General discussion


Iraq Aftermath

By TheChas ·
After seeing a blurb on CNN Headline News about Walter Cronkite's opinions about the war in Iraq, I just could not help myself.

Check out this article:

I quote from the article:

"worst policy decision this nation has ever made."

Walter Cronkite is perhaps the most trusted newsman to ever anchor the US evening news.
If he is so concerned about the Bush administrations Iraq policies, I believe it is time for anyone who still supports the actions taken to re-evaluate their position.

In foreign policy issues, we cannot afford to use the ends justify the means rebuttal that the Bush administration is attempting to use in the face of mounting world criticism.

Yes, Saddam is a ruthless person who terrorized his people to stay in power.
Under that justification, what country will we decide to invade next?

Bush is already focusing on deposing Fidel Castro's government in Cuba.

It is time for the US people to demand no new US aggression against foreign leaders without clear evidence of a imminent threat to the US or our allies.


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To an extent

by Oz_Media In reply to Good news doesn't sell

Chas, so far I've agreed with almost all of your points or at least accepted your opinions in this discussion.

I don't think this holds true though:
"A story on how well things are going ANYWHERE causes the viewer / listener to change channels."

I agree that bad news sells, in other countries (I'll speak for Canada only) there is VERY little political agenda on the news, there is VERY little focus on death and loss. There is a HUGE focus on what America is doing, THIS is what gets people to change channels. Good news is welcome here, the front page of our paper NEVER has poilitical crap on it. It is more about locals and how they've been either supported by Canadians after a fire, flood or theft. We get stories about how people's pets have saved their lives. How the new CD from a local band is being recieved etc. We are interested in people and how people are being helped and supported in times of need. We are interested in how people have managed to overthrow legalities in order to get ahead in life or beat the cops out of a ticket. We are interested in what OUR PEOPLE aer doing, not what Iraqi's are doing. People get sick of seeing death and destruction in the news. Canadian's are more interested in life and living not how scared we can be until our government puts a stop to it.

If the Canadian government had launched such an attack, Canada would be losing citizens by the hoard, we don't stick around to be lied to and will not stand behind and act upon ******** either. Don't get me wrong, if Canada was attacked we'd all stand at arms, unless they had a good reason for attacking Canada. It would be a long camping trip and many beers followed by a big BS session before anyone moved a muscle here.

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Agree and disagree

by maxwell edison In reply to Good news doesn't sell

You said, "Whether or not the media has a bias on an issue only affects the slant of the story." That's only part true. The other part is whether or not they report it at all. Silence will show a bias - perhaps a stronger bias - as well.

Yes, bad news sells.

If you don't listen to the "right wing - shill", and I assume you don't read any other right wing publications either, how can you form a balanced opinion?

Are you suggesting that all of your information comes only from left wing sources?

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by TheChas In reply to Agree and disagree

Max, I try to avoid either political extreme when it comes to getting information.

I also account for the slant of the resources I use.

My primary news source is my local public radio station. They provide some of the most detailed local news in the area.

I know that most college based radio stations lean a little to the left.
That is the exuberance of youth.
Most people were more liberal in college than after a few years in the work force.

I do understand that many of the commentators on NPR lean to the left.
The news reporting however, is generally near the center.

Despite claims to the contrary, my local newspaper leans to the right. They have to, they serve the most conservative area of Michigan.

In the past few months, I have witnessed a few events that made the news.
Comparing reports from different sources, I wonder if we were all at the same event!


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Left or Right leaning media

by maxwell edison In reply to Centrist

At the risk of starting another one of those "political spectrum" tangents (left versus right versus a circle versus a diamond versus whatever), I find it interesting to see how others perceive left leaning versus right leaning media.

I've discovered that whether or not a person considers a particular media source "left leaning" (or right leaning, for that matter), depends on that persons position on the same left-right scale. Using Ted Kennedy as an example, I consider him extremely left wing. A true socialist, on the other hand, would consider him too far to the right.

Having said that, and assuming that I'm a bit farther to the right than you (perhaps a lot farther), it would stand to reason that we would see PBS (public radio / public TV) from a different perspective. Where you might describe their commentators as "slightly" to the left, I would consider them "very far" to the left. Where you would consider their news reporting "centrist", I would consider it "left wing".

Moreover, the left wing bias of PBS could certainly be proven in more ways that just the "slant" put on a particular story. The choice of story - or the choice to eliminate a story - may be just as much as a factor. To illustrate my observations, I'll point out that Public Radio has done quite a number of stories, interviews and commentary on the "fallacies" of supply side economics. I've actually heard quite a number of them. (And I do listen a great deal. In my area there's one PBS station that plays great jazz.) The conclusion of all these stories is that supply side economics (always called "trickle down theories", by the way) doesn't work and only benefits "the rich". But I've never heard proponents of supply side economic give the opposing view of why it DOES work. I've never heard a story on PBS about the Laffer curve, and how it illustrates that there is a point where increased tax rates actually result in decreased tax revenue. But I've heard plenty of stories about the merits of raising taxes in general. I've never heard a story of why taxation in general, for the purpose of funding social programs is an unfair concept. (Taking a dollar from one person who did earn it just to give it to another who didn't.) I would love to hear Public Radio air stories and commentary about how the welfare state has created a dependent class, and how we need to find a way to make them independent from government support instead of dependant on it. And the way their stories continually "blame the rich" shows that they perpetuate class envy and the "victim" mentality.

On a scale of 1-10, with a 5 being "centrist", Public Radio is about a 2 in my book. (Rush Limbaugh, by contrast, is about an 8, GWB is about a 6.5, I'm about a 7.)

As far as local newspapers go, and I've read a lot of different ones, the same applies. In addition, there are those "human interest" stories, designed to pull at a person's "compassionate" heart strings, more times than not concluding in something like a lack of funding as a cause for some personal dilemma. Human interest stories are, more often than not, left leaning editorials masquerading as news - often times on the front page above the fold.

And anyone who might say that Dan Rather or Peter Jennings are "impartial" news anchors, is fooling themselves.

"This is Dan Rather reporting. In today's news, REPUBLICAN.....pause.....Ken Starr, is AGAIN........ The raised eyebrow, the voice inflection, the emphasis on certain words is editorializing a news story. I see it all the time, and am amazed at the ones who overlook it.

And I'm tired of hearing my Public Radio station tell me that they, "are, in part, funded by the Gay and Lesbian Foundation, seeking ways to make a better.........". Yes, Public Radio is very far left.

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Addition to PBS comments

by maxwell edison In reply to Left or Right leaning med ...

I'm not suggesting that Public Radio not broadcast whatever they please to whatever target audience they're trying to reach. But I would suggest that most of Public Radio's audience is left-leaning in their thinking, and they just select their content accordingly. (Just as Rush Limbaugh's audience is right leaning.) I would further suggest that the "Public" in public radio be eliminated, and let the listeners pay for it themselves by either direct fund-raising efforts, which they do anyway (four times a year), or by advertising revenue, which they also do anyway. (They just call them supporters or underwriters.) Public tax dollars should not pay for it.

Public television has also grown to a point where it could probably be totally funded by private sponsorship as well. How much have those guys on Antiques Road Show benefited (financially) by the public paying for the broadcast expenses? They should either give all of it back to the government, or pay for it themselves. And Ken Burns' became a millionaire because we paid for his shows to be aired. Pay it back, Ken. I won't even mention all the "big bird" items that have been sold - people getting rich off of our tax dollars. I'm not suggesting that they don't have the right, but just pay the expenses themselves.

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Local Funding

by TheChas In reply to Left or Right leaning med ...

Max, I have 3 different "local" stations that carry NPR programming.

The 2 that are locally operated have mainly conservative funding.

The 1 that is run out of The University of Michigan does have some similar funding to your local station.

While I agree that your rating of a 2 is close for the talk shows and many commentators, I feel that the "hard" news is closer to a 3.5 or 4.
The main reason I listen to NPR is for the depth of the news coverage.

Without cable, my other choices are limited.

Even if I wanted to, I would not be able to listen to Rush and company as AM radio does not come in at work.

I can't remember the last time I watched the CBS evening news. Likely over 20 years ago.


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Shocked as S&^T

by Oz_Media In reply to Iraq Aftermath

I'm really shocked to see this discussion. I am also quite happy to see an American suggest that other Americans should POSSIBLY revaluate their political stand. I don't think everyone will change thier views, but just to see someone from the USA even make the suggestion is quite uplifting.

I won't to into a detailed opinion at this time as I can't read all the posts to get an overview of opinions. I'm camping and will get a slap for using my notebook so I'll read more tomorrow and chat later.


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Where are the WMD's

by road-dog In reply to Iraq Aftermath

This question is often asked in the context of the justification for the war, as if that were the only reason given by the Bush Administration. To those who watched the last State of the Union address, this is easily refuted.

Iraq is a big nation, geographically. The Iraqis were going to great lengths to hide WMD programs from UN inspectors. The following link shows just how far the Iraqis were willing to go to hide their efforts..

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Remove the space

by road-dog In reply to Where are the WMD's

between the L and the T in default when pasting the URL.

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Political tricks

by TheChas In reply to Where are the WMD's

Yes, it may take a while to locate all of Saddam's hidden labs.

I don't believe that anyone doubts that Saddam wanted to have WMDs, or that he had research and development work going on.

Assuming that the administration does have some proof of the WMDs, I suspect that Carl Rove has advised Mr Bush to hold the information aside and release it when it will have the greatest impact on the 2004 election.

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