Media failure

MEDIA FAILURE: The Similarity of Anti-Kerry Story Choices and Headlines Can't be a Coincidence!
Media failure

Yesterday, we found no fewer than TEN news outlets - including CNN, Yahoo, AP, assorted newspapers online and news logs (Ask Jeeves and google news) that had identical, or near-identical headlines for the same or near-same story that was given the same, or nearly the same placement: BUSH, KERRY TRADE BARBS. The story(ies) seemed designed to make Kerry's grave accusations and warnings about Bush seem just like "back and forth fussing." Now today, we have counted, so far 8 cookie cutter headlines and stories: KERRY SEIZES ON HALLIBURTON PROBE, or KERRY SEIZES ON MISSING EXPLOSIVES. Propagandists say the phrase "seized on" is used to make the subject appear desperate or opportunistic - a much different phrase than "KERRY CONFRONTS BUSH ON HALLIBURTON PROBE." This "article/headline cloning" means either 1. Evidence of well-organized inter-media propaganda, or 2. The media has reached a new low in incompetence and laziness and are merely copying one another.

Flu Vaccine Crisis Proves the US Media Places Bush's 'Image' above Public Safety and Health
Media failure

In any period of US history before 2000, the flu vaccine crisis would have triggered a huge outcry from the press - with full blown investigations and tough, tough questions fired relentlessly at the Bush administration. WE ARE TALKING PEOPLE'S LIVES HERE. But the media showed in the run up to war that it now holds life cheap - the only thing dear to it now is the financial advantages to be reaped from having a corporate toad in the White House. The shortage of vaccine is undeniably the fault of the Bush admin, which could have taken steps to avert the crisis nearly 8 weeks ago. Instead, it didn't even inform the public until mid-September. Yet not one media outlet has addressed this issue - instead, they have protected the administration from blame. Meanwhile, Americans, especially the elderly, are paying the price in fear, illness and an inevitably increased death rate this winter. This is a CRIMINAL FAILURE of both the Bush administration and the US media.

Bob Schieffer's Questions: Pablum Designed to Let Bush Slide
Media failure

Not one question about energy. Not one question about the environment. Those, of course are two areas where Bush's policies are abymsal. But oh, yes - there was a question designed to give Bush a chance to wax pious (Schieffer asked him to clarify what he meant by "I talk to my other father" ). This debate was by far the flattest - but it was neither Bush nor Kerry's fault. The fault lies at the door of Bob Schieffer - a seasoned journalist who knew exactly what he was doing when, to try to make his golfing buddy Bush look better, dished up pablum - at a time when America desperately needs meat. The spirits of honest journalists from the past century looking down on Schieffer tonight must have felt nothing but contempt.

Media Blames Candidates for its own Failures & Wants Readers to do Their Job for them
Media failure

AP: "The pace of presidential campaigns, coupled with an almost daily barrage of questionable information in speeches and political advertising, makes it difficult for journalists to sort fact from fiction, a panel of journalists and newspaper readers concluded Wednesday. "The candidates are making it very hard for the press to find the truth," Keefer said during the panel discussion at the AP Managing Editors annual convention. "The candidates have gotten so sophisticated about making it difficult for the press to cover the race." Liz Sidoti said "We try to set the record straight but, the fact of the matter is, we can only do so much in terms of trying to give our readers the truth." "I think the readers can find the truth if they look for it," she said. "The facts are out there. The debunking of myths, the setting the record straight, it's out there." Yeah - let the reader get the facts so the "journalists" don't have to bother!

US Media Suppressed Contaminated Flu Vaccine Story in Days before GOP Convention to Protect Bush
Media failure

The US media's obsessive drive to protect the Bush administration has now crossed the line from endangering democracy and American security to endangering public health. Back in late August on the eve of the GOP convention, the FDA was told by British Health officials that contaminated flu vaccines had been found and that a shortage of vaccine and delays in delivery were likely. The fact that the FDA had no backup plan would not have played well in Bush's "I keep America safe" routine so critical at the GOP convention. So what did the media do? Did it act in the interests of public health and safety? Nope. They acted, as ever, in the interests of G.W. Bush. Note the date of this BBC story: AUGUST 27.

Why Don't Americans Care? Why Don't They Know about Halliburton, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove?
Media failure

Mark Morford writes: "This country is simply jam-packed with millions of people who have no time for, or interest in, politics, or media, or environmental policy, or education, or global issues, or which presidential candidate lied his ass off about which aspect of his military career and which Orange Alert is totally bogus and how many soldiers are dying for what imbecilic war. Middle America is a scattershot conglomeration of the politically apathetic and the actively disenfranchised... Most Americans have no idea what the hell a Halliburton is. Or a Karl Rove. Or a Donny 'Shriveled Soul' Rumsfeld. Or a Lockheed Martin. Or a Carlyle Group. Or have any idea that Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. Or that WMDs were never found. Or that President Bush has taken more vacation time than any president in U.S. history. Or that Jesus thinks Dubya is 'sort of a dink.' "

The Catastrophic Failure that is Killing America: the US Media
Media failure

William Rivers Pitt writes: " The American mainstream television news media, in whole and in part, has catastrophically failed the American people and is singularly responsible for the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people. The trajectory of this plunge is easy to chart. The 1980s saw unprecedented deregulation of the rules pertaining to the ownership of media outlets. Thus began the combination and consolidation of dozens of differing viewpoints under the iron control of a few massive corporations. The many voices became one voice, and a dullard's voice at that. The opening year of the 1990s saw the push towards our first war in Iraq. Rather than hold to basic standards set by Edward R. Murrow and the other giants of journalism - see it for yourself, do the legwork, because the American people deserve to know what is happening - the mainstream television news media decided their best course was to allow themselves to be hand-fed by the Pentagon...."

CBS Caves in to White House Pressure, Pulls Story about Iraq War Because It Might Hurt Bush
Media failure

We are about pick a president in one of the most important elections in the history of the US - in fact, of the modern world. Every piece of relevant info that the media can supply is of critical importance to Americans making that decision. Yet what does CBS do? It has shelved a 60 Minutes report on the rationale for war in Iraq, claiming that it would be "inappropriate" to air it so close to the presidential election. INAPPROPRIATE?? So now the media doing its job - i.e., fulfilling the public's right to know - is "inappropriate."

Networks Black Out Story of Tom Delay Group Fraud Case
Media failure

The networks spend DAYS giving big chunks of news time to unsubstantiated, often "anonymous" slams against Kerry or to dubious documents that could hurt Bush. But they did not give ONE SINGLE MINUTE to a fraud case involving one of the most powerful men in Washington, Tom Delay. As Media Matters reports: "On September 21, three top aides to U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) were indicted on charges of illegally raising political funds from corporations in 2002. Major newspapers carried the story, some of them on the front page....Yet ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News failed to report the indictments on September 21 and on September 22."

Media's Failure to Fact Check at GOP Convention Violates the Fundamental Code of Ethics for Journalists
Media failure

FAIR: "It is the function of journalism to separate fact from fiction. In covering the Republican National Convention of 2004, the media made isolated efforts to point out some of the convention speakers' more egregious distortions, but on the whole failed in their vital role of letting citizens know when they are being lied to."Ascertaining the truth is the responsibility of every journalist in every story. It's the first point in the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics: "Journalists should test the accuracy of information from all sources." It's the ubiquitous reports that analyze the aesthetics of oratory and speculate on the impact speeches will have on the horserace that ought to be the exception." By sharp contrast, "During the 2000 campaign, reporters and pundits delighted in pointing out examples of what they said were "exaggerations" by Al Gore. Unfortunately, these examples were often false - for ex., Gore never claimed to have "invented" the Internet."

Columbia Journalism Review: Networks Get an 'F' for Convention Coverage
Media failure

"ABC, NBC, and CBS had only a few minutes to give viewers a little context [after] Cheney's speech... But they wasted even that. None of the networks pointed out the misrepresentations in the speeches, and NBC even went to a brief interview with Newt Gingrich, who called the evening 'devastating' (apparently for the opposition), but failed to offer up a rebuttal from an actual Democrat. There were a few interruptions to the Grand Old Party's party: On ABC, George Stephanopolous joined the chorus with the observation that Miller's performance might have been overkill, and CBS's Dan Rather briefly discussed a protester who had infiltrated the convention earlier in the evening. But that was it in terms of context or non-sanctioned spin, and that wasn't much. The networks, without exception, failed to give viewers either the information or the context they deserve. We've seen better political reporting on ESPN."