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Mark Heide
02-09-2003, 06:33 PM
My complaint last time I posted was that the broadcast news media in the US, specifically ABC, NBC, and CBS which are watched by most Americans did not even mention the BBC World story about Tony Blair's Dossier which was broadcast on PBS in the USA and posted on the BBC News web site.

After doing some searching on the internet, I had discovered that MSNBC posted a story about it on Friday, but I have seached the CBS and ABC sites and there is no mention of the story. I have emailed both CBS and ABC and asked them why they have not covered it. So far, I have not had a reply back. Anyway, my point is that most Americans watch the three major network news channels CBS, NBC, and ABC. Since, the story was not aired, I believe that these news organizations were told by the Bush administration to not cover it, so public opinion for war would not decrease.

Lastly, the only two major American organizations that I know that covered the story on the internet were MSNBC and CNN. Here's the links:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/870100.asp#BODY

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/02/07/sprj.irq.uk.dossier/index.html

Since, most people in the US watch the tube for information, they will not hear about this story.

Mark

Jimbo
02-09-2003, 06:44 PM
Mark I know just what you mean! Less than 3 months ago my neighbors cat had kittens and I never saw this televised although it made the front page in our Homeowners Association newsletter. Since, the story was not aired, I believe that these news organizations were told by the Bush administration to not cover it, so public opinion for kittens would not increase.

morgan
02-09-2003, 08:38 PM
Mark, thanks for the post, as I also believe the major US news centers make "interesting" decisions on what to broadcast and what not to. However I can't say that I agree the White House had anything directly to do with it. I think the reasons can be complex. I know that Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote about the media workings in "Manufacturing Consent". I've been meaning to read it, as it has come highly recommended.

As for Jimbo's neighbor's cat... well who knows who dropped the ball there. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

Peace,

Morgan

Gabe
02-09-2003, 09:46 PM
Could it be because it is incredibly boring?

Mark Heide
02-10-2003, 03:12 PM
Jimbo,

I'm using this issue with the Tony Blair Dossier to prove a point about news suppression in this US. It was briefly mentioned in NBCs Meet The Press, but it was reported as Blair got his information from magazines and didn't mention anything in detail in order to play it softly. You can read the BBC and Channel 4 stories about how old the information is. From the response here I think this news story would change some of the public opinion polls in new directions. None of the major networks in the US are questioning Powell report, but you can read the news at the BBC.

Putting politics aside, my issue is that the major news networks in the US only report what they want and what they are told to do by the government and the corporations that run them. This story about Tony Blair's Dossier is a perfect example. Lastly, it makes the US no different from any other country when it comes to biased news reporting.

Mar

Mark Heide
02-10-2003, 03:21 PM
Morgan,

Many people in the US think that since we have freedom and can basically do what we want can't imagine the US government suppressing news events and suggesting or asking news organizations not to report it.

An older post I put up about Clouzot's Wages of Fear movie won the Cannes Film Award back in 1953. But, because the move depicted US oil companies taking advantage of cheap labor, Hollywood edited the 22 minutes out of the film. The unedited version of the film was finally released in 1998, 45 years later. This had to do with Hollywood's ties with the oil companies back in the fifties.

Mark

MMMMMM
02-10-2003, 03:21 PM
In my view it isn't that big a story anyway--it doesn't change the case substantially, and it doesn't mean that the report was farcical. So they didn't footnote everything--OK, mistake--but as the Jane's pointed out, use of open source materials in intelligence dossiers is quite common.

MH: "Lastly, it makes the US no different from any other country when it comes to biased news"

If you're just talking bias rather than censorship, maybe--but the US is still head and shoulders above countries with state-run news media.

Mark Heide
02-10-2003, 03:24 PM
Can you see why I can make the assumption to accuse the US government of surpressing news?

It wasn't boring on this forum.

Mark Heide
02-10-2003, 03:32 PM
M,

You stated,"If you're just talking bias rather than censorship, maybe--but the US is still head and shoulders above countries with state-run news media."

I'm talking about both. The US run media is owned by large corporations and are forced to be biased by their owners. Censorship comes with bias. There are many examples in the past and I don't think the US media is any different in it's biases from the Iraqi, British, French, Soviet, or German media.

Mark

MMMMMM
02-10-2003, 03:47 PM
French, German, maybe Russian--you might well be right regarding them--but no different from the Iraqi media??? Well then, how do you feel about the North Korean media?

adios
02-10-2003, 05:11 PM
My complaint last time I posted was that the broadcast news media in the US, specifically ABC, NBC, and CBS which are watched by most Americans did not even mention the BBC World story about Tony Blair's Dossier which was broadcast on PBS in the USA and posted on the BBC News web site.

Lastly, the only two major American organizations that I know that covered the story on the internet were MSNBC and CNN.

Putting politics aside, my issue is that the major news networks in the US only report what they want and what they are told to do by the government and the corporations that run them.

I'm talking about both. The US run media is owned by large corporations and are forced to be biased by their owners. Censorship comes with bias. There are many examples in the past and I don't think the US media is any different in it's biases from the Iraqi, British, French, Soviet, or German media.

If the USA is telling the media what to convey as news why not tell PBS, MSNBC and CNN as well? Mark you allegation that the USA government tells the media what to convey as news is preposterous and borders on lunacy. Its claims like this and obfuscation of the issues involved with Iraq that really, really detract from the credibility of those who oppose an armed conflict with Iraq and the war on terrorism. Equating the Iraqi media to the USA media further erodes your credibility.

MMMMMM
02-10-2003, 08:02 PM
Good reply Tom.

By the way, I'm glad that someone else is pointing out examples of something which have been bothering me for a long time: false equivalences and obfuscations arise frequently in discussions/articles/essays of this type-- political/social/economic/cultural/strategic issues can be quite complex, so to some degree this is unavoidable. However everyone would do well to remain alert for such "fuzzy thinking", because where there are significant false equivalences or obfuscations, the conclusions drawn can easily be different, or even inverted(!), from what should rationally be determined.

There is probably some media bias almost anywhere, and the US government might occasionally request the news media not to carry certain stories (especially if there are serious military/security implications--but in these cases we can almost rest assured that someone will "leak" the story anyway;-). However to compare this with the former Soviet Union's absolute control of Pravda is absurd IMO, and I don't quite see how anyone could completely believe that.

Anyway it's been a good while since our posts crossed paths;-)--and I would like to say that I have always considered your posts to be very thoughtful, sincere, and frequently quite thought-provoking.

Plzr
02-10-2003, 11:32 PM
at the moment ,major media coverage of current events is extremely sketchy and biased. I find it hard to subscribe to the idea of a "conspiracy" to deliberately misinform us.Rather it has more to do with the "entertainment" angle which they are increasingly packaging the news. Things like avoiding the more unpleasant aspects of the world while trying to put a more gentle spin on things overall.
Of course this is more of an indictment of the dismal level of awareness of your typical US citizen than anything else.After all the networks are just slavishly trying to follow the viewing tastes of the least common denominator of our society.
The really bad part comes when the GOP pushes through the "Media Consolidation Act" and then the control over almost all the news outlets ,from papers to radio/TV stations will belong to a handful of conglomerates. Try to find someone telling the unvarnished truth then !!

Mark Heide
02-11-2003, 04:13 AM
Tom,

You ask the question,"If the USA is telling the media what to convey as news why not tell PBS, MSNBC and CNN as well?"

Before the Gulf War, the former Bush administration told the press to leave Baghdad, so ABC, NBC, and CBS left. Ted Turner, who was the owner of CNN told Bush that he represents an international news organization and will stay. Note, that CNN was not considered to have a major audience at that time. Back in 1991 I knew few people that had cable hookups, and they are not one of the mostly watched networks today either.

Here's a link to the article that proves that the Bush administration ordered the media to leave (from an American source):

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0120-04.htm

Furthermore, I don't think the administration would worry about PBS or MSNBC or any other small news source, because the size of it's viewership combined is only a fraction of what ABC, CBS, and NBC get. I consider ABC, CBS, and NBC to be very soft on the Bush administration since 9/11. These news organizations are not doing any hard hitting investigative reporting concerning political issues like they have prior to 9/11. With all the media mergers, these companies have become mega media outlets. Furthermore, they align themselves with the corporate image. It would be impossible for NBC to report a negative story on GE. Plus, GE donates money to political canidates (I've think I have said enough on this).

You have also critized me for equating the Iraqi media with the USA media. Note that, the USA media I'm fundamentally concerned with is the broadcasters ABC, NBC, and CBS, because most Americans get their news in the formats provided by these networks, and most do not look for an alternative source.

The views of the world are worlds apart between Americans and Islamic Iraqis. The major population in Baghdad is the Islamic Iraqis. They are very religious and are not materialistic like Americans. The Iraqis look at Americans as the evil empire, somewhat similar to the Iranian situation back in the late 70's. So, the way these people live my look like they are oppressed when compared to your values.

I couldn't find any translation of the Iraqi media, but I did find a newpaper based in Egypt that has the middle east point of view with contrasting views to the major media in the USA. Here's a link to it:

http://metimes.com/2K3/issue2003-6/methaus.htm

I think this publication represent the middle eastern view of the world, and I'm sure many of the articles here are reprinted in arabic and published in Iraq. After you read this paper, imagine that this was one of the only newspapers that you have read all your life, and I think your viewpoint may change.

Mark

nicky g
02-11-2003, 06:58 AM
"use of open source materials in intelligence dossiers is quite common."

That's true, adn I don't think the plagiarism aspect was too interesting a story either, though they handled it badly. But what interested me is that it wasn't an intelligence dossier in any real sense; it was compiled not by the security services but by TOny Blair's press advisers, on their own with no assistance from MI6 etc. I think it's pretty bad when spin doctory is being presented as intelligence material. Could it be they didn't go to the real intelligence services because they knew the real intelligence wouldn't back them up?

WTF
02-11-2003, 07:31 AM
"I believe that these news organizations were told by the Bush administration to not cover it.."

Yeah, the Republicans have a lot of pull with the media, just ask George's daughters Jenna and Barbara. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif

MMMMMM
02-11-2003, 10:54 AM
I remember the networks being ordered out of Iraq. So what? That still doesn't support your contention that there is no difference between the Iraqi, Soviet or US news medias.

Just how can you possibly equate the US mainstream news media with the former Soviet news media, which was 100% state-controlled???

Please explain. At the moment I can't think of anything I've read in recent years which strikes me as more asinine than this statement.

adios
02-11-2003, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the support. I think many of the issues brought up are "red herrings" more or less. War is a terrible thing that needs to be avoided if possible. I don't think that taking a "soft" stance with Hussein will be effective in disarming him from weapons and material to make weapons that will certainly be used to commit terrorist acts in the USA.

nicky g
02-11-2003, 01:33 PM
"I don't think that taking a "soft" stance with Hussein will be effective in disarming him from weapons and material to make weapons that will certainly be used to commit terrorist acts in the USA. "

[My bold]
Whyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhy do people keep saying that this is "certain" when there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that this will happen. /forums/images/icons/frown.gif If you're going to say this is a certainty could you tell us how you know, when noone else seems to? You're welcome to believe it but you just can't say that something's certain when noone can conclusively back it up.

MMMMMM
02-11-2003, 03:18 PM
Saddam already supports terrorists (Palestinian homicide bombers), he hates the USA, and called for jihad against us. I suspect the that USA's (and other countries') claims that he is linked with al Qaeda are true. Anyways, allowing him to continue possessing WMD consitutes a grave risk to our allies and the region even if you rule out the possibility of attacks on US soil using his weapons. Should this man be allowed the power to blackmail the world with threats of oilfield annihilation at some future date? Should he possess the means to destroy Israel? His entire miltary philosophy is offensive in nature--as is the actual structure of his military--and he's working on missiles and UAV's with greater and greater ranges--he can already strike southern Europe with WMD's delivered by missile. Why--oh why--should we allow him to continue in this vein when he has demonstrated clearly his tendencies towards aggressive military actions? And why should we trust that Saddam won't provide terrorists with these weapons? Maybe you would prefer trusting him but I surely don't. The man is obviously totally untrustworthy.

Yes war has a price--a tragic price--but so too would allowing Saddam to remain in power (he will continue to torture and murder his own citizens on a wide scale, even if he never commits aggression outside Iraq again). Not going to war carries risks which I, and many others, deem unacceptable. You ask for evidence or proof--I think there is some, though we are not privy to all of it--but for me, the man's past actions and character are all the evidence I need to not trust him one single inch, and to feel most strongly that there is no way in hell this aggressive tyrant should be allowed to possess history's most devastating weapons. I'm simply not willing to risk the security of my country, or of our allies, or the world's oilfields, by trusting the likes of Saddam Hussein.

nicky g
02-11-2003, 06:49 PM
You "suspect." That's fine and I respect your arguments; you state your worries based on past actions and so on. I pesonally am a lot less worried about oil fields (partly beasue I don't care too much about oil and partly because i don't see Saddam permanently crippling his country's exports). But there's no proof and there's no point pretending there is. Many of the thing you say Saddam could do havn't been done despite decades of opportunity.
I have a lot ofrespect for your arguments, but they wouldn't stand up to international law an there's no point pretending that there is a case that would.

ripdog
02-11-2003, 07:29 PM
The Myth of An American Free Press
by John Swinton
Chief of Staff, New York Times
(Considered "the Dean of his Profession" by his peers)
...when asked to give a toast at the New York Press Club in 1953.


"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."


Some things never change, eh?

MMMMMM
02-11-2003, 08:21 PM
I'm not pretending anything, and I believe that Powell outlined a pretty good case recently. At any rate, "Innocent until proven guilty" is no longer an appropriate approach when it comes to the special case of Saddam and Iraq.

Mark Heide
02-12-2003, 03:08 AM
M,

You stated,"I remember the networks being ordered out of Iraq. So what?"

This is a known documented example of the former Bush administration telling the press what to do.

"That still doesn't support your contention that there is no difference between the Iraqi, Soviet or US news medias."

The media supports the views of the majority of it's citizens and government. Whether it is state owned in a socialist government or owned by it's citizens in a capitalistic government does not make a difference. The end result is still the same. What distroys the credibility of the media is internal to the system that it exists.

The Soviet Union was a socialist government. The views of it's media is going to reflect the values of its citizens and government as long as the majority of its citizens can live within a "comfort zone." What happened is this system of government failed somehow (don't ask me the reasons why). When it's media no longer reflected the views of it's citizens along with its government, socialism failed, and the media and government changed. The form of government has drastically changed, but if you interview it's citizens that are more than 50 years old you will find a majority that preferred the old Soviet Union. It is simply due to the fact that they lived most of their formative years in this environment.

The same is true for the United States. If you are brought up in a capitalist society, you will have a difficult time understanding a socialist way of life. The socialist way of life did work for sometime before it failed.

As for the United States, the same concepts apply. As long as the majority of people are living in a "comfort zone", they will be satisfied with their media and government.

Lastly, it's more like religion. The worlds religions used to govern their citizens, and still do to some degree. The middle east governments are still based on religion. So, I'm sure a majority of Islamic Iraqis in Baghdad would tell you that there media proclaims the truth and in their world it does. Because if it didn't, there would be an uprising, just like in the former Soviet Union. The government and media would adapt and change to the majority viewpoint.

Mark

Mark Heide
02-12-2003, 03:17 AM
ripdog,

That's what happens when you work for a corporation. It's like living in a dictatorship for eight hours a day. But, at least it's only a little less than a third of your life.

"The more things change the more things stay the same." I don't remember who wrote it.

Mark

Mark Heide
02-12-2003, 03:30 AM
Plzr,

I basically agree with your perception of the media. They only misinform the public when it is in their best interests to do so. That best interest could be the goverment or it's parent corporation. A perfect example from the past is Hurst and how he built his newspaper empire. There is a PBS documentary available with the Citizen Kane movie that documents his life. Hurst was the first media giant. He made up stories about people he didn't like and printed it in all his newspapers whether it was true or false. If the story sounds believable, people will believe it's true.


Mark

MMMMMM
02-12-2003, 09:07 AM
In claiming there is no difference between the US news media and the former Soviet news media, you are equating bias, or rare orders to the press to clear out of a war zone (USA), with 100% state control of everything the media publishes (USSR).

You are also vaguely claiming that the overall influence exerted by the populace/government in both countries is the same. A simple example should suffice to put this erroneous notion to rest: Doesn't the USA media frequently attack the US government? The New York Times, lol? But under Soviet rule, the newspapers ALWAYS towed the party line--else they knew they would lose their jobs and probably be arrested or worse. I mean, c'mon, let's get real here.

Doesn't degree of bias or degree of censorship/control mean anything to you?

100% state control is very different than mild or modest bias, and very different from wartime orders to the press to vacate a war zone.

I can't believe you believe this nonsense--I'm truly stunned.

MMMMMM
02-12-2003, 09:19 AM
...to say that because the media to some degree reflects the views of the populace and government, that it does so in the same proportions in every country. In totalitarian systems it reflects the view of the government to a much greater relative degree.

Also, much of the news ISN'T about "views" at all--it's about "facts" (although some degree of bias may occasionally be unavoidable). Under totalitarian systems many facts cannot be printed, and this censorship occurred quite frequently in the USSR, and no doubt occurs today too in the Iraqi press.

Just because things appear to have some similarities doesn't mean they are the same. And degree can make two things of the same or similar class actually worlds apart instead of equivalent.

brad
02-12-2003, 04:28 PM
dan rather said in a bbc interview he felt he intimidated into not reporting on certain things or something.

heres a link i found from a 2 second google search. i think greg palast from bbc was the one interviewing him.

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dan+rather+criticism&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=3ce4f83e.43813065%40nntp.ix.netcom.com&rnum =2

IrishHand
02-12-2003, 06:37 PM
The "self-censorship in the media" that Mr. Rather refers to has been going on for a while. My godfather actually wrote something similar in an e-mail to me recently:

I remember when I was on a journalism exchange to the Soviet Union in
1986, Gorbachev's first year in power. We met with journalists in each
city we visited (Moscow, Leningrad, Tallinn (Estonia), Tashkent,
Samarkand (both Uzbekistan). What struck me was the way in which they
self-censored themselves. But I also realized that I never saw an
editorial in the Globe and Mail attacking the underlying tenets of
capitalism, that western journalists self-censored themselves as well.
We never really challenged the fundamental beliefs of our societies
either.

Certainly, I don't think this is the same thing as news being suppressed (the topic of this thread), but it's worth thinking about.