April 22, 2008

Iraq Steps Forward, and the Media Slinks Away

Ed Morrissey notes that Iraq is continuing down the path to political reconciliation even as the media choses to largely ignore these developments in favor of more pressing stories, like the present cost of Barak Obama's half-eaten waffle on eBay.

One of those points of political reconciliation in Iraq is amnesty for some classes of detainees after determining they no longer present a threat of resuming insurgent activities.

Among those detainees released due to Iraq's amnesty law in recent weeks was Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, who was arrested with a known al Qaeda terrorist leader in his home and in possession of bomb-making materials and terrorist propaganda that he presumably helped make. Part of the reason he was released is that he was no longer considered a threat; the insurgents he had (allegedly) provided propaganda for in Fallujah are long dead or dispersed.

I find it somewhat amusing the amount of time and legal expense the Associated Press incurred trying to free their photographer—and their reputation—to no avail, despite mounting the most deceptive, ethically-challenged of media campaigns on his behalf. It was only through the political progress of the Iraqi government that Hussein was released.

Perhaps tellingly, the Iraqi government advances that led to Hussein's release was down-played by the news organization, as it stretched the shaky boundaries of their credibility by implying his release was conditioned on innocence instead of amnesty.

Increasingly, proof of progress in Iraq is measured by how little the media talks about the nation's successes.

Enjoy the silence.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 22, 2008 01:23 PM

Off topic, but wanted to get an answer. You often mention the MSM is very Left.
Is that because the corporations, which own the MSM, trust the Left more than the Right to provide them with what they want (profit)?

Posted by: Robert in BA at April 22, 2008 02:43 PM

Robert, I've seen this construct on the supposed influence of corporate ownership on journalism many times before, and think it is probably one of the more delusional suppositions out there.

For such a statement to be true, individual journalists would have to be near mindless drones, devoid of individuality, that can be redirected or casually reprogrammed with merely the replacement of a CEO figurehead.

It assumes that individual journalists have cognitive processes that are as
easy to rewrite as a jump drive. I tend to find many journalists surprisingly incurious, prone to rote tasks and reformulating instead of thinking, but even I give them more credit than this "interchangeable corporate head" theory allows.

I think that most journalists are far more robust drones than that, and therefore, harder to reprogram.

The journalism trend towards leftist thought comes from deep roots, from inherent personal sensitivities within individuals that guide students toward journalism as a potentially appealing profession (and others to engineering or business programs, for example), to collegiate texts and cultures within j-schools during formative years when journalists are taught how to think that push a liberal perspective and dogma into their world view.

This is hardly the stuff of just journalism school, however; most university humanities departments are left-leaning, as are the professions that these degree programs support. The big difference between journalism and these other programs is that by its nature, journalism has a much more public face.

After a biological predisposition, home influences, collegiate training, and cultural immersion in news organizations, most people will develop cognitive processes that will have coached them to process inbound information in a prescribed, nearly uniform way, eliciting a specific, almost reflexive response.

It is because of this that you can take nearly any event of major significance and watch a dozen reporters, regardless of where they were born or raised, write articles on the event that are remarkably similar in tone, focal point, emphasis, grammar, and organization. That uniformity, however, comes at the expense of flexibility.

To suppose that the hire of a new CEO or CFO can simply and quickly overwrite a journalist's firmware--a way of thinking that took years to form and almost to impossible to erase--is insulting to the drones and the culture than spawned them.

"Journalism happens" independent of the business, corporate side of the equation. This fact should be obvious in their continued insistence of practicing liberal-biased journalism, even as it alienates audiences, and in so doing, costs news organizations money, power, and positions.

Businessmen in new organizations would love to get journalists to grow and adapt so that the organizations can adapt and survive, but rather like the dodo, journalists seem to have a hard time evolving.

I don't know if that answers your question, but to be honest, is wasn't very well-formed to begin with.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 22, 2008 03:42 PM

Nice theory, but I'm not buying it.
The journalists want a career. They live in a capitalist society. They march to the orders of their bosses. Those that don't receive the same treatment as Ashleigh Banfield. Toe the line or we'll shut your career down.
Your theory imparts that the media would be the only business where the worker bees (drones, to you) don't march to the orders given by ownership and management and there are no repercussions. Not a very sound business practice in the land of capitalism.

Also, if the MSM was liberally biased we would have seen a lot more (anything) about the hypocrisy of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, the guys who simply hate taxes. GWB hates them so much (the govt. stealing the hard-earned money of the citizens) that he lobbied to have taxes pay for his baseball team's new stadium. Of course all team owners want the citizens to foot the bill for their playgrounds, but not all of them have made being anti-tax their main mantra.
Cheney, on the other hand, made most of his money by being the CEO of a corporation which gets most of its money from government contracts (paid for with tax dollars).
In a world where the MSM harps about the hypocrisy of Edwards' $400 haircut, you'd think this might get some (any) play. (For now we'll leave aside that the Edwards charge is about the Media's belief of the poor not deserving political representation).

Also, the fact that the MSM chased Whitewater for 8 years, and covered the Downing Street Memos for almost 24 hours makes me think the "liberal MSM" charge is a bunch of hooey.

Posted by: Robert in BA at April 22, 2008 04:28 PM


Who are journalists' bosses? The CEO/CFO or the Publishers or the Editors? Chain of Command affects most organizations, not just the military.

Take the NYT for prime example. The stockholders have been hammered for the last 20 years. However, the Sulzberger family has kept any take-overs of NYT leadership at bay thanks to their ownership of controlling (I forget the correct term) 'preferred' stock. "Pinch" Sulzberger is the COB of the NYT. He is, by all reputable accounts, left of center and many would put him on the extreme left.

So, while you might think you've got a nice torpedo for CY's hypothesis, you have completely failed to understand the 'culture of journalism'. It is as CY has stated. Born, bred, nurtured, taught, and reinforced - LEFT. That is why a self-identifying "conservative" journalist is about as rare to find as a self-identifying "conservative" Democrat. (My sincere gratitude to Zell Miller.)

Next, how do you explain the success of Fox News? Do you write it off due to 'gullible' viewers or some other BS? Rupert Murdoch is not a right-wing person. In fact, he is more in line with left-wing ideas...just more centrist than the current incarnation of the Democrat party. However, he does not dabble in the reportage of Fox News. He set up a business plan and hired people to run it. By most of those previously mentioned reputable accounts, Fox News is 'right of center'. And they are making a lot more money where others are making much less.

Posted by: Mark at April 22, 2008 05:39 PM

And the fact ABC (Disney) was headed by far left wing fanatic Michael Eisner. CBS president is also a far left wing nut job, Les Moonves. I have no idea about Jeff Zucker at NBC but NBC is considered the farthest left of all the network stations. Is Robert really that stupid?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at April 22, 2008 05:59 PM

No, Cap, Robert isn't stupid. He is just a typical lefty.

I believe I've expounded on this here before, but it's been a while, so a rerun seems to be in order. I should point out that much of this is based on "The Vision of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell... if you can get a copy, do so, it's well worth the money.

Anyway, here's how it works. The average lefty believes, deep down in his/her soul, that they are a "good person" because they believe certain things, not because of anything they do (as most conservatives would consider more important), but because they believe and espouse certain political views. In fact, if you espouse these views loudly enough, most lefties will give you a pass for breaking them... i.e. Algore flying private jets and having a huge mansion--both contributing to a "carbon footprint" the approximate size of King Kong's.

The reverse is also true for lefties... if you do not toe the lefty line 100%, you are, by their definition, a "bad person." For example, see how they treated Senator Lieberman. He is a perfect lefty in all respects but one--the Iraq war. And for that, the lefties kicked him out of their party. Imagine how "bad" a person who is even farther out of the lefty lockstep must be, in their eyes.

Thus it is that Robert can talk about Bush's "hypocrisy" without ever blinking at Algore's. Algore, you see, is a "good person," and therefore it's OK if his walk doesn't match his talk.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 22, 2008 07:05 PM

C-C-G, but they just embarrass themselves with their lack of intellectual honesty. Did Robert not bother to see who was in charge of the news organizations before making that comment? If all he did was google ceo cbs he would have found out how ridiculous his question was. What's worse, that Robert is just a sheep and believes whatever left wing talking point he hears or the fact he doesn't do any research on his own?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at April 22, 2008 07:20 PM

Cap, Robert is a perfect lefty. That is, he is a sheep. Whatever MoveOn, DailyKos, etc. say, he believes. If they tell him that ice is hot and fire is cold, he'd believe it. And if the next day they say that ice is something else, he'd believe that too.

The bottom line is, he--and most of the other lefties--believes that his "good person" status is wholly dependent on echoing what other "good people" say. If you don't echo the "good people," you are a "bad person." So if the "good people" say that stone is soft, all the little lefty sheep would be finding rocks to use as pillows.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 22, 2008 07:29 PM

My bad.
NBC, owned by the largest defense contractor in the US, was virulently against the war.
My eyes must have been playing tricks on me, when I saw them cheering on the war and dismissing those against it as pacifists, Saddam lovers, and hippies.
BTW, I love that nickname ("hippies") for those who marched against the war in early 2003, but "prescient" or "absolutely 100% correct" are more accurate.
(Although I doubt even they could have foreseen the greatest military in the history of mankind being fought to a 5-year standstill by middle eastern teenagers).

Also C-C-G, I can see Gore's hypocrisy. I also saw him called out for it by the "oh so liberal" MSM. Bush and Cheney's hypocrisy, not so much.
Why that?
Should I believe you or my lying eyes?

Posted by: Robert in BA at April 23, 2008 01:14 AM

C-C-G, once again Robert is lying. Another simple google proves it.

"An April 2001 article in USA Today described the president's 4,000-square-foot single-story limestone house in Crawford as an "eco-friendly haven."

"Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into purifying tanks underground -- one tank for water from showers and bathroom sinks, which is so-called 'gray water,' and one tank for 'black water' from the kitchen sink and toilets," it said. "The purified water is funneled to the cistern with the rainwater."

In addition, "the Bushes installed a geothermal heating and cooling system, which uses about 25 percent of the electricity that traditional heating and air-conditioning systems consume."

Is it even possible for far left wing fanatical nut jobs like Robert to be embarrassed when they are proven liars so quickly?

Oh, and did you notice how he "supports our troops?" Our brave men and women in the military can't even beat a bunch of teenagers. I'm wondering....can we question their patriotism yet?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at April 23, 2008 05:34 AM
(Although I doubt even they could have foreseen the greatest military in the history of mankind being fought to a 5-year standstill by middle eastern teenagers)....

Should I believe you or my lying eyes?

It seems you're going with your lying eyes. Or perhaps there's a transmission problem somewhere along your optic nerve. Or maybe you're just not paying attention. One way or another, reality is being badly garbled somewhere along the line between it actually occurring and your fingers striking the keyboard.

Posted by: Pablo at April 23, 2008 07:29 AM

Thank you, Robert, for proving my point.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 23, 2008 07:41 AM

"(Although I doubt even they could have foreseen the greatest military in the history of mankind being fought to a 5-year standstill by middle eastern teenagers)...."

A comforting fantasy for leftists, to be sure, but a fantasy nevertheless.

The people we're fighting are trained, equipped, and financed by two of the most sophisticated and lethal military-intelligence apparatuses in the world, those of Syria and Iran.

In addition, you have the former Mukhbarat of Iraq doing its bit. Saddam's boys have essentially transformed al Qaeda into a stateless military-intelligence apparatus, so our troops are actually facing four of the most sophisticated, lethal, and ruthless such organizations in the world.

Only as genuine cretin would refer to our enemies as middle-eastern teenagers.

Posted by: Tom W. at April 26, 2008 03:27 AM