Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Faux News, Fair and Balanced


Spokane Al said...

What is the difference between this and Matt Lauer leading off the Today Show broadcast by talking about an upcoming story on the "so called" surge? These were his words.

Joyce said...

I guess I don't see anything critical or partisan in Lauer's statement. It is a surge; at least that's the only thing I've heard it called. I don't hear anything critical of the war, the soldiers, the war effort, the Republicans, or anybody in that statement. It seems neutral to me. (Am I missing something?)

On the other hand, to say that the Democrats are setting out to lose the war is beyond partisan and there's nothing neutral about it. It's an obvious slam and it's also a misrepresentation of what the Democratic intent is in passing this latest legislation (which Bush will veto, near fear).
I think Faux News has the right to exist because other media outlets sometimes offer a liberal bias, but it's usually clear what "side" any given news source is on. Fox keeps insisting it is "fair" and "impartial," and gives "the real news," but there is clearly a conversative agenda behind it.

Spokane Al said...

My problem with Lauer's comment was that I could hear the sarcasm in the "so called" part of the statement. If he was truly trying to be impartial why add the "so called" words to the news teaser except to let us know, in an underhanded way, how he felt about the situation. That tells me that he is telling me, in a less than honest way precisely what he truly thinks of the war effort.

I think both sides are less than honest in providing their so called unbiased views.

I guess I just disagree with your perspective that it is usually clear what side the news source is on. That has been the problem with the traditional media is that while it tells us that it is impartial, the story lines tend to take a very partial perspective.

Joyce said...

Oh, okay. I didn't watch the Today Show this morning so I didn't hear the tone of voice. If there was sarcasm, then you're right, Lauer was expressing something negative in any case. What, who knows, except that for maybe he's anti-surge.

For me, anyway, with the traditional media, it seems the bias or slant is more often in the direction of whatever the country's overall view is at the time. Like now, the consensus of the populace seems to be against the war, and thus the media slants more in that direction. On the other hand, like right after 9-11 and even into the invasion of Iraq, many liberals (such as myself) were against the war but the news seemed for it, offering up as evidence without question the claim of WMD, ties to Al Quaeda, and so on. I can recall lots of folks getting indignant with the traditional media, saying it wasn't doing "hard, objective" reporting and investigating as it should be doing and was merely shilling for the Bush Administration.

So, for everybody, perhaps it boils down to: "if the media agrees with me, it's not biased; if it agrees with you, it is." :-) There are 13 different ways of looking at a blackbird, as the poet said. Whose view is "right?"

Joyce said...

Hey, here's an article with commentary about the surge that might interest you, Al. No worries, it's from the Moderate Voice. :-)


Spokane Al said...

Thank you for the link. The information was very interesting.

Here is a link that you might find interesting as well - http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009754 - it is written by a long time Iraqi blogger. I wonder why we see so little of this kind of news in the mainstream media.

You and I come from completely different political perspectives in that I find the FOX headline to be exactly on target. We set a date for a pullout and we are setting a date for defeat. I just cannot comprehend that line of reasoning.

Anyway, as always, the best to you on this spring day and I hope the sunshine will get you out and running on the roads - ready or not Bloomsday is coming!

Joyce said...

It's no surprise we don't see eye to eye on this kinda stuff, 'cause we never do! :-) For me, see, I think being in Iraq without an exit strategy/deadline/timeline/goal for accomplishment commits us to being there indefinitely. These peoples, just like the North Vietnamese, are infinitely patient and have their religious convictions behind them and will simply wait for us to leave, then their Civil War will recommence. Doesn't matter if we leave tomorrow, next year, or in twenty years. So why try to fight the inevitable? I'm still not sure what it is we're really trying to accomplish at this point. Even if we "win," what happens when we leave? Whatever govt we may prop up is bound to collapse because there's so much anti-U.S. sentiment in that entire region ,and the govt will be seen as a "puppet govt" of the U.S. (I know what we'd love to see is democracy in the Middle East, but...this is milleniums of culture we're trying to change.) Of course, I'm pretty sure you'll see this as defeatist on my part (whereas I see it as realistic, and let's spend the billions of dollars instead on fixing broken things here at home, such as the sorry state of our educational system).

Which is likely why the mainstream media is fairly simple-minded...most outlets take a side and stay pretty much white bread. The average American reads at an 8th grade reading level.

Anyway, I wish I could run outside today! Still fighting this cold. But as soon as I feel better, I'll be out there, you can bet. At least we have that in common. :-)