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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Say goodnight Dan... Please!

When I watch the news on TV, I don't want it "interpreted" or "enhanced". I don't give a crap what the newspersons personnel opinion is. Rather was infamous for putting his "spin" on the news. I thought a reporter "reported" the news, not made it. His last GOOF was his last. GTFO Dan [:o)] http://www.ratherbiased.com/news/

"I have spent MOST of the money I have made in my life on expensive women, expensive cars, and expensive drugs. The rest I just wasted." S-KLASSE8, "Belief in the supernatural, reflects a failure in the imagination." - Edward Abbey "Give me a firm place to stand, and I will move the Earth." - Archimedes - 1979 (fully restored) 450SLC - 1989 (fully restored)420SEL - "S CLASS STYLE - S CLASS ATTITUDE"
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 04:54 PM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

Rather was no more or less biased than any other newscaster. They're human beans.

Here's an interesting perspective on news people in general.

Bot

A First Draft of History?
Call the rewrite man!

BY BRET STEPHENS
Monday, March 7, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

Remember Japan Inc.? If you were a semi-sentient consumer of news in the 1980s, it was hard to avoid the impression that Japan would soon overtake the U.S. in global economic clout, if its corporations didn't just purchase the country outright. They've got Rockefeller Center! They're gobbling up Hollywood! Chalmers Johnson, Clyde Prestowitz and other soi-disant experts pronounced sagely on the invincible Japanese model of industrial organization, while the media supplied a diet of stories about how companies such as Sony or Honda remained world-beaters, year-in and year-out.

Now consider the amazing media about-face in recent weeks on Iraq. Prior to Jan. 30, dateline Baghdad was dateline Götterdämmerung. Now it's dateline Democracy. Bombs are still exploding, but we aren't reading much anymore about how we're losing hearts and minds, or how Iraq is ethnically too fractious to have a meaningful democracy. Instead, the media connect the dots between elections in Baghdad and events in Beirut, Cairo and Ramallah, and talk about 1989.

It's right that they should do so. But we should also connect the dots between today's Iraq and 1980s Japan. The myth of Japan Inc. took hold because there was so little Western reporting to suggest that not all was well with the Japanese economy. So, when Japan's real-estate bubble burst and the economy flatlined for over a decade, the world was caught unawares. The myth of an Iraqi quagmire took hold for similar reasons--the media was so busy telling the story of everything that was going wrong in Iraq that it broadly missed what was going right.

The cliché is that journalism is the first draft of history. Yet a historian searching for clues about the origins of many of the great stories of recent decades--the collapse of the Soviet empire; the rise of Osama bin Laden; the declining American crime rate; the economic eclipse of Japan and Germany--would find most contemporary journalism useless. Perhaps a story here or there might, in retrospect, seem illuminating. But chances are it would have been nearly invisible at the time of publication: eight column inches, page A12.

The problem is not that journalists can't get their facts straight: They can and usually do. Nor is it that the facts are obscure: Often, the most essential facts are also the most obvious ones. The problem is that journalists have a difficult time distinguishing significant facts--facts with consequences--from insignificant ones. That, in turn, comes from not thinking very hard about just which stories are most worth telling.

Take Western coverage of Israelis and Palestinians over the past dozen years. During the years of the peace process, a succession of journalists trooped through the region, reporting a handful of stories: the expansion of Israeli settlements; the chemistry between Yasser Arafat and the Israeli prime minister, and their relationship with Bill Clinton; the exact percentage of land offered by Israel at various stages of negotiation; the conflict between moderates and "extremists on both sides."

These were "true" stories, in the sense that they were (for the most part) factually accurate and reflected the realities of the peace process. But the peace process was not the only relevant reality of the time. Arafat and his lieutenants continued to call for Israel's destruction in speeches to Arab audiences. Palestinian Authority maps of the region, posted in schools and public buildings, had nothing named "Israel" on them. Billions in foreign aid were pumped into the PA, but there was little to show for it in terms of a better economy. Arafat's political opponents were sacked from their jobs, arrested, tortured or simply shot by masked men in the street.

All this was public knowledge throughout the 1990s. But because the information sat so awkwardly with the central premises of the peace process--namely, that Arafat was committed to peace and that the Palestinian problem was foreign occupation, not domestic tyranny--it tended to be dismissed as so much trivia. So the PA is corrupt: What else is new? So Arafat makes incendiary speeches? Rhetoric for the masses. Few people could recognize then that Arafat wasn't the key to peace, but the principal obstacle to it. Today that's conventional wisdom.

A similar dynamic took place once the intifada began and the media meta-narrative switched from "peace process" to "cycle of violence." Here, supposedly, Israelis and Palestinians engaged in acts of tit-for-tat killing; whenever a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up in a Jerusalem café, one could be sure to learn that his brother had been killed by the Israeli army. Yet while the cycle-of-violence hypothesis was highly convenient for reporters reluctant to pin the blame on one side, it was also falsifiable--and false: When the Israelis invaded the West Bank and killed the top ranks of Hamas, the incidence of terrorism didn't rise. It peaked.

It is, of course, impossible to anticipate "events," in Harold MacMillan's sense of the word. But none of the examples listed here belong in that category. Norman Podhoretz predicted the peace process would lead to war. Charles Wolf saw the hollowness of Japan Inc. Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union. And George W. Bush understood, and said, that a free Iraq would serve as a beacon of liberty for the oppressed Arab world.
As for the media, it shouldn't be too difficult to do better. Look for the countervailing data. Broaden your list of sources. Beware of exoticizing your subject: If you think that Israelis and Palestinians operate from no higher motive than revenge, you're on the wrong track. Above all, never forget the obvious: that the law of supply and demand operates in Japan, too; that the Soviet Union was a state governed by fear; that Iraqis aren't rooting for their killers; that, if given the chance, people will choose to be free.

Simple maxims, but how much embarrassment would the media be spared if only they followed them.

Mr. Stephens is a member of the Journal's editorial board.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 05:23 PM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

Quote:
S-KLASSE8 - 3/10/2005 6:15 PM

When I watch the news on TV, I don't want it "interpreted" or "enhanced". I don't give a crap what the newspersons personnel opinion is. Rather was infamous for putting his "spin" on the news. I thought a reporter "reported" the news, not made it. His last GOOF was his last. GTFO Dan
Maybe you have not been watching carefully. Take a look at Peter Jennings with his cocked head and his eyebrow motions. Think he does not have an agenda to put forth?

Or, how about Stone Phillips? This asshole has nothing but his "enhanced" version of the news. It's so bad that I cannot watch Dateline.

Many of these "reporters" don't simply report the news. That would be too boring. They spin it and exaggerate the details that are inflammatory.

My personal opinion is that Rather and Tom Brokaw did this to a lesser degree than most of them currently do today.

But, every one of them is guilty of it.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 04:06 AM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

case in point...
I have been watching, looking for a debate on SS reform. All I see is a lot of cases of how it won't work, how it has failed, etc. I have never seen anything approaching an objective presentation of the president's plan.
Another word for "advocacy journalism".....propaganda

Same with all the junk science surrounding the anti smoking campaign. Its amazing what passes for "proof"
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 05:45 AM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

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MS Fowler - 3/11/2005 6:06 AM

case in point...
I have been watching, looking for a debate on SS reform. All I see is a lot of cases of how it won't work, how it has failed, etc. I have never seen anything approaching an objective presentation of the president's plan.
Another word for "advocacy journalism".....propaganda

Same with all the junk science surrounding the anti smoking campaign. Its amazing what passes for "proof"
Cigerrettes are poison. We should put all smokers in concentration camps so they can gas each other instead of the rest of us.

The President's plan hasn't been presented objectively because the president doesn't have a plan. Congress has demanded it, the democrats have demanded it, and so far all we have is the useless prattling that those unbiased folks at Fox News present as "News Alerts!" every time the Furher speaks. They do this for a reason - developing a consensus for a bunch of generalities, and then later shoving the specifics down our throats in late night sessions of Congress, like they did with the Prescription Drug disaster.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 05:46 AM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

Quote:
S-KLASSE8 - 3/10/2005 6:15 PM

When I watch the news on TV, I don't want it "interpreted" or "enhanced". I don't give a crap what the newspersons personnel opinion is. Rather was infamous for putting his "spin" on the news. I thought a reporter "reported" the news, not made it. His last GOOF was his last. GTFO Dan [:o)] http://www.ratherbiased.com/news/
I sure will be gald when Rather is gone, so we can get more of that unbiased fair and balanced reporting from Fox News!


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

We live in an age where, reporting the news, is as competitive for ratings, as any other entertainment broadcasts on TV. And that is exactly the problem! It's a ratings war! When news shows compete, they become more of a variety show, that covers celebrity news, cooking, health, movies...etc, with very little real news, because they think you won't really understand it anyway, and that you might find real news boring, and change the channel. The newscasters really think of themselves as celebrites AND hardcore professional journalists, when really they are neither one. They simply read a "script" that a team of other people wrote. They are ACTORS playing a part. Most of them, DUMB AS SHIT. The "spin" they put on news is to make themselves look like they have actually studied these issues in depth, and that they know better than you, what you should conclude, from the news, AFTER they have interpreted it for you. So... you get their version of what happened today and what, if anything it should mean to you. Talk about the "dumbdowned" version of events!

"I have spent MOST of the money I have made in my life on expensive women, expensive cars, and expensive drugs. The rest I just wasted." S-KLASSE8, "Belief in the supernatural, reflects a failure in the imagination." - Edward Abbey "Give me a firm place to stand, and I will move the Earth." - Archimedes - 1979 (fully restored) 450SLC - 1989 (fully restored)420SEL - "S CLASS STYLE - S CLASS ATTITUDE"
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 05:29 PM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

Quote:
S-KLASSE8 - 3/11/2005 4:07 PM

We live in an age where, reporting the news, is as competitive for ratings, as any other entertainment broadcasts on TV. And that is exactly the problem! It's a ratings war! When news shows compete, they become more of a variety show, that covers celebrity news, cooking, health, movies...etc, with very little real news, because they think you won't really understand it anyway, and that you might find real news boring, and change the channel. The newscasters really think of themselves as celebrites AND hardcore professional journalists, when really they are neither one. They simply read a "script" that a team of other people wrote. They are ACTORS playing a part. Most of them, DUMB AS SHIT. The "spin" they put on news is to make themselves look like they have actually studied these issues in depth, and that they know better than you, what you should conclude, from the news, AFTER they have interpreted it for you. So... you get their version of what happened today and what, if anything it should mean to you. Talk about the "dumbdowned" version of events!
I usually find it hard to agree with the author of this post but in this case I think he is close to the mark. News is big business and since when did big business make a decision that favored the customer over keeping another dollar?

Besides, Dan Rather made an ass out of himself routinely. For some reason the issue of going forward with the bogus memo on what is likely a factual account of George's National Guard Duty records got everyone worked up. He convinced me he was personally unrealiable as a new source when the "sky bridges" collapsed in a Kansas City Holiday Inn a few decades ago - he was reporting on the scene and he tried to make the story more interesting in his opinion, by selecting people to interview, depending on their story, live and on camera to explain what happened. He ended up pushing a civil engineer who participated in the building design and construction aside when he explained the builder substituted a defective washer on the support system, which subsequently failed, and would have over time under normal design loads, to have the janitor tell us all why it was the people dancing on the structures brought them down. I have never believed him since. And the unintended acceleration story on 60 minutes that nearly tanked Audi in the US convinced me the whole organization is bent on making news instead of reporting it.

Hey, pornstars do all kinds of unreal shit for money, so what makes anyone think a set of lips rented for an hour a day in front of a camera won't spew made up crap to keep the camera on them and improve their cash flow? Jim
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 07:42 AM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

I like the way that the absence of evidence is now evidence of guilt. Glad everybody is okay with that. Hope you never get selected for a jury.

My favorite argument, advanced by Rather to this day, is that the documents were forgeries that told a true story. Wow, that legitimizes the NKVD approach to justice.

Doesn't mean that the story is necessarily true or false. It does move it from the realm of factual to faith-based. Folks want you to be a true believer of one or the other in this polarized zoo. Why not just suspend judgement until a preponderance of evidence suggests a story? You know, be objective, not judge in advance of argument. Pre-judging. Prejudiced.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 09:12 AM
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RE: Say goodnight Dan... Please!

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Botnst - 3/12/2005 9:42 AM

I like the way that the absence of evidence is now evidence of guilt. Glad everybody is okay with that. Hope you never get selected for a jury.

My favorite argument, advanced by Rather to this day, is that the documents were forgeries that told a true story. Wow, that legitimizes the NKVD approach to justice.

Doesn't mean that the story is necessarily true or false. It does move it from the realm of factual to faith-based. Folks want you to be a true believer of one or the other in this polarized zoo. Why not just suspend judgement until a preponderance of evidence suggests a story? You know, be objective, not judge in advance of argument. Pre-judging. Prejudiced.
I figured that bit of red meat would distract you. The real point was Dan should have been axed at the beginning of his career, not the end. He was always a news fabricator and not a reporter, and if that is grounds for being tossed from the ranks of his supposed profession, he should have been ousted before he became a nightly event. But that alone is not. It is big business. He might still be making up news had Kerry won, as that may have influenced the available business choices.

In any case, good riddance. I hope this event gives the rest of the "reporters" pause, but at present the message that should have been sent, not to fabricate news, seems to have been missed. It is still a ratings business because it is on TV and holds potential for big money. Jim
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