OT: Media Reponsiblity and Fairness


Cheesehole wrote on 6/7/2005, 10:06 AM
You want me to believe that thousands of people across hundreds of major newspapers, here and abroad, are all spiking a story

It doesn't take a conspiracy John:

(and actually I think it's pretty clear that busterkeaton wasn't suggesting there was conspiracy)

But you didn't know about the story... so whether there is a conspiracy to keep this knowledge from you or if it is just an effect of a defective system, the result is the same. Bringing up conspiracy stuff is just a red herring (much like the debate about whether the media leans left or right! ;-)
craftech wrote on 6/7/2005, 11:04 AM
No offense John but you are the typical American when it comes to this issue. Not noticing that the media has moved to the right would mean you are at least 58 years old. During the Reagan administration, in addition to the start of the media merger relaxation trend and the elimination of the laws that required a minimum number of media outlets in order to avoid one sided news, angry conservatives sought corporations help in funding independent schools of journalism. The breed of journalists that came out of those schools fill the media today. When you say you haven't seen one study that shows that the media is "not" liberal you are right. There aren't any legitimate ones at all. There are bogus ones the Right uses particularly through blogs to try to prove to the public that the media is liberal, but really the notion that the media is liberal comes from unrefuted (within the media) repitition of that falsehood. That works very well for shows like Fox news and the RNC because they can appeal to the preconceived notions of their followers who think anything short of Fox's blatantness is "liberal"; and it works equally well for the other network news entertainment shows like CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC because they can spin the news to the right and hide behind everyone's pre-conceived notion that they are "liberal" so any notion to the contrary gets a "Yeah right...lol The media spins to the right! "lol..lol...lol...lol". They are far more dangerous than Fox any day of the week because they fool the vast majority of the public, particularly those too young to remember when the media was ACTUALLY liberal with the police and firemen the enemy and the criminals the victims (rather than the actual victims).
And to put all this into perspective in terms of my party affiliation, I am a registered Republican as was my father and have been all my life. This new breed of Republican makes me sick in that they violate every Republican principal people like Eisenhower and Goldwater stood for.
If you sit down and think about it John, there is no way a president can win a closely contested campaign without help from the media. THEY determine policy. THEY elect presidents. They do so by a systematic combination of not refuting political lies for the side they want, by playing video and audio clips out of context, by not showing and not revealing statements (etc) that make their candidate look bad or expose lies (but definetly do so for the candidate you want to lose, by setting up contrasting guest speakers so that the side they choose almost always gets the last word, by not letting guests on their shows that can get the best of them despite the preceding, by helping the candidate you support freely lie by putting the candidate or their rep in a position of always defending themselves against the lies and never getting to the issues they want to bring up and then later having what appears to be an intelligent analysis of why the candidate is losing and using notions like "he hasn't introduced himself to the public yet" when you know full well that you in the media are the reason for that.
It is only by taking the attitude I do (that I am being misled) and investigating what I hear or by taking notes and later investigating that you can see what the media is actually up to. And I do not mean reading left wing blogs who are as insulting to my intelligence as right wing blogs. I mean listening to the typical RNC quote taken out of context and unchallenged by the media people and reading the FULL statement. I mean reading the freely available public documents such as White House transcripts, Senate records, News broadcast transcripts, etc to see how they lied and the media refused to call them on it on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, of course Fox, and occasionally PBS unfortunately. They count on people's short memory to spin their garbage on the public.
Any media sources that do point to the truth are quickly overshadowed by the larger one's corrobration of lies and the notion that these few news outlets (who are revealing documents or incidents the others refuse to) are leftists and liberals looking to smear the party running the country.
As I said, politicians respond to pressure. If the pressure doesn't exist because the public doesn't know what is going on they do nothing about the problem because the public doesn't think there is one. If the media refuses to refute the lies, then the lies become facts in the minds of the public. The common loathing of Europe and the United Nations in this country is a typical example of misinformation made into reality by the media because the administration has that attitude and the media will do anything to support this administration even when the administration changes it's mind from one year to the next to suit their self-serving agendas. And in terms of Conspiracy theories, it's not a theory when the rest of the literate world knew about it and Americans didn't. It's the dumbing down of our society thanks to our media.

Coursedesign wrote on 6/7/2005, 11:50 AM
Outstanding post, John/Craftech.

I'm reminded of the two weeks after 9/11 when I got news about major things that were happening in the U.S. from European media two days before they appeared here. These were not trivia items either... Embarrassing.

I remember TV news in the 1980s, that may have been the most recent peak in quality. TV journalists asked serious but non-partisan questions, and if they didn't get satisfactory answers they went to work to find out the truth.

I have to say that Los Angeles Times has had several very good investigative stories over the last few years also (for which they got major awards). This used to be a very sucky provincial paper, but no more.

The quality of the content makes it easier to put up with their phenomenal grammatical errors that often change the meaning of what the poor correspondent is trying to say...

Or the headlines that contradict the article.

Or the spelling errors that are sometimes comical.

I would write more, but I have a bad flue...

Imagine running for politician in any competitive race today. If you don't have serious street fighting savvy, I don't know how you could possibly make it.

TV News? Haven't watched it in 10 years.

craftech wrote on 6/7/2005, 12:01 PM
You should watch it, then when you compare it to your reading you'll really get the picture.
I haven't had a chance to address this statement yet:

"But back to my main point: The "mainstream media" is controlled by the Republican party? Even Oliver Stone wouldn't buy into that one. Also, the idea that Republicans are linked to "big business" and Democrats are not is ludicrous. In Silicon Valley, business contributions to the Democrats outruns donations to Republicans (by a lot). Also, the Bush administration has been tougher on corporate crime than any administration in the past twenty years. Just ask your friend that works at Arthur Andersen (oops, the DOJ put them out of business); ask Martha (oops, still under house arrest); ask Bush's old friend, Key Lay (oops, awaiting trial). Let's see, during the eight years that the Democrats controlled the executive branch, who actually got prosecuted and sent to jail?"

It will take time to gather the information, but that will be an easy one for sure. Especially the one about long time Bush family contributor Enron and family friend Ken Lay (who tried to get them to move up the trial BEFORE the elections, but was denied that request).

apit34356 wrote on 6/7/2005, 1:03 PM
Some simple facts; in 1972, the old 102 dart, a subsonic fighter, was being replace with the the new,but old, 106 delta dart, 106 was the big brother to the 102, supersonic and a nuclear armed interceptor. The US air force was replacing the aging 106's with the new F-4s. These fighter/interceptors were used to guard SAC air bases with "nuclear" missions. The National Guard airforce recieves "older and outdated" interceptors for its mission from the AirForce. Bush had to be re-trained to fly the 106, which would have required him to re-up for another 4 years. Basicly, this was a fact for all 102 pilots.
vitalforce2 wrote on 6/7/2005, 1:29 PM


Coursedesign wrote on 6/7/2005, 1:55 PM
"Bush had to be re-trained to fly the 106, which would have required him to re-up for another 4 years. Basicly, this was a fact for all 102 pilots."

So this means that he was excused from fulfilling his formal obligations, but the colonel just forgot to put this in writing?

Being a pilot, I also fail to see how adding a new (and even related) type rating to his pilot's license would mean another 4 years. It's the initial training that is so expensive, the rest is easy.

Let's face it, it seems every wealthy family in this country found ways to get their sons relieved from becoming cannon fodder in those days. This is not good, but I think there are far bigger current issues today.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/7/2005, 2:37 PM

I agree with you that standards have probably gone down across the board.

The Koran mishandling has gotten so much play because it comes in context of the Abu Gharib scandal and it also because it plays into the hands of the jihadists by seeming to confirm their propaganda. We say, we are fighting a war on terror, they say the US is fighting a war on your religion. We have been incredibly tone deaf on this issue. The recent riots about this were stirred up by resurgent elements of the Taliban, but it shows what an emotional issue this is. We went to war with Spain over the battle cry of "Remember the Maine!" However, I wasn't thinking whatsoever of the Koran issue, when I made points about "objectivity."

When I was talking about Cable News Channels I was not just talking about Fox. MSNBC added another conservative opinion host to their network this week. They don't have any liberal that I know of, (Wait, I just remembered Keith Olberman.) They used to. Phil Donahue used to host a nightly show and they fired him. At the time he was the highest rated show on their network and his ratings were going up. Think about that. Your whole network is suffering, so your solution is to cancel your top rated show. The same week they fired Donahue, they gave Michael Savage and Dick Armey a show. Dick Armey is well within the mainstream of conservative thought, but Michael Savage? That guy is racist reactionary. Another thing in terms of cable news and why I think Fox News will be the ratings leader for a long time is that conservative viewers have something invested in Fox News. To some degree, it becomes part of an identity for them (not all, of course.) I don't think liberal viewers have anything invested in MSNBC or CNN or even the network news. I didn't care about Donahue's show either. My only investment is as a consumer of news, an increasingly disappointed consumer.

In terms of Ken Starr and Lawrence Walsh, I believe that Walsh was investigating misuse of state power, specifically selling weapons to one our enemies, while Starr ended up investigating personal behavior and lying about it. When I talk about the media moving to the right without people noticing it. Are people aware of how Starr became the prosecutor? Are they aware of Judge Rehnquist's role in it? Are they aware the first Republican prosecutor who looked into Whitewater pretty much finished his report within six months and that report would have cleared the Clintons? Somehow, this was not considered valid and a second prosecutor must be chosen. Somehow it was OK, that the second prosecutor ended up basing his entire referral on activity that occurred several years after he was appointed. That is, he was able to keep the investigation open, until he found some crimes. There is no way this could have happened without A the media's general thirst for scandal and B the media's general hostilities to the Clintions. A was much more important than B admittedly, but during the Whitewater mania, stories were allowed to bubble up from partisan, ideological media like the American Spectator to the mainstream news. I don't know of an equivalent case where something from Mother Jones or The Nation was able to change history.

I don't suppose this had anything to do with the smoke rising on the other side of the river over the Pentagon, where that airplane just happened to crash? A lot of people, myself included, are not happy about the decision to invade Iraq, but I am not about to reduce it to silly Michael Moore nonsense like, "we invaded them to help Bush's buddies in the oil industry."
I hope you are not saying that I said that. Also I know all about the 9/11 smoke as I smelled it for weeks. I had no problems with the decision to invade Afghanistan, but I think the arguments for invading Iraq fail. You give a perfectly good example of the issue I am trying to raise. You, yourself are not happy with the decision to invade Iraq, but you leap over the giant swath of political landscape between you and Michael Moore. This was the media's failure. It ignored the that giant swath of political landscape and polarized the question. You either followed the president even if the path he chose was not the best one or you hated your country. I don't know if you were upset in 2002 about the decision to invade Iraq, but at the time the war was sold to us as necessary and as easy. Rumsfeld's own planning predicting that by October 2003 we would be down to 30, 000 US troops in Iraq. Cheney and others pushed and pushed the idea that Saddam was involved in 9/11, Bush finally admitted this wasn't true six months after the war began. Many Americans still believe it to be true. Even if they hear facts to contrary, they can dimiss it because "everybody knows the media is liberal."

One of the fascinating thing about this era is how many of the President's critics, got smeared or simply ignored, Republicans and Democrats, it didn't matter. They both got shoved aside as easily as head of the campus Marxist-Leninist club. Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson, Paul O'Neill, General Shinseki, Rand Beers, Jay Garner, Larry Johnson, Kevin Phillips, Gen Zinni, Thomas White are all serious people and serious about the security of the United States. But if criticize going to war with Iraq, we jump over them and you get compared to Michael Moore.`

In terms of left-wing vs right wing-radio, some liberals have recognized the void you talk about and formed a network called Air America. Their website says they are now on 64 stations. I don't know how its doing across the board, but there are definitely stations that have had their ratings jump when they signed on. The reason they said they had to form their own network was talk radio's format. If you play Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and then sign up Al Franken, it's like mixing heavy metal and Motown on a music station.

I know what Dick Cheney said was a lie because he needed to discredit Clarke as fast he could and what he was saying was false. I knew it was a lie when I heard it, I in fact, did hear this on the radio. The fact that he needed to discredit Clarke means he did not just make a mistake when he said this.

Limbaugh: All right, let's get straight to what the news is all about now, before we branch out to things. Why did the administration keep Richard Clarke on the counterterrorism team when you all assumed office in January of 2001?

Cheney: Well, I wasn't directly involved in that decision. He was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cyber security side of things, that is he was given a new assignment at some point here. I don't recall the exact time frame.

Limbaugh: Cyber security, meaning Internet security?

Cheney: Yes, worried about attacks on the computer systems and the sophisticated information technology systems we have these days that an adversary would use or try to the system against us.

Limbaugh: Well, now that explains a lot, that answer right there explains — (Laughter.)

Cheney: Well, he wasn't — he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff.

Clarke asked to be moved to cybersecurity after months of frustration in trying to get the administration to focus on Al-Qaeda. The move did not go through until after 9/11. In fact it was delayed for months because of 9/11. Do you remember where you on the morning of 9/11? I do. Do you think Cheney does? Because Cheney spoke with Clarke several times that morning as Clarke was coordinating the US repsonse. When Condoleeza Rice was directly asked about these statement under oath. She would not back up Cheney's statements. In fact, she said Clarke was in the loop in interviews, and under oath, she described the CSG group Clarke headed as the nerve center . The 9/11 Commission Report supported Clarke's account.

You just proved my point about the media and the Downing Street Memo. In a reasonable media landscape this would cause a bigger stir.

Coursedesign wrote on 6/7/2005, 3:09 PM
"We went to war with Spain over the battle cry of "Remember the Maine!""
...and the federal tax on phone calls that was instituted to pay for this war in 1899 is still on your phone bill.

Let's hope that users of Vegas Version 106.0 in the year 2105 aren't still paying taxes that originally were levied to pay for the $600B+ assault on Iraq (why call it war?).

The assault on Afghanistan I have no problem with. If anything, it should have been done sooner.

It was well known that they were providing local training camps for terrorists worldwide for more than 10 years. How could this have been accepted for so long?

busterkeaton wrote on 6/7/2005, 5:45 PM
I think you are off on your dates about Afghanistan. The Taliban were not in control of the country in 1991. The Communist Mohammad Najibullah was still in limited power and the civil war was continuing even though the Russians had pulled out, the Taliban emerged as a political force in 1994 and then took over the country.

Bin Ladin was in Afghanistan during the Soviet years, he returned home to Saudi Arabia in 1989 for a year before the kingdom kicked him out. Between 1991 and 1996 Bin Ladin was based in the Sudan. In 1996 he went back to Afghanistan. His first hosts in Afghanistan were the enemies of the Taliban. When Bin Ladin saw his allies were going to lose, he ingratiated himself with the Taliban and started funding them.
Spot|DSE wrote on 6/7/2005, 7:33 PM
Anyone noticed that this is in the top 20 longest threads, and no one has lost their cool or caused moderator deletions?

Aside from the media responsiblity and fairness, seems to me that this is something fairly impressive for the forum to crow about!
Buster, thanks for the history, I still don't know how you keep all that stuff in your head.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/7/2005, 9:06 PM
I just keep the outline in my head and Google the rest.

apit34356 wrote on 6/7/2005, 9:08 PM
Buskerkeaton, "I believe that Walsh was investigating misuse of state power, specifically selling weapons to one our enemies" Walsh was given the Contra's investagation, but branch into the "selling weapons to one our enemies" deal, which really was the CIA approving Israel's selling F-4 tires to Iran during the Iran vs Iraq war, the hard fact is that Israel had done the deal already and was looking for political cover, just encase the US Congress heard about it from the Russians. The so-called arms deals for shoulder helded missiles made alot of news but never actually happened. All this got started over a dem. rumor that Bush flew to Iran and made a deal with K. about the hostages during Carter's last days, which after many false claims and charges, they were unable to prove anything, no phones calls, no messages, no secret plane trips, no information from any non us governments,( even the Russians laughted about it), to support the dem's claim, but it did get a lot of damaging press coverage.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/7/2005, 9:20 PM
Off to Google!
johnmeyer wrote on 6/7/2005, 10:43 PM
Anyone noticed that this is in the top 20 longest threads, and no one has lost their cool or caused moderator deletions?

No thanks to me. I've been writing like Ann Coulter or Maureen Dowd. I'll tone it down.

BusterKeaton: Thanks for putting up with me.

MSNBC added another conservative opinion host to their network this week. They don't have any liberal that I know of ...

Is Chris Mathews on CNBC or MSNBC? I can't remember. He certainly shows up on NBC all the time. I would classify him as moderately to extremely liberal. In addition, he is the most annoying host of all time, interrupting guests in the middle of almost every sentence. Whatever his politics, he needs to go.

he [Ken Starr] was able to keep the investigation open, until he found some crimes. There is no way this could have happened without A the media's general thirst for scandal and B the media's general hostilities to the Clintions.

You are definitely correct about the Starr investigation going all over the map. That investigation is the biggest black eye on the Republican party in the past ten years. However, I don't think that the long tenure was in any way caused by the media being hostile to the Clintons. Yes, they certainly gave broad coverage to all his indiscretions, but I would argue they were amazingly soft in not pushing hard on sexual harassment angle of the story. It is hard to believe that the feminist movement suddenly lurched towards the right wing, and yet they were almost completely silent about the obvious and blatant sexual harassment that would have cost any CEO his job had he used his position to lure a young secretary -- willing or otherwise -- into liaisons in his office during business hours. A hostile press would have buried him, but instead gave him a pass. (Yes, they covered it ad nauseum, but they didn't press for his resignation, which a hostile press sure as heck would have done.)

The Republicans were incredibly stupid to impeach him, although if you don't like Republicans you should thank your lucky stars that they did go through with the impeachment. Without that -- if they'd instead just let Clinton twist in the wind -- I don't think you'd have the backlash that helped elevate Gore -- a candidate so bland and boring he could actually make Walter Mondale look sparkling by comparison -- to the point where he won (actually I don't believe he won, but I want to avoid taking this into a rehash of Florida).

I don't know if you were upset in 2002 about the decision to invade Iraq, but at the time the war was sold to us as necessary and as easy.

I did not support the decision in 2002, and I think Bush did a terrible job trying to sell it. However, I tried to understand the logic, and tried not to reduce it to cartoon characterizations, some of which I've previously mentioned, but which also included the notion of payback for an assassination attempt on Bush's old man and other such nonsense.

Instead, I made the giant leap of faith that some people in government service -- Bush included -- actually want to keep the country safe and don't necessarily have motives so convoluted that it takes twenty minutes for a talk show host to try to explain them. The basic problem is the asymmetry of terrorism, and the fact that this tactic is currently employed by people not directly affiliated with any one country. If you are president, and you've seen the attacks, visited the sites, and talked not only to your own intelligence services, but those of other countries, and heard something that has long been known, namely that these same people would like to get nukes, what DO you do?

Since I've already mentioned that much of what I hear these days sounds like bad Hollywood plots, let me actually use a pretty good Hollywood movie to illustrate my point. In the movie "Speed," the bad guy has put the good guys in an impossible situation where, no matter what they do, the hostages are going to blow up. He mocks the good guys, "So what are you going to do, Jack? What are you gonna do?" Lots of people have mocked Bush for his deer in the headlights look when he got the initial 9/11 news at that school, and he sure could have handled that more like Harrison Ford. However -- here's my point -- what you saw was someone contemplating what might be about to happen. He didn't know -- none of us did. How many more airplanes? Poison gas? How many cities? Do they have a nuke?

That rite of passage and the days and weeks that followed led to a logical response, namely that if we believe that these people can get a nuke, then we can't afford to wait until that happens and then try to prosecute them. In an admittedly perverse way, the lack of success in getting Bin Laden and the long time it took to get most of the leaders in Iraq even after a full-scale invasion show how difficult it is to retaliate. Bush's dad had the same problem, you may recall, in trying to get Noreiga.

Thus, I support the Bush doctrine because I truly believe that these people will get a nuke and use it against us as soon as they possibly can. And I certainly believe that they would have done this with or without our retaliation. It is naivete worthy of Neville Chamberlain to believe that any country can appease or negotiate with people like this. In WWII, that appeasement led to the slaughter of over 10,000,000 innocent people. Doing the same with Stalin at Alta led to fifty years of cold war and the slaughter and imprisonment of several times that many.

Back to Bush and the Iraq invasion. Despite what I just wrote, remember I earlier said that I didn't support the Iraq invasion. Instead, I would have handled this as an escalation of covert operations. Despite all the negative things we've learned about CIA competence, I still believe that had Bush simply removed some of the restrictions imposed back during the Carter years and let the CIA "handle" things over the next several years, coupled with a few select air strikes which even Clinton had to resort to from time to time, we could have controlled the situation, kept the nuke programs (if they existed in Iraq) physically in one place long enough to find them, and then taken them out.

When Reagan sent those missiles into Qaddafi's campsite twenty years ago, he started the process that eventually has neutralized some of the menace poised by Libia.

One of the fascinating thing about this era is how many of the President's critics, got smeared or simply ignored, Republicans and Democrats, it didn't matter.

While I don't agree that this is so, if it IS true, it is certainly no worse than what happened to Clinton's critics. "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find," James Carville once famously said about Paula Jones. Point is, the Republicans don't have a corner on this market.

In terms of left-wing vs right wing-radio ... there are definitely stations that have had their ratings jump when they signed on.

Anything can happen, but so far the ratings are still pretty dismal. I've listened to Al Franken and in his case, for a guy that used to be funny, he has simply gotten too angry to be funny. Many people say that Limbaugh is angry and that talk radio in general is angry. I don't listen to a lot of it, but I do listen, and it is certainly true that the right-wing talk show hosts don't like much of what the opposition is doing. The difference between them and Al Franken is that the right wing hosts really try to explain their position and get converts.

Think of it this way: First rule of selling is that you have to have something to sell. Second rule is that you have to ask for the order. The liberal side of this talk show equation seems to violate both rules. They are against the horrible conservatives, but what are they FOR??

I offer as proof of this thesis the titles of the last two books by Al Franken as compared to the titles of the last two books by Rush Limbaugh:

Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Rush Limbaugh
The Way Things Ought to Be

The Al Franken approach seems pretty much on the level of how my thirteen year old son handles arguments at the schoolyard ("your mother wears army boots"). Limbaugh really tries to educate and convert. Like I said, the titles of these books, I think, reveal a lot.

I know what Dick Cheney said was a lie because he needed to discredit Clarke as fast he could and what he was saying was false. I knew it was a lie when I heard it, ...

I didn't follow the logic of your argument, and ultimately it seems like a small point at best. Was Clarke in the loop or not in the loop? Does it really matter? Remember this is the same guy who said: "As I briefed Rice on Al Qaeda, her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard of the term before." As has been pointed out elsewhere, it must be nice to know how to tell what someone knows or doesn't know based on facial expressions. I guess the same people that discount Bush's Yale degree, his Harvard degree, his jet fighter experience, the fact that he was part-owner of a major league baseball team, and then elected governor of Texas, will also be equally willing to discount Rice's experience and accomplishments and be willing to believe that despite twenty years in various high level national security positions, she had never heard of Al Qaeda.

Maybe I'd believe this from Clio the psychic, but I don't think Clarke's resume makes him qualified in the area of mind-reading. But then again, maybe Condi's just a big fat idiot. If that's good enough for Al Franken, it's probably good enough for Richard Clarke, and we should all believe him.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/7/2005, 10:48 PM

Are you seriously saying that the Iran-Contra issue was all about tires? No TOW missiles were involved? No Hawk missiles were involved? Manucher Ghorbanifar was not borrowing money from Adnan Khashoggi depositing it into Swiss bank accounts from which the Israelis would then send to a different Swiss bank account for the CIA, the CIA was not paying back the Pentagon for the costs of the missiles and Oliver North and Richard Second were not sending any left-over money to the Contras? Bud McFarlane did not show up in Iran with a cake shaped like a Bible?

But most importantly, are you saying that the report that blew the Iran-Contra story wide open was the rumors of the 1980 October Surprise and not a 1986 report in Lebanese magazine, Al-Shiraa? Are you saying that the whole thing took place before Iranian sponsored terrorists blew 241 G.I.s in Beirut?

If that's the case why did Oliver North and John Poindexter recieve criminal immunity for their testimony before Congress? Why did they get convicted before the cases were overturned on appeals relating to their immunity?
Why did McFarlane plead guilty?
Why did Secord plead guilty?
Why did Bush I pardon six people involved with Iran-Contra including Caspar Weinberger before he went to trial?

Did all these juries think that tires were that important?

B.Verlik wrote on 6/7/2005, 11:53 PM
Alright, who's the first person that's going to write "WAR & PEACE" here? You're all trying to show how savvy you are, and all you're doing is proving to me why it takes 500 years for anything to get done in congress anymore. Too many video editors trying to prove to everyone that you're a political genius. Meanwhile, it appears that "Google" is supplying a lot of the information.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to talk to some 3-D graphic artists about a potential 18 hour heart surgery.
Cheesehole wrote on 6/8/2005, 1:06 AM
All you're doing is proving to me why it takes 500 years for anything to get done in congress anymore

Are you kidding? They passed the national ID card without even debating it:

"The End of America: May 10, 2005"

Patriot ACT, IRAQ Resolution, Family Copyright Act... I can't even keep up. You can try if you like - Thomas is the best way:


edit: But yeah, brevity would be welcome here guys! :D
busterkeaton wrote on 6/8/2005, 1:34 AM
Edit. Changed CNBC to MSNBC.

Chris Matthews is MSNBC and I definitely don't put him down as a liberal. He has said he voted for Bush at least once. Probably the first time. Let's call him a centrist. Yes, he is annoying.

Here's my take on recent events.
I truly can't see how how the impeachment elevated Gore. He had to choose Lieberman as a running mate because Lieberman had criticized Clinton. I can't see how Lieberman helped at all. He was probably one of the reasons some folks looked at Nader. Gore was running against Bradley in the primaries. I live in New York and was for Bradley for among other reasons he played on the last Knicks teams that were good. But Gore creamed Bradley in the debates, I think it was pretty much over by the time they got to my state. Did the backlash help Gore against Bradley? OK, onto the general election. Here's my thesis The Impeachment of President Clinton led to George W. Bush to become the President. Gore was boring true, but he ran a decent campaign and was associated with 8 years of economic growth and the first government surpluses since I was a toddler. It looked like government was working. What was the single biggest disadvantage of Gore? He reminded people Clinton was having sex with the help. Here's where Gore made a huge mistake, he did not use Clinton to campaign for him because he thought it would hurt him. He was wrong. Clinton is a great campaigner and he would have added some excitement that Gore/Lieberman were unable to produce on their own. OK, what is happening on the Republican side. The Impeachment so hurt Republicans, that all Republicans in Washington were harmed by it. How does this help Bush? Rove positions Bush as a Washington Outsider and tells him not to talk about the Impeachment Battle. If your remember, before the Impeachment, George W Bush wasn't thought of as a contender, people thought perhaps Jeb Bush first then W. With Republicans hurting from the 1998 elections they look for someone. Rove is waiting. Since W he not involved with the Impeachment helooks pretty good he combines the finances of the old-money wing of the Republican Party with the new energy and mobilization of religious conservatives. Rove orchestrates Republicans to come out to Texas to pay their respects. It keeps Bush out of Washington and looks like the party is annointing him. Also remember Bush is very coy about whether or not he is even running for president. By 1999, Bush was considered the heir apparent.

You are right that Carville did trash Paula Jones, but I don't believe she has 20 years of government service and the highest security clearances in the land, like some of the folks I referred to.

You miss the point of Al Franken's books. The joke of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot is that Al Franken is condemning the level to which our political discourse has sunk. He says that in the book, I believe. (Also it's fun to say. And I say that as a Big, Fat Smarty Pants myself.) Also a lot of people in that other book tell lying lies.

Now on to the big stuff, John think about what you are saying. "I tried to understand the logic" "I made the giant leap of faith" You weren't convinced. Bush made a very simple argument. Saddam is such a threat to the United States that we must go to war now. You didn't buy it. Not only did you not buy that we need to go to war in March 2003, you would not have handled the situation by going to war. This is where your Neville Chamberlain accusation falls apart. (For one thing, how is intrusive weapons inspections appeasement?) Germany in 1939 stood a good chance off controlling Europe from Britain to Russia. Germany and the Axis posed an existential threat to United States. Iraq in 2003 did not. The Axis of Evil certainly did not, especially as the three countries had virtually nothing to do with each other, let alone a self-defense pact. Saddam Hussein didn't even control his own country. We controlled the airspace, monitored the no-fly zones and set up a protected region in Kurdistan. We flew hundreds of sorties over his country and he was never able to shoot down a single plane. So the danger that Saddam posed to us was he could do a terrorist attack against us. Then what? Then we would attack Iraq and destory it. What would Saddam have gained one last bit of satisfaction? It also brings up the basic problem that we were attacked by Al Qaeda terrorists and not Iraqi Baathists. John, think of all the doubts you had and the blind leap you had to take. Now think of the same arguments Bush made coming from someone you are less inclined to trust. How would they sound coming from the mouth of Al Gore or John Kerry? Would they be even less convincing?

You ask what we would do? Those of us who said Afghanistan Yes, Iraq No would have continued the focus 100 percent on Al-Qaeda. We would not have held troops back for the Iraq war. We certainly wouldn't have had Tommy Franks start planning the war in 2001 while we were still searching for Bin Ladin. We would have taken the worldwide goodwill we had after 9/11 and used towards an antiterrorism policy that united countries in going after Al Qaeda and similiar jihadist groups. We had a moment there that we could have exploited. To win a war on terrorism, we are going to need help. (Most of our recent coups have come from Pakistani and Yemeni intelligence.) We wouldn't have engaged in an experiment that cost the US its credibility on a lot of fronts. We wouldn't have spent a lot time arguing with NATO allies. We wouldn't have cared what the fries in the White House cafeteria were called. We won the Cold War by setting up the Atlantic Alliance, rebuilding Western Europe and following a policy of containment. I know you think that is appeasement, but we were in no shape to fight a war with Stalin in 1946 and we saved Western Europe. You talk as if we could have just walked into Russia and did a little regime change. Containment worked and we fought proxy wars but never a direct war with Russia or China. We could have set up new institutions dedicated to eliminating Al Qaeda and making sure nothing like it develops. We could have also started to fight the ideological war we are going to need to fight eventually. In short, we would have pursued some of the many smart options that lie between doing nothing and invading a country that wasn't involved in the attack on us. We had the will of the American people and support of the world in a way I don't think we will see again.

I read about a writer who predicted we would not find one WMD in Iraq. When we didn't, people asked him how he could know. He said I learned in business school that good ideas do not need a lot lies to gain acceptance. Once someone has lied even a teeny bit, their predictions are worthless and liars should not be given the benefit of the doubt. John, I think somewhere down deep, as you try to understand the logic, you get the feeling you were lied to. Do you remember when Congress was going to investigate the state of the pre-war intelligence and then after the election have a second investigation to the political use of the pre-war intelligence ? Well guess, what, they are not going to look into the political use. Yeah, I feel lied to as well.

We are over two years into the Iraq war, there is still no telling if will emerge as a democracy or it will devolve in a failed state with a three-way civil war. If it does emerge as a democracy, there are reasons to believe it will be quite friendly with Iran. The reasons given for going to war keep changing. Our volunteer military is reaching a crisis point. The truth is this war was an experiment on both Bush's and Rumsfeld's part. Bush's experiment was we would be able to take over the country quickly impose a friendly government in the form of the exiles from the Iraqi National Congress. Our first ruler of Iraq, General Garner, was removed because he wanted to hold immediate elections and he thought the State Department plan was a good way to rebuild Iraq. It turns out the INC had no political base inside Iraq and the majority Shia population are intensely religious and the most popular person in Iraq is an ayatollah from Iran. Rumsfeld's experiment was that the same force you use to invade a country could be the same amount in takes to secure a country. Rumsfeld first proposed a force of 50,000, maybe 75,000 total troops. The army's traditional calculus for this, recently tested in Bosnia and Kosovo is that for country the size of Iraq without history of ethnic conflict, you would need about 400,000. Franks had to fight and scratch to get it up to 130,000. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz publically ridiculed Gen Shinseki when he testified we would need "several hundred thousand." This is one reason among many that I question their motives. Surely Shinseki qualifies as "someone in government service who wants to keep the country safe." Why humiliate him if your ideas are correct. Could it be that Wolfowitz's ideas like "Iraq doesn't have a history of ethnic conflict" or "The war can pay for itself our of Iraqi oil money" are not very good ideas? Also when the State Department convenes experts in rebuilding a country and after a year-long project prepares a 14,000 report on how to handle the building of Iraq, the water, the power grid, sanitation, sewage, etc, why throw that away? At the very least it seems wasteful of the taxpayers dollars and worst it seems criminal.

No thanks to me. I've been writing like Ann Coulter or Maureen Dowd. I'll tone it down. BusterKeaton: Thanks for putting up with me. You seem like far too decent a guy to write like Ann Coulter. Thanks for indulging me.
craftech wrote on 6/8/2005, 7:19 AM
About Bush - Enron - and Ken Lay in an "attempt" to keep my posts shorter than they have been:
Enron was Bush's top contributor until January 2004 when it was surpassed by MBNA corp. " While he was governor of Texas, Bush relied on Enron and its then-chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay for more than just campaign contributions. When Bush needed help launching his education plan, Lay, through semi-official advisory group called the Governor's Business Council, pledged his support. When Bush wanted to start an internship program in the governor's office, Lay followed through with the funding. And when Lay wanted changes to tort, tax or environmental law, Bush returned the favors. "
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush received $113,800 from Enron compared to Gore's $13,750. That did not include $312,500 from Enrons PAC and employees to Bush's 1994 and 1998 Texas gubernatorial campaigns; $300,000 from Enron's PAC and employees, including a $100,000 contribution from Lay and his wife, Linda, to the Bush-Cheney 2001 Inaugural Fund; and $10,000 from Lay and his wife to the Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount Fund. Enron provided Bush with 14 private jet flights during the campaign, including two after Election Day.
Here are some well known people tied to Enron and the Republican party:
Tom White, former secretary of the Army, was at Enron Energy Services, a company that was little more than a sham from the get go. Ed Gillespie, 2004 head of the Republican National Committee, was an Enron lobbyist. Marc Racicot, former head of the RNC, was an Enron lobbyist. Robert Zoellick, 2004 US Trade Representative, worked for Enron as an adviser. James Baker III, former secretary of state -- and the man who was crucial to Bush's win in Florida -- was an Enron lobbyist. Lay was a close personal friend of President Bush, who nicknamed him "Kenny Boy." What? You didn't know about the former Enron lobbyists running the RNC? Surely the "liberal media" that the Right accused of trying to get KERRY re-elected pointed that out? Didn't they?

Robert Bryce, author of Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron (PublicAffairs, 2002) siad in an interview with the Washington Post that at a 2001 meeting between Vice President Dick Cheney and Lay "Enron had about a dozen different contacts with Cheney's task force. And the result of all those meetings were several provisions in the task force report that were very favorable to Enron."

Bush was dragging his feet on Ken Lay and Enron until he could drag them no more. After all, it was an election year and Kerry kept accusing him of dragging his feet. The reasons I outlined above though always seemed to get left out by the so-called "liberal" media, and in fact Fox and CNN gave credibility to one of the RNC lies that it was Kerry and his wife who had ties to Ken Lay. I wonder which one of the former Enron lobbyists running the Republican campaign last year thought that one up. All the lie needed was some media corroboration which was of course..............no problem.
As I said, Ken Lay wanted his trial before the election. I am sure he was aggravated, after all he and Enron did for the Bush's over the years. That request was, of course, denied.


PS: With Watergate back in the news in the past week, one thing is absolutely clear. If it had happened today, it would have been discredited (with the help of the media )as unfounded attempts by the minority and their "liberal media friends" to smear the Republicans, and as a result of the Republican majority in the Congress there would NOT have been hearings on the "false accusations". The media would have also obsessed for weeks over the "irresponsible" actions of Wooward and Bernstein and the "mistake" they made in using "unreliable sources". They would have all patted themselves on the back for holding to "higher" standards and had nauseating discussions about their "responsibilty to the public to bring them the truth and how difficult that can be at times, but we try our best, blah, blah)" Their eventual resignation would have been forthcoming as well as those above them who "allowed it". Endless phony discussions by the media would seem like intelligent ones to the average unwitting viewer who would then start repeating the distortions as if they were true.
And as for the tapes that (despite the clouding of the facts by today's media) ACTUALLY brought Nixon down. The white house banned taping shortly thereafter so it is a non-issue today.

johnmeyer wrote on 6/8/2005, 8:20 AM
I'm out of steam on this thread. There is one point, however, in your last response that seems pretty inconsistent. You keep talking about Republicans lying. I'm sure some of them have told lies. I disagree, however, about your assertions that Bush and Cheney lie, especially when it comes to why they went to war. Near as I can tell, they got a lot of bad information, not only from the CIA (which is populated by many people appointed by presidents of both parties), but also from foreign intelligence. Also, Saddam himself was apparently trying to scare his neighbors by making sure that everyone thought he had nukes.

Maybe he did. I sure don't know.

The point is, a lie is where YOU know the truth for sure and then deliberately say something different. By contrast, if you believe something, based on bad information, and then act on it, including making public statements, then the decision later looks pretty bad, but it certainly is not a lie.

I might add that virtually every country that is a member of the United Nations thought Iraq had nukes or was trying to get them. If they didn't, then why did they have all those resolutions?

And why were the U.N. inspectors in Iraq for ten years?? Why? Because Saddam's intent was clear to EVERYONE.

Quick, name another country where the United Nations has sent inspectors for ten years looking for nuclear material. You can't.

The point is, Iraq's nuclear program was NOT some George Bush fantasy. Even France, who famously opposed the Iraq invasion, wanted to CONTINUE the inspections. Perhaps they just wanted a way to pamper their government staff by giving them long vacations in sunny Baghdad, but maybe, just maybe, even France believed that Iraq was hiding nukes.

Once someone has lied even a teeny bit, their predictions are worthless and liars should not be given the benefit of the doubt

This statement is why I am giving up on the thread. As I pointed out, I can find no proof that Bush has deliberately lied. In fact, this is what I find so infuriating about people that dislike Bush so much: They make wild accusations because they think they can read facial expressions (like Richard Clarke claims he can do), or they don't like the way Bush bites his lip. On the other hand, Bill Clinton was caught lying multiple times -- scientifically, as it turned out, and eventually in court, costing him his law license -- and yet virtually every person of the liberal persuasion gives him the benefit of the doubt. The failure to hold Bill Clinton to the same standard is what makes me so dismissive of the motives and logic of people that make wild accusations of lies against Bush.

Play back your statement above "Once someone has lied even a teeny bit" and apply it to Clinton's whoppers about his affairs. Yes, it was "just about sex" and not about national security, but it was a lie. And yet Bill Clinton is still the god of the Democratic party. Unless you totally repudiate Bill Clinton, you completely lose all moral ground on which to make all these wild accusations against George Bush. And you certainly cannot ask me to repudiate Bush, just because you think he lied (but have no proof), but won't repudiate Clinton when he did lie, and we have perfect proof.

You have given no evidence whatsoever that anyone in the Bush administration lied. You have projected motives to them without evidence. You still, despite denials, believe in some sort of right-wing conspiracy, even though you say you don't believe in conspiracy theories.

This is my last response because I can't do anything to help people that start from a premise (e.g., Bush is a frat-boy elitist who has no accomplishments of his own, is too stupid to do anything without help, is controlled by handlers, and is willing to do anything to help his buddies in the oil business and elsewhere) when virtually everything he's actually done outside of the war, that are undeniably something he started (largest expansion of Medicare in history, no child left behind) are traditional liberal items and are not supported at all by his supposed base.

So, in summary, I cannot continue a debate where the basic logic of the opposing viewpoint requires me to accept a different standard for my point of view than for yours. I can't do that.

riredale wrote on 6/8/2005, 8:24 AM
This has turned into a very interesting thread. I'm always fascinated by threads where posts turn into thousand-word essays--the writer obviously has thought about his topic a lot.

My own life was changed the day we adopted an infant daughter that was almost aborted. Before then, I didn't think much about issues such as abortion, but boy I sure do now.

I really like Bush. I wince every time he gives a speech. Some people are brilliant public speakers. Bush is not one of them. But I like his positions on issues and agree with most of what he says. I am soooo glad that the other guy was not elected president.

Speaking of Mr. Kerry, did you catch the news yesterday that he FINALLY released some military records, promised long ago? Now everyone can see why he kept them secret--some of the records document his college grades at Yale. Turns out he was a solid "C" student, just like Bush, who followed him at Yale a couple of years later. Gosh, all this time you'd get the impression from everyone on the blue side of the fence that 'ol George was a frigging idiot, while Kerry was a master of nuance, intelligence, and competence. No wonder Kerry held off on the release as long as he could--it would have absolutely killed him in the months leading up to the elections last November.

As for talk radio, I listen occasionally to Air America for several reasons. One reason is because I think Al Franken is a brilliantly funny guy. Okay, maybe he was a bit smarmy on SNL years ago, but he really is a very creative and clever guy. I also listen to the other hosts from time to time for the same reason that I enjoy occasionally tuning into the station that hosts a UFO-themed show. I just have to shake my head and laugh at the richness of life.

Edit: Spelling. Oops--sorry.
apit34356 wrote on 6/8/2005, 8:38 AM
Busterkeaton, Iran and the Contras were really two separate issues, but made a good sound bite. Welsh used a new law passed the Dem congress that made it illegal to support the Contras in the South America, that law was later removed by Dem Congress from the books just before it was ruled unconstitutional in Federal courts because it set foriegn policy which is restrictly the President's job. All Welsh's court wins in the DC circuit, which refused to address the validity of the law, was overturned in the higher courts. But this did not stop Welsh, Welsh wanted Bush, Reagan. Welsh was able to get Wienberger to admit that his memory recall of a meeting was different than his notes and that he must have or should know more. Wienberger, like the others was using their own money to defend themselves, and was running out of money. Wienberger at the same time was undergoing Chemo for cancer, which was not going well and the doctors believe the stress of the inquiry was killing him. Welsh offered a deal to Wienberger, to publicly state that he had or should have known about the Iran dealing. Wienberger made the public statement, which was written by Welsh staff, but after the public statement was made, Welsh cancelled the deal and basicly put it to Wienburger. Using the only real facts used in the case was his public statement and the signed deal, which when submitted to the court by Welsh, this document had a number of missing pages and added summaries that were not in the original. The lower court permitted this document to be admitted, later a higher court ruled against the admitting a modified document by Welsh, that Welsh could not modify a document after its been signed and submitt it as an original document. Welsh argued that the us senate committee accepted this document as evident, so should the lower courts. He claimed the new summaries were needed because the actually paperwork was too massive and disjoined for the courts to handle in a timely and clear matter. When the higher court asked about the "to handle in a timely and clear matter", Welsh put his foot in his mouth by stating he was the only one that could clearly determine the meaning of the documents. The court asked Welsh to produce all the documents claimed to be use in the analyze for the summaries, Welsh decline to provide the documents, so the court ruled against Welsh claim.

"No TOW missiles were involved? No Hawk missiles were involved?" The Shah of Iran, pre-1979, was one of the biggest US military weapon systems customer , usually buying the latest weapon systems, all approved by the US congress. When Iran government collapsed, there were many weapon systems in different stage of delivery, most of the systems were already in europe or the mideast. When it looked like K. was going to put it to Carter in last days about the hostages, Carter signed an executive order for the pentagon to fold in the "in trans" weapons systems to its inventory. But a lot of systems were already in many NATO and third hands, many of these countries were not that friendly to the ideal of giving back these systems, when they could be useful for their own needs or working out a deal with the new Iran government. Few allies supported Carter and knew Iran was not impress with him. Pentagon being ordered to paper over the deals without actually recovering the weapon systems, created a monster. Carter did not authorize the pentagon to actually sieze the weapon systems, but ordered the Cia to use weapon systems or the funds frozen in Europe to embarrsass the new Iran government. The pentagon and the NSA was having heart attacks as the new Iran government permitted the Russians to examine a number of "top notch" weapon systems, which included the Navys F-14 and its missile systems, the secret NSA listening posts and computing centers.
Too much history to explain for a simple news article.
Welsh used the Carter ordered paper trail, to say US was now selling or giving Iran systems, when in fact other countries were completing the deals. When Iraq Iran war was started, it was viewed, in the CIA ,NSA and pentagon circles, that the war may be a way to remove these "in trans" weapon systems from all third parties and stop the Russians gaining from any more working knowledge about them. A CIA study was done to see if the "in trans" systems could be secretly modified to mislead the Russians who would be examining the systems once they arrived in Iran,( this study later proved useful in the Iraq 1991, where CIA replace ICs in a French weapon system,(French just happen to "borrow" some of US targeting software to be used in one of their systems). The Iranians, being at war with Iraq, quickly realized that letting the Russians analyze their US systems, was actually helping the Iraq war effort, not theirs.

Welsh was using politics to cover the dem's and Carter butt about one of most massive foriegn policy failure in the last 50 years, plus Welsh political thought Reagan was an idiot and commonly spoke out against "starwars defense" and Reagan's policy towards Russia being uneducated. Welsh at dinner parties would point out that Johnson/Kenndy war of the 60's was now viewed as Nixon's war, not as Johnson's failure. and that he could correct the political view of the hostages and Iran in the voting public opinion from a negative view concerning the dems handling of it, to a non issue, using "Iran-Contras" to refocus the public talking points.

craftech wrote on 6/8/2005, 8:43 AM
I'm out of steam on this thread. There is one point, however, in your last response that seems pretty inconsistent. You keep talking about Republicans lying. I'm sure some of them have told lies. I disagree, however, about your assertions that Bush and Cheney lie, especially when it comes to why they went to war. Near as I can tell, they got a lot of bad information, not only from the CIA
I am a Republican. That is what annoys me so much. However the point is not that Republicans lie and Democrats don't. Politicians lie. My point is consistent with this thread which is that lies are fueled by corroboration and THE MEDIA is supplying the fuel. And that is to the detriment of all of us as Americans. They are responsible to bring out the facts and factors and present them to the public. They are doing all of us a disservice by what they do. It is the media that "allowed" what has ALWAYS been understood in terms of a president's responsibilty for his actions to all of a sudden CHANGE. All presidents especially when it came to military decisions resulting in loss of life have taken responsibility for their actions. "The buck stops here" is the expression. The media has allowed this administration to get away with changing that to "The buck stops THERE". "It's not THEIR fault". It's the "CIA's fault and the UN's fault." "Not OUR fault". Abdicating responsibility for one's actions, particulary one involving military conflict is not the mark of a leader. It is the mark of a coward. It has always been that way. I am not making these comments to argue the attack on Iraq and the PNAC group's pre-planning thereof. I am responding specifically to the so-called "absurd notion" that the media has moved to the right because they answer to corporate interests and not the interests of the public. That unpopular view needs specific examples with data and quotes to back it up and that is what I am trying to do here. Not get bogged down with a specific issue other than the media, and the need to force a corporate breakup of those in control of what we do or do not hear.