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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Major (Score:3, Insightful)

    The White House changed the headline "President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended" to include the word "Major" before "Combat".

    This is absolutely true. However, the second headline was entirely accurate, while the first headline was false. Bush never said that combat operations in Iraq had ended, he said MAJOR combat operations in Iraq had ended. They fixed an error, because the headline said Bush said something he never said. That hardly qualifies as revisionist history. I can find
    • by Ovid (2709) on 2003.12.18 20:47 (#26690) Homepage Journal

      I stand corrected about the White House site changing the headline. I did some research on the speech and you are correct, though it makes me wonder why they had an erroneous headline in the first place. Since so many people merely scan headlines, it's easy to paint a false picture and then later claim "that's not what was said". I've often had fun reading articles and seeing how closely they match the headline. Frequently they don't and I think that is also a form of dishonesty.

      I also agree that politicians have been manipulating agencies like this, but I don't recall it being so blatant (though maybe I'm only noticing it now since I've truly been disgusted with this administration). Regardless of who does it, it's a deplorable action.

      And on a side note, I realize that much of my journal might seem anti-conservative, but I don't think that's the case. I would love to see true conservatives running the Republican party. Despite appearances, I have no issues with conservative political philosophy. It's the neo-cons and their neanderthal diplomacy and political tactics that I object to. Of course, I'd also like to see some liberals in the Democratic party. They've been pulled so far to the right that we have no effective opposition in this country. Political ideologies are great. Political parties suck.

      • Political parties suck.

        That's the truth. So why wring your hands over their perpetual failure to
        deliver democratic control of society? Just admit that capitalist republics
        don't deliver democracy, and look for something that does.
        • Just admit that capitalist republics don't deliver democracy, and look for something that does.

          I can't admit that because I don't believe it. From my perspective, there are three major things wrong with the US system: money, media, and machines (political ones, that is). The media is an obvious problem. The yellow journalism of Fox News is just the most obvious example. Make the media truly competitive or, better yet, permanently publicly fund the media as a public resource (rather than forcing the

            • I'm still astonished at those who believe that huge mega-corporations are spewing liberal propaganda.

            I'm still astonished that people don't see the liberal propaganda being spewed by the mainstream media. The media writers, reporters and producers are overwhelmingly liberal, just ask them. Polls always indicate a far left bias in the opionion of media workers.

            There may be some examples of corporations influencing the media content, but the mega-corporations run the risk of this becoming widely known a

            • It's been a long time since I picked up Bias and leafed through it, so I honestly can't tell you what my objections were at that time. However, the media watchdog group "FAIR" has an interesting piece about Golberg's book [fair.org]. I routinely check what FAIR has to say about a topic because they have impressed me with the thoroughness with which they research material. In this particular case, they did not go through on a point-by-point basis, but I felt that there points were relevant.

              For opposing views, look

                • I routinely check what FAIR has to say about a topic because they have impressed me with the thoroughness with which they research material.

                FAIR thorough and well researched? FAIR is hardly a "media watchdog", but rather a reaction to AIM (Accuracy In Media), Reed Irvin's group that started criticizing liberal media back in the 70s.

                I challenge you to find even a single example of any FAIR issue that is critical of the media for having a liberal bias. You would think that a balanced watchdog group could

                • OK, I thought about responding to your points, but you and I will not see eye to eye on many issues and I'd be wasting my time. I did, however, note that, while you didn't assert that AIM was reasonable, I suspect that this might actually be your point of view (though I certainly hope not).

                  From AIM's FAQ [aim.org]: We encourage members of the media to report the news fairly and objectively--without resorting to bias or partisanship.

                  Hoo boy. That's a real howler. From their article with the completely non-alar


                    • OK, I thought about responding to your points, but you and I will not see eye to eye on many issues and I'd be wasting my time.

                    I guess you are either saying that I'm a narrow minded idealogue or that you are, I'm not sure which. In any case, while we may have hardened positions, and I recognize that, I often join these "debates" for the benefit of those reading here. If I was interested in only persuading you, I'd take it to email


                    • I did, however, note that, while you didn't assert that AIM was reason
                    • The mainstream press is mainstream corporate -- that's where the advertising
                      money comes from. They don't rock the boat, in general. Just as you won't find
                      the NY Times advocating land redistribution (giving land back to small-scale
                      farmers, for instance), or pointing out the human cost of drug patents, you also
                      won't find them working overtime to dig up corporate malfeasance or official
                      corruption.

                      Not rocking the boat goes both ways. So "anti-conservative" might apply, if by
                      "anti-conservative" you mean "opp
                      • They don't rock the boat, in general. Just as you won't find
                        the NY Times advocating land redistribution (giving land back to small-scale
                        farmers, for instance)

                      If you are saying that the media in this country is not of a Marxist bent, I would agree. That's completely in line with the fact that Socialism is pretty much unpopular with the American people in general and the media is no exception.

                      • or pointing out the human cost of drug patents

                      If you are referring to the fact that there would be no miracle dr

                    • As an example -- in my opinion, any "objective" newspaper would have been running a headline every day for the last couple years saying "The Government is obviously making all this shit up as they go along."

                      I'm sorry, I think you mean s/objective/opinionated/. Or maybe s/objective/crap I happen to believe is true/.
                    • Face facts. The media has an irrational hatred of Bush and will spin everything to the disadvantage of the Republicans, while giving the Democrats a complete pass.

                      I wish you had put this part at the beginning, so I didn't have to waste time reading the rest. Who is "the media"? Does every single member of the group have this "hatred"? Is it always (or necessarily) irrational? Does "everything" get spun, and do all Democrats get a "complete" pass? I suspect we disagree on the underlying politics, but

                • I thought I had gone to perl.com, but apparently this is some political site. Sorry, I'll go away.
          • If you don't believe it, then point to examples of capitalist republics that do
            involve democratic control of society.

            The failures of social democracy are systemic, and repeat everywhere. The
            states with the most egalitarian policies are those facing the strongest left
            threats to their existence. As unions have become weaker, the "welfare state"
            has shrunk in many countries.

            The trouble is not with particular politicians -- it is with the system that
            makes them temporary dictators. The problem is not with pa
          • Make the media truly competitive

            What does competitive mean in this sentence? I see a lot of competition. Granted, it's on minutiae that bore me, but it's competition.

            • I almost didn't answer this because I really wanted to withdraw from this thread (but if I can't take the heat I should stay out of hell). However, you asked a fair question and I think it deserves an answer.

              A good primer on the topic is Unreliable Sources [amazon.com] by Martin Lee and Normon Solomon. It was published back in 1991 one and explained very thoroughly the problems with media consolidation over a decade ago. The problem has become worse due to increased media mergers [progressive.org]. We're all familiar with monopolie

              • One more question, I promise! You don't have to answer if you don't want. I'm not sure I like the answer.

                If there were competition, how many people would notice and how many would change their media consumption habits?

                • The short (and cheap) answer is I don't know if people would notice and if things would change. If competition led to better quality news but people still chose sizzle over steak, that would be a disappointment, but at least people would be freely choosing instead of having the choice made for them. There is good information out there now, but it's not always easy to find it [projectcensored.org].

                  A more accurate answer would be to discuss why I desire more competition -- or more precisely, a different sort of competition (ni

                  • During the same period lunch cancer was determined to be the number one killer of women...

                    Lunch cancer? What the hell is lunch cancer? It must be another story the media has covered up. Yeah, that's it!

          • The main problems with the media are far greater than simple bias or "yellowness." Ben Franklin's newspaper was horribly biased and sensationalistic, by our standards. The real problem is the media control of the information the citizens need to make choices. Why did Bush and Gore get so much more coverage than Nader, for example?

            I find it funny you call the Democrats "Republicans Lite," as lately, I'd say you have it backwards. :-)

            As to money, I like how you say it there. It's not that money itself i