Monday, May 02, 2005

Full Disclosure

This is a follow up of sorts to yesterday's posting on the Collapse of the Old Media. No matter how hard some of the MSM protest that they are not biased, their liberal slips keep showing in their reporting or, more correctly, in what they omit in their reporting. John Leo explains in his commentary.

Let's look at the John Bolton nomination. Botlon is being accused of being rude by one Melody Townsel, a contractor that reported to Bolton on a project in Russia. She claoms he chased her down the hall yelling at her. Waht you did not know about Townsel from some of the MSM, is that she also headed up the left wing Dallas chapter of Mothers Against Bush.

Does it matter that Townsel is a liberal Democrat and founder of the Dallas chapter of Mothers Opposing Bush? Maybe not. Even anti-Bush liberals can find themselves pursued through Russian hotels by rapidly moving Republicans. But it matters a lot that most news outlets withheld her partisan connections in reporting the story. Time magazine, United Press International, and three newspapers, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News, and the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, reported the information about Mothers Opposing Bush. But according to a computer search Thursday, apart from the conservative press and a couple of in-groupy Washington newsletters like Hotline and the Frontrunner, that was it in the print media.
Then there is the Giuliana Sgrena case. You remember Sgrena, the Italian communist journalist for Il Manifesto, whom the Italians paid a ransom to have released from terrorists. She first claimed that the "slowly" moving car she was in was fired on by an American tank, then changed her stroy to 300 to 400 rounds were fired at her car. She and her driver claimed that the car they were in was going slowly. CBS later reported that the car was travelling at 60mph.
Another example is the story of Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist kidnapped in Iraq. Sgrena was released after a ransom was reportedly paid, then was fired on by American troops as her car traveled to the Baghdad airport. An Italian intelligence agent in the vehicle was killed by the gunfire. The American soldiers said the vehicle was moving at a high speed and failed to respond to warning shots at a checkpoint. Sgrena said that her vehicle was moving slowly and that there was no checkpoint. She suggested she might have been deliberately targeted by Americans because the United States does not like negotiating with the insurgents. She said: "The Americans are against this type of operation. For them, war is war; human life doesn't count for much."

Few news outlets reported all of the following facts, which surely bear on her probable credibility: She strongly opposed the American invasion, she identifies with the resistance to the United States in Iraq, she works for a Communist paper, and she is a Communist herself. Many media outlets reported that her employer, Il Manifesto, is a Communist paper. Her anti-Americanism was more rarely noticed, and the fact that she is a Communist was almost always omitted. According to a computer search, the New York Times didn't use the "C" word at all in the Sgrena case, referring to Il Manifesto as a "leftist" daily. This is correct, I suppose, in the same sense that a Nazi paper could be called a "rightist" weekly.
Mr. Leo presents a couple of more examples.

The MSM rarely identifies leftists groups as just that, lefist. They try and give the illusion that some how these left wing organizations are some hoe unbiased and part of the mainstream. They do, however, go out of their way to identify right wing groups as just that, right wing. A little truth in labelling groups would go a long way in restoring a a bit of what credibility the Old Media has. - Sailor

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