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Analysis or news?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Here is one of the things which just hacks me off when I read a "news" story from the purportedly unbiased press. From a Reuter's report on the Annapolis summit:
Bush, unpopular because of the Iraq war and needing a legacy boost, arranged for a handshake between the two leaders next to the podium where he announced the agreement to start talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state.
It couldn't be that handshake would be a signal to the world that these weren't just another set of useless talks or anything. Certainly not, it was arranged for legacy purposes, of course. And, as you might imagine, the handshake had been covered previously in the article:
With a handshake, leaders of the United States, Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday launched immediate peace talks with the goal of forging a treaty within 13 months.
So the legacy claim is nothing but opinion ... in a news story. And they wonder why a majority of people think of them is anything but objective. And let's not even go into the great work those 3 levels of editors are doing.

(HT: Joel C)
 
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wait, who are palistine’s leaders? hamas or fatah?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Actually, this could be an opportunity for President Bush. If he can start a process that leads to the creation of a Palestinian state, then that will be a legacy powerful enough to overcome the mistakes in Iraq. I wish the President success.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
agreed, but that isn’t the point, Scott. Rueters touts itself as an unbiased, objective news provider. That was the Fourth or Fifth paragraph of the article, a paragraph that changed the entire tone of the report.

It had no business being there and was a sham on the part of the ’reporters’.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Joel, is it possible to have an unbiased news report?

It does appear to have been rewritten slightly:

Political weakness at home could hamper the leaders’ ability to maneuver. Unpopular wars in Iraq and Lebanon have hurt the standing of Bush and Olmert. Abbas in June lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists.

In need of a boost to his legacy before leaving office in January 2009, Bush arranged for a handshake between the two leaders next to the podium where he announced the agreement to start talks


I don’t see where that statement is inaccurate. Do you think that concern about a legacy and the PR of a handshake isn’t part of what motivated the White House to arrange this? Should they be silent on that? Perhaps the reporter was told as much by a white house staff member on background. I’m not sure why you’re assuming this is somehow skewed.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Joel, is it possible to have an unbiased news report?
Yes, quite possible: remove those lines of conjecture and you have just that! Hell, you can even talk about how their weak at home, seeing as that IS factual. After that, it’s baseless oppinion.
I don’t see where that statement is inaccurate.
Is if factual or is it conjecture, ask yourself that. Whether or not you AGREE with it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the writer’s OPINION being injected into a news article.

This isn’t one of your classes where the students already know where your ideologies lie and, therefore, take everything you say and hold it up against that light (at least, that would be the prudent thing to do to not just you, but any professor with a bias), it’s a news article which claims to be objective and non-biased.

I’m also not ’assuming’ it’s skewed: it IS skewed. If this were an editorial, I wouldn’t care: again, it’s expected, considering the source. But when they put editorialist comments in hard news their doing a disservice to their audience and ruining what little credibility they have left.

But who am I kidding. When educated people start making excuses about obvious opinion being injected into a news article because they agree with the opinion stated, the battle’s half lost.

Unless, of course, you mean to tell me you don’t understand the difference between facts and opinions.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Is if factual or is it conjecture, ask yourself that. Whether or not you AGREE with it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the writer’s OPINION being injected into a news article.
So you’re asserting that the reporter wasn’t told by White House staff or other sources that the handshake was considered important symbolism and that Bush is thinking of his legacy? And, of course, every story has lines of conjecture. I doubt you’ll find many news stories anywhere that don’t include conjecture, conjecture is required to report. Here’s another news story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071128/ts_nm/iraq_usa_journalists_dc_1


Apparently reporters think the US is painting too rosey a picture of what’s happening in Iraq. Have you complained about the conjecture in the media when it’s seemed to support your perspective? Should reporters who, based on their discussions, are convinced that Bush’s desire for a legacy is behind some of his actions refuse to state it? I guess we just have to disagree on this.

Bottom line: all media stories are biased. Not only does opinion overtly get put in, but the choice of what to cover, how to word it, what not to say, who not to interview or quote, etc., all reflect bias.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
So you’re asserting that the reporter wasn’t told by White House staff or other sources that the handshake was considered important symbolism and that Bush is thinking of his legacy?
Is that cited anywhere in the report? Did it say ’according to a senior administration official’ as it normally would?

Until otherwise sourced, it’s biased conjecture.

As for your nonsense on the journalists: the journalists themselves have been downplaying or outright ignoring any and all good news from Iraq for years, bombarding us instead with every mishap, big or small. While I’m not saying mistakes shouldn’t be reported, when you only report the bad and not the good, there’s a problem.

The problem is that these journalists never leave the Green Zone. They purposefully ignore anything that might be ’good news’ because it doesn’t fit their agenda: after all, is it not the media’s primary power to set the Agenda?

And why the hell are they complaining? If they don’t like it so much, go over there, investigate, and write your own damned story. you’re a frigging journalist, not some innocent bystander.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://

 
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