Fiedor Report on the News
October 17, 2004 #321
by: Doug Fiedor
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Copyright © 2004 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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"The only thing consistent about my opponent's positions is that
he has been inconsistent."
G. W. Bush 9/30/04
MORE LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS
Dan Rather produces forged Air Force documents and lies to the American people about a sitting president, but CBS goes about business as usual, refusing to correct the problem. Walter Cronkite calls Internet bloggers "scandalmongers," but obviously biased reporters are "journalists." Tom Brokaw defends Rather and falsified news saying that anyone demanding unbiased and honest news reporting is attempting to "demonize CBS News" with a "kind of demagoguery." Major newspapers regularly begin their liberal political editorials on the front page and call it news rather than opinion. The major networks, most major newspapers, Reuters, and the Associated Press all seem to have a vendetta against President Bush and are intentionally slanting the news in favor of the Kerry campaign and other socialist candidates. And Mark Halperin, ABC's "Political Director" of news programming for the whole news network, instructs all of ABC's radio and television newscasters to favor Kerry.
It's a rather interesting ride this election cycle. President Bush not only has to run against Kerry, who speaks mistruths in every other sentence, but Bush also has to contend with a major media that is coordinating his downfall with the Democratic Party.
Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor of Newsweek, admitted the media bias on the PBS program Inside Washington. "The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards -- I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox -- as being young and dynamic and optimistic, and there's going to be this glow about them, collective glow."
Some of us would call that a socialist stink. But, never mind.
Talk about unapologetically, blatantly biased reporting, even though Mark Halperin instructed ABC staffers to hold President Bush more "accountable" than John Kerry, an ABC official said Halperin is a "straight shooter" and "there is no action that is going to be taken" against him for the memo.
There is more to the ABC news network's institutional bias than just that, though. Last February 10 Halperin sent out what appears to be a laundry list of reasons why he expects all media people -- at least on his ABC radio and television network -- to be biased in their reporting:
"Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections. They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are 'conservative positions.' They include a belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation's problems; that more taxes on corporations and the wealthy are good ways to cut the deficit and raise money for social spending and don't have a negative affect [sic.] on economic growth; and that emotional examples of suffering (provided by unions or consumer groups) are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories."
Josef Goebbels said the same thing somewhat differently: "News should be given out for instruction rather than information."
Even the FCC is getting into the political bias game. The Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to preempt programming on more than 60 stations across the country to air the exposé "Stolen Honor" concerning John Kerry's anti-Vietnam war activities and their impact on our military. FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps overreacted remarkably:
"This is an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology -- whether liberal or conservative. Some will undoubtedly question if this is appropriate stewardship of the public airwaves. This is the same corporation that refused to air Nightline's reading of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation that short-shrifts local communities and local jobs by distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of miles away. It is a sad fact that the explicit public interest protections we once had to ensure balance continue to be weakened by the Federal Communications Commission while it allows media conglomerates to get even bigger. Sinclair, and the FCC, are taking us down a dangerous road."
It appears Copps has not been watching "news" programming like "60 Minutes" (or any of the morning "news" programs) these past couple months. Otherwise, he might not have come out sounding like such an uninformed idiot.
The Kerry campaign reply was also interesting. On Fox News, Kerry Senior Advisor Chad Clanton said about Sinclair Broadcasting: "They better hope we don't win."
ANOTHER ELECTION REPORTING SNAFU COMING UP
Anyone still remember the mess all the news outlets made of reporting election results in 2000? Many of us still wonder if that wasn't a contrived deal to help Gore. Newscasters actually were calling the winner in states (like Florida) while citizens were still voting.
The problem started with a company named Voter News Service. VNS was owned by the Associated Press and the television networks. It was a profit making organization, a business. The rabidly left AP ran a large part of VNS, so there's little surprise about how they reported things.
Generally, through polls and exit polls, VNS built profiles on various precincts throughout a state so as to try to accurately predict the outcome of an election by the afternoon of election day. That information was then shared with network television producers so they could script their talking heads to report the election results.
On election night 2000, many Americans noticed that quite often the vote results displayed at the bottom of their television screens were greatly different than what the talking heads were announcing. Many times, Gore was projected the winner of a state when, in fact, the actual vote count displayed at the bottom of the screen showed Bush with a decisive lead. In fact, the VNS "decision desk" actually gave California to Gore as soon as the California polls closed and while the vote count was still zero. All networks, being programmed from the same consortium, immediately announced California for Gore within seconds of each other.
Generally speaking, the media does not project a state's results until the polls in that state have all closed. However, in 2000, they were in a hurry to cause a win for Gore. So, VNS -- and hence, all network news programs -- announced Florida as a win for Gore even before the Florida Panhandle polls were closed. The Panhandle is on Central time, you see, so the polls stayed open an hour later.
There is good data to support the fact that the early call for Florida and the so called "battleground states" helped suppress the conservative turnout in the West. That, of course, helped Gore quite a bit.
Later, the networks were forced to take back the Florida call for Gore. Much later, at 2:16 a.m., Fox News Channel declared Bush the winner in Florida. Within four minutes, NBC, CBS, CNN and ABC did exactly the same. That's when they all declared Bush the next President of the United States. All votes in all states were not yet counted. But, that wasn't important to the TV newsreaders.
Then, after 4 a.m., it became clear that the close Florida count was going south for Bush and would be contested. So, they had to take Florida away from Bush. Again, this happened at the same time on all networks.
By Wednesday, television networks tried to explain how they totally screwed up the call on the Florida election results -- twice. But, they couldn't really say much without digging themselves too deep in lies and deceptions, and/or letting America know that they are but talking puppets in the scheme of things. "We don't just have egg on our face," NBC's Tom Brokaw said. "We have an omelet."
Those of us on the Internet had raw data rather than VNS projections. Any network could have used the same data. ABC news ran a web site that updated the voter data in each state by the minute. But, they did not use their own site for broadcast reporting. Rather, they were programmed by the same VNS "projections" all other news programs used. The liberal AP was telling them what to say.
Many newspapers were not much better. Newspaper writers across the country wrote reports based on what they heard on TV and from the AP wires. So, after 4 a.m., there were reports of editors across the country shouting "stop the presses!"
The Voter News Service "decision desk" screwed up royally. According to some, VNS totally misanalyzed the Florida vote and embarrassed the network news shows.
Those VNS "mistakes" certainly benefited Gore at the polls. A lot, too.
Another interesting point: Those professional newsreaders, who were instructed to deride Dubya for occasionally mispronouncing a word or two on the campaign trail, themselves developed a bit of a diction problem. After 8 or 10 hours, the anchors and pundits were all babbling and butchering words regularly. Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Cokie Roberts, Chris Matthews, all of them were articulating poorly. Now they know how candidates feel at the end of a long day on the campaign trail.
Yet another interesting point that should be related is these newsreaders expressed disdain for the Internet reporting of Matt Drudge. All networks (and many newspapers) made many, many more errors in one twelve hour period than Drudge had in a few years.
Fast forward to 2004 and network executives are vowing to do better on Nov. 2. "No one wants a repeat of what happened, when we became part of the story of election night," said NBC News Vice President Bill Wheatley.
"We all learned a lesson four years ago," said Fox News Senior Vice President John Moody. "There will probably be an abundance of caution in most newsrooms, at least in ours."
Voter News Service was abolished in January of last year after they totally screwed up the results again in the 2002 election. Does that mean the problem is corrected for this November? Nope! They're at it yet again.
According to Lawrence K. Grossman, who is a former president of NBC News and PBS, there is a new group taking the place of VNS this year. As Grossman wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review:
"To save money, the networks will once again join forces to tally votes for the primaries, caucuses, and elections. This time, they've contracted with two firms, headed by the former CBS News election polling veterans Warren Mitofsky and Joseph Lenski, to work together to conduct exit polls and supply data from a single set of sample precincts for all the networks' projections. The AP will collect the actual nationwide vote totals."
So there you have it. Election results will be compiled and reported by former CBS political reporters and reported by the rabidly left AP.
They might just as well have let the Kerry campaign do it.
RAMBLINGS ON THE CAMPAIGN
Did I hear Kerry mention Constitutional "rights we afford the people" in Wednesday's debate? Yeah, I did. How stupid! But, that's what happens when you let a lawyer talk.
Our "rights" are said (by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, and a couple dozen other Founding Fathers) to be "unalienable," natural rights, God given, and to be protected -- not violated -- by government. That's what separates us from other countries. Some people in our government still believe a little of that.
Government was formed to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." It says so right in the Preamble to our Constitution. Kerry just doesn't get it.
The best pull-quote (seldom used) from last Wednesday's debate is the simplest: "There is a mainstream of American politics and you sit on the far left bank," President Bush said to John Kerry.
Sure, there are many Liberty matters I feel greatly different about than the Bush administration. But, you know, there have been a few things about the Bush administration that made me feel good.
For instance, I usually refuse to push the hot button of the abortion topic, but something needs to be said here: I felt proud that I voted for a President (and two Congress critters) who enacted a law making the euthanasia of almost-born babies (partial-birth abortion) illegal. As someone who had a long career in medical research directed at trying to keep people alive, I found the practice of partial-birth abortion to be extremely aggravating and revolting. Others can discuss the religious implications. I will not do so here. But, John Kerry still tries to call himself a Catholic while supporting that atrocity? Well, the Church doesn't.
I was also happy when, as President, Dubya had his top attorneys inform the Supreme Court that the federal government will now support Second Amendment rights -- his later quips about "assault weapons" notwithstanding. And, as someone who tends to watch the regulatory bureaucracy, I have been impressed with some of the changes that were quietly made over the past couple years. EPA started out poorly managed, but Duyba finally got rid of the deadwood at the top (pun intended).
For instance, did anyone else notice that there were no massive forest fires on government land this year? No, I suppose not. Good events do not get reported. That is not yet a trend, of course, just one year. But, it's encouraging that few homes were lost, people killed or animals fried from government allowed forest fires this year. I expect a future Bush administration to make that a trend. Bush made regulation changes. Congress is following up with formal legislation.
This election cycle is probably the meanest and most obnoxious in my lifetime. The flip-flopping "I have a plan" Senator seems to be allowed to say just about any damn thing he wishes with impunity because the media gives him a free pass. Yet, they intentionally nitpick most everything Bush says. Interesting, that. Even long term Democrats on the street are noticing that disturbing trend, and commenting.
In my uniquely Arab neighborhood, terrorism and national security are hot topics. After all, most of these people are trying to become good Americans and do not wish to be lumped into a problem group. So it was interesting talking with a few who professed to be Kerry supporters (most support Bush) when the topic turned to national security. When I informed them that Kerry, while on the Security committee in the Senate for eight years, missed 76% of the meetings, they were surprised. When I mentioned that Edwards, who is now on the committee, missed 70% of the meetings, they became disturbed. When I told them that Kerry actually voted to severely decrease funding for the FBI, CIA, border patrol and other agencies defending our national security, they started worrying about their choice. When I sent them documentation to back up everything I said, commitments to vote for Bush drifted back my way.
The truth is its own best defense. That's what keeps this Bush campaign alive -- not his presentation. It's a fact that, whether you agree with him or not, what George W. Bush says is what he intends to do.
It's too bad that President Bush downplays some of his most attractive programs for the next four years. Abolishing the IRS in favor of a flat tax is in the mix and a very attractive change. So are medical savings accounts. The private retirement accounts program is also way over due. So are tax-free education accounts.
I expect all these programs to materialize under another Bush administration. That is, I expect that Dubya will show the leadership necessary to get Congress working on them.
Forget about any of that with Kerry. None of these programs support his socialist vision of America.
And look what the Democrats are offering: Foreign poll monitors and lawyers supervising our election process. If I see them at my polling place, I hope they can swim 'cause there is a river nearby. We must never suffer such interlopers quietly.
Already, Democrats are aggravating the black population, saying Republicans will impede their right to vote. Now I see a Drudge Report of a Democratic Party memo stating that: "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a 'pre-emptive strike.'" Yet, the media still refuses to mention how the Democrats impeded the military vote four years ago -- and want to do so again.
Also not mentioned by the liberal national media is the couple hundred million bucks the unions are spreading around to Social-Democrat activists and other types of riffraff as "walking around" and "get out the vote" money. They call it activism. I have always called it what it really is: voter fraud in progress.
Yes, this is a very vicious campaign cycle. The socialists in the media and the Democratic Party are worried. Very worried. They are pulling every dirty trick they know out of their hats. This year, the socialists in the national media have lost all pretense of objectivity.
Of course, they have a lot to lose if President Bush wins next month. Bush says what he means and will do what he says. Just abolishing the IRS and going with a flat tax could go far in removing part of the stranglehold the socialists have on the American people.
There's yet another little topic Americans may wish to discuss. Is the White House the proper place for on-the-job training as an executive? The only thing John Kerry and John Edwards have ever run is their mouths. I would not want them trying to run my business. I certainly do not trust them to run my country.
Copyright © 2004 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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