Skip to comments.I Guess You're Right: There Is No Liberal Media Bias [COMPLETE ARTICLE]
Posted on 10/09/2003 11:17:08 AM PDT by MegaSilver
(NOTE: I searched and no one's posted the whole thing yet, so...)
RESPONSE TO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS OF EDWARD NAWOTKA FOR PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
QUESTION: FRANKEN CLAIMS THAT THERE ARE NUMEROUS FALSEHOODS IN YOUR BOOK, ESPECIALLY BURIED IN THE FOOTNOTES. . . . WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ERRORS, YOU, THE PUBLISHER, OR BOTH?
I see we're off to a good start! In your interview with Al Franken, after suggesting that some readers may want Franken to run for president, you ask him hardball questions like:
-- "It's got to be a little grating to see your book on the same New York Times bestseller list as the Ann Coulter book."
-- "You fact checked Ann Coulter's book and found a lot of inconsistencies, outright lies, and quotes that are taken out of context. Who is responsible for those kinds of errors, the author or the editors?"
-- "How should booksellers deal with this?"
You ask me questions like these:
-- "[W]ho is ultimately responsible for the errors [in your book], you, the publisher, or both?"
-- "What gives--was this an honest mistake or malfeasance as he suggests?"
-- "Why all the name calling?"
Apparently, Ed, it never occurred to you that Franken's allegations of errors in my book -- or "outright lies" as you put it -- are false.
It's interesting that the most devastating examples of my alleged "lies" keep changing. As soon as one is disproved, I'm asked to respond to another. This is behavior normally associated with tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorists. One crackpot argument after another is shot down -- but the conspiracy theorists just move on to the next crackpot argument without pause or reconsideration. Certainly without apology.
So before responding to the two alleged "lies" you cite from Franken -- the source of all wisdom -- I shall run through a few of the alleged "lies" from Franken's book that I have already been asked to respond to -- and which have now been dropped by the Coulter hysterics as they barrel ahead to the next inane charge.
FRANKEN'S VERY FIRST CHARGE AGAINST ME IS THAT I TOLD A REPORTER FROM THE OBSERVER THAT I WAS "FRIENDLY" WITH FRANKEN, WHEN IN FACT, WE ARE NOT "FRIENDLY."
Needless to say, I never claimed to be friendly with Al Franken. Inasmuch as I barely know Franken, a normal person might have looked at that and realized the reporter misunderstood me. But apparently Franken thinks he has a pretty cool name to drop -- the oddest case of reverse name-dropping I've ever heard of.
I don't hear about this "lie" so much anymore.
FRANKEN HYSTERICALLY ACCUSES ME OF "LYING" FOR CALLING MY "ENDNOTES," "FOOTNOTES" IN INTERVIEWS ON MY BOOK.
Yes, notes at the end of a book are technically "endnotes," not "footnotes." Franken will have to take his case up with the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Washington Post and the rest of the universe -- all of which referred to my 780 endnotes as "FOOTNOTES." Also God, for inventing the concept of "colloquial speech."
I don't hear so much about this "lie" anymore.
FRANKEN CLAIMS I COMPLAIN THAT CONSERVATIVES DON'T GET ON TV ENOUGH.
Inasmuch as I am on TV a lot, this would be an hilarious point. Too bad I never said it. My book Slander -- which Franken seems to have gone over with a fine-toothed comb -- would have been a good place to make that point if I wanted to make it. Slander contains an entire chapter on the media, and yet I never claim that conservatives are not on TV enough. What I say is: "Democrats in the media are editors, national correspondents, news anchors, and reporters. Republicans are 'from the right' polemicists grudgingly tolerated within the liberal behemoth."
By the way, I also say: "The distinction between opinion journalism and objective news coverage is seemingly impossible for liberals to grasp." Franken's absurd description of my point proves it.
I haven't heard so much about this "lie" anymore.
I CLAIM EVAN THOMAS'S FATHER WAS THE SOCIALIST PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, NORMAN THOMAS.
Franken drones on and on for a page and a half about how Norman Thomas was not Evan Thomas's father -- without saying that he was Evan's grandfather. This was one of about five inconsequential errors quickly corrected in Slander -- and cited one million times by liberals as a "LIE." Confusing "father" with "grandfather" is a mistake. Franken's deliberate implication that there was no relationship whatsoever between Norman and Evan Thomas is intentional dishonesty.
I haven't heard so much about this "lie" anymore.
I INCORRECTLY CLAIMED DALE EARNHARDT'S DEATH WAS NOT MENTIONED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NYT THE DAY AFTER HIS DEATH.
In my three bestselling books -- making the case for a president's impeachment, accusing liberals of systematic lying and propagandizing, arguing that Joe McCarthy was a great American patriot, and detailing 50 years of treachery by the Democratic Party -- this is the only vaguely substantive error the Ann Coulter hysterics have been able to produce, corrected soon after publication.
The Columbia Journalism Review was crowing about this great victory over Ann Coulter a year ago. A search of "coulter" and "earnhardt" on Google turns up over 1,000 hits. Now Franken dedicates another two pages in his book to it. I believe this triumph of theirs has been sufficiently revisited by now. At least I didn't miss the Ukrainian famine. Pulitzer prize winning New York Times reporter Walter Duranty.
I don't heard so much about this "lie" anymore.
FRAZIER MOORE, A FANTASIST FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, WROTE AN ARTICLE ACCUSING ME OF USING "ROUTINELY SLOPPY" RESEARCH AND "CONTRIVED" FACTS. LIKE YOU, THE AP FANTASIST TREATS FRANKEN AS THE SOURCE OF ALL WISDOM, CITING ONE KILLER EXAMPLE FROM FRANKEN:
"Here's one: On pages 265-266, Coulter blasts New York Times writer Thomas Friedman for opposing racial profiling in a December 2001 column. She quotes (and credits) several passages that seem to back up her complaint. But it turns out that Coulter misappropriated Friedman's words in a way that has nothing to do with racial profiling or anything else addressed in his column, as anyone who reads it will discover. His column actually drew the less-than-startling conclusion that a new age of terrorism threatens our personal safety and our free society."
This is what is known as "bicycle accident reporting." I defy anyone to explain what head-injury boy is trying to convey in his crucial, accusatory sentence: "Coulter misappropriated Friedman's words in a way that has nothing to do with racial profiling or anything else addressed in his column."Huh? The AP could throw a deck of cards out the window and wait to see who picks up the four of clubs to find someone who writes better than Frazier Moore.
But as long as I'm already breaking my rule about not responding to meritless, overwrought attacks, I'll go for broke and break my rule about not responding to gibberish. Apparently, head-injury-boy here is very upset about how I characterize a Friedman column and it has something or other to do with racial profiling.
In the column at issue, titled "Fly Naked,"Friedman spends 6 of 10 paragraphs discussing airport security after 9-11 and concludes that flying naked is the only solution, because, inter alia: "It's much more civilized than racial profiling." I wrote: "New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sniffed that racial profiling was not 'civilized.'" I'm really trying to grasp the lie in that statement, but I don't see it.
Incidentally, contrary to head-injury boy's characterization, only four paragraphs at the end of the Friedman column discuss "personal safety and our free society" -- as anyone who reads it will discover! I salute the AP's unorthodox affirmative action program, but they might want to assign reporters who are not developmentally disabled to write the articles accusing me of "sloppy" research and "contrived" facts.
I haven't heard much about this "lie" since the AP article came out and normal people took the trouble to look up Friedman's column and post it on the internet.
Now you spring two all-new alleged "outright lies" on me. I shall respond to these two, and then I'm through. Henceforth, I shall rely on sensible people to see that I have answered the liberal hate groups' first 17 rounds of indignant charges against me. If they had a better example out there, we would have heard it before the 18th round.
First, you say: "AT ONE POINT [FRANKEN] ACCUSES YOU OF HAVING TAKEN A QUOTE FROM A BOOK REVIEW QUOTING A BOOK (P. 14 OF FRANKEN'S BOOK) TO ARGUE YOUR POINT. DO YOU FEEL THIS IS AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF WHAT YOU WROTE? AN ACCURATE USE OF A QUOTE? IF NOT, THEN WHY? IF YES, THEN WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ERRORS, YOU, THE PUBLISHER, OR BOTH?"
I'm not sure I grasp the accusation here and I'm sure you do not. I wrote: "For decades, the New York Times had allowed loose associations between Nazis and Christians to be made in its pages." Among the quotes I cited, one came from a New York Times book review. The quote made a loose association between Nazis and Christians. New York Times book reviews are printed in the pages of the New York Times. The Times allowed that quote to run in its pages. How else, exactly, are you suggesting I should have phrased this, Ed?
Second, you say: "LIKEWISE, [FRANKEN] ACCUSES YOU OF SLOPPY RESEARCH, IN SO FAR AS YOU APPEAR TO HAVE MISSED A NUMBER OF NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLES CITING SUCH THINGS AS SPEECHES BY JESSE JACKSON. WHAT GIVES--WAS THIS AN HONEST MISTAKE OR MALFEASANCE AS HE SUGGESTS?
It was neither, but thanks for asking. I wrote: "In an upbeat message delivered on British TV on Christmas Day, 1994, Jesse Jackson compared conservatives in the U.S. and Great Britain to Nazis: "In South Africa, the status quo was called racism. We rebelled against it. In Germany, it was called fascism. Now in Britain and the U.S. it is called conservatism.' The New York Times did not report the speech."
The New York Times did not, in fact, report the speech. Franken does not say otherwise. My guess is -- and this is just a stab in the dark -- Franken doesn't say otherwise because he can't say otherwise, inasmuch as . . . THE NEW YORK TIMES DID NOT REPORT THE SPEECH. What Franken says is that my search method was faulty -- though, somehow, it still managed to produce the truth! (To wit: The New York Times did not report the speech.)
Among my searches, I searched the New York Times database for all of December, 1994 and January 1995 for: "Jesse Jackson and Germany and fascism and South Africa."(In my footnotes, I often give my readers clear descriptions of some of the Lexis-Nexis searches I ran -- something, as far as I know, no other writer does.)
Franken does not mention the lines I had just quoted from Jackson's speech -- you know, the one that was NOT reported in the New York Times -- but refers to it only as a "controversial speech."He then acts incredulous that I would run a search for "Jesse Jackson and Germany and fascism and South Africa," as if I tossed in the terms "Germany""fascism"and "South Africa"for no reason whatsoever. To my observation that this search turned up no documents, he says sarcastically: "Well, yeah."
To borrow a line from a trained journalist: What gives, Ed? Was this an honest mistake or malfeasance?
In in ninteenth century, the "poor me, why me" syndrom was called Marxism. We stood against it. In China, Albania, North Korea, and Cuba, it is called communism. We stood against it. Now in the U.S. and Britain, it is called liberalism.
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