View Full Version : Some comparative reading
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 11:02am
About a week ago Israel had accused Palestinians to abuse UN vehicles for arms trafficing, with UN consent -- evidence short of murky shot from a drone -- which could show about everything. I found two articles on that, which were strikingly different.
Article 1: THE U.N.'S TERROR PROBLEM (http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/31306.htm)
Article 2: Israel is undermining its credibility (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/485518.html)
Article 1 starts: October 5, 2004 -- Israel is up in arms — and rightly so: The head of the key United Nations agency dealing with the Palestinians has admitted that his organization employs members of the terrorist group Hamas.
Worse yet, he says he has no problem with that.
There's more. Israeli officials have released an alarming videotape that shows terrorists using an official United Nations vehicle to transport Qassam rockets. (The video was shot from an unmanned Israeli drone over the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza.)
(...)Article 2 starts: The State of Israel, via the Israel Defense Forces, the intelligence community and the Foreign Ministry, and with the encouragement of the prime and defense ministers, has become entangled in and embarrassed by the affair of the Qassam-or-stretcher in Gaza. In its eagerness to show that the Palestinians will stoop to any means, Israel behaved with reckless haste and injured its pretensions to superiority over the Palestinians with regard to credibility.One is surprised by the difference in tone - The American New York Post has absolute clarity that the IDF allegations are true, while the Israeli newspaper Haaretz is much more sceptic. How comes? Well, the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch (http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/newscorp.asp).
You know: We report, you decide.
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 11:30am
Nice to see you back in full form again, Ragusa. :D Four straight threads, that is quite an achievment.
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 11:52am
I'm doing my very best -- conpensating for the lack of DSL since wednesday :shake:
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 4:51pm
Please Rags, you're as misleading as who you're accusing.
The New York Post article is clearly marked as part of the opinions/editorial section, so did you expect no opinion expressed therein? This was not an unbiased report, it was an opinion piece.
The Haaretz article seems to be the same; an opinion.
So, what was the point of this? To show that two different newspapers can have writers with differing opinions on world affairs?
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 5:36pm
Point taken. How about that one: ISRAEL SAYS HAMAS USING 'U.N.' TRUCKS (http://web5.nypost.com/news/worldnews/29538.htm) October 2, 2004 -- JERUSALEM — Israel released surveillance video yesterday showing Palestinian terror squads using "U.N."-marked vehicles to transport deadly homemade rockets.
The video footage, taken by an Israeli military reconnaissance drone over the Gaza Strip, captured Palestinian terrorists loading Qassam rockets into a white van marked "U.N." and driving off.
Israel is asking the United Nations whether any of its relief-work vehicles, which operate regularly in Gaza, have been stolen — or given to Palestinians, officials said.
The development came on the second day of an Israeli military offensive, codenamed "Days of Penitence," which has claimed the lives of more than 40 Palestinians.
Israeli forces pressed further into the Gaza Strip during the day and "destroyed" seven rocket-launching teams by air attack or tank shelling, officials said.
The numbers of fatalities was not known but officials said each team, organized by Hamas, was composed of two or three terrorists.
Israel launched the offensive after two toddlers were killed Wednesday while playing in an Israeli town by Qassams fired from the Jebaliya camp. With Post Wire Services The Post article flatly states that the people in the video are a Palestinian terror squad. How can they know? Hamas, despite their bombings is known to have a substantial aid and relief element (http://www.jewishpost.com/jp0203/jpn0303.htm) -- one of the reasons why it is so popular among Palestinians -- it cares for them. The UN claims that they hired, say, Hamas medics, could well be true.
The Post also flatly states that missiles are being loaded. The article is very specific about what's being loaded. According to Haaretz, however, the exact nature of what's being loaded into the vans is not visible, more like open to guesswork.
Leaving out that the Post can't really know that it have been missiles -- note the style -- it isn't just about 'homemade missiles', it is "deadly homemade missiles". Why the elaboration? When "missiles are being transported" brings over the information - why write "deadly missiles"? It's an appeal to emotion. *News* aren't meant to do that.
So where from comes the New York Post's certainty? It's agenda I repeat.
Wed, 20th Oct '04, 8:15pm
Ragusa - The fact that you are quoting the New York Post as a viable news source is equivalent of leaning on the National Enquirer or something just as absurd. It's a rag (pardon the pun) and is the third NY paper (fourth if you count the WSJ) for a reason.
Sat, 23rd Oct '04, 12:07pm
I am not quoting the NYP as a viable news source. To the contrary. I'm quoting a particularly bad example of not being a news source -- which happens to be owned by FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch.
And I claim that the particularly poor journalism in the NYP is intended, and not an accident. It only is more visible as on FOX-TV as you have more time to sit and ponder.
It's no secret that Murdoch sends around "topics of the day" memos to his news outlets to promote a certain point of view all over his news network -- and Murdoch is partisan. The founding director of FOX news was iirc Nixon's election campaign manager ... FOX News is GOP-TV.
When Clinton was in power they were rabid attack dogs preying for scandal, and with Bush taking office they became nice little puppies towards the new president.
The NYP, just like FOX, isn't news, but propaganda disguised as news, which makes it far more digestive.
The real scandal about Murdoch and the NYP and FOX is that he sells right PR muscle for political favour ... deregulation of markets comes to my mind ...
Tue, 26th Oct '04, 6:51am
The airwaves in this country--legally--belong to the American people. When someone like Murdoch, not a citizen of this country--uses them to promote extremist and personal views, his license to broadcast should be revoked. This battle was not fought many years ago; perhaps it's time to do it.
Tue, 26th Oct '04, 5:29pm
Murdoch is a sort of modern day Gail Wynand.
As for the airwaves belonging to the people, the government has a procedure wherein it sells particular frequencies and wherein it also oversees the resale of those frequencies. Nothing that Murdoch has done has violated any laws that I know of. If taking advantage of people's gullible natures is a crime, then we need to dig up P.T. Barnum and burn him.
Why do you hold the purveyor of crap more responsible than those that keep him in business? It's as much the fault of the vaunted American "public" that buys his papers and watches his shows, perhaps more so, as he just fills a need, and, were he not around, some other Barnum want-to-be would be doing the same thing.
Personal responsibility is the buzz word of the day -- only you can prevent forest fires of the mind, insist on quality and don't buy crap, even when it's your news.
Wed, 27th Oct '04, 8:04am
Don't agree, dmc. When all you see is crap, you cannot reach an informed opinion. Honest news sources are difficult to find; the dishonest and cowardly ones are ready to hand. It's called the power of propaganda. The frequencies are not sold, they are licensed, and can be revoked after a hearing. As for "filling a need", you might as well say, "If Dillenger hadn't robbed that bank, someone else would have."
Wed, 27th Oct '04, 4:53pm
What? You've got to be kidding. If all you're seeing is crap, you need to step out of the sewer. News and information from around the world is everywhere these days. Cities have multiple newspapers, and one can often get newspapers from other cities and even other countries if you want to; there are news magazines, both foreign and domestic you can subscribe to, or pick up wherever magazines are sold.
And that's not even discussing the internet.
And to compare producing a product that others buy from you because that's what they want to a criminal robbing a bank is ridiculous in my opinion.
Wed, 27th Oct '04, 5:05pm
Cities have multiple newspapersIf you're lucky. In my case, there are two papers in Philadelphia but both are owned by the same organization. One is almost a tabloid anyway, and concentrates more on sports than anything else. Regional alternatives focus on local traffic accidents and school district happenings. :rolleyes:
But the out-of-town papers and magazines, etc., are quite helpful, if you're willing to go to the effort of procuring and reading them.
Wed, 27th Oct '04, 8:09pm
Cernak - I guess we'll just agree to disagree. In my opinion, everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves. You can't abdicate that responsibility to local news and then complain if you don't like what is being aired. Go find it. I started a thread a bit ago just to see where people got their news -- turns out that many of us disdain our local papers and TV stations and look to the net and more "reliable" stations. I don't trust the LA Times as a general policy decision and, in fact, often look to news sources outside the US for reliable content. Takes a little effort, but it's worth it.
Thu, 28th Oct '04, 8:21am
The point about the Dillinger bit--"If Dillinger hadn't robbed that bank, someone else would have"--is that this argument is a classic cop-out from personal responsibility; the argument has been used, is used, and will be used to escape responsibility for any and every situation. Rupurt Murdoch owns the New York Post, and is well known to lay a heavy hand on both editorial and news content to support his own extreme views. It is naive to say that someone else would do the same. Someone else would be someone else, and would have his own views, which might or might not approximate Murdoch's views.
As for the argument about alternative news sources, I do have them and use them; that should be obvious. I was speaking of the people who rely, trustingly, on the mass media who swindle and shortchange them, and who are not encouraged, on the basis of what they know, to seek alternate sources. How many people know that The Nation and The Guardian are available online, not to mention the many other sources that exist? Of course you can say it's their own fault, and turn your back in contempt, You could also say that the mass media, which uses the public airwaves by permission, is pandering and trivializing rather than meeting an even minimal responsibility. Perhaps most people would rather be ignorant; that does not excuse the media for making them so.
One more point on alternative news sources. I work in a bookstore, and we sell a number of magazines. We cannot get The Nation, The Atlantic, or Harper's, none of which could be called wildly radical; the distributor declines to carry them. So please don't preach to me about the availability of alternative news sources; yes, they're there, but they should not be available just on your computer screen; they should be visible on the street as well. The fact that they're not is a measure of how deeply our sources of information have been corrupted.
[ October 28, 2004, 09:14: Message edited by: Cernak ]
Thu, 28th Oct '04, 4:55pm
The point is Rupert Murdoch, or anyone else, has a right to produce whatever product he wishes to sell to the public as long as he stays within the established laws. Just because you think Murdoch in particular and the media in general has some kind of responsibility to the public because they purchased a lease to public airwaves doesn't make it so.
Perhaps most people would rather be ignorant; that does not excuse the media for making them so.The media "makes" nobody ignorant. People start out ignorant, and the media provides information/entertainment as a product they sell. That product is designed to make the media money by appealing to the people they are targeting for consumption. They have no responsibility to educate the ignorant in a well rounded manner. It is up to the ignorant to educate themselves in whatever manner they deem appropriate. If they choose to be lazy about it, well that's up to them.
...they should not be available just on your computer screen; they should be visible on the street as well. The fact that they're not is a measure of how deeply our sources of information have been corrupted.Why "should" they be? It costs money to produce and distribute a product, and if you can't sell it where you distribute it (meaning people aren't buying it), then there's no point in distributing it there.
So, who's fault is it that the "sources of information have been corrupted"? In my opinion, it's the fault of the people who buy the "corrupted" product so that the company producing it makes a nice healthy profit.
Fri, 29th Oct '04, 6:09am
One more time. Broadcasting stations do not "purchase a lease"; i.e., pay x amount of dollars for the right to own a certain wavelength for a certain amount of time. They are "licensed", for a nominal fee, by the FCC to broadcast, subject to conditions laid down in the Federal Communications Act. The FCC, at any time, can convene a hearing to revoke the right to broadcast of any station it deems to be acting against the public interest. This is not normally done, of course.
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Fri, 29th Oct '04, 2:32pm
You are correct in how the FCC works, but I do not think that is the point of BTA's post. What he is saying (and I heartily agree with him in this instance) is that any radio station or TV station broadcast has no obligation or responsibility to anyone to teach people, inform people, or be unbiased. Yes, there are rules for broadcasting. In the case of TV and radio, obscene language is generally prohobited, and on public TV nudity and even partial nudity is prohibited (see Janet Jackson's exposed breast as a fine example).
That having been said, there is no reason why Rupert Murdoch should have to offer an unbiased view, or attempt to inform the listeners about anything. As BTA points out, it is largely the consumers in this instance that contribute to the problem. All radio and television stations make money through selling advertising time. The amount they can charge for their advertising time is largely determined by how many listeners or viewers are tuned into the show. That's why it costs a heck of a lot more to purchase advertising time during, say Monday Night Football, as opposed to the Home and Garden Network at 4 AM - the audience for MNF is much greater.
Bottom line - If there was no interest in Murdoch's programming, he wouldn't be able to keep his shows on the air because the radio stations couldn't make any money from advertising. While I agree that many of his listeners may be ignorant to the availability to other news sources, Murdoch certainly is under no obligation to change this. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Informing listeners of other news outlets would be acting against his own self-interest.
Chandos the Red
Tue, 2nd Nov '04, 6:19am
That having been said, there is no reason why Rupert Murdoch should have to offer an unbiased view, or attempt to inform the listeners about anything. As BTA points out, it is largely the consumers in this instance that contribute to the problem. All radio and television stations make money through selling advertising time. I found this very interesting complaint filed with the FCC against FNN on MoveOn.
What Fox News is not free to do, however, is to advertise its news
programming—a service it offers to consumers in competition with other networks, both
broadcast and cable—in a manner that is blatantly and grossly false and misleading.
Under the Supreme Court’s “commercial speech” rulings, the government—including
this agency—may ban forms of advertising that are more likely to deceive the public than
to inform it. That is certainly true of Fox News’ use of the slogan “Fair and Balanced.”
Moreover, any claim by Fox News to First Amendment protection for use of this slogan
is further undercut by Fox’s efforts to use this slogan to suppress debate and free speech,
through its trademark infringement action against the publisher and author of Lies and
For these reasons, the Commission should initiate a complaint against Fox News
under section 5 of the Act.