorism, as well as the Iraq war have been afraid to jump out and cry bullshit. There have been so many instances where someone who has poked their head out of a hole since the SotU adress and said "what the hell...?", and that person or organization has immediately been decried as "Anti-American" or "anti-troop" or "pro-terrorism" or whatever bullshit...

Someone posted an article earlier about the "empty language" of this administration. The "with us or against us" syndrome has spread like a plague amongst the information infrastructure. It's like the old adage that you can't effectively define a word by using that word in the definition: using the grounds that it has been determined that you are anti-american for opposing the administration, its policies, or our presence in Iraq on the basis that it has been said over and over in the past.

Axis of Evil
Coalition of the Willing
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Shock and Awe

These are statements of propaganda that have become policy by sheer force of repition. Continual beating of the concept over the heads of the American people (and the rest of the world, for that matter) has been enough to get most of the sheep to simple repeat them back verbatim, thereby accepting these abmiguous hunks of rhetoric as unyielding tenets of "American" dogma. Noone stops to question what the fuck this stuff means, because their neighbor is standing next to them with a yellow ribbon tied around his cock, drinking a good ol' USA or Die beer, chanting the same empty slogans in time with the rest of the neighborhood.

But I digress (jesus... do I digress...)

If I actually had a point, I've gotten myself too riled up to remember what it was.

But I do wish that people who claim that there's a vast left-wing media witch hunt on the Shrub administration would remember Kenneth Star. Here's a fucker who spent $40 million trying to get to the bottom of a stained blue dress and a possibly shady real estate deal. The US news media was on that story like stink on shit for months at a time. THAT is what a witch hunt looks like, should you need your memories refreshed.

The possiblity that seems to have completely failed to cross the minds of these same people is that the few media outlets that ARE actively digging on the administration and it's policies (Salon, The Nation, The Guardian UK, and to a much lesser extent, the Washington Post) are perhaps simply trying to show that there is somethere terribly, horribly wrong here. It's nothing personal, it's just the way it is.

Gah - I'll shaddup now.


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There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


Edited by GernBlanston (07/31/03 03:44 PM)


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: Xlea321]
    #1766354 - 07/31/03 04:29 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

The figures quoted in that article indicate neither a left-wing nor a right-wing bias. They indicate at worst a profound disinterest on the part of those surveyed.

By "disinterest" I mean that the people surveyed don't invest the same amount of time informing themselves on things political as do the majority of posters in this forum. They sort of halfway pay a bit of attention to the news droning on in the background while they discuss their rough day at the office or whatever.

Some of those figures need not necessarily even be interpreted that way, though. For example, a majority "believe" Hussein helped the terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks. Note that there is a huge difference between saying "I believe Hussein gave assistance to the terrorists" and "It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hussein gave assistance to the terrorists."

Just because someone holds a belief in something that has yet to be proven in a court of law does not mean they are either ignorant or mistaken. As a concrete example, how many of you truly believe O.J. Simpson was innocent of murder?

The same argument applies to those who believe Hussein was "personally involved" in the attacks. For all we know he may have been -- it may have been Hussein who came up with the idea in the first place. He may have met with some of the plotters, he may have provided funding and training to some of them. There is certainly no definitive proof that he didn't.

It has been demonstrated repeatedly that many people hold beliefs with not a whole lot of supporting evidence, and many even hold beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary (i.e. those who believe man never landed on the moon). Does this indicate any kind of media "failure"? Nope.

The significance of this is suggested by the finding, in the same survey, that 32% of those supporting an attack cited Saddam's alleged involvement in supporting terrorists as the "main reason" for endorsing invasion. Another 43% said it was "one reason."

Clearly Hussein did support terrorists. His encouragement of suicide bombers by rewarding their heirs, the Salman Pak training camps, the fact that Abu Abbas and others were living in Iraq, is not in dispute.

Despite the title of the article in the link, I really don't think the results of these polls show any failure of the media through bias or under-emphasis or whatever. At best (or at worst, depending on your point of view) it merely shows that a whole heck of a lot of people don't bother to read carefully or to listen carefully. Regular contributors to this forum shouldn't be surprised at such a "revelation".

pinky


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1767218 - 07/31/03 09:26 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

GernBlanston said:
and a possibly shady real estate deal




A shady real estate deal where many, many people died suspicious deaths and were probably murdered.


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1767312 - 07/31/03 09:56 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Strangely enough, I really don't remember all that many people in rural Arkansas dying over this...


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There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1767390 - 07/31/03 10:26 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)



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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1767605 - 08/01/03 12:08 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Ok.. Here goes.

First off, I was being a bit facetious. (Is that how you spell that?) I believe that there is credible evidence that a few deaths could plausibly be traced back to the Phillipino investors in the Whitewater dealings. I don't think we can ever know how much or how little the Clinton's had to do with the goings-on outside of their direct scope of influence (Little Rock, Arkansas), but given the evidence I've seen, I am very hard pressed to draw conclusions relating the Clintons to the deaths listed on that site.

Second. The site you listed is not only a Christian run business, but a Reformed Christian run business. If you know anything at all, and I believe you do, about the way the religious right wing of the Republican party operates, then I think you must realize that anything they "discover" about the "facts" of anything involving Clinton (their personal anti-christ) must be taken with a grain of salt... hell - make that a full sized salt lick!

That said, there are a lot of weird coincidences surrounding the people involved with the Clintons (moreso than the Clintons themselves) in this deal. The thing which, to me, indicts the Clintons more than anything else is the fact that the Whitewater investigatiions were dropped at the same exact time as the investigations into the Koch brothers were dropped. (The Koch brothers own the single wealthest private corporation in the world. Not the country - the world. Their corp. is an umbrella for hundreds of smaller corporations, many of which are involved in *gasp* Oil and Defence Contracting. They are also, coincidentally, the 3rd largest donors to the Republican party during the Bush presidential campaign and administration.)

The simultaneous dropping of both investigations (for more about the Koch investigation, see "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" by Greg Palast) absolutely reeked of a deal. I would stake a lot on the fact that the Koch boys were guilty of everything they were being investigated for and then some... the fact that the Clinton administration was amicable with this kind of deal does not bode well for their innocence.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The "left-wing" media bias... [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1767861 - 08/01/03 01:34 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Good post Gern. It's absolutely inconceivable that the media could fill thousands of hours of broadcasting and media time for years and still manage to somehow "accidentally" mis-inform the public to such a chronic extent. Certainly makes a complete mockery of the idea the "left" are in control!


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