OT: Media Reponsiblity and Fairness


busterkeaton wrote on 6/3/2005, 5:26 PM

I have heard arguments both pro and con on the documents being faked. I'm not expert enough to know. I am certainly open to them being fakes. But the typography arguments still leave the door open. No one has come up with the specific reasons the documents could not have been created. This may be because CBS only had faxes not originals. The investigation produced a 200 page report, but it did not come to the conclusion they definitely were forgeries which means they could not prove they were created on Microsoft Word as was alleged. You get close to the high, high likelihood the documents could not have been typed in the 1970's, but never definitely it was impossible. The fact that CBS's source lied is more convincing to me just because it's simpler. But again that leads us to the fun questions which I'll get to later.

But what I found interesting was the specific reasons given that they were fakes, the charges that set the initial brushfire in the blogosphere, those reasons were wrong and were pointed out many times. However, the story is still reporting as if they were on target. As you point proportional spacing existed back then. In fact, several weeks after this controversy, the White House released an official military document that used proportional spacing. The controversy was treated as a political issue and not an evidential issue.

The superscripts and subscripts were available on special font balls but no one would ever bother to change them while filling in a simple form
Actually CBS released a statement that this exists on other uncontested documents released by the White House. So somebody took the time. The officer's secretary who would have typed these documents if they done at the office said the font was not from her typewriter, but that she did have superscript th that she used all the time.

I too am more interested in the other fun questions. Because then it becomes who forged them and who was the target. Were the forgeries done by anti-Bush folks to discredit him or were they done by pro-Bush folks in the hopes the scandal would blow up the way it did? A curious thing is that when CBS looked further into it, the secretary said the form of the documents were incorrect but the content was accurate to documents she had typed which might mean the documents were retyped by someone who was familiar with the originals. The documents CBS used came from somewhere so either CBS's source made them up or somebody made them up and gave them to him. This is bound to flare up again if Mary Mapes's book is published.
johnmeyer wrote on 6/3/2005, 6:25 PM
This is bound to flare up again if Mary Mapes's book is published.

My best friend from college worked side-by-side with Mary Mapes when she was at the Seattle CBS affiliate, many years ago. My friend is, I think, inclined to the liberal side of things. Despite that "bias," he had nothing but extremely unkind things to say about her professionalism, especially when it came to selectively using -- or withholding -- facts so as not to "muddy" a story line.
Coursedesign wrote on 6/3/2005, 6:50 PM
It is odd that this peanut accusation got so much attention.

Situations where the military/law enforcement/government gave favorable treatment to "fine families" have existed for thousands of years. Thousands.

Nobody was ever able to stop it, and I don't anticipate anybody will be able to stop it in the future either. Not because it's good, but it seems to be in human nature to want to respect those "who have been more successful," whether by birth or by accomplishment.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/4/2005, 12:10 AM
Was this Chavez documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, or was it another one?

Because I thought that film was fascinating. The filmmakers' thesis is that a 21st century coup requires that you control the media. The filmmakers were obviously very pro-Chavez, but still their footage was amazing. The were an Irish crew in Venezuela making the documentary when the anti-Chavez coup occurred. They were actually in the Presidential Palace when it occurred. And they were there when the counter-coup 2 days later by Chavez forces takes the government back.

The filmmakers charge the five private broadcasters with actively taking part in the coup and manipulating footage from a violent protest that preceding the coup, editing the footage in such a way to say that pro-Chavez forces started the violence. The filmmakers show a wide angle of the same events that shows the opposite. The one public broadcaster is pro-Chavez and it shut down immediately during the coup. On the first day of the coup, the person who was installed as president was being interviewing by one of the public broadcasters and he slips up and indicates that his interviewer was him with the day before when they coup was being planned. When the public broadcasting station goes back on the air and informs people that the Chavez did not resign like all the private stations are saying, the military finally gets the full message stages its counter-coup.

When the genocide in Rwanda was ocurring the Hutu Power genocidaires had control of Radio Rwanda which had immense power in that country. In between music they would encourage the genocide by using euphemisms like "Stamp out the cockroaches" or "Cut the tall trees and shoots"
busterkeaton wrote on 6/4/2005, 12:50 AM
I don't find it that odd. If I had a DWI or was having an affair or whatever, it probably wouldn't be that big a deal. If I was running for President and I didn't want it to come out, it would become a much bigger deal.

I just looked at Google News and apparently the Pentagon released late Friday the details of when the Koran was mishandled. They are inching closer to Newsday.

And speaking of Media Fairness, I did a double take when I saw the NY Post's Friday headline on the newsstand tonight

VOGuy wrote on 6/4/2005, 6:54 AM
It's not just in this forum... It's not just coming from the "conservatives", or the "liberals", but there seems to be a growing sense that there is something really, really wrong, somewhere.

Is it that our major source of news today limits it's coverage to less than a paragraph for each story? (Don't know.) Is it that "spin" seems to have become more important than facts? (Don't know.) Is it that the "Special Interests" (Big unions, big corporations, big religions, big sponsors, big money) have amassed too much power? (Don't know.) Is it that everything today (sports, art, science, even politics) is rated on solely how much money is made rather than traditional values, like ethics, artistic merit, beauty,or quality?

How come it's been about a quarter-century since someone released a song that most people know the lyrics to?

How come I have to pay two bucks for a decent cup of coffee?

What's going on, and how do we fix it?

Dan Sherman wrote on 6/4/2005, 7:08 AM
Oops,--wrong forum...
Wait a minute!
This is the Vegas Video forum.
What the.....
Spot|DSE wrote on 6/4/2005, 7:29 AM
Sherman, while you're right, and this is an OT subject, the number of posts demonstrate that people are interested in the ethics of our business, and ENG is part of our business to an extent. As editors, we control the story, don't we?
It's interesting to see the continual decline of morality, ethics, and integrity in all facets of the news media, but more interesting and concerning, is how that boils down to how people perceive stories, their relations to the story, and their responses to the story. If the story is hyped, then eventually (and rather quickly) society begins to accept hype. Accepting hype leads to accepting lies. Accepting lies leads to people feeling lying isn't truth. Reality TV is hitting big because it provides a spice to life that most of us don't truly have. (when's the last time you had 8 beautiful women pawing you in a hot tub while you're being paid 100K to sit there and enjoy?)
Two trends come to mine in news and entertainment lately: Sensationalism and a lack of basic morality surrounding the business. I don't mean a lack of morality in terms of showing too much T&A, I mean a lack of morality regarding how the media, and to an extent, society treats their fellow man.
Freedom of the press used to guarantee that the press/media could and would act as a balancing agent to politics. Today, it just means that the media can slaughter anyone, any time they'd like. And they aren't required to apologize when they get it wrong.
Look at Richard Ricci in the Elizabeth Smart case...The news media convicted him, he stressed out and died. His wife quietly sued the police and media, and won more than 2 million bucks. After they captured Brian David Mitchell, it became clear that Richard Ricci's alibi was indeed, correct. And it became clear that he'd been wrongfully accused, incarcerated, and arguably murdered because of the media. No one will ever really remember that he was cleared after Elizabeth Smart was recovered. They'll only remember that he was arrested, questioned, jailed, and subsequently died in jail in part related to the stress of being wrongfully tried in the media.
But boy, I'll bet they sold papers that day, I'll further wager that a lot of people were glued to their televisions that day.
So while it's OT, it's a subject we should well keep in mind. The media are "leaders" of our society. I believe leaders or informists of any sort whether it's Newsweek, or "leaders" in our own small Vegas community, should be held to a higher standard, as they are people we're led to believe we can trust. As storytellers, I think we all fall into the category of being "leaders."
johnmeyer wrote on 6/4/2005, 9:23 AM
What's going on, and how do we fix it?

I view it as an infection: Society has been infected, and the media are the primary carrier. How do we fix it? Inoculate them with our children. That is, raise your children to recognize the filth around them and use their natural rebellion to reject, rather than accept it.

Spot: "As storytellers, I think we all fall into the category of being 'leaders.' "

I think this is also an excellent suggestion: Use the power of this media we each control to push that pendulum back in the other direction. Every little bit helps.

VOGuy wrote on 6/4/2005, 1:27 PM
Spot: >The media are "leaders" of our society. I believe leaders or informists of any sort whether it's Newsweek, or "leaders" in our own small Vegas community, should be held to a higher standard<

There are people in this forum who, partly through their use of Vegas, have the eyes and ears of tens of millions of people - more, in fact, than many members of Congress. These are issues that are far more important than Republican/Democrat, Liberal/Conservative, etc. In fact, we are part of the problem, (whatever that is.) and have a responsibility to look for and implement solutions (whatever they might be.)

A responisible, respectful discussion of these issues, in fact, is not "Off-Topic" at all.

Spot|DSE wrote on 6/4/2005, 2:25 PM
I agree it's not off topic, Travis. I should have made it more clear I was responding to Sherman's thought/suggestion that this was not a relevant post/topic/thread.

We indeed are the eyes and ears of millions when you consider that many of us here have a say in how things are seen/heard/communicated. And I believe as such, we have a responsibility to do our best to insert integrity. But...sensationalism sells, no one wants to report the positive side of things, and negative stories help some folks feel that their own lives might not be as pathetic as reality TV might suggest they are.
PossibilityX wrote on 6/4/2005, 3:22 PM
If news is now a product, you can bet the farm that highly-paid people spend millions of person-hours figuring out how to 1) attract viewers and 2) retain them once they've attracted them.

I'm halfway convinced that people actually LIKE having their emotions stirred up almost constantly. Adolescents go to horror movies; their parents watch the news.

As Spot suggests, viewers like feeling they're better off than some of the people they see on the news----and I would suggest they also seem to LIKE fretting about the possibility that they may eventually become one of the poor wretches they see paraded before them if they don't watch out and sidestep [insert disaster of the moment here.] In order to be one step ahead of the Grim Reaper or the bread line, you gotta be IN THE KNOW. You gotta be INFORMED. You gotta constantly WATCH OUT.

And the news promises to keep you posted on what you should worry about.

When I was a kid, the simplistic idea about journalism was that a reporter was supposed to tell you WHAT happened, WHERE it happened, WHEN it happened, WHY it happened, WHO it happened to, and HOW it happened, in as much detail as was relevant / permitted by time or space restraints.

A reporter wasn't supposed to make stuff up, tell you what the facts meant, and above all he damned sure wasn't supposed to tell you what HE thought or felt about it, or what he thought YOU should think or feel about it. In those days they seemed to assume a person of average intelligence could formulate his own thoughts about the facts.

But nowdays, the news is supposed to make you FEEL something---frightened, nervous, angry, outraged, etc. The news is supposed to get you stirred up, because consumers LIKE being stirred up---it's kind of addictive and exciting.

I think marketers understand only too well that appealing to a consumer's intellect is nowhere near as profitable as appealing to a consumer's emotions.

My understanding of filmmaking [and it is very rudimentary, believe me] is that a filmmaker's job is to tell a story in a memorable way; and stories are most memorable if they engage both the intellect AND the emotions, with heavier emphasis on the latter.

Techniques of fiction are now widely used in what we used to presume was non-fiction----that is to say, the news.

[edited for spelling]
James Green wrote on 6/4/2005, 10:43 PM
"They should call themselves "Ayn Rand followers"..."

Wrong...the problem is that they ARE NOT the Ayn Rand Followers. The biggest problem I see today is that everyone thinks it is their responsibility to know what's best for everything else. And if not that, they think it's the right of the government to meddle in everything from business (big and small) and peoples everyday lives. The media has taken on the role of social crusader. And it's with nothing so noble as the muckrakers of the early 20th century exposing child labor in Chicago slaughterhouses. Today it's all about scoops, paydays and Pulitzers. The stewardship you are asking for is exactly the reason we are in the mess that we are. It is responsible for everything from protective tarrifs to nonsensical embargos on tiny communist countries (but trade agreements with the biggest one in the world). It's responsible for special interest groups running Washington (after all, when the US goverment accepts stewardship for one special interest, it cannot discriminate!) and sendin our boys off to war and then not letting them fight and win it.
I don't think you entirely understand Ayn Rand's message because it takes more than a cursory read to glean what she meant. Before you ask, yes I own and have read her writings multiple times....the big ones anyway....Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, We the Living, Anthem, For the New Intellectual....I've also got several rare volumes containing the Objectivist Newsletter that she published throughout the sixties when Alan Greenspan and Nathaniel Branden used to write for it. I think I can categorically say that I understand what she was trying to say....

We should be so lucky to have a country full of Ayn Rand followers...

James Green

Cheesehole wrote on 6/4/2005, 11:21 PM
The stewardship you are asking for is exactly the reason we are in the mess that we are.

Well said James. There is a fundamental difference between "today's conservatives" and followers of Rand.

I've linked to this before, but it deserves another one:

The Reality of Red-State Facism

Dan Sherman wrote on 6/5/2005, 6:42 PM
I can tell you one comes to understand there is really no equal treatment of any topic in the news.
You learn that while working on the inside for 33 years as I have.
Used to be subtle, almost hidden,---code words.
Israelis are killed in battle, Palestinians die. Still do.
In one news environment where I worked if you were not anti-American, you quietly kept that to yourself.
I've worked for producers who made no bones about their personal hatred of George Bush. Of course they don't write that. But does that colour their show or how reporters and writers are vetted and edited?
It can still be subtle.

Then there's Fox News.
No code words there. And maybe that's just as well. To know what the agenda is up front.

Then there's CNN.
The king of info-tainment. Still trying to walk the not-so-fine line between journalism and entertainment.
Recent banter between an anchor and a legal expert on CNN on the Michael Jackson thing..
End of report,---master control plays Happy Birthday for the expert?
She says,----“I think I'm going to cry”? Oh my. It was her birthday.
What the hell!
Edward R. Murrow was spinning in his grave.
"Good night,---and good luck", were his parting words.
That's about as familiar as he got.
Is that good? A journalist may say yes. A programmer? Maybe not!
As long as you’re selling commercial time, you have to attract viewers. The programmers win.
Maybe that means dumbing down the news. Maybe it means being outrageously one-sided. Whatever it takes to attract an audience.
During my years in radio news it was the rule of thumb that no listener could concentrate more than 20 or 30 seconds on any one story. You compressed the news or the day, sports and weather into 4:30. Try to do justice to both sides of a complex issue with those restraints.
Fair and responsible reporting?
Call me cynical.
But there is no such thing as fair and impartial reporting.
Never was.
Never will be.
And you can't legislate it.
As long as we are human we're coloured by who we are. Who we've become. Life and life's experiences shape us. So do producers and editors with an agenda.
There is no such thing as an objective report,---because there's no such thing as an objective reporter.
The best ones try harder to be fair and responsible, trying sometimes to suppress their personal bias.
The worst don't care, as long as they do their damage to the enemy, whether conservative or liberal.
But aggressiveness on either side of the spectrum welcomes retaliation.
And polarization is what's behind much of the rule bending and breaking we see by media outlets today.
An insatiable monster that feeds on itself and divides.
p@mast3rs wrote on 6/5/2005, 7:47 PM
I agree with most of your points however I disagree with your points on fair and accurate reporting. It is very possible to be fair and accurate btu it takes someone who can be professional in their reporting 24/7 and not allow their personal feelings to get tangled up in the story.

We in the media, whether it be TV, news, movies, etc... have the great responsbility of shaping and molding what our viewers think and feel. But it has become so bad that we have forgotten the great influence we have in the name of ratings and ad sales.

I believe we once had fair and balanced reporting. However, times have changed greatly. Everyone who has an agenda and some tv time gets to push their agenda while others who dont have that forum available to them have to suffer.

Ill use Nancy Grace as my example again. If you watch her, every time Jackson's name comes up, she speaks as if he is guilty and is a pedophile. The sad fact is, NO ONE but Jackson, the accuser, and God knows what happened between the two. The point that irresponsbile reporitng and journalism is at it wouldnt surprise me if some jurors along with others that are easily impressionable will always treat him as a guilty pedophile.

There will come a time very soon where the media will end up dictating whats right and wrong in our society. Its already happening slowly. The media is helping to elect presidents and justify wars. Its helping to convict criminals who may be innocent. While they provide an escape from reality or allow people to feel better about their lives, they should still be held accountable to be balanced and fair. More importantly, theres nothing anyone can do legally to force the media to be balanced and fair. Personally, I pray and hope that one day that all of those reporters that arent fair and objective suffer from the same type of crap they do to others. God forbid Nancy Grace ever be charged with a crime and others sit back and champion her guilt before all evidence is presented. To make it even worse, Grace doesnt even know all the evidence being presented as she is not in the court room. Sadly, if that were to happen to her, she would be filing lawsuits left and right claiming defmation of character.

Is it fair to say that those in the media are getting the same reputation as lawyers now?
B.Verlik wrote on 6/5/2005, 8:30 PM
No, because they can control their image in the media. And they will.
Coursedesign wrote on 6/5/2005, 8:44 PM
"The stewardship you are asking for is exactly the reason we are in the mess that we are."

I don't understand your thread here. Stewardship for political leaders means taking responsibility for their country, making sure that national resources are not squandered for short term gain and giving back to people first of all based on their ability to provide for the country's needs.

The latter means making sure that education is available for those who can do something with it, even if they don't come from wealthy families.

It means not squandering hard-earned tax money on corporate welfare (such as donating $4B to oil companies to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, where they keep 100% of the profits).

It means not letting China take over all American manufacturing just to lower store prices on consumer goods for those fewer and fewer Americans who still have jobs left.

It means doing something about our increasing dependence on foreign oil by actually upping the fuel economy standards to something more recent than 1974, and explaining that you can have the oomph of a big engine (which I happen to appreciate a lot) at half the current fuel consumption without sweating it. [U.S. oil production peaked in 1970, going down steadily since, and now China is aggressively forming alliances worldwide to tie up oil suppliers everywhere, ditto India with a middle class that is bigger than the entire U.S. population, leaving American tax payers with having to roll the tanks on every continent at great expense just to fill up our massive fuel tanks.]

It means not pissing away $600B (current GAO estimate if all goes well...) of hard-earned tax money on a two-bit dictator who was never in a situation to even pee on our pant legs.

And it certainly means explaining to those turkeys who advocate a super strong military (the current strength being deemed insufficient at only that of the next 26 countries together) but shelter their income out of the country to avoid paying any tax at all.

It's time for a new era.

Long live Edmund Burke, the founder of conservatism. He was an intelligent man who saw things very clearly, and I think he would refuse to be associated with today's "conservative" party in the U.S.
craftech wrote on 6/5/2005, 9:08 PM
Unfortunately for the United States, there has been a steady relaxation in media ownership regulations which started with the Reagan Administration when there were 50 individual large media corporations to the present bottom of the barrel with only FIVE companies owning everything and shrinking.

Any attempts at reinstituting the laws that at one time 'required' a minimum number of media companies, in order to ensure diversified and non-influenced news reporting have been soundly squashed by our political leaders. That's why I have to laugh when people call the media in the United States "liberal". They are either too young to remember "liberal" media or too senile.

What has happened is that the media has become subservient to corporate interests, particularly their own. CBS is owned by Viacom, CNN by Time Warner, NBC by General Electric (one of the nations largest defense contractors), ABC by Disney, and Fox by Ruppert Murdoch's News Corporation. They also own most of the newspapers, books, magazines, radio stations, and movie studios as well. They are in the business of manufacturing consent as Noam Chomsky put it. Whatever serves their interests they are for. In recent years it is the far right faction of the Republican party. Thus they determine the outcome of elections in the way they present the "news". Americans have become among the most ill informed people in the literate world as a result.
Take Rathergate since you guys brought it up.
The "UNCONTESTED" information that PRECEDED the Dan Rather story was sidestepped by the media when the Dan Rather report was challenged. The media obsessed over the Dan Rather report effectively cancelling out the following:

September 20 edition of U.S. News & World Report reported: "Because Bush signed a six-year 'military service obligation,' he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period. The White House has said that Bush's service should be calculated using 12-month periods beginning on his induction date in May 1968. Using this time frame, however, Bush still fails the Air Force obligation standard." "Moreover, White House officials say, Bush should be judged on whether he attended enough drills to count toward retirement. They say he accumulated sufficient points under this grading system. Yet, even using their method, which some military experts say is incorrect, U.S. News's analysis shows that Bush once again fell short. His military records reveal that he failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement."
Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills."
Bush never made up five months of missed drills: According to the U.S. News article, Bush "apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration. White House officials did not respond to the analysis last week but emphasized that Bush had 'served honorably.'"

According to a September 8 article in The Boston Globe: "Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty. He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice."
"While Bush was in Alabama, he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical in July 1972. On May 1, 1973, Bush's superior officers wrote that they could not complete his annual performance review because he had not been observed at the Houston base during the prior 12 months."
"The reexamination of Bush's records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush's attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been 'satisfactory' -- just four months after Bush's commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months." Further in that same article:
Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 1968, said in a deposition in 2000 that he placed a call to get young Bush a coveted slot in the Guard at the request of a Bush family friend."
A September 13 CNN.com article reported that Bush's Harvard Business School professor Yoshi Tsurumi said that Bush told him that family friends had pulled strings to get him into the Texas Air National Guard: "Bush confided in him (Tsurumi) during an after-class hallway conversation during the 1973-74 school year. 'He admitted to me that to avoid the Vietnam draft, he had his dad -- he said 'Dad's friends' -- skip him through the long waiting list to get him into the Texas National Guard,' Tsurumi said. 'He thought that was a smart thing to do.'"
When "Rathergate" broke CNN never showed their own taped interview. They joined the others in a convenient excuse to allow RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie to spin Rathergate into "the liberal media was out to get George Bush, but they were caught in the act". Today people still think that as evidenced above. Same way they obsessed over the dumb Mary Cheney statement Kerry made during the last debate. The media spent THREE FULL DAYS after that "analysing" whether that would cause him to loose the election. Of course it will. Just keep drumming the notion into the heads of your viewers who are easily misled.

Take the recent Newsweek article about the Quran that was later retracted. Are there any of you who don't think that the Newsweek article alone was to blame for the violent protests in Afghanistan and Pakistan? The media told you that because the White House "decided" that the "article" was the reason for the violent protests despite the fact that at the Department of Defense news conferense Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard B. Myers stated on May 12 that the violence was "not at all tied to the article in the magazine," which alleged that U.S. investigators found evidence that interrogators at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, "flushed a Quran down a toilet."
Shieffer, Blitzer, Hume, and all the other stars in the media happily reported the White House version despite the fact that they knew that during the May 12 DOD news conference top U.S. military officials contended that other factors led to the violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Myers noted , according to Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, the violence "was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Quran" but was "more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President Hamid Karzai and his Cabinet is conducting in Afghanistan." Myers directly noted Eikenberry's belief that the violence "was not at all tied to the article in the magazine."
I am running out of space here.


johnmeyer wrote on 6/5/2005, 10:32 PM

I am not sure I understand your point. Too many people are obsessing about Bush in ways that aren't healthy. Clearly the decision to invade Iraq was based on lousy information, and may not have been a good idea even if the place WAS knee-deep in nukes. However, obsessing over details about exactly how many things he completed during his six years in the reserves is EXACTLY the kind of thing that I think most people in this thread are concerned about. His reserve record (and, as you point out, the Rathergate story) is a complete sideshow to the main questions of how to best avoid future terrorist attacks on a scale equal to or bigger than 9/11.

FWIW, at the same time he was serving in the Guard, I worked for Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, and many of our engineers and marketing people were in the Guard. Very often, we'd have sales training or some other event scheduled on a weekend when the Guard was having exercises, and our people were usually able to reschedule. I'm sure, as a result, that their records showed all sorts of "missed" weekends. Also, regardless of the details of his service record, Bush DID fly fighter planes, something that the military doesn't allow unqualified people to do, no matter who their daddy might be. He also has degrees from Harvard and Yale. I happen to have the same degrees that he has, and from the same school, only a few years after he got his degree. I can tell you for a fact that none of the people I met were unqualified or there just because "daddy" got them in. Not one person. I also might point out that this particular school prided itself on washing out almost 15% of the first year class (the MBA program is two years), and that anyone who couldn't cut it was gone the next year.

Having said all that, he IS amazingly inarticulate when speaking extemporaneously, but then again, so was his dad, so was Reagan, and so were Ford and Eisenhower. I think Nixon is the only articulate Republican we've had in my lifetime, and look where that got us.

Finally, until Kennedy, none of the presidents took questions "live" from the press; all press conference questions prior to that were submitted in advance, and the president would then answer them with prepared answers. Not a bad idea, if what you want is a thoughtful response, but of course it doesn't make for good theater, and you can't "get" the president, which seems to be the main purpose of the game these days, regardless of who is in office.
rstein wrote on 6/5/2005, 11:33 PM
But John, if I recall correctly, the issue of service during Vietnam was brought to shrill levels not by the "liberals," but rather (sorry, bad pun) the "Swift Boat Veterans," a political shill for the Rove machine and the Bush campaign to impugn Kerry. Despite numerous allegations of the SBV being totally debunked and recanted, the story "stuck," and ran ad nauseum even on the "liberal media."

Bush and his sycophants represent, IMO, a grave danger to constitutional freedoms, the system of checks and balances, and belie the perception that Bush stands for smaller government. The latter is only true when it comes to polluters, energy companies, big pharma, and of course "friends of Bush" like Halliburton which has already been documented to have ripped off US taxpayers repeatedly so far in Iraq.

So it's rather ironic that he's so fascinated in creating federal laws that EXPAND government's business in citizens' private, consentual bedroom activities. And Bush has no qualms fighting stem cell research because "it's wrong to destroy a life to save a life" yet presided over the largest number of executions of any contemporary Governor, and of course has destroyed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian's lives in Iraq.

Hypocrisy abounds at the top of our country, my friend, and I'm more concerned about a "virtual coup" (OK, maybe too strong a term) of the US by a small but extremely powerful cabal than any time in my life. Seeing sudden changes in reporting "bias" veering to the right and the defanging of "investigative journalism" by oligarchic corporations more easily controlled as they concentrate ownership scares the living crap out of me.

Spot|DSE wrote on 6/5/2005, 11:47 PM
Kind of a funny aside to this thread, is an audio file posted on the Audio Contest/VASST site, called the "CNN Parody" and in it's own way, addresses exactly what is being said here. If it wasn't for it being uploaded prior to the first post here, I'd almost think this thread inspired it.
p@mast3rs wrote on 6/6/2005, 12:15 AM
Ill have to check that one out. I may not be the greatest video editor or the most knowledgeable here but from time to time I do manage to get a good thread that is thought provoking that welcomes both sides of the coin.
Trichome wrote on 6/6/2005, 12:46 AM
yes you do!