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Mainstream Media Becomes Pure Propaganda, Is Bias, Dishonest
The Bulletin ^ | February 2, 2009 | Herb Denenberg

Posted on 02/02/2009 10:28:10 AM PST by jazusamo

The news is no longer news. It’s propaganda. It’s cheerleading for the new administration. It’s bull-roar. It’s false, fraudulent and biased. I’m talking about the major purveyors of news, the so-called mainstream media. I’m talking about The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, ABC, CBS, MSNC, NBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek and all the rest.

The mainstream media has descended to the level of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister and Pravda, best known as the propaganda organ of the Communist Party. But this development in the mainstream media has critically important implications not only for the mainstream media, but also for the nation and its citizens.

The mainstream media has  not only defrauded and cheated its customers by its biased, dishonest and unprincipled advocacy journalism designed to elect Barack Obama and promote his administration but also have severely undermined our Constitution and our country. That’s one of the key conclusions of Bernard Goldberg’s new book A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media.

Mr. Goldberg casts important light on the mainstream media’s suicide — an important point often missed in the discussions of media malfeasance. Mr. Goldberg makes the case that the bias and advocacy of the mainstream media was and is so blatant and outrageous that almost everyone knows they were and are in the tank for Mr. Obama and weren’t telling it straight. Surveys show the public by an overwhelming majority thought the media was pulling for Mr. Obama. As a result, the mainstream media have lost any credibility they might have previously had and will no longer be trusted or believed.


That means the mainstream media will no longer be able to carry out its function of monitoring the government, monitoring other institutions, and informing the citizenry. It also means that when there is an important warning to be sounded it may not be believed. The mainstream media may not have realized it, but because of its unethical bias and advocacy, it has committed journalistic suicide, and it has at the same time done irreparable damage to the Constitution and the country.

Of course, that’s only one piece of the damage caused by the mainstream media. Perhaps just as damaging and perhaps more damaging is that the mainstream media succeeded in electing to the highest office in the land an unvetted, untested, untried political novice, with a radical leftist record and agenda, and a platoon of questionable associates.

There are differences of opinion as to whether the mainstream media decided the election, with strong arguments on both sides. I agree with the suggestion of the Media Research Center’s (MRC) study that the bias and advocacy of the mainstream media was decisive in electing Mr. Obama.

The MRC’s study “Obama’s Margin of Victory: The Media,” makes a strong case for the mainstream media having been the decisive factor in the election, but concludes with a more cautious note: “If the media did not actually win the Democratic nomination for Barack Obama, they surely made it a whole lot easier.”

Another important point of Mr. Goldberg’s book is that the mainstream media is not only hopelessly biased and unprincipled in its Obama advocacy, but doesn’t seem to even realize it. Mr. Goldberg gives example after example of bias and advocacy to sell Mr. Obama. For example, Associated Press reporter Charles Babington in a March 10, 2008 dispatch wrote this is a news piece: “Presidential campaigns have destroyed many bright and capable politicians. But there’s ample evidence that Obama is something special, a man who makes difficult tasks look easy, who seems to touch millions of diverse people with a message of hope that somehow doesn’t sound Pollyannish.”

Despite endless cheerleading for Mr. Obama (continuing even now after his media-promoted election), the mainstream media by and large still feel they are doing right and they are also oblivious to their bias and advocacy. Mr. Goldberg writes, “What’s been lost is journalistic integrity; and too many people in the mainstream media, to their eternal discredit, don’t even realize its lost it.”


Nor do they realize they’ve gone so far they’ve endangered their very survival: “The so-called mainstream media are dying a slow death. Circulation is down for many big newspapers. And TV network news ratings have been declining since cable and the Internet came along. So in large part, technology is doing the old media in. People read online these days, few and fewer buy the actual newspaper. More and more people get their news from cable television, rendering the old network news divisions less and less relevant.”

“The grim reaper is knocking on the mainstream media’s door, and they remain gloriously oblivious. The have reached the tipping point and refuse to believe it. The corrosion that is eating away at their credibility has been happening slowly. It’s like acid rain; one day you look around and all the trees are dead. Nobody pays attention until it’s too late.”

Mr. Goldberg says there’s no vast left-wing liberal conspiracy to inject bias and advocacy into the support of Mr. Obama. The problem is more serious than that — it is ingrained in the very fabric of the liberal mainstream media. Mr. Goldberg writes, “The real problem is worse because, instead of emanating from some central source, the bias is ingrained throughout the fabric of the mainstream media, from top to bottom. It’s worse because it is an institutional bias. The problem, in a word, is groupthink.”

Mr. Goldberg says newsrooms are packed with like-minded people in newsrooms and that like-mindedness serves to reinforce biases. Then he presents a series of studies to show why groupthink is so commonplace in the mainstream media. For example, a series of studies showed that journalistic vote for Democrats and they do so in overwhelming numbers.  In 1992, Washington Bureau Chiefs and congressional correspondents supported Bill Clinton over incumbent George H.W. Bush by a margin of 89 percent to 9 percent. In 2004, a study found that campaign journalists based in Washington, supported John Kerry over George W. Bush by a 12 to one margin.

Other studies support the conclusion like-mindedness reigns in the newsroom. A 2007 study by the Pew Foundation found there were four self-identified journalists identifying themselves as liberals for every one identifying themselves as conservatives. Other studies found they think alike. For example, 81 percent favor affirmative action in business and academia.

To lessen the bias in the newsroom, Mr. Goldberg recommends bringing more conservatives into newsrooms to provide additional diversity. But with that recommendation comes a caution. He writes: “But please understand, I don’t want these conservatives slanting the news to the right anymore than I want liberal journalists slanting it to the left. All most of us want is some fairness, and we think that diversity that goes beyond skin color and sex and ethnicity can provide it. Over the years, we made sure that our newsroom look like America. Now we need them to think a little more like America.”

I found some of Mr. Goldberg’s most interesting material in a chapter called “Now They Tell Us,” where he writes about a Charlie Rose Show with guests Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, and Evan Thomas, one of that magazine’s star writers. Ten days after the election, this show informs us Mr.  Obama is a slightly creepy, deeply manipulative guy. After the election, these two journalists tell us Mr. Obama is “very elusive,” “slightly creepy,” “deeply manipulative,” and not “necessarily a real person.”

These two journalists admit they don’t know much about the candidate, but Mr. Goldberg wonders why they didn’t have the time and resources during a record-length campaign to get answers on Mr. Obama. The logical explanation is the answers, the truth, and the whole story would hurt their man, Obama.

Mr. Goldberg gives another classic example. Tom Brokaw of NBC appeared on the Charlie Rose show just a few days before the election. He admitted he knew next to nothing about Mr. Obama. Again, why didn’t he, NBC, and the rest of the mainstream media find out what they and the public should know about someone who is running for president? They put their electoral preferences far ahead of the public welfare and the truth. Those starts at NBC and Newsweek (now better known as the Obama Weekly) admitted their political preferences trump their integrity and journalistic principles.

Rush Limbaugh had the perfect observation on the ignorance of Newsweek and Mr. Brokaw reflected in the above incidents:

“These guys are looking at Obama and they’ve seen him the exact way we have all of this time. They only now, after they think they got him into office, are starting to talk about their fears, about how nobody knows anything about him; his resume is thin, he’s only written two books, and they’re autobiographies; we don’t know what other books he’s read…We don’t know anything about him.

“It’s creepy, never seen a victory speech with nobody on the stage … Look at all that they refused to report. They had plenty of chances to write editorials at Newsweek magazine, and they didn’t write one reflective of what they really saw and know and fear about Obama.”

One of the best chapters in the book is based on Mr. Goldberg’s interview of Mr.  Limbaugh. One of the most important points in that interview is Mr. Limbaugh’s take on the media. He says Republicans and conservatives can never expect a fair shot from the media: “Republicans and conservatives must finally realize they will have two opponents in every election: the Democratic candidate and the media.”

Mr. Limbaugh also predicts that the mainstream media will continue its slobbering love affair with Mr. Obama long after the election. He told Mr. Goldberg, “Obama is too big to fail. The Drive Bys [Limbaugh’s term for the mainstream media] will simply not allow it. Any Obama failures will be eagerly blamed on the Bush Administration.”

We’ve already seen in the early days of the Obama administration, that the mainstream media is still slobbering over him and I suppose the poster boy for journalistic idiocy, Chris Matthews, is still getting that thrill running up and down his leg.

Mr. Goldberg has an important chapter on the Fairness Doctrine, which he calls the Unfairness Doctrine. That doctrine was abolished by President Reagan, because it amounted to government regulation of broadcasting.  Under that Fairness Doctrine, if a station ran a conservative commentator it would have to balance that with a liberal commentator. Broadcast histories show the conservatives produce audiences and profits, the liberals, for whatever reason just don’t. So the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine is just a strategy to shut down talk radio, the one place the conservatives get a fair shot and have a real voice. Elsewhere, the liberals predominate.

This is a suggestion of the anti-free speech tendencies that were clearly seen in the Mr. Obama campaign. For example, that campaign tried to silence an Obama critic on a Chicago radio station and it also threatened criminal prosecution for those criticizing Mr. Obama in St. Louis. This is not within the purview of Mr. Goldberg’s book, but the so-called “Card-Check” law, named the Employee Free Choice Act, by and large abolishes the secret ballot in union elections. What’s just as bad, it creates a system in that arbitrators would be dictating union contracts in the absence of an agreement between unions and employers. It is hard to think of a more anti-democratic kind of legislation. But it is just one of the many dangers of the Obama administration and the democratic congress running roughshod over common sense and sound policy decisions.

Mr. Goldberg is convinced the mainstream media would perfume anything Mr. Obama did because they were so invested in his election. I wrote several times before the election if Mr. Obama proved to be a pedophile, the mainstream media would have spun that into stories that he is interested in children. Mr. Goldberg strikes a similar note: “The lesson of the Jeremiah Wright story is this. If Obama could survive this, he could survive anything — and that the Obama-friendly media (again, consciously or otherwise) would do whatever it took to help him ...The Wright story was the ultimate test — once they got away with that, they could get away with anything.”

“Indeed, the Wright story became a kind of template — both for the Obama campaign and the media — for how to handle virtually any story potentially damaging to Obama: minimize it, praise Obama for his candor, claim all questions have been asked and answered, and attack those who persist in asking questions as over-the-top partisans.”

What’s worse is if the mainstream media continue to whitewash the Obama Administration and continue to give him a free media pass, the new Administration will inflict unspeakable and disastrous legislation and executive decisions on the country.

After reading Mr. Goldberg’s book, which you should read, you will with good reason not believe anything you read or hear FROM mainstream media. Even if you’ve followed the news carefully in the last few years, you will be shocked and numbed by the extent and viciousness of the bias and advocacy of them. You will say what I said, “I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize it was that bad.”

But as bad as it gets, it will continue to get worse. The mainstream media will continue to act as a propagandist and advocate of Mr. Obama and continue to abandon all traces of journalistic principles and integrity.

Keep watching, as you will learn another principle of monitoring the mainstream media: every time it hits rock bottom in the journalistic sewer and cesspool, you’ll think it can’t get any worse, but it will.

Exhibit A: Just as Mr. Goldberg’s great book hit the market, The Bulletin reported that the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer was negotiating with Gov. Ed Rendell for a bailout. The minute that negotiation was publicized, the Inquirer lost any molecule of credibility it still has. As he points out, one of the primary functions of the media is to report on the government and with the power of publicity keep it on track. How can a government-bailed-out newspaper perform that function?

And even now, when you read an Inquirer news report on Gov. Rendell of his administration how much confidence can you have that you’re getting the straight story?

After The Bulletin broke the story, the Inquirer finally covered it. In its story, Brian Tierney, its publisher, defends the move for a bailout by saying a newspaper has a right to seek “economic development dollars, just as any other business does. But as he himself recently pointed out, a newspaper is not just another business.

A newspaper carries a public trust and should be dedicated to the public interest. When a newspaper seeks government aid and goes to the governor hat in hand, that raises different issues when a widget manufacturer does the same thing. Incidentally, Mr. Tierney wasn’t seeking economic development dollars. What he was seeking sounds more like bailout dollars.

Nevertheless, perhaps government should bail out the mainstream media. Perhaps that would make the truth about their brand of journalism even more obvious. They are no longer in the business of fair, balanced, and truthful news reporting.

They are now in the business of unfair, biased, dishonest advocacy … and advocacy for questionable causes at that. So at least when they’re bailed out we’ll know for sure they’re about as reliable as Pravda or Mr.  Goebbels. But anyone who reads any of the mainstream media probably has figured that out long ago.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and  consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@thebulletin.us.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bernardgoldberg; biasmeanslayoffs; danrather; democrats; denenberg; dncmediamachine; dyingdinosaurs; enemedia; goldberg; liberalmedia; mediabias; mslm; msm; obama; obamamaniamedia; obamamedia; obamedia; slobberingmedia; trysellingthetruth
The Bulletin is a small but growing Conservative newspaper in Philadelphia and has other good articles, try checking it out at link.
1 posted on 02/02/2009 10:28:10 AM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Morning, Rip Van Winkle. Good column.


2 posted on 02/02/2009 10:31:05 AM PST by Obadiah (The orgasm has replaced the cross as the focus of longing and fulfillment.)
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To: jazusamo

Good article!


3 posted on 02/02/2009 10:35:30 AM PST by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: jazusamo
One of the reasons for the success of Rush Limbaugh is because ... ‘the news is no longer the news’ ...However this is not new. We have had the press lie to us on going ...regarding the events of WW11 and the FDR Presidency up to and including today. They lied about Vietnam. Korea, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan,Bush,#1, Clinton, GWB, and now Obama. Nothing new. The game stays the same ... only the names change.

The socialist, liberal, progressive, communist, Marxist, have made constant inroads against our Constitution; and our way of life. Each generations gets the same lies over and over.

Be a student of history. It is and has been the liberals against the conservatives ever since the beginning... whatever they are called.

They are winning via the welfare/ immigration war now.

How it has worked is when we really see (not what they say; but what they do) we conservatives win back the lost ground mostly.

Still they have gained the edge during the last 40 years.

4 posted on 02/02/2009 10:47:57 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: jazusamo

Stop trying to use “bias” as an adjective. All of you.
I see it just about every day and I can’t take anything following it seriously.

Biased is the adjective. The media is biased.
Bias is the noun. The media shows bias.

It’s no different from the shrieking community organizers saying things like “he’s prejudice!” or “I ain’t suppose to”.


5 posted on 02/02/2009 10:50:26 AM PST by BobbyT
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To: geologist
They are winning via the welfare/ immigration war now.

Well said...Hope we can win back ground before it's too late.

6 posted on 02/02/2009 10:55:11 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: BobbyT

Agreed, I noticed it also.


7 posted on 02/02/2009 10:55:54 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

8 posted on 02/02/2009 11:02:14 AM PST by Califreak (What's black and white and red all over? My hero, Zero.)
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To: BobbyT

Ah, you mean the headline. Very strange. The article is well written and literate, but the headline is out to lunch.

The only explanation I can come up with is that headlines are often written by headline writers, whose chief concern is to fit them into the column space, so it’s probably not Herb Denenberg’s fault.

The article is good.


9 posted on 02/02/2009 11:03:43 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: BobbyT
Stop trying to use “bias” as an adjective. All of you.

Yes, it's impacting me.

10 posted on 02/02/2009 11:04:28 AM PST by Flycatcher (Strong copy for a strong America)
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To: jazusamo
It’s worse because it is an institutional bias. The problem, in a word, is groupthink.

There are several reasons for this, IMHO. First, newsrooms are filled much more with college graduates than used to be the case, and their sources of education tend to be overwhelmingly liberal. Second, it is a central tenet of liberal dogma that liberals are smarter than conservatives, which colors any attempt at political diversity in hiring and promotion (as it does on campus as well). And third, there is the seduction of power. Young journalists get into the business for the admirable if somewhat callow reasons of "making a difference" and "changing the world." But the environment is more cloistered than it used to be and that tends to shield those young people from learning better in the way they might in, say, the construction industry or the military. A reporter committed to becoming an agent of change is a reporter impossibly compromised. Surrounded by similarly motivated colleagues there is no corrective, and the tendency toward groupthink becomes simply a matter of career survival.

Goldberg has said it elsewhere and I think he's correct - they don't even know they're doing it. In fact, they bristle at the mere suggestion. Fish don't notice the water.

11 posted on 02/02/2009 11:05:02 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: jazusamo
This is like saying the DNC shows bias, lol.

The MSM are WORKING for the UnAmerican Democrat Party...and lying about it to their viewers and readers.

We should sue their arse.

12 posted on 02/02/2009 11:06:19 AM PST by roses of sharon (Pray Hussein fails!)
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To: jazusamo
“What’s been lost is journalistic integrity; and too many people in the mainstream media, to their eternal discredit, don’t even realize its lost it”

The author is accurate in this statement, but he does not observe that most of the current ‘generation’ of journalists are/have been merely aping the precedent set by journalists of long standing ... their senior colleagues. His so called ‘integrity’ of journalism was a pathetic relic and diminished commodity even when the current crop of ‘journalists’ began playing ‘news room’ for a living.

13 posted on 02/02/2009 11:06:40 AM PST by SMARTY ("Stay together, pay the soldiers and forget everything else" Lucius Septimus Severus)
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To: BobbyT
Thank you. It's becoming routine to see this kind of thing, unfortunately.
14 posted on 02/02/2009 11:07:42 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: jazusamo

I have The Bulletin bookmarked.


15 posted on 02/02/2009 11:07:56 AM PST by Bahbah (Typical white person-Snow white)
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To: Billthedrill

Couldn’t agree more, you nailed it.

My granddaughter wants to major in journalism, she’s a very good writer already. We’ve had many discussions about this very thing and fortunately her parents are good conservatives, I’d like to believe she’ll buck the odds.


16 posted on 02/02/2009 11:12:43 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

bfl


17 posted on 02/02/2009 11:14:19 AM PST by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: roses of sharon

It really does come down to the MSM working for the RATS.


18 posted on 02/02/2009 11:16:39 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Bahbah

Very good pics on your homepage. :)


19 posted on 02/02/2009 11:18:41 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Mainstream Media Becomes Pure Propaganda, Is Bias, Dishonest

And this is a surprise to whom???

20 posted on 02/02/2009 11:20:18 AM PST by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: DustyMoment

Not to us for sure but the message should be shouted long and loud.


21 posted on 02/02/2009 11:24:17 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

:) You betcha.


22 posted on 02/02/2009 11:27:59 AM PST by Bahbah (Typical white person-Snow white)
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To: jazusamo
Chris Matthews: I’ll Do Everything I Can to Make Sure Obama Succeeds as President.....
23 posted on 02/02/2009 11:28:06 AM PST by Le Chien Rouge
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To: BobbyT

These errors make it difficult for me to read the article, although in this case I’m glad i did.

Another thing that drives me nuts is the omission of the “s” in plural nouns (or if it’s there, it’s preceded by an apostrophe).

Ah, well, language changes. Is “alright” in the dictionary yet? I’m afraid to look...


24 posted on 02/02/2009 11:28:39 AM PST by Mugwump
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To: Flycatcher
Stop trying to use “bias” as an adjective. All of you.

Yes, it's impacting me.

____________________________________________________

"Verbing weirds language."

       --Calvin
25 posted on 02/02/2009 11:40:53 AM PST by Colinsky
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To: jazusamo
The circle is not yet complete. Once bailouts are provided select failed media outlets, the revived entity will be The Ministry of Truth.

You probably already see this, so my pointing it out is probably unnecessary. But unless more of us say it, I fear many will be afraid to admit it once it happens.

26 posted on 02/02/2009 11:45:23 AM PST by Avoiding_Sulla (Yesterday's Left = today's status quo. Thus "CONSERVATIVE": a conflicted label for battling tyranny.)
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To: jazusamo
Acid rain might not be the bet allegory, especially for a "conservative" journalist. Acid rain was the non-existent reason that we had to stop burning coal and petroleum products before AlGore discovered non-existent global warming.

Μολὼν λάβε

27 posted on 02/02/2009 12:00:21 PM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: jazusamo
Acid rain might not be the best allegory, especially for a "conservative" journalist. Acid rain was the non-existent reason that we had to stop burning coal and petroleum products before AlGore discovered non-existent global warming.

Μολὼν λάβε

28 posted on 02/02/2009 12:00:41 PM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: Flycatcher

Would it be incentivizing you to do something different?

Irregardless, it is anathemical to use “bias” as an adjective.


29 posted on 02/02/2009 12:05:07 PM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: jazusamo

A while ago I worked in the mainstream media myself, both print and radio. There’s no need to bore you with my experiences, other than to say that 1) this article is correct, both in general and specifics and 2) it’s actually worse than portrayed.


30 posted on 02/02/2009 1:04:05 PM PST by redpoll
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To: redpoll

Thanks, redpoll!


31 posted on 02/02/2009 1:09:49 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Pure propaganda, dishonesty is not bias, it’s democrat party and communist activism.


32 posted on 02/02/2009 3:01:48 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: Colinsky

Stop trying to use “bias” as an adjective. All of you.

Yes, it’s impacting me.

____________________________________________________

“Verbing weirds language.”

—Calvin


Wouldn’t that be “gerunding” ? < VBEG >

At least Calvin has an excuse for such poor grammar and weak vocabulary, he’s only 7 years old.


33 posted on 02/02/2009 3:15:24 PM PST by Don W (People who think are a threat to socialism)
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To: jazusamo

Bump for a later read,thanks, jazusamo.


34 posted on 02/02/2009 3:18:28 PM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925; Foreigners 2008)
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To: jazusamo
Photobucket
35 posted on 02/02/2009 3:32:57 PM PST by Jackknife (Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth, and boils his water with his rage)
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