Archive for the Media Misses Category

Anatomy Of A False Story. Fox News… The Media Outlet For Fascists.

Posted in Media Misses on January 29, 2007 by blindnation

The Chicago Tribune | January 28 2007

For quite some time, media critics and those on the left have argued that Fox News is an ideologically driven propaganda network.

This is the same kind of argument one makes about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. Believers have the answers. Skeptics can’t even begin to count. Agnostics say it’s irrelevant.

The fact is, the Fox formula works with its audience, good folks who believe the rest of media is dominated by closet liberals. It’s a big, dedicated choir.

Sometimes, though, something pops up that carries the conversation beyond questions of ideology, beyond finger pointing, beyond even bitter recriminations from competing TV networks full of envy of “The Simpsons” and the powerful Fox News position in the TV marketplace.

The “Hillary-Clinton-is-trying-to-smear-Bara ck-Obama-as-a-latent-Islamic-fundamentalist” story (Pardon the profuse hyphenation, but we can’t think of anything else to call it at this stage.) is a case in point.

A high-speed recap: The Washington Times Insight Magazine online edition reports the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate attended a madrassa, a conservative Islamic school, when he was a kid and his family lived in Jakarta for a time.

The source of this revelation, the Web site said, was “researchers connected to” the Clinton camp. Fox News discussed the Insight article on two of its programs. The story spread far and wide through Web sites and e-mail chains.

The juicy tidbit at the heart of the story, the hint that Obama’s primary-school education set him up to embrace radical Islam should he become president, was wrong. He’s a Christian. He didn’t attend a madrassa in Jakarta.

The Clinton folks say the story is “scurrilous” and the product of a “right-wing rag” and that they had nothing to do with it.

Actually, none of this touches on the heart of the problem.

It took a few hundred years for journalism to reach the stage at which the best truth one could find was the force behind what was published, broadcast, put before the public. Critics find it hard to believe, but much of what is called “mainstream media” agonizes every day over what is true and what is not, because it is wrong to print what is not provably true.

In that context, what Insight did on its Web site, and what Fox News did in repeating the report, was not ideological at all. It was unethical, unprofessional and shabby, a trifecta, if you will, in the world of journalism.

It also is a sign of the growing indifference Internet “journalism” presents on the question of truth. Rumor is good enough. Bibles of blogging are created based on nothing more than rumor.

So sure, scan it, scroll through it, read it. But, also, ask yourself: Do you know who’s giving you your news?


While You Were Sleeping Bush Took Over The Government.

Posted in Media Misses on January 29, 2007 by blindnation

Press Esc | January 29 2007

President ruling by decree 

United States President stealthily took over the Federal Government last week through a new executive order last week that takes away all autonomy from Agencies, according to public interest organizations.

The order amends a series of previous executive orders that culminated in Executive Order No. 12,866, which the White House has used to give itself the power to review regulations before they can be officially published in the Federal Register.

The new order applies the review power not just to regulations but also to what it calls “significant guidance documents.”

“This order is just the latest in a series of unacceptable power grabs by the Bush administration,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “President Bush is asserting the right to change the law by executive fiat.”

The group identified three major problems with the new executive order:

First, it requires agencies to get White House approval of many important kinds of guidance for the public, which would allow the White House to create a bureaucratic bottleneck that would slow down agencies’ ability to give the public information it needs.

Agencies use guidance to let the public know how they intend to enforce the laws and regulations on the books.

“By requiring White House approval of important guidance, the White House will insert its political agenda and pro-business bias into every level of agency policy, so that our federal government will handcuff itself instead of the companies that violate the law and put the public in danger,” Robert Shull, Public Citizen’s deputy director for auto safety and regulatory policy, warned.

Second, the new order stresses the concept of “market failure” in its revised command for agencies to state justifications for new regulations for public health, privacy, safety, civil rights and the environment. Market failure is an economics term describing situations in which private markets, left to themselves, fail to bring about results that the public needs.

This order will be enforced by Susan Dudley, a controversial figure the White House is setting up for a recess appointment to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

She calls herself a “free-market environmentalist,” who wants to protect the environment through “market-based incentives.”
Based on an evaluation of Dudley’s record in a report released last year, Public Citizen has concluded that in her hands, the market failure provision will become a barrier to the protections that the public needs.

Third, the order requires agencies to develop annual plans for upcoming rulemakings that identify “the combined aggregate costs and benefits of all … regulations planned for that calendar year to assist with the identification of priorities.”

This new requirement will make cost/benefit analysis the central factor in setting priorities for needed protections of the public interest.

“These cost/benefit analyses are notoriously biased against regulation, especially long-term goals such as preventing global warming or cancers that manifest years after exposure to toxic substances,” said Claybrook. “The upshot of this whole executive order is that the White House is already working to undermine not just agencies but also the new Congress’ ability to protect the public.”

“The White House is amending the Administrative Procedure Act by decree, claiming power that belongs to Congress alone. It is an appalling arrogation of power and a slap in the face to the new Congress,” said Shull. “Congress must immediately arrange hearings to hold the president accountable for this affront to the rule of law.”

Maybe This Is Why We Couldn’t See Any Scattered Plane Parts In Shanksville

Posted in Media Misses on November 2, 2006 by blindnation

Fox News Sean Hannity Gay Dating Website

Posted in Media Misses on October 24, 2006 by blindnation

Erik Nelson | Broken Newz |Oct 23 2006 

  Yes, it’s true. Sean Hannity has a website for conservative minded folks to date each other. It is called HANNIDATE. Gays are meeting each other there and (gulp) having sex. All this gay sex is thanks to Sean Hannity. HANNIDATE is the web version of Sean’s popular dating segment he does on his conservative talk radio show. It turns out that Sean is not as conservative as everyone thinks. He might be against gay marriage, but he’s not above lending a helping hand for gays to have out-of-wedlock one-night stands. (I consider this helping hand a reach-around) This makes Sean Hannity the most gay-friendly FOX NEWS host in the world. In fact this may make him a social liberal, far from a Values Driven Christian Conservative. 

Doing research on the internet for an article on the conservative media, I came across HANNIDATE and found it amusing that hard-core right wingers needed a special place to meet. I admit it’s hard to see who is good-looking at a cross burning.(everyone is wearing a hood)

So I clicked on the dating website and saw that there were two drop down menu options to choose from. “I am a man/woman seeking a man/woman.” I knew that if I chose man seeking man, it would come up with an error saying that it was not possible to choose those options. This is Hannity’s site after all. But to my surprise one person popped up on the results page. I gasped. It was a youngish looking kid with a spritely gaze and hazel hair. I thought, “What a poor kid. Since he’s a fan of Sean, he has had to listen to tirades on the air against the homosexual agenda and at the same time come to grips with his own sexuality.”

I clicked on his personal ad and read it. Nothing he wrote said that he was gay and in fact it said that he was looking for a girl. So I wrote to him to find out if he knew that he had accidentally upon registration entered that he was looking for a man. I got no response, but his profile soon disappeared.

My brained reeled. What could be done here? I could register as a man seeking man and be the only gay on Hannidate. Surely, some people would see it and be incensed. Surely some would be infuriated. I would ruin their little safe haven of their conservo-world. I could taint the whole website with my gayness.

So I started to register. The site told me that no personal ad gets posted until it gets approved by the site’s administrators. How were they going to react to an ad stating that I was definitely gay? I was after all trying to place this on one of the most conservative websites. Imagine trying to place a gay personal ad in a Baptist Church Bulletin. That’s what I was up against.

I tried my best not to make too many jokes so that it was obvious that I was having a laugh. I had to create a username and I chose “Letmebreakyourback.”

I then chose ‘Atheist’ as my religion (The first step in any successful Christian Conservative courtship).

Under “about me” I wrote “I am a vibrant and enthusiastic gay male. I spent too many years in the closet because I have a wife and kids, LOL.” — I thought that being married with kids and wanting to shag around with atheist gay men would raise some tempers.

I then thought I should say that the reason I was gay was because of Sean.

“I had the strength to face the truth [that I was gay] by listening to Sean… Sean fights for freedom. My new life and freedom to express myself are thanks to him.”

Sean has a catchphrase, Let freedom ring. I used that. “Let Freedom ring! A wedding ring? In Massachusetts? LOL”

In who I was looking for I put “someone cute and preferably in the military. I want to make a Grunt grunt and make a Seal bark.”

As to whether I was a top or bottom I said my favorite movie is My Big Fat Greek Entry.

I also said that “I’m glad I’m gay because when it comes to sex, I think two heads are better than one.”

I ended with “I’d like to thank Sean personally for all the dates with men that I know will come flocking!”

As the finishing touch, I added a real picture of me.

So in a brief sketch, I had blamed him for causing my gayness and thanked him for getting me laid with members of the same sex. The more I looked at the ad, the more I realized it had no chance of being accepted by the censors.

So I submitted it and a couple of days went by with no response. I’m sure their heads were spinning. What were they to do? Admit that they were going to discriminate against me?

I then received an email saying that my profile was rejected due to “sexual remarks.” I wanted to write back that the only thing sexual about my ‘remark’ was that I’d like to have sex with a Mark. However, I realized that this was going to be their way to keep me off the site. So I removed the Grunt and Seal jokes and resubmitted. The next day it came back approved.

I was thrilled though a little befuddled. Time went by and no one wrote me.

Then came some helpful advice in an email from AlQaedakilla4life: “Stay in the closet for your wife and kids, man!”

I wrote back to see if AlQaedakilla was closeted because there was no way for him to have seen me unless he put in “man for man.” No response.

Then the floodgates opened. There are probably only a couple thousand HANNIDATE members, yet my profile has now been viewed over 5,100 times! How many repressed individuals are there hiding behind the banner of Neo-Conservative Values?

I checked the site the next month and not only was I still there on the gay search results but so was another guy. Then there was another and another. We were growing.

Over six months I chatted with some. One, we’ll call Bill, was openly gay but said he didn’t want the right of marriage. Could you imagine a black in the fifties extolling the virtues of a Colored-only water fountain? I’m real sure that Black water fountains were considered better because instead of being infused with fluoride they were mentholated.

Over time, Bill told me that he met many camping buddies on Hannidate. (My first verification of actual gay sex happening because of Hannity) Bill said he’s good at charming the wives before going off camping. Are all these married Republicans leaving the wife and kids to go camping while listening to Hannity’s show? It’s like Brokeback Mountain with Bibles, lots of guns, and a crappy AM radio.

There are only a handful of gay personal ads. For Bill and the rest to get dates means that registered straight members are browsing men for men. Too bad I’m a chubby man because I should have been able to turn 5,000 page views into loads of dates for myself.

Now some visitors to the site are Log Cabin Republicans. I know they are proud to call themselves that, but true Republicans thinks they are a disgrace and embarrassment to the party. Often considered ‘Log in Colon’ Republicans.

I think saying you’re a member of Log Cabin Republicans is like saying you’re in the Atheist wing of the Christian Church. You’re holding two contradictory statements in your head as true.

If you offered a slave the right to vote, would he vote against abolition? He might because he’s been so beaten down that he wasn’t strong enough to face the reality that slavery isn’t natural.

Jump to the present and you’ll see that these Log Cabin Republicans are acting like slaves whose spine has been broken. Why are they acting like they’ve been beaten. Being in the Republican party is not natural. It’s a suicidal act.

If you’d like an example of who they are buddying up with. Check out PatriotPaul on HANNIDATE. His profile has a picture of him with a gun and it says that “I shoot me some queers if I catch one of them suma******es.” This quote is interesting because the website had him use asterisks to remove the word “bitches” but had no problem with the fact that he wants to shoot queers, liberals, wetbacks, and towel heads. You’d think there would be a law against inciting acts of racial violence. Oh yeah, it’s called Hate Crime legislation.

Now having read all of PatriotPaul’s personal, I believe it to be a joke. He tries too hard to be a redneck Republican. But what is outrageous is that HANNIDATE chose to put him on the front page of their site as a Featured Profile on September 28th. The site administrators thought his profile about shooting queers and liberals was so good they proudly displayed it for all visitors to see. It’s reprehensible and disgusting.

So that was my decent into the world of Christian Conservative gay dating. I was hoping to be swept away in a private jet to some rich Republican’s mansion, but all I got was a campfire offer of beanie-weenies.

A big shout-out goes to Sean Hannity, who spends his hard earned money on a website so that like-minded and same-sex couples can meet, chat, and fornicate. Keep up the good work Sean. I’m sure most of your fans would totally approve.

Massive Terror Plot Busted in the UK

Posted in Media Misses on October 11, 2006 by blindnation | Oct 6 2006

Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson (62), of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances before the court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. The offences are under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Burnley Crown Court on October 23rd. Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on Friday, the same day as he left a dental practice in Grange-over-Sands.

The 22 chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in this country.
Cottage is an ex-BNP member who stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May.
Mrs Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson’s case, alleged the pair had “some kind of masterplan”.  She said a search of Jackson’s home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.

Police raided Cottage’s Talbot Street home on Thursday of last week. The house was taped off while forensics officers searched the premises. Neighbours were told to stay in their homes for their own safety. Mr Cottage’s car was also taken away for examination.

Officers also made a thorough examination of Jackson’s Trent Road home and, again, officers were on duty outside the house. Forensics officers examined the property.

Software Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S.

Posted in Government Watch, Media Misses on October 7, 2006 by blindnation

New York Times | Eric Lipton | Oct 3 2006

A consortium of major universities, using Homeland Security Department money, is developing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas. 

Such a “sentiment analysis” is intended to identify potential threats to the nation, security officials said.

Researchers at institutions including Cornell, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah intend to test the system on hundreds of articles published in 2001 and 2002 on topics like President Bush’s use of the term “axis of evil,” the handling of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the debate over global warming and the coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984

Posted in Media Misses, Uncategorized on August 29, 2006 by blindnation

The National Security Archive | February 25 2003 

The Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) was one of a series of crises during an era of upheaval in the Middle East: revolution in Iran, occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by militant students, invasion of the Great Mosque in Mecca by anti-royalist Islamicists, the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan, and internecine fighting among Syrians, Israelis, and Palestinians in Lebanon. The war followed months of rising tension between the Iranian Islamic republic and secular nationalist Iraq. In mid-September 1980 Iraq attacked, in the mistaken belief that Iranian political disarray would guarantee a quick victory.

The international community responded with U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire and for all member states to refrain from actions contributing in any way to the conflict’s continuation. The Soviets, opposing the war, cut off arms exports to Iran and to Iraq, its ally under a 1972 treaty (arms deliveries resumed in 1982). The U.S. had already ended, when the shah fell, previously massive military sales to Iran. In 1980 the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Iran because of the Tehran embassy hostage crisis; Iraq had broken off ties with the U.S. during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The U.S. was officially neutral regarding the Iran-Iraq war, and claimed that it armed neither side. Iran depended on U.S.-origin weapons, however, and sought them from Israel, Europe, Asia, and South America. Iraq started the war with a large Soviet-supplied arsenal, but needed additional weaponry as the conflict wore on.

Initially, Iraq advanced far into Iranian territory, but was driven back within months. By mid-1982, Iraq was on the defensive against Iranian human-wave attacks. The U.S., having decided that an Iranian victory would not serve its interests, began supporting Iraq: measures already underway to upgrade U.S.-Iraq relations were accelerated, high-level officials exchanged visits, and in February 1982 the State Department removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism. (It had been included several years earlier because of ties with several Palestinian nationalist groups, not Islamicists sharing the worldview of al-Qaeda. Activism by Iraq’s main Shiite Islamicist opposition group, al-Dawa, was a major factor precipitating the war — stirred by Iran’s Islamic revolution, its endeavors included the attempted assassination of Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.)