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no media liberal bias, just whores?(105 posts)

no media liberal bias, just whores?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 7:22 AM
I'm starting to think, and I know this is fairly radical thinking from my side of the aisle, that the media may not, in fact, be liberal biased. It seems that at least MSNBC and FoXNews are having a contest to see which can be more conservative, wrapped in the flag, patriotic. As it happens, it appears to have dragged the other networks, kicking and screaming, along with them to come extent.

So, my preliminary conclusion is these media are not so much biased as they are seeking to attract an audience. Maybe they at least put the bottom line above their bias. It's no secret that polls these days show Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of the war effort and Bush, so maybe these media are simply whoring themselves out to make a buck? (good old capitalism)

I realize they will turn on a dime if indications of public perceptions change substantially, and will probably be harping all over the economy as elections approach.

Any thoughts?

I guess everyone is a whore thenCaptain Morgan
Apr 22, 2003 7:47 AM
Why would it be difficult to imagine that cable stations are trying to attract viewers? That is the result of a free market society, if that is what you call whoring.

Liberal bias ain't what it used to be. FoxNews does cater to the right, whereas CNN still caters to the left. Whenever I turn to CNN, it seems like there is always someone from al-Jazeera or some Middle Eastern organization trashing Israel or talking about the plight of Islam, blah blah blah. FoxNews would LOVE to debate that issue with them.
re: no media liberal bias, just whores?Jon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 7:53 AM
Spot on! Media is a business. In order to sell papers, commercials, etc. you need ratings and an audience, so you tell people what they want to hear. All the self-congratulatory stuff coming from journalists about their integrity, courage, virtues, etc. in my opinion is narcissistic hogwash! (Sorry Cory and OldEd:)- )

Interestingly enough, one of my managers came across a study the other day (I didn't remember the source unfortunately) on right wing/left wing bias in the press. This study contradicted the usual premise that the media's bias in North America is left leaning. According to it something like about 70 or 75% of all media stories carry a right wing spin. Interesting, huh? (For all you extreme right wing types this didn't come from the Guardian either!)
As they say on The Street ....Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 7:55 AM
The trend is your friend! It's showbiz not reporting. We as intelligent people must glean what we can from the BS and form a somewhat inaccurate picture of reality :O)
Well, I HAVE been shocked at MSNBC's violentOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 8:02 AM
lurch to the Right. Some of their stuff makes Fox look tame.

But I've always said that all of them -- when they're doing NEWS reports, not personality-driven news shows with hosts and commentary -- pretty much stay within the bounds of normal objective journalism. When Laurie Dhue or whoever does 'Fox News at the top and bottom of the hour' or whatever they call it, it's more or less the straight poop.

People confuse 'news' with 'news shows.' Just like they confuse 'news stories' with 'editorials.'

But I think you're right: The decision to pursue Right-tilted news shows is driven by ratings. Sure it is. They're in business to draw an audience and make money.

Frankly, right-wing stuff is just better TV, and more entertaining. Who the hell wants to see a bunch of earnest, do-gooder (read: panty waste) Liberals chatting politely in a politically correct fashion about helping the poor? We want to see ZINGERS, and loud b!tching about the Government, and Clinton bashing.

I'm a Liberal, and I'd rather watch Bill O'Reilley (sp?)than Phil Donohue any day. I'd rather read the nutty right wingers on this board than the earnest Liberals I agree with.
I agreeDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 8:24 AM
"People confuse 'news' with 'news shows.' Just like they confuse 'news stories' with 'editorials.' "--

Yes, and I think many in the media have difficulty with the difference, too, or they intentionally confuse or overlap the two. Even Dan Rather, who you would expect to know exactly what objective reporting is, can't seem to help to toss in some opinion or slant to his apparent "news" reports.

In the old days (Cronkite, Huntley & Brinkley), the "editorials" would be set out separately in news shows and clearly labeled as such. Now, it's hard to tell the difference.

Me too, absolutely. nmNo_sprint
Apr 22, 2003 9:31 AM
Well, I HAVE been shocked at MSNBC's violentAlpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 9:25 AM
I have to agree with you on MS-NBC. They seem to be hiring a lot of right wingers as hosts lately. I think Michael Savage will be this decade's Morton Downey Jr. myself. And MSNBC put him on weekends. If you want to see "a bunch of earnest, do-gooder (read: panty waste) Liberals chatting politely in a politically correct fashion about helping the poor" there is always PBS.

I am actually looking forward to Jesse Ventura's show to start. I think that may be pretty entertaining. Informative may be a different story though ;-)

Mike Y.
Does patriotic=right wing?ColnagoFE
Apr 22, 2003 8:46 AM
I always thought patriotism wasn't tied to political leanings. In a nutshell the liberals are for more government and the conservatives are for less.
of course; where have you been?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 8:50 AM
The Right is always the patriotic side. Left wingers are only in this country to turn it into a commune run by Hillary and friends. They could just as easily co-opt any other country and do the same.

Right wingers -- they know that God created this place especially for those loving freedom, capitalism, and guns -- things opposed by the Left.

I think the religious issue is the right's biggest problemColnagoFE
Apr 22, 2003 8:56 AM
There are plenty of conservatives who don't see eye to eye on Bush & company's slide (some say pandering) towards to fundamentalist Christianity.
Uh oh. I don't believe in God.purplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 8:57 AM
Does that mean I have to go back over there?

I won't! I won't! I won't!
Uh oh, I KNOW God.OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:02 AM
I met him personally on 500 micrograms of Sunshine Acid one night ...
I was usually too busy watching my face melt in the mirror (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 23, 2003 5:52 AM
For some reason, the right always seems to impugnOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 8:54 AM
or question our patriotism, while we never impugn or questions theirs. Their definition of patriotism sometimes seems to be 'Don't criticize a Republican president.' Whatever.

I will state for the Record that I think every right winger on this board is a patriot. A GREAT patriot. I even think Dick Cheney is a patriot. Being wrong-headed doesn't make you unpatriotic. Which is why I'm so baffled the right rarely grants us panty wastes the same dispensation.
I agreeDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:05 AM
While I wouldn't say that it is always done, it is frequently done.

I'm not sure of the reasons behind questioning the Left's patriotism. I speculate that part of the reasoning, even if subconscious, is the refusal of the Left (or many of them) to unquestionably accept what is in the sole best interest of America. For example, after 9/11, some people (left, I assume) voiced opinions to the effect that we should examine the reasons the (Islamic - or parts of it) world hates us. Having just suffered a terrible blow to our country, this sounded a bit anti-American, as nothing but absolute support for America and the lost was considered acceptable to many at that point in time. That's my rough assessment. Liberals just don't toe the (American) line consistently enough.

left = communistmohair_chair
Apr 22, 2003 9:37 AM
I also agree. The patriotism thing is pretty pathetic. I think it was Sam Adams who said patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, and here you have it. Sam Adams is not the guy who makes the beer, by the way.

But, the reason why the right questions the patriotism of the left is two-fold:

1. The right wanted to equate the left with communism. Left = communist, communist = bad, ergo left = bad.

2. The left did flirt with communism in the 1930s, which will never, ever, ever be forgotten, because the dalliance was amplified way far above and beyond by the right in the 1950s and 1960s. Leftists are pinko commie junkies (to paraphrase George Carlin).

It's all BS to me. I am so tired of the whole liberal/conservative thing.
tired of itDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:41 AM
It is tiring, but a very real difference. Largely, Liberals and Conservatives see the world very differently. Those perceived differences manifest themselves in concrete ways for all of us.

It's more fun to be a pure ideological Libertarian, but not very pragmatic. The answer to most every problem is "stay the hell out of it," which doesn't win many votes unless you want to smoke pot, and those people probably forget to vote.

tired of itJon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 11:16 AM
I don't think it's the whole thing, but I do think that overall worldview does in part distinguish American liberals from conservatives. In my opinion liberals tend to see themselves and America as part of a larger community, whereas conservatives tend to see America both as separate from the rest of the world and as a world leader. Anyone or anything that might challenge that leadership is then viewed as an enemy.
tired of itmohair_chair
Apr 22, 2003 11:25 AM
There are definitely differences, but what I'm tired of is the shame attached. People today, even *gasp* on this board, love to throw around "liberal" as if it is a slur! That's what I'm tired of. Grow up, people.

Anyway, I heard a guy on the radio one time talk about the difference between how liberals and conservatives see issues. Liberals, he said, view issues as they apply to groups, while conservatives see issues in terms of individuals. I think this is generally valid.
tired of itJon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 12:24 PM
In times of crisis or perceived crisis Americans have historically been highly intolerant of dissent with respect to their government's policies or behaviour, this in spite of the contradictory assertion that America is the guardian of free speech and dissent! I have heard from Canadians recently travelling the U.S. reporting that the atmosphere is so virulent in parts of the country that they're afraid to be identified as Canadian, since our gov't didn't endorse Bush's war. In the present domestic climate being anything but a cheerleader for the administration is regarded as unpatriotic, "liberal", or worse.
sort of the bottom lineDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 12:35 PM
The group/individual distinction is generally valid. Utilitarians vs. Hobbs/Locke's views of private ownership, democracy, and individualism.

I think this country was begun with attitudes skewed far in favor of the latter, but slowly "creeps" toward the former. Capitalism is not, in theory, a utilitarian system, although the result could well be so, at least more so than a purely socialistic economy.

So, if Conservatives are more Locke-based, and that was more in keeping with our founder's views, then that may be a basis for their claim to patriotism.


PS: I will no longer use "Liberal" as a slur. I'll just stick with "commie."
sort of the bottom lineJon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 1:52 PM
"Com-symp" and "fellow traveller" were my dad's favourite pejoratives. Oh yeah, and "godless, atheistic, one-worlders."

The Utilitarian/Locke polarity is a good historical reference. I hadn't thought of that. It's interesting how certain philosophical biases permeate mass culture.
Please refer to me asOldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 5:11 AM
'my Trotskyist friend, OldEd'. There are SO many flavors of commies, that unless you specify, it's meaningless.

Actually, it's interesting: The neo-con movement has its intellectual roots in Trotskyism. Their policy in the Middle East is essentially Trotskyist.

I took Trotsky to the middle and they took him to the right. And now we're mortal enemies, politically speaking. But we recognize each other, because we have the same roots.
After 9/11...Matno
Apr 22, 2003 11:03 AM
I must admit that the most shocking thing I saw was Democratic members of Congress joining the singing of "God Bless America." It really did contradict a lot of what most of them stand for politically, but for a few minutes at least, I felt like maybe both sides can be patriotic. I think the reason why "right" is so often equated with patriotic while "left" is not is because the right is usually trying to maintain those things that made America great, while the Left tries to change or eliminate those very same principles. You can decide which of those courses is more "American."
First you'd have to decide what made America great. (nm)czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 11:07 AM
freedom (nm)DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 11:11 AM
I love freedom!(nm)OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 11:15 AM
Perhaps, but you sure don't promote it. (nm)Matno
Apr 22, 2003 11:56 AM
You have no idea what I promote.OldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 4:45 AM
I won't go through this again, but your arrogant assertion that I or any other liberal does not promote freedom is fascist reductionism at its know-nothing worst. I have served in the military and worked in the American political system for 30 years. To say what you just said is breathtakingly ignorant.
I was only referring to what you promote on this forum...Matno
Apr 23, 2003 5:08 AM
...which is in no way compatible with freedom other than the fact that the only reason you can express your opinion is that you live in the most free country in the history of the world. Nice choice of words, by the way. "Fascist reductionism" and American conservatism are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. I daresay that my politics have absolutely nothing in common with anything related to fascism (although I did go to Italy once...)
I repeat: To say what I promote on this forum orOldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 6:18 AM
anywhere else for that matter is 'in no way compatible with freedom' is breathtakingly ignorant and a fascist Big Lie, and renders everything you say morally and intellectually suspect.
That has no relevance to...Matno
Apr 23, 2003 6:50 AM
...the fact that what I said was true. But then, you already knew that. You just don't want to admit it.

Oh, and you really need to look up the definition of Fascism.
I'll do that while you look up the definition of 'true.'OldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 6:56 AM
Get back to me when you find it and we'll compare notes.
freedoms -- different typesDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 6:50 AM
I have no doubt "you" promote freedom. Of course, despite all our rantings here, I really don't have much of an idea what you personally promote, so you get lumped in with your side of the aisle.

There are several kinds of freedom, I suppose, or varying degrees of it. There is freedom of speech, thought, movement, all your civil rights -- then there are more subtle freedoms, like deciding how to spend your earnings, what products to buy, what doctor to go to, what to pay your employees, whether you can pray in school, etc.

I think the Liberals certainly promote the former, more general, freedoms. It's the latter, more subtle type, that I think they are less inclined to fully promote. Generally, Liberals are more inclined to have the government define how safe you should be, how 1/3 - 1/2 of your income will be spent, what you must do for your employees, etc. While many Liberal social causes may be perfectly defensible from a result oriented view, i.e., utilitarian, or even pragmatic, they also are, somewhat by definition, removing certain freedoms from individuals.

So, that is what I mean by Liberals not promoting freedom as much. (ps, I'm not saying Conservatives are necessarily better, just different goals -- that's where I would drastically diverge from them towoard the Libertarian side fo things).

Sure. I'll buy all this, or most of it.OldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 7:14 AM
I don't have any problem with saying left and right define 'freedom' differently. I have a severe problem with a brain-dead assertion in a subject line with nm after it saying I, personally myownself, OldEdScott, am in some unexplained but all-inclusive (apparently) way, anti-freedom.

It's just outrageous, and there's almost no one on this board who would do such a thing. But when it's done, you have to call them on it.
understandable nmDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 7:19 AM
Indeed. And the Constitution, too.czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 11:58 AM
And that is where I don't see the "patriotism" in much of the unquesionting pro-Americanism we see today. People support things like the USAPATRIOT Act out of "patriotism" when what they are supporting actually undermines their freedom. It looks to me like self-interest poorly draped with a popular sentiment. Then they question the patriotism of "liberals" for not towing a line that is essentially authoritarian. I wonder what today's patriots think this country is about, anyway.
greater harm?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 12:49 PM
I think most people will not see the Patriot Act as infringing any of their personal freedoms, but instead a means of potentially keeping them or other Americans from being killed by terrorists. I think that's the bottom line.

IOW, its okay if it infringes on <i>someone else's</i> freedom?czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 12:57 PM
As in, "I'm not using the Fourth Amedment, do what you like with it."
It's a strange (and sad) phenomenonMatno
Apr 23, 2003 4:16 PM
that Republicans have mindlessly jumped on the bandwagon of "Homeland Security" just because a Republican president is behind it. Those same people would be up in arms if the same infringements of personal liberties were even suggested by a Democratic president, yet here we sit idly by, watching the executive branch usurp power like crazy. It's sickening really. Especially when you consider how much it's costing us and how little actual effect it will (or even possibly could have). Kind of like buying a $50,000 backhoe to get rid of field mice in your back yard. You're either going to have to destroy the yard or live with the mice (and probably end up doing both). Might as well deal with the mice as they come (but then, if you proposed that in Congress, you'd never get reelected - what a stupid voting body we are!)
Sad, but not strange.czardonic
Apr 24, 2003 10:36 AM
The Republicans have always been every bit as much in favor of expanding government power as the Democrats. They are just interested in different kinds of power.
Apr 24, 2003 3:40 PM
usually Republicans tend to lean toward expanding power externally. This is much more of an internal expansion (i.e. the power of the gov't against its own citizens as opposed to power to protect citizens from foreign risks), which is usually much more characteristic of the Democratic party. Of course, that's not how Bush (or anybody else) describes it, but I have a really hard time believing that ANY of this homeland security stuff is necessary. (Not that it's all bad in theory, but knowing that you really can't prevent terrorism, it makes one wonder if it's worth the incredible cost. I don't think so). Of course, I'm generalizing in a big way here. The idea that Republican = conservative and Democrat = liberal is not nearly as true as it was 20 years ago.
by freedom, do you mean....rufus
Apr 22, 2003 11:49 AM
the freedom to not be grabbed and thrown in jail, with no charges brought against you, no evidence presented as to why you are held, and no members of your family being told where or why you are being held?

then john ashcroft is doing his best to ensure that freedom shall reign.
Hmmm. Could you be referring to...Matno
Apr 22, 2003 11:55 AM
Afghan prisoners of war? Because if you are, it needs to be pointed out that clearly, the Constitution of the United States was written to protect the CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. We do not have the same obligations towards foreigners who fight against the US. Right or wrong, that's the way it is.

(John Ashcroft has been a huge conservative let-down though. I'll give you that. His voting record going into this job was about as good as they get - second only to Jesse Helms - but as AG his performance has been pretty abysmal).
no, i'm referring to the patriot act II...rufus
Apr 22, 2003 11:58 AM
coming soon to a congress near you.
but that only happens to terrorists. nmDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 12:50 PM
and who defines what a terrorist is?rufus
Apr 22, 2003 1:10 PM
and is that definition static, or subject to change and interpretation?
Ashcroft, seemingly a true Libertarian's wort nightmare. (nm)czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 2:59 PM
YES "seemingly" .Sintesi
Apr 22, 2003 3:10 PM
Well put. Are stroking your pointy goatee when you talk like that?
Not being a libertarian myself. . .czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 3:15 PM
. . .I can only suppose what their reaction is to Ashcroft, who in my opinion takes a very dim view to privacy and civil liberties, and favors a broad range of intrusive goverment policy. Thus, "seemingly".
Oh, I didn't understand your use of "seemingly"Sintesi
Apr 22, 2003 3:56 PM
Hello?? Anyone there? Earth to Czardonic. Come in. Earth...calling....czardoniccccc. Wowee.

Spin that propeller on your head a little more, loosen the strings on you shoes.

Gotta relax dad.
competing goals?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 4:14 PM
While I'd like to see as few government intrusions as possible, I also don't want a "roll over" government that sticks its head in the sand or fears invasion of rights so much that days like 9/11 are repeated. I think everyone agrees there must be a balance between intrusiveness and defense, the issue is where to draw the line. Of course, the Constitution is a boundry, and I'm confident that the courts will curtail any desire of Ashcroft or anyone else to overreach.

So, while a Libertarian wants no invasions of civil rights, Libertarian ideology does not exclude defense and protection as a legitimate government function. That would be foolish.

Hypothetically, what would you say even if some rights were violated but it prevented multi-billion dollar thousands of lives lost disasters? (maybe a false dichotomy, but I think that is the essense of the argument here) In a pure sense, I'd have to say you can't violate any rights. However, that's not very reassuring to those whose lives would be destroyed.

Fair enough. But I don't see the foundation. . .czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 4:36 PM
. . .for your assumption that Republicans will do a better job of defending this country.

Personally, I have no faith in the Bush administrations ability to prevent future terrorism. Their focus is on covering their own backsides and on leveraging 9/11 to further unrelated agendas. I think the Electronic Frontier Foundation states it nicely:

    "The first Patriot Act assumes that lack of information caused by laws that restricted government information-gathering was a major reason for the September 11 terrorist attacks. But nothing could be further from the truth. The most objective analysis -- that of the congressional joint inquiry committee focused on the government's failure to "connect the dots."3 It noted poor coordination between the many government agencies responsible for intelligence and counter-intelligence and poor sorting of the information it did have.

    Simply collecting more information cannot solve this problem. But USAPA II makes the same mistake: it seeks more power to gather information with less oversight. Meanwhile, more agencies or task forces that you've never heard of are being created.

    Let's be frank. The government has an insatiable appetite for data. But the mindless accumulation of data is not intelligence. Intelligence requires focused thinking and focused questions. Instead, we're building a Tower of Babel. If this continues, we'll get the worst of both worlds -- all the disadvantages of widespread privacy invasion with none of the security benefits." (
But aren't you pre-supposing that data synthesis...Sintesi
Apr 22, 2003 5:49 PM
is ultimately unobtainable in the fluh fluh fluh?

I think Homer said it best:

"I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me superman"
Possibly, depending on what it is you are trying to say. (nm)czardonic
Apr 22, 2003 6:13 PM
My name is czardonic I'm Mr. Rational .Sintesi
Apr 23, 2003 3:51 AM
Look at me I'm a rational guy. See me being rational? I'm reasonable everyone else is foolish and bigoted.

Did the voice in your head suddenly seem to be broadcasting in stereo?.
We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files...DougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 6:37 AM
I think both sides enjoy collecting data. I have no idea what they could really do with it; it's a shame to think we are paying people to collect it then use it against us.

Data collection is not limited to the Partriot Act or the Justice Department. I'd hate to think who has our medical records, employment records, income information, and probably a database of our every movements available through cell phone and those OnStar-type services (yes, it can track your car's every movement).

Allow me to straighten out your pantiespurplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 9:05 AM
I believe many outspoken liberals are considered unpatriotic because they never have a nice word to say about their country. Equating Bush with Hitler isn't just nasty, it's innaccurate. So it is difficult to overlook the bias and impossible to understand how that sentiment is patriotic.

Also, liberals seem to care more about other countries than our own, at least when it comes to foreign policy. If it benefits the US, liberals seem to automatically accuse us of imperialism. No thought that maybe both sides could benefit.

Some liberals claim to love their country, then go about explaining why it's an evil place that's detroying the world. When I was liberally bent, I believed the US was inferior to just about every country on earth merely because all my liberal friends recited it as a mantra. It makes no sense that the most successful free country could also be the most oppressive. Yet I have heard that more times than I can remember, even within the past few weeks.
Thanks for making my point betterOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:07 AM
than I ever could.
Splain, Lucy. nmpurplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 9:12 AM
Splain, Lucy. nmOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:36 AM
Your whole message is one big impugning. And it is simply, breathtakingly not true.

There is no one more Liberal than I. I express love of country constantly, in words and deeds. I have devoted my entire life and career to the service of America and its political processes. You don't bust your poor sad ass in losing political campaigns for 30 years without just loving the HELL out of America and American democracy. How dare you imply -- imply hell, SAY -- otherwise?

There is NO 'liberal mantra' that the U.S. is inferior to almost every other country on earth. That is just preposterous.

I don't personally know any liberal who's compared Bush to Hitler, and I certainly wouldn't, but if they did or I did, so what? IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOVING AMERICA! GEORGE BUSH IS NOT AMERICA, despite what the Bush family wants us to believe.

And neither was Bill Clinton, who was also President but who, it seems, it's fine to say just about any nasty thing imaginable about. If your point is that The President itself as a democratic institution should not be vilified by patriotic Americans, fine, and I can accept that formulation. But get the message to your friends that that would apply to ANY elected President, eh?

Nothing but a one long impugning. Just outrageous. Makes my point perfectly.

I still think you're a patriot, though.
no one said Clinton was un-AmericanDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:46 AM
I think Clinton was a fine example of a fraternity-brother-partying-American-teenager. About as "all American" as you can get.

I think you are a patriot. Problem is (perceived) guilt by association. Some of apparent liberal bent certainly have compared Bush to Hitler, and comparing "The President" to the most vile leader in history is sort of un-American.

no one said Clinton was un-AmericanAlpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 10:16 AM
Ted Kennedy was talking about how the US would "not always be a world power" before the war. I think that is a pretty un-American statement.

Liberal and Conservative can often be used too broadly. The real un-American statements were coming from the left wing. Though you can call them liberals, it is not fair to lump all liberals with those statements.

Mike Y.
OK, seriously:OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 10:20 AM
Do you think American will always be a world power? What in your reading of history would lead you to believe that a great power will always remain a great power?
You can learn from history, and not repeat itAlpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 10:39 AM
I am saying that his statement saying the US will not always be a world power is un-American. Looking at the country as it is now, I think we will remain a world power and hope our leaders would do all in their power to keep it that way.

If you look at history too much, you may repeat it rather than learn from it. Hopefully our leaders know enough not to repeat mistakes made by other countries.

Though Kennedy may have consumed a few bad ice cubes before he made his statement!!!

Mike Y.
Still not understanding.OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 10:48 AM
What's un-American about making a statement that is 100-percent certain to be true, unless (as is possible) the world comes to a sudden and catastrophic end while the U.S. is still a superpower?

How's it un-American in any event? Is it un-American for a leader to be anything but a cheerleader, mouthing empty platitudes? "We're Number One, and we always will be! Yay!"

Un-American is saying: "This is a rotten country, the people suck, the government needs to be replaced with a monarchy, and all its history books burned so humanity isn't contaminated by these rotten democratic ideas." Gotcha, that's un-American. To say "We won't always be a world power" is either realistic or pessimistic, depending on your POV. But un-American? I don't see it.
Still not understanding.Alpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 11:22 AM
I think implying that America will not remain a world power is un-American. Kennedy should look for ways to help strengthen the country and help it remain a world power rather than talk about letting it get weak.

Maybe we have different views on what an un-American statement. I think it is realistic that the US can remain the most powerful nation in the world for the foreseeable future. And long after Senator Chivas's liver gives out.

You can call him a pessimist for his statements, but when I hear a multi-term Senator make that statement, I think it is un-American.

Mike Y.
I suspect it's just Ted Kennedy you think isOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 11:31 AM
un-American. The words just happened to come from his mouth.

Did you think GWB was un-American when he posited a 'humble' America that accepted a lesser role in the world way back in the debates? Nah. Republicans, by definition, can't say anything un-American. Although they CAN slam down Chivas pretty good themselves for 20 or 30 years, shortly before they sober up, see God, and hire some Wise Guys from Daddy's past to name them president.

I can do cheap shots too. Not often, but I CAN.
I suspect it's just Ted Kennedy you think isAlpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 12:10 PM
Taking a lesser role in the world is different from saying the US will not remain a world power. North Korea is a good example of that. Bush is making other countried in the region such as Russia and China get involved there rather than offering them a bribe to behave for a few years.

And at least Bush never killed anyone with his drunk driving ;-) And Joe K. did a pretty good job buying elections for JFK whether it be his first congressional seat or the Illinois Electoral Votes ;-p

Mike Y.
"I can do cheap shots too." Yeah but it's ...Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 12:54 PM
not becoming to you! I have to say, now hold on to you seat, that I agree with you that what Kennedy said was not necessarily un-American. I just think it's his foolish opinion. Say Kennedy is probably more familiar with being a true American than any of us here. His Daddy's money bought him a trial sealed in secrecy and then it bought him a Senatorial seat :O)
perhaps that is simply realism.rufus
Apr 22, 2003 11:56 AM
every empire eventually falls. it has been historically proven time and time again. to pretend otherwise is to ignore the reasons why, and to possibly take preventative measures that could save it.

to stick your head in the sand and pretend the status quo will continue forever is simply short-sighted and ignorant.
perhaps that is simply realism.Alpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 12:28 PM
As I said to old Ed, you can do what you can to ensure that history does not repeat it self rather than do let it fall. Ted Kennedy seems to want to stick his head in the sand. Luckily we have a president who is willing to act to protect our position in the world. The US is more powerful in the world no than it was 5 weeks ago. If Kennedy had his way, we would still be trying to kiss Chirac's backside.

Mike Y.
but not all empires crumble from the outsiderufus
Apr 22, 2003 1:19 PM
if america continues to be increasingly divided between the haves and the have-nots, it's existence could also be threatened.
Then try to be one of the "Haves"Alpedhuez55
Apr 22, 2003 3:24 PM
If you really feel that way, I suggest you look at what poverty is really like in other countries. The US does not have as many have-nots as you would think. And even the have-nots have plenty of opportunities to better their condition.

You go to most housing projects and you will see people with Cable TV, $40 Jeans and $70 nikes. We do not have the people surving on $1 a week. Even most homeless people get a check from SSI. Class Warfare is always a losing argument.

Mike Y.
Whoa! Now wait just a cotton pickin minute...purplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 9:50 AM
I never said you or any particular individual was anti-American simply because they were liberal. I merely stated what some liberals, shown demonstrating, have said or done and added a little from my own experience when I was on your side of the aisle.

Never did I impugn you, nor do I believe that being liberal equates to hating America. But I don't think you can deny that there have been some horrendous things said about this country that would lead one to believe that the person was, indeed, anti-American. Or maybe you do deny that?
I believe things like that have been said from left and rightOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 10:02 AM
and from no particular politics whatsoever. I would deny any assertion that it's soecifically a 'liberal' thing. And I would deny any assertion that saying bad things, even horrendous things, about government policies is anti-American in any sense.

Don't worry about it. I just have to jerk these threads up like the reins on a runaway horse occasionally, when the normal and tolerable liberal bashing gets too out of line.
I believe things like that have been said from left and rightpurplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 10:14 AM
Look, one of my favorite speakers is Jelo Biafra. He is very critical of the US, but he doesn't hate it. He offers criticsm of the awful stuff but offers solutions for rectifying them that celebrates America. I contrast that with those who merely criticize, criticize, criticize but admit that the US can do nothing right. They ain't patriots. Nor do they have to be. And they certainly aren't all from the left. The farther left or right the person is, the more they seem to hate this country and its people.
I'mmm baaaack :O)Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 11:11 AM
Yes Bill Clinton was President, but he didn't act presidential. He nor Hillary showed respect for the stature of office. They were more interested in the status the office bestowed upon them. That was a tragedy as I believe that he could have actually done some good things. His laid back public demeanor lent an air of accessibility. His appearance on MTV, though somewhat sophomoric, was successful at getting younger people to take notice. Many started to pay attention to National and World affairs. But he lost all credibility when, through the cracks, his true temperament and pretense emerged. His denials and dismissals were demeaning to the public. This is where he lost his legacy which was so important to him. He wanted to have relevance, but in the end he had none. His and Hillary's obsessive desire for notability overshadowed their ability to lead. They put themselves before the good of the Country. Just my opinion of course :O)
I thought you were going to Chi Chis! nmOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 11:21 AM
Yeah that's later though :O) nmLive Steam
Apr 22, 2003 11:39 AM
Apr 22, 2003 11:09 AM
Regardless of what Mr. Ed says, your analysis is spot on. If you want to name specific "liberals" to fit your description, there are plenty of them in Hollywood. Try Baldwin, Streissand, and that guy with the sheep herding pig, for starters...
Apr 22, 2003 11:20 AM
are everywhere, in every wing, in every party. We liberals have no monopoly. I could give you some Falwell/Robertson quotes from the Republican Right that are easily as mindless and hair-raising and un-American as anything Sreisand has said, and that's saying something.

You paint with an awfully broad brush.
Allow me to make a huge distinctionMatno
Apr 23, 2003 5:13 AM
between the "Republican Right" and true conservatism. There is such a big difference these days that it's a wonder that any conservatives vote Republican any more. I guess it's just because not doing so would be taking away votes from the lesser of two evils. I usually vote Republican myself for that very reason, but I am NOT a member of the Republican party in any way, shape, or form. I certainly agree that there are morons on all sides. But they're just as certainly much more concentrated on the left... And I doubt you could find ANYBODY, right or left, who has said anything as unAmerican as Babs. If you have, I'd like to know who (and what they said).
Who said 9/11 was God's punishment forOldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 6:40 AM
tolerating queers and such? Some right winger Christer. I can look it up, if you like, but with your easygoing tolerance of misrepresentation, I'm guessing I don't need to. Pretty severe anti-American statement, I would say, and I'm mightily certain it wasn't said by anyone on the Left.
Apr 23, 2003 6:58 AM
"Anti gay" is not the same as "Anti American." (In fact it's probably the opposite, but that's a whole 'nother discussion that's already been beaten to death on this forum...) As for the quote, though I don't agree with such statements, who are you to say that it's not true? Purely a matter of you expressing your opinion, which is fine. If you want to talk about unAmerican, try atheism. Nothing could be less American than not believing in God. But the very Christian "Religious Right" who created this country also built in protections for other people to believe what they want.
OK, great, thanks for the definition of 'fascism.'OldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 7:03 AM
Saved me having to look it up.

Again, breathtaking.
so to be "american" you have to believe in God?rufus
Apr 23, 2003 9:58 AM
so all those african-americans, iraqi-americans, muslim-americans, chinese-americans, and whoever else who may worship a different spiritual entity than you, but are american citizens, have fought and died for this country, work and pay their taxes are not "real americans"? i guess rich white men only need apply.

and by the way, just as the right like to refer to the far left as commies, the far right of the conservative political spectrum is fascism. a political expert such as yourself should know that.

"this would be so much easier if i were a dictator"- george w. bush.
Apr 23, 2003 10:03 AM
No, just have to allow that others can.

Communism and fascism are not opposites. Both, in practice, are nationalistic socialism, state controlled, state run, state owned means of production. Fascism is similar to communism, with the added trait of racism.

Socialism and capitalism are opposites, or as close to opposites as we might experience. Neither are very pure in practice, though.

socialism and capitalism are economic conceptsrufus
Apr 23, 2003 10:21 AM
and are on opposite ends of the spectrum as you say. communism and fascism are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

fascism is marked by centralized control under a dictator, and stringent socail and economic controls, use of terror to suppress opposition, and nationalistic and racial policies.

communism is a state-run and planned economy, often by an authoritarian type party, for the whole to share in equally.

the problem is that communism , while theoretically a noble pursuit, in practice usually incorporates elements of a fascist state, and true equality of the people is non-existent.
Fascism is to the Right as Communism is to the Left.czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 10:23 AM
Both are indeed socialism. But one is authoritarian socialism and the other is egalitarian socialism (theoretically speaking).
then they are on some sort of polygon continuumDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 12:51 PM
Somewhere, anarchy, libertarianism, pure democracy (and usually with capitalism), must fit in. Those things are not in between communism and fascism on any continuum. Must be a triangle or something...

Cartesian plane? (nm)czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 1:42 PM
there you goDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 2:01 PM
Then instead of "labels," we all can have a coordinate!

But you can't be gay and be American.OldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 10:11 AM
At least near as I can make out from his syntactically challenged post.

I believe there's a strain of racism, or at least ethnocentrism (core group-ism) in the ideas he expresses here that would qualify nicely as fascist.
Apr 23, 2003 10:20 AM
I'm not going to comment on the other parts, but I don't think racism/ethnocentrism alone qualifies for fascism. Heck, an anarchist (opposite of nationalistic socialist) could be a racist -- probably are millions of them in the U.S. right now.

Some equate strict law enforcement and/or racism alone with fascism for derogatory purposes, but omit the most fundamental feature -- socialism.

We're all Aryans on this bus. Racial or ethnic purityOldEdScott
Apr 23, 2003 10:25 AM
is a central tenet of fascism.
yes, butDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 1:16 PM
Having 2 wheels is a primary feature of a bicycle; not all two wheeled machines are bicycles, though.

Your point is well-taken, but it takes more than that.

Who said anything about racism?Matno
Apr 23, 2003 4:10 PM
Are you trying to say that race and sexual preference are similar characteristics? (They aren't by the way, in spite of what some would have you believe).

Nowhere did I say anything about racism. Nor did I say that the rights of any one group are more important than the rights of any other. I just mentioned the fact that our system was originally created by one particular group of people. At the time, they were the vast majority of the American population. Today, they still are a majority, but a highly vilified group that has earned the somehow negative title of "religious right" by standing on the same principles that made this country great.

Too many people think that the distinction between "right" and "left" means the same thing when applied to different ideas. (I'm know you know the difference, but your use of the terms here implies otherwise). As applied to communism vs. fascism, it is completely different than when it is applied to liberal vs. conservative. Like Doug said, communism (at least in every country that has practiced it so far) is practically identical to fascism in that, in practice, it is almost always run by an autocracy.
I'm shocked, shocked to see capitalism going on hereMcAndrus
Apr 22, 2003 9:30 AM
More years ago than I will admit to I was in the newspaper business. After college I spent six months at a small daily paper in Wyoming doing the cub-reporter bit: police beat, zoning boards, that kind of stuff.

One of the lessons burned in my brain is that the press is a business - first, last, and foremost. A good business seeks to serve existing customers and find new customers.

Fox had already figured out how to get more customers (viewers), MSNBC and the rest are just now figuring it out. It's the same reason Al Jazeera is so virulently anti-American - it's what they think their audience wants.

Once again I'm forced to sort through the multiple sources of news and use my judgement to find the truth.

Or as my father used to say, "Don't believe anything you hear, half of what you read, and not everything you see." He wasn't a cynic - quite the opposite - but he was a skeptic.
skeptic? how bout a realist. nm :)No_sprint
Apr 22, 2003 9:34 AM
I'm shocked, shocked to see capitalism going on herepurplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 9:36 AM
But the news business has been guilty of portraying itself as reporters of facts. Say it enough and people will believe it, unless there's some reason not to.

Really, the different news channels should be reporting exactly the same things and then analyzing "the facts" based on their different beliefs.
Yes they should.McAndrus
Apr 22, 2003 11:30 AM
In fact, that's what editorial pages are for. I doubt I'm saying anything new to you but one of the things I learned by observation in my short stay in journalism is that the simple choice of stories (what to report and what to ignore) is, in itself, a bias.

I preferred to play it this way: realize my biases, try to inform the reader, and just write the simple truth. Maybe that's one reason why I'm not in the business anymore.

No, wait ... it was money. I quit my job as a reporter and got one as a typist and made twice as much money.
I'm shocked, shocked to see capitalism going on hereJon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 11:31 AM
The news business does report facts. But as Doug pointed out, they mix reporting with editorializing to the point it becomes difficult, unless one is extremely vigilant, to distinguish one from the other. Also, what "facts" you select to report can also constitute a bias. One given situation can present differing, even contradictory, facts at the same time. An example was coverage of Iraqi citizens' reaction to the American invasion the other day. In one small group of eight or ten individuals being interviewed by a reporter diametrically opposing viewpoints were expressed by ordinary Iraqis. So which view represented the "Iraqi" view? The probable truth on this issue? Iraqis are deeply conflicted about having been "liberated" by America.
Way beyond whoringcarnageasada
Apr 22, 2003 12:53 PM
If you haven't already read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, then I hope you get a chance to.