Sanity in the World?

Into all lives, a little Sanity must fall.

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Location: Michigan, United States

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Friday, September 01, 2006

The Media - Fast and Loose with the Facts

It's funny, all the stories that the media seems to exaggerate, especially when it comes to either A) Race or B) President Bush.

But when it finally comes down to getting to the truth of the matter, you normally find things are rarely what the media exaggerated it to be.....

Examples of this can be found in:

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

Washington Post

Ah the media trying to get Flood victims from New Orleans to bash the President and boy did they try hard to get someone, anyone to bash the President:

Reynolds [ABC]: “Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?”

London: “No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in. They should have been on their jobs.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “And they weren't?”

London: “No, no, no, no. Lord, they wasn't. I mean, they had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “Now, Mary, you were rescued from your house which was basically submerged in your neighborhood. Did you hear something in the President's words that you could glean some hope from?”

Mary: “Yes. He said we're coming back, and I believe we're coming back. He's going to build the city up. I believe that.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “You believe you'll be able to return to your home?”

Mary: “Yes, I do.”

Reynold[ABC]s: “Why?”

Mary: “Because I really believe what he said. I believe. I got faith.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “Back here in the corner, we've got Brenda Marshall, right?”

Brenda Marshall: “Yes.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “Now, Brenda, you were, spent, what, several days at the Superdome, correct?”

Marshall: “Yes, I did.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “What did you think of what the President told you tonight?”

Marshall: “Well, I think -- I think the speech was wonderful, you know, him specifying that we will return back and that we will have like mobile homes, you know, rent or whatever. I was listening to that pretty good. But I think it was a well fine speech.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “Was there any particular part of it that stood out in your mind? I mean, I saw you all nod when he said the Crescent City is going to come back one day.”

Marshall: “Well, I think I was more excited about what he said. That's probably why I nodded.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?”

Marshall: “No, I didn't.”

Reynold[ABC]s: “Good. Well, very little skepticism here. Frederick Gould, did you hear something that you could hang on to tonight from the President?”

Frederick Gould: “Well, I just know, you know, he said good things to me, you know, what he said, you know. I was just trying to listen to everything they were saying, you know.”

Reynolds[ABC]: “And Cecilia, did you feel that the President was sincere tonight?”

Cecilia: “Yes, he was.”

Video excerpt can be seen Here.

Did New Orleans blacks die at a higher rate than whites in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? On the evidence so far, the answer is no. Of the 1,100 bodies recovered in Louisiana after Katrina, 836 were found in New Orleans, and the state has released data on 568 of those that were judged to be storm-related. As of last week, blacks, which were 67.2 percent of the pre-storm population of New Orleans, account for 50.9 percent of the city victims so far identified by race. It was New Orleans Caucasians who died way out of proportion to their numbers-28 percent of the population, 45.6 percent of the city’s known Katrina deaths by race.

This is far from the impression that the media have managed to leave, both during the crisis and in the months since. It’s possible, though unlikely, that these percentages may change in the final figures. Louisiana is not releasing any information on the rest of the dead until they are identified and their families notified.

In the chaos of Katrina, the press was hardly in a position to know that whites were dying as fast as blacks. But it was responsible for strumming the racial theme so relentlessly in the absence of actual information. A mix of factors were operating-faces shown on TV were mostly black, quotable black spokesmen kept insisting that racism was at work, and national reporters on the scene may have thought that since this was the south, blacks were probably being victimized in some way. This hardened into a narrative line for New Orleans that stressed race, and to lesser extent, class.

Racial agitators and entertainers played a big role. Randall Robinson, the former head of TransAfrica said, "This is what we have come to. This defining watershed moment in America's racial history." Jesse Jackson said, "Today I saw 5,000 African-Americans desperate, perishing, dehydrated, babies dying." (That would be 5,000 blacks dying out of a total of 1,349 known dead of all races in all Gulf States combined.) The morning show host of a New York City rap station saw the New Orleans situation as "genocide." Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics, said Katrina "disclosed our racism in multiple ways." Comedian and activist Dick Gregory saw an anti-black conspiracy in New Orleans. And rapper Kanye West offered the opinion that "America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well off, as slow as possible," adding his soon to be famous accusation, "George Bush doesn’t care about black people." The media carried all the race chatter without much in the way or caution or evidence.

Even now, mainstream media have done little to set the record straight. The numbers and percentages of death by race are easy to find among bloggers, very hard to find in mainstream reporting. On December 18, three days after the state of Louisiana delivered a breakdown of deaths by race, The New York Times ran a long analysis of Katrina that omitted the racial breakdown from the state report. By contrast, the Los Angeles Times ran an excellent article, also on December 18, that began this way: "The bodies of New Orleans residents killed by Hurricane Katrina were almost as likely to be recovered from middle-class neighborhoods as from the city’s poorer districts, such as the Lower 9th Ward." The paper reported that its own analysis "contradicts what swiftly became conventional wisdom in the days after the storm hit--that it was the city’s poorest African American residents who bore the brunt of the hurricane." Good journalism. Will the rest of the media catch on?


Fast on assumptions, fast on race baiting, fast on calling racism.....slow on corrections, slow if ever admitting they were WRONG!

Or when they become propaganda outlets for terrorist and terror supporting regimes so they can again put the President in a bad light, and his support for Israel.

The recent discovery that the Reuters news agency released a digitally manipulated photograph as an authentic image of the bombing in Beirut has drawn attention to the important topic of bias in the media. But lost in the frenzy over one particular image is an even more devastating fact: that over the last week Reuters has been caught red-handed in an astonishing variety of journalistic frauds in the photo coverage of the war in Lebanon.

This page serves as an overview of the various types of hoaxes, lies and other deceptions perpetrated by Reuters in recent days, since the details of the scandal are getting overwhelmed by a torrent of shallow mainstream media coverage that can easily confuse or mislead the viewer. Almost all of the investigative work has been done by cutting-edge blogs, but the proliferation of exposes might overwhelm the casual Web-surfer, who might be getting the various related scandals mixed up.

Reuter's Photo Scandal <- very good read!

Or the hoax of the Lebanese Red Cross ambulance struck by a Israeli missile:

How the Media Legitimized an Anti-Israel Hoax and Changed the Course of a War.

On the night of July 23, 2006, an Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. Or so says the global media, including Time magazine, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of other outlets around the world. If true, the incident would have been an egregious and indefensible violation of the Geneva Convention, and would constitute a war crime committed by the state of Israel.

But there's one problem: It never happened.


This includes Gas Prices, in which I believe the media help to keep the price of gas up so high by their constant conjecture and reporting of gas prices soaring to increasingly new heights, kept the prices up.

This was from a 2005 report:

Filling up at the pump is costing less and less each day – 45 cents per gallon less since its post Rita peak of $2.94. Despite that huge drop, all three broadcast networks have reported on rising or high gas prices four times as often as falling prices. Here are some of the key results:

  • ABC the Worst: ABC mentioned falling gas prices only once out of 11 reports and that was only after three straight weeks of price declines.

  • Dropping Prices Have Little Impact: Gas prices dropped every business day from October 6 through October 30, but the three networks still mentioned rising or high prices 79 percent of the time.

  • Record-Breaking Fiction: Gas prices haven't topped inflation-adjusted highs. NBC's Anne Thompson and other journalists continued to claim "American
    consumers have suffered through months of record-high gas prices" even as
    prices dropped.

  • October was a month for scares and the broadcast news shows did their part. Even though gas prices fell 45 cents in a little more than three weeks, the media continued to talk about "record-high" or "soaring" prices.

    Gas prices dropped every day for 17 straight business days, but the media covered rising or high prices roughly four times as often as falling prices.

    Media Myths: Gas Hysteria - From the Business and Media Institute

    Happy with the falling prices at the pump? Fuhgeddaboudit!

    That's what economic wiseguy Matt Lauer suggested to viewers of the August 30 "Today" show, even though oil analysts predict falling gas prices this fall and his own network erroneously predicted $3.50-a-gallon gasoline just a few weeks ago.

    "You're probably feeling a little better these days when you fill up your car at the gas station," Lauer admitted as he teased a story by correspondent Kevin Tibbles. The "Today" host conceded that "analysts say prices could keep falling for months to come," but sought to shoot it down by pointing to the pessimistic projections of an auto executive.


    What's more, while [Matt] Lauer dismissed the predictions of lower gas prices this fall, the August 30 USA Today devoted a front-page article to emphasize the potential decline.

    "The only place they have to go is down," gasoline analyst Fred Rozell told reporter James Healey, adding, "We'll be closer to $2 than $3 come Thanksgiving."


    CBS News veteran Harry Smith finally confessed something that the Business & Media Institute (BMI) have reported for a while and his colleagues elsewhere in the media have already picked up on: gas prices are on a downward trend.

    "It seems like a month ago we were all screaming with our hair on fire about the price of gas going over $3, no end in sight. And now it looks like it's dropping like a stone," CBS's Harry Smith marveled on the August 31 edition of "The Early Show."


    Media plays a big part in guiding public opinion through how it reports the news, or what it decides to omit or outright fake in news reports.

    Public opinion sways leadership, since Senators and Congressman are always up for re-election, they get pressure from constituents that don't get all the facts, since the media does not report all the facts, and these same Senators and Congressman go out and publically denounce or vote incorrectly based on public pressures.

    This is my opinion on how I believe things have happened, whether it is competely true on how these Congressman and Senators vote, I don't know. But I do imagine that public pressures hold quite a bit of sway with how they vote or when they get in front of a camera.

    And I believe those public pressures come from the public that do not get all the facts from the media because of bad reporting, made up facts, fake pictures, or only partial reporting of the facts. Perhaps if the media was to report completely on a subject and not just a portion of what they believe people want to hear about, we would have a more informed Congress and Public.

    Previous Sanity post on this subject:

    Laughing All the Way to the Bank

    Politics & Celebrities

    Others blogging on the Media:

    Sister Toldjah with "Put the blame on Plame - her husband, that is"

    Michelle malkin with "PlameOut: An Emily Litella moment"

    Ray Robison with "President Bush is suffering from Plame damage"

    Outside the beltway with "Joe Wilson Most to Blame for Ending Valerie Plame’s Career"

    Flopping Aces with "The End is in Sight"

    The Captain's Quarters with "An Exclamation Point On The Plame Denouement"

    FullosseousFlap’s with "CIA Leak Case Watch: Unfortunate That So Many People Took Joseph Wilson Seriously"

    Blue Crab Boulevard with "Killing A Zombie"

    Just One Minute with "WaPo Whacks Wilson" <- catchiest title so far (grins)

    Hoystory with "Still waiting for it"


    Mike's America with "Prosecute Wilson Plame Fraud!"