Saturday, October 20, 2007

Unbiased, Objective, Thorough Coverage...

...of everything the news media thinks we should read.

I don't think that mainstream news media is engaged in a conspiracy to decieve the American public. On the other hand, I do think that the news media have a very definite idea about what is, and is not, fit to print.

I also believe that the American news services remember the status they had, following the JFK assassination and Watergate. (I've written about this before.) What they don't realize is that the Heroic Investigative Reporter isn't a cultural icon any more.

One of the more remarkable, or egregious, examples of this 'all the news we want to print' situation is how the news media handled retired General Sanchez' scathing indictment of the news media. He also criticised the Bush administration.

Sanchez's "nightmare" quote is very familiar by now. So far, I still haven't seen more than fleeting mention of the general's statement that irresponsible reporting has killed U.S. soldiers.

This silence is particularly curious, since General Sanchez singled out four reporters for praise: and two of those were at The New York Times. I would expect a newspaper to be pleased to report that half of the reporters Sanchez cited were on its staff: but The New York Times was as silent as every other traditional news outlet.

Unwilling to print news that doesn't fit an approved pattern? I think so.

(see "Top Newspaper's Journalists Praised: Blackout Imposed on Praise" (October 15, 2007), "'All the News We Want to Print:' Iraq War Reality Check Missed" (October 14, 2007))

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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.