The ten foot pole in action

You’ll recall that, when I commented on the Reid scandal — and it is a scandal, because he used Government power for private profit and then hid that fact — I said the real story would be whether the MSM embraced the story.  If it didn’t, I said, that would add huge credibility to the conservative contention that the MSM exists, not so much to relay news, as to advance a single political party (that would be the Democratic party, for those in doubt).  Laer, at Cheat-Seeking Missiles, used his Lexis-Nexis access to establish what I suspected:  with some limited and laudable exceptions, the MSM is trying hard not to touch the Reid story.

I can imagine the MSM editorial meetings.  Someone asks, “What about Reid?” There’s a moment of embarassed silence before someone else murmurs, “You know, I don’t think we should be dealing with this now.  We really need to hammer away on how Bush, who insulted Jong Il by calling him a member of the Axis of Evil, forced him to prove his evilness with a nuclear explosion.  And of course, there’s the 8 billion dead in Iraq because of American soldiers.  Nor can we forget Foley’s rape of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the fact that Hastert watched the hold thing on a specially made home video.”  (By the way, everything in that sentence is nonsense, except for the fact that Jimmy Carter did actually say that, because Bush called Jong Il evil, Jong Il, who was previously as pure as driven snow, was driven mad by the insult, and forced to prove himself, not innocent of the charge, but actually evil.)  As a sop to their consciences, someone then says, “We’ll follow up on it after the election.  But first, let’s see what more we can get from the Foley story.”  And that’s the news, folks.

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  • Zhombre

    There you go again, scampering along the well-trod allees of regressive thought and indulging more of this bouffe merde about media bias.

  • T.S.

    If the media is working for the Democratic party, it’s doing a pretty crappy job

    “If one compares the coverage given in 1992 to Bill Clinton’s efforts to avoid Vietnam with that given to Bush’s similar situation, the disparity is rather striking,” Paul Waldman wrote. Arguing that “during their respective election years, there were nearly 10 press stories about Clinton’s efforts to avoid serving in Vietnam for every one story about Bush’s efforts to avoid serving in Vietnam,” Waldman explained:

    “In 1992, there were no fewer than 526 stories about Clinton and the draft in major American newspapers. In all the news outlets covered by Lexis-Nexis, there were 950 stories about the subject. But when the 2000 election rolled around, reporters were decidedly less curious about the topic. There were 77 stories in 1999 and 38 stories in 2000 in major papers about Bush and the National Guard. In all news outlets, there were 258 stories in 1999 and only 98 in 2000.” [Prospect.org]

    Of course, the media’s double standard during the 2000 election campaign is legendary. According to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, forty-two percent of the media’s coverage of Al Gore related to how deeply he was tainted by scandal, another thirty-four percent focused on his alleged fibs, while only 14 percent of news coverage addressed his considerable experience. Meanwhile, forty percent of Bush-related news stories focused on positive portrayals of the Texas governor as a “different kind of Republican.” [CNN.com]

    While it may not be surprising to learn that Rolling Stone determined that “lazy reporting, pack journalism and GOP spin cost [Al Gore] the election,” even former Republican Congressman and MSNBC pundit Joe Scarborough took note. “I think, in the 2000 election, I think [the media] were fairly brutal to Al Gore,” he said on Hardball in Jan., 2002. “I think they hit him hard on a lot of things like inventing the Internet and some of those other things, and I think there was a generalization they bought into that, if they had done that to a Republican candidate, I’d be going on your show saying, you know, that they were being biased.” [DailyHowler.com]

    That bias continued during the lead up to war, with TV viewers being “more than six times as likely to see a pro-war source as one who was anti-war.” [FAIR.org]. And, of course, in what may have set the standard for double standards, MSNBC depicted Michael Savage’s hiring as part of its commitment to providing a “wide range of strong, opinionated voices,” even as they were firing “tired, left-wing liberal” Phil Donahue. “He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives,” an NBC-commissioned study said, even though at the time, Donahue hosted MSNBC’s highest rated show. [FAIR.org] Anti-war? Anti-Bush? Skeptical of the administration’s motives? Our watchdog press would have none of it!

    “The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb,” Albert Einstein wrote. “This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.” But chances are, even Einstein didn’t envision a tool like Paula Zahn. Though by the fall of 2002, the foreign press was exposing “America’s Great Misleader” [Guardian.co.uk] and uncovering ways the White House was “exaggerating [the] Iraqi threat, ” Zahn and other members of the U.S. media fed us a steady diet of government-issued pabulum. This Sept. 2002 interview with Scott Ritter provides a template, of sorts:

    ZAHN: I want to have, hear your reaction to the whole range of Bush administration officials yesterday who essentially came out and have said that Saddam Hussein has been trying to obtain materials to build nuclear weapons, particularly trying to buy thousands of aluminum pipes that could be used in the manufacture of a centrifuge and ultimately used to manufacture weapons. What do you make of that?

    RITTER: What an absurd statement. Thousands of aluminum pipes, and we’re going to go to war over thousands of aluminum pipes?. . . This is patently ridiculous. These are aluminum pipes coming in for civilian use. They are not being transferred to a covert nuclear processing plant or any covert nuclear activity whatsoever. . .

    ZAHN: But, Scott, why are you so convinced that these pipes would be used for civilian use when so many other people out there are absolutely convinced these pipes could ultimately be used to build a centrifuge? I mean that is true. These pipes could be used that way, right? [CNN.com]

    Zahn continued to toe the official line when she interviewed Ritter again a few days later:

    ZAHN: The International Institute for Strategic Study says that Iraq is very close to producing nuclear weapons if it could get its hands on fissile material. The report goes on to say that Iraq has biological and chemical weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

    RITTER: No, the report does not say that. The report…

    ZAHN: That’s exactly what the report says.

    RITTER: Absolutely not. Read it. . . The fact is, there is no hard evidence, no hard evidence whatsoever. . . no one knows what’s happening in Iraq today, and we can’t go to war based upon ignorance. . . .

    At one point, Zahn remarked, “People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam Hussein’s Kool-Aid.” [CNN.com]

    And, from Kevin Phillips:

    “Few have looked at the facts of the family’s rise, but just as important, commentators have neglected the thread — not the mere occasion — of special interests, biases, scandals (especially those related to arms dealing), and blatant business cronyism. The evidence that accrues over four generations is extraordinarily damning. . . It doesn’t help that the major media have tended to use kid gloves with the [Bush] family. . . As a former longtime Republican who came of political age during the Nixon years, I take the point about double standards.” [AmericanDynasty.net]

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    That’s the facts, Jack. Or shall I say, Pastor?

    Here’s a different, non-nonsense version of the thought processes on the Left.

    “These Republicans are attempting to do the rope a dope, the bait switch tactic all over again. We will not allow them to smear Reid just so they can avoid their Foley scandals”

    It’s about party loyalty. If you are loyal to the party line, you are pure as undriven snow. If you betray the party, then you are forever cast into darkness, with such an Original Sin.

    If you attempt to cast any aspersions on the “Truth”, then they will do with you as their Islamic Jihad friends did with other uppity humans, who dared to challenge the unchallengeable. Of course, the Democrats see this as a game to be played, so they aren’t “serious pro players” like the Islamic Jihad. And even if they were, a bunch of US Marines are ready to bust down any “revolutionary guard” stuff going on. Since the Democrats are America’s war party and full of ruthlessness, it is logical for them to require such loyalty and secrecy.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Well, you have TS’s version of the story. And you have the conclusions from deductive logic. Which one are you going to believe?

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    It’s so sad, Zhombre. I just can’t seem to control my baser conservative urges! ;)

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Maybe the disparity regarding reports about military service is that Clinton did not serve at all, electing to protest America while he was living in England; while Bush did in fact serve. In addition, while Gore was in Vietnam, if I remember correctly, he was there in a battle capacity, which made both of their services real, but unexciting.

    The question of Bush’s service became something into which the MSM could and did sink its teeth only when Kerry came along. Kerry, who had grossly slandered U.S. servicemen in the early 1970s, nevertheless decided to run as a Vet, and attacked Bush’s service. Suddenly, the Vietnam war was in the headlines again. This opened the way for attacks on Kerry’s service, which the MSM tried to ignore, and attacks on Bush’s services, which the MSM celebrated despite incontrovertible proof that those attacks were fraudulent.

    All in all, to compare coverage about candidate’s military service, from that to draw conclusions about media bias, just doesn’t work. I find it much more interesting to see scandal coverage on two scandals that have broken out on both sides of the aisle in a single two week period.

  • T.S.

    Actually, the attacks were not fraudulent. The paperwork was.

    But no, Bush did not “serve.” He went to the head of the class in a “get out of Vietnam free card.” Not that I blame him, mind you. Cheney had five deferments. Gotta love loopholes.

    And, if I’m not mistaken, they both had two DUIs. One of Bush’s DUIs was briefly brought to the fore, but the media has never harped on any of that. Then, too, Laura Bush killed a man with her car. What do you suppose the media would do with similar dirt on Hillary Clinton? Do you honestly think they’d ignore it?

    Oh yeah. And I’ve mentioned this before, but an intern was found dead in Joe Scorborough’s office during the Gary Condit craze. How much did you hear about that?

    For every example of media bias towards Democrats I could counter with a very real example of ways the media has overlooked GOP scandals.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Just to add some further material for the gist. TS used one example out of many to prove the thesis that the media isn’t biased towards Democrats, because they reported X number of stories with Clinton compared toBush.

    Some of you might be wondering, why your common sense tells you that this is wrong, yet your rational mind can’t come up with an immediate answer concerning why it is wrong. Well, with this analysis, you should be able to come up with some answer to the question of why he is wrong, rather than whether he is wrong or not. We already know that.

    Deductive principles and deductive analysis models are superior to the one used by TS, because there is only two solutions for deductive logic. Either what you get is true or it is false. Correct or incorrect. There is no other solution or interpretation. TS’s methodology is open to many holes in interpretation. More on that later.

    Bookworm’s approach is clearly deductive. We are given a fact, something that is an a priori truth. Which would be Reid’s corruption and lack of ethics. TS did not dispute the basic axiom, in Bookworm’s methodology. Instead, TS chose to find some material in order to bolster his thesis. Scientifically, I suppose they would describe it as fitting the data from experiments to fit with your hypothesis. Or maybe, favoring evidence in favor of your pet theory over evidence that detracts from your pet theory. Or in court parliance, not charging a defendant while you dig up enough evidence that he committed a crime. Get data first, then make the accussation, while you have the criminal in custody so as to avoid him tampering with the evidence.

    This is contrasted with Bookworm’s approach, which is to lay down a fundamental axiom, and then attempt to determine whether her thesis is true or not, by setting a test and seeing whether it occurs or not occurs. This is purely a deductive logic technique. Empirical science tends to attempt to gather the data first, then form the hypothesis. Bookworm formed the hypothesis and is now testing it. Science would be unable to function without deductive logic checking up on their theories. Thus, deductive logic is superior to inductive logic in finding truths.

    Even now, however, it does not seem apparent why TS is wrong and Bookworm, correct. I mean, after all, TS has presented his piece of evidence that purports to say that the news media sent hundreds of harmful stories about Clinton into the air as opposed to the limited number of harmful stories bout Bush going awol. Would this not decisively conclude Bookworm’s axiomatic truths as being wrong, conclusively? No.

    The reason why deductive logic is superior and why human beings use it, is because it works. The fidelity this methodology holds to truth is very very high. Inductive logic is more freeforming, more wild, and thus it opens new paths and pursuits to you. Like businesses, 500,000 may start, but only about 10,000 may succeed and get into the big leagues. That is inductive methodology. Pursue truth and success, through experimentation and practice. Nature prefers it for evolution, as well.

    However, if you want to find out if something particular is true or false, let us just say, whether or not you will be killed if you put this flaming torch down your throat, then it is much better to use deductive logic than inductive… experimentation.

    Inductive experimentation would be something like, putting a flaming torch down the throats of 500 animals, and 1000 humans. Tally up those who died and those who didn’t. If the tally for deaths are very low, then conclude that putting a flaming torch down your throat will not kill you. Therefore you should do it, since the mother of the one you love has said that if you survive putting a burning torch down your throat, you may marry her daughter.

    If human beings worked like this, with experimentation and inductive logic to determine what is “true”, I really don’t think the human race would have lasted long.

    Deductive logic just cuts this all down to 1s and 0s. The logic branches, maybe into a fractal. It is easy to learn, but hard to master, because it is not very easy to analyse the logic pathways when there are thousands and millions of them. I am talking about how CMOS works and how integrated circuits work in your computer.

    When most people use the word “logic”, they are probably refering to the hard cold, analytical style of logic embodied in Vulcans and computers. Cold, rational and logical. It is a bit different from experimentation.

    So, while Bookworm may have a link in her deductive approach that doesn’t come out right. TS has thousands, if not millions, of places where he could be wrong. It is not cut down. When you are experimenting, do you know how many variables, seen and unseen, are present that contributes to your end result? According to Heisenberg UnCertainty Principle, you will never know the total result, because the very act of finding out will decrease or increase the number.

    People who do scientific labs, who analyse percentages of error and significant digits. they know how mistakes and errors crop up in your experiment. Therefore when attempting to find out what is true or not, you want to cut it down to the least number of variables. What is less than the two variables of 1 and 0 that is inherent in deductive logic?

    There, you can’t have any stray variables interfering with your work. So how does this apply to TS, you might wonder.

    Well, let’s take this example. First we have to take TS’s data at face value. Meaning, we must assume that the numbers are correct, and not misinterpreted or jigged up. Second, we have to assume that the stories of Clinton’s draft status was a negative story, instead of a positive. Then we have to assume that Bush’s AWOL story was negative to Bush. Then we have to assume that Bush’s AWOL story was true, like Clinton’s draft story was true.

    See how many assumptions we are already at? And these are just the stuff we can see. Imagine the other factors that we don’t see, contributing to error and mistakes.

    With Bookworm’s approach, we only have 1 a priori axiom. That the story about Reid is true. That is the ONLY thing we have to be given. Anything else, we will derive ourselves. Meaning, anything we get from that, will HAVE to be true if the Reid story IS true. Computer logic. If 1, then 0. If not 1, then not 0. There are no other paths to take. Errors come up, if there are. If it works for computers and if it works for the physical world, why would it not work for Truth? See, another deductive approach.

    So why is TS wrong? TS is wrong because he is using an experiment, with a huge error in percentage. It is not true that the draft story was harmful to Clinton, because this was before 9/11, after the Cold War, where people wanted PEACE, not war. The ability of a President to fight for peace, was more improtant than the traits of a warrior. Therefore the media made an issue out of something that Clinton was both proud of, and benefited from. Since the story about Clinton was true, it had more facts to back it up, and therefore more stories could be written about it. Bush’s AWOL story was not true, therefore less stories were written about it. The fact that any were, leads to the conclusion that some of the stories might have been made up to be true.

    TS is also comparing apples to oranges. It would be more accurate, (hint hint, less error in experiment) for him to compare stories about Clinton’s draft to Bob Dole’s war record.

    If both had high stories about their records in the past, then this would support the thesis that somebody was trying to make an issue out of Clinton taking the draft. If Clinton had a lot of stories about his draft, and Dole had little stories about his war record, then obviously it wasn’t an attempt to compare Clinton’s lack of a record with his opponent, who had a record.

    This kind of scientific analysis, is not used by TS and the Left, because it would lead to uncomfortable situations and truths.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Re Bush: Yeah, Bush got the rich kid ticket, but so did Gore — and so did Kerry. Kerry signed up for precisely the same gig as Bush did, only the Naval version. It was just Kerry’s bad luck that, shortly after signing up, the rules changed and he got shipped out. He finagled his return pretty damn quickly. Additionally, Bush never made a point of his service. As for your distinction between paperwork and reality, that’s spurious: absent the false paperwork, there is no evidence that Bush was anything but what he said he was: a reserve trained pilot. Again, Bush has never advertised his war years.

    Yup, Bush did have a DUI. He also did something else: he publicly admitted to his drinking problem, making the DUI from his past something of a non-event.

    As for Laura, it’s a horrific thing that a man died while she was at the wheel. There was no indication that Laura did anything wrong. Rather, it seems to have been a horrific accident caused by an innocent driver — in the days before safer cars and seat belts. (See http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/laura.asp.) Laura was cleared of wrongdoing and Laura has not put herself forward to political office. As you may recall, Clinton advertised Hillary as his co-President — two for the price of one. That was therefore the legitimate target of a lot of investigation.

    As for Scarborough, as far as I can tell, the last official word was that medical examiner ruled that her death was from accidental causes (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15034557.htm) and despite a bunch of internet conspiracy theories, that story seems to have stuck. Which, without anything more, kind of means “end of story.”

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I find it much more interesting to see scandal coverage on two scandals that have broken out on both sides of the aisle in a single two week period.

    Why don’t you let it all hang out once in a while, Bookworm? This kind of strict, disciplined methodology is very limiting, you know. It would be better to do as TS has done, and just cobble together anything and everything that even seems to support his thesis. Don’t worry about the comparison differentiations, Bookworm, just let it all hang out. It will come together soon enough.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I still think TS, is wrong Bookworm. And you can’t convince me otherwise!!!

    Btw, these last comments here seemed to have been typed asynchronously. Meaning, they are out of order. My last one was to the one before Bookworm made her most recent comment. Which would be 6. This comment is for Book’s 9.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    In all seriousness, Bookworm, the logic you are using doesn’t seem to be compatible with what TS is using. TS seems to be saying that it doesn’t matter how many specifics you have, because he can always find some irrelevant example to counter yours with. So instead of using Kerry to compare with Bush, he goes back into history to find something else to compare it to Bush, something that would bolster his arguments.

    You are clearly dilineating direct causality. Action-reaction. TS is all over the place, however. Personally, I don’t think it is very productive.

  • dagon

    you people are hilarious.

    listen, as someone who works in the media, let me tell you the real deal. there is no such thing as a ‘liberal’ bias in the media.

    sure, many of the people working in the industry probably self-identify themselves as democrats or left-leaning but that doesn’t change the fact that media is now a big business; and big business is many things but it sure aint liberal.

    the trend towards a more openly right-biased news was pioneered by rupert murdoch. murdoch is a brilliant guy and brought in a model for cable news that all of the other outlets have tried to copy to varying degrees. i worked at fox for four years and let me be clear, they aren’t ideologically slanted one way or the other. it’s a business model.

    do you seriously think the company that brought you joe millionaire, who wants to marry a midget, and when animals attack truly shares your values? no, what murdoch figured out and what was constantly discussed during meetings was the best way to fleece YOU, self-described conservative….suckers.

    murdoch envisioned a cable news network with the same appeal as a 24-hour evangelical station, with charismatic and confrontational personalities rather than journalists. because he knew that like evangelicals, authoritarian conservatives are prone to cults of personality…svengaliism. and he knew that the same could not be said for self-described liberals (which is one of the reasons why air america was a stupid idea). hence the right-leaning slant of FNC. that’s it in a nutshell.

    peace

  • Zhombre

    If you work in media, dagon, and are obviously left leaning, then to borrow a phrase from the Sixties you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  • erp

    Thank God for the moonbats and their comic relief.

    s/on

    Yes, it’s a proven fact the media bashed Clinton relentlessly and give Bush a pass.

    s/off

  • dagon

    how do you figure that z?

    i didn’t say the media was evil, or even ‘the problem’. i think people should be responsible for their own ignorance. plus, i happen to enjoy my work and sleep comfortable knowing that i haven’t compromised any of my principles.

    peace

  • dagon

    hey bookworm,

    you want to know who else isn’t covering the reid thingy? reliable right-leaning mud slinger matt drudge that’s who.

    you want to know why? cause there’s no freaking story there.

    but that bob ney admitting he was on the take…now that’s a story.

    keep clicking your heels together though. if you wish real hard, all of these republican scandals are sure to turn around and make the dems look bad somehow. isn’t that how the logic goes with you folks?

    peace

  • T.S.

    Actually, Bush had two DUIs, as did Dick Cheney. And there’s reason to believe that Dick was drunk when he shot that old guy in the face.

    If a regular Joe had that kind of track record, he’d not get hired at K-Mart. But why hold the president and the vice president to such high standards?

    The media briefly mentioned one of Bush’s DUIs, but he’s the first U.S President to have been arrested several times.

    “”keep clicking your heels together though. if you wish real hard, all of these republican scandals are sure to turn around and make the dems look bad somehow. isn’t that how the logic goes with you folks?” — Dagon

    No kidding.

    Here’s the thing about “personal responsibilty” folks. When there is a Republican scandal, it is either the Democrats’ fault or the media’s fault.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com/ Don Quixote

    Truth is that both sides spin like crazy and their own failings are always somebody else’s fault. Oddly enough, T.S., I think you’re right that this is more reprehensible when conservatives do it, since it violates their belief in personal responsibility. Liberals, on the other hand, have no belief in personal responsibility, so it’s less a big deal when they excuse bad behavior. Of course, by that logic, it’s a bigger deal when liberals condemn conservatives for their moral failings since, then, they are the ones being hypocritical.

    Dagon, thanks for the insight into Fox. But consider — The reason Murdoch was right, and Fox was so successful, is that conservatives had nowhere else to go, given the pervasive bias of the rest of the media against conservatives and especially against religious conservatives. Murdoch tapped into a huge market that was simply not being served anywhere else.

    One other question, Dagon. Bookworm describes Reid as using Government power for private profit and hiding the fact. Why is that not a story? Would it be a story if a conservative did it? Sounds like a story to me.

  • T.S.

    Oddly enough, T.S., I think you’re right that this is more reprehensible when conservatives do it, since it violates their belief in personal responsibility. Liberals, on the other hand, have no belief in personal responsibility, so it’s less a big deal when they excuse bad behavior. Of course, by that logic, it’s a bigger deal when liberals condemn conservatives for their moral failings since, then, they are the ones being hypocritical.” – Don Q.

    When it comes to politics and power, everyone’s a hypocrite. But, as I explained, while the media was tarring and feathering Gary Condit, an intern was found dead in Joe Scarborough’s office. Bookworm claims that that was a non-story. Perhaps so. But did Gary Condit deserve hours and hours of cable coverage every day? And, at the very least, wasn’t the Scarborough story worth the amount of time devoted to Bill Clinton’s “I did not inhale” episode? Or the coverage of Al Gore’s claim that he invented the internet? (even though that isn’t what he said).

    My point is that the media does not target Republicans while giving Democrats a free pass.

    Hard-core partisans on the left think that the media is biased againt Democrats while hard-core partisans on the right are constantly complaining about the media’s liberal bias.

    The truth is that the mainstream media is concerned about ratings and $$, which explains the fascination with Gary Condit, Scott Peterson & Natalee Holloway.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    My point is that the media does not target Republicans while giving Democrats a free pass.

    Rope a dope time.

  • Zhombre

    I apologize to Dagon and all others for the “drive by” post last night but I was on the way out with La Signora Zhombre for a dinner date.

    If one admits most people working in media self identify as Democrats, liberal or left-leaning, then I do not see how one can ascribe slant only to the right-leaning Fox. People in the media industry, I would submit, sharing their profession, tend to also share political and social views, are products of the same journalism schools, tend to make the same amount of money and live in the same social milieu; and in that they cohere as a distinct class, on a sort of DC/NYC axis, with its own assumptions, and accrued prejudices and biases, which may tend to be self reinforcing; the so-called liberal bias, as even Carl Bernstein admitted in an interview I saw, may be as much if not more social and geographic than political, and not conspiratorial as much as unconscious. As Yossarian said in Catch-22, you have flies in your eyes, and that’s why you can’t see them.

    Granted, the news is a business. However no other business has First Amendment protections or responsibilities, and journalists have always looked at themselves as independent and compartmentalized from the purely business side of the industry and touted their own integrity.

    Regarding those authoritarian cults of personality that appeal to conservatives. I see similar cults of personality spring up on the left too, around such figures as Amy Goodman, Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Bill Moyers (who [pontificates freely on the taxpayers dime on PBS), to name a few (I won’t even mention the deplorable cult of Che Guevara). And I don’t think Air America is in Chapter 11 because people on the left aren’t prone to cults. Air America’s prospective audience was already listening to NPR or Pacifica stations on the radio (WMNF here in Tampa has a loyal local audience and has been in business 25 years). Say what you will about Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, they were born and bred in radio; their broadcast careers precede their political influence and grew out of it (note that Rush’s short-lived TV venture was a flop — it’s not his medum). It was the height of presumption for someone like Al Franken, a so-so TV comic, to think he could translate himself to radio and be an overnight smash; now he’s owed $360,000 by a corp in Chapter 11, and if he chooses to run for office in Minnesota he’ll probably take it on the chin again.

    Re the programming junk on Fox: I can’t comment. Never watched it. Except for X-Files and The Simpsons.

    Indulge me a Parthian shot to close with. I think a good argument for liberal bias, dagon my man, and the disconnect of people in MSM from the rest of the country, is your own patronizing attitude on display here. Seems you must descend to explain how the world works to us poor rubes. Thank you, mon ami. Send me a plastic cast of yourself I can put on the dashboard of my car.

  • Zhombre

    Postscript:

    “Drive-by” is an apt description of current media. It is superficial. Time and Newsweek are glossy visually oriented pages with nothing resembling context. Read an issue cover to cover and you will know less when you finish than when you started. On the network news a “focus segment” lasts longer than the commercials for the pharmaceutical products to help you sleep, digest or form an erection (though not necessarily in that order). This isn’t journalism; it’s trompe d’oeil.

  • Zhombre

    that should read “focus segment last NO LONGER THAN …”

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Fox News and Fox are two different channels from each other. In terms of cable service. X-Files is on the Fox channel, but Fox News is its own entity more or less.

    You’re supposed to open with a Parthian shot, not close with one ; )

  • Zhombre

    Study your history, son. Google Parthian shot.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I know my history. Anyone desiring to debate military history with me, will have to come prepared with a lot more than “google X” as an argument.

    The Parthian army, under the leadership of General Surena though outnumbered, but used 1,000 heavily armed and armored horsemen, called “cataphracts”, in conjunction with 9,000 horse archers to defeat the Roman heavy infantry. The horse archers shot repeated volleys of arrows into the densely packed formation of the Roman legionaries. To sustain their barrage, the Parthians employed camels to carry additional loads of arrows.

    When the Romans attempted to charge the horse archers, the Parthians followed their custom of feigning retreat, turning suddenly and shooting arrows at the enemy while fleeing (known as the “Parthian shot”). If the Romans tried to form into a protective testudo, the cataphracts would charge them and the legionnaires would be unable to fight effectively due to their tight formation. Although the Romans’ large scuta gave them some measure of protection against the volleys of arrows, many soldiers eventually collapsed from thirst and heat exhaustion even when otherwise unwounded due to the exertion required in attempting to defend themselves from the seemingly endless fusillades of Parthian arrows. The Parthian arrows were devastating, “When Publius urged them to charge the enemy’s mail-clad horsemen, they showed him that their hands were riveted to their shields and their feet nailed through and through to the ground, so that they were helpless either for flight or for self-defence.” (Plutarch, Life of Crassus, XXV) Parthia employed the use of composite bows at this time, which were more powerful than traditional bows. Arrows fired from these bows were able to penetrate the thick legionnaires’ armour, to the horror of the heavy Roman infantry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae

    So, let us recap my point. Which is parting shot should be used for “ending an engagement” while Parthian shot should be used for beginning one. Since you didn’t use parting shot, but Parthian shot, you had an entirely different history behind the word. I really wouldn’t have said anything had you used parting shot, but you didn’t.

    Thus at the battle of Carrhae, they started with the Parthian shot, in order to fatigue and harass the Roman legions in the hot desert climate. On the order of battle, they didn’t end the battle with a parthian shot, they began it with a whole bunch of them.

    many soldiers eventually collapsed from thirst and heat exhaustion even when otherwise unwounded due to the exertion required in attempting to defend themselves from the seemingly endless fusillades of Parthian arrows.

    So as you can see, you open with the Parthian shot. You close with the enemy or end the battle with the heavy cavalry and the light cavalry running the routed Romans out of your desert, or into it as the case may have been.

    Indulge me a Parthian shot to close with.

    Since the Parthian shot did not end the battle. If you wish to take the position of the right, then you must have meant that you were going to fatigue Dagon and keep nagging at him, and then retreating if he advances, when you said “close with”, eh?

    But if you meant that you were going to end this conflict, then you cannot, historically that is, use the Parthian shot to end it. You can use cavalry to end it, you can use a rout to end it, but not a Parthian shot. The Parthian shot is for the beginning, it is designed to fatigue, and prevent a decisive win or loss by either side.

    History isn’t about googling, zhombre. I’ve seen people who know all the facts, but interpret all of it completely wrong. If you want to foward an analysis of why you used Parthian shot the way you did, then you have to forward an actual critical thinking based analysis. You need to explain your interpretation, if you refuse to accept mine.

    I remembered a Roman Legion in a battle with Parthian cavalry, when you first brought up the phrase. They even had that historical campaign in Rome Total War. So I remembered the exact tactics they used, and the order they used them in. The end, wasn’t the Parthian shot, to be honest. It might do you some good, Zhombre, to follow your own advice before giving it. Now, if you had just said my interpretation was wrong, that’s okay. That’s simple disagreement. But that’s not what you countered with as an argument. Your argument was that I hadn’t studied my history, that I was ignorant of the facts, that the case was not how I described it because you knew more than I did. As you can see, Zhombre, both your argument and your premises, were flawed and incorrect.

    You never asked yourself in any critical fashion why I would say that you should start with a Parthian shot, not close with one. You didn’t look up the battle of Carrhae to see what I might be refering to.

    In my view, Zhombre, the person who studies history is the person who has an open mind, who is willing to consider different interpretations based upon the facts. He does not automatically say that people are ignorant of history, just because other people’s interpretations differ from your own.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I was looking up the corporation connections.

    http://www.fox.com/corporate/

    Is under the parent company News Corporation, which also hosts FOx News and the other Fox channels.

    Still, I don’t think Dagon and Quixote was complaining about the Fox Entertainment channel. With X-Files, there would be no reasons to, after all. Government conspiracies, it has got them all.

  • Zhombre

    I concede, Y. And award you the Prolix Post award.

  • Zhombre

    Oh s**t don’t argue with me about the meaning of prolix.  [Ed. -- I'm not at all challenging content, because I appreciate the give and take on my blog.  I'm just cleaning up language because I've made a policy of having clean language here.  Hence, the nearest I can get to those famous "expletive deletes" that peppered the memorable Nixon transcripts.  Nothing personal meant by this edit.]

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    You behaved with more dignity in your conversations with Dagon and Greg, than you have shown here, Zhombre. Which is sad, but understandable given how human nature works.

    Yes, it seems your only defense, Zhombre, is to attack me for writing too lengthy a post. First you attacked me for being ignorant of history, then when I show knowledge of it to refute your ad hominem arguments, you now rope a dope to my style of writing and my length of writing. Nowhere do you challenge the content of my writing.

    As I said before, I am not arguing semantics, but history, with historical facts laid out for anyone of an open minded demeanor to see and witness. You are indeed engaging in the Parthian shot now, Zhombre, where as before you had just fired a parting shot to Dagon and Co. Your objective is not to conclusively end our debate and conflict, but to extend it, fatigue the enemy, and basically just harass and pummel without any parley or negotiations.

    A person’s character, Zhombre, is exposed in times of duress and also when they are surprised. So long as I agreed with you, everything was all right in your emotional world. But the moment I take exception to something you said about me, then it becomes about what I don’t know compared to what you know, and how long I write compared to how short you write.

    The Democrats do not see past a person’s veneer of civilization, to the heart and soul. But I’m not a Democrat, you know. Every time a person converses with me, I learn more about them. Simply because I listen, something that a lot of people don’t do, and not just Greg or Dagon.

    I’m done having an argument with you, Zhombre, you need have no fear of me pasting the definition to prolix. I will conclude the battle even if you seek to extend it with Parthian tactics. I am not in the habit of conversing with people who are either too hostile to listen, or too stubborn to be open minded. As kevin well knows.

    Every person is responsible for their own behavior. I have no intention nor desire to be responsible for anyone else’s.

    Here’s a parting shot, Zhombre. Neo-Neocon once wrote about how people she considered her friends, became non-friends because of their disagreement over politics. This doesn’t happen on the right, usually. Instead, as with Dean Esmay and Michelle Malkin, the vice a versa occurs. People who are on the same political side, dislike each other (as Dean dislikes a lot of people), and the dislike is reinforced because they don’t have any politics to disagree on. So the only thing they dislike is each other’s mannerisms and character. People who are very good at disagreeing over politics, are slightly green when dealing with personal emotions, prejudices, and biases that are independent of political disagreement. A good example would be kevin. He is very agreeable, even when he is being disagreeable with those on the Left. Rational and calm. Yet when he is talking to me, all of that veneer of civilization goes away.

    P.S.

    There are plenty of “posts” I have written here that were longer than the one to you, Zhombre. But only the ones defending myself against your unjust attacks, seem to bother you. So that is fine.

    Even though I don’t like some of the people on the Left, at least I can respect them for their honesty, if nothing else. They will come to my blog, use a lot of profanity, and basically tell me what they think of me. They don’t really do the cloak and dagger game of using a word like prolix, in order to mask their real feelings and thoughts. No, the Left just sort of “lets it all hang out there”. Gruesome, but at least it is frank. Sure, they can be snarky, but as with Greg, they make their positions, unambiguous. I like that, it makes it much easier to listen. But that is just me.

  • Zhombre

    Sorry if I got peevish, Y. But enough already. Please.

  • Danny Lemieux

    YM, love your stuff, Man, but entering in discussion with you is a bit akin to diving down a rabbit hole, getting spun around the world a few times, and emerging into an alternate world very much unrecognizable. It’s always an adventure but somewhat confusing to the senses.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Zhombre,

    Thanks for the apology. If you don’t want an argument, that’s fine.

    To Danny,

    Just do what I do when I’m reading Phil’s Epistemology 101 and Neo-Neocon. Skip all the stuff that don’t matter or make sense, and go straight to the conclusion at the end. Saved me a lot of time. Really, it did. And I never complained to Phil or Neo-NeoCon about it, meaning I never blamed them for the problems I had. It wasn’t their problem, and it wasn’t their responsibility to solve it. If I didn’t like what someone wrote, I just stopped reading it. The one behavior I do not comprehend, is why other people refuse to do so at times. Maybe they didn’t have the benefit of learning written English wholly through reading books, shrugs.

    It’s true, some people hate it. Some people just don’t like that much writing and ask for it to stop. But if wishes were fishes, the Democrats would be gutted and skewered, eh? Got to be more behind it than a wish and desire. Not for my benefit, but for theirs. I’m satisfied, they aren’t. Their problem to fix, I can only help.

    Since I don’t look at things in a linear fashion, a one to one function, it’s not cut out in straight lines and statements for me as it is with other people. If there is a destination and a straight line to it, you may count on me trying to find an alternate, curved, route. The feint within the feint within the feint. That’s why I sometimes take my opponent’s position just for a fresh outlook. And it is also why I know how people feel towards me, even if they try not to express it in clear written terms. Sure, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, that is only fair. I try not to jump to conclusions. But to all things, there is a limit.

    I no longer get angry about it, as I once did. But I found that even if I am not emotional, I’ll still write boat loads about it. There is little you can do about your thinking. You can change how your body works through exercise and maintenance. You can change how your emotions are triggered and expressed. But your thinking is one of the few things that cannot be changed, regardless of anyone’s wishes. Anymore than Europe can change American Jacksonians into the less warlike version of the Euros.

    I suppose I am parroting Neo’s “A mind is hard to change” thesis.

    I’m just saying, I know to some extent the effect my writing has on people. Even if they don’t say it, because I’ve heard it before, good and bad, harsh and constructive. I didn’t get to where I am, by lurking on a thousand forums. As akin with Neo, it is a weird situation.

    If you have ever read some philosophical texts, translated or written in the vernacular by modern scholars, then you would know to some extent how confusing things can really get. But I go with Aristotle’s philosophy. Self-Improvement should be a virtue, as well as the hard work that is required to obtain that.

    Of course it is confusing to the senses, Danny. If I was a real conservative, I would just stick with what works. But I continue to tinker, and take things apart. If it made sense to me and I could summarize it with one sentence, I would know that my understanding of the subject is not yet complete. For some weird reason, classical liberals do not harbor any real dislike for me or my writings, regardless of their individual views or politics. I don’t know why.

  • Danny Lemieux

    YM…like I said, interesting!

  • dagon

    don quote:

    “The reason Murdoch was right, and Fox was so successful, is that conservatives had nowhere else to go, given the pervasive bias of the rest of the media against conservatives and especially against religious conservatives. Murdoch tapped into a huge market that was simply not being served anywhere else.”

    –actually don, a more demonstrably accurate statement would be that heretofore, more rigorous journalism contradicted the worldview of many conservatives; particularly religious conservatives. so murdoch created a ‘fake news’ channel to service this admittedly lucrative demographic.

    fox was revolutionary not because of any real shift in how stories were reported but in the ‘editorializing’ and ‘herd-wrangling’ that it promoted and encouraged amongst the personalities that populated it’s tentpost programs. that was largely unheard of prior to the inception of FNC and is neither left nor right. it is merely good old-fashioned mudraking.

    we test marketed this stuff to high heaven. it was a very smart and very cynical business model.

    peace

  • dagon

    zhombre

    “ndulge me a Parthian shot to close with. I think a good argument for liberal bias, dagon my man, and the disconnect of people in MSM from the rest of the country, is your own patronizing attitude on display here. Seems you must descend to explain how the world works to us poor rubes.”

    –give me a break man. that’s just my writing style and the fact that i’m largely fed up. please don’t make me reference the never-ending stream of ymarsakar posts. compared to that guy, i’m the most humble guy in the room

    peace

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I think Bookworm will eventually have to decide which guy gets the position of Court Jester at her stronghold. Greg the Reich, or dagon the Dagger. Both have particular benefits and detriments.

    Let’s just hope not too many people find it interesting, like fake liberals and dagonese are “interesting”, Danny.

    I do have some ideas how Faux News can get even better using their propaganda apparatus. For one thing, they should have touted Bill O’Reilly’s macho credentials by implying that the GitMo prisoenrs suicided after O’Reilly visited and tried some of those “coercive” interrogation tactics on the prisoners.

    Another thing, Faux News should also talk a lot about how American hostage lives could be saved if we made good use of the GitMo prisoners. They should sell it as a compromise. If the Left doesn’t like them as being prisoners without POW status, we should take down two birds with one stone, Execute them and free some Americans from bondage as well, wouldn’t that be popular?

    After Centanni got taken, that would just underscore Faux’s credentials anti-jihadist. After all, if people want to stop hostage taking, they have to pressure Bush, and Faux News would be able to make a great sympathetic case for American hostages, and promoting pressure on Bush to change his ways. Bush almost listens too much to his critics, the Democrats and his State Department “advisers” (insurgents).

    If Faux News doesn’t step up to the plate and hold the President accountable, who will? Not the Democrats.

    Faux News should also have a much deeper relationship with the Bush administration then they have in today’s world. meaning, Faux News should make a bargain with Bush to favor the side of America 95% of the time, in return for being the first to receive classified material documents, troop casualties, and press releases. When all the news and information comes through Faux News, how could it be Fake then? It worked for Dan Rather, or rather, it didn’t, but Faux News isn’t fake, after all. It is simply the foe of the mainstream garbage media.

    I really don’t think Fox News deserves the title of “Faux”. Only the highest propaganda apparatus with the greatest amount of quality and truth to their propaganda, may achieve the title of “Faux”.

    Because Fox News mimics the rest of the MSM, and because they don’t make deals with the Executive Branch, unless you count the Tony Snow insider string pulling that is, Fox News won’t be able to elevate themselves to the premier media outlet. The media thrives on information. The government has like 80% of that information. Everything the media gets, from casualty counts to battle reports to Islamic propaganda, come from the government. Well, maybe not Islamic propaganda, but you never know, Bush might himself have some connections going on there that we don’t know about.

    The government isn’t doing anybody a favor by letting the Main Sewer Media distort and propagandize government provided information, to harm American interests, soldiers, and pride. The government has a responsibility and a duty to get the truth to the American people, with as little distortion as possible. They can do this with Faux News, the fake newsmedia, the newsmedia that looks like the media but is really a blog. Well, they’ll be a blog when they earn their title, anyways.

    This is, I believe, a great compromise between total censorship and closing down of free speech concerning the government, and allowing domestic propaganda insurgencies to destroy American morale. We don’t want to close down bloggers like Michael Yon and Michael Totten. The government should give them loads of support, instead of the MSM.

    So, in conclusion, all bloggers that don’t tell lies should be given more access by the government. Anyone that tells lies, will be classified as the MSM, and thrown out of the White House Press Corps, their invitations to social gala events canceled by the Secret Po, I mean Service. Don’t even bother re-filtering the stream.

    Don’t worry about dissenting voices. I’m sure people can still get their daily dos(or kos?) from the BBC and Al Jazzera. If you move to Holland, you can dope up with your dose as well, you know.