Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Just keep repeating the unsubstantiated rumor and eventually it'll become true:
Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley made a public statement on May 13 that journalists are “being targeted for real in places like Iraq.”
This Editor and Publisher opinion pieces says that only a few newspapers covered the story. Where is the MSM? When the head of a major journalism union (35,000 members) makes an accusation like this and it goes unchallenged by supposedly responsible journalists then it begins to take on an air of conventional wisdom. It's like the plastic turkey story.

You'll recall in November of 2003 the president visited our soldiers in Iraq. He was shown holding a golden brown turkey with trimmings on a silver tray. Well, before long leftists began to say that it was a fake, plastic turkey and the MSM failed to correct the mistake. Over time it became "true" that it was indeed a plastic turkey. Journalists routinely added the charge that it was a fake plastic turkey to their stories. No one in the MSM corrected the story until one day the New York Times added the now "true" story of the president being photographed holding a fake plastic turkey to one of their stories. Eventually The New York Times was forced to admit that it wasn't a fake turkey and issued a correction. Here's the correction:
An article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake.
You would think the story would go away, but even now leftwing journalists are repeating the line that it was a fake plastic turkey.

The point is that the MSM allowed this story to grow until it became such conventional wisdom that even the once respected New York Times repeated the charge. The Times did the right thing and issued a correction, but this is a perfect example of how a lie, such as soldiers targeting journalists, can become true if repeated often enough by members of the media and goes unchallenged by a MSM that insists it's trying to be fair.

These sort of accusations must be dealt with and swiftly if the media is looking for credibility. The reason newspaper circulations and nightly news viewerships are dropping off is because the media isn't doing it's job especially when they want a story to be true. Like the Dan Rather Memogate and Newsweek's recent willingness to accept the word of a detainee in Guantanamo that soldiers had flushed a copy of the Quran. They wanted it to be true because of ideology and so they failed the do the fundamental task they have charged themselves with.

The Linda Foley story is just one more example of the MSM failing to do it's fundamental task. That is, to ask questions and challenge people who make unsubstantiated charges and to be skeptical of evidence and the motives of people providing the evidence.

I'm not sure what we call the MSM will survive. If it does survive it'll be with far fewer media outlets and reporters will be held to a much higher standard than they are today. It may be some time before we see those changes because the media is doing all it can to avoid making the necessary changes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Holy cow! A local story has made it to the big time!

The Drudge Report is linking to a local story about some preacher whose reader boards says, "The Koran Needs To Be Flushed".

To say I'm proud wouldn't be true, but still, the fact that the story made it to the Drudge Report, in red lettering no less, has put my little county on the map.

First of all let me say that I disagree with the message and the fact that the preacher felt compelled to say it on a reader board next to a very busy highway. I may have many disagreements with Islam and Muslims, but this is way over the top and ill-advised.

I don't see how it was necessary in any way even if that's what the man feels. The only reason I can see for putting the sign up was to generate controversy. I bet he never expected to make national news and I would also bet that soon he'll come under sufficient pressure to take the sign down and issue a "correction" whereby he claims that he really loves Islam or some such thing.

I'm sure an update to this post is coming if only to list other national mentions of the story.

Update: Well, I don't have the link now, but the preacher in question did indeed issue a clarification and an apology for his ill-advised message board. The day after the apology I drove by the church in question and the man was standing by the highway in a white flowing robe, holding a small cross above his head for passerbys to see clearly.

In this white robe, with his white hair and white beard, this man looked like something you would see at a Klan rally. It was a disturbing and headshaking moment when I cressed the hill and saw him standing by the road holding his cross aloft for all to see.

Hopefully no one will pay as much attention the next time he does something like this, but it is important for us all to be aware that this man does exist and to be aware of his actions. It would be foolish to just ignore him and write him off as someone who's just out for attention. Our mothers would tell us to ignore him and he'll go away, but history teaches us to keep an occasional watch when characters like this emerge.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I am happy to link to
Arthur Chrenkoff's
"Good News From Iraq" at the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal.

Bit by bit the future of Iraq is revealed. How ashamed must American leftists feel? If history had been up to them Saddam and his psychopathic sons would still be firing missiles at coalition planes patrolling the "no fly zones", raping innocent women and mass murdering Shiites.

How does it feel to be so horribly wrong? How must it feel to realize that if I'd protested the liberation of Iraq and had my way that none of the wonderful things Chrenkoff is reporting would be coming true? How terrible it must be to be a leftist? Afterall, they were the ones fighting to keep Saddam Hussein in power. How terrible it must be to support mass murdering dictators. Oh well. That's 21st century leftism for you.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I remember this:
Still, by way of comparison, recall that three years ago Palestinian Arab terrorists occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Priests reported that "gunmen tore up Bibles for toilet paper," according to the Daily Camera of Boulder, Colo. The Chicago Tribune noted after the siege that "altars had been turned into cooking and eating tables, a sacrilege to the religious faithful."

Christians in the U.S. responded by declining to riot and refraining from killing anyone. They had the same response 15 or so years ago when the National Endowment for the Arts was subsidizing the scatological desecration of a crucifix and other Christian symbols. This should also put to rest the oft-heard calumny that America's "religious right" is somehow a Christian equivalent of our jihadi enemies.
Muslims think it's okay to kill the infidels, much less desecrate Christian symbols. We are beneath them and many hold the view that as lesser mortals we deserve whatever treatment we get from them. No, it's perfectly okay to blow up ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistans and it's okay to burn bibles and jail Christians in Saudi Arabia and it's okay murder Jews since they come from apes and pigs. But let someone speak against Islam or Muhammad or let it be rumored, wrongly, that a soldier desecrated the Quran and suddenly Muslims are outraged that their religion is disrespected. Clerics will issue fatwas and the Saudi government will issue condemnations demanding respect for their religion.

How's this. How about Muslims spreading around some of that respect they insist on. How about western intellectuals holding Muslims to the same standard as they hold western society. How about Newsweek reporting that Christians are being jailed in Muslim countries and having their religious books desecrated as breathlessly as they reported the unsubstantiated rumor from one anonymous source.

Muslims are like a spoiled child. They pitch a tantrum when they don't get their way. They don't have to face any hypocrisy in their religious intolerance because western leftwing intellectuals have included them in the protected class of the politically correct. Muslims are pretty much allowed to do as they please without facing any substantial criticism from the left. Even after Arabs murdered 3,000 people on 9/11 the western left's main response was to say: "Why do they hate us?" and "What did we do to deserve this?" Those were the major reactions along with the insistence that we forgive them, send them money, and invite Yasser Arafat to White House.

Leftists will not criticize Islam. Visit most any leftwing website and you will find vitriolic hate for and criticism of Christianity as the official "most intolerant religion in the world" and hardly any condemnation for the exponentially more intolerant Islam.

You would think that the left would naturally hate Islamic fundamentalists since women are treated as second class citizens, rape victims are often killed so the men in the family won't be embarassed, gays are subject to the death penalty, and especially because fundamentalists insist on a theocratic form of government. You would think and you'd be wrong. Talk about illogical alliances.

No, official leftwing dogma insists that Christianity is the most intolerant religion in the world today and is, in fact, the greatest threat to civilization. Let a group of Islamofascist get a nuke and set it off in New York and you'll still find leftists arguing that Christianity is a much, much worse threat to the United States.

It boggles the mind.