October 19, 2006

Terrorist Public Relations: This is CNN

The most prominent story on's home page this morning is the airing of clips from a insurgent group's propaganda video, and the accompanying news story focusing on the use of insurgent snipers targeting American soldiers. CNN obtained the video from the Islamic Army of Iraq through intermediaries. A similar video from the same group has been circulating since November of 2005 (sidenote: I have not recently seen the 2005 video, and cannot verify if any of the scenes from the 2005 release were used in today's CNN story, and so this might be something worth checking).

The video report and the accompanying story are not particularly newsworthy in and of themselves; insurgent sniper attacks and IEDs have been their primary means of combat since the early days of the war, and sniper attacks have been well-documented.

In any event, the article and video provided by CNN—brace yourselves—doesn't provide anything approaching a honest telling of why insurgent snipers are a "newsworthy" item.

Insurgent snipers in Iraq, as a rule, are armed with Soviet-designed variants of the Druganov rifle, as can been seen employed by an Iraqi insurgent embedded with the New York Times here. The use of snipers using such weapons is one of only a handful of tactics that still work for Iraqi insurgents.

Previous tactics used by the insurgency earlier in the war—large-scale ambushes, fighting from entrenched positions—led to brief, intense battles where the training and weaponry of U.S. forces often completely wiped out insurgent units. The insurgency has never won a sizable engagement against U.S. forces, and has since had to adapt to tactics that give them a batter chance to survive.

This leaves them in a situation with very reduced options, among them being the employment of snipers. The use of snipers is the only tactic they use that can:

  • readily be filmed, and;
  • does not cause significant civilian casualties as a result (which is bad for propaganda purposes).

The three other methods used by Iraqi insurgents—IEDs, suicide bombings, and mortar attacks—do not meet these criteria.

Even when remotely controlled, IEDs often indiscriminately kill and wound civilians when targeting Iraqi and Coalition forces. Suicide bombings, which typically produce the largest number of overall casualties of any of insurgent tactic, typically kill and injure more civilians that anyone else, as this story today readily attests (my bold):

In the deadliest attack, police opened fire on a bomber as he drove an explosives-laden fuel truck towards the Tamam police station.

The driver was shot dead, but the fuel ignited and set off the explosives, police said.

Civilians bore the brunt of the attack, as many of the casualties were motorists waiting to buy fuel at a nearby petrol station.

Insurgents also use mortars to attack coalition forces, but the attacks are not easily filmed, and are not often effective (though on the rare occasions they are, they can be quiet dramatic).

This leaves the filming of sniper attacks as the only real viable option for insurgents wishing to film an attack that won't also inflame the Iraqi population against them. They can selectively target Americans when they shoot video of sniper attacks for propaganda purposes. They even go out of their way to make this point in the CNN story.

"People are around them," warns the spotter, who seems to be operating the video camera. "Want me to find another place?"

"No, no," comes the reply, "give me a moment."

But this "point" of targeting just Americans is laughable; insurgents routinely target Iraqis, killing 4,000 Iraqi policemen and wounding 8,000 more in the past two years alone.

None of these facts, however, deserves a mention the CNN story that provides the release of insurgent propaganda.

Carefully-edited sniper attacks are all that the insurgency really has going in their favor… except of course, for the dissemination of this propaganda by news outlets like CNN.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 19, 2006 10:27 AM | TrackBack

The fools at CNN seem to believe that there is no no wrong, no tyranny, no murder, no oppression, and no villany in the terrorists actions in Iraq. The dramatic footage of a person who wishes an American soldier or Marine dead only because he is an American, is evidence of comfort to the enemy.

CNN doesn't believe there is an enemy.

CNN doesn't believe in patriotism.

CNN is awash in it's own self-importance.

How is the best way to contact the fooltools at CNN to make one's opinion known?

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel

Posted by: Dan Patterson at October 19, 2006 12:19 PM

CNN has not decided which side they are on..
They can't decide if they are for freedom or against freedom.

Posted by: Marvin at October 19, 2006 02:11 PM

Can I question the timing? Videos like this one have been circling the internet for quite some time, so why now? Is the 2006 Ramadan offensive going to be another 1968 Tet offensice? Only if the media makes it one, and CNN is trying its hardest.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at October 19, 2006 02:41 PM

Can I question the accuracy?

Any yahoo can patch together disparate pieces of film showing islamowhackos firing rifles and American soldier falling. All it takes is the raw film and an editing program. The guy with a gun can be 50 miles away from any armed American when his piece is filmed.

Any analysis of this for fakery? Serious analysis, that is -- not done by CNN dupes.

Posted by: Mark L at October 19, 2006 02:49 PM

But remember, according to Ted Turner, they have "no business showing the American flag."

"Both sides of the story?" "Unvarnished truth?" Riiiiiiiiiight.

Here's a more apt phrase: "Certain useful idiots in the West."

Posted by: TallDave at October 19, 2006 03:36 PM

Just don't ask them to show people that had to jump out of the towers, all the beheadings of Iraqis by terrorists, or all the terrorist attacks going on around the world right now.
Did they show the shooting in the back of the nun or the killing of Christians by Muslims on a huge scale.

Does anyone know which blogs are doing a blast on CNN? Please post if you do.

Posted by: Ali at October 19, 2006 03:59 PM

Let's take the analysis of the cards as they are dealt...face up.

CNN is now and ALWAYS HAS BEEN...not even thinly-veiled in their leftist leanings against the prosecution of the war against Saddam AND THIS GOES BACK TO Peter A. and Desert Storm...not just the present mission.

CNN has been very thinly-veiled opponents to America and Israel in the defense against Islamorage.

CNN has been complicit in their reporting "by the rules" set forth by the Islamofascist propaganda ministers for more than a decade.

Therefore, it stands to reason that they would continue along this vein and promote EXACTLY what is in their COMMON interests with the enemy and their propaganda ministers.

Showing American soldiers being sniped an orchestrated and cinematographically staged PRECISELY what BOTH sides want.

Koppel only recites a litany of the dead, Jennings/Rather/Brokaw only hammer relentlessly about the NUMBER of casualties ON OUR SIDE.

They do not have the slightest interest in presenting any success in taking the "attack" TO the terrorists (Jennings...whose mother was a virulent anti-American and her blood coursed through his veins, refused to even use the WORD)...nor do they care to even suggest that we have not been successfully attacked HERE in five years...they simply wish to cast the prosecution of our national defense in the worst possible light.

Showing our own men being shot by snipers...serves their purpose well. It's NOT the propagandists of Islamorage that should flame our is the bastardization of the public trust by our own media that is the greater sickness.

We have met the enemy...and he is us.

CNN along with their leftist audience believe we DESERVE to die. Well, I guess it's better than wishing our guys dead AND throwing feces at them when they return home. Now they only shovel it at us from behind the camera.

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 19, 2006 04:55 PM

You know, it's kinda funny - when I read/watch CNN I regularly see bias against the left, not for it. In looking for common ground in this politically divided country, people on both sides can probably agree they aren't happy with the objectivity of the media.

Take for instance, labling these snipers as terrorists. A terrorist attacks a civilian target, for the purpose of influencing political policy. This is an attack on a military target, for a military objective. It is not any different from the kind of work our snipers are doing. Of course, when it's our soldiers who are getting shot at, there's no question that the shooter is an enemy of the US - but thats not the same thing as a terrorist. If it was 20 years ago, and they were Afghans shooting at Soviets, we'd call them freedom fighters, and send them weapons.

>"CNN along with their leftist audience believe we DESERVE to die"

This is just pure nonsense. Anybody who wants to sow division in this country where none exists is actually in the business of aiding the terrorist cause! Come-on Bleachers, we are all on the same side here.

An overwhelming majority of Americans support and appreciate the efforts of our soldiers, who deserve credit for having the discipline to faithfully execute a fundamentally flawed strategy to the best of their ability. I take great pride in both morally and financially supporting one of the greatest fighting forces the world has ever known.

What I don't take pride in is the arrogance and incapability of our civilian leadership, who thru lies and scare tactics has brought us into an unnecessary and ill concieved war; then failed to even wage it effectively. THEY deserve to be held to account for those actions, just as our soldiers deserve leadership who won't brazenly use them as pawns in a self-benefiting geopolitical game.

Some of us have seen this train wreck coming for a long time now, and let me tell you, we take no pleasure in the bitter fruit of seeing our worst fears played out. I sure hope the bastards who brought us to this sorry place have to pay big-time.

Posted by: chris at October 19, 2006 05:38 PM

I'm sorry that you are all assigning some anti-American senitment to this action. You need to understand the news show industry in this country. They are after power (money) and viewers (money). If they can effect a transfer of power in Washington and elsewhere, they will have demonstrated how much power they have which will make them more money. They're not smart enough to be as devious as you are describing.

Posted by: John at October 19, 2006 06:17 PM

1) "I regularly see bias against the left"

2) "A terrorist attacks a civilian target for political purposes, ....we'd call them freedom fighters and send them weapons"

3) "Cmon Bleachers, we are all on the same side"

Ok, Chris. I'll assume a position of neutrality on item 3) above and let's start from stance of being on the same side. (I don't believe that MoveOn and Rush Limbaugh are on the "same side" as each other...nor either of, I won't accept that we ALL are on the same side...but you held out the olive branch and I'm willing to take it)

On Item 1), since I don't have a dog in this fight on the right or left bleachers, I am firmly planted in cf...I will tell you without hesitation or reservation that I see no such thing. The media in today's world comes from a perspective, a position...and what they choose to report and what they choose to ignore and how they frame issues...comes either from the right or the left. CNN is clearly to my eye...coming out of left field. It can't be seriously denied that Peter Arnett and his ilk, Jane Fonda and her husband...have no political agenda...or that it is not reflected in the "shaping" of the "facts" that are often choreographed, setup and played out in theatrical fashion.

If you choose to suggest that Fox News and talk radio do the same thing...from right field...I will support you. But failing to see that which is clearly there to be seen from BOTH either wishful thinking or slightly myopic, in my opinion. Chris, the first step in each holding the olive branch, is to agree on those matters for which there should be no disagreement from objective observers. The media tilts left at CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTimes and tilts right on Fox News and talk radio.

If we can't agree on that...our foundation is filled with potholes upon which not much can be built.

2) above is a narrow definition of "terrorist" in today's world. If they fly hijacked civilian planes into Pentagon, then snipe at our soldiers from behind hospital it the "target" that defines them as "freedom fighters".

This new war isn't against a country that DECLARED war against us, it is against a "like-minded" group...that does not use conventional theaters to engage us. (Or Israel, their favorite whipping boy)

They blow up kids, buses, soldiers, embassies, ships, movie theaters, ...neither DECLARING who they are, nor declaring "war"...but only declaring a general "jihad" against all infidels. It is not from ONE country...fighting for freedom against the tyranny of another...but ideologues fighting for the right to drive Israel into the sea, kill all Jews...convert all Christians and Buddhists and atheists and gays and anyone who does not conform to their conversion and caliphate hunt.

We aren't their "enemy" more than the Russians...we simply stand in their way for world domination. Appeasement of Hitler was an did that work out when attempted.

They PLANNED to blow up the Pentagon, Capital and World Trade Center...while Bill Clinton was in office...what did he do to make them want to "freedom fight" our World Trade Center?

Chris, we ARE on the same side...but giving them propaganda victories does nothing for OUR side...nothing.

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 19, 2006 06:58 PM

Don't support CNN. Dry up their money source. Stop buying any product that is advertized on CNN and encourage others not to.E-mail their sponsors and let them know why you will not buy their products. Ask your cable provider to take CNN off.

Stop supporting terrorist and their supporter.

Support our military. Support America.

1st Cav Mom

Posted by: 1st Cav Mom at October 19, 2006 08:19 PM

CNN is owned by Time Warner.
Advise everyone to sell off Time Warner (TWX) stock.
Break their bottom line and they shall listen to the silent majority! We are tired of this anti-American propaganda. Our military families should not see their sons and daughters die on national television.
Stop debating on the authenticity of the videos. Real or fake, get them off of our airwaves you socialists.


Posted by: pst off at October 19, 2006 09:35 PM

Ted Turner must have finally made up his mind on who he was for in the War on Terror.

I tried to track you back but it didn't work.

Posted by: Pangloss at October 19, 2006 10:13 PM

You have fallen right into CNN's pocket by believing that there is no difference between the TERRORISTS and our SOLDIERS. Just because the Caliphate News Network chose only to show the terrorist in only their most positive environment does not mean that is all the terrorists are doing. These same terrorists are the ones who plant bombs on roadsides where children play and murder family members of those who oppose them. Contrast that with our soldiers who take great risk while being shot at to make sure they do not injure the other civilians these terrorists are hiding behind. Any comparison short of contrast is ignorant at best.

Posted by: Francis Marion at October 20, 2006 07:14 AM

When people like Chris make statements like "then failed to even wage it effectively" (the war), they expose themselves as those who miss the point entirely. I believe that the single most contributing factor to the fact that insurgent activities have been as long lived as they have is the complicity of the US media to report on our enemies actions exactly as our enemies predict. It is stated on this blog and anywhere else you care to look that our enemies in Iraq can't win conventional battles with the US. Those in our media are intelligent enough to know this is true. They are the ones who have reported on this repeatedly. It is also a fact that the vast majority of reporters in the media are democrats, liberals and/or leftists (even at Fox). At least every survey I have ever seen indicates this is fact. I have not seen a survey to support this exactly but I would bet that the vast majority of reporters also objected to the Iraq war from the begining and continue to today. So how can any honest analysis of the media's behavior during this conflict not conclude that the way this war is reported on at best promotes our enemies cause just by constantly reporting on every single death, every signle day and at worst adds to the enemies propoganda their own anit-war sentiment thereby magnifying the effectiveness of the enemies only truly effective weapon against us. Heres the deal Chris. I believe our undertaking in Iraq is truly an honorable one. I hope with every fiber of my being that my great nation succeeds in this endeavor and I am sick and tired of beating around the bush with my feelings. I know in which bleacher our media sits and they are betraying us. Take your olive branch and stuff it.

Posted by: Eric at October 20, 2006 09:58 AM

We might not have the same expectations of the media. I expect them to deliver unbiased accounts of current events. That includes both good and bad news. Seems like alot of people here expect them to play the role of cheerleader for the US government, and to refrain from conveying information that portrays our efforts in a negative light. I think its important for the media to stay out of the propaganda business. Its also necessary for the functioning of democracy that the citizens be well informed.

I should mention, I think it is tasteless and inappropriate for CNN to air footage of people killing our soldiers. Especially in light of their normal aversion to showing the true face of war.

Posted by: Chris at October 20, 2006 12:04 PM

I think the CNN (or is that QPN - Qaida Propaganda Network) journalists [sic] need to be brought up on charges of treason, or at least of providing aid and comfort to the enemy. I'm all for freedom of speech, but providing propoganda airtime to the enemy crosses the line. As Rush so ably pointed out, soldiers getting killed during a war is NOT news. What CNN is doing is pure political propaganda.

Posted by: Chuck at October 20, 2006 02:06 PM


If you expect the media to "deliver unbiased accounts of (ALL the facts related to) current events...then you must be SORELY disappointed in CNN.

If the media intentionally leaves out important information for the "citizens to be well informed", then they are INTENTIONALLY misleading us....and you would agree THAT is a bastardization of a public trust.

The Mudville Gazette blog posted the below...if you take this as true, chris...CNN is guilty beyond any reasonable alibi, mendacious beyond excuse, evil beyond comparison...don't you agree?

al Qaeda's "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America" - the Media Responds

I really didn't expect to see the American media even acknowledge the existence of al Qaeda's "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America", much less to see them openly embrace it. They've done both. (Live and learn.) It started a couple days ago with Tom Friedman's "Tet" column, and continued yesterday with CNN's first release of a made-to-order video from our enemy in Iraq.

Over at Blackfive, a quote from CNN:

CNN has obtained graphic video from the Islamic Army of Iraq, one of the most active insurgent organizations in Iraq, showing its sniper teams targeting U.S. troops. The Islamist Army says it wants talks with the United States and some Islamist Internet postings call for a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public.
But click over to CNN and you won't find that quote on the web site any more.

But James Taranto captured it too, and in fact he screen captured it - "for posterity". A wise choice, given that CNN's acknowledgement that they are aware that they are airing an enemy propaganda piece has since disappeared.

But this one is still there:

From a distance, possibly hundreds of yards away, a sniper watches for his opportunity to strike as a fellow insurgent operates a camera to capture the video for propaganda purposes.
And the quote about the terrorist "P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public" is actually heard in the audio narration of the video report itself.

To catch it, we'll go back to Friedman, who says:

A friend at the Pentagon just sent me a post by the “Global Islamic Media Front” carried by the jihadist Web site Ana al-Muslim on Aug. 11. It begins: “The people of jihad need to carry out a media war that is parallel to the military war and exert all possible efforts to wage it successfully. This is because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations to make them either support or reject an issue.”

...the Web site suggests that jihadists flood e-mail and video of their operations to “chat rooms,” “television channels,” and to “famous U.S. authors who have public e-mail addresses ... such as Friedman, Chomsky, Fukuyama, Huntington and others.”

And here's the real connection between the two stories: both Friedman at the Times and the folks at CNN acknowledge their complete awareness that they are fully participating in an enemy propaganda ploy. Freidman says he has a copy, and the CNN video includes clips of what it implies are the original Arabic web postings of the "media jihad" call.

As Taranto says:

By airing this video, CNN is participating in what it acknowledges is "a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public" in ways favorable to America's enemies. And the network does not even seem to realize what a shocking admission this is.

al-Rawi declares the purpose of this campaign is to "throw fear into the American people's hearts", then...
As an example of the sort of video material the group should provide, the author suggests "Video of attacks on US foot patrols with the caption 'Operation against the sons of the US people whom Bush cast into the fire of war against the Muslims'."

Lastly, the paper points out what the author considers the best locations for providing this material, and suggests dissemination via the world wide web, following efforts to ensure the origin can't be traced.
Of course, two of those suggested locations are TV Networks, and Tom Friedman.

Make no mistake about it, CNN is not dismissing the propaganda plot, nor are they presenting their information as an example of the sort of thing we should be aware of and respond to accordingly. In fact, they offer no description of the working paper beyond an acknowledgement of it's existence, perhaps because CNN's own description of the video and how they received it is all too familiar to anyone who has read the document described above. CNN admits they "passed written questions" through "intermediaries" to the terrorist group, and in response received the footage of sniper attacks on American foot patrols, including a "professionally produced" video interview with the insurgent leader in which he answered CNN's questions and denounced "Bush's war fought with taxpayer's money and the blood of Americans". The CNN narrator went the extra mile in reviewing the high-quality production, and lauded the "attention to US domestic politics and public mood" found in this "direct message to the American people."

But like it or not, Mr and Mrs Average American are involved in a propaganda war, the only battle of the war on terror currently being fought on U.S. soil - and those who choose not to be victims of that battle may wonder what the appropriate response should be. Perhaps just this - bear in mind the stated goal: "to throw fear into the American people's hearts", divide and conquer, weaken resolve, and defeat America. Be aware of the plan to reach that goal, and recognize it for what it is when next you see it in action, as you undoubtedly will. (And while you're at it, spread the word - this won't be on the evening news.)
And that newly bolded text is where I admit a failing - never in my wildest imagination did I anticipate the evening news - or one of the named desired participants - mentioning the enemy's propaganda plan while gleefully participating in it.

I'm afraid to ask if they can sink lower.

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 20, 2006 02:07 PM

The fact that CNN aired this, shows their treasonous and seditious behavior as a news organization. There is no excuse whatsoever to show this. This tape should have been handed over to the military for observation. With all that was said and done in this video story, you can't help but think that CNN is on the side of the terrorists. If they are not, they need to clean parts of their house that reek of this treachery and disloyalty to their home country. Imagine the family of a dead US soldier seeing this and wondering if this was their son or daughter? The backlash on this video should be enormous. It should set the record straight that you can be an American, you can be an American Journalist, you can be an American News Channel, you can even be critical of our US Army, one thing you can't do is HELP THE ENEMY WIN THEIR PROPOGANDA WAR.

Posted by: Shawn Fairman at October 20, 2006 02:08 PM

I AM sorely disappointed at the general quality of CNN's reporting. And think that when they do mislead the public (frequently, but not always) they abuse the public trust.

I think its questionable that the airing of this video will help the insurgent propaganda cause. When I see people killing (or trying to kill) our soldiers, it does not make me sympathetic to their cause, it makes me want revenge. If the insurgents (and thier allies at CNN as many allege) wanted to influence the American public, they would show the many innocent civilians who are dying in the fighting or the civil disorder that followed. But coverage of the dirty aspects of the war has been minimal in the American media.

I personally haven't seen this footage, and I won't watch it. CNN shouldn't have shown it, what if the soldier's parents saw it? They should have turned it straight over to military intelligence for review. But saying CNN is evil incarnate, is a bit much.

While on average, reporters probably do lean towards the more liberal side (as any college graduate does, statistically speaking), its important to remember that they answer to the large and powerful companies that employ them.

Posted by: Chris at October 20, 2006 02:52 PM

Boycott CNN and Times Warner
They have gone too far in:
1. Working directly with the enemy
2. Twisting the news to their politics
3. Giving aid to the enemy
4. Being there when Americas were killed

Isn't that Treason?

Posted by: Nathan at October 20, 2006 04:04 PM

Most Americans Identify as Either Conservative or Moderate
Gallup News Service ^ | November 11, 2003 | Frank Newport, PhD

Posted on 11/11/2003 12:36:27 AM PST by RWR8189
Actually, Chris...most college graduates (statistically speaking)don't lean liberal at all. That's a liberal myth. (as is the myth that anyone who doesn't agree with the liberal agenda is "too stupid" to know better).

The largest growing percentage...are people in center field. But since liberals have owned the propaganda game for the last 40 years...they have people brainwashed into believing that they and only they...are the "holders of intellectual superiority". It's a load of horsehockey.

I've enjoyed our on to other matters.

The American population can be classified into political subgroups in a variety of ways. Partisan identification -- the way in which the public identifies with the major political parties -- is the most common of these. Although the pattern of party identification has changed over time, and indeed varies from month to month in some instances, one short-hand way of approximating where the public stands is to say that roughly a third of the population tends to identify as Democrat, a third as Republican, and a third as independent.

Ideology -- self-identification as liberal, conservative, or moderate -- is the other major way in which the public can be politically segmented. Because Republicans tend to be associated with conservative causes, and Democrats with liberal causes, one might assume that about a third of the population is conservative, a third liberal, and a third in the middle.

That's not the case, however. The American public is significantly more likely to identify as conservative or moderate than as liberal, leaving a situation in which about 4 in 10 Americans call themselves conservative, 4 in 10 call themselves moderates, and only about 2 in 10 call themselves liberal.

There have been some very slight changes in these patterns over the last four years, with Americans a little more likely to be conservative in October and early November of this year, but the basic pattern has remained remarkably stable:

Americans' Ideology
Identification as Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal



2003 Oct/Nov

2002 Oct

2001 Oct

2000 Oct

The data in the table below display the breakdown of ideology within various subgroups of the American population, based on a combined sample of 4,036 interviews conducted in October and early November 2003: Ideology by Demographic Subgroups

Based on Gallup Polls Conducted in October and November 2003






Approve of Bush

Disapprove of Bush







White Easterners

White Midwesterners

White Southerners

White Westerners

High school diploma or less

Some college education

College graduate

Postgraduate education




18- to 29-year-olds

30- to 49-year-olds

50- to 64-year-olds

65 years and older

18- to 38-years-old

39- to 57-years-old

58 years and older

Men, aged 18 to 49

Men, aged 50 and older

Women, aged 18 to 49

Women, aged 50 and older

Less than $20,000 per year

$20,000-$29,999 per year

$30,000-$49,999 per year

$50,000-$74,999 per year

$75,000 per year and more

White Republicans

White Democrats

Black Democrats

Several key points arise from a consideration of these data:

There are no subgroups (among those included in this analysis) among whom identification as "liberal" is higher than 36%, suggesting that the liberal "brand" remains distinctly a minority in American culture today. Of particular interest is the fact that only 31% of Democrats say they are "liberal." About one in four Democrats identifies as "conservative," while the remaining 43% identify as moderate. This contrasts with the 70% of Republicans who identify themselves as conservative.
Whites are more likely to identify themselves as conservatives than are blacks, which isn't necessarily surprising. But blacks are not disproportionately liberal. Instead, almost half of blacks identify as moderate, with 30% saying they are conservative and just 22% as liberal.
An interesting pattern develops when we look at the interaction of race and party identification. Black Democrats are actually slightly more conservative than white Democrats are, and decidedly less liberal.

This most probably reflects the fact -- confirmed in previous Gallup Poll research -- that blacks are actually quite conservative on a number of moral issues including homosexual marriage and abortion, despite being quite liberal in their orientation to social issues such as gun control, affirmative action, and welfare. This in turn is almost certainly a result of the high levels of religiosity among blacks in American society, an orientation that pulls blacks away from traditional Democratic views on social issues and puts them closer to the position of white, conservative Republicans.
Americans with postgraduate educations are more likely to identify themselves as liberal than those with lower levels of educational attainment are. In fact, this highly educated group is more liberal than any subgroup looked at in this analysis other than Democrats and those who disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president.
There has been a great deal of attention focused on the baby boom generation, the large group of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 (and a group in which the last two presidents have been members). In sheer numbers alone, baby boomers are a significant slice of the demographic pie and thus a potent political force. But the analysis shows that baby boomers are actually ideologically quite similar to the overall adult population in this country. Baby boomers are more conservative than those who are younger, and less conservative than those who are older.
In fact, the interesting distinction in ideology occurs between the youngest group of Americans, those aged 18 to 29, and the oldest, those 65 and older. The former are less likely than average to identify as conservative and more likely to identify as liberal, while the older group is more likely to be conservative and less likely to be liberal.
Men are slightly more conservative and less likely to be liberal than are women. More broadly, 18- to 49-year-old women are less conservative than other age/gender groups in American society today.
Conservatism is slightly higher in the South and Midwest and slightly lower in the East. This pattern is particularly pronounced among whites. Forty-nine percent of white Southerners are conservative, providing a sharp contrast to the significantly lower 36% of white Easterners who are conservative. Easterners tend to be more moderate in their ideological orientation.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the success of talk radio shows and other media programming focused on a more conservative audience. Commentators often ask why liberal media have been much less successful in creating such programs aimed at their constituency. These data help explain this phenomenon. There simply aren't as many liberals as conservatives.

The Democratic Party is going through the throes of selecting its presidential nominee, and some analysts see former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as one of the front-runners, based in part on his outspoken opposition to U.S. involvement in Iraq -- a decidedly liberal position. At the same time, it has been pointed out that Dean was more moderate in some of his social positions while governor. The data reviewed here, showing that even a significant majority of Democrats identify as conservative or moderate, certainly suggest that Dean (or whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be) would do well to position themselves more in the middle of the road, and to avoid being typecast as a liberal. Certainly the data suggest that a presidential candidate who appeals to conservative or moderate voters will have a larger constituency than one who is identified as a liberal.

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 20, 2006 04:14 PM

I love numbers. You make a persuesive case, CF, I stand corrected. It would have been more accurate for me to say something like "reporters, like any college graduate, have an increased likelyhood of being liberals".

One issue with the study is that people self-identify as liberals, rather than being categorized as such by their positions. This is an issue, because the right has been very effective at making the word a perjorative. Take this blog, for instance - who wants to volunteer themselves to be in a persistant vegetive state? But no poll's methods are perfect, and that seems like reasonable accurate data.

It is interesting to note the differences in political affiliation based on education. People with post-grad degrees are almost twice as likely to call themselves liberal as somebody with a HS diploma. It's also interesting to note that the amount of people that categorize themselves as moderate is about the same at all educational levels (between 37-41%). I suppose the decreasing amount of conservatives as education increases are conservatives becoming moderates, while moderates are becoming liberals.

Nathan: while treason is a pretty serious charge, it almost never gets prosecuted. In the history of the United States there have been fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions. However, many acts have occurred that are arguably treasonous. Take for instance, Ronald Reagan, negotiating secretly with Iran to delay the release of the hostages until after the 1980 election, and later paying them off with arms funneled thru the contras. Interfereing with an election, negotiating treaties while not being the legitimate government, and actually arming our enemies - pretty serious stuff.

Posted by: Chris at October 20, 2006 05:25 PM

LOL, Chris. I guess my reading on the subject would be...if you want to find an educated man or woman with whom to discuss a subject...who isn't going to know what their answer will be BEFORE they hear the might want to seek out someone in the middle.

Your best chances of finding an educated person in that to find a moderate. Your least to find a liberal, at least statistically speaking. LOL

And, reporters are more liberal...out of all likelihood statistically...than the representative number of people with college or post graduate degrees capable of performing that job. (as it is with actors, professors and NYTimes, Newsweek, Washington Post writers).

That seems to me to suggest that it is not education that is driving the hiring process in those professions. Nor talent. But rather...adherence to dogma.

If hiring in those professions was statistically fair and would go the presentations by a more honest and honorable media. Instead, they "cheat the truth" according to their ingrained bias.

College graduate

Postgraduate education

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 20, 2006 06:04 PM

Please explain if you all will what the difference is between CNN airing Al Qaeda propaganda videos of attacks on our troops and the Republican National Committee airing political ads containing Al Qaeda videos of attacks on our troops?

I can't wait to hear the torturted logic on this one.

Posted by: TD Larkin at October 21, 2006 05:03 PM

Good article folks-- I'm just browsing the internet finding blogs on this subject and voicing my opinion that CNN is the scum of the earth and deserves to lose their broadcast liscence over this. Thank you for bringing this despicable topic to the attention of the public to let them know how derranged and vile CNN really is! CNN thinks the fact that some emailers with equally foul ethics agreeing with them gives them liscence to post their garbage on the internet. CNN will justify selling out American soldiers and their families with a gusto that turns the stomach every time!

You can read my rant on the subject at:

Read more at target="_blank"> ...

Posted by: Nazareth at October 21, 2006 10:13 PM

"Freedom Fighters" put up place and cause and give those things necessary to be seen as legitimate: they put on uniforms, have accountable command structure, have clearly identified law they adhere to and are accountable to, they take prisoners and hold them honorably, and they plant a flag in some place and declare their new way of doing things. Even Castro *did* that. Che Guevara tried and *failed*, terminally. "Freedom Fighters" are offering a NEW NATION and doing things to adhere to the Nation State structure.

All of this grew out of the Peace of Westphalia and is long and centuries defined diplomatic understanding to *have* legitimacy. By putting on no uniform, flying no flag, having no accountability structure, adhering to no law or treaty, defining no place which they are fighting *for* and *protecting* the people under their rule, terrorists are NOT equivalent to National Armed Forces of a Nation State.

In previous centuries these sorts of individuals went under different guises and names, based on what they were doing: outlaws, brigands, pirates, and barbarians. There is zero equivalency between them and National Armed Forces of *any* Nation State. The entry to legitimacy are simple, well understood and relatively easy in concept while extremely difficult in practice. By trying to establish a *real* Nation you put down roots, new government, accountability, and offer protection to those people under your authority. It also means you can be targeted and defeated by National Armed Forces.

Thems the breaks.

No spin is needed on the Republican ad as it shows us an adversary that respects NO law, often not even the one they putatively fight for, and that respects NO Nation and, in point of fact, is aiming to bring down the entire system of Nation States that have developed since Westphalia. They wish to put in place this thing called an Empire by breaking down Nation States in any way they can until they can get them to the smallest possible size they can influence and then take over. That means they are breaking with the agreement amongst Nations that Nations, no matter how vile they are to their own people, are the legitimate Sovereign entity on the global scale.

If you draw equivalence with terrorists seeking Empire and give them aid and comfort you are supporting the destruction of the entire system that has, within its conceptual space, the ability to provide things like liberty and freedom to individuals. No Empire has ever been invented that has that within its conception and ALL have sought ways to *rule* not *govern*.

If you enjoy your rights, as an individual, then you will give high praise to *anyone* that fights this new breed of imperialist looking to destroy Nations and the concept of Nations. You will back them *fully* because defeat in this war recognizes no boundaries because the enemy does not recognize them nor give them legitimacy. Unlike the 'tit for tat' of the Cold War the USSR recognized the validity of Nations and worked with those confines to take over Nations. The current enemy wishes to *dissolve* Nations into chaotic, regional groups that can then be taken over piecemeal and formed into an Empire. An Empire that will not stop until it encompasses the world. That is their stated aim, their stated goal and their activities for the past decades gives rise to exactly that.

If you are worried about partisan 'spin' or wondering 'why they hate us', then perhaps you should be asking yourself: what is it that I find worth dying for? In 1775 that answer was clear to those who founded the United States. Fully 10% of the population as a *whole* died to establish a Nation to give rise to the rights of the individual which are enjoyed within its confines and respected there. Giving *any* equivalency to terrorists is recognizing that you do not WANT Nation States, that Nations offer you *nothing* and that you are ready to be enslaved by the enemy when they come to *your* doorstep because they are *exactly equal* in your mind. That is where that mindset leads to and it is 'Newspeak' at its core.

That is why CNN giving any legitimacy to them and *not* putting it in the context of exactly *what* the goals and aims of the enemy, as they have stated ARE, is repugnant. They are abhorrent as they are giving 'free air time' to an imperial mindset looking to take over the world. And if you do not want to stop them now, during the best fought, best run and *cheapest* war the US has ever run with the greatest impact, then when, exactly, ARE YOU willing to say it is worth fighting? I suggest your doorstep is a bit too close, or mine, or that of the Nation. Unfortunately we have *also* let them in freely and unaccountably. Actively fighting them overseas *now* will prevent their ideology from metastasizing even more by giving firm foundations to individuals, freedom and liberty in lands where it has been oppressed for centuries. It will give rise to legitimate Nations that will take up the fight to remain independent, remain free so that they may have their own government and be held accountable for their actions against other Nations.

It is not a *perfect* system but it has one thing going for it: it works and gives rise to the possiblity of individual freedom. That is why Citizens are tasked to form a 'more perfect Union' because it will *always* have to be worked at and it is hard work to have a Nation worth having.

Their system also works, and is *perfect*: it ends rights for *everyone* equally so that you only get what is given to you. Complaining gets you killed, in this *perfect* system, but then it is *perfect* and respects *no* differences equally. No work required, just obedience.

I find the former honorable and civilized, and the latter dishonorable and barbaric.

You may form your own opinion.

Your life actually does depend upon you making the right choice because of the nature and outlook enemy that targets us.

Posted by: ajacksonian at October 22, 2006 06:15 AM

"Please explain if you all will what the difference is between CNN airing Al Qaeda propaganda videos of attacks on our troops and the Republican National Committee airing political ads containing Al Qaeda videos of attacks on our troops?"

Why, it's simple TD. Liberals will turn away in disgust from the latter and applaud the former.

"I can't wait to hear the torturted logic on this one."

Me neither.

Posted by: cf bleachers at October 22, 2006 09:07 AM

Seems simple to me. Bias,notwithstanding, Fox is
kicking CNN's ass. Desperate people do desperate
things. Marvin Kalb went to great lenghts on Fox
yesterday vigiorously defending CNN.
I am sick of "reporters", "journalists"
and "commentators" using the "doing my job"
"peoples right to know", sanctimony to justify their manufactured "news" and sensational show
biz offerings without regard for context, truth,
or negative effects. Do you still beat your wife?

Posted by: larry larkin at October 22, 2006 10:17 AM

Just like you sick Communist wife Jungle Jane.
Why not follow in your fathers footsteps and help America.

Posted by: Dave at October 23, 2006 10:42 AM