May 25, 2004

War and Politics

My reaction to Bush's speech before the U.S. Army War College is now up over at The American Spectator online.

Posted by John Tabin at May 25, 2004 01:33 AM

I didn't see the speech, so I'll have to go by your and others' synopses. I guess I can agree with your appraisal of his speech, but not with how you view the situation ('progress') in Iraq. Its still unclear, one month out, exactly to whom sovereingty will be handed. That, along with the continuously mounting casualties and the think tank report just issued that the war is escalating recruitment for Al Queda (not that a report is needed for that one) kinda lead me to believe that maybe the president is being a tad optimistic when it comes to the 'progress.'
And as always, I find the assertion that there is a sensationalistic left-wing media out to ruin Bush completely preposterous.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 25, 2004 11:00 AM

To Anon:

Ninety three percent of the media identifies itself as liberal or "moderate." which is just another way of saying liberal. Only seven percent are self identified as conservatives. Give me a break.

Posted by: lee t at May 26, 2004 12:23 AM

No, give me a break.

Have you read what the supposed 'ultr-liberal' Times has printed today? It's about their coverage leading up to the war:

The problematic articles varied in authorship and subject matter, but many shared a common feature. They depended at least in part on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on "regime change" in Iraq, people whose credibility has come under increasing public debate in recent weeks. (The most prominent of the anti-Saddam campaigners, Ahmad Chalabi, has been named as an occasional source in Times articles since at least 1991, and has introduced reporters to other exiles. He became a favorite of hard-liners within the Bush administration and a paid broker of information from Iraqi exiles, until his payments were cut off last week.) Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of these exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq. Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organizations in particular, this one.


On Oct. 26 and Nov. 8, 2001, for example, Page 1 articles cited Iraqi defectors who described a secret Iraqi camp where Islamic terrorists were trained and biological weapons produced. These accounts have never been independently verified.

On Dec. 20, 2001, another front-page article began, "An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago." Knight Ridder Newspapers reported last week that American officials took that defector his name is Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri to Iraq earlier this year to point out the sites where he claimed to have worked, and that the officials failed to find evidence of their use for weapons programs. It is still possible that chemical or biological weapons will be unearthed in Iraq, but in this case it looks as if we, along with the administration, were taken in. And until now we have not reported that to our readers.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 26, 2004 10:44 AM

(and how do u manage avoiding being emailed directly?)

the NY Times is trying to do some kind of mea culpa for reporting ANYTHING that might have backed the war in Iraq, particularly Judith Miller's reporting.

The NEW REPUBLIC just pointed out that when Bush did something not so good for the environment it was headlines on the NYT, when he did something terrific, it was back paged.

The NYT has not endorsed a Republican president in sixty years!!!! They are so tendentious that one cannot even call them a newspaper.

This all would be kind of quaint, but it is clear that the media has a very powerful effect on national opinion, although less than they used to because of the media. I suspect they are worth 5-7 points to the Democrat candidates.

Posted by: LeeT at May 28, 2004 06:54 AM

Except . . .

Let's just ignore the rest of 'news' media and focus on the NYT, since that seems to be what you want to do. Since 2000, They have been so afraid a betraying a hint of liberal bias that they've printed every peice of conservative myth they could. Look at the results: The railroading of Wen Ho Lee and James Yee, the utterly uncritical recitation of GOP attacks on Al Gore, the participation in the ugly trend of discrediting the anti-war movement, the insistence of story after story about the Augusta National situation even as Ashcroft was dismantling our civil rights with the Patriot Act. And, of course, the jingoistic neo-Hearst style banging of war drums leading up to Iraq.


This 'mea culpa' of theirs was obviously nothing more than a whitewash to appease their traditional ('liberal') readership. Why, if every major story the paper was referencing was A1 material, was the statement on page A10? And why did the statement not mention Judith Miller, for one, or any of the people who were driectly responsible? And why did it place any and all blame squarely on Iraqi defectors and informants, and zero on the administration who fed them the garbage?

If the NYT makes me as pissed off as it does you, then where will their readership come from?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 28, 2004 03:56 PM

If you honestly dont know the major media leans left then we really can't discuss anything.

The NYTimes has amassed HUGE readership because they are living on their reputation. They were once a fine newspaper and they have an enormous amount of coverage and magazines and other portions of a paper that people enjoy-particularly in the arts. Lots of people still believe what they say as if it is fact. They are one of the few major papers that editorializes in their columns.

Posted by: LT at May 29, 2004 02:51 PM

. . . And if you continue to repeat the tired conservative assertion that the media leans left while ignoring everything I've just tried to explain, I concur that this discussion is over.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 2, 2004 03:12 PM