Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anita Dunn, John Ensign, and Beliefs

Updating my post of October 19, 2009. I'd better start this one the same way:

This blog isn't political, as I've discussed before. (June 21, 2009, for starters)

Just the same, America's leaders are chosen by a political process. What they believe and what they do affects the war on terror. And, discussing what they apparently believe will, at times, seem 'political.'

I'm concerned about what an interview with White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, on CNN's "Reliable Sources" showed.

"Everybody knows" that FOXNews is an arm of the Republican Party, that it never covers Republican scandals, and so forth. As long as "everybody" is the people at a Starbucks in lower Manhattan, or the faculty lounge of a college, that's not so much of a problem.

When the member of the White House staff - speaking, apparently, for the White House - believes that this is true, that could be a problem. Particularly when she refers to facts which aren't so.

"Anita Dunn: Fox News Is 'Research Arm of the Republican Party' "

PoliticsNewsPolitics, YouTube (October 11, 2009)
video 9:07

A transcript of part of that interview, about 4:45 to 5:31 and 5:35 to 6:10:
Anita Dunn:

"...and I told Major [Garrett] quite honestly that we had told Chris - Wallace - that having fact-checked an administration guest on his show - something I've never seen a Sunday show do - and, Howie, you can show me examples of where Sunday shows have fact-checked previous weeks' guests and I'd be happy to see those - We asked Chris for an example where he had done that to anybody besides somebody from the administration in the year 2009, and we're still waiting to hear from hear from him. When they want to treat us like they treat everyone else. But let's be realistic here, Howie. You know, and they are, you know, they are, they're widely viewed as you know, part of the Republican Party. Take their talking points, put them on the air; take their talking points, put them on the air, and that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is...."

Asked for a clarification:

"...I'm not talking about people like Major Garrett, I'm talking about the overall programming. [Howard Kurtz: "Okay"] For instance, Howie, The New York Times had a front-page story about Nevada Senator John Ensign. And the fact that he had gotten his former chief of staff a job as a lobbyist. Then helped those clients. His former chief of staff's wife was somebody Ensign'd had an affair with. [Howard Kurtz: "An important story"] Right. Now. Did you see coverage of that on Fox News? I'm not talking Glenn Beck, I'm not Sean, I'm not talking The Factor, I'm talking about Fox News. [Howard Kurtz: "I will have to check on that. I I assume you know the answer."] ..."
(CNN's "Reliable Sources", via YouTube video: transcribed by Brian H. Gill / Norski)
Limiting her sample of Fox News Sunday to "in the year 2009" was smart. And, she may be right about that.

But comparing The New York Times' cover story of one of John Ensign's scandals to FOXNews, she asked the rhetorical question: "Did you see coverage of that on Fox News?" In context, it's clear that she thinks the answer is "no."

A staunch supporter of America's first Hawaiian president might note that FOXNews didn't cover exactly the same parts of John Ensign's career as The New York Times covered.

As I've discussed before, newspapers and news networks have limited space and time to work with. They can't present everything they know, and have to select what gets published.

From the looks of it, John Ensign has been quite busy, since he went to Washington. With a plethora of scandalous - and probably illegal, even for a Senator - extracurricular pursuits of John Ensign, I'm not surprised that two news outlets failed to present exactly the same selection of naughty behavior.

From the October 19, 2009 post:

FOXNews Coverage of Senator John Ensign's Scandal (That - According to the White House - Doesn't Exist)

I selected the first few Google hits, ignoring a page of links to videos, and a sort of 'where are they now' of politicians caught with their pants down.

John Ensign May be Innocent Until Proven Guilty - But His Current Scandal is Certainly on FOXNews

This is America, so a person is innocent until proven guilty. In courts, anyway. Just the same, Senator John Ensign seems to have cheated on his wife - systematically - and had his parents pay the bill for his extramarital jollies.

Admirable, in a way, keeping it 'in the family:' I get the idea that most Senators use public funds for that sort of thing.

Not that I approve of cheating on your spouse - even if you're a senator.
(October 19, 2009)
And yet, with leadership like this, America endures.

Related post:

1 comment:

JeremyRichards said...

Check out this funny video:
Ronald Reagan makes fun (from beyond) of the FoxNews diversion as he sings to Gibbs and Dunn: "You Can't Hide Your F'n Lies (and the FoxNews War is a Thin Disguise)"

The Joey Panto Show

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.