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Saturday, December 31, 2005

News Bias 2005

Best of Notable Quotables
The 18th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting
Matt Lauer in Baghdad: "Talk to me...about morale here. We’ve heard so much about the insurgent attacks, so much about the uncertainty as to when you folks are going to get to go home. How would you describe morale?"
Chief Warrant Officer Randy Kirgiss: "In my unit morale is pretty good. Every day we go out and do our missions and people are ready to execute their missions. They’re excited to be here."
Lauer: "How much does that uncertainty of [not] knowing how long you’re going to be here impact morale?"|
Specialist Steven Chitterer: "Morale is always high. Soldiers know they have a mission. They like taking on new objectives and taking on the new challenges...."
Lauer: "Don’t get me wrong here, I think you are probably telling me the truth, but a lot of people at home are wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the attacks you’re facing. What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale can be that high?"
Captain Sherman Powell: "Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I’d be pretty depressed as well."
Exchange on NBC’s Today, August 17.
Among the many jawdropping examples of bias this one highlights what I think is the most important. The war. For many of us the gap between what the major US news organizations say and what is really going on is getting clearer, due primarily to the free exchange of information and opinion made possible by the internet. This year beside the war reporting the bias was apparent in the undercoverage of historic events like the elections in the Middle East, Syrian machinations in and eventual withdrawal from Lebanon, the UN oil for food scandal, Iran's march toward nuclear weapons and its leader's bizarre statements, the genocide in Sudan, and the French riots. Just as telling was the ridiculous overexposure of Natalee Holloway, Cindy Sheehan, Wilson/Plame, and the redefinition of "gulag" and "torture". Those who decide what's fit to report might consider rejiggering their priorities. As a consumer of news it's a pain to sift through so much crap to find the intellectually honest reports, but the option is at least available nowadays. The information monopoly is dead.

But back to the point I wanted to make: The bias in the news has killed people this year. People have died in Iraq because the media continues to distort the truth about the nature of our enemy, their attacks, and the success of our efforts against them. The connecting thread of Islam is conveniently overlooked, except where it illustrates the violation of some political correctness taboo. The unknown mother of one dead soldier is elevated above all the rest and provided an unlimited limelight, her more ignorant and bigoted comments and the lack of popular support conveniently muted. In the wake of a new constitution and on the eve of the 3rd election an unknown congressman declares Iraq lost calls for immediate withdrawal and is elevated to hero. About the same time Senator Lieberman's firsthand observations and opposing opinion go unnoticed. The non-outing of a pair of partisan leakers is portrayed as a major blow against (rather than for) national security. It could even be the Next Watergate™. Meanwhile the Washington Post and New York Times print with glee the real secrets of still more partisan leakers and really do hurt national security. The Pulitzers are already in the mail. Last but not least they report anti-terror measures taken by the government after 9/11 with a scandalous tone - until polls reveal it helps Bush. See? Even though it's unintentional there is sometimes a right-wing bias in the news.

I made a bit of fun there toward the end, but it really doesn't fit. The distortion in the reporting from Iraq and relating to the war in general has eroded our morale and lent hope to our enemies. The fighting in Iraq has undoubtedly been more intense and lasted longer because of it. Obviously shit happens in war. How much shit happens is not entirely beyond our control. Maybe the media just doesn't want to come across as cheerleaders. Instead they come across as ahistoric Chicken Little defeatists. It has made things worse. Is that what they wanted?

Here's wishing that in 2006 they report more about what's really going on. Give us some context for the next report on "torture", secret prisons, and spying. Don't suppress the grisly images of attacks against us. Don't gloss over the substance when we get a new message from al Qaeda. Should laymen have to search out jihadi communications themselves? Why are there no 60 Minutes or 20/20 reports on this? Surely it's better fodder for professional investigative journalists than the drivel they've tried to puff up into scandals throughout 2005. What precisely is the difference between moderate Islam and radical Islam? Is the Islamofacist threat over- or underestimated? Considering that the fate of civilization hangs in the balance the mainstream media's failure to even ask such questions is absurd.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Nuclear Monitoring, I Sure Hope So

EXCLUSIVE: Nuclear Monitoring of Muslims Done Without Search Warrants
Posted 12/22/05
By David E. Kaplan
In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.
Isn't it odd how difficult a time the liberal press has mentioning the Islamic factor in any terrorist act, to the point where such mention is found only in the last few paragraphs of their story, or left out entirely, but when it comes to a perceived infringement of privacy perpetrated by the government in their efforts to protect us from aforementioned terrorist acts the liberal press doesn't hesitate to see and state clearly the Islamic angle right up front? Don't matters of life and death deserve more or at least as much scrutiny as matters of mere privacy? Wouldn't it be fair, if you're going to mention "9/11" and "Muslim" in the first paragraph that it be to point out that the 9/11 terrorists were all Muslim and singularly motivated by a desire to advance Islam's cause? Wouldn't that help explain why the government has an interest in investigating Muslims and monitoring their meeting places? And since the press feels compelled, presumably for contextual purposes, to provide the total body count since 2003 every time they report the latest US military casualty in Iraq, you'd think in this story it would make sense to mention Jose Padilla, AKA Abdullah Al Muhajir, AKA the Muslim dirty bomber.
These and other developments suggest that the federal government's domestic spying programs since 9/11 have been far broader than previously thought.
Two individuals, who declined to be named because the program is highly classified, spoke to U.S. News because of their concerns about the legality of the program.
With so many enemy sympathizers working within our government it will take a miracle to prevent the coming attacks from Muslims. Is it OK to say that? If you break the law for sure to tattle on something you think might be illegal but for damn sure is effective, isn't it fair to infer that your sympathies must lie more with the enemy than with your own country? Is it OK to note the fervent ideology of the attackers and monitor those who gather to discuss it? "Far broader" would be Geiger counters everywhere and monitoring what they actually say in the mosques. The attitude that simply checking for radioactivity is an intolerable invasion of privacy would be laughable if the consequences weren't so serious.

Fitzgerald: Monitoring mosques, and its cost
December 23, 2005
Monitoring the mosques all over the non-Muslim world, of course, is a tall order. And a very expensive one, added to all the other huge expenses incurred in the campaign to make Infidel lands safe from the very people who are, paradoxically, still allowed in when should have been clear to all who had bothered to study the doctrines of Islam and the history of Islamic rule over non-Muslims, what was to have been expected.
Unprecedented and unjustified? No.

Clinton Claimed Authority to Order No-Warrant Searches
December 20, 2005, 9:46 a.m.
In a little-remembered debate from 1994, the Clinton administration argued that the president has "inherent authority" to order physical searches — including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens — for foreign intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside body.
Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, provides for such warrantless searches directed against "a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power."
Those who wage jihad in order to impose sharia are indeed agents of a foreign power. They threaten the survival of civilization itself, not just the US, and some "infidels" are unfortunately having trouble coming to grips with that.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


New mini Moonbat fits in your sidebar!
Responding to overwhelming demand, I have designed a new, miniaturized version of the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat. You can put it anywhere you want, really, but it’s designed to fit perfectly in the sidebar area of your blog.

The new “sidebar module” doesn’t have all the options and features of the “live chat module,” because there was no room for all those buttons. But it’s just as funny, and only half the size.

Unlike the live chat module, which lets you talk back to the robot, the sidebar module won’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise. All you can do is click the “RANT” button and get ranted at. (Although if the robot sits idle for a couple of minutes, it gets antsy and rants without you.)
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's All So Complicated

Films show terrorists as people
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY Wed Dec 21, 6:45 AM ET
Clooney, who produced Syriana, says the trend stems largely from growing American displeasure with the Iraq war.

"I've been called a traitor for questioning the war," he says. "But more people are beginning to look critically at what our government is doing, who we're fighting. And that's the most patriotic thing you can do."
You're not a traitor if you question the war, or look critically at your government. You cross the line of treason when your words or actions damage your country and countrymen. When your worldview is based on the premise that America has been wrong about most things, most of the time, and you see it as a perpetrator of evil rather than a proponent of good, and that this is the root cause of everything that is wrong in the world - then pardon me for pointing it out but you are a traitor. Not being a traitor doesn't automatically make you a patriot. The next time you or your Hollywood jetsetting friends are traveling the world and you're standing in front of a crowd of American-hating foreigners try telling them you love your country and explain why rather than joining in their bashing. That would be patriotic.
Syriana, for example, "simply doesn't want to paint things in black and white, because the world isn't that way," Clooney says. "The world is complicated, and good movies try to show that."
How about a good movie that explores the complicated roots of terror? Not more "religion of peace" apologia. Show them as people. What do they believe? What are their goals? A documentary or two about Islam would be nice. How it started, how it spread; a view backward that doesn't stop at the Crusades, or colonialism. What are the core beliefs of the various Islamic sects? Why are there so many terror groups? It's all so complicated, we need Hollywood to help us understand.

Don't hold your breath.

Via LGF.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pardon Me Mr. Anti-America

My country, always wrong
Pages could be filled with the caustic, contradictory, and almost schizophrenic accusations of the prophets of anti-Americanism. Don't be fooled for a second that such criticisms are fueled by a genuine desire to build a better America. It's pure bile that does not deserve to be taken seriously. So when you hear me calling anti-Americanism by its name, don't assume I mean that every leftie is a traitor. I don't take issue with reasoned dissent, I just have a problem with those on the Left who follow the motto, "my country, always wrong." It just happens that this type of leftist represents about ninety-five percent of the Left.
Nice blog.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Fellow Called Mohammed

Racism is bad - so is self-delusion
By Mark Steyn
(Filed: 20/12/2005
These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Centre? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet. A sniper starts killing petrol station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A gang-rapist in Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.

Maybe all these Mohammeds are victims of Australian white racists and American white racists and Dutch white racists and Balinese white racists and Beslan schoolgirl white racists.
Maybe saying something like this is enough to get you killed by a member of the Religion of Peace.

About the photo.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Smartypants Traitors

Treason of the Intellectuals, Volume 3
But a new magnet for intellectuals is emerging: radical Islam. It's not that intellectuals are likely to embrace radical Islam themselves anytime soon - for one thing, the requirement of believing in God would deter many of them. But what they can do is obstruct efforts to combat radical Islam and terrorism, undermine support for Israel, stress the "legitimate grievances" of radical Islamists, and lend moral support to the "legitimacy" of radical Islamic movements.

This is a phenomenon at first glance so baffling it cries out for analysis. Both fascism and Marxism censored, harassed, and imprisoned intellectuals, but they also gave lip service to intellectualism. Russia and Germany both had great universities. Both fascism and Marxism appealed to their respective nations' cultural heritage in support of their ideologies. Our mental picture of fascism is now mostly colored by images of Nazi book burnings and bad art, but before World War II fascism was quite successful at passing itself off as a blend of socialism and nationalism.

When we try to discover what fascism, Marxism, and radical Islam have in common, the field shrinks to a single common theme: hatred of democracy. Despite all the calls for "Power to the People" from radical intellectuals, the reality is that no societies have ever empowered so many people to such a degree as Western democracies.

The problem is that people in democratic societies usually end up using that empowerment to make choices that intellectuals hate. How can we reconcile the fact that the masses, whom intellectuals profess to support, keep making wrong choices? I've got it - they've been duped somehow. Those aren't their real values; they've been brainwashed into a "false consciousness" by society. If they were completely free to choose, they'd make the "right" choices. But of course we have to eliminate all the distractions that interfere with the process: no moral or religious indoctrination, no advertising or superficial amusements, no status symbols, no politically incorrect humor. "False consciousness" is a perfect way of professing support for the masses while simultaneously depriving them of any power to choose; a device for being an elitist while pretending not to be.

Via no dhimmitude.