Conservatives and Their Cognitive Dissonance About The Press

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I do recommend visiting a right-wing blog(s) once in a while its makes for an interesting study in cognitive dissonance. Their ability to deny reality after looking it in the face is quit a psychological feat. Conservative blog The Strata-Sphere, The Incoherent NY Times, Posted by AJStrata on Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 at 8:03 am.

The NY Times is one of the most incoherent news organizations I have seen. After exposing the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program (which is nothing new per the Church Committee Report from 1978) and the SWIFT terrorist financial tracking program, and after all sorts of reports and editorials claiming Bush is hyping the war, that since we have not had an attack we should pull out of the ME, that Bush is war mongering, the NY Times leads with this line:

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere in the NYT editoiral does it say that the U.S. should completely withdraw from the middle-east. What did the NYT call for,

Fending off the chaos that would almost certainly come with civil war would be a reason to stay the course, although it does not inspire the full-throated rhetoric about freedom that Mr. Bush offered last night. But the nation needs to hear a workable plan to stabilize a fractured, disintegrating country and end the violence. If such a strategy exists, it seems unlikely that Mr. Bush could see it through the filter of his fantasies.

It sounds like someone being very rational and coherent (and in step with the thoughts of the majority of Americans), the exact opposite of what AJ would have the readers of his blog believe. AJ throws in this non-sequitor,

The NY Times is claiming everyone knows there is the threat of a new attack? So they exposed our anti-terrorism defenses on the word of partisan hacks anyway?

This requires some translation. An employee of the NSA informed the NYT that Bush had ordered domestic warrantless spying on American citizens in violation of FISA law. In the unhinged world of Strata this is exactly the same thing as exposing our anti-terrorism defenses. AJ provides no proof, no links, no names, no dates, but insists that the NYT piece on Bush’s illegal domestic spying has gotten people killed,

Well, actually he does have to remind people, especially those in the advanced stages of BDS like the NY Times that their actions have serious and life ending consequences. (emphasis mine)

Where was AJ in his hunt for the truth when the New York Times was selling Bush’s rationales for invading Iraq like a color insert in the Sunday advertising section, New York Times Rewrites Iraq War History

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised,” Bush said in a March 17, 2003 address to the nation.The New York Times’ editorial page unskeptically accepted these claims and incorporated them into the paper’s own arguments. In a September 18, 2002 editorial, the paper declared:

What really counts in this conflict…is the destruction of Iraq’s unconventional weapons and the dismantling of its program to develop nuclear arms…. What makes Iraq the subject of intense concern, as Mr. Bush noted, is Mr. Hussein’s defiance of the Security Council’s longstanding instructions to dismantle Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program and to eliminate all its biological and chemical weapons and the materials used to make them.

After the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on inspectors returning to Iraq, the Times editorialized (11/9/02):

The unwavering goal is to disarm Iraq, enforcing a string of previous Security Council resolutions that Baghdad has contemptuously ignored. The cost of letting that happen has been diminished authority for the United Nations and a growing danger that Iraq’s unconventional weapons will be used in war or passed on to terrorists. Mr. Bush has galvanized the Security Council to declare that its orders must now be obeyed and those dangers eliminated.

When the inspectors returned, the paper stated (12/6/02), “Iraq has to get rid of its biological and chemical arms and missiles and the means to make them, and abandon its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.” When the inspectors failed to find any evidence of banned weapons, the Times insisted (2/15/03): “The Security Council doesn’t need to sit through more months of inconclusive reports. It needs full and immediate Iraqi disarmament. It needs to say so, backed by the threat of military force.”

Looking back at the record of the NYT and its role as cheerleader for the Bush administration and every single talking point one has to wonder how far conservatives had their hands up the NYT’s collective ass. After nearly eight years of dogged pursuit of any flimsy story they could exploit to destroy President Clinton, the NYT is tied with the lackluster CBS as the favorite straw man liberal media to beat up on. What is the Right’s real problem with the NYT; they’re not 100% anti-democrat 100% of the time. Its very similar to the whole business with Christianity and religion. The Democratic party is filled with lay Christians, ministers, priests, and rabbis, but they will never be “CHRISTIAN” or religious enough in the way the the far right interprets Christianity or Judaism. Let’s look at this story about NYT and the Dole campaign, Election Coverage Narrowed Clinton’s Lead-and Helped the GOP Keep Congress

Why do you need media critics when you’ve got Bob Dole?

In the final weeks of the campaign, as Dole groped for some theme that would prevent him from being buried under a Clinton landslide, the Republican candidate hit on his party’s favorite imaginary enemy: the “liberal” media.

At campaign stop after campaign stop, Dole blamed his dismal poll numbers on the failure of the liberal media to tell the truth about the president’s character: In particular, he accused the New York Times of covering up allegations that Democratic National Committee fundraiser John Huang had unethically or illegally raised money from Indonesians and other Asian nationals.

“They don’t put any anti-Clinton stories in the New York Times,” Dole complained after outlining his fundraising charges (New York Times, 10/31/96), “only anti-Dole stories in the New York Times.”

The only problem is that the press in general and the New York Times in particular have devoted vast amounts of space to the “Indogate” allegations. Far from burying the story, the Times did all it could to push it, assigning Jeff Gerth and Steven Labaton to cover it, two zealous reporters whose coverage of Whitewater, columnist Gene Lyons argued in his book Fools for Scandal, amounted to a vendetta against the president.

In the 14 days before Dole began making his complaints, the New York Times ran 11 news stories focused on the fundraising charges, three of them on the front page. They also ran two editorials criticizing the contributions; the pundit who did perhaps more than any other to push the story was William Safire, who is based on the Times’ op-ed page.

Race and Casablanca

The Huang story was ostensibly about illegal contributions raised from foreigners and then returned. But what seemed to drive the outrage over the story were two points: that Clinton was accepting contributions from people or corporations who hoped to influence U.S. government policy. And that these people and corporations were Asian.

The first part is indeed a big story, perhaps the biggest in U.S. politics. It’s also in the Casablanca category: Pundits were shocked, shocked to find out that donations of money might be influencing a politician. The fact is that business gave hundreds of millions of dollars to parties and candidates in the last election cycle-all of it self-interested. To give the impression that the party mainly implicated in this corrupt system is the Democrats-who got a little more than half what the Republicans received from business in this election cycle-is disingenuous in the extreme.

The story illustrates two points really well. One is that as long as any particular coverage run by NYT is anti-democrat you don’t hear a word from the fringe right about the ethics of fairness in reporting regardless of politics, and two that while the story should have been covered it was done so from an obvious slant that let Dole and conservatives get away with being two faced hypocrites. Well there is a third item, the item that Strata points to is an editorial, an opinion which by definition subjective. The slanted stories about President Clinton were printed under as straight news, when in fact they were taking an editorial stand that leaned strongly Republican. So for the AJ’s of the right-wing blogosphere the NYT should turn a blind eye to the failures and corruptions of conservatives both in their news reportage and their editorials. That being his wish and the wish of your average member of the Cult of Bush, just say so. Just honestly admit that their problem with the NYT and the press in general is that they think conservatives should never be held accountable. That conservatives should be held to an elite standard, untouchable by the mere common citizenry. Name a totalitarian movement that has not had the exact same attitude toward the press. If only conservatives could decide which stories were covered, what the content of editorials contained and how they were covered, then and only then would they be happy. Pea Brains From the Same Pod

TEHRAN, Iran (AP)- Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country’s universities…

PHOENIX (AP) – Conservative state lawmakers are targeting what they see as left-leaning university professors, pushing a series of bills in recent and upcoming sessions designed to ensure that students are not unduly influenced by professors’ beliefs.

Conservatives are obviously intellectually corrupt, but that isn’t enough they insist on pushing the envelop on material corruption too, BUSH FUNDRAISER Noe gets 27 months in federal prison for illegal contributions

“He has risen in the past to positions of respect and power and he violated the trust of those who placed him in those positions,” Judge Katz said during sentencing.

Most of the conservative movement has violated the trust of the American people and seem not only unashamed, but keep insisting it is their right to do so.

“There must be something else,” said the perplexed gentleman. “There is something more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say? or can it be the old story of Dr. Fell? or Is it the mere radiance of a foul soul that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent? The last, I think; for, O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan’s signature upon a face, it Is on that of your new friend.”
from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson