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This Time Bill O'Reilly Got It Right
NYTIMES ^ | 09/19/04 | Frank Rich

Posted on 09/18/2004 10:35:55 AM PDT by Pikamax

This Time Bill O'Reilly Got It Right

F a stopped clock is right twice a day, why shouldn't Bill O'Reilly be right at least once in a blue moon? When Fox News's most self-infatuated star attacked CNN for keeping James Carville and Paul Begala as hosts on "Crossfire" after they had joined the Kerry campaign, he fingered yet another symptom of the decline and fall of the American news culture. "In the wake of the vicious attacks on Fox News for allegedly being `G.O.P. TV,' I expected the media to brutally dismember CNN and the new boys on John Kerry's bus," Mr. O'Reilly wrote in his syndicated column. "But instead it's been the silence of the lambs from the press. Can you say media bias?"

Yes, you can, though it must be said in the same breath that Mr. O'Reilly is only half-right. Fox News isn't "allegedly" G.O.P. TV — it is G.O.P. TV. The campiest recent example of its own bias came during the Republican convention when Mr. O'Reilly played host to two second-tier G.O.P. publicity hounds, Georgette Mosbacher and Monica Crowley, as they whined that a straight-ahead, unexceptional convention photo spread that they had voluntarily posed for in New York magazine wasn't flattering enough. Presenting no evidence whatsoever, the two women (one of whom, Ms. Crowley, doubles as a Fox "analyst") bantered darkly with Mr. O'Reilly about how this "dirty trick" to present unglamorous portraits of them and such luminaries as Henry Kissinger and Al D'Amato was a conspiracy of "radical" and "Upper West Side" Democrats. (We all know what Upper West Side means, ladies.) This was G.O.P. TV raised to not-ready-for-prime time self-parody, lacking only the studio audience to yuk it up.

But is the response to an ideological news network like Fox an ideological news network with a liberal slant of its own? CNN, the inventor of 24/7 news, once prided itself on being a straight shooter. Now it and Mr. Carville have argued that the line wasn't blurred here because the liberal "Crossfire" hosts are unpaid, loosey-goosey Kerry advisers and their show is an opinion-mongering screamfest, not a news program. One might also add that with its 4:30 time slot, "Crossfire" has of late been seen only by shut-ins and barflies. Yet as CNN continues its ratings free-fall, humbled by Fox and occasionally by MSNBC as well, "Crossfire" remains one of its few signature brands. No matter how long the overlap between Mr. Carville and Mr. Begala's TV and campaign roles, that brand and CNN itself are now as inextricably bound to the Democrats as Fox is to the Republicans. The network has succeeded in an impossible feat — ceding Mr. O'Reilly the moral high ground. The Bush campaign doesn't have to enlist Fox hosts for its staff since they're willing to whore for it without even being asked.

CNN is hemorrhaging in quality and viewers so fast — for reasons that have more to do with its lugubriousness and identity crisis than politics — that this dust-up may prove but a footnote to its travails. But its casual abandonment of even a fig leaf of impartiality ratifies a larger shift in the news landscape that reached its historical watershed at the Republican convention. That was when Fox News for the first time scored a ratings victory over every other network, the Big Three broadcast networks included.

Fox's feat has since been trivialized by most of its rivals as the inevitable triumph of a partisan channel speaking to its faithful. But there's something else at work here. It's not just that Fox is so good at pandering to its core constituency but that its competition is so weak at providing the hard-hitting, trustworthy news that might draw an alternative crowd. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes aren't stupid. They have seized upon that news vacuum in the marketplace and filled it with fast-paced, news-like bloviation that can be more entertaining (and often no less informative) to watch than its rivals even if its bias gives you heartburn.

What much of the other news media have offered as an alternative has not been an alternative at all. At some point after 9/11, the news business jumped the shark and started relaying unchallenged administration propaganda — though with less zeal and showbiz pizazz than Fox. The notorious March 2003 presidential news conference at which not a single probing question was asked by the entire White House press corps heralded the broader Foxification to come. As Michael Massing, a frequent critic of this newspaper and others, put it on PBS's NewsHour, the failure of the American news media to apply proper skepticism to the administration's stated rationale for war in Iraq is "one of the most serious institutional failures of the press" since our slide into Vietnam. Mr. Massing attributes some of this to the fear of challenging a president then at the height of his popularity. Whatever the explanation — and there are many, depending on the news organization — the net effect was that the entire press came off as Fox Lite. The motive to parrot the administration line may not have been ideological, as it was at Fox, but since the misinformation was the same, news consumers can't be blamed for finding that a distinction without a difference.

The W.M.D. flimflam was hardly the last time that government propaganda supplanted journalism. Though the chagrined major newspapers have since worked hard to compensate for their prewar lapses, the electronic media that give most Americans their news have often lagged behind, especially cable. From Jessica Lynch to "Mission Accomplished" to, most recently, the bogus charges of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, there is a tendency to give administration-favored fiction credibility first, often cementing the spin into fact well before the tough questions are asked (if they're ever asked). It's a damning measure of the news media's failure to provide a persuasive dose of reality as an antidote to Washington fairy tales that so many Americans came to believe that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis, not Saudis. A Newsweek poll just two weeks ago shows that 42 percent of Americans (among them, 32 percent of Democrats) still believe that Saddam was "directly involved" in the 9/11 attacks.

Writing in The Los Angeles Times, Ben Wasserstein dissected the Swift boat controversy as a case in point of how the process works in the right-wing press. After The Washington Post reported on Aug. 19 that the military records of one of John Kerry's principal Swift boat accusers, Larry Thurlow, "contradicted Thurlow's version of events and confirmed Kerry's," the scoop was either ignored entirely or distorted beyond recognition by The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and every Fox News talking head except one (John Kasich). From there, it was off to the races. Once Fox sets the agenda, and its allies in the administration, talk radio and the Internet ride herd, its rivals want to get in on the act, if only out of ratings envy and sheer inertia. Though the best-selling "Unfit for Command" was the work of a longtime Kerry antagonist and a writer best known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic comments on a right-wing Web forum, its facts were challenged on TV at a far slower pace than the books of Seymour Hersh and Kitty Kelley, whose reporting was targeted in advance by administration talking points handed out before the books could even be read.

In this environment, even a beloved right-wing anecdote of flyweight content, like Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it!," can overwhelm all other headlines in the 24/7 news ethosphere. Afghanistan, tumbling into chaos, has all but fallen off the TV map. So to some extent has Iraq. How many Americans know just how much of the country has been ceded to the insurgents? Perhaps only Armageddon there or in North Korea can change the subject from George W. Bush's National Guard career, a story that has been known since The Boston Globe first reported it in May 2000, and whose embarrassing outline would remain the same even if "60 Minutes" had never done its piece.

Any sideshow that can turn the press itself into the subject, whether it's about typewriter fonts or "Crossfire" hosts doing double duty on the Kerry campaign, serves an administration that would like to distract attention from its defeats in the current war, from Abu Ghraib to Fallujah to Tora Bora. When the press isn't creating its own embarrassments, the administration will step in to intimidate and undermine journalists who don't regurgitate its approved narrative. That impulse was most nakedly revealed when a principal architect of the administration's Iraq policy, Paul Wolfowitz, blamed bad news from the occupation on the cowardice of reporters too "afraid to travel" beyond Baghdad to gather all the festive developments. (Mr. Wolfowitz later apologized, but only after he had been repeatedly chastised for slurring the some 30 reporters who had been killed covering his war.)

Between the White House and Fox's smears of the mainstream press and the mainstream press's own scandals and failings of will, the toll on the entire news media's position in our culture has been enormous. A Pew Research Center survey published in June found that the credibility of all news sources is low, in some cases falling precipitously since the start of the Bush administration: major newspapers, the broadcast networks, the cable news networks and PBS alike.

The news about the news could well get worse. One media critic, Tom Rosenstiel, believes we're seeing the end of network news altogether as its audience slips more and more into the Depends demographic and its corporate masters cut back its air time and budgets. His theory will be tested soon enough when the first of the Big Three anchors, Tom Brokaw, retires at NBC after the election. Mr. Brokaw's successor is Brian Williams, now most famous for the ridicule rightly heaped on him by Jon Stewart for his inability to articulate a single question for Al Sharpton during a live interview at the Democratic convention. The future of ABC News could also soon be in play, depending on who succeeds Michael Eisner at Disney — and under what fiscal imperatives from its board.

Should network news ride into the sunset, bargain-budgeted 24/7 cable will inherit the news franchise in our TV culture. That would be the final victory for Fox News. The only hope for a successful alternative is not to fight Fox's fire with imitation Fox fire in the form of another partisan network but to reinvent the wheel with a network that prizes news over endless left/right crossfire. Against the backdrop of what looks to be an indefinite war, there might even be a market for it. In the meantime, Carville and Begala, in keeping with the self-immolating tradition of the Kerry campaign, have handed the Bush campaign and its Fox auxiliary one hell of a gift.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clueless; frankrich; nambla; oreilly
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1 posted on 09/18/2004 10:35:55 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax
NYTIMES

POT-->KETTLE-->BLACK

2 posted on 09/18/2004 10:37:08 AM PDT by tsmith130 ("Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking."" - GWB)
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To: Pikamax

I love how the liberals howl when one network gives conservatives a fair shake. After they controlled media for 40 years.


3 posted on 09/18/2004 10:39:58 AM PDT by somemoreequalthanothers (Warning: I have a brain under the tinfoil!)
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To: Pikamax
The campiest recent example

Only the top of the second paragrapah for Frank Rich to flaunt his notorious behavioral disorder. That's enough. Thanks.

Click.

4 posted on 09/18/2004 10:40:43 AM PDT by angkor
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To: Pikamax

I read half way down before I realized that I was reading a hatchet job from Frank Rich. He's as catty as Dowd. In fact has anybody seen Rich and Dowd together at the same time?


5 posted on 09/18/2004 10:40:46 AM PDT by Thebaddog (Dogs for Bush!)
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To: Pikamax
'...most recently, the bogus charges of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, there is a tendency to give administration-favored fiction credibility first'.

How can they bitch about Fox being GOPTV, in the same article they push the DNC talking points. The proponderance of evidence is clearly on the SBVT side, but the DNC/MSM act as though the SBVT has thoroughly been disproven and haven't even bother to insist that Kerry release his records like Bush.

6 posted on 09/18/2004 10:42:18 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Pikamax

I don't watch O'Reilly any more since his head got to big to fit on my tv screen.


7 posted on 09/18/2004 10:44:01 AM PDT by vladog
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To: Pikamax

They sure do hate it when they are getting their a**'s kicked!


8 posted on 09/18/2004 10:44:06 AM PDT by stockpirate (Kerry; supported by, financed by, trained by, guided by, revered by, in favor of, Communists.)
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To: Pikamax
Whatever the explanation — and there are many, depending on the news organization — the net effect was that the entire press came off as Fox Lite

Oh yes, clearly, the press has been too friendly to Bush, that's why they're having problems.

9 posted on 09/18/2004 10:45:36 AM PDT by JohnnyZ ("The common man doesn't look at me as some rich witch." --Teresa Heinz Kerry)
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To: Pikamax
This guy needs to get back on his medication. He makes so many points that are totally and completely wrong and EASILY refutable that the whole article is a clear joke!

Talk about bias. Talk about "whoring" ... he has his head up the rectal cavity of the DNC and their talking points that I am surprised that he can see anything but brown.

Sure the Fox Network could be associated with the Republicans. That is because for years, the media has been so biased for the Democrat way of thinking that when a new channel comes along and trys to move to the center (and even if we concede that it is a little slanted to the right ...) then to wacko lefties - Fox looks like a big-time partner to the VRWC. But where do you begin to refute Frank Rich. How much time do we have? (And why bother trying - because when they are off their meds, they can't be reasoned with anyway!)

Mike

10 posted on 09/18/2004 10:46:40 AM PDT by Vineyard
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To: Pikamax

Bill O'Reilly is a professional con man who smirks and smiles all the way to the bank, probably without a single sincere thought about politics. I'd rather play checkers with my dog than watch his foolishness on t.v.


11 posted on 09/18/2004 10:46:49 AM PDT by TheCrusader ("the frenzy of the Mohammedans has devastated the churches of God" Pope Urban II (c 1097 a.d.))
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To: Pikamax
The Dano-saur at DNCBS is calling for The President “answer the charges”, and prove that he wasn’t AWOL or defy a direct order to take a physical 35 years ago. Now it is time for Dan Rather-criminal to answer his questions. Why did you knowingly use obviously forged documents to bring charges against President Bush? Why did you try to defraud the American People with your false charges? Who was the source of your forged documents. Until he answers these questions he is guilty of forgery and defrauding the American Public.

In a day when docu-fiction is the rule and the Dirty Rat Michael Mooron is the standard bearer for the Stone-age press then we will play by their rules. Dan Rather is guilty until he can prove himself innocent and in this case it is very likely true. If Kitty Kelly can drudge up sludge with no proof from 30 years ago then we have more than enough proof to consider Dan Rather-guilty. This was the co-ordinated attack from the DNC to damage our President for the Yaaaawn Kerry campaign.

Forging military documents is a criminal offense although someone as powerful as Rather won’t be convicted like one of us would. This was a powerful man using the power of the Mainstream media and the clout of 60 Minutes to topple a government. 60 Minutes was the foundation of investigative TV and has 30 years of distinguished journalism behind it. Unfortunately we got a glimpse into how honest that journalism is. This was the rule rather than the exception as we got a glimpse of their sources, especially the anonymous variety. This time his hatred and desparation made him go off the abyss and into the complete fabrication of evidence. How could he not notice the Kinko’s Fax return line??? Nice that they whited that out before they put it on their Webpage which added 15 mins to Howlin & Co exposure!

If Dino-Dan thinks that W should answer questions from false evidence then Dan needs to answer questions about why he used forged evidence. His charges have absolutely no substance but these charges are valid. So Dan, why did you put these forged documents and signatures of a dead Military Officer on your news program??

This is what happens when 95% of the Stone-age press worships at the feet of moral relitivists like bull clinton. The art of “spin”, or lies as it was called pre-clinton becomes varying degrees of lying. GW has the truth on his side just as the Swifties do. Yaaaawn Tax & Kerry and DNCBS only have lies on their side and must hide from the issues. In comes this mudslinging story and the high risk phony documents that are scrutinized by the Inter-news. The evidence gets blown away in a matter of minutes and the fraud is exposed to the entire world. It’s a new day and the Fathers of Freedom would be proud.

Dano-saur Rather-guilty can resign and DNCBS can apologize to the country for their criminal activity but it won’t matter. The Stone-age press has exposed itself for the Rat spokesman that it is and will never be believed again. They can pretend to be more balanced but whenever they use their well worn phrases, “sources inside the .....” ears will hear “false documents” and a huge mountain of salt will be added. For Dan, he needs to take his own advice and, “answer the charges!” In the Michael Mooron, Kitty Katty world, your found guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent!

Pray for W and The Truth

12 posted on 09/18/2004 10:48:03 AM PDT by bray (Nam Vets Rock!!)
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To: tsmith130

The NY Times and concepts of journalistic or any other type of integrity are at opposite ends of an ever expanding universe.


13 posted on 09/18/2004 10:48:44 AM PDT by elephantlips
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To: Pikamax
The Bush campaign doesn't have to enlist Fox hosts for its staff since they're willing to whore for it without even being asked.

The NY Times has been pimping for the Democrats for over 50 years. What a joke.

14 posted on 09/18/2004 10:50:37 AM PDT by NewMediaFan (Fake but accurate)
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To: Pikamax

Frank Rich works for a newspaper that has not endorsed a Republican for president since Eisenhower - and only because he was so popular. So everything coming out Frank Rich and others is nothing but crap.


15 posted on 09/18/2004 10:51:02 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (I am poster #48)
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To: anyone

I don't see what's wrong with Bill o'Rielly!?

When I am off my meds, I am GANDOR!! Feel my Sword of truth!! !!....
Sorry.......

So..he "trys" to play up his " can-YOU-guess-if-I-am-REALLY- an-egotist-taking-my-part-lightly" act.

Better get off before this turns into a " HATE BILL" type thread.( YOU should have seen ANOTHER thread!! doesn't ANYONE like him??!!)

As a kid...I am always "leery" of people who TELL ME that THEY are " trying to look out for me " if you know what I mean. It's like watching KERRY try to SKATE BOARD!!.....dude.

Tom

But GREAT POST!! Thanks for the info!


16 posted on 09/18/2004 10:51:34 AM PDT by AirBorn
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To: Pikamax

" G.O.P. TV"

I agree, this is insain bias. But I dissagree about GOP TV. Fox news actually lets conservatives have a voice, and doesn't spew veiled contempt on republicans. That's such an amazing difference than what America is used to that they're being erroneously called "GOP TV".


17 posted on 09/18/2004 10:53:52 AM PDT by mudblood
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To: NewMediaFan

One thing Mr. Rich fails to mention is giving credit to the network who has the better message and reports on the party telling it....Dims just do not understand why people who go to a voting booth or turn on a TV station that if it is not in their favor something is WRONG?

I think the left has failed the middle to upper middle class and thats what America basically is......campaigning to radicals, the poor and minorities constantly is not what one needs in its voter base.....The Dims need more people in the know and I am not sure that is possible...Once you know you vote and view REPUBBIE!


18 posted on 09/18/2004 10:54:22 AM PDT by Republic Rocker
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To: Pikamax
So many words. So little to say.

One paragraph would have been both time saving and more funtional.

Something like ... The N.Y. Times thinks O'Reilly will be leaving Fox [oh how I wish] and taking Rathers job at C B/S very soon.

19 posted on 09/18/2004 10:55:16 AM PDT by G.Mason (A war mongering, red white and blue, military industrial complex, Al Qaeda incinerating American.)
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To: Pikamax
That impulse was most nakedly revealed when a principal architect of the administration's Iraq policy, Paul Wolfowitz, blamed bad news from the occupation on the cowardice of reporters too "afraid to travel" beyond Baghdad to gather all the festive developments. (Mr. Wolfowitz later apologized, but only after he had been repeatedly chastised for slurring the some 30 reporters who had been killed covering his war.)

And where is John Kerry's apology for slandering our fighting men and women?

God bless our troops wherever they may be.

20 posted on 09/18/2004 10:56:54 AM PDT by JusticeTalion (Vulcans never bluff.)
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To: Republic Rocker

If Bill O'Reilly keeps it up, his ratings will drop as fast as Kerry's.


21 posted on 09/18/2004 10:57:47 AM PDT by sarasotarepublican
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To: Pikamax

The NYT accusing a news organization of bias. It doesn't get any more rich than that.


22 posted on 09/18/2004 10:58:08 AM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (God bless Senator Zell Miller.)
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To: Pikamax
The campiest recent example of its [Fox] own bias came during the Republican convention when Mr. O'Reilly played host to two second-tier G.O.P. publicity hounds, Georgette Mosbacher and Monica Crowley...

Hey Rich -- the difference is Begala and Carville have ALWAYS been Democratic Campaigners as hosts of the Clinton News Network.

And btw -- Crowley and Mossbacher DO NOT work for Dubya's Campaign, do they?

But to make things fair, Fox should do away with Hannity and Colmes, and instead couple Ollie North with Ann Coulter.

Now THAT might a Crossfire equivolent.

23 posted on 09/18/2004 10:59:23 AM PDT by F16Fighter
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To: Pikamax
Still waiting for Rich to get it right even once.

Never happen.

24 posted on 09/18/2004 11:05:19 AM PDT by OldFriend (It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given US freedom of the press)
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To: F16Fighter

Rich and O'Reilly share a common trait. To them, its me, myself, I, and then theres the rest of the 'far right'.


25 posted on 09/18/2004 11:05:33 AM PDT by Dat Mon (clever tagline under construction)
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To: F16Fighter

The column Rich wrote after our Presidents speech at the Republican Convention was the craziest thing I have read in my entire life.....NUTZ!!....so me, being me I went to the NYT forum for him and told him so....I was beaten to DEATH over there, by such irrational comments and slurs I gave up after posting about 100 times hahahahahahhahahaa....these losers dont care what they say or post, they come off to themselves as having won over what you have said ... they are arrogant and delusional and DANGEROUS .. I got a thing about the new lineup coming on Public Radio.. I've written them probably a gazllion times ( gazllion Lib word ) since President Bush was elected, both when they write me for money and just when Im ticked off.....seems THEY are FINALLY listening and I think it has to do with MONEY!!


26 posted on 09/18/2004 11:05:49 AM PDT by ArmyBratCutie
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To: vladog
I don't watch O'Reilly any more since his head got to big to fit on my tv screen.

...and his brain shrunk inversely proportionally!

27 posted on 09/18/2004 11:07:38 AM PDT by Fruitbat
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To: Pikamax
Frank...

I feel your pain !

Better put some ice on it !

28 posted on 09/18/2004 11:10:07 AM PDT by Wil H
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To: Pikamax

I could not read past the first paragraph, so I really can't comment on the article. But I read some great posts below it and I can understand exactly what the article is about.

Once again, Freepers help me stay informed, and it's a job well done.


29 posted on 09/18/2004 11:13:02 AM PDT by whereasandsoforth (Second Amendment Spoken Here)
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To: Pikamax

Let me see if I have this right: CNN is losing viewers
because of its partial left-wing tilt and viewers are tuning out.
But, FoxNews is gaining viewers for being partial as well- to the GOP ?
I missed something here...help me out.


30 posted on 09/18/2004 11:15:41 AM PDT by Duffboy
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To: Pikamax

FNC is the only balanced news coverage on TV. All the other networks are to the left of center.


31 posted on 09/18/2004 11:17:32 AM PDT by Uncle Hal
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To: Pikamax

O'Bill is an idiot. So what if he gets something "right" once in a while? So do Dems...that doesn't mean we should deify them for it.


32 posted on 09/18/2004 11:20:07 AM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: Pikamax

Pardon me Mr. Rich, but I couldn't force myself to finish reading your article.

"Fox News IS GOP TV". Not true, but that isn't what matters. What matters is all those folks voting with their remotes for Fox.

And this is what is killing the liberals more then anything. They are outnumbered. Outnumbered in the House, outnumbered in the Senate, outnumbered in state Governorships, and no voice in the Whitehouse.

And finally, they are losing their grip on the balance of power in the media.

Are we witnessing the fall of Communism in the MSM? It's starting to look that way.

If a liberal falls in the forest, but no one hears it, does it make a sound? The answer is yes, but, it doesn't matter.



33 posted on 09/18/2004 11:23:27 AM PDT by planekT
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To: Pikamax
1) If Fox is so tied to the Repubs, then where is thier Stephanopolous or Russert (ie. person delivering news/news analysis (not opinion) that worked for the Repubs)?

2) "Jumped the shark" has so jumped the shark.

34 posted on 09/18/2004 11:25:47 AM PDT by ottothedog
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To: Pikamax

Isn't it telling that so many Americans, more every day, see through this BS that Rich is spewing? Libs just don't get it and "That's The Way It Is" (as one old lib reporter used to say).


35 posted on 09/18/2004 11:30:22 AM PDT by BillyCrockett
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To: Thebaddog

I saw them together on the Imus show not long ago. It was hard to tell which of them whined the longest without taking a breath.


36 posted on 09/18/2004 11:32:20 AM PDT by metalcor
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To: Thebaddog
In fact has anybody seen Rich and Dowd together at the same time?

Dowd is more of a man than Rich will ever be.
37 posted on 09/18/2004 11:33:56 AM PDT by over3Owithabrain
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To: over3Owithabrain

yep she is and would be better looking if she'd shave more often!!


38 posted on 09/18/2004 11:38:17 AM PDT by ArmyBratCutie
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To: ArmyBratCutie
I think that this election is coalescing a far left coalition of fringe crackpots, nihilists, and otherwise mentally challenged individuals. If Dubya wins in a landslide, look for a major run on Prozac.
39 posted on 09/18/2004 11:40:46 AM PDT by Dat Mon (clever tagline under construction)
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To: Dat Mon

Dat Mon Im gonna take that as a stock tip!!! hehehhe


40 posted on 09/18/2004 11:44:08 AM PDT by ArmyBratCutie
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To: Pikamax
My email response to these charlatans will consist of *this* cartoon:


41 posted on 09/18/2004 11:49:42 AM PDT by bolobaby
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To: ArmyBratCutie

You bet!
I was talkin to my mom last night and she told about an incident recently, where she ran into an old friend of hers, who she doesnt see much these days. Now this ex-friend is intelligent, an ex-teacher, and is an avid Catholic church going person. When she met my mom, she had a glare in her eye, a quiet rage I suppose, and she told mom how she was busy these days reading books on politics. Then, she added, "I dont suppose they would be of any interest to YOU !" in a smart, sarcastic, mocking manner. ( She knows my mom is for Bush). Now what does that tell you about the polarization in this country, its unlike anything Ive ever seen. Where are we gonna go as a country after this election?


42 posted on 09/18/2004 11:55:59 AM PDT by Dat Mon (clever tagline under construction)
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To: Pikamax

"It's a damning measure of the news media's failure to provide a persuasive dose of reality as an antidote to Washington fairy tales that so many Americans came to believe that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis, not Saudis. A Newsweek poll just two weeks ago shows that 42 percent of Americans (among them, 32 percent of Democrats) still believe that Saddam was "directly involved" in the 9/11 attacks.


Even before the`9/11 report came out:````````````````````````````````````````````
from the news.telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/14/wterr114.xml
12/14/2003

"However, the tantalising detail provided in the intelligence document uncovered by Iraq's interim government suggests that Atta's involvement with Iraqi intelligence may well have been far deeper than has hitherto been acknowledged.

Written in the neat, precise hand of Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and one of the few named in the US government's pack of cards of most-wanted Iraqis not to have been apprehended, the personal memo to Saddam is signed by Habbush in distinctive green ink.

Headed simply "Intelligence Items", and dated July 1, 2001, it is addressed: "To the President of the Ba'ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you."

The first paragraph states that "Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.

"We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy."

There is nothing in the document that provides any clue to the identity of the "targets", although Iraqi officials say it is a coded reference to the September 11 attacks.

The second item contains a report of how Iraqi intelligence, helped by "a small team from the al-Qaeda organisation", arranged for an (unspecified) shipment from Niger to reach Baghdad by way of Libya and Syria.

Iraqi officials believe this is a reference to the controversial shipments of uranium ore Iraq acquired from Niger to aid Saddam in his efforts to develop an atom bomb, although there is no explicit reference in the document to this.

Habbush writes that the successful completion of the shipment was "the fruit of your excellent secret meeting with Bashir al-Asad (the Syrian president) on the Iraqi-Syrian border", and concludes: "May God protect you and save you to all Arab nations."

While it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the document is legitimate or a clever fake, Iraqi officials working for the interim government are convinced of its authenticity, even though they decline to reveal where and how they obtained it. "It is not important how we found it," said a senior Iraqi security official. "The important thing is that we did find it and the information it contains."

A leading member of Iraq's governing council, who asked not to be named, said he was convinced of the document's authenticity.

"There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network."

This is the second document published by this newspaper that appears to highlight Saddam's links with al-Qaeda. Earlier this year the Telegraph published details of another Iraqi intelligence document that indicated Saddam's regime was attempting to set up a meeting with Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, who was then based in Sudan.

Intelligence experts point out that a memo such as that written by Habbush would of necessity be vague and short. "Trained intelligence officers hate putting anything down in writing," said one former CIA officer. "You never know where it might turn up."

Certainly the memo's detail concerning Mohammed Atta and Abu Nidal fits in with the known movements of the two terrorists in the summer of 2001. Abu Nidal, the renegade Palestinian terrorist responsible for a wave of outrages in the 1980s, such as the 1985 bomb attacks on Rome and Vienna airports, was based in Baghdad, under Saddam's personal protection, for most of his career.

Having briefly relocated to Libya, Abu Nidal returned to Baghdad at some point in early 2001. At the time it was assumed that Saddam had lured the Palestinian terrorist back to help the Iraqi leader plan a number of terrorist attacks aimed at destabilising American plans to remove him.

In particular, Saddam wanted Abu Nidal to revive his network of "sleeper cells" in Europe and the Middle East to carry out a new wave of attacks. During 2001 Abu Nidal lived in a number of houses in the Baghdad area, including a spacious home in the al-Dora district where he is reported to have met Atta.

The relationship between Abu Nidal and Saddam, however, quickly turned sour, mainly because - as the Telegraph reported at the time - the ageing Palestinian leader was reluctant to accede to Saddam's request to train al-Qaeda fighters in sophisticated terrorist techniques.

Abu Nidal was murdered in August 2001, although the Iraqis tried to claim that he had committed suicide. Habbush appeared at a hastily arranged press conference in Baghdad in an attempt to persuade the sceptical Arab media that Abu Nidal had taken his own life after Iraqi investigators had uncovered a plot to assassinate Saddam.

Although Western intelligence agencies have attempted to trace Atta's movements in the months preceding September 11, there remain several periods during which his precise whereabouts are unknown. Having moved to Florida from Hamburg in 2000, Atta is known to have made at least two trips from the US to Europe in 2001.

In early January he flew to Madrid for a few days. His next confirmed trip was to Zurich in early July. In between, American investigators have concluded from a detailed examination of Atta's credit cards and phone records, that he spent most of the spring and early summer of 2001 in Florida, interspersed by occasional domestic trips. The only confirmed sighting of Atta during this period, however, was on April 26 when he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Florida.

This traffic offence, taken with other evidence collated by FBI agents, is one of the reasons that CIA officials have discounted the report that Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague earlier in the month (the Czech authorities claim Atta was in Prague on April 8). Yesterday the New York Times reported that Ani, who was taken into US custody last July, had told American interrogators that he had not met Atta in Prague.

"The Prague meeting does not appear very convincing," said Lorenzo Vidino, a terrorism analyst at The Investigative Project, a non-profit organisation that investigates international terrorism, in Washington. "But even if that meeting did not take place you have to remember that Atta used a large number of aliases when he travelled. It is not inconceivable that Atta slipped out of the US undetected sometime in the first half of 2001."

The US Congressional report into the September 11 attacks states that Atta used 16 to 17 known aliases, although American intelligence experts concede that there may have been others.

It is entirely conceivable, then, that Atta secretly made his way to Baghdad to undertake training with Abu Nidal a few months before the September 11 attacks. But as long as Saddam and his senior intelligence operatives remain at large, it is impossible to assess just how much they knew about, and were involved in, the planning and execution of the September 11 atrocities."

•Con Coughlin is the author of Saddam: The Secret Life (Macmillan)

this is just one tantalizing clue. Many have been found, approved or disproved...we will some day see a direct link from Saddam to 9/11 if only thru his minions. Meanwhile, the belief that the MSM scoff at, that 42% believe a direct connection, isbased on OUR GUT INSTINCTS that these bastards want to kill us, and are all in it together.


43 posted on 09/18/2004 12:08:13 PM PDT by bitt ("I'm Mad as Zell, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore." (CongressmanBillybob))
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To: Pikamax
""the failure of the American news media to apply proper skepticism to the administration's stated rationale for war in Iraq is "one of the most serious institutional failures of the press"

First the NY Times fabricates a lie that "finding stockpiles of WMDs" was a stated reason for the war, and now they bitch about the Old Media not attacking that "stated" reason.

44 posted on 09/18/2004 12:11:46 PM PDT by bayourod (Kerry would avenge the murder of my family by terrorists. Bush would prevent the murders.)
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To: Pikamax

'A Pew Research Center survey published in June found that the credibility of all news sources is low, in some cases falling precipitously since the start of the Bush administration: major newspapers, the broadcast networks, the cable news networks and PBS alike.'

Duh.

After seeing what happened after the 2000 election, there are very few intelligent people that believe the Democrats will not try ANYTHING it can to reverse the trend towards conservatism.

Very few believe the Old Media anymore. And Rich is a great example of why it should not be trusted.


45 posted on 09/18/2004 12:21:29 PM PDT by bitt ("I'm Mad as Zell, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore." (CongressmanBillybob))
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To: Pikamax
O'Reilly must be so pleased that Frank Rich of the New York Times agrees with him! I'm serious; this probably made his day.

Personally, I find the fact that Tucker Carlson is supposed to represent the "right" on Crossfire, even thought he recently wrote that he's not voting for Bush because W didn't rush back to DC on 9/11, much more odious. Tucker's been representing the Republican side for three years since he decided he won't vote to re-elect Bush! That's the real outrage.

46 posted on 09/18/2004 1:08:15 PM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: F16Fighter
And btw -- Crowley and Mossbacher DO NOT work for Dubya's Campaign, do they?

Besides, they were absolutely right about New York magazine. When I heard about the plans to do a photo spread on New York Republicans, I knew it was a bad idea. A few months ago, New York magazine had a picture of Rush Limbaugh on the cover regarding celebrity scandals, and they picked a 10-year-old, fat, unflattering picture of him, while all the rest of the celebs on the cover had good pictures of them.

Anyhow, the Repubs were justifiably outraged about the pics New York magazine took. They were so unflattering they looked like mug shots, for goodness sakes. New York magazine never prints unflattering photographs of anyone unless they are Republicans. If that isn't bias, I don't know what is.

47 posted on 09/18/2004 1:13:51 PM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: bray

>>60 Minutes was the foundation of investigative TV and has 30 years of distinguished journalism behind it.

That's debatable. 60 Minutes almost destroyed Audi in the U.S. with their "Unintended Acceleration" story, blaming same on the vehicle, rather than operator error, the true problem.

It is just like Lefties to blame an inanimate object, rather than the human. There are distinct parallels with how the lamesteam media and the Left regard firearms.


48 posted on 09/18/2004 1:21:27 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (hoplophobia is a mental aberration rather than a mere attitude)
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To: over3Owithabrain

The odd factoid that I have on Dowd is that she is dating the druggie producer of the West Wing that has been a democratic shill machine for years. I can't remember his name, but I recall that he was caught with a suitcase full of mushrooms in between rehab visits.


49 posted on 09/18/2004 2:01:13 PM PDT by Thebaddog (Dogs for Bush!)
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To: Pikamax
Fox News isn't "allegedly" G.O.P. TV — it is G.O.P. TV.

If it were only true....unfortunately we have to listen to liberal drivel from Alan Colmes, Susan Estrich, and Juan Williams while we are trying to hear the truth from Hannity, Brit Hume, et. al..

50 posted on 09/18/2004 2:14:00 PM PDT by Mogollon
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