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Jan 29 2005

NBC Nightly Bias™ with Brian Williams

134nbclogo.jpgI just finished a fantastic roast with juice soaked vegetables prepared by my better half. The meat was so tender I didn't bother using my knife. Dessert was a wonderful spice cake. However, the fine dinner was almost ruined because I left the TV on in the background, something I usually don't do when sitting down to eat a meal at the table because civilized folk should focus on each other and the food that someone, no doubt, worked hard to prepare. Unfortunately, I left on the aptly named boob-tube/idiot-box. Worse yet, a MainStream Media station was on which I am loath to watch because it is always so freakishly bias...tonight did not disappoint.

135brianwilliams.jpgTonight's MSM spokeshead was played by Brian Williams filling the airwaves with NBC's Nightly Bias™. First story up: Iraq. They found some poor Iraqi woman to interview who said that she was better off under Saddam than she is now. No doubt they searched far and wide as internal opinion polls of Iraqis consistently show that a greater number of Iraqis believe just the opposite of this woman. Further, objective statistics involving the numbers of starving children, people with clean drinking water, etc. show the Iraqis are better off now than before Saddam.

136chertoff.jpgNext story up was about the Department of Homeland Security Secretary nominee Michael Chertoff. Williams made a statement to the effect that Chertoff had given advice on torture in violation of U.S. anti-torture laws. I nearly fell out of my seat. Chertoff did no such thing. This was a blatant lie by NBC/Williams. All that Chertoff did was respond to a CIA inquiry asking for an interpretation of the anti-torture laws. The notion that Chertoff violated any law is ludicrous!

Finally, the last story I heard ticked me off even more. Williams reported that the final selection had been made for the next generation of presidential helicopters. Two companies had been vying for the contract: Sikorsky and its model S-92 and Lockheed Martin with its model US101.

137us101.jpgI was excited to hear about the selection because I had previously read about the two different helicopters and was curious to hear some discussion about the different characteristics of the two aircrafts. Instead, NBC/Williams focused on how the Sikorsky helicopter would have been made entirely in the US while the Lockheed Martin will be made only partially in America. This is true enough, but I couldn't help wonder how many Clinton era procurements had the same focus. I brushed it off and waited for a factual comparison of the two helicopters and related reasons why one was chosen over the other.

Instead, Williams made a comment about how someone involved with Lockheed Martin has ties to President Bush and showed some supposedly damning video footage of that person sitting with President Bush in the White House...oh, the horror! Williams then continued by mentioning that Lockheed Martin also has ties to that insignificant little state of Texas. Clearly this sealed the fact that the selection was corrupt by pointing out that a huge multi-national conglomerate corporation has ties to the second largest state in America.

I don't think NBC/William even ever mentioned the model numbers of the two helicopters. I know the helicopters themselves were never discussed--like the fact that the Sikorsky S-92 has two engines and is smaller while the Lockheed Martin US101 has three engines and is bigger making it capable of carrying a larger volume and heavier payload. The Department of Defense, specifically the Navy, stated that the proposals were evaluated as was initially specified solely on "technical, past performance, experience and cost factors." Too bad NBC/Williams refused to report on any of these factors but then, they might not have had time to turn a ubiquitous story into another excuse to bash Bush.

I, for one, will be redoubling my efforts to not catch a glimpse any MSM.

Posted by Don |


  1. Yes, shut yourself off from a source of news that you disagree with. Just listen and read to what you believe in; that's very educational and leads to enormous intellectual growth. Keep it up.

  2. #2
    Don said on January 29, 2005 | Reply

    It's not simply that I disagree with it as much as it is objectively wrong and otherwise only tells half the story. I worry about the possibility that if I know nothing about a given story that I will come away with objectively wrong or subjectively very likely wrong information and never know it. I would like to decrease the possibility of that as much as possible.

  3. #3
    bbm said on February 2, 2005 | Reply

    I think you will find that MSN were showing an opinion that does exist. Opion is that - you cannot say it is right or wrong. It is right for that woman, period, and she is entitled to voice that on TV.

    Furthermore, if you read informed sources you will find that the majority of Iraqis do not express the view you claim they do. In March 2004 a USA Today Poll found that 57% of Iraqis wanted the US to leave Iraq immediately. In this same poll Iraqis were asked the question "Has the Coalition invasion of Iraq done more harm than good?". 46% replied "more harm" while only 33% said more good, and 16% said "about the same". When asked if coalition military forces are mainly liberators or occupiers, 71% said occupiers.

    Somewhat strangely, in this poll 61% of Iraqis still said that the US invasion and overthrow of Saddam was worth it (although among Sunni Arabs it was only 28%). So this showed that at the time they had not yet begun regetting the overthrow of Saddam, but they had already begun regretting the continued occupation by US forces.

    So you might want to consider that this woman was representing an important voice of Iraqi's. No one person can speak for all groups and people in Iraq, but if we paint an overoptimistic picture then we face the risk of not respecting the wishes of the Iraqi people. Their overwhelming wishes (consistently in polls, and in the recent elections) have been expressed as wanting the US occupation force to leave Iraq. We should respect that, and look at handing over security to (i) the Iraqis and (ii) the international community by the end of 2005.

    A failure to do so, especially as we have failed to provide them with security and basic services, will be a serious source of grievance. No amount of whitewashing and positive thinking and reporting will remove that fact.

  4. #4
    Don said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    I agree that the we're worse off opinion does exist. I don't think that it's the majority opinion though. But, even assuming that it is the majority opinion, my point is that the MSM is always showing the negative. I've read report after report of people who have gone to Iraq and said that it is so much better over there than the US media is making it out to be and that they can't understand why all the stories are so negative. Well, it's obvious...the MSM are just pushing their one anti-Bush side of the story. I'd like to see BOTH sides of the story.

    I don't think this country is as divided as the MSM makes us out to be. But, whatever the level, we'd be a whole lot less divided if the MSM was not so bias.

    As Bush has said, we will be leaving Iraq and all the sooner if the new government asks us to go. We have given them...despite the John Kerrys, Ted Kennedy's, Michael Moores and George Soroses of the world...the incredible gift of democracy and freedom. It is now up to the Iraqi people as to what they will do with it.

    And it's not going to be easy, because they are surrounded by psychotic medieval beheaders who fear democracy will strip them of their power.

  5. #5
    Ralph Short said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    One thing I have learned over the last 30 odd years is never watch the news on commie broadcast system, national bolshevik corporation, american bolshevik corporation and commie news network. All it ever did for me was raise my blood pressure. So, instead of taking medication I just stopped watching.

  6. #6
    bbm said on February 4, 2005 | Reply

    MSN is simply giving us Iraqi public opinion. The polls I gave above are almost a year old. The latest ones show overwhelming Sunni and Shia opinion is for the US troops to leave. It is no good us saying that we have created a situation better than under Saddam. That is a very low benchmark, and the Iraqis know it.
    = 92% say the US forces are "occupiers"
    = 3% say US forces are "peacekeepers"
    = 2% say US forces are liberators
    = 3% say "other/don't know"

    = 62% say Iraqi Police and Army can maintain secuirty without the presence of coalition forces
    = 25% say this is "Somewhat likely "
    = 6% say this is "Not very likely"
    = 4% say "Don't know"
    = 3% say Not at all Likely

    The Iraqis want us out. Even if they cannot provide for their own security we should hand the function of providing this over to the United Nations.

    Bush says American forces will leave when they are no longer required, but in the meantime he is spending billions (billions!) on building 12 permanent US military bases. The Project for the New American Century, the think-tank who promoted this invasion back in the time of Clinton, have clearly stated that one of the aims is a permanent military presence in Iraq so that our troops can be moved from Saudi Arabia.

    Talking of which, don't the Saudi people deserve democracy too? Why aren't we forcing regime change and free-and-fair elections in Saudi Arabia?

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