Author Topic: Fake News  (Read 125 times)

Ant

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Fake News
« on: March 15, 2005, 10:51:46 PM »
And Now, the Counterfeit News

The Bush administration has come under a lot of criticism for its attempts to fob off government propaganda as genuine news reports. Whether federal agencies are purchasing the services of supposedly independent columnists or making videos extolling White House initiatives and then disguising them as TV news reports, that's wrong. But it is time to acknowledge that the nation's news organizations have played a large and unappetizing role in deceiving the public.

As documented this week in an article in The Times by David Barstow and Robin Stein, more than 20 federal agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department, now create fake news clips. The Bush administration spent $254 million in its first four years on contracts with public relations firms, more than double the amount spent by the Clinton administration.

Most of these tapes are very skillfully done, including "interviews" that seem genuine and "reporters" who look much like the real thing. Only sophisticated viewers would easily recognize that these videos are actually unpaid commercial announcements for the White House or some other part of the government. Some of the videos clearly cross the line into the proscribed territory of propaganda, and the Government Accountability Office says at least two were illegally distributed.

But too many television stations run government videos anyway, without any hint of where they came from. And while some claim they somehow stumbled accidentally into this trap, it seems obvious that in most cases, television stations that are short on reporters, long on air time to fill and unwilling to spend the money needed for real news gathering are abdicating their editorial responsibilities to the government's publicity teams. Bush administration officials now insist that they carefully label any domestic releases as government handouts.

However disingenuous those assurances may be, in at least some cases the stations are the main culprits in the deception - as at the Fox affiliate in Memphis, where a station reporter narrated a State Department video, using the text that came with it. The Times also reported on a small central Illinois station that was so eager to snap up this low-cost filler that it asked the Agriculture Department to have its "reporter" refer to its morning show in his closing lines. The Times tracked station malpractice into bigger markets, like San Diego (the ABC affiliate) and Louisville, Ky. (the Fox affiliate).

If using pretend news is one of the ways these stations have chosen to save money, it's a false economy. If it represents a political decision to support President Bush, it will eventually backfire. This kind of practice cheapens the real commodity that television stations have to sell during their news hours: their credibility.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/16/opinion/16wed1.html?hp=&pagewanted=print&position=
 

nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005, 06:56:20 AM »
let's take one step back.

the fox news channel is fake news.  even the pure news content on that network is slanted.  the teasers for their news stories are slanted.  the mojority of the political analysis shows in general are extraordinarily biased.  columnists and editors at major news papers are slanted so much in both directions that it is hard to take that seriously as well.

people seem to have ths attitude that if you read two biased views of the same topic each way it balances out and you understand the story.  no.  it's just confusing as you don't know what to believe at all.

i don't see how the white house's fake news reports are any worse than the fox news channel as a whole.
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Ant

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2005, 08:57:05 AM »
i don't see how the white house's fake news reports are any worse than the fox news channel as a whole.

well for one... fox news is privately funded while Bush News is publicly funded.  Or in otherwords, they are using 250 million dollars in taxpayer money to spread propaganda and given that the government abuse of taxpayer dollars seems to be the frequent rallying cry of the republican party its almost humorously hypocritical that stuff of this nature is tolerated.

Altho hypocrisy doesn't seem to be a vice that concerns most modern republicans.
 

nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2005, 09:04:12 AM »
Ant:
well for one... fox news is privately funded while Bush News is publicly funded.  Or in otherwords, they are using 250 million dollars in taxpayer money to spread propaganda and given that the government abuse of taxpayer dollars seems to be the frequent rallying cry of the republican party its almost humorously hypocritical that stuff of this nature is tolerated.


we don't disagree.  but the news media in general has a credibility problem across the board.  and as for the hypocrisy of the bush administration and republican party:
a) the democrats are only fractionally better. 

b) these shenanigans that the bush administration is transparent, but most people don't seem to care.  why shouldn't the bush administration engage in practices that they know they can get away with.

american politics isn't about honesty.  it's about wrestling power, passing legislation and pushing agenda's forward. the bush administration has been very effective at this. their use of propoganda has been very effective.

i'm amused at how the bush opponents are outraged at every turn; it's business as usual with this guy and this administration.
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Fathom

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2005, 09:06:26 AM »
let's take one step back.

the fox news channel is fake news.  even the pure news content on that network is slanted.  the teasers for their news stories are slanted.  the mojority of the political analysis shows in general are extraordinarily biased.  columnists and editors at major news papers are slanted so much in both directions that it is hard to take that seriously as well.

people seem to have ths attitude that if you read two biased views of the same topic each way it balances out and you understand the story.  no.  it's just confusing as you don't know what to believe at all.

i don't see how the white house's fake news reports are any worse than the fox news channel as a whole.
Every news station has some type of slant.  Fox has a right wing bias.  Every other news station has a left wing bias.
 

nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2005, 09:43:16 AM »
Fathom:
Every news station has some type of slant.  Fox has a right wing bias.  Every other news station has a left wing bias.


fox news is blatantly dishonest.

and every other news station is not left biased. 

larry kudlow and jim cramer over on cnbc are conservative.  dennis miller on cnbc is conservative.

joe scarborough, chris matthews, dan abrams over on msnbc are all conservative.

wolf blitzer, lou dobbs over at cnn are conservative.   aaron brown and paula zahn (formerly of fox news) both slurp power and oft tow the conservative line.

cable news does not have a liberal bias.

people used to criticize broadcast news, but brian williams is a moderate conservative and he's taken over for tom brokaw.

with dan rather out bob schieffer is another moderate conservative.

tv media is pretty conservative, especially cable news.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 03:21:58 PM by nibs »
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Woodrow

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2005, 09:53:32 AM »
fox news is blatantly dishonest.

and every other news station is not left biased. 

larry kudlow and jim cramer over on cnbc are conservative.  dennis miller on cnbc is conservative.

joe scarborough, chris matthews, dan abrams over on msnbc are all conservative.

wolf blitzer, lou dobbs over at cnn are conservative.   aaron brown and paula zahn (formerly of fox news) both slurp power and oft tow the conservative line.

cable news does not have a liberal bias.

people used to criticize broadcast news, but brian williams is a moderate conservative and he's taken over for tom brokaw.

with dan rather out bob schieffer is another moderate conservative.

tv media is pretty conservative, especially cable news.

LOL.

Have you watched any of the shit you're talking about?
 

nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2005, 10:38:11 AM »
Woodrow:
LOL.

Have you watched any of the shit you're talking about?


yes.  single something out specifically that you disagree with.  you'll notice that i didn't mention keith olberman, who is certainly left leaning but tries to call it down the middle.  i also didn't mention anderson cooper or john mcenroe, primarily because i don't watch either of those shows.

tune into msnbc right now, connected "coast to coast".  monica crowley runs that show and is very conservative.  she's "balanced" by ron reagan who seems to have a subordinate roll on the show, like hannity and combs, but with actual reporting.  they're actually talking about this issue of fake news right now.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 10:40:29 AM by nibs »
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nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2005, 03:22:26 PM »
no intent to backup your claims ,woodrow?  i'll step it up:

larry kudlow  - dude is out of the reagan administration and was a part of the bush-cheney team at one point.

jim cramer - jim claims to be a democrat.  however, he never really checked kudlow when they had their show together; and he supports alot of bush policy; like ss privitazition and such.  so i lumped him in here.

joe scarborough - former republican congresman who left office after a female assistant was murdered in his office over the weekend iirc.

chris matthews - former democrat (under jimmy carter) that's pretty much a conservative now.  arnold swar... greeted dude as "a good conservative" just saturday at a forum he hosted.  he was pissed at the bush administration as they misrepresented a comment i believe john kerry had made on his show, he also clowned michele maulkin but other than that, he doesn't go against them much.

dan abrams over on msnbc are all conservative.

wolf blitzer - dude gets critical for not being critical of the bush administration and also his support of the iraq war

lou dobbs - lou admits to being conservative. 

brian williams - describes himself as a moderate that listens to rush limbaugh to brian lamb.  a limbaugh fan?

bob schieffer - has been trashed by the liberal media for his support and coverage of social security privatization.  surely he can't have a liberal bias if he's being trashed by liberals.

look.  i'll move chris matthews into the category with aaron brown and paula zahn, the category for people that simply haven't been critical of the bush administration.   

but there is no liberal bias among those three or anywhere on the list.  and there is a conservative bias where indicated.

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Woodrow

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2005, 10:35:38 PM »
no intent to backup your claims ,woodrow?  i'll step it up:

larry kudlow  - dude is out of the reagan administration and was a part of the bush-cheney team at one point.

jim cramer - jim claims to be a democrat.  however, he never really checked kudlow when they had their show together; and he supports alot of bush policy; like ss privitazition and such.  so i lumped him in here.

joe scarborough - former republican congresman who left office after a female assistant was murdered in his office over the weekend iirc.

chris matthews - former democrat (under jimmy carter) that's pretty much a conservative now.  arnold swar... greeted dude as "a good conservative" just saturday at a forum he hosted.  he was pissed at the bush administration as they misrepresented a comment i believe john kerry had made on his show, he also clowned michele maulkin but other than that, he doesn't go against them much.

dan abrams over on msnbc are all conservative.

wolf blitzer - dude gets critical for not being critical of the bush administration and also his support of the iraq war

lou dobbs - lou admits to being conservative. 

brian williams - describes himself as a moderate that listens to rush limbaugh to brian lamb.  a limbaugh fan?

bob schieffer - has been trashed by the liberal media for his support and coverage of social security privatization.  surely he can't have a liberal bias if he's being trashed by liberals.

look.  i'll move chris matthews into the category with aaron brown and paula zahn, the category for people that simply haven't been critical of the bush administration.   

but there is no liberal bias among those three or anywhere on the list.  and there is a conservative bias where indicated.


Sorry, I've got things to do during the day and can't reply on your schedule.

Bias is a very, very insidious thing, and it's not always what you report, but how you frame the story. Is mainstream media biased? I can't imagine how you can argue it's not. There must be some reason approximately half the country feels compelled to flock to "alternative" news sources such as blogs, talk radio, and Fox News in ever increasing numbers.

I guess I'll reply to your list of reporters with one of my own.

Dan Rather
Peter Jennings
Matt Lauer
Hugh Downs
John Roberts
Diane Sawyer
George Stephanopoulos
Keith Olbermann
Anderson Cooper

Who's list is more well known?

I don't watch too much TV but I can tell you that you tried to portray with your list or people as being unopposed with their views. Thats simply not the case and you know it. If anything, the reporter you listed aren't conservative, just bad journalists. Remember when Al Gore told Wolf Blitzer that he invented the internet and Wolf Bllitzer just noded? That is conservative in your view?

You seem to watch a lot of TV news so you should know that what the news channels attempt to do is take somebody from the far left and have them argue with an individual from the far right. I guess thats conservative?

I'm gonna leave you with a quotes from people on your "conservative" list.

Chris Matthews: “We’re talking about the President’s plan, which is, on top of the half-trillion dollars in deficit we have each year now in the federal government, adding more and more debt, more and more money we owe the Chinese and Japanese investors....Why don’t they just start paying people in their Social Security checks with yen, because we’re getting money from them to pay the older folks their regular check?”
Former Democratic presidential candiate Al Sharpton: “Well, that was a great soundbite, Chris. I might use it.”


Here Brian Williams blames the US for 9/11
“I was going to say we'd have to go back to the days of the Empire, and that gives the U.S. obvious military swagger. Does it give them any kind of moral courage above anyone else and anyone's world, and isn't that world view part of what got the United States in trouble September 11th
This was said on his old program the The News back on September 18th 2002.

Bob Scheiffer's questions at the presidential debates:
“Senator Kerry, the gap between rich and poor is growing wider. More people are dropping into poverty. Yet the minimum wage has been stuck at, what, $5.15 an hour now for about seven years. Is it time to raise it?”

“Mr. President,...you said that if Congress would vote to extend the ban on assault weapons, that you’d sign the legislation. But you did nothing to encourage the Congress to extend it. Why not?”

More Bob Scheiffer:“Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, you now know where John Kerry stands on what has happened in Iraq.”
“This is the best speech I have ever heard John Kerry make. I listened to a lot of speeches back there in the primary. This was the best. This was a very deft critique of policy.”
“No matter how bad the news from Vietnam was, official after official came on Face the Nation to say progress was being made, the press just wasn't reporting it. From the day the war turned bad in Iraq, you could take the words that were said back then and put them into the mouths of today's administration spokesmen and never notice the difference.”
 “The President said this week that we are winning and that this violence just shows that the other side is getting desperate. But if this is winning, you have to ask the question: How much of this ‘winning' can we stand?”
“I'll lay my cards on the table: I think anti-ballistic missile defense systems are a bad idea and this is something I've thought for 20 years.”


Wolf Blitzer asks if mourners at regans funeral are "American":
“Can you tell, Thelma,...if the crowds really look like America? Are they ethnically diverse – African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans – or is it largely white?”

More Wolf:
“Alan Greenspan said in recent days that because of the huge budget deficit – $500 billion, at least for the foreseeable future – if you want to keep those tax cuts that you pushed through Congress, you’re going to have to start thinking of reducing Social Security benefits for the baby boomers, future generations. Is he right?”

“If War Happens, Another Quagmire?”


 

nibs

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Re: Fake News
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2005, 08:06:44 AM »
Woodrow:
Sorry, I've got things to do during the day and can't reply on your schedule.


sure. just try not to let it happen again.

Bias is a very, very insidious thing, and it's not always what you report, but how you frame the story. Is mainstream media biased? I can't imagine how you can argue it's not. There must be some reason approximately half the country feels compelled to flock to "alternative" news sources such as blogs, talk radio, and Fox News in ever increasing numbers.

liberals are also finding new outlets, such as air america radio (which is steadily expanding), blogs as well and networks like the sundance channel which loves airing anti-bush regime documentaries.  as does the trio network before they folded.  i think this is problematic as blogs and talk radio are less accurate and less honest that broadcast news or cable news.

I guess I'll reply to your list of reporters with one of my own.

Dan Rather
Peter Jennings
Matt Lauer
Hugh Downs
John Roberts
Diane Sawyer
George Stephanopoulos
Keith Olbermann
Anderson Cooper

Who's list is more well known?


other than olberman and cooper, you're list is primarily broadcast networks.  my list was primarly cable networks.  the broadcast programming gets much higher viewership in the evenings and on sundays; but we are comparing these spikes to all day formats.

Remember when Al Gore told Wolf Blitzer that he invented the internet and Wolf Bllitzer just noded? That is conservative in your view?

a) whether or not al gore invented the internet isn't a huge political issue.   it's him trying to take credit for a senate committee he was on that supported to funding of the development of darpa net iirc.  was blitzer even prepped with the facts on that in order to respond?  poor preparation, or sloppy journalism (as you pointed out) isn't really bias.

You seem to watch a lot of TV news so you should know that what the news channels attempt to do is take somebody from the far left and have them argue with an individual from the far right. I guess thats conservative?

it's not every show that does that.  alot of shows are simply one personality either arguing or agreeing with their guests.

I'm gonna leave you with a quotes from people on your "conservative" list.

you have some interesting quotes there.  one thing i would point out is that lots of softball questions appear to be tough, but if the interviewer doesn't follow up or continue to press the issue it becomes a moot point.

i agree with you that matthews isn't particularly biased, and i shouldn't have included him in the initial list.  he tries to be a straight shooter, as does olberman.

Here Brian Williams blames the US for 9/11
“I was going to say we'd have to go back to the days of the Empire, and that gives the U.S. obvious military swagger. Does it give them any kind of moral courage above anyone else and anyone's world, and isn't that world view part of what got the United States in trouble September 11th


neo cons refer to the u.s. as an empire.  osama bin laden states that al qaeda is opposed to the u.s. because of the troop presence in saudia arabia.  and to a lesser note the support of israel.   i wouldn't call that biased, and without the full context it's hard to say if it was a tough question or a softball question.  this is the guy that has had rush as a guest numerous times and admits to being a rush fan.

Bob Scheiffer's questions at the presidential debates:

the debate questions were basically softball questions dressed up to look difficult, because the moderator didn't really challenge the responses of the candidates to any great extent.

scheiffer was just criticized by liberals for slurping the ss privatization plan and "misrepresenting" the chilean system while not exposing it's flaws.  the fact that this guy get criticizes from the left seems to indicate that he isn't biased that way.    it was softball questions all around during the debates:
 
what about this question:
Quote
senator kerry, you have just said you will not cut social security benefits.  alan grenspan, the chairman of the federal reserve, says there is no way that social security can pay retiree's what we have promised them unless we recalibrate.  what he is suggesting: that we are going to have to cut benefits or raise the retirement age we may have to take some other reform.   but if you've just said you've promised no changes; does that mean you're just going to leave this as a problem, another problem for our children to solve?

mother jones is liberal, here are their concerns about schieffer:
The worst of the bunch might be Bob Schieffer, who will moderate the third debate on foreign policy. Schieffer, it should be noted, struck up a golfing friendship with George W. Bush during the 1990s. Last year, the "Face the Nation" host told Howard Kurtz, "It's always difficult to cover someone you know personally." Indeed, it must be. This is the same Bob Schieffer who believed that the media had asked "tough questions" during the run-up to the Iraq war. The same Bob Schieffer who, after the 2000 debates, opined, "Clearly tonight, if anyone gained from this debate it was George Bush—he seemed to have as much of a grasp of the issues [as Gore]." The same Bob Schieffer who couldn't for the life of him figure out why Bush would visit the infamously racist Bob Jones University during the 2000 campaign, saying: "The notion that Bush is a Bible-thumping conservative Republican of that ilk is something that's sort of hard to believe." This is not to call Schieffer a partisan hack; just don't expect him to bring a critical persona to the debates.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2004/08/08_403.html

media matters also did a piece on him.  so i think it's fair to say that he's not biased towards the left. 
i think the main issue here is that only democrat and republican strategists and the fox news channel are ever clear down the line on any issues.  even neo-cons like william kristol have publicly criticized rumsfeld's (and bush's) handling of the war.  so it's not surprising that you can pull a quote here or there from a guy.  and let's remember, tom brokaw supported the iraq war (but expressed concerns about the execution of the war, as william kristol has).  surely that isn't the liberal position; but i'm not going to use that as evidence of brokaw's conservative leanings.

and more importantly, conservative personalities have been dominating the cable news media.  many liberals criticize clinton and his policies.  clinton is a moderate and moving farther towards the right.  and there are very few in the media on either cable or broadcast news or major print that are to the left of clinton.

so let's clarify this argument.  i maintain that there is no significant liberal bias especially in cable news.    there's actually a conservative leaning in cable news.

even broadcast news, even print media like the new york times or washington post; it's rare to find content "more liberal than clinton". 

and fox is not an honest media outlet.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 08:33:44 AM by nibs »
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