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This is real news - Demonstrations in Baghdad(49 posts)

This is real news - Demonstrations in BaghdadLive Steam
Dec 11, 2003 7:54 AM

This is real news. People who for decades have been surpressed for doing this very thing, were out yesterday protesting the use of terror tactics. Hundreds of thousands said they desperately want democritization. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of democracy, yet most of the major news outlets either spent very little time on this story or did nothing with it at all. Talk about media bias and slanting the news to meet their political agenda!
re: This is real news - Demonstrations in Baghdadbill105
Dec 11, 2003 7:58 AM
exactly. we have had hundreds of soldiers come back from iraq to in and around where i live with a very positive story compared to what you hear in the news. even those rotating out and back say we are doing the right thing and they wish more people knew it.
Good thing critmas keeps reminding us of the killers...No_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 8:39 AM
Makes us more sure of all of our convictions with each one.
good news doesn't sell...nmmohair_chair
Dec 11, 2003 8:04 AM
but you can run a whole presidential campaign on bad (nm)bill105
Dec 11, 2003 8:11 AM
Let me patiently, politely explain this again. Respectfully, tooCory
Dec 11, 2003 8:58 AM
I'll keep it as short as I can, since nobody's going to change his mind anyway: In 30 years in journalism, from local shopper newspapers to national magazines, I've never once heard or heard of a conversation in which an editor or publisher told a writer to lean a little further to the left, to attack the establishment, to tear things down a little. In the same period, I've personally sat through perhaps 50 conversations in which writers were told to ease off the power structure, take it easy on the community leaders, don't make such a point of the political chicanery and lying. After 9/11, many newspapers (not mine) had official policies of NOT reporting "unpatriotic" events like anti-war marches.
I've asked this before and gotten no reply: The media conglomerates are among the largest and most profitable companies in the country. What interest would they have in tearing down the institutions that made them rich?
Incidentally, the "reporters are all liberal" argument is bogus. I'm outnumbered at least 4 or 5 to 1 at my newspaper, and reporters don't have any authority anyway. That's like blaming the busboy because you got a crappy meal in a restaurant: I don't do the cooking, man. I just mop up afterward.
Whew, thanks for clearing that all up once and for all. nmNo_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 9:01 AM
Once again, a conservative dodges the questionCory
Dec 11, 2003 9:11 AM
Sarcasm's easy. Take a shot at my question, though: Try to concoct a scenario in which attacking the establishment would HELP a media company that depends on pleasing huge numbers of middle-America, educated-by-Bill O'Reilly voters.
you need to define your definition of establishmentbill105
Dec 11, 2003 9:20 AM
I'll shootDougSloan
Dec 11, 2003 9:28 AM
No, I don't think overt attacks would do them much good, particularly for a popular Predident who is likely to be re-elected.

I think instead of overt attacks, it's more like tiny incremental jabs. It's subtle persuasion. It's like prayer in schools -- no, it's not an overt act of intimidation or attempted conversion, but it has a subtle influence, especially over the years.

Also, simply choosing which stories to run could never been seen as an "attack." Again, though, it's going to play a part in influencing a major part of the political spectrum in the middle or otherwise uncommitted. If you only hear bad things, you are going to think the war is bad, don't you think? The media could never be critized for "attacking" the establishment in that way, so, in a way, that's a stawman argument.

Dodging??? LOLNo_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 12:05 PM
I didn't see any meaningful question in your rant or rather your "lesson" to dodge from answering.

Once again thanks for clearing up that liberal media myth once and for all.

Who knows how such ridiculous rumors get started!?!?!?

You've got a tremendous amount of work to do if you plan on debunking that myth for the entire nation, or globe for that matter, and setting everyone straight!

I cannot think of any hypo off the top of my head that would fit your scenario, and who cares anyway? Not me. Don't matter.
Just can't help yourself, can you?BottomBracketShell
Dec 11, 2003 12:21 PM
What CAUSES it? Broken home? Abuse? Neglect? Girl troubles? Boy troubles? No one's this negative without some serious underlying problems. Tell us, we can't help, we're your friends.
Just like clockwork, btw 11-12...No_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 12:24 PM
you and your other personality.
Dec 11, 2003 12:33 PM
Your fascination with multiple personalities is highly suggestive. Disturbing but suggestive.

To quote: "Who cares anyway? Not me. Don't matter." LOL LOL!
I have to agree with Cory on this issue.sn69
Dec 11, 2003 9:14 AM
I know that we come from different sides on a great many issues, but I think Cory is right on the money here. My experience in the industry is extremely limited, partcularly compared to his adult lifetime spent in it (me--a degree in it, a year spent dabbling in it, another year as a military POA before leaving it behind).

Still, that industry is like any's about making a profit. I'm talking about the industry here. To that end, ommissions, exceptions and/or perceived insinuations are due far less to policital leanings than they are to numerous other factors. Primariy, the handful of conglomerates that control the business side of the industry are intent on making money. That means that, more often than it should, sex, violence and cultural trends are used to futher the profit-generating goals of the companies that control the various media.

Likewise, there are often stories that go unnoticed simply because their "bread and butter" appeal lacks the colour and flavour (Jon, I spelled it that way for you, bud) that might otherwise rate the headline(s).

I think that a great many journalists lean towards the Dems/left side, but I don't believe for an instant that the American industry leans that way. Like Cory said, that would be akin to biting the hand that essentially feeds it.

There's a deeper, more insidious side to this that Cory only alluded to, specifically that editorial content is sometimes dictated by the parent company based upon political and/or industrial alliances, public sentiment surveys, market analyses, etc. Those of you who think that Fox is doing the Right's work are fooling yourselves. It's business, and they are shrewdly satisfying a marketing niche that is open on a national level. It goes on and on....

As could I, but I won't. This is my initial cut on the subject, although I also agree with Steam based on what my friends have told me, particularly two who just returned from their second deployments over there.

Take it for what it's worth. ...Probably not much; I need more java.
...and my respectful disagreement...DougSloan
Dec 11, 2003 9:17 AM
No, most of us are not going to be privy to conversations among editors, producers, writers, and reporters. So, the fact that we cannot relate those conversations should not be determinative.

Also, I have been privy to conversations among reporters, producers, and news directors at a local TV station in Missouri. I was dating the news producer at the time, and not only knew everyone at the station, but hung out at the station quite a bit. I certainly did hear and hear of conversations about how station policy affected the selection and angle of news stories. They most certainly did choose what to run and how to run it to promote certain themes or goals. Now, this was not the canned national news, but more on a regional level. So, I can speculate, and I think reasonably so, that this occurs elsewhere.

I also was very good friends with the publisher and editor of a local newspaper. They undisputedly offered a slant to the news very different than, for example, the St. Louis Post Dispatch. You could read the two newspapers side by side and not even think you were read papers from the same planet. This could well have been intentional or simply innate bias and subconscious. It doesn't matter. Whether or not it is intentional and openly discussed, it is real. All you have to do is compare the products to see it.

Now, mainstream American media may not have the same bias as, for example, the Guardian or Al Jazera (sp?), but for the most part there still is a bias, intentional or not. It's almost impossible *not* to have bias. It's not evil or anything, but just "is". Don't bother denying it, just accept it and note that anyone else is free to run competing stories with their bias. It's a free country, with free markets and freedom of speech.

In other words, embrace your bias. I have it. You do to. I think the major gripe is with denying the bias and pretending that the news is "objective", which is probably not even possible.

I've seen several polls and studies showing American journalists to be about 80% identifying themselves with Liberal issues. You apparently do. Nothing wrong with that, except denying it.

Now, all that aside, I think this is not nearly the issue it used to be. There is so much competing information and news sources now that nearly every angle is available. That doesn't necessarily impact Joe Sixpack with only rabbit ears and no computer watching the 6 oclock news as his only news source, but times are changing.

Another piece of the elephant ...OldEdScott
Dec 11, 2003 9:29 AM
Cory's got the head, Doug has the tail, Scott's hanging onto the ears for dear life ... Let me grab holt of the, uh, well, let me grab something else.

80 percent of REPORTERS may be liberals, as Doug says. I'll buy that. But 80 percent (or more) of publishers/station owners etc are probably conservative Republican. They're big businessmen, not journalists. Nothing wrong with that. But the fact is, they own the outlet and they set the outlet's policies, and I guarantee you, they ain't no bleeding panty wastes.

Individual reporter/editor biases come through on specific stories, and sure, it may be left-tilted. But 'The Media' itself is owned by conservatives, and, as Cory said, has a vested interest in protecting the status quo.
you mean like Ted Turner? nmDougSloan
Dec 11, 2003 9:34 AM
so disney is conservative?bill105
Dec 11, 2003 9:37 AM
dont think so.
The only thing I'm holding is a coffee mug--an empty one.sn69
Dec 11, 2003 9:40 AM
Too damn many nuisances this morning.
See what happens when you grab and elephant's ... oops!Live Steam
Dec 11, 2003 9:56 AM
So for example, Ted Turner is conservative? I don't believe that news outlets give marching orders, well maybe Turner did, but I do believe they screen who they hire and what they report on and how.

News outlets are political machines. That is what drives them. They always were. They endorse political candidates for goodness sakes. This certainly implies they have a political bent.

I just think it's funny when a liberal denies this, with the exception of Fox News of course :O) As for the argument that all corporations prosper from conservative legislation, that is preposterous. Some may in some instances, and others will suffer from them. It is at least as ridicules to make such a blanket statement as it is to believe that there is no bias in reporting the news.
Reporters, news outlets and conglomsNo_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 12:59 PM
Being right here next to ABC/Disney/Sony, etc. etc., having grown up in it, around it, worked in it, with it and having the media congloms truly interwoven in my and all my neighbors lives, it is a well known fact that the news wings of the media congloms operate relatively autonomously from their parents. Their parents have little respect for them or care for what they're doing and look upon the news wings of their beings as that rotten little toe that just hangs on. It's simply a part of doing business that satisfies some customers' hunger. Ted Turner is an exception, I'm sure there are others.

The rule of thumb here is that the voice on camera is certainly not bending anything to satisfy the owners/BofD, etc. As long as the $$ is coming in, it don't matter to them.
reporter percentages depend on the question.dr hoo
Dec 11, 2003 12:24 PM
I have seen polls that show 60-80% lean left on *social* issues. However, on economic issues the same polls show a strong conservative leaning.

Clearly there is LIBERTARIAN bias!

(I wish)
That's funnymohair_chair
Dec 11, 2003 9:54 AM
I don't buy the liberal bias stuff and I don't believe that media outlets conspire at the highest levels to report or not report news.

What I do believe is that reporters, especially on foreign assignment and on expense accounts, can't file stories that say "nothing bad happened today." If they do that, they get yanked back home. It's a simple fact of the business. The fact is, good news doesn't sell. No one is going to buy a paper where the headline says "NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS!!!" and the articles are all on stuff like the Iraqi Ladies Auxilliary breeding roses.

I also believe that reporters, yearning for their Pulitzer or just to become famous, will selectively and myopically pursue stories and publish them as fact. I believe that reporters and the organizations they work for, in their rush to scoop the competition, will rush to print or air news that isn't verified. Naturally, they issue caveats, but that's just to cover their ass. If challenged, they will point out that their work is factually correct, because of course, it is. What these stories lack are the three truths: the truth, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth. To many reporters, the first truth is the only one that matters. There's a reason the three truths are part of the oath we swear in court. It's because they all matter, and they are all relevant.
Facts vs. truthSpoiler
Dec 11, 2003 10:36 AM
How can any reporter claim to be presenting the "whole truth"? No reporter should ever fool himself or the readers into thinking a story contains the whole truth. Unless the story contains versions from each and every human involved, it can't possibly contain the whole truth.

The reporters job is to give readers facts, so they can decide the truth for themselves.
Facts vs. truthbill105
Dec 11, 2003 10:43 AM
like "we report you decide".
a good examplemohair_chair
Dec 11, 2003 11:00 AM
You are wrong about that. A reporters job is to tell the story, not just to give facts.

Recently there was video of Cincinatti cops beating on a black man. That was fact, and that is what many news organizations reported. Let the viewers decide. Well, big surprise what the viewers decided!

What many, but not all, left out was the whole truth. The entire video, showing the man attacking the officers, plus the audio, plus the physical condition (injuries) of the officers afterwards. At least some pointed out that the man was on PCP and cocaine and had alcohol.

There were choices made NOT to show the whole truth. The same went for the original Rodney King video, where the first part, which is rarely seen, shows King rushing the officers. TV stations didn't show that part because it was partially out of focus. All you saw was cops beating him.

Are you seriously going to tell me that facts were given to readers/viewers in these cases so that the readers/viewers could decide? It's naive that anyone could believe that.

Do you ever watch any Michael Moore films? He likes to string raw facts together in such a way so that people believe it is the whole truth, when in fact, it is anything but.
there were also sections of that taperufus
Dec 11, 2003 11:14 AM
that the police didn't release to the media. what might those have shown?
part of the story from The GuardianSpoiler
Dec 11, 2003 1:50 PM
"But yesterday a police union spokesman defended the officers. "I want people to see the video and see just how violent this gentleman was," said Roger Webster, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Dec 11, 2003 1:47 PM
"Are you seriously going to tell me that facts were given to readers/viewers in these cases so that the readers/viewers could decide? It's naive that anyone could believe that."

This is a particular case right? I wrote about how journalists SHOULD approach a story. I never claimed they did so in the Cincinatti or King cases.

I also wanted to point out that it's unrealistic to expect your news sources to tell the "whole story." "The whole story" is a misused cliche, much like "balanced diet."

If a journalist wanted to do a personality profile on you, would you expect him to tell the whole story of you? If he could, you have a pretty sad life. Should he mention you wet the bed till age 16? If he leaves it out, he's not telling the whole story.

A reporter of hard news lets the facts tell the story.

I imagine when the Cincinatti story first broke, the coroners report wasn't available. Should the paper have withheld the piece until after the coroners report was available? After all, they didn't have the "whole story."

So even if a news story said, in effect, a 400lb black man, under the unfluence of several drugs, died after a fight with police, they aren't telling the whole story.
the whole storymohair_chair
Dec 11, 2003 2:21 PM
Your standard is unreasonable. The story a reporter files should include all known facts at the time. That's the whole story. The problem is that many reporters are leaving important known facts out, and that changes the story completely. I see this all the time with quotations, where the context behind a quote is left out, and what's left is totally different from what the guy really said. Maybe they are sloppy, or maybe they have an agenda, but the whole story, as the reporter knows it, wasn't reported. I see this all the time, and if you don't, you aren't watching or reading well enough.

By the way, known facts don't include assumptions and speculations. Reporters should make it clear when they are making up their own facts, but they rarely do.

Many news outlets who ran the Cincinatti tape purposely didn't include key facts--scenes and audio that would better set the context for people to decide on their own. They purposly left out facts. This happened at stations all over the country. Even worse were the teasers that ran during prime time that only showed glimpses of it. There is no justification for this, but it's par for the course.
the whole storySpoiler
Dec 11, 2003 3:04 PM
I can't argue with anything in your post. I just don't like the use of the term "whole story".

I did see many broadcast clips that would mislead viewers.

But that's broadcast. I have much more respect for print.
I think we have to recall what happened to Jayson Blair when he make up his own facts. The NYTimes could have handled it in-house. Instead, they voluntarily made it a huge deal, and uncovered it immediately, and fairly thoroughly. They were willing to write a piece that temporarily discredited themselves, for the sake of long-term credibility.

I can't recall many other institution going to such lengths to come clean.
must be good news to the troops nmDougSloan
Dec 11, 2003 9:00 AM
I thought the same thing. nmNo_sprint
Dec 11, 2003 9:01 AM
Pro-US demos spontaneous and joyful, anti-US orchestrated?Cory
Dec 11, 2003 9:07 AM
Good news if that's true. Some kids I used to coach, and some of my childrens' friends, are in Iraq right now. But I don't think we can rule out puppetmasters in either case. If you're not going to believe what you see in the media, don't you have to apply it across the board. Picking and choosing is just self-censorship.
Not another conspiracy theory again :O) nmLive Steam
Dec 11, 2003 9:12 AM
Regardless...Jon Billheimer
Dec 11, 2003 10:26 AM
...of the internal dynamics of journalistic news selections, allegations of bias, the politics of "spontaneous" demonstrations, it is good news that at least some people in Iraq are fed up with endless violence and are willing to publicly speak out. Quite apart from American foreign policy and its neo-imperialism and quite apart from anything else, most people all over the world simply want to live their lives in peace, order, and relative prosperity. Unfortunately, religion, politics, greed, lust for power, etc. etc. totally pervert ordinary peoples' needs and desires. So, if true, these demonstrations hopefully mark a small step toward sanity in Iraqi society.
The only thing you failed to acknowledge is ...Live Steam
Dec 11, 2003 10:54 AM
these people would not have had such an opportunity had the US not deposed Saddam. I know it would be difficult for you, but sometimes one needs to simply give credit where credit is due.

Hey Jon if the US was really bent on Imperialism, I would think we would start with the Great White North. What would you fend us off with? Hockey sticks? :O)
Dec 11, 2003 12:13 PM
Unfortunately, religion, politics, greed, lust for power, etc. etc. totally pervert ordinary peoples' needs and desires.

Indeed. Human nature. It's built in.
Steam, you may be missing the point....Tri_Rich
Dec 11, 2003 11:02 AM
Although hard to read that article I'm not sure the protesters were as pro-US as you seem to think.

It may be that these people understand the more attacks on US troops the longer those troops remain in Iraq. Notice that they are saying yes to democracy, not yes to US appointed governing council.

On the other subject; I don't think the politics of Peter Jennings or Dan Rather have any effect on reporting since they just read what is on the teleprompter.

My personal dislike for Bill O'Rielly has less to do with his politics and more to do with the way he conducts his interviews. Insulting and argueing are not to my mind the proper way to conduct an interview, nor should the interviewer attempt to be the center of attention.
Hmmm?Live Steam
Dec 11, 2003 11:14 AM
You cannot compare what O'Reilly does to what Jennings and Rather do. O'Reilly is doing editorial. The other two are supposed to be newsmen. Big difference. Also, they may be reading from a teleprompter, but I would hope they had some input into what they are reading. Otherwise they are not the "newsmen" they purport themselves to be.

I think the idea that the Iraqis protested against the terrorist strikes says a lot. They are saying to the Muslim world, "please stay out of our business and let this process take place. This is what we choose. Your presence is not welcome." That is a pretty big statement to make on their part.

I agree about O'Reilly. I never liked his style and seldom watch him. I think he is a selfserving opportunist as are many of the hosts of similar shows. Chris Mathews comes off that way to me too. I like Joe Scarborough and John Kasich. I like Tim Russert too.
I wasn't comparing them...Tri_Rich
Dec 11, 2003 11:50 AM
sorry for not being clear, those were two seperate statements. Jennings and Rather are sited as examples of liberals in the media, but as hosts they don't actually do any reporting.

O'Reilly has just always bothered me for the reasons you and I both stated.
I saw it on "major news outlets".dr hoo
Dec 11, 2003 12:15 PM
Really, I did! Network television even.

In fact, they made a point of the fact that it started off as an anti-terror tactic demonstration, and soon grew with many different groups out pushing their agenda. They said that that was a sign of increased political freedom.

Of course, many of those groups were calling for an islamic republic.

I don't think your statement that "Hundreds of thousands said they desperately want democritization" is accurate.
OK if you say soLive Steam
Dec 11, 2003 12:32 PM
"Being someone who does all I can to stay informed on the major issues of each day I was a little taken back when I got up early this morning and looked through many news outlets before I came to any mention of the anti-terrorism/pro-democracy march in Baghdad yesterday.

One year ago a march of this size would have been forcibly organized by Saddam's goons and it would not have encouraged the types of speech that yesterday's did. According to the best numbers I can find it appears that not only did the 10,000 person march happen in Baghdad but that there were concurrent marches in 4 other cities all revolving around the same theme."
Kevin McCullough
Radio Talk Show Host, Syndicated Columnist, and past recipient of the Tesla and Marconi Awards

I guess I'm not the only person with this impression.
I say so.dr hoo
Dec 11, 2003 1:00 PM
I saw it on network news.

Oh, and 10k does not equal HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. Try to be a bit more accurate with your numbers.

A quick google news search turned up stories in:

San Jose Mercury News
Arizona Republic
Salt Lake Tribune
Seattle Times
Miami Herald
Charleston Post Courier
Cape Cod Times
New Jersey Journal
Biloxi Sun Herald
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Bradenton Herald
Macon Telegraph
Wichita Eagle

The list goes on for print sources, as well as local television stations. Kevin McCullough either needs to learn to search a bit better, or else has an agenda causing him to twist reality.
:O) so there's not slant to the news?Live Steam
Dec 11, 2003 3:41 PM
See what changing a few words around can do? Ten thousand isn't bad for a people and place that isn't secure from Saddam's long arm. It's also not bad for a people and place that hasn't seen something like it in many decades. I know it would kill you to admit something positive about anything connected to Bush, the war or anything else that doesn't meet your narrow-minded ideals. Talk about open-mindedness!
no, all news is totally accurate and unbiased.dr hoo
Dec 11, 2003 4:29 PM
At least in a world where 10k is "hundreds of thousands", and lots of coverage is "ignoring the issue".

I made no comment on the "goodness" or "badness" of the event. I simply called you on your inaccuracies of statement. You start a thread on "the media" that's what I talk about.... the media. Not the events underlying the media coverage.

Since you KNOW it will kill me to say something positive about Bush, let's test it.

I think the invasion of Afganistan was justified, and well carried out, and it brought together the international community, and the Bush administration deserves the credit for that.

Hmmmmmm, I'm still alive.

Of course, after the invasion there is not much positive to say about Afganistan. The country is a mess, the Taliban are reforming, warlords rule all but Kabul, heroin production is up, and Osama is still somewhere in the region... we think. Bush made a mess and then left it to fester while he got his war on for Saddam.

That's the thing, whenever I see something positive short term with Bush, longer term problems crop up.
why are iraqi protest banners written in english? nmrufus
Dec 11, 2003 7:04 PM
Oh, Steam's just spinning.OldEdScott
Dec 11, 2003 12:50 PM
He's getting the hang of it real good!