Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Blatantly Contradictory Media

Debra Burlingame captures the inconsistency, and change of goalposts in the media's criticism of the Bush Administration on national security:

Meanwhile, the media, mouthing phrases like "Article II authority," "separation of powers" and "right to privacy," are presenting the issues as if politics have nothing to do with what is driving the subject matter and its coverage. They want us to forget four years of relentless "connect-the-dots" reporting about the missed chances that "could have prevented 9/11." They have discounted the relevance of references to the two 9/11 hijackers who lived in San Diego. But not too long ago, the media itself reported that phone records revealed that five or six of the hijackers made extensive calls overseas.

NBC News aired an "exclusive" story in 2004 that dramatically recounted how al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar, the San Diego terrorists who would later hijack American Airlines flight 77 and fly it into the Pentagon, received more than a dozen calls from an al Qaeda "switchboard" inside Yemen where al-Mihdhar's brother-in-law lived. The house received calls from Osama Bin Laden and relayed them to operatives around the world. Senior correspondent Lisa Myers told the shocking story of how, "The NSA had the actual phone number in the United States that the switchboard was calling, but didn't deploy that equipment, fearing it would be accused of domestic spying." Back then, the NBC script didn't describe it as "spying on Americans." Instead, it was called one of the "missed opportunities that could have saved 3,000 lives."

She has lots to say about Congress also, and you should read the entire piece. But I want to focus for a minute on the MSM aspect of it.

How can we possibly forget the constant harping by the media on how little George W. Bush did in the first eight months of his administration to prevent 9/11 by "connecting the dots"? Even as they complained about Bush's lack of attention to terrorism, the same media gave Clinton a completely free pass regarding his actions in the previous 8 years. Nevertheless, when they finished beating that dead horse--having squeezed every possible bit of partisan whining out of it--they then proceeded to switch tactics and take the opposite approach, as Burlingame suggests; complaining about everything this President has done since that time to try to connect any dots at all.

This behavior, disguised by code words like "free speech" and "privacy", with the continual insinuations by all the serious media talking heads, that Bush is destroying our civil liberties and intent on establishing a police state-- borders on the schizophrenic rantings of the completely delusional (except that I wouldn't want to insult the mentally ill who, on the whole, are far more reasonable in most cases).

I realize this is just another case of media hypocrisy and partisanship--so what else is new? But this kind of contradictory discourse is something I have talked about before and it must be exposed for what it is: a fundamental distortion of the truth to make it conform to whatever the feelings du jour happen to be; and those feelings are almost always related to their rage at George W. Bush.

Their reporting--particularly on this issue-- demonstrates how truth is manipulated and distorted by their unacknowledged ideological biases; and any consistency found in their positions from one moment to the next is... purely accidental (and likely just as opportunistic).

They insist that all truth is relative anyway; so by applying their own standards, why should anyone bother to listen to them?

They are, of course, hoping you won't notice the blatant contradictions.

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