This is likely going to be a contentious post: most of the mainstream media (MSM) has a very high opinion about themselves, so if any members of the MSM actually come across this post, they will not be happy… But, with their view of ‘bloggers’ in general and this being a rather small, not well known blog in particular, somehow I doubt this is likely.
In my never-humble-opinion, there are two completely different reasons why the MSM opinion of themselves is so high.
The first one is very easy to explain – it applies mostly to TV journalists. In addition to the second one (to be described bellow), many TV journalists (and some print ones) are, recognized when they are out in the public. This is due to the nature of their job – their images are piped into our homes… and we insist on treating them as celebrities… So, it is not very surprising that some of them begin to suffer from ‘celebrititis’: the mistaken belief that because one is a famous celebrity, one is smarter and better informed than mere mortals are…
The second one is much more difficult to express accurately…
Perhaps because many ‘Western’ journalists have – during the middle part of the 20th century – earned for themselves a reputation of integrity and impartiality, today’s journalists automatically expect the same sort of respect and that same presumption of impartiality.
Yet, many journalists today are unable or unwilling to understand that this reputation was earned by specific journalists. It is not simply a quality conferred onto someone by the virtue of selecting a respected profession and getting trained in it (if they even bother to). Riding on the coat-tails of your predecessors only works for so long before those coat-tails are too threadbare to support your weight!
Even some left-wing journalists are admitting our media is left-wing biased. Just look at some of our ‘Journalism professors’! No wonder this crop of journalists, well, the way it is!!! And people are beginning to notice.
Yet, some journalists remain unable or unwilling to face reality. There is a guy who has a 1-hour call-in talk show on my local radio station in the mornings. This guy drives me nuts by attacking each and every caller who even peripherally mentions ‘media bias’. According to him, there is no such thing – and it is an insult to suggest something like that exists. He looses it and goes postal on anyone who even hints about media bias. His ‘usual’ attack goes something like this:
‘Do you think that you are that much smarter than everyone else? Do you think that everyone else is too stupid to figure out what you did? You need to know ‘both sides’ of a strory to judge if there is ‘media bias’ in how it is reported.
So, if you can see out both sides of the story from what you read and hear – and be convinced of the ‘other than your imagined bias’ side, then obviously, the media gave you enough balanced, unbiased information out of which you were able to form your view! And if you can figure it out, why do you think everyone else is too dumb to do the same? I find your insinuation very insulting!’
He varies that rant – but that is the gist of it….and he can really get worked up about it!
Of course, what this journalist (he was a newspaper editor and still writes columns) does not allow his browbeaten caller to get a word in edgewise, to explain that most people are not information junkies! Yet, some of us are…
Because, in my never-humble-opinion, it is only people who are obsessed (or just ‘highly motivated’) to obtain all kinds of information who are the ones who end up digging up both sides of any story! And, at times, it really means ‘digging up’!!!
Because the substance of the story is often very, very deeply burried. (By whom and why varies – I am not going in for one of them ‘Global Conspiracy Theories’ – rather, I consider this more along he lines of ‘expediency-complacency theory’ or ‘career-objectives compliance theory’ – if you get my drift.
So, people who want to find out what is going on do not simply read the newspapers, watch TV News or listen to the radio – there, they only find the ‘expedient’ or highly ‘normalized’ (for ‘normalized’, read ‘spun’) version of what is going on!
Instead, these people turn to the internet. There, they can find eyewitness accounts of some events. There, they can find non-journalist written reports (as one tiny example, Amnesty International did carry factual information on their site, while mainstream media reported something wildly different – as happened in the case of the stoning of a 13-year-old-rape victim, Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow…..reported by the mainstream media as ’23-year-old woman stoned for adultery’!)
So, some people search far and deep for the actual information about what took place – and therefore they ‘get’ ‘both sides’ of a story…. You know, like the journalists of yesteryear used to do !
That, however, does NOT mean that most people – who have other interests – have access to the same information!!! NOT AT ALL!!!
Most people rely on the mainstream media (MSM) to bring the whole story to them. Because they have no time or interest to sift through tons of information, they rely on the reporters and the journalists to do it for them and then present both sides! Yet, both sides are hardly ever presented – most of our current crop of journalists were NOT taught in school to ‘report facts’. Not at all. They were taught to ‘report facts in a way people will ‘properly understand their implications’… where ‘properly’ is dictated by the current intellectual elite’s pet point of view!
In other words, it is not that the caller is ‘smarter’ or ‘more clever’ than the rest of the population as this irritable journalist sarcastically implies. It simply means he or she is more motivated to access non MSM sources and therefore has a broader baseline upon which to form a judgement!
But, let’s not be so dismissive of ‘everyone else’, either. When ‘news’ is less and less informative and sounds more and more like preaching, even the uninformed get suspicious…
Update: The radio host I mentioned in the post has some serious clarifications of his position, as he says I have misrepresented his views. I have posted these in the comment section. Please, take a few moments to read them.
All right, we’ve all heard the gripes about how ‘things’ are distorted and what ‘gets reported’ is not always a factual, unbiased account of the events. But this, this has got to be some of the most bizzare collection of distortions I have seen so far.
Or, at least, that I am aware that I have seen…
As far as I can piece this together (and I am NOT certain of the complete facts), it would appear that 13-year-old girl-child, Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, was gang-raped. She went to register the crime with the courts, presumably expecting the police to find and arrest her rapists.
However, last August, Aisha’s home town of Kismayo – a port in Southern Somalia – had been taken over by Islamist forces and Sharia law had been imposed. When the child came to file her complaint with the police, she was asked ‘if she is sure this is what really happened’. Aisha confirmed that she had, in fact, been gang-raped and asked for justice.
This last bit came back to haunt her, her family, and anyone with a conscience! At this ‘admission of engaging in extramarital sexual intercourse’ and ‘demands to be punished’, the police officials had ‘no choice’ but to arrest her. The ‘Sharia Court’ (if you can call it a court) had heard the case and had ‘no choice’ but to sentence her to death by stoning. After all, she herself ‘freely admitted her guilt’ and ‘demanded justice to be done’!!!
Dressed in black, with a green veil (green – the colour of Islam and peace), she was brought into a large stadium filled with about 1000 people. Reporters, based on her ‘appearance’, guessed her age to be about 23 yearsof age, were forbidden to use their cameras, but radio broadcasts were permitted.
Here, the child was bound hand and foot and – while screaming and pleading for her life – Aisha was buried up to her neck in a hole in the ground.
It would appear that the crowd – or at least some of the people within the crowd – tried to intervene and save the unfortunate child. The ‘guards’ opened fire on the crowd, shooting a child dead.
50 men then started to throw stones at Aisha’s head (the only part of her above ground). When they thought she was dead, they dug her up – but a check showed she was still alive, so they burried her again and continued to throw stones at her. They had dug Aisha up 3 times to check if she is dead yet….and then burried her again to stone her some more…
Her family is distrought and angry. Her father confirmed her age to be 13 years.
This, in itself, is a horrible story. It is a nightmare!
I truly don’t know if there are words strong enough to express my anger and outrage!
But, it would appear, my reaction is not all that usual. At least, if one were to go by what is being said in the many ‘official’ reports of Aisha’s suffering and murder lawbreaking and execution.
Please, consider the following:
MOGADISHU (AFP) — Thousands of people gathered Monday to witness 50 Somali men stone a woman to death after an Islamic court in the southern port of Kismayo found her guilty of adultery, witnesses said.
Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow, who had been found guilty of extra-marital intercourse was buried in the ground up to her neck while the men pelted her head with rocks.
“Our sister Aisha asked the Islamic Sharia court in Kismayo to be charged and punished for the crime she committed,” local Islamist leader Sheikh Hayakallah told the crowd.
“She admitted in front of the court to engaging in adulterous sexual intercourse,” he added.
“She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply.”
The execution was carried in one of the city’s main squares.
Did you notice the mention of the fact she was a rape victim? No, because this was not mentioned. But you might have noticed how her ‘demand for justice’ was explained by the local Islamist leader Sheikh Hayakallah!!!
Good reporting, AFP, making sure we hear the ‘proper’ side of the story! Good reporting, AFP, for ‘digging for the details of what really happened there’! Bang-up job, you are doning! Truly!
But they are not the only ones reporting on this murder of Aisha along these lines…
Surely, that ‘most extreme-right-wing-media outlet’, Fox News, will have done a bit of digging around to find out what was happening, right? If so, it was not mentioned in their article, ‘Somali woman stoned to death for adultery’!
No verification with her family, or Amnesty International, which also seems to have had no trouble learning Aisha’s true age – 13, not the 23 admittedly arrived at by a reporter’s ‘guess’….
No explanation that the ‘adultery’ in question consisted of being gang-raped….
WHAT THE F$*&Q^#$*&!!!!!!
How about other sources?
The ‘neutral’ and award winning Sky News reported: ‘Cheating’ woman stoned to death. I suppose the ‘Cheating’ – being in quotation marks – constitutes ‘neutrality’ (also in quotation marks). And, they do report that while the officials explained she demanded this punishment herself (!), they do quote witnesses that heard her scream and saw her struggle….and they hint that only the guns of the guards – who killed a child in the process – kept the crowd from freeing poor Aisha. But, not the correct age, not a peep about the fact that she had been the victim of rape….except those quotation marks around ‘cheating’, that is…
Why is it that one has to go to blogs (A New Dark Age Is Dawning) and non-mainstream media like ‘Islam: the religion of peace’ to find out information, and only then can kernels of it be seen in the ‘respectable news-outlets’ reports?
It was not until today, 5-or-so days after her murder execution, that there is even a peep about the true story…. CNN carried the little mention.
What are we doing? Are we ‘normalizing’ Islamist violence against women? Are we all headed for the burka?
Nike (among others!!!) is already working to normalize such attitudes!
The whole ‘Global Warming’ – under whatever name one chooses – issue is a mess. Unmitigated, tangled up and muddled mess.
So, how can a person make sense of it all?
Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that we are actively being presented with only a very small part of the story through the main stream media (MSM). And I also know that reasonable points raised by bonafide scientists from the field of climate change are being shouted down or smeared before their ideas are even listened to.
That is not how scientific debate occurs. It is anathema to science itself! In true scientific community, people are willing to listen to dissenting points of view – provided these are scientific and testable hypothesies (using the term in the narrow, scientific sense). Why? The reason for this is very simple: sometimes, even what appear to be ‘crackpot’ ideas may indeed turn out to be better models of reality than the original theories.
Scientists are only human. Yes, as much as this is contrary to some opinions, they are only human. Many times in the past, the ‘current scientific consensus’ was just silly in rejecting even the consideration of ‘things’ that we now regard as integral tools of science:
“… my dear Kepler, what do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or Moon or my telescope.”
– Galileo Galilei
Today, most scientists are careful to not have the ‘obstinacy of a glutted adder’, and tend to seriously examine ideas which run contrary to mainstream opinions. How far are they prepared to go? Well, consider the case of Dr. Peter Duesberg: he came out with not just one, but two controversial theories.
In the first one, he proposed that while there is a co-occurrence of the HIV virus and AIDS, he thought the causality had not been established with sufficient scientific rigour. (I am not particularly versed in his theory – if I am misrepresenting it, I apologize. The point is not his theory as such, but the scientific community’s reaction to it.)
Scientists actually went and checked his data, looked over his studies, and found where he had made mistakes. Even so, his views are often referred to in scientific publications on HIV/AIDS, in order to ensure that the scientific basis for refuting them is easily available.
Long after this, he proposed another very controversial scientific hypothesis: this time on the nature of cancer. Even though he was one of the researchers to have identified one of the ‘cancer genes’, he now proposed that cancer may be more due to chromosomal abnormalities than to problems within individual genes. Again, the details of his hypothesis are less important than the reaction it received.
Even though his first hypothesis has been flatly rejected, scientists listened when he proposed this one. In May 2007, Scientific American published his controversial theory in an article called ‘Chromosomal Chaos and Cancer’. Earlier in the same issue, the editor’s page was titled ‘When Pariahs Have Good Ideas’, where the editors explain that even though Dr. Duesberg’s ideas on HIV/AIDS have been discredited, he might have a good point here and that scientific ideas ought to be judged on thier merit.
So, what was my point in bringing up Dr. Duesberg?
To show how scientists tend to evaluate ideas, even from scientists who have been proven wrong in the past: they tests them, then – right or wrong – they reference them. One thing they certainly do not do is try to shut each other up. That would be unscientific!
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
– Galileo Galilei
Sadly, this is not happening in the field of Climate….
Scientists who do not subscribe to the ‘bad humans making Earth too hot and this will be a disaster’ point of view have systematically been insulted, bullied, their reputations smeared and jobs threatened, and more than one has received threats of bodily harm. As Dickens might say: “What the Sheakespeare is going on here?!?!?!?’
Oh, but I have made some general accusations here: I had better support them!
Here is one article from the Wall Street Journal by Richard Lindzen, a scientist who had been threatened, and who has seen others under similar pressure. In this April 2006 article, he also charges scientific publications ‘Science’ and ‘Nature’ with bias and underhanded tactics. He also names several other scientists who have faced threats.
If the Wall Street Journal is not your cup of tea, here is an article from ‘Telegraph’ from the UK about the death threats received by scientists who publicly question the ‘global warming catastrophy’ dogma. But this is only a small sample of a large body of scientists who are speaking up.
Sadly, most people don’t realy get to hear what these scientists have to say. Their views are not often published. Why? I don’t know. However, here is an article from ‘The Australian’ about how journalists at ‘The Age’ (an Australian publication) had been ordered to not write anything negative about the ‘Earth Hour’ earlier this month:
“Reporters were pressured not to write negative stories and story topics followed a schedule drafted by Earth Hour organisers.”
All right, ‘Earth Hour’ is just fluff – what about real climate stories?
It seems that we may not be getting the true story there, either. Earlier this month, BBC (yes, THE BBC) had done a big ‘no-no’: they totally changed the story, without noting it!!!
When a story is edited or changed, this is supposed to be noted. However, BBC ran a story on the topic of climate, was bullied by a ‘climate activist’, and changed the whole meaning of the story WITHOUT NOTING THE CHANGE!!! That is not very nice at all.
Thankfully, wee have access to the full email exchange of the activist’s bullying and the BBC reporter giving in. It is a little long, but here is a telling phrase the activist used:
“I would ask : please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.
Otherwise, I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently
educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically
manipulated. And that would make you an unreliable reporter.”
What about ‘documented truth’?
And ‘PSYCHOLOGICALLY MANIPULATED’?
I cannot help but feel that we, the ‘unwashed masses’, are being manipulated here… It seems certain that we are not getting an accurate picture of what scientists are truly finding out about these processes which might significantly impact us all.
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, but… somebody on the internet is wrong!!!
There is a particularly nasty rumour going about, that the UK has removed the teaching of Holocaust from its curriculum, ‘in order not to offend Muslim students, because they don’t believe in it’. Please, pass it on: THAT RUMOUR IS NOT TRUE!!!
Not having had enough time to think through the implications of the rumour itself (I am a very slow thinker), I will not comment on it for now. Instead, I would like to share with you the questions that occurred to me as I ‘Googled about’ for articles on it.
While the first two questions deserve a good hard thinking about, it is the third question that we all need to examine…