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Thread: The US media crisis, recent take

  1. #1 The US media crisis, recent take 
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    So I'm reading Tuesday's NYT Science supplement (a regular feature of the NYT, and among its most popular - although according to frequent and excellent contributor Natalie Angier it gets no respect from the higher powers at the Grey Lady), and for the umpteenth time this month am struck by what appears to be the latest rippling advance of a miserable wave: Fox balance has eaten its way into another henhouse of reason, of reportage on simple physical reality, of straight up science news.

    Here's one of the latest, above the fold on the back page the top story is sent to, page 6, top story under "Global Update", the tag is "cholera".

    The headline is: "Climate Change Isn't a Culprit in Increasing Outbreaks, Study Finds".

    The content is: a common hope by modelers that warmer surface waters at river mouths would suppress cholera outbreaks has been disappointed. The waters are warmer, but cholera has increased and spread to new regions.

    The apparent reason? Satellite photos show increased rainfall volume and increased glacial melting upstream, feeding into the source streams. This increased flow volume and violence seems to be washing down more plankton food and consequent cholera germ substrate from the upstream watershed.

    So it's markedly increased river flow from boosted rainfall volumes and higher rates of glacial melting, not "Climate Change", that is to blame.

    To be sure no one misses that point, it is put into the headline as a "finding" of the study, is reasserted in the first paragraph, and is repeated in the text.

    Another one, same issue, the much read "Health" subsection on D5, top story.

    The headline reads: "Many Health Plans, Many Hours Spent Haggling"

    The content features a description of various features of the very large hassle and expense all US patients, doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals must endure from having to deal with so many insurance corporations, each with its own complex rules and forms, each with its own lawyers and executives dedicated to squeezing clinics and patients and enforcing the minutiae of its contracts and stipulations. The estimated cost is $80,000 per physician per year, just on the medical care delivery side. More than 20 hours per week.

    But the study being reported, the basis of the article, was actually a point by point comparison of US setup overhead with Canada's. Although alluded to (Canada is mentioned throughout) these comparisons are left mostly vague and general - Canada's system is not named or described. Canada (total?) apparently spends less on this than US care delivery specifically by 3/4, Canadian physicians spend about 1/10 the time dealing with bill payers, but the exact cost and benefit comparison of the study is skipped. And then, in the closing sentence, we get this quote from one of the study docs: "We aren't saying that we should go to a single payer system - - - - - - but it's important to know what all the benefits of the costs are".

    That's the only allusion to the name and nature of Canada's system, to the name or nature of any alternative to the US setup, in the headline or body or commentary, in an entire report on a direct comparison study.

    This is the NYT. It's the last paper in the US that should be doing that, and the last section of that paper in which it should be done. So what's our job?


     

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    Write them and point out their stupidity. If you are a paying subscriber it has more impact, because ultimately journalism takes its cues from its paying membership within the context of the image they're trying to uphold. NYT usually comes across as credible and objective with a liberal bias--the examples you provide put the "credible and objective" at risk.


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    The NYT article on cholera is certainly misleading and poorly written, and the title is appalling. It has naturally been picked up by the denialists who are all over the web with it.

    However there is no suggestion that I can see in the article of "markedly increased" flows or that rates of glacier melt have increased. While this may be what is happening as a result of global warming, any link with recent cholera outbreaks is speculative.
     

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    duplicated post removed
    Last edited by iceaura; September 1st, 2011 at 09:24 PM. Reason: duplicate
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    However there is no suggestion that I can see in the article of
    "markedly increased" flows or that rates of glacier melt have increased.
    Second to last paragraph: "But satellite photographs of the mouths of the Ganges, Amazon, Congo, and Orinoco Rivers suggest that heavy rainfall and glacier melt have the biggest effect - - - "

    Or from the abstract: Warming Oceans, Phytoplankton, and River D... [Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    However there is no suggestion that I can see in the article of "markedly increased" flows or that rates of glacier melt have increased.
    Second to last paragraph: "But satellite photographs of the mouths of the Ganges, Amazon, Congo, and Orinoco Rivers suggest that heavy rainfall and glacier melt have the biggest effect - - - - "
    Exactly. Heavy rainfall does not mean there was a marked increase. Heavy rainfall occurs regularly in the tropics. The sentence quoted says nothing about increased glacier flow - glacier melt is an ongoing process. My point is simply that you misquoted the article in order to strengthen your point. As it happens I am very much in agreement with you on the issue of global warming but I do not agree with embellishing the reported information. Let's leave that to the other side.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    Exactly. Heavy rainfall does not mean there was a marked increase. Heavy rainfall occurs regularly in the tropics. The sentence quoted says nothing about increased glacier flow - glacier melt is an ongoing process.
    The content of the study as reported, is that the suppressing effects of warmer water the models predicted seem to have been overcome - there is increased cholera, more than before, not merely the same - by heavy rains and glacial melting washing increased amounts of plankton fertilizer to the river mouths. If you can read that as not implying heavier rains and more melting than than the modelers anticipated, more nutrition for plankton than before, rainfall and melting at higher volumes than before, how?

    If that seems like a leap of reasoning too great, refer to the study itself - in which the rain and melting is described explicitly as unusually intense, causing unusually heavy flow in the rivers, and that factor apparently overcoming the warm water suppression effects. I had no complaint with those clear implications of the NYT report, because they accurately reflected the study.

    The former level of rain and melt was what was used to predict cholera suppression.
    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    My point is simply that you misquoted the article in order to strengthen your point.
    I put nothing in quotes that was not copied directly from the article. I did not misquote a single word.
     

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    I still believe that your reporting of the article was misleading, but I do not want to argue over this. I acknowledge your intent was not to exaggerate and trust we can drop the issue now.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    I still believe that your reporting of the article was misleading, but I do not want to argue over this. I acknowledge your intent was not to exaggerate and trust we can drop the issue now.
    But that issue is central to my point about that article, and the other one, and getting it clear is important.

    Notice that by agreeing the article did imply a study claim of unusual and increased rainfall and melting, I was giving it credit - the study explicitly claimed that, and the article gains its only credibility by accurately reporting that claim. If you are correct, and the article obscured the circumstances and hid the study's findings by appearing to put responsibility on a normal rainfall and melting patterns, then that is more ammo for my criticism - the entire article becomes an exercise in confusion and deception, with no redeeming features at all.
     

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    Maybe they dislike the people?
     

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    Take 2: The big 9/11 decade issue of the major local newspaper - the Minneapolis Star Tribune - featured as its two primary and main editorial page essays columns by Katherine Kersten and George Will.

    Take 3: After Obama's recent tax reform proposal, The Public Broadcasting TV station featured, on one of its better analysis programs (Gwen Ifill's), a critical "analyst" from the whackRight (Heritage Foundation Ayn Rand acolyte) and as defender a moderate Rightwing budget expert from the Obama administration.

    That's PBS "balance", these days.
    Last edited by iceaura; September 20th, 2011 at 02:44 PM. Reason: added take 3
     

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    Am I alone in thinking the protest on Wall Street is newsworthy, sorry for being offtopic.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes, PhD View Post
    Am I alone in thinking the protest on Wall Street is newsworthy, sorry for being offtopic.
    It is being reported in some venues. I find it to be no big deal right now, though, myself. Really it's not much more than a bunch of pot heads coming together and doing yoga in downtown NY at this point. If you want under reported "protest," look to Chile.

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/201..._in_chile.html
     

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    Take 4: In the recent Republican debates the assertion that tax cuts for the rich create jobs and tax hikes on the rich take them away - the central economic claim of every candidate on the dais - was never questioned, and no candidate was pressed to defend it with reference to fact, history, or sound economic reasoning.

    That framed the public discourse for the duration: everyone is now required to take that assertion as a legitimate stance or political position instead of the crude nonsense - the evidence of either dishonesty or rank incompetence - it is.

    By such media collusion (there and elsewhere) we become enmeshed in a political debate without basis in reality - a fantasy world in which access to the power of repetition and marketing schemes must decide the outcome.
     

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    Pure water means no cholera, this is why London no longer has horrific outbreaks of same, global warming or no.

    Single pay system saves time and administrative costs.

    Journalists are whores for rich media owners.

    All self evident statements with numerous examples to back them up. Newspapers are only fit to line bottoms of birdcages.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
     

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    Take 5: The mineral wealth of Afghanistan turns up in the headlines. OK, it's newsworthy - potentially as rich a source of vital minerals as anywhere on the planet, the USGS has "discovered". A worthy update to what everyone knew, right? And so well timed, in the tenth anniversary of the year the US invaded and installed a more business friendly and cooperative government. The launching, circumstances, and course of the Afghan excellent adventure are in the spotlight this year - except for one matter.

    AFAIK no one in the major media to date has dredged up the glowing political eye of corruption from ten years ago, at the launching of the invasion - when everyone who was warning about the influence of mineral wealth on the military ventures of the US corporate -dominated State was being scorned, and sneered at, and disparaged, and maligned as unpatriotic, and having the Saudi-dominated events of 9/11 thrown in their faces, and demagogued about terrorism.

    And foremost among the justifications for the vilification, we were continually told about Afghanistan's poverty, it's lack of resources worth conquering, even its uselessness as a pipeline route for tapping the Caspian Basin's gas and oil. There was nothing there, we were told - over and over and over, by the officials and the pundits and the standard media frame news. The motives of the launchers - the motives of an administration and governing elite dominated by oil company executives and mining companies resource exploiters and bigtime military contractors - were obviously and by evidence, incontrovertibly and without question, clean, patriotic, even noble.

    The tenth anniversary of the quagmire launch would seem a tailor made opportunity to revisit what appears to have been the scene of at minimum a big lie, and quite possibly a huge crime. It meets all the normal criteria for newsworthiness - scandal, celebrity, explosions, sympathetic victims and baleful evildoers, a trove of lines of exploitation.

    Crickets?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    A worthy update to what everyone knew, right?
    Who knew in 2001?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    A worthy update to what everyone knew, right?
    Who knew in 2001?
    The Soviets, and everyone dealing with the Soviets - which was most of international business and finance not only after, but before, the dissolution of the Soviet empire. The Soviet mineral explorations in the 80s produced the maps the USGS used to target their recent detailed surveys.

    Chevron and Halliburton, the rest of the Texas oil industry and all the big US mining concerns, after meeting with revolutionary Afghan and then Taliban officials (in Houston and Dallas, among other places in the 90s) to try to hammer out deals for pipeline routes and roads and mineral exploitation after the Soviet withdrawal.

    The Pakistani government and its mineral resources officials, who of course have been closely monitoring the fate of Afghanistan's wealth of all kinds for decades. India's government, same reason - both with close ties to Soviet and then former Soviet interests.

    The better question would be who didn't know. That list is shorter - the US major media audience, would be the primary party both directly concerned and completely uninformed - actually, misinformed.

    Examples of the presentation at the time and now:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/wo...l?pagewanted=1

    http://www.realclearworld.com/blog/2010/10/

    http://merln.ndu.edu/archivepdf/afgh...20030519-4.pdf

    http://merln.ndu.edu/index.cfm?secID...3&type=section

    (The last an archive of official releases – notice: no mention of mineral resources, pipeline routes, etc. The important such sites do not even appear on the map.)
    Last edited by iceaura; October 8th, 2011 at 09:30 PM.
     

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    You imply that the US invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by corporate greed for the mineral wealth that was well known at that time. This is an allegation not supported by any of the links you posted, and having googled the subject myself I haven't found anything supporting it either. So I'm still curious as to what your allegation is based on.
     

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    Although US companies had a lot to do with the dam projects of the 1950s there, to my knowledge, there was no detailed geological survey by any US agency until 2004 by the USGS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    You imply that the US invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by corporate greed for the mineral wealth that was well known at that time.
    No. My subject is the media crisis in particular, not the general evils of the American plutocracy.

    I assert that the media supported and reiterated presentation of Afghanistan as a country without mineral wealth or other attractions of greed, in 2001, was so far from the reality of the situation as to demonstrate a willingness to betray their public, a lack of integrity and competence both, on the eve of war.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Although US companies had a lot to do with the dam projects of the 1950s there, to my knowledge, there was no detailed geological survey by any US agency until 2004 by the USGS.
    Details for attracting investors to specific projects are hardly the issue.
     

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    OK I've managed to come up with this article:

    Minerals in Afghanistan? Mais oui! | The Best Defense

    that seems to support your assertion that something was known prior to the USGS survey reported here: USGS Projects in Afghanistan

    Between 2005 and 2007, scientists with the USGS Mineral Resources Project worked closely with colleagues from the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) to collect and consolidate existing information about known mineral deposits.
    Seems to me that the use of the word "discovered" in press articles is only slightly questionable. Maybe "quantified" would have been better.

    In general I agree with your point about the abysmal record of media reporting but this particular example just doesn't seem that egregious to me.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunbury
    OK I've managed to come up with this article:

    Minerals in Afghanistan? Mais oui! | The Best Defense

    that seems to support your assertion that something was known prior to the USGS survey reported here:
    The text of the USGS survey itself contains references to what the Soviets found in the 80s, and the entire survey was based on maps drawn then and preserved in Kabul during the Taliban years. One of chief investigators in the USGS survey is an Afghan-American geologist who fled to the US ahead of the Taliban. Said {Mizrad} is well known in US government circles and US corporate circles - he's a big expert in Afghan geology and specifically mineral deposits.

    The entire area has been surveyed by professional geologists, somewhat crudely, several times since before WWI. The iron deposits in the north were known a hundred years ago. When the Taliban officials were in Texas in the 90s, negotiating pipeline routes and mineral exploration agreements (there is no record of them meeting the governor then, but they did talk to most of the governor's business associates), they had a data base and maps and stuff to talk about - the US had been making satellite and spy maps all along, of course, including information about what the Soviets were after and where it was.

    There is no real question that the corporate interests and their governmental allies in the US knew that Afghanistan harbored significant mineral wealth - even without the many surveys and investigations, a simple glance at a tectonic plate map points to Afghanistan as almost certainly (without even looking) harboring great mineral wealth - it's crazed with small pieces of moving plate boundary.

    The issue is not what was known, but why and how the US media came to misinform the American public about this matter.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 12th, 2011 at 12:50 PM. Reason: corrected name - "Mizrad"
     

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    It's pretty far fetched. Independent coverage by any media has been abysmal for decades because of the violence--so poor I was pretty much able to read every article, book about Afghanistan published in English over the past ten years. I don't think there's even the remote chance any misleading was purposeful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It's pretty far fetched. Independent coverage by any media has been abysmal for decades because of the violence--so poor I was pretty much able to read every article, book about Afghanistan published in English over the past ten years. I don't think there's even the remote chance any misleading was purposeful.
    So no chance then that Cheney - CEO of Halliburton while it was dealing with the Russians and Iran over mineral and oil exploration matters - had any idea that people like Said Mirzad existed, or any interest in Afghanistan just south of the Caspian Basin?

    You are contending that it is farfetched to presume that when the Taliban pipeline and mineral rights negotiators were visiting the oil and mineral industry execs in Texas (while W, an ex oil executive himself, was governor, and Cheney was CEO of Halliburton based in Houston) their discussions were informed by maps, satellite surveys, their monitoring of the Soviet geological efforts, ordinary plate tectonics and other information bearing on mineral deposits, the knowledge of the Afghans themselves, or any of the geological investigations in the region over the past hundred years?

    Or is it the media efforts you contend are not to be expected: that the media simply broadcasting, unquestioned and unsupported, counterfactual and improbable assertions

    with no apparent role except the deflection of concern over potential corruption and improper influences on the launching of a land war in Asia,

    and then following up with mockery and dismissal of the better informed and pertinent observations of the opponents of that land war in Asia,

    is normal and routine: that expecting anything else is farfetched?

    Or is it farfetched that the news media in the US might be expected to make full use of such sources of information as the USGS, for whom people like Mirzad worked, or an atlas of world geography such as sits in my bookshelf, or even (heaven forbid, serious investigative reporting) sources in Russia and Iran and France and Germany and China and India, Chevron and Exxon and Halliburton and Bechtel and Houston financiers and US major university geology departments, for a considerably more accurate picture of the likely mineral wealth of Afghanistan?

    If so, my case for crisis is made.
     

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    Must of what you think happened even if true don't support your conclusion is the problem.

    Should anyone be surprised that Cheney might have been interested whether there was any value to that region....heck no. So what? It's an international company interested in just about every place.
    Should anyone be surprised that the Taliban were looking for ways to make money and might have come to the richest nation on the planet, a nation that had on and off interest in that region for more than half a century? Heck no.

    These two things would be more surprising IF THEY DIDN'T happen.

    As for the US media, as I already explained, their presence was pretty much non-existent in Afghanistan. What little info they got was either from government civil affairs (propagandized) sources, the tiny international new presence, or just speculation from wealthy immigrants who'd escaped from there decades before.

    It's crystal clear why the US went to war there (unlike the muddled and delusional thinking that got us into Iraq). When you look at how the war was conducted as a distant priority to Iraq, and with almost no priority to the heavy infrastructure building such as roads and rail needed to move minerals, it's more than clear that extracting mineral wealth was about the last thing in mind.

    As much as I dislike Cheney. the idea that the media was in cahoots with him and started or sustained a war in Afghanistan to get the minerals doesn't even make for a good conspiracy theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As for the US media, as I already explained, their presence was pretty much non-existent in Afghanistan. What little info they got was either from government civil affairs (propagandized) sources, the tiny international new presence, or just speculation from wealthy immigrants who'd escaped from there decades before.
    Uh, yes, and that seems reasonable to you?

    They broadcast what was at best inexcusable ignorance and quite possibly deliberately provided falsehood, and they went out of their way to mock and dismiss those who attempted to correct them on matters of physical, verifiable fact. They did this in support of the launching of a land war of invasion in Asia.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As much as I dislike Cheney. the idea that the media was in cahoots with him and started or sustained a war in Afghanistan to get the minerals doesn't even make for a good conspiracy theory.
    Cahoots is not the only, or even likely, explanation. Loyal bidding-doing and sycophantic ass kissing, for example, does not require cahoots. Careful avoidance of uncomfortable knowledge, obliviousness maintenance, and blindfolding via flag, do not require cahoots.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It's crystal clear why the US went to war there
    As long as the actual circumstances of Cheney&Co's decision are not explored, maybe. It gets less clear with better information - a solid motive for concealing that information, at the time.

    The observation is this: Lots of people in the US and otherwise available to US journalists knew very well that Afghanistan was a rich prize of mineral wealth. The news media reported otherwise, and in a manner clearly (even explicitly) designed to deflect any concerns about corruption and improper influence on the US decision to invade the country. That same media is now reporting the "discovery" of this wealth, employing it now to defend continuing US presence there, without even mentioning (much less justifying) their earlier deceptions.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As for the US media, as I already explained, their presence was pretty much non-existent in Afghanistan. What little info they got was either from government civil affairs (propagandized) sources, the tiny international new presence, or just speculation from wealthy immigrants who'd escaped from there decades before.
    Uh, yes, and that seems reasonable to you?
    Not only reasonable, but about the only thing possible. Even today there's very little coverage and what little that does exist is very close to secure locations--not in the mountains where either the enemy rules or terrain makes it nearly impenetrable.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As much as I dislike Cheney. the idea that the media was in cahoots with him and started or sustained a war in Afghanistan to get the minerals doesn't even make for a good conspiracy theory.
    Cahoots is not the only, or even likely, explanation. Loyal bidding-doing and sycophantic ass kissing, for example, does not require cahoots. Careful avoidance of uncomfortable knowledge, obliviousness maintenance, and blindfolding via flag, do not require cahoots.
    The media never liked Cheney--except for a few neocons here and there.

    The observation is this: Lots of people in the US and otherwise available to US journalists knew very well that Afghanistan was a rich prize of mineral wealth. The news media reported otherwise, and in a manner clearly (even explicitly) designed to deflect any concerns about corruption and improper influence on the US decision to invade the country. That same media is now reporting the "discovery" of this wealth, employing it now to defend continuing US presence there, without even mentioning (much less justifying) their earlier deceptions.
    You're talking from a position of ignorance. I've read three or four histories of the place. Before the 2007 USGS report those sources hardly mention the mineral wealth. Those same sources point out what does exist is out of reach due to the horrible terrain and almost complete lack of infrastructure. And where do you think most of the media got its information--from the same kinds of sources. You could probably make a better case that politics might have inflated the 2007 report; the Afghans corrupt bureau of mining certainly has.

    A lot more interesting than the far fetched media story is whether the US even try to develop those resources. We didn't make big investments 30-40 years ago when the infrastructure and political environment was far better than it is today and it would takes tens if not hundreds of billions to get to those resources now. But I know you find the conspiracy theory more interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Not only reasonable, but about the only thing possible. Even today there's very little coverage and what little that does exist is very close to secure locations--not in the mountains where either the enemy rules or terrain makes it nearly impenetrable.
    Why the repetition of the difficulty of reporting from Afghanistan? There were plenty of sources for better info right here in the US, not to mention India, Pakistan, Russia, Germany, France, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, Bechtel, Hallilburton, et al.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The media never liked Cheney--except for a few neocons here and there.
    So?
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You're talking from a position of ignorance. I've read three or four histories of the place. Before the 2007 USGS report those sources hardly mention the mineral wealth.
    While I bow to the breadth and splendor of three or four histories of the place, it remains a fact that substantial iron and copper wealth was known from the 19th century or before, the Russians had surveyed the place in the 80s, several informed Afghan refugees were in the US by the 90s and available for interview (one of them in authority in the USGS survey), and the survey report itself refers to this information.

    Look: The USGS survey was of small spots of interest - individual deposits. The general picture and enough info to locate these deposits was decades old, and widespread. You can read that right in the USGS survey as reported on in the newspapers.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Those same sources point out what does exist is out of reach due to the horrible terrain and almost complete lack of infrastructure. And where do you think most of the media got its information--from the same kinds of sources.
    And that would be kind of my point, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But I know you find the conspiracy theory more interesting.
    This reflexive personal insult tack is getting old around here. What is your problem? Can't you guys find some other way to argue than by dishonest accusation and bullshit innuendo?

    We have every reason to think that the people who made the decision to invade Afghanistan were well aware of the likelihood of great mineral wealth there - it would be quite extraordinary and in need of explanation if they were not. This information was easily available to professional journalists at the time - it was available to me, even, and I hadn't been interviewing Taliban mineral rights negotiators, expatriate Afghan geologists, related industry sources and honchos, or US sources with access to satellite surveys and anti-Soviet mapping operations. But it was not only omitted, but specifically denied and dismissed, by the US media in the buildup for the invasion.

    Hence its posting as an example of the US media crisis.
     

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    Look: The USGS survey was of small spots of interest - individual deposits. The general picture and enough info to locate these deposits was decades old, and widespread. You can read that right in the USGS survey as reported on in the newspapers.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Those same sources point out what does exist is out of reach due to the horrible terrain and almost complete lack of infrastructure. And where do you think most of the media got its information--from the same kinds of sources.
    And that would be kind of my point, right?
    If that really was your point, than you seriously sent another message entirely when you wrote this "Take 5: The mineral wealth of Afghanistan turns up in the headlines. OK, it's newsworthy - potentially as rich a source of vital minerals as anywhere on the planet, the USGS has "discovered". A worthy update to what everyone knew, right? And so well timed, in the tenth anniversary of the year the US invaded and installed a more business friendly and cooperative government. The launching, circumstances, and course of the Afghan excellent adventure are in the spotlight this year - except for one matter. "
    Which paints the media as deliberately withholding information and playing political games in coordinately to support the war. There's nothing that really supports that conclusion--that's why I categorized it as a conspiracy theory. And I admit that might have too strong.

    My point is the media used the general same information sources that most people did, the good ones turning to the political and historical "experts" on the region--the same ones who usually put the geological wealth as relatively unimportant.

    If you're disappointed that the media didn't dig into the geological history in depth well thats another thing altogether. We'd both agree the media does a terrible job reporting ANYTHING scientific. If that's the "media crisis" than I'd agree, and add that's its a very broad problem intertwined with the campaign against science by large parts of the US citizenry. But it doesn't imply anything wrong with the media other than ignorance combined with poor science knowledge of their readership.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Which paints the media as deliberately withholding information and playing political games in coordinately to support the war.
    Well, no, it doesn't. Nothing of media intention is considered, and sheer incompetence, institutionalized corruption of viewpoint (leading them to disparage the better informed and wiser), dropping the ball on really important matters, the blindness of warmongering, etc, are all obvious and plausible possibilities left open by me.

    If you read conspiracy into the facts, then maybe that's a legitimate concern - but not the only one.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    If that really was your point, than you seriously sent another message entirely
    I'm not going to bother carefully preventing people from projecting their own little demons.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    My point is the media used the general same information sources that most people did, the good ones turning to the political and historical "experts" on the region-
    And they are still doing that - even after the USGS report should have caused some re-evaluation of their earlier travesties. Hence the crisis, topic of the thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    If you're disappointed that the media didn't dig into the geological history in depth well thats another thing altogether.
    Information about the great potential for mineral wealth in Afghanistan was readily available. The fact that the major media found themselves motivated to go out of their way to disparage and slander (as "conspiracy" mongers, among their favorite terms) the many people who were calling for some attention to the influence of the pipeline routes, Caspian Basin issues, mineral potential, and so forth, on the people making the decision to invade Afghanistan (almost all of them in or from related industries) is proof of that.
     

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    Headline editing is in trouble too:

    http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...04050231_n.jpg
     

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    I started to read the first post and had to stop when was asked to consider the NYT as reliable reading for ANYTHING.

    Sorry. It's a left leaning rag and cant be trusted to say anything that doesn't support a particular political agenda.
     

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    I started to read the first post and had to stop when was asked to consider the NYT as reliable reading for ANYTHING.
    Intentional joke?

    Sorry. It's a left leaning rag and cant be trusted to say anything that doesn't support a particular political agenda.
    Even merely conscientious news reporting (without actual competence) will create that impression in the minds of the neo-Confederates, but the NYT doesn't have a consistently leftwing columnist in its editorial stable - let alone on its science page staff.
     

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    I'm sure I'm being called a neo-confederate here but I'm not sure why. I'm from Ohio, not a racist and have the ability to laugh at the idiots who think name calling is the basis for an argument.

    (Yes, I called you a name) lol

    neo-idiot I guess is what I should have put.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck driver
    I'm sure I'm being called a neo-confederate here but I'm not sure why. I'm from Ohio, not a racist and have the ability to laugh at the idiots who think name calling is the basis for an argument.

    (Yes, I called you a name) lol

    neo-idiot I guess is what I should have put.
    So you have chosen to make name calling the basis of your post there, to avoid the argument?

    Or are you going to follow up with something else - say an actual evidence based argument for why you consider the newspaper of Judith Miller and David Brooks and William Kristol, one that consistently frames issues such as the Republican-compromised health care plan in corporate think tank terms (as "Obama's plan", as "left"), one whose strongest consistent editorial position in US foreign affairs has been backing US support for Israel's behavior whatever it may be, as "leftist".
     

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    Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist / UCLA Newsroom "Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal."
    Paul Krugman is a big enough liberal to counter Bill Kristol and David Brooks on his own.

    How about the ad from MoveOn.org that slandered Gen. Patreaus was purchased at less than a 3rd of the going rate for an ad that size.


    Here, maybe this will help. It's from the NYT its own damned self.
    THE PUBLIC EDITOR; Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? - New York Times


     

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    I kow none of that will mean anything to you. Your ego cant afford to let you see things clearly. It might mean you're wrong, or not correct or....an idiot.

    Sorry, Neo-idiot.
     

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    How about discussing things without the flaming (which is against forum rules) and and ad hom attacks.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    Paul Krugman is a big enough liberal to counter Bill Kristol and David Brooks on his own.
    But he's not a leftist. He's a capitalist economist, a Keynesian one: an advocate of corporate organization and market forces, a defender of globalization and free trade, a promoter of bank bailouts and other government aid to corporate and big time financial institutions, and so forth.

    And he's not as big a deal, in the NYT or general media world, as the ubiquitous David Brooks alone.

    btw: Here's a quote from your linked UCLA study article. I think it would be hard to parody that kind of intellectual effort:
    Groseclose and Milyo based their research on a standard gauge of a lawmaker's support for liberal causes. Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) tracks the percentage of times that each lawmaker votes on the liberal side of an issue. Based on these votes, the ADA assigns a numerical score to each lawmaker, where "100" is the most liberal and "0" is the most conservative. After adjustments to compensate for disproportionate representation that the Senate gives to low‑population states and the lack of representation for the District of Columbia, the average ADA score in Congress (50.1) was assumed to represent the political position of the average U.S. voter.
    Groseclose and Milyo then directed 21 research assistants — most of them college students — to scour U.S. media coverage of the past 10 years. They tallied the number of times each media outlet referred to think tanks and policy groups, such as the left-leaning NAACP or the right-leaning Heritage Foundation.
    Next, they did the same exercise with speeches of U.S. lawmakers. If a media outlet displayed a citation pattern similar to that of a lawmaker, then Groseclose and Milyo's method assigned both a similar ADA score.
    "A media person would have never done this study," said Groseclose, a UCLA political science professor, whose research and teaching focuses on the U.S. Congress. "It takes a Congress scholar even to think of using ADA scores as a measure. And I don't think many media scholars would have considered comparing news stories to congressional speeches."
    Indeed they would not, having experience with the reality of Congressional speeches and more common sense than a blob of Silly Putty. But the kicker was the averaging of that bs number - "liberal" transmuted to "leftist", all "references" and "citations" piled into one heap and divvied up - and presuming it represented the average political position of the American citizenry. They're simply presuming the central pillar of their analysis? They admit that?

    That's stupid enough to drool. Every single political measure and indication of Congress has placed it significantly farther right and farther authoritarian than the US public, for starters. And the financial demands of campaigning would ensure that, if the nature of the job did not.

    And even if it were somehow magically true that huge infusions of corporate cash and industry influence and lobbyist pressures had left Congress unmoved, that would still only put the news media on the liberal (not left) side of the American citizenry. It's a long way from that to "bias" - better informed people tend to be more liberal, and news media are presumably better informed. That would not be bias, but information. Knowledge and comprehension are not necessarily distributed evenly along the political spectra, true?


    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    Here, maybe this will help. It's from the NYT its own damned self.
    THE PUBLIC EDITOR; Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? - New York Times
    Although the media world can destroy the meaning of the word "liberal", it cannot make it mean "leftist" or "Democratic". There's almost nothing in that article about economic issues, corporate vs labor conflicts, money and income and so forth, at all. Abortion is not a leftist cause. Neither is Creationism, or gun rights.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 26th, 2011 at 03:36 PM.
     

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    Dance around it all you want. I provided you with proof. Perhaps UCLA is a bastion of conservative thought that none of us knew about until you discovered it. Paul Krugman does not confine his columns to economics. His most notable one recently being the accusation that Bush and Guliani exploited the 9/11 attacks for personal political gain.

    I think you're funny. Abortion, creationism and Gun control are indeed leftist causes.

    Study your history. Please, name one conservative Not your version of conservative but an actual conservative that supports gun control and abortion. I think you have no idea where you stand in the spectrum and therefor are incapable of making sound judgement.

    I'm going to again ask for a credible citation on your absurd claim that Congress is to the right of the American People.

    Blathering on and complaining that the left is liberal and liberal is left in the vernacular doesn't give any credence to your skewed view of the world.

    For those who are offended by what they perceive to be flaming and ad hominem attacks, I'm sorry but I dont think calling idiocy idiocy is ad hominem.

    An idiot is a person incapable of learning. I didn't call him/her (whatever "it") a moron or ignoramus. I called them an idiot. Perhaps a better term would be "useful idiot" but I don't think his communist leaders will find him particularly useful.
     

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    I think his position is strictly from an economic perspective..that's that exceedingly narrow and out of touch with how it's defined by just about anyone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    Dance around it all you want. I provided you with proof.
    You provided some comic relief, mostly unintentional, because you have no idea whatsoever what Leftist ideology looks like or who possesses it.

    As far as "proof", you need to start by avoiding anything about liberals. They aren't necessarily leftists and never have been (back when there were actual leftists on the US national political scene, in '68 say, a common scene was to see somebody like Hubert Humphrey accused of being a "liberal" by the left, many of whom despised liberals as sellouts.)

    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    Perhaps UCLA is a bastion of conservative thought that none of us knew about until you discovered it.
    Apparently you think published articles from scientists "represent" the Universities associated with them. That's fairly confused. The University of Chicago is a bastion of liberal thought, in general - but also the source of the Chicago School of economics.

    Meanwhile, the article you linked was a travesty of research, filled with absurdities (I just pointed to the most flagrant), and should be considered for its motives and financing rather than its content.
    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    Paul Krugman does not confine his columns to economics. His most notable one recently being the accusation that Bush and Guliani exploited the 9/11 attacks for personal political gain.
    Is that a "leftist" position? I believe a good many Tea Party libertarians and redneck conservative cynics subscribe to it.

    And it brings up the issue of reality: if we are talking about bias, we are not talking about accurate description, but warped or slanted description. Very competent people without an inherently leftist bone in their bodies are going to appear leftist if the leftist position is in fact the accurate and informed one - true? Where does that common situation fit into your setup?
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I think his position is strictly from an economic perspective..that's that exceedingly narrow and out of touch with how it's defined by just about anyone else.
    The economic perspective on all the world is hardly "narrow", covering as it does everything from the modern industrial division of labor to family farm troubles to deepwater oil drilling to the roots of war to ecological issues to campaign financing and influences. And everyone from the makers of Political Compass to the population of Eurasia has a reasonably similar notion of "Left" - because it's kind of, you know, accurate. Left and right have been standard conceptual categories and organizations of ideological description for more than a century now. There's a little bubble of people, mostly Americans, who are very ignorant. It's not their fault, exactly - but we have to draw some lines, if we want to keep any ability to discuss political issues at all. You can't discuss the fascist left, for example - that's just blowing smoke and shooting word salad.

    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    I think you're funny. Abortion, creationism and Gun control are indeed leftist causes.

    Study your history. Please, name one conservative Not your version of conservative but an actual conservative that supports gun control and abortion.
    We were discussing right vs left, not conservative vs {liberal. formerly}, remember?
    Last edited by iceaura; October 27th, 2011 at 01:05 AM.
     

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    The issue is your position is much narrower than conventions of American political conversation as defined by just about everyone else--other than you. Journalism experts, universities, politicians and the generation public.

    Abortion, Gun control, gay marriage and other civil rights, welfare, and public education are indeed leftist causes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Abortion, Gun control, gay marriage and other civil rights, welfare, and public education are indeed leftist causes.
    Says who? Not the lefties, not the libertarians, not the neo-liberals, not the neo-cons.

    There are consistent leftist positions on some of those issues, of course - as the conflict between corporate and community power impinges on things like welfare - but often libertarian and authoritarian lefties are in sharp disagreement over, say, abortion or gun rights or gay marriage. I find myself in frequent agreement with rightwing libertarians in authoritarian/libertarian issues, while the Maos and Mussollinis of this world, the Castros and Calvinists, find themselves shaking hands over bans on drugs and booze and prostitution and gay marriage and abortion.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The issue is your position is much narrower than conventions of American political conversation as defined by just about everyone else--other than you.
    It's not narrow - economics underpins everything. Its' accurate.

    More to the point: There are few such conventions in ordinary life - and what few there are are recent impositions of Republican campaign tactics rather than traditional use of language. They are confused, changeable, vague, manipulated by pros - and so they help the cause of power encroachment.

    Edward Abbey, John Muir, Ken Kesey, the Grateful Dead - lefties? Central intellectual contributors to the American left. And gun nuts. Used to carry them, before this conceal carry fad. Just an example.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 27th, 2011 at 03:54 AM.
     

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    It's interesting that you consider the research I provided a "travesty of research" and should be suspect for its "motives and financing" while this thread was started with a whine about Global Warming/Weirding/Climate Change/(insert next change of plans when the research doesn't bear out the reality as we claim).

    I'm going to again ask for the citation regarding "Tea Party Libertarians" and "Redneck conservatives" that think Bush and Guiliani exploited 9/11 for political gain.

    AS for Poltical Compass. The Compass is indeed skewed and you have no idea how accurate it is because you have no idea what was considered nuetral.

    The compass itself is based on the subjective opinion of a few people who had to use their own opinions to determine what the center of the graph is.

    How much government is neither authoritarian or libertarian? How much collectivism is neither too much or too little? Do we each agree with their standards?

    You will not find 100 people at random who agree on the baseline for those metrics.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Abortion, Gun control, gay marriage and other civil rights, welfare, and public education are indeed leftist causes.
    Says who? Not the lefties, not the libertarians, not the neo-liberals, not the neo-cons.
    Don't be so sure:
    More Leftist Fantasy: Gun Control | Texas GOP Vote

    "Abortion: The Left has betrayed the sanctity of life"
    http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/nvp/consistent/meehan_progressive.html

    "Gay marraige: The case from the Left"
    David Boies on His Case Against Prop 8 - The Daily Beast

    --
    I could pull up hundreds of articles like this. You might not like it, but the common vernacular and working definition of Leftist has become pretty much anything considered progressive in the US--hence the studies and other examples from News agencies, Universities shown earlier. Yes, it's a departure from the sterile more traditional class-warfare definitions; it's now intertwined with the culture war.

    recent impositions of Republican campaign tactics rather than traditional use of language.
    It's being happening since the 1960's and much more than Republican campaign tactics. Since at least when as Reagan used to say the Democratic party left him. (The Republican party is leaving me now--and I hate it).
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I could pull up hundreds of articles like this. You might not like it, but the common vernacular and working definition of Leftist has become pretty much anything considered progressive in the US--
    "Common vernacular" among the propaganda addled is useless for actual discussion of issues, or informative analysis of anything. You don't get a "working definition", you get an inarticulate sandpile of dislocated rants. That's why power spends so much time and money attempting to addle via propaganda - confusion, fog, incoherence, lack of communication, favors power.

    If W&Co's corporate support (still largely in power) can get enough people to parrot "fascism is leftist", they can slide out from under the headstone of the fascist label and rise from the dead to eat the living once again. This should be fought against. Orwell was right, Confucious was right, Linneaus was right, the first thing is the rectification of names.

    Goering was right: when wrong, don't try to argue - try to destroy the argument.

    Pulling up hundreds of examples of rightwing propaganda disseminated via corporate dominated media vocabulary makes my case, not yours. Pretending that this specifically and coherently manipulated and manipulating source, with its targeted faction, can be presented in the passive voice - "has become considered" - as if it were the weather, as if it came from nowhere, misleads.

    To the extent that it assumes the dismissal or oblivious avoidance, without evidence or argument or even acknowledgment, of my exact thesis here, it reveals.

    Did you read the Newsweek article, for example? Nothing in it justifies the headline in the slightest - not even internal claims or quotes. The two lawyers teamed up there are joined in libertarian, not leftist, ideology (and hardly that: one of them argued for Gore, a Clinton administration (right-center authoritarian) figure, the other argued for Bush (solidly rightwing authoritarian) in 2000, neither one has ever represented a leftist issue) - and the quoted one is explicit about that. None of the arguments - from either one of them - are grounded in specifically Left analysis or approach, and they do not pretend or claim to be. Even the appellations "liberal" and "conservative" are supplied by the writer, and inaccurately (gay marriage is by definition not conservative, but a new thing and striking change in US society)

    The inaccuracy of the headline is evidence of exactly the bias I am claiming, and exactly the cause I ascribe.


    Meanwhile: there is a case for gay marriage, and against gay marriage "from the left" - the one against resembles the case against marriage in general, which you may suddenly recall the Left is famous for. We find neither of these cases in that Newsweek article - not a single sentence or reference.

    The Left is one of the standard conceptual stances of political and economic analysis. From it, cases are made for and against many things, with more or less pertinence as the issues fall more or less into place along a left/right scale. Gay marriage is all over the place on that scale - any position on the left/right scale easily favors or opposes gay marriage. To say the "left" favors or opposes gay marriage is simply wrong. An analysis leading to a case - pro or con equally avaialble - from the Left might be interesting, but it would not yield a position of the Left overall.
    Quote Originally Posted by DTD
    It's interesting that you consider the research I provided a "travesty of research" and should be suspect for its "motives and financing"
    Since you don't supply any, can we assume you have no answers to the reasoning behind the "travesty" label? You agree that the "research" did have the problems and featured the absurdities I noted above?
    Quote Originally Posted by DTD
    The compass itself is based on the subjective opinion of a few people who had to use their own opinions to determine what the center of the graph is.
    That's not true.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 28th, 2011 at 10:21 AM.
     

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    "Common vernacular" among the propaganda addled is useless for actual discussion of issues, or informative analysis of anything. You don't get a "working definition", you get an inarticulate sandpile of dislocated rants.
    Vocabulary isn't fixed. It's ever changing. The one I'm using is applicable to the US for at least the past couple decades and accepted by those who study bias, the media and the general public. You have your own very definition archaic form that hasn't applied to the US in quite sometime. It doesn't' matter how many pages you write about how and why it changed--the important point is that it did.

    This discussion probably reads like someone defending Quayle for his archaic, century out of data, extra 'e', spelling of potato.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Vocabulary isn't fixed. It's ever changing.
    That doesn't make it whatever Karl Rove wants it to be, like Calvin and Hobbes on "Opposite Day".
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The one I'm using is applicable to the US for at least the past couple decades and accepted by those who study bias, the media and the general public.
    No, it isn't. The pundits you are watching on TV are not "studying" anything. The propagandists who market that crap on the media are not studying anything. The people you quoted above are not studying anything. And they couldn't, with vocabulary so ludicrously confused as that. Look at the "research" our truck driver linked - do you accept that kind of bs as "study"?

    And it isn't "applicable", consistently, to anything. Unless by "consistent" you mean "aligned with Fox News".
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You have your own very definition archaic form that hasn't applied to the US in quite sometime. It doesn't' matter how many pages you write about how and why it changed--the important point is that it did.
    It's not my definition. It's been every educated person's definition on six continents for a hundred years. It's possible that in the last couple of decades the terms "left" and "right" have been destroyed among a large fraction of Americans by Karl Rove and his minions - that they no longer mean anything to 60% of the US public, say. I grant you that possibility. But the response to that would be to quit using them, if you want to communicate meaning to that 60%. If you try to label things like gun control and abortion (or taxes, regulations, prayer, military defense, etc) "left" or "right", you will fail to communicate meaning, and will instead reify the worst of the propaganda barrage that bids to occupy the remainder of the bandwidth we need for news.

    Look: The lefties and righties who both oppose severe curbs on guns, the lefties and righties who both support abortion choice, the lefties and righties who both oppose illegal immigration, the lefties and righties who both want a retrenchment of the mililtary - collectively these people are a majority of the public, you know. Where is your center of your left/right scale, with those factions dominating your field?

    You can't define one. You've destroyed your scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    This discussion probably reads like someone defending Quayle for his archaic, century out of data, extra 'e', spelling of potato.
    It reads like an insular American propaganda victim trying to justify their reflexive anti-intellectualism.

    And avoiding the key question: Do you agree that fascism is a leftist ideology, as asserted by our truck driver here and the media menagerie you seem to be accepting as your authority for terms of discourse: yes or no?
     

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    Do you agree that fascism is a leftist ideology, as asserted by our truck driver here and the media menagerie you seem to be accepting as your authority for terms of discourse: yes or no?
    It has no relevance to modern politics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It has no relevance to modern politics.
    The destruction of language has every relevance to this week's politics in the US.

    So does fascism. That is not a coincidence.

    And you see it in the lines you will not cross, the absurdities you will not mouth no matter how ubiquitous on your TV news. Labeling gun control "leftist" is fully as absurd, and for much the same reason.

    We have a large faction of a generation of people who cannot make sense while talking about politics, and therefore have no defense against the big lie, or the small ones - power fills that vacuum.
     

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    November 6 take, "ubiquitous phenomenon" category:

    CBS 60 Minutes is a thoroughly mainstream, major media, standard frame news analysis show. Jack Abramoff appeared last Sunday for a fairly extended interview, in which his intelligence and persuasiveness as well as his calmly and clinically delivered but straightforward remorse - he described what he had done as not only corruption of government but "evil" - were both visible.

    Some info regarding the techniques and details of K Street corruption was laid out - that one of the major ways of gaining influence over many staffs and even unrelated Congressmen is by offering just a few key Congressional staffers highly paid jobs as lobbyists, for example, is not in my experience common understanding.

    But: The framing was personal crime - a bad guy, with unnamed bad guy motives, did bad things all on his own.

    At no time in that interview - not once - was Abramoff's personal ideology explored, the political faction he worked for even mentioned. The word "Republican" with reference to Jack's activities was mentioned once, in passing, by Jack himself - no followup. The list of Congressmen's staffs corrupted by Abramoff was counted as over 100 - whatever they had in common, or what the Congressmen not so corrupted had in common, was not explored or even mentioned. The purpose of his corruptions was apparently not simple personal wealth, as his large charitable donations (80% of his take, he said, and credibly) and frequent mention of his self-delusion of being a good guy with high morals and so forth, made clear. But the nature of his cause and the beneficiaries of his actions were never even mentioned in the interviewer's questions. No possible connections between his cause, his faction, and his methods were explored. No historical context of past corruptions on his scale was brought in. His major political supporters, leverage providers, career associates, and lifelong close connections were never even described by category or general group, let alone named as such, even in passing.

    And that is "balance", objectivity, analysis of political corruption, in the "liberal" mainstream media.
    Last edited by iceaura; November 8th, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
     

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    Another take on the weekend:

    John Stewart, famous cutting edge liberal guy, had Tom Brokaw on and simply handed him air time to mouth "centrist" platitudes of disappointment in how "polarized" Washington has become - "both sides", of course. It seems to have happened like the weather - nobody's fault in particular, plenty of blame to go around.

    Once again the talk shows and news analysis programs were packed with center righties and far righties, which is normal, but no lefties at all this time - not even a token "feed the starving Somalis" spokesperson.

    The weekend 2:1 far right to "moderate" ratio (not enough lefties to count) has become so standard as to pass unnoticed - it's simply accepted as normal that the mainstream media will feature David Brooks and his friends, plus a pantload of the familiar Republican political faces, five times as often as anyone else (anyone ever seen anyone like, even, Mathew Yglesias, on more than one show in a given weekend?) but this past weekend was a kind of a low point even in that context. When facing European economic crisis, Republican filibusters of any bill that does not cut rich people's taxes, Syrian intransigence, and such events, to have essentially no one from the reality based intellectual factions?
     

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    And again, on the Abramoff book tour of the major media: MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asks about the obvious, based on an actual reading of the book:

    - as I read this, it seems to be about corrupt Republicans, not a corrupt Congress in general -

    not a solid quote, but the gist. And the response? Not at all, there were corrupted Dems as well. Harry Reid, for example.

    And I perked up, expecting the obvious followup and discussion: Nope. Change of subject. Harry Reid, a minor figure in the book, remains the only corrupt Congressman - the only corrupted person - mentioned by name by Abramoff so far as I have seen these interviews.

    Abramoff was a Republican operative, by ideology as well as affiliation, by cause as well as material interest. His famous restaurant was jammed full of Republican Congressional staff and members, White House staffers, corporate reps, and rightwing think tank figures. So were his golf junkets, stadium skyboxes, etc. He had close personal and professional associations with many of the current Republican Congressional powers and major rightwing ideological influencers (Grover Norquist, et al).

    And none of that is of interest to the major media. It's as if Abramoff had no ideology, no cause, no allies in his battles, at all.
     

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    November 13th. And another weekend - the major political analysis time - with essentially no lefties on the major, sober, "reasonable" media news analysis programs. How many consecutive weekends like this, by now?

    My local newspaper (Minneapolis Star Tribune) continued to further its reputation of being "liberal" and "left-leaning" by printing nothing but essays from the standard solidly authoritarian rightwing pundits in its Op Ed pages, plus one token local liberal (not lefty) who wrote in praise of the League of Women Voters.

    Ce'st our vie.
     

  58. #57  
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    Speaking of Media, its not just US Media that is total bullshit propaganda, pretty much all western media and Al Jezira (i think) reporting about Syria it utter bullshit (not surprisingly). Whats going on is similar to what happened in south america when US trained death squads were assassinating people left and right, except this time the death squads are NATO intel thru Saudi hired assassins and Islamic terrorists sniping and ambush killing soldiers and civilians, and who ever gets killed by US/UK/Israel backed Islamic terrorists is being blamed as Syrian repression by western media propaganda.
     

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    Hegemony.

    Survival of the fittest. You can bitch or you can do.

    Arouse awareness? Insult what we already know of the world? Propose a solution without ending the problem? That's a good one. How about advancing something people haven't dug their teeth into that allows an assumedly intelligent audience to advance ahead with greater foreknowledge based on the posts in this forum?
     

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    So this afternoon MPR, bastion of liberalism, broadcast an interview with a woman (somebody McClane sp?) who is an expert journalist (profession of liberals) specializing in business and financial news.

    And she said some worthwhile things about the crash of '08, including the key observation that the bad loans were not primarily to first time home buyers but rather to speculators, investors, and refinancers aiming to cash out equity. So far, reasonable.

    Then she made her case: that we should not continue to ascribe all blame to people who bought houses they could not afford, or the moral hazard of Fannie and Freddie backing such loans. That, she treated as the conventional wisdom, and standard explanation among her peers in the field. She found it sound thinking, reasonable, but incomplete, and recommended we also consider the blame due to the banks who made these loans, and the regulators who failed to prevent the situation from burgeoning. There was blame on both sides, she felt.

    That, then, is the current standard of liberal media analysis, and the conventional wisdom among the journalists in the field as invited to speak at length on liberal forums, as experts, about the crash of '08.

    There's blame on "both sides".
     

  61. #60  
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    So this afternoon MPR, bastion of liberalism,
    If you meant NPR, the few studies which have been done put it pretty much in the middle.
    "Hamilton finds that the average NPR listener holds approximately the same ideology as the average network news viewer or the average viewer of morning news shows, such as Today or Good Morning America. Indeed, of the outlets that he examines in this section of his book, by this measure NPR is the ninth most liberal out of eighteen."
    A Measure of Media Bias

    "The facts show that NPR attracts a politically diverse audience of 33.7 million weekly listeners to its member stations on-air. In surveys by GfK MRI, most listeners consistently identify themselves as "middle of the road" or "conservative." Millions of conservatives choose NPR, even with powerful conservative alternatives on the radio. "
    Steve Inskeep: Liberal Bias at NPR? - WSJ.com

    --
    I think what confuses people sometimes is NPR plays a broader range than most stations--some more liberal, others more conservative. If you think their liberal--of course you, like most people, you might remember those stories more than the more conservative ones they played and didn't piss you off.

    I probably listen to them more than any other because I can do other things while listening--though also get a dose of Fox News and MSNC once a week or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    That article does show the overwhelming liberal bias in the news media.
    Few studies provide an objective measure of the slant of news, and none has provided a way to link such a measure to ideological measures of other political actors. That is, none of the existing measures can say, for example, whether the New York Times is more liberal than Tom Daschle or whether Fox News is more conservative than Bill Frist. We provide such a measure. Namely, we compute an ADA score for various news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Drudge Report, Fox News’ Special Report, and all three networks’ nightly news shows.

    Our results show a strong liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News’ Special Report and the Washington Times received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. And a few outlets, including the New York Times and CBS Evening News, were closer to the average Democrat in Congress than the center. These findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    That article does show the overwhelming liberal bias in the news media.

    "Few studies provide an objective measure of the slant of news, and none has provided a way to link such a measure to ideological measures of other political actors. That is, none of the existing measures can say, for example, whether the New York Times is more liberal than Tom Daschle or whether Fox News is more conservative than Bill Frist. We provide such a measure. Namely, we compute an ADA score for various news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Drudge Report, Fox News’ Special Report, and all three networks’ nightly news shows.

    Our results show a strong liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News’ Special Report and the Washington Times received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. - - - "
    , Aside from the truly remarkable idiocy of quantifying references in political speeches to measure ideological affiliation and agreement, we have the bizarre notion that scoring to the "left" of the average member of Congress is evidence of "liberal bias".

    The multiple confusions here - taking Congressional ideology to be faithfully represented by Congressmen's speeches, taking "left" as "liberal", taking average Congressional ideology as average for the population as a whole (for pity's sake, at least acknowledge their average race, sex, age, and economic class, for starters), implicitly taking factual accuracy for bias (unless you find political speech to have a higher standard of factual accuracy than professional journalism? Maybe we're getting there, but let us hope not yet), and so forth into a comedy of muddles too tangled to list by knot - should be taken as a unit: label it Fox Framing. It consists of the collection of whatever Fox News's takes on things are at the moment.

    The average Senator, for example, recently voted to suspend the Bill of Rights and permit indefinite detention without charge or trial of American citizens allegedly suspected of serious crimes by the Federal Government. That is more authoritarian than the average US citizen. And the average Congressman recently voted to forbid Medicare from even negotiating drug prices with private corporations, let alone setting up its own manufacturing operations, requiring instead that the government pay retail prices to private corporations for all purchased drugs. That is more rightwing than the average US citizen. And so forth. The pattern is continual and consistent - the US Congress is considerably more rightwing and more authoritarian, by turns and in combination, than the general US public. Follow the Post Office issue, for an ongoing example, or the single payer health care issue, for another.

    To the "left" and "liberal" of the current average Congress there is still a large area of rightwing and authoritarian ideological positions - one has a ways to go before getting to the center, let alone an actual "left" or "libertarian" position. And that is assuming some general agreement with balanced and factual reality - if we are talking "bias", positions on the libertarian or left side are hardly visible on the horizon.

    The proper name for the political ideology behind Fox Framing, in point of fact in the US currently, is fascism, but as that conflicts with the Fox Frame we cannot use it.

    Meanwhile, on topic: Once again (December 11) we have the newspaper most often labeled "liberal" in the US, and (no coincidence) the one most often referenced as the standard for responsible and thorough journalism, without a single leftwing or libertarian voice on its flagship Sunday editorial page. How long has it been? Weeks? Months? The last Krugman weekend essay?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Aside from the truly remarkable idiocy of quantifying references in political speeches to measure ideological affiliation and agreement, we have the bizarre notion that scoring to the "left" of the average member of Congress is evidence of "liberal bias".
    Do you have a more objective way of measuring it? I suppose we could just define liberal and conservative as "whatever iceaura says it is."
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Do you have a more objective way of measuring it?
    Astrological profiling would be one. Less immediately absurd in its premises, not so obviously stupid in its assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    I suppose we could just define liberal and conservative as "whatever iceaura says it is."
    That would be reality based, anyway - since what I say they are has been carefully and deliberately aligned with the long established and standard usage, universal in English until fairly recently and still universal among the educated elite, the ordinary and reasonable basis for the meanings of words in English.

    But there are better ways - go to my sources directly: the best speakers and writers of English essay, the standard definitions and characteristics once commonplace in political discussion and still available to those willing to get information from history or the current informed, the past century of written political discourse, the writings and doings of the people who invented and employed the terms for so many years, even the dictionary if time is pressing.
     

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    Blah blah blah. You spin some long sentences without actually saying anything.

    Of course, you will be the one to decide who "the best speakers and writers" are, won't you?
     

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    universal in English until fairly recently and still universal among the educated elite,
    So it's sort of the like the old man yelling from his ivory tower for kids to get off his lawn?
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Of course, you will be the one to decide who "the best speakers and writers" are, won't you?
    I have long accepted the consensus of the Western intellectual elite, including rebel factions etc. I know of no other evaluation method. One caveat is continuity over time, of course - judgments that have held past a fad or two seem more reliable, to me.

    I'd accept your informed report of consensus, as the basis of a discussion here- you would have to demonstrate the "informed" part, by successfully referring to actual writings and arguments.

    You would need more than sales figures and prevalence in the current mass media, in other words (that would assume the consequent, a logical fallacy). You also would need more than the mere assertions of the very people I accuse of being responsible for destroying your ability to reason and argue politically, by thirty years of propaganda assault on your vocabulary and attendant concepts. You could use their output, but only in a context of valid reasoning - argument by propaganda to defend propaganda is circular.

    You can't provide that, would be my evidence based guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    universal in English until fairly recently and still universal among the educated elite,

    So it's sort of the like the old man yelling from his ivory tower for kids to get off his lawn?
    The repeated and amplified mass media distributed assertion that the educated elite are old and ivory tower dwellers is of course a famous, iconic example of the propaganda assault against reason and honest politics in the US. Reagan used it to get lots of votes, for example - a majority of the cranky old men with lawns voted for him, IIRC.

    The vision of the rightwing corporate and inherited wealth in its stately and pretentious gated residencies, defended by hired goons both media and military, shoveling vast sums of money into a propaganda assault on the wisdom and reasoning and institutional traditions supporting (among other things) American democratic government (via taxation of themselves, which is the main problem they have with it),

    as kids trespassing a lawn, innocent and essentially benign,

    does amuse.

    The essential evil consequent upon powerful adult institutions dominating an empire's culture with the political maturity of a thirteen year old boy cutting across someone's yard, is less amusing.
     

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    It should not be ANY news organizations job to be liberal or conservative or any other biased opinion! Besides maybe local news, the big news media are propaganda machines with "blinders" on. They stick to one pathetic story after another until it's been so burned out it's disturbing! There are so many interesting stories that never get any coverage because of a news teams opinion. I don't know, is it a ploy to brainwash people into wasting their time watching the same old junk trying to force interest? It seems lately that even the internet is not immune to such biased agendas. Now it's become a real search for me to find out what's really going on around this overpopulated, underinformed planet. This lack of investigative reporting is exactly what big governments and big buisness like, so they can do whatever they want. The ordinary citizen has always been a victim of deception. These days are no different except the stakes seem much higher. If the public were to know all of what many of the governments and big buisnesses are up to, they would be in an outrage. Way beyond just holding back technology for hoarding personal wealth, and exploiting natural resources with no concern of the consequences to the environment, human health, or the future... Shall I go on?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Of course, you will be the one to decide who "the best speakers and writers" are, won't you?
    I have long accepted the consensus of the Western intellectual elite, including rebel factions etc.
    Consensus including rebel factions. That is ridiculous on its face.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Consensus including rebel factions. That is ridiculous on its face.
    Not at all - there are no actual factions of the Western intellectual elite, not even those in general opposition to the academic centers, opposed to the establishment and maintenance of common vocabularies and meanings for basic terms.

    Concerted efforts to render words meaningless, such as those ably explicated by George Orwell et al, displayed in action by the Fox Framing punditry hired by the American corporate powers et al, are not the doings of intellectual elites.
     

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    So a couple of weeks, time for an update - we've seen a lot of politics, Republican style, and media attempts to present them within some kind of traditional-looking frame of debate, like over issues and stuff. We have also seen this taking place over the new year break - traditionally a pause for reflection and assessment.

    So what does that frame look like these last few days?

    Well - no leftwing editorials on the opinion page of either the Star Tribune (my local Minnesota paper) or the New York Times on any of the holiday weekends. No hardball "render unto Caesar and God" Christmas or New Year framing of questions directed at the Rep politicians, as far as major media reports. The entire Rep debate and caucus battle covered as a horse race of popularity, personality, and perceived character - or character traits, actually, genuine character being a dangerous topic.

    All topics that would require an assessment of history, a revisit of the life of the candidate or the country over the past couple of decades, deflected or ignored rather than emphasized.

    Science, circumstance, or historical event pretty much out of the picture, as we proceed across the Christmas and New Year timings of ritual.

    On Christmas Day, the Strib features in the early edition

    1) the ineradicable Krauthammer connecting celestial destiny with good politics without mentioning what good politics looks like. 2) Andrew Finken essaying that we are too divided and combative these days and should rediscover our common natures in local and personal relationships, by having a "goodnatured discussion, about any topic, with someone whom we know to be politically different from us". No mention of any reason why we haven't been doing that already, these past few years. 3) Kurt Ullrich essaying that Iowans are "earnest people looking in every dark corner for straightforward and honest candidates", and comparing that search to the Marian the Librarian's role in the plot of "The Music Man". Incredibly, in several hundred words more he manages to draw no further inferences about the role of earnest honesty and the nature of the Republican candidate slate or voting base in Iowa.

    On Christmas Day regular edition, the Strib features 1) a compendium of human interest accounts of gifts not welcomed that turned out to be the best (including the lesson that Texans and Southerners generally were nice people, that the lessons of poverty can be heartwarming, that helping pull a company out of a hole some investment firm in New York put them in can make someone feel good about themselves) 2) a human interest account of the difficulties soldiers have psychologically adjusting to civilian life 3) an apparently "liberal" pov account of the generosity of rich and powerful people back in 1876, when no one needed government help 4) Jason Lewis given a full column on Christmas Day to argue that the rich would be more generous if they weren't taxed so heavily.

    The NYT on Christmas Day featured 1) a description of the scene around the raising of the Russian flag (replacing the USSR flag) on December 25 twenty years ago, that ended by noting the value of supporting strong government even if it is by some horrible monster 2) Maureen Dowd reviewing Charles Dickens's approach to the Christmas some give him credit for essentially inventing, in which Dickens's recommendation that we bring to Christmas all of the past, all of the possibility, and all of the hope, as well as the present, that we can, is featured approvingly. She does not then do this - of course, her column is only so long. 4) a warm account of a guy's time with a very talkative and loud family, which he values over "Silent Night" 3) a column by Russ Douthat arguing that the perfect present for the regular family this Christmas would be a tax cut.

    So that was Christmas in the very most liberal corners of the liberal media: combat is hard on people, family is good, we all equally need to learn to get along with each other and value what we have close around us, and in the larger world bring us tax cuts.
    Last edited by iceaura; January 2nd, 2012 at 07:03 PM.
     

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    Your bumping a thread that hasn't had much recent interest.

    Get a blog or something.
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    Your bumping a thread that hasn't had much recent interest.

    Get a blog or something.
    There are entire forum categories that haven't had postings in the time since this one little thread has been idle - not even mentioning the influence of ban-happy moderators interrupting discussions.

    Moving along, then, and still taking the influential Sunday editions of the most liberal corner of the liberal US media as our illustration, we search for that ever elusive leftwing voice - illuminating our media crisis as we go:

    The Dec 18th Star Tribune features 1) most pervasive columnist and wingnut Katherine Kersten as usual (one reason these people have taken over the regular columns is they work cheap - they're subsidized by corporate philanthropy, so they don't need as much money from the newspaper itself), 2) the local female liberal, gently and with respect for both sides talking about the racial schooling gap in Minnesota, without once mentioning bigotry or economic issues or even race itself actually, praising the University president for taking the issue seriously.

    3) then this: an essay from a Muslim pundit, in which he observes that the American Salafi movement (the Tea Party and Koch brothers and Republican rhetorical approach) is strikingly parallel to (and much more powerful than) the Muslim Brotherhood everyone is worried about in Egypt, and people worried about the Musllim Brotherhood should maybe attend to the log in America's eye first.

    The headline on that, chosen by the paper's editorial staff: "Stop Fearing the Muslim Brotherhood". I don't think that was the guy's point, but it illustrates mine.

    And then Jan 1, the turning point of the calendar, in the Star Tribune: 1) Kersten again, this time explaining that hope is a great and characteristic American virtue grounded in our classless society and the "happy marriage of Athens and Jerusalem". 2) the local female liberal gently and with respect for both sides considering the latest GOP scandal of burgeoning debt and hypocritical sexual impropriety, without drawing general conclusions or mentioning historical context. 3) some almost lefty stuff, in the form of some anti-Republican cartoons in a retrospective of the best proprietary Strib cartoons from the past year. The cartoonist, "Sack", is not consistently anti-Republican, but as has been noted before rightwing people and viewpoints tend to be kind of simple and muddled, and in consequence blind to irony and deaf to parody and open to sarcasm, so the better humor tends to be at their expense rather than from them - a retrospective of the best of funny political stuff from anyone other than PJ O'Rourke is going to lean against the Republican Party. Nevertheless, there it is: anti-Republican sentiment on the editorial page, not "balanced" or qualified. Almost lefty.

    The only unalloyed representative of even anti-Republican sentiment, let alone leftwing analysis, in the three weeks of the year end holiday season Sunday liberal media's officially contracted voice, is a couple of cartoons reprinted from months ago.
     

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