Ignorance is the parent of fear

Republican blogger American Thinker, August 16, 2007, It’s Not Just Scott Beauchamp, By Randall Hoven

Scott Beauchamp, The New Republic (2007). Lying. TNR hired this U.S. Army private and husband of one of its own reporters to write first-hand accounts from Iraq. One of his accounts, supposedly demonstrating the dehumanizing effects of the Iraq war on him and fellow soldiers, occurred in Kuwait before Beauchamp even entered Iraq. Other parts of his writing are likely false, and if not, constitute military crimes on his part. In fact, his anonymous writing from a war zone is likely against military rules. This story is currently unfolding.

Is the story unfolding or did Beauchamp/TNR lie. So far there is no proof that Beauchamp lied, only that he got one detail in one story wrong. In just this one entry American Thinker matches Beauchamp’s and TNR’s record. If AT is fed up with the media not getting the details right they might want to start with some housekeeping of their own. The media is flawed as are all of America’s institutions, but as usual that is not AT’s problem, not really. The idea is to take cases of sloppy reporting and just plan old laziness and use them to prove that the MEDIA is not to be trusted until Conservatives, a special hybrid of homo sapiens blessed with special knowledge of the truth gives the story their nod of approval. Funny how he lets Mark Halperin of ABC off with a well he admitted it in regards to pimping for George Bush. Even funnier how there is one conspicuously missing name from the AT list, New York Times war cheerleader Judith Miller.

And I didn’t notice anything about right-wing blogger Ben Domenech and his fact free plagiaristic romps while at the Washington Post.

Yes its an editorial so one has to give them some slack since it is not a straight up news story, but the opinions expressed are based on factual errors, Perfect. Fred Hiatt’s WaPo Edit Page Still Pushing Bogus “Petraeus Report” Line

Yesterday I wondered whether the big news orgs would continue describing the imminent September Iraq progress report as representing solely the word of General Petraeus — as the Gospel According To Petraeus — now that we know that the report is being written by the White House. As Atrios put it, “a major test of our media right now is whether this bait and switch enters the basic narrative or not.”

Well, we now have our first major failure of that test, and fittingly, it’s The Washington Post’s editorial page, which at this point is devoting its powerful opinion-shaping real estate to little more than a rearguard effort to salvage what’s left of the reputations of Beltway war supporters. And not only does WaPo’s editorial page today not acknowledge that “bait and switch,” it actually continues to try and maintain the fiction that the September report will represent the sole word of Petraeus.

Hiatt belongs to the same rhetorical country club as the AT blog. Given the space in one of the country’s leading opinion pages Hiatt doesn’t use that space to inform readers, he in fact uses it to mislead people into thinking the upcoming report from General Petraeus will be the unvarnished truth from the general. The contrary is true, the general will be part of a ventriloquists act with the White writing the script and pulling the strings. The Right, the self portrayed holy guardians of and noble seekers of the truth and nothing but the truth given a platform in the same media that they constantly accuse of being too liberal or generally untrustworthy because same media can’t get the facts straight mangled the facts. They even seem to parrot a faxed set of talking points from the Bush Whitehouse. Reid: Administration Owes Congress, American People An Honest Report On Iraq in September

“The White House’s effort to prevent General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker from testifying openly and candidly beforeCongress about the situation in Iraq is unacceptable. Not only does it contradict the law President Bush himself signed in May, but it appears to be yet another politically driven attempt to avoid giving Congress and the American people an honest and open assessment of a war we can all see is headed in the wrong direction.

“From the very beginning of this war, the Bush Administration has refused to level with the American people about its flawed policy. It has instead done everything in its power to escape accountability and mislead us about the reality on the ground. The result: an open-ended civil war that has taken nearly 4,000 American soldiers’ lives and an Iraqi government that refuses to take responsibility for its own country.

An embarrassed Fox News hits Wikipedia

Fox News tried to exploit Wikipedia, and got caught, so naturally it’s time to undermine the source of the network’s embarrassment. Typical.

As in the case of Scott Beauchamp, John Murtha, the Haditha story, Sen. John Kerry, the Katrina disaster their first and last impulse is to attack and smear.

Of course the NYT is liberal, well maybe not NY Times reported Rove claims about Clinton’s votes on surveillance without noting they are false

In writing about Karl Rove’s August 15 appearance on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, New York Times reporter Patrick Healy reported that Rove claimed Sen. Hillary Clinton “opposed the USA Patriot Act, domestic surveillance programs and other antiterrorism measures.” The Times did not note that Clinton, in fact, voted for both the original USA Patriot Act in 2001 and its reauthorization in 2006. Healy also misrepresented what Rove actually said when he falsely accused Clinton of opposing certain changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

There is a tremendous amount of false framing that goes with this liberal media clown party that the Right likes to throw on a regular basis. Some of what they site as liberal bias is simply poor reporting or human error. In some cases they represent a column from the editorial page as a news story and since those, like Hiatt’s express opinions the Right points to that opinion as proof of liberal reporting when its an apples and oranges comparison. The press in many ways has been intimidated by the Right. The broadcast media in particular sticks a microphone in some Republican spokesman’s face, gets a statement, doesn’t questions the particulars of the statement yet considers his job done for the day. Editor and Publisher in writing about a few flaks in a news room cheering when Rove resigned, Seattle Editor Declares, Keep Political Views to Yourself — Then Responds to Reaction

I ask you all to leave your personal politics at the front door for one simple reason: A good newsroom is a sacred and magical place in which we can and should test every assumption, challenge each other’s thinking, ask the fundamental questions those in power hope we will overlook.

If we wore our politics on our sleeves in here, I have no doubt that in this and in most other mainstream newsrooms in America, the majority of those sleeves would be of the same color: blue. Survey after survey over the years have demonstrated that most of the people who go into this business tend to vote Democratic, at least in national elections. That is not particularly surprising, given how people make career decisions and that social service and activism is a primary driver for many journalists.

But if we allowed our news meetings to evolve into a liberal latte klatch, I have no doubt that a pathological case of group-think would soon set in. One of the advances of which I’m most proud over the years is our willingness to question and challenge each other as we work to give our readers the most valuable, meaningful journalism we can.

The result: A newspaper that is known nationally for aggressive watchdog and investigative reporting, without fear or favor. From a Democratic United States senator (Brock Adams) to our region’s biggest employer (Boeing) to a large advertiser (Nordstrom) to our school districts and courts and police, we have confronted them all with tough questions to which they had no good answers. The result has been a better community, laws changed, lives saved.

It’s not about “balance,” which is a false construct. It isn’t even about “objectivity,” which is a laudable but probably unattainable goal. It is about independent thinking and sound, facts-based journalism — the difference between what we do and the myopic screed that is passed off as “advocacy” journalism these days.

The Right will never acknowledge the reality of a regular news room. An individual reporter might belong to one party or the other, but first and foremost they belong to the club of journalism and that is their first loyalty. The national memory is as many have said is about two weeks long, some of the people reading this post were toddlers when for almost his entire presidency the press, especially the NYT and Newsweek went into 24/7 attack mode against President Bill Clinton. When is the last time you heard a right-wing pundit lament Bill’s treatment at the hands of the same press they insist in so liberal. The media’s first loyalty is getting the big juicy story. Where are those reporters now with an administration so scandal ridden that the memories of last year’s scandals, and the year before become a blur. Where are the loops of video of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales and Rumsfeld lying played over and over again.

Michelle Malkin among others fonds all over the AT post. Which brings up the absurd generality that the MEDIA is liberal. Malkin is the media – blogs, newspaper columns, books, TV show guest and host.

O’Reilly – radio, books, TV and newspapers. He is the media. The same for Hannity and Limbaugh. Ann Coulter – books, internet and newspaper columns. Frequent guest on TV. Hugh Hewitt right-wing radio, internet, etc..

So when the Right says MEDIA, that’s just Republispeak for anyone that tells truths they don’t like.

“Ignorance is the parent of fear . . .” – from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

update: FBI Director’s Notes Contradict Gonzales’s Version Of Ashcroft Visit

Mueller’s description of Ashcroft’s physical condition that night contrasts with testimony last month from Gonzales, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ashcroft was “lucid” and “did most of the talking” during the brief visit. It also confirms an account of the episode by former deputy attorney general James B. Comey, who said Ashcroft told the two men he was not well enough to make decisions in the hospital.

Why is it that so much of the time the truth seems to have a liberal bias.

Poor Bill Richardson, he was really running for vice-president or Secretary of State anyway, Richardson Aide Quits After Brothel Link Discovery

One of Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson’s top organizers in rural Nevada resigned Thursday after the campaign learned he had worked for a brothel and was wanted on a felony arrest warrant in California.