The Media Marginalizes The American People

Here is another example of the Media marginalizing the views of the American People:

Americans are not necessarily intent on getting all U.S. troops out right away, the poll indicated. The survey found strong support for a two-year timetable if that's what it took to get U.S. troops out. Seventy-one percent said they would favor a two-year timeline from now until sometime in 2008, but when people are asked instead about a six-month timeline for withdrawal that number drops to 60 percent. Public opinion expert Karlyn Bowman of the conservative American Enterprise Institute said stronger support for the longer timetable could reflect a realization that it takes time to change strategy.

60% say out in 6 months and a so called expert says this reflects a realization that it takes time to change strategy (read stay longer). I mean, this is just false. If 60% said stay the course, they would not be rationalizing it away like this.


In a candid admission, John Harris, formerly of the Washington Post said:

In my experience, the vast majority of political reporters approach ideological questions with what you might call centrist bias. . . . It took me a while to realize how this instinct for rationalist, difference-splitting politics can itself be a form of bias. . . Who needs a bunch of reporters popping off with their views? It is hard enough—and honorable enough—to aim to report and analyze politics fairly and with a disciplined effort to transcend bias. That is what we will do in this new venture.

The reporting on the views of the American People on Iraq reflects this Broderism bias - and leads to the falsehoods we see in the AP story I discuss above the fold.

Bob Somerby provides another example:

Guest host Andrea Mitchell raised the tired old question about Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize Bush to wage war (described by Mitchell as her “vote for the war”). “Is she vulnerable to a candidate from the left like Barack Obama, who was against the war—even though he didn't have to vote, he wasn't elected then, at that time—or Al Gore?” Mitchell asked. First, Elisabeth Bumiller took a go. Then, [Cynthia] Tucker weirdly said this:

TUCKER (12/3/06): She gives a better answer [about her vote] than John Kerry, who said something like “I voted against it before I voted for it.”

MITCHELL: There is no worse answer than John Kerry's.


TUCKER: Absolutely. I also think that the peacenik wing of the Democratic Party may have learned a lesson from their failures in Connecticut, where Ned Lamont lost in the general election to Joe Lieberman. The simple fact of the matter is, every serious Democrat who was in the Senate at the time voted for the war—or voted to authorize the president—and Al Gore was one of the few Senate Democrats who voted in 1991 for the first Gulf War . . .

This is false of course. And idiotic editorializing to boot. These SERIOUS Democratic Senators voted AGAINST the war:

Akaka, Hawaii, Bingaman, N.M., Boxer, Calif., Byrd, W.Va., Conrad, N.D., Corzine, N.J., Dayton, Minn., Durbin, Ill., Feingold, Wis., Graham, Fla., Inouye, Hawaii, Kennedy, Mass., Leahy, Vt., Levin, Mich., Mikulski, Md., Murray, Wash., Reed, R.I., Sarbanes, Md., Stabenow, Mich., Wellstone, Minn., Wyden, Ore.

163 House Democrats voted against the war. And the idea that being against the war was an unserious position, is STILL HELD TODAY, as the makeup of the Iraq Study Group evidences:

FEINGOLD (12/6/06): The fact is this [Baker-Hamilton] commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows, not in the description of what's happened—that's fairly accurate—but it shows in the recommendations.

This pervasive Media bias is a cancer in our discourse and is extemely harmful to our Nation. The Broderist Media MUST be constantly challenged and corrected. And not just on Iraq. On every issue.

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    Asking the questions the media won't (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:44:12 PM EST
    By Danny Schechter
    Nov 19, 2006, 09:22

    New York, New York: Ok, class. No talking. Pencils up. All eyes on the exam. Here's the first multiple-choice question:

     The Iraq War is Bad Because:

    a)     It is illegal, immoral, and criminal

    b)     It has ended up killing and maiming millions of Iraqis we promised to free

    c)      It has devastated a country and ignited world opinion against the United States and caused thousands of US casualties

    d)     It has debased our media and turned much of it into a propaganda organ    

    e)     It was badly managed and poorly executed

    If you survey world opinion, there would be a consensus on selecting A-D as a response. If you polled most Democratic politicians and mainstream journalists, you would find overwhelming support ONLY for E-"the we screwed it up" thesis as the correct answer.

    What was once hailed as a heroic mission is now being dismissed as a fiasco, error and "mistake," and to some former war boosters, even a "noble mistake."

    In fact, that's the view that seems to be framing what debate there has been on the war. It is still-AAU-All About Us. In this view, all that matters is our policy objectives but rarely our economic or geo-political agenda. Iraq as a nation, as a culture and a people barely exists.

    For the most part the American debate leaves out the Iraqis except as victims or killers. The leaders that they said to have elected don't seem to count with Washington giving them orders and pulling their strings. Prime Minister Maliki had to have a press conference to announce he works for the Iraqi People, not the Bush Administration. He knows that if he is to survive politically and personally, he has to distance himself from his wannabe benefactors. How many of us know that the Iraqi Government we trained is running death squads? How many Iraqis do we ever see, or more importantly HEAR on the air?

    The Democratic Party line mirrors this America First  philosophy.. Never ready to challenge the deeper assumptions and interests guiding the war, most of the Democrats instead harp on the stupidity and failures of the war's instigators and managers who are considered incompetent.

    edger, excellent (none / 0) (#20)
    by bx58 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:51:14 PM EST
    Good stuff.

    The turning point for me was when Bush kept his bully-pulpit mouth shut and the Dems came out en masse to support the Israeli provocation of Iran this past summer.

    They shelled Lebanon for five weeks, killing about 1400 and leaving $6 billion in damage. The world howled and these slugs who control this government waited and waited.

    They're still gonna do it, so get ready.


    Yes they are. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:47:42 AM EST
    Take a look at Patriot Daily's dairy post here.

    Note how they've all become People Magazine over the last few years. There is no news anymore, just gossip and spin. Seems obviou sto me that the neocons don't believe a word they spew anyway and neither does anyone else with an IQ above freezing. They seem to be just going thru the motions at this point. Actually they haven't been earning their paychecks for a while. Did you see May's smug smile when the first caller exposed him as an Israel shill?

    And a boycott ain't gonna work unfortunately, due to the fact that the people you are asking to boycott are the most non-discriminating of consumer/herbivores. Who else could still be watching that crap without wretching?

    Yes (none / 0) (#1)
    by eric on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 01:11:50 PM EST
    Absolutely correct.  On your last example, about "serious" Democrats, what needs to be done is to call Tucker on this.  And it wouldn't be hard.  All one need do is ask, "You don't consider Senator X a serious Democrat?"  Certainly, if you asked him if he thought, for example, that Senator Levin was not serious, what could he say?

    Sadly, there simply isn't anyone present on these panels that will do this.  The bias is pervasive.

    Media on ISP (none / 0) (#18)
    by wlgriffi on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 07:39:53 PM EST
    It's a waste of time trying to call media pundits to task on their biased views. I watched Washington Journal on C-Span this morning. Lamb had of all people,Cliff May,on the program to cover the commission report. If Lamb considers Cliff May an unbiased participant on the commision,he made no mention of May's history on the Iraq matter,what hope is there that any forum can be candid in a true analysis of the report.

    American Enterprise Institute? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 01:12:55 PM EST
    American Enterprise Institute?

    Right. Like they have any credibility or the interest of anybody but themselves and their wannabe aristocracy and global empire in their dried up shriveled little black neocon hearts:

    Confronting Iran, "Force Is the Only Answer", November 20, 2006

    Can the Neocons Get Their Groove Back?, November 20, 2006

    The midterm "thumping" the GOP suffered on Nov. 7 was largely a repudiation of the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, a conflict linked to neoconservative ideology. Donald H. Rumsfeld, the administration's leading patron of neoconservative personnel, was quickly ousted as defense secretary. Key players from the administration of Bush the elder are back--former secretary of state James A. Baker III heading the search for new Iraq policies, and former CIA director Robert M. Gates nominated to take over at the Pentagon--leading some to believe that the president will cast aside the neoconservative influences that have distinguished his foreign policy from that of his father.

    So, is neoconservatism dead?

    Far from it.

    Operation Comeback, November 1, 2006

    God Squad, November 1, 2006

    Par for course (none / 0) (#3)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 01:18:08 PM EST
    Well, maybe this most recent flourish of disengenuousness recieved some inspiration from   the recent demise of the previously demised Jeanne Kirkpatrick. A kind of homage, as it were.

    Oh Jeanne,we hardly knew ya... (none / 0) (#4)
    by bx58 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 02:50:22 PM EST
    Like Hannity and some of the other shrill Likudniks she was paid by the word. Where's the money now?

    As for "the American people" please stop. I'll go out on a limb and say more people know who Paris Hilton is than Dick Cheney. Sad truth.

    So all this poll reading is pretty senseless,IMO.

    I have to admit that I thought that... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 03:16:46 PM EST
    ...it would be impossible for the neocons to misinterpret the will of the American people. I have definitely been proven wrong.

    The entire ISG report is a CYA for the GOP first, and little george, second. At least now the GOP leadership can CLAIM that they tried to rein in bush, but were not able to get him to listen.

    bush, OTOH, can claim that he consulted as many sources as possible, that the ISG report is a great input source, but that as the Decider he is going to pick and choose what he likes about it and ignore the rest, despite the panel's urging/warning that the report should be adopted in its entirety or it may fail.

    These are the same circular, nonsensical arguments bush and the GOP pursued before the election when several members of the maladministration publicly stated that anyone not agreeing with them were traitors and/or just not smart enough to recognize the consequences of losing in Iraq; can't give up all that oil, y'know, and provide both a land base for al-Qaeda AND give them a hugh income from oil sales.

    It is this contempt for the intelligence of the public and the fact that they were labeling almost two-thirds of Americans traitors that cost them dearly in the last election.

    "Staying the course", which is obviously what bush intends to do, will cost them dearly at the polls in '08 as well, when not just the prez and VP will be replaced, but there will be twenty-seven rubberstamping sycophantic senators who will also be up for reelection or replacement.

    I hope this maladministration continues their relentless efforts to insult Americans of every stripe by completely ignoring their will. All those people who "held their nose" and voted for a democrat in this past election will be enthusiastically voting democrat in '08.

    It's a beautiful thing.

    The entire ISG report is a CYA for the GOP (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 03:24:54 PM EST
    Kind of, yes. But there is a little more to it than that. And not of the good kind:

    The Baker Boys: Stay Half the Course
    Greg Palast December 7th, 2006
    Iraq Study Group or Saudi Protection League?

    1. Stay half the course. Keeping 140,000 troops in Iraq is a disaster getting more disastrous. The Baker Boys' idea: cut the disaster in half -- leave 70,000 troops there.

    But here's where dumb gets dumber: the Bakerites want to "embed" US forces in Iraqi Army units. Question one, Mr. Baker: What Iraqi Army? This so-called "army" is a rough confederation of Shia death squads. We can tell our troops to get "embedded" with them, but the Americans won't get much sleep.

    2. "Engage" Iran. This is a good one. How can we get engaged when George Bush hasn't even asked them out for a date? What will induce the shy mullahs of Iran to accept our engagement proposal? Answer: The Bomb.
    Why is Baker, ordinarily such a tough guy, so coy with the Saudis? Baker Botts, the law firm he founded, became a wealthy powerhouse by representing Saudi Arabia. But don't worry, the Iraq Study Group is balanced by Democrats including Vernon Jordan of the law firm of Akin, Gump which represents ... Saudi royals.
    Behind the fratricidal fracas in Iraq is something even more dangerous than civil war -- a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia over control of Iraq's pivotal position in OPEC, the oil cartel.

    Because what is painted by Baker's Iraq Study Group as an ancient local clash between Shia and Sunni over the Kingdom of God, is, in fact, a remote control war between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the Kingdom of Oil.

    But you ignore the fact that the GOP... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 03:49:35 PM EST
    ...knows full well that the Iranians can be dealt with and depended upon to keep their word; that's how Ronnie Raygun got elected, by cutting a deal with the Iranians to NOT release our hostages until Ronnie was elected and, hey, in return we sold them all sorts of weaponry so we could use the cash to finance the Contras.

    If bush's Daddy managed to get this all set up, you can bet that was one of the reasons the ISG recommended negotiations be had with Syria (one of the countries torturing people for us and keeping it quiet, which means they can be dealt with) and Iran, for the reason stated above.

    So basically the old vanguard of the party has communicated all this to little george, but the man is too stupid/arrogant to listen, but the GOP KNOWS Iran can be negotiated and traded with, despite the rhetoric of the boy king.


    So basically the old vanguard of (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:05:43 PM EST
    the party has communicated all this to little george, but the man is too stupid/arrogant to listen

    ... and we end up with poppy sobbing his heart out in public:

    George H.W. Bush cried at a tribute to his son Jeb.
    What else was he feeling?
    --Peggy Noonan

    "The true measure of a man," he then said, "is how you handle victory, and also defeat." And here a sob tore out of him and he could not continue.

    Somehow I don't think he was crying about Jeb, entirely.


    Who sold the weapons to Iran during Iran/Contra? (none / 0) (#8)
    by bx58 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:00:01 PM EST
    Wasn't the USA was it? Please tell us...

    Let me check... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:12:37 PM EST
    ...now where did we put those receipts, Nancy? It keeps slipping my mind.



    c'mon now (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:13:57 PM EST
    That was a different movie.

    I couldn't resist (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:16:08 PM EST
    But I'd rate it maybe a 2 or 3 if that high if I could.

    Oh, yes, the U.S. sold them arms. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:18:18 PM EST
    ...Do you not remember Ronnie's Oval office broadcast where he said that before, if anyone had said the U.S. had traded arms with countries like Iran that he would not have believed them, but, that unfortunately, he had learned that America had done just that and he took the blame for it BECAUSE HE WAS THE PRESIDENT, and like Truman, the buck stopped with him.

    At least the man had the honesty to deal forthrightly with the American people. A brief excerpt:

    I've studied the Board's report. Its findings are honest, convincing, and highly critical; and I accept them. And tonight I want to share with you my thoughts on these findings and report to you on the actions I'm taking to implement the Board's recommendations. First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I'm still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior. And as personally distasteful as I find secret bank accounts and diverted funds -- well, as the Navy would say, this happened on my watch.

    Let's start with the part that is the most controversial. A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind. There are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. It was a mistake.

    I've studied the Board's report... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:20:43 PM EST
    paragraph should also have been "quoted", I erred.

    Alzheimers (none / 0) (#17)
    by Sailor on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 07:35:10 PM EST
    At least the man had the honesty to deal forthrightly with the American people.
    Dude, you're killing me! That's the best, dryest, wit I have seen on this site.

    When Reagan took (none / 0) (#25)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 10:24:38 AM EST
    "full responsibility" for criminal acts, thereby letting off the hook those he had ordered to commit those acts, what consequences did he suffer?

    So much for "full responsibility," which translates to "If the president does it, it's legal."


    Ronald Reagan was as crooked and amoral as any other recent Republican president.


    So: (none / 0) (#26)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:46:23 PM EST
    he had learned that America had done just that and he took the blame for it BECAUSE HE WAS THE PRESIDENT, and like Truman, the buck stopped with him.

    When did he tender his resignation?


    gee, i could be wrong, (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:13:26 PM EST
    and being a cpa, i'm not real good with math, but i believe 60% is, um, well...........3/5's. more than enough for a majority, last time i checked. but heck, i do this for a living, what do i know?

    a group of people who've been completely wrong from the start, and we're supposed to take anything they say seriously? bumiller kisses gwb's behind on a daily basis, i doubt she even knows there's a world outside his underwear.

    the ISG, and its report, are a bad farce, but not quite as bad as bush. i pay little attention to either. with any luck, the administration will become a non-entity, come the new congress.

    Bias (none / 0) (#16)
    by hellskitchen on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 04:30:29 PM EST
    Unquestionably there is bias, but the implications of the analysis of the poll indicate that either they are viewing the data illogically or the poll was not very good.

    The implication in the article is that the two-year-question was asked first, where 71% of the people answered "yes" to getting out in two years. The six-month-question, again by implication, was asked second, to which 60% of the people answered "yes."

    In saying that 71% of the people wanted to get out in two years but when the question of six months the figure dropped to 60% is comparing apples to oranges, because there is an overlap in people answering both questions "yes."  

    When you give a person only one option in a question, they can only answer "yes" or "no".  So that those who wanted to be out of Iraq would likely answer "yes" to the two-year-question, because they don't know if they're going to have another chance to voice their opinion.

    The the next question, the six-month question, is asked, and a portion of those who previously answered "yes" are going to answer "yes" again because they prefer the shorter time period.

    The question should have given a choice:  Which time schedule for getting out of Iraq do you think the president should follow:

    • six months
    • two years
    • when we win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis

    Asking the questions that way would have eliminated the overlap and given better statistics

    Boycott (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:23:29 AM EST
    we are in a capitalist system, so the most effective way to affect change is to stop watching, listening and reading the corporate MSM. Throw out your tv and cancel your mainstream publications. Use the time otherwise spent on the internets for news, commentary and discussion, and watching rented dvd's or downloads for entertainment.

    My guess is, that the MSM will notice and stop being afraid of appearing to have a liberal bias. Liberals spend $$$.


    A solid boycott will force them to tempt us to come back. For them is is only about profit not politics.

    Pontification from on high. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 03:48:30 AM EST
    today's war fighters (none / 0) (#27)
    by jacolesdad on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 12:57:16 PM EST
    No one talks about what war fighting does to combat troops.

    I served as a marine rifleman in Viet Nam, 1968-69. I've read much Viet Nam war literature and published a collection of war poetry, On The Way to Khe Sanh, (three of which appeared in The Iowa Review, Spring 2005), and a memoir, Nam Au Go Go - Falling for the Vietnamese Goddess of War.

    Nam Au Go Go is different. It talks about something no one I can find has written about - what violence does to war fighters. How, if combat soldiers and marines see too much, do too much, they can cross a threshold into an adaptation to violence and become addicted to it. When your emotional self is killed off by the insanity of war, survivors of this addiction have a hard time re-connecting with society. Combat is a one-way door. Once you go through, you cannot go back. You are changed.

    For a glimpse, go to www.johnakins.net

    Find Nam Au Go Go on booksellers' websites.
    e: jacolesdad@comcast.net

    Good post, jacolesdad. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:03:05 PM EST
    It doesn't get talked about enough, I agree. But there have been some good threads here about PTSD.

    Here, and more here.