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Dick Morris: Bias-mongers on rocks as viewers taste straight news
The Hill ^ | August 13, 2003 | Dick Morris

Posted on 08/13/2003 9:18:13 AM PDT by Timesink

Dick Morris
The Political Life

Bias-mongers on rocks as viewers taste straight news

I am sure we were all surprised to learn in the Aug. 11 issue of The New York Times that people are " burned out on serious news." How else could the bastion of establishment journalism account for the falloff in network news viewership and, unnoted in the article, the newspaper's own decreasing circulation?

Yet the evidence is all there. People don't care anymore. That must be why The Times' circulation has fallen 5 percent and 1.1 million fewer households are watching network television news compared to last year at this time!

Jim Murphy, executive producer of the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," attempting to spin why his show has lost 600,000 viewers, notes patronizingly that we poor dears have been through " two years of very heavy-duty, stressful news, from Sept. 11 through the war with Iraq." In his opinion the loss of one-tenth of his show's audience is part of "a little bit of a break-taking going on across the spectrum."

Shaking their heads in sympathy, cable news networks CNN (down 22 percent) and MSNBC (down 25 percent) bemoan the lack of compelling news to cover. Jack Wakshlag, head of research for the Turner Broadcasting System, which manages CNN for AOL Time Warner, said that the falloff was because none of this year's news had sufficiently " broad appeal" or " emotional tug."

Nonsense.

Don't these folks realize that it is their coverage, their bias, and their slanted news that is leading viewers to turn them off! Fox News, during the same period that caused such clucking by the establishment, had no difficulty adding 200,000 viewers during the news period and many more during prime time.

The Iraq War marked the beginning of the end of network news coverage. Viewers saw the juxtaposition of the embedded correspondents reporting the war as it was actually unfolding and the jaundiced, biased, negative coverage of these same events in the network newsrooms.

While U.S. and British troops advanced without serious opposition and with a minimum of casualties, the media worried loudly about disaster scenarios that never came to pass. The Turks weren't letting our troops through. There would be no two front war! Our supply lines were over-extended! Guerrilla attacks would leave our troops without food or ammo! Saddam would blow up the oil wells and trigger an eco-disaster from which it would take decades to recover! We were being sucked into house-by-house, street-by-street fighting in the capital! We didn't have enough troops! And, when the war was won, the networks and the newspapers fixated on the priceless artifacts that had been looted from the Baghdad Museum!

None of it happened. Now with the embedded correspondents withdrawn, these same networks and news sources tell us we face a quagmire in which we will lose dozens of soldiers each month for years and assure us that President Bush lied when he said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When the weapons are found and the killing slows or stops, the networks will have moved on to other stories.

The reason people aren't watching network news and are canceling their subscriptions to establishment press organs is that they are fed up with the manipulation and deliberate juggling of the news they see and read each day. An increasingly educated electorate can spot bias with greater acumen and astuteness than ever before.

Nor is the bias just tilting toward the left. The failure of news organs to cover the concerns of the left wing of the Democratic Party has triggered a disenchantment among those voters every bit as deep as on the right. The ability of leftists like Bill Maher and Michael Moore to attract an audience attests to the alienation of the left from the establishment.

Americans are refusing to be spoon fed anyone's idea of the news. They no longer care to dine on the meal served by Rather or Peter Jennings (Tom Brokaw seems to fare better) or by CNN or MSNBC. They want to make their own choices in the marketplace. The Internet lets them do just that and they are voting with their remote controls to turn off the party line they get on the networks.


Dick Morris is the author of Off With Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks, and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media, and Business.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abc; abcnews; biasedmedia; cablenewsnetwork; cbs; cbsnews; chickennoodlenews; cnn; dickmorris; fnc; fox; foxnews; foxnewschannel; mediabias; medialies; msdnc; msnbc; nbc; nbcnews; news; newsmedia; newyorktimes; nyt; nytschadenfreude; pmsnbc; schadenfreude; thenewyorktimes; tvnews
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1 posted on 08/13/2003 9:18:14 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: GOPJ; Pharmboy; reformed_democrat; RatherBiased.com; nopardons; Tamsey; Miss Marple; SwatTeam; ...

This is the nascent Mainstream Media Shenanigans ping list. Please freepmail me to be added or dropped.
Please note this will likely become a high-volume list.
Also feel free to ping me if you come across a thread you would think worthy of the ping list. I can't catch them all!


2 posted on 08/13/2003 9:19:05 AM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
good read and true. I made the switch to FNC during the 2000 Election saga, and I have never turned back.
3 posted on 08/13/2003 9:21:53 AM PDT by jern
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


4 posted on 08/13/2003 9:22:01 AM PDT by Timesink
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It's tough to manufacture consent when nobody's paying attention to you. Poor babies.
5 posted on 08/13/2003 9:25:58 AM PDT by vollmond
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To: Timesink
grump bump
6 posted on 08/13/2003 9:26:09 AM PDT by Lynn
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To: Timesink
It is wrong to accuse the New York Times of dishonesty in concluding that its market is shrinking because people are "less interested in serious news." Objectively, of course, that conclusion is a lie. But the bigotry at the Times is so pervasive that they simply cannot see what is happening.

One might as well ask a man who's been blind from birth to describe a Monet painting, as ask the Times to describe why readers are turning against them.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Nuts and Bolts in California" posted on FR, also published in San Francisco.

7 posted on 08/13/2003 9:33:13 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob ("Don't just stand there. Run for Congress." www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Timesink; Joy Angela; conservogirl; Ragtime Cowgirl; Alamo-Girl; Mia T; onyx; amom; Carl/NewsMax
WALTER CRONKITE's Anti-U.S. Bias produced over 1.5 Million S.E. Asian Deaths after he fooled us on TV into leaving them behind at the hands of invading Communist Bullies during the Vietnam War.

WALTER CRONKITE is now 2004 Presidential Candidate HILLARY RODHAM's No. 1 TV Media Defensive Linebacker who publically called for all our Southern States to secede from our Union, in violation of our U.S. Constitution.

HILLARY's Media Partners BROKAW, JENNINGS and RATHER will not go away until after they can have their own effect on the 2004 Presidential Election on HILLARY's behalf.

Why else would lifelong Canadian Citizen PETER JENNINGS suddenly become an American Citizen after all these years..?

The Enemy is now Within...
and always has been.
8 posted on 08/13/2003 9:45:00 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com ..)
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To: Congressman Billybob
But the bigotry at the Times is so pervasive that they simply cannot see what is happening.

The Times and the other major media outlets, who cannot see the bias on the wall, suffer the same denial that an alcoholic suffers. Like an alcoholic, the Times and its media brethern, will not acknowledge their problem until after they have hit "rock bottom," and even then they may refuse to recognize that they are the cause of their own demise. Without a 12 step recovery program, they will end up in the gutter, penniless, and smelling of puke.

9 posted on 08/13/2003 9:47:34 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Timesink
A very good article. The plain simple truth for me is that I don't trust any media that isn't objective about its subject-matter. Part of being objective is adhering to the Joe Friday "just the facts, ma'am" approach to reporting (a/k/a the five Ws -- who, what, when, where, and why). Another part of being objective is stating all of the relevant facts, not just the facts that support the particular bias of the reporter or the media outlet in question.

None of the major media -- not even Fox News -- meets this criteria for me, but at least Fox makes more of an effort and is much more honest about the distinction between hard news and editorializing in the phony guise of hard news, or between facts and opinions or speculation. Outlets such as the NYT, the Washington Post, network news, and CNN are so non-objective that they border or even cross the line of intellectual dishonesty.

10 posted on 08/13/2003 9:49:02 AM PDT by kesg
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To: Timesink
"Don't these folks realize that it is their coverage, their bias, and their slanted news that is leading viewers to turn them off!"

Exactly right. I, a lifelong news junkie, without cable no less, have given up my nightly news fix after:
1. watching the mediacrats' nightly drumbeat of negative economic news (despite indicators otherwise) that became a self-fulfilling prophecy in consumer confidence.
2. hearing Pres. Bush consistently cast as the one who stole the 2000 election.
3. playing the blame game re 9/11 and the War on Terror.
4. accusing Pres. Bush of politicizing 9/11 when the opposite is callously and obviously true.
5. showing only the negative aspects of our administration of Iraq in the past 100 days
6. taking the traitorous position on every issue I can think of
7. gleefully doing everything possible to put Pres. Bush into an opinion poll "freefall" from 61% to 59% then gloating about their success.

I do tune in infrequently to remember the enemy, and to see if it's the night that Blather finally falls off the ledge.

Thanks to FR I see the news of the world, conservative and liberal, every night, along with commentary from all over the spectrum. Here, we are respected enough (well, mostly) to be trusted to think for ourselves. Thank you FR! Contribution on the way.
11 posted on 08/13/2003 9:50:57 AM PDT by ntnychik
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To: jern
I've been watching Fox News since its inception. I have always agreed with their "fair and balanced" representation....and I will continue to watch.
12 posted on 08/13/2003 9:52:28 AM PDT by mrtysmm
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To: Timesink
The liberals who run the major network news divisions and the NY Times are astonishingly stupid. The answer is right in front of them, but they remain stuck forever in 1970, giving us the Liberal Truth as they see it. Unfortunately, the people who still buy that are dieing off or realizing that the truth is not always or even mostly slanted left.

They are so arrogant they don't even consider their own obvious bias is the reason. Instead, they rely on half-baked studies to "prove" they are not biased and everyone else is wrong. Morons.

13 posted on 08/13/2003 9:54:07 AM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: Timesink
Amen brother. I only watch news once in a while and thats only to see what they are lying about today.
14 posted on 08/13/2003 9:54:11 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Timesink
The Established media is to bias as green flies are to dog crap.
15 posted on 08/13/2003 9:55:45 AM PDT by N. Theknow
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To: Timesink
Every time I get ready to write off Dick Morris as a overrated political hack, he comes out with something like this...
16 posted on 08/13/2003 9:56:10 AM PDT by Interesting Times (Leftists view the truth as an easily avoidable nuisance)
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To: Timesink
I also credit FreeRepublic and the internet with the downfall of mainstream media. I think the material point here is that when one has the opportunity to access information one is able to draw one's concluions without the mainstream filters. Information that is deliberately omitted from a news story to shape any agenda only works when there is suppression of sources and opposing voices.

The mainstream media must hate ALGore's internet invention.
17 posted on 08/13/2003 9:59:25 AM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: KellyAdmirer
I seem to recall a saying that is proving itself ever so true:

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".

Let's face it, stupid will always be with us although some people are will to think for themselves - Thank God.

18 posted on 08/13/2003 10:01:49 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Timesink
Terrific column, thanks! Morris summarizes the situation well... a nice read :-)
19 posted on 08/13/2003 10:04:17 AM PDT by Tamzee (I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight...... Rita Rudner)
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To: Timesink
"The reason people aren't watching network news and are canceling their subscriptions to establishment press organs is that they are fed up with the manipulation and deliberate juggling of the news they see and read each day. An increasingly educated electorate can spot bias with greater acumen and astuteness than ever before."

GOOD GRIEF!!! And this is DICK MORRIS saying this??!!!

20 posted on 08/13/2003 10:05:13 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Labyrinthos
".....will not acknowledge their problem until after they have hit "rock bottom,"....."

True, but some folks just go on drink their selves to death. I hope CNN won't make it to rehab. :)
21 posted on 08/13/2003 10:15:42 AM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered
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To: Timesink
Why are people tuning out the establishment media? I can sum it up in one word...Truth.

People have stopped believing all of the hype coming from the network news. When people see time after time what the liberal media is saying doesn't ring true, they stop listening. All of the negative reports coming from them are being revealed to be nothing but sensationalism and outright lying.

They can be as biased as they want. People will only pay attention if they are believable.

22 posted on 08/13/2003 10:23:30 AM PDT by eggman (Social Insecurity - Who will provide for the government when the government provides for all of us?)
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To: Timesink
Fox Rules (esp. Kiran Chetry and Laurie Dhue ;-).
23 posted on 08/13/2003 10:24:26 AM PDT by sauropod (Graduate: Burt Gummer's Survival School)
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To: Congressman Billybob; hellinahandcart
Reminds me of the blind men and the elephant joke...
24 posted on 08/13/2003 10:25:11 AM PDT by sauropod (Graduate: Burt Gummer's Survival School)
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered; dead; Registered
Not a good screen name. Now their heads won;t fit on the forum ;-)
25 posted on 08/13/2003 10:25:51 AM PDT by sauropod (Graduate: Burt Gummer's Survival School)
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To: eggman
If ex-president Bush was living apart from ex-first lady bush, do you not think that would be a topic of discussion on ABCNBCCBSCNNMSNBC?

Funny how they have not noticed the Clinton situation.
26 posted on 08/13/2003 10:29:24 AM PDT by Bluntpoint
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To: Timesink
I was watching straight Fox ever since it became available in my area. Except to substitute.
27 posted on 08/13/2003 10:31:31 AM PDT by .cnI redruM ("Magna cum laude, summa cum laude, the radio's too laude." - Johnny Dangerously)
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To: Timesink
Once you get used to the likes of Fox News, it becomes jarring to turn to the the likes of CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS/NBC, because the liberal bias is so apparent.

This isn't just because Fox News is biased conservative. The proof comes with Tim Russert, who is relatively evenhanded, and is no conservative. If all the news sources were as tough with both liberals and conservatives as Tim Russert we would have much less bias to complain about.

28 posted on 08/13/2003 10:35:36 AM PDT by Plutarch
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To: Interesting Times
I've been watching Dick Morris whack the Clintons for the last two years. He hates the Clintons. Because he was Stainman's political adviser, he has a lot of inside knowledge on Stain.
29 posted on 08/13/2003 10:50:32 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Bluntpoint
Also funny how they, just like Hillary claims she did, believed (and continue to believe) all of Bill's lies yet call Bush, acting on the best intelligence information available to do his job and defend the country, a liar.
30 posted on 08/13/2003 10:51:09 AM PDT by eggman (Social Insecurity - Who will provide for the government when the government provides for all of us?)
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To: Wonder Warthog
GOOD GRIEF!!! And this is DICK MORRIS saying this??!!!

Yes. Morris did a complete 180 a few years ago. He's been whacking the Clintons for years!

31 posted on 08/13/2003 10:53:09 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: kesg
"None of the major media -- not even Fox News -- meets this criteria for me, but at least Fox makes more of an effort and is much more honest about the distinction between hard news and editorializing in the phony guise of hard news, or between facts and opinions or speculation...."

The editorial board of the NY Times and the editorial staff for the three major networks are so mired in the Georgetown cocktail party circuit that thay lack any perspective outside of east coast liberal politics. Or as writer Joan Didion said after Regan's 1984 landslide "I don't know how Regan won, none of my friends voted for him." .

Bernard Goldberg's book "Bias" gives a sense of how culturally isolated most of the editorial personnel in the "elite" media truly are. The idea that taking the daily DNC talking points from the Fax machine and repackaging it as news is biased would not occur to most of these people.

32 posted on 08/13/2003 11:17:58 AM PDT by ggekko
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To: Timesink
How many hours of Kobe, Ben & JLo, high school hazing, Scott and Laci can you show per day and still qualify as "serious news".

Fox has long since crossed that particular threshold, for all that I love the coverage provided by Brit Hume and Tony Snow.

33 posted on 08/13/2003 12:03:13 PM PDT by Uncle Fud
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To: ggekko; kesg
Bernard Goldberg's book "Bias" gives a sense of how culturally isolated most of the editorial personnel in the "elite" media truly are. The idea that taking the daily DNC talking points from the Fax machine and repackaging it as news is biased would not occur to most of these people.

I've worked in two network news divisions. This is absolutely the truth. Most of them really do think they're being fair, and don't have a clue how slanted their work is. (Which is not to claim there are not sizable numbers of them who know their work is slanted and insert such liberal bias 100% intentionally, because there are.)

34 posted on 08/13/2003 12:07:59 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: sauropod
Reminds me of the blind men and the elephant joke...

It's more like the blind leading the deaf.

35 posted on 08/13/2003 12:23:21 PM PDT by Only1choice____Freedom (If everything you experienced, believed, lived was a lie, would you want to know the truth?)
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To: Timesink
marking
36 posted on 08/13/2003 12:26:58 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Wonder Warthog; All
...DICK MORRIS has now twice admitted on the air on...

..'The Judicial Watch Report' Radio Show at..

.. http://www.JudicialWatch.org ..

...that the CLINTONS did refuse 3 Offers to extradite our No. 1 Terrorist Enemy OSAMA bin LADEN from the Sudan to the custody of a U.S. Jail & Trial during the 1990's that would have prevented the Attacks on us all on September 11, 2001.

.. http://www.Newsmax.com ..Columnist & 'HILLARY's Schemes' ..Author CARL LIMBACHER has BILL CLINTON on audio tape admitting early last year to refusing one such OSAMA Offer and HILLARY saying in person to him that there were none made or refused.

...Seems like a great CLINTON conflict for the 911 Investigating Commission to look into under oath for both..?
37 posted on 08/13/2003 12:55:36 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com ..)
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To: Cobra64
He's been whacking the Clintons for years!

In the name of all that is holy, buy a thesaurus and choose a different word than "whacking" when dealing with the Sinkmeister. :-)

38 posted on 08/13/2003 12:56:54 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (A flash mob of one.)
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To: Timesink
Please add me to the ping list. Thanks!
39 posted on 08/13/2003 1:00:21 PM PDT by Jen
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To: KarlInOhio
In the name of all that is holy, buy a thesaurus and choose a different word than "whacking" when dealing with the Sinkmeister.

LOL. Sorry 'bout that. Ya got a good point.

40 posted on 08/13/2003 2:15:35 PM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: KarlInOhio
In the name of all that is holy, buy a thesaurus and choose a different word than "whacking" when dealing with the Sinkmeister.

LOL. Sorry 'bout that. Ya got a good point.

41 posted on 08/13/2003 2:15:52 PM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; Gracey; Alamo-Girl; RottiBiz; bamabaseballmom; FoxGirl; Mr. Bob; xflisa; lainde; ..
FoxFan ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my FoxFan list. *Warning: This can be a high-volume ping list at times.

42 posted on 08/13/2003 2:47:08 PM PDT by nutmeg (Is the DemocRATic party extinct yet?)
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To: BlessedByLiberty; Jim Robinson
"I also credit FreeRepublic and the internet with the downfall of mainstream media."

Bingo! Once you start paying attention to what's posted here on FR, you come to the solid realization that none of the news media even approaches telling the whole story. I do include Fox in this--while they are better than the others, they sometimes suffer from the same malady as the others.

Fox needs to watch its step, lest they, too, fall into the trap CNN and the regular networks are trying to escape. If they think their viewers will remain loyal even if liberal bias is allowed to take over, they'd better think again. People are discovering the internet, and television news could become the dinosaur of our age.

*Thought I'd ping Jim Robinson, for well-deserved kudos.

43 posted on 08/13/2003 3:01:30 PM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: MizSterious
As long as FOX does not join up with the pack mentality so freely demonstrated by the mainstream-weakkneed cable cartel they will do well.

However, the minute they stray from their fair and balanced standard - what at one time we called "objective" journalism - they will also slide into the untrustworthy refuse bin where we find CNN, NY TImes, SF Chronicle may be found.
44 posted on 08/13/2003 3:12:36 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
WALTER CRONKITE ... who publically called for all our Southern States to secede from our Union, in violation of our U.S. Constitution. Damn! Is Walter that old? I knew he was old but ... Did he ever interview Lincoln, Grant, Lee, et al.?
45 posted on 08/13/2003 3:43:59 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: nutmeg
Thanks for the heads up!
46 posted on 08/13/2003 4:48:38 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; BKO; billoreilly; Ann Coulter; Carl/NewsMax; Sean Hannity; Rush Limbaugh; ...
Year 2000 = London World Conferance

Anti-U.S. Internationalist, Friend of HILLARY ..WALTER CRONKITE.. calls for our 11 Southern States to secede from our Union, in violation of our U.S. Constitution

Year 2000 = New York Press Conferance

Anti-U.S. Internationalist, Senator Elect HILLARY calls for the ELIMINATION of our Electoral College, promising to make it her 1st Bill she will introduce when she gets to the U.S. Senate.

The Enemy is now Within...
and always has been.
47 posted on 08/13/2003 4:57:55 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com ..)
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To: Timesink
BINGO:

The reason people aren't watching network news and are canceling their subscriptions to establishment press organs is that they are fed up with the manipulation and deliberate juggling of the news they see and read each day. An increasingly educated electorate can spot bias with greater acumen and astuteness than ever before.

48 posted on 08/13/2003 6:28:39 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: Timesink
LOL! It is like the unemployment rate is down because people gave up and quit looking for jobs!!!!
49 posted on 08/13/2003 6:32:49 PM PDT by ladyinred (The left have blood on their hands.)
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To: Timesink
"I've worked in two network news divisions..."

Since you have worked in the belly of the beast perhaps you could connfirm another perception I have developed about East Coast media people from having lived in Manhattan for 10 years.

Once at a cocktail party I had the misfortune to talk to several people who worked at CBS news about the subject of nuclear power. Their technical ignorance on the topic was breathtaking. This level of ignorance seems to extend to the field of economics as well as technology.

Did these people go into journalism because they can't add?
50 posted on 08/13/2003 7:06:32 PM PDT by ggekko
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