Weekend Wars: Al Jazeera vs. American Journalism

There is a strange wind blowing through the world these days.

Changing and rearranging structures which have stood throughout all of our lives.

Will some of our most cherished American values be swept up and stuffed under the rug in this great global house cleaning?

Some disturbing bits of info are leading me to think so...but before I get into it, let's take a little flashback.

While We Were Sleeping



It was the summer of 2004, jobs and dollars were freely flowing and I was dating a hot little newspaper intern in New York. She was a few weeks out of college and still believed real life was like her college campus.

Beneath her pretty girl exterior beat the heart of a thousand Birkenstock sandals, many a tree left un hugged and a train of thought which would have made Michael Moore skip a cheeseburger infusion or two.

Talking to her and not offending her was nearly impossible. Everything hurt her feelings. People were mean. Why couldn't we all be brothers and sisters?

She thought the New York Times was the fucking gospel and the New Yorker the lifeblood of Americana. Fifth Avenue was the world and SoHo was all that mattered.

The straw that broke the camel toe was when I told her:

You can trust the New York Times about as much as you can trust Al Jazeera to report the truth.

This was back when the Jayson Blair affair was still relatively fresh news.

She'd never heard of Blair but was deeply offended by the comparison, nonetheless.

Al Jazeera was, at this time, the largest anti-American mouthpiece in the world.

Whether you wanted to say they were financed by Hezbollah or the Ayatollah, you definitely would have been right in calling them a partisan propaganda machine with little journalistic integrity beyond the agenda of their financiers.

Fast forward not even a full decade and its Al Jazeera winning accolades the world over for their coverage of the recent MENA unrest and quickly burgeoning reputation as a righteous global news source.

Hey, when Muammar Gaddafi calls you the biggest enemy,that's a pretty big compliment for a democratic journalistic organization.

For those of you guys still believing that CNN is where the world looks to for information...times sure have changed quickly.


When We Awoke



In her recent defense of the bloated budget, Hillary Clinton gave backhanded praise to Al Jazeera, as well as, Russia Today and CCTV... ominously stating the following:

Our private media cannot fill that gap. Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I've seen it in a couple of countries and it's quite instructive.

Scary stuff for those that can put two and two together outside of an Excel cell.

The United States Secretary of State is actually saying that America needs less freedom of the press.

This in the wake of: the financial crisis, the flash crash, the Nasdaq and Morgan Stanley hacks, etc...

Do we really want to have the government deciding which of these bits of information are worth our time?

Is Al Jazeera or Putinvision really what we need to model ourselves on?

With information becoming more and more of a weapon; how high of a price would you pay to stay best armed?

Is freedom of speech and the freedom of the press something that we will have to learn to live without?

For the sake of... the greater good?

If America's goal is to spread democracy,why are we seeing more of our liberties under attack...by our own government, right here at home?

Who would have thought that the U.S. would be looking to Al Jazeera for answers...

Comments (115)

Mar 6, 2011

Here is the thing. I think most news has a bias. This doesn't mean they are bad or worthless, just that you should be cognizant of this and take everything you hear with a grain of salt. With that said, Al Jazeera is probably one of the top middle eastern news sources (BBC being the other one).

If you want to hear about US news, AJ probably isn't where you want to go.

Also, for everyone that continually shits on US news, please realize our country is the size of your continent. We are also sandwiched between two calm countries (Mexico is a mess, be we hear plenty about them in US news).

Mar 6, 2011

OK so just to clarify ...When you say that Al Jazeera is becoming a more prestigous news network , you mean exit op-wise?

Mar 6, 2011

America is loosing its influence. It needs a new brand. It can be named FOX-STD. i.e straight through democracy (what were you thinking?!)

Mar 6, 2011

Losing our influence? Who the fuck is watching US news outside of USA? Only time I look at Al Jazeera is when I want to know what is going on with these revolts. Once they are done with I will rarely if ever look at their site.

I am sure if someone in the ME wants to know what is going on with the US senate race they might want to check out CNN of Fox or something.

Mar 6, 2011
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

The straw that broke the camel toe

+1 SB if i had any

Mar 6, 2011

Midas, to be perfectly honest, I think you're looking at this the wrong way. I think Hillary is probably just talking about how Al-Jazeera is pulling ahead as far as ratings and accolades, and American news media needs to play catch-up. Newscasting is a competitive business, and the fact is more and more people overseas turn to BBC or al-Jazeera for news. Agree with Ant, every news organization has its bias, our networks included. The founding fathers had a lot of disdain for the press for that very reason. The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 6, 2011
Pfalzer:

Midas, to be perfectly honest, I think you're looking at this the wrong way. I think Hillary is probably just talking about how Al-Jazeera is pulling ahead as far as ratings and accolades, and American news media needs to play catch-up. Newscasting is a competitive business, and the fact is more and more people overseas turn to BBC or al-Jazeera for news. Agree with Ant, every news organization has its bias, our networks included. The founding fathers had a lot of disdain for the press for that very reason. The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Read this part over carefully. Though you're right in your analysis, I think you're not stopping to look at the subtext. IMHO, she is clearly saying that there need to be more provisions in the federal budget for a government operated media machine. Slippery slope from there.

Clinton said private media is not good enough to handle the job: "Our private media cannot fill that gap. Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling."

Meanwhile she says Al-Jazeera, CCTV and Russia Today are killing it: "Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I've seen it in a couple of countries and it's quite instructive."

Clinton says she is leading an effort to spread U.S. propaganda through new media, with twitter feeds in Arabic and Farsi.

Mar 6, 2011
Midas Mulligan Magoo:
Pfalzer:

Midas, to be perfectly honest, I think you're looking at this the wrong way. I think Hillary is probably just talking about how Al-Jazeera is pulling ahead as far as ratings and accolades, and American news media needs to play catch-up. Newscasting is a competitive business, and the fact is more and more people overseas turn to BBC or al-Jazeera for news. Agree with Ant, every news organization has its bias, our networks included. The founding fathers had a lot of disdain for the press for that very reason. The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Read this part over carefully. Though you're right in your analysis, I think you're not stopping to look at the subtext. IMHO, she is clearly saying that there need to be more provisions in the federal budget for a government operated media machine. Slippery slope from there.

Clinton said private media is not good enough to handle the job: "Our private media cannot fill that gap. Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling."

Meanwhile she says Al-Jazeera, CCTV and Russia Today are killing it: "Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I've seen it in a couple of countries and it's quite instructive."

Clinton says she is leading an effort to spread U.S. propaganda through new media, with twitter feeds in Arabic and Farsi.

I see your point, Midas--within that context. Either way, she clearly doesn't think US media is doing a good job of portraying the country positively. But let's be honest--anyone who judges an entire country just from the content of its TV shows like Baywatch, pure fiction, is incredibly ignorant.

But think about what you're saying here--as Secretary of State, does she really have the power to do something like set up a government media apparatus? I seriously don't know; she's a diplomat, so it could just be all lip service on her part; everyone knows all politicians do it. And don't we already have public media like PBS and NPR, who also aren't the most pro-American stalwarts in the world either?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 6, 2011
Pfalzer:

The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

I suspect that people like there biased news. In other words, I suspect that the customers are getting what they want in the news industry. Since politics is the religion of modernity and people are fairly stuck in their ideologies, I suspect people watch the news to be entertained and feel good about themselves (as opposed to being challenged and actually learning something).

Mar 6, 2011
econ:
Pfalzer:

The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

I suspect that people like there biased news. In other words, I suspect that the customers are getting what they want in the news industry. Since politics is the religion of modernity and people are fairly stuck in their ideologies, I suspect people watch the news to be entertained and feel good about themselves (as opposed to being challenged and actually learning something).

There is definitely a market for it--people like to be agreed with and preached to because it's safe. But at the same time, the New York Times achieved success because it tried to independent and challenging in a time when every other newspaper was hyper-partisan. That paper's decline has been in part due to its abandonment of those principles. I think it's getting to the point where it could happen again with a new media source.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 9, 2011
Pfalzer:

The world (ourselves included) needs more high-quality journalism that represents the facts accurately and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Where's the profit in that?

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Mar 6, 2011

I find it funny this post comes up. While I am a mere college senior with pennys to trade in comparison to some of the BSD's of wall street, I have been keeping a close eye on the worldwide news. While in our trading room at school in class, I have CNN, Fox News, and Al Jazeera all up next to my trading account and have been doing pretty well for myself with a few oil ETFs (27% gain respectively in the past week alone).

Before this week, I had never even googled al jazeera. Most students think it's a terrorist network. But alas, its one more source of news that's closer to the heart of the promised land that is mesopotamia (or as the daily show puts it, mess-o-potamia). While its interesting to hear conflicting reports from different news outlets, I am trying to figure out if the market for oil is in favor of one news network over another. Sure CNN is the liberal network and Fox News caters to the more conservative audience. But Al Jazeera is something fresh. And they even have an app for those of you with "smart phones" (if it was really smart, it would tell me mondays closing numbers this evening).

Anyway, kudos on the article Midas. I think the younger audience really needs to take this in and be a bit more open to worldwide media outlets instead of Glenn Beck and Andersoon Cooper/Wolf Blitzer.

For those of you still in college, Piers Morgan tonight is not news.

Mar 6, 2011

First of all I don't really see how Hilary Clinton in any way stated we need less freedom of the press. Maybe she was saying our private (cable) news is full of crap and the most watched cable news network in America is an international joke. That is actually pretty true.

I have a few friends who work for Al-Jazeera and it is a very well run news source. Allot of the anchors are ex-bbc actually. And yeah they were pretty anti-american in 2004, but so was the rest of the world. Fox news now is also pretty anti-muslim, so I don't really see the difference here with regards to getting unbiased news. Also worth mentioning that Fox news won the right to lie to its viewers in 2004 under protection of the first amendment.

We need a law in this country that prevents news networks from purposely misleading or putting spin on what they broadcast. If you watch the bbc the way they broadcast is based on factual information, the inflection in their voice is flat and they do not try to impart any bias during the broadcast. It is a fairly subtle difference, and yeah it may be more boring to watch, but it is how the news should be presented.

Mar 6, 2011
awm55:

Fox news now is also pretty anti-muslim, so I don't really see the difference here with regards to getting unbiased news. Also worth mentioning that Fox news won the right to lie to its viewers in 2004 under protection of the first amendment.

We need a law in this country that prevents news networks from purposely misleading or putting spin on what they broadcast. If you watch the bbc the way they broadcast is based on factual information, the inflection in their voice is flat and they do not try to impart any bias during the broadcast. It is a fairly subtle difference, and yeah it may be more boring to watch, but it is how the news should be presented.

Exactly what i was thinking. US news is more concerned about being entertaining in a way to keep an audience.

Mar 6, 2011
awm55:

We need a law in this country that prevents news networks from purposely misleading or putting spin on what they broadcast. If you watch the bbc the way they broadcast is based on factual information, the inflection in their voice is flat and they do not try to impart any bias during the broadcast. It is a fairly subtle difference, and yeah it may be more boring to watch, but it is how the news should be presented.

Anybody else amused by the irony of this statement in a thread about freedom of the press?

Mar 6, 2011
econ:
awm55:

We need a law in this country that prevents news networks from purposely misleading or putting spin on what they broadcast. If you watch the bbc the way they broadcast is based on factual information, the inflection in their voice is flat and they do not try to impart any bias during the broadcast. It is a fairly subtle difference, and yeah it may be more boring to watch, but it is how the news should be presented.

Anybody else amused by the irony of this statement in a thread about freedom of the press?

Hmmm, bbc seems to do just fine by reprimanding or firing all broadcasters who stray from the facts and impart bias into the reporting. I don't think it is that insane to request that news networks are checked to ensure what they are reporting is factually correct. If news networks in this country are free to lie (and they are) then we have a problem. Perhaps a solution would be to have a disclaimer before all editorial content?

Mar 6, 2011

American news information have lost their prestige with the Iraq war. I was living abroad when that war broke, and I can tell you that the minute we invaded Iraq, everyone outside the US knew it was a worthless cause. The news media here bought and sold the story over and over, until the war itself went sour.

Al Jazeera, is no different than Fox news. They are presenting the news to the choir.

And I would agree with awm55 that BBC is probably less biased than any of the prominent news ogranization; NPR is also quite independent, but they will be defunded very soon.

Mar 6, 2011

Not sure I see how she said what you are saying. It seemed to me that she was pointing out the fact that all our major news organizations do is have a bunch of partisan talking heads yell at each other about political issues, not policies.

Mar 6, 2011

I am significantly less than impressed by quoting the Secretary of State completely out of context and deliberately misinterpreting her point. State Department propaganda is nothing new; do you not remember Radio Free Europe? Hilary Clinton is not saying anything close to what you allege she is saying; her statement has nothing to do with freedom of the press. It has to do with defending the State Department from irresponsible partisan hacks who want to cut spending without considering ROI.

Claiming that CNN and Fox News are American news channels is ludicrous; that's like calling The Sun representative of the British press. Anderson Cooper does some good stuff, there are a few other solid reporters on CNN, but I literally get a headache from 15 minutes of either. I could not imagine caring less about a hick with a shotgun staring down police in Illinois, which is the only thing they seem to be reporting on whenever I am unfortunate enough to be watching. For personal preferences, I listen to NPR and BBC World Service, and will sometimes watch 60 Minutes and Meet The Press, Face The Nation, or This Week; on very rare occasions, I'll watch PBS Evening News. I don't have time to sit around watching impolite talking heads who think volume substitutes for nuance. As for press journalism, all news outlets, the NYT included, have been hit severely by budget cuts, which has cut in to their ability to cover international news. For conflict coverage, AFP has traditionally and continues to be best-in-class; Al Jazeera is on the ascendency, but the fact that the NYT was not the best place to go for MENA coverage is not surprising, as it never has been.

If you want to discuss irresponsible writing, though, look no further than yourself. If you took a moment to consider what is causing the death of journalism, you would very clearly see it will result in anything but government control of what news is reported.

Mar 6, 2011

Whoa, in Midas's defense, he was essentially bringing up the fact that Al Jazeera is very popular among US news readers right now. Nothing wrong with that. No need to be overly harsh.

And to the commentor saying how US news lost their credibilty the second we invaded Iraq, shut the fuck up. CNN has no responsibility to that just as European news has no responsibility for European nations allowing ethnic genocide to happen right next door.

Mar 6, 2011
ANT:

Whoa, in Midas's defense, he was essentially bringing up the fact that Al Jazeera is very popular among US news readers right now. Nothing wrong with that. No need to be overly harsh.

And to the commentor saying how US news lost their credibilty the second we invaded Iraq, shut the fuck up. CNN has no responsibility to that just as European news has no responsibility for European nations allowing ethnic genocide to happen right next door.

Mea culpa. The first part of Midas's post is a reasoned point, and I don't have a problem with it. The second part is cheap sensationalism, and regrettable.

Mar 6, 2011
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Is freedom of speech and the freedom of the press something that we will have to learn to live without?

For the sake of... the greater good?

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we 'ought to have known better,' is to be treated as a human person made in God's image."
-- C.S. Lewis

Mar 6, 2011

Real easy to look at the raw stories behind the news blurb. That takes effort that many don't want to expend.

Looking back at history, I don't think our news has changed much.

Mar 6, 2011

American media don't know how to cover international news. BBC is the best at it.

Mar 6, 2011

There is definitely growing demand for Al Jazeera English here in the United States. Currently the channel is only available in the Washington DC area. Most cable providers don't generally carry the network and now a lot of interest is slowly developing for it.

This is mostly a result of the Middle East crises where Al Jazeera's coverage was significantly better than that of CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. While all those major networks were still trying to get situated over in Egypt when the protests broke out, Al Jazeera already had been covering the region for some time, even coming out with reports about the growing instability in the region before major protests broke out.

Al Jazeera certainly still has an image of being a terrorist supporting network due to its previous association with disseminating Al Qaeda messages across the globe (that and for simple minded folk Al Jazeera and Al Qaeda both start with Al... so therefore it must be foreign and terrorist supporting....) but in terms of reporting on the Middle East they've definitely delivered some excellent coverage, to the point that the MSM here in US has cited their work several times over the last couple of weeks.

Mar 6, 2011

Well done guys, three negs for making a post that other people agree with. I am more than happy to be the guy who stops the right wing circle jerk on these threads.

Mar 6, 2011

What "right wing circle jerk" are you referring to?

AWM, please tell me some more laws you think should be created because of what you think and feel.

This thread is about Al Jezeera becoming popular as of recent. It has nothing to do with right or left wing.

Mar 6, 2011
ANT:

What "right wing circle jerk" are you referring to?

AWM, please tell me some more laws you think should be created because of what you think and feel.

This thread is about Al Jezeera becoming popular as of recent. It has nothing to do with right or left wing.

Dude, he also made an inflammatory comment about Hilary Clinton trying to prevent freedom of the press. He pulled that out of his ass. There are no facts to back that up. If that is not right wing bias then I don't know what is.

And do you think that the press should be free to lie to push an agenda while telling their audience what they are reporting is factual?

Mar 6, 2011
awm55:

And do you think that the press should be free to lie to push an agenda while telling their audience what they are reporting is factual?

Ugh...yeah...I believe in freedom of speech. If I find a press outfit to be unfactual I will then choose another. If people don't look up facts for themselves, then they make a choice to be misinformed. If you have enough money to start your own network, and want to use it to tell me "the sky is red" all day...then have fun with that.

Mar 6, 2011

If I could subscribe to Al Jazeera English I absolutely would.

The quality of news at CNN has definitely come down in recent years. This is so evident by the fact they choose to cover people who should be non-events. Who the hell really cares what Lindsay Lohan's latest problem is? So what about the cast of the Jersey Shore? If I wanted to read about them I'd go to TMZ.com or some other mindless gossip magazine (God knows how many of those there are)

But I want news about relevant events that affect our country or affect others in the world.

To brooksbrotha. I wholeheartedly agree that Piers Morgan is not news.... He recently interviewed guests like Janet Jackson and the Kardashian sisters. If I wanted to see them, they have their reality TV shows where I could gawk and Kim for an hour if I so desired. But outside of that she hasn't contributed jack shit to our world.

That and their coverage of fringe events is causing more harm than any good. Honestly if they stopped covering every single little thing the Westboro Baptist Church decided to say or do, they wouldn't have nearly the voice and power that they do now. (That church is less than 20 people... yet they hold such a disproportionate amount of attention thanks to CNN)

Mar 6, 2011

Ok, I will give you that the OP might of busted out some RW stuff, but I don't think the comments have harped on that (mine sure haven't).

Do I think new agencies shouldn't lie to people? Yes, of course. Problem is, what is a lie. Fox News reports stuff that has a right leaning bias. CNN is left leaning. I think most of the stuff both of them report tends to highlight stuff that their viewers will like. While there might be some outright bullshit, most of the stuff is just tilted or one sided.

My point is this. The news is always like this and always will be. We have so many options to get different view points that the only way you are going to get people to see unbiased news is to sit in their house and read things to them.

Don't tell me some European news sources don't have anti American biases. Same thing with US news agencies. Are Chinese news agencies unbiased? Is Al Jazeera unbiased?

If you come into things knowing that there will be bias I think you are a head of the game.

Mar 6, 2011

I am watching CNN right now and they are talking about Charlie Sheen.

This is a joke.

Truth is, you don't need 24 hour news. When you have 24 hour news you force it too much.

Mar 6, 2011

Which news station is held this this high standard? This isn't something new. If you go back in history you see sensationalism and muck racking.

The news is basically true and factual. The problem is you need to make money. Publically funded news is great, but you cannot say it doesn't have a risk of being biased because it still gets money from somewhere.

Wikilealks is supposes to be purely unbiased, but I think even supporters will recognize the America focus it has.

All I am saying is news is tilted. People know this. You know it, I know it. A lot of people like to have their views reinforced.

Racists hang with racists. Liberals like liberal affirming news. On and on.

Your upset with human thinking more than anything and I agree with you.

Mar 6, 2011
ANT:

Which news station is held this this high standard? This isn't something new. If you go back in history you see sensationalism and muck racking.

The news is basically true and factual. The problem is you need to make money. Publically funded news is great, but you cannot say it doesn't have a risk of being biased because it still gets money from somewhere.

Wikilealks is supposes to be purely unbiased, but I think even supporters will recognize the America focus it has.

All I am saying is news is tilted. People know this. You know it, I know it. A lot of people like to have their views reinforced.

Racists hang with racists. Liberals like liberal affirming news. On and on.

Your upset with human thinking more than anything and I agree with you.

I just think that all news that wishes to obviously put a slant on a topic or report it from the perspective of a particular side should make it clear it is doing so. I hate to keep using fox news as an example (it is a problem on the left too), but their slogan is "fair and balanced" and O'Reilly's show's slogan is the "no spin zone". This is misleading, plain and simple. Look at the power cable news has, Fox organized rally's of hundreds of thousands of people in Washington DC, I think any organization with this power should be held to a higher degree of integrity.

I think you have to remember that 25 year old finance professionals living in NYC know cable news is bias and do whatever they need to get the facts they want. I take issue with the fact that people in middle America who have voting power eat this crap up (just look at how incredibly mislead the tea party is). I don't think it is right that the populace votes based upon ideas that they get from slanted news sources. I think at a minimum a disclaimer is necessary.

Mar 6, 2011
awm55:

I just think that all news that wishes to obviously put a slant on a topic or report it from the perspective of a particular side should make it clear it is doing so. I hate to keep using fox news as an example (it is a problem on the left too), but their slogan is "fair and balanced" and O'Reilly's show's slogan is the "no spin zone". This is misleading, plain and simple. Look at the power cable news has, Fox organized rally's of hundreds of thousands of people in Washington DC, I think any organization with this power should be held to a higher degree of integrity.

I think you have to remember that 25 year old finance professionals living in NYC know cable news is bias and do whatever they need to get the facts they want. I take issue with the fact that people in middle America who have voting power eat this crap up (just look at how incredibly mislead the tea party is). I don't think it is right that the populace votes based upon ideas that they get from slanted news sources. I think at a minimum a disclaimer is necessary.

First of all it's really annoying to read through your arguments because you try to sneak in a million unsubstantiated cheap shots along the way. You have no need to state that "just look at how incredibly mislead the tea party is." That is in no way fact, it is wholly of your opinion and has nothing to do with the argument at hand, so you have no reason to put it in there. I fully disagree with you on the Tea Party, you have nothing to substantiate your claim and, frankly, I don't feel like debating the validity of the Tea Party's opinions right now, so why else would you bring that up other than as an immature cheap shot?

Now, back to the point. You say you have a problem with people getting their information from news that has a bias (which by the way, works in your ideology's favor a lot more than it does my ideology.) Do you also have a problem with Aunt Agnes telling Jimmy, who just turned 18, the he'd "better vote for x because y is not a good guy?" Little Jimmy loves Aunt Agnes and believes everything she says, she has a lot more sway over him than MSNBC, the Daily Show, SNL or even Fox News. Let's say that this belief of Aunt Agnes is 100% opinion...should there be restraints on her ability to say these things? Say she announced her belief in the public square, should she be arrested?

You don't have the right to go around determining which speech is acceptable and which speech isn't based on how you feel it influences people. People are not machines, they have their own independent minds and can choose what to do with the information they gain from third party sources. Many humans react like machines and choose not to inform themselves, that's their own problem...they will have to live with what they create. They have made a choice not to be informed, and it's not for you or I to step in and determine how they should or should not be allowed to make their choices. Furthermore, it certainly isn't our right to step in and determine how information may or may not be transmitted to people so as to protect them from themselves. That is pure and unadulterated fascism. I'm sticking with free speech.

So far in every debate, everything you have ever promoted or stood for on this website concerned your want to take choices and freedoms away from people for some reasoning that you have justified as a "greater good." Add it all up and you have 1930's Europe all over again.

Mar 6, 2011

Dude, people read local news which is written at a 7th grade reading level.

I agree with you, but I don't think it will make a difference. People can watch BBC on TV or read independent stuff if they want. No one does. Politicians lie and people eat it up. Nothing will ever change when it comes to this.

Shit like this is why I don't watch or read any main stream news. Too many other, enriching sites and sources to get info from.

O'Reilly is a cunt, dude enrages me.

Mar 7, 2011

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

Bravo!

Fuck dude, I threw shit at you and then SB'ed you. Post a couple more times and I will hook you up. My bad.

Best Response
Mar 7, 2011
ANT:
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

Bravo!

Fuck dude, I threw shit at you and then SB'ed you. Post a couple more times and I will hook you up. My bad.

haha thanks ANT, just got sick of his arguments same structure every time

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011
ANT:
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

Bravo!

Fuck dude, I threw shit at you and then SB'ed you. Post a couple more times and I will hook you up. My bad.

Don't worry, I got you covered.

Mar 7, 2011
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

This is an opinion based forum, I state things from my perspective. Congratulations for realizing that.

I think the American people deserve news sources that present facts that don't fit an agenda. I am NOT calling for the government to control the freedom of news in any way shape or form. The news needs to clearly state when their content is editorialized and is opinion based. I don't think having a misinformed populace is good for the country for a host of reasons, you may disagree but I guess that is where we differ.

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

This is an opinion based forum, I state things from my perspective. Congratulations for realizing that.

I think the American people deserve news sources that present facts that don't fit an agenda. I am NOT calling for the government to control the freedom of news in any way shape or form. The news needs to clearly state when their content is editorialized and is opinion based. I don't think having a misinformed populace is good for the country for a host of reasons, you may disagree but I guess that is where we differ.

Before I say we can agree to disagree...you did say before in this thread there needs to be a law... last time I checked laws only came from government control.

But as you said we can agree to disagree.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
blackfinancier:

AWM I just don't understand where you are coming from with the whole "there should be some law/regulation on that" You use that exact argument on anything YOU(your opinion, beliefs, morals..etc) doesn't agree with... This isn't the world of AWM this is Earth you share it with 6 billion other people learn that no one else is like you. Accept that, you love to argue against anything that means people have rights.... that go uncontrolled.. Why? Because YOU don't agree with them.. You see the trend here?

This is an opinion based forum, I state things from my perspective. Congratulations for realizing that.

LOL -- this is too funny!

blackfinancier completely explained to you why we need freedom, so that we are not under the whims and personal values of others, such as yourself. And you response is, congrats for realizing I have an opinion!? The problem is not that you have "an opinion," the problem is that you justify using your opinion to coercively dictate the lives of others through law/force. Do you really not see the difference?

Mar 7, 2011

Libertarians are not right wing. Get that straight. Also, Dems, Republicans and Tea Party members are commonly misinformed. You single the TP out as if everyone else is actually up to speed on the issues.

Mar 7, 2011

SB to Freedom and the world not according to AWM haha.

I can say this because I live in a country with FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

^^^It's not for you or anybody else to decide that a misinformed populace is bad or good. That's the choice of the populace itself. Difference between tyrannical coercive ideas and libertarian ideas...I choose the latter.

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

^^^It's not for you or anybody else to decide that a misinformed populace is bad or good. That's the choice of the populace itself. Difference between tyrannical coercive ideas and libertarian ideas...I choose the latter.

This is exactly the reason that libertarians are not represented in greater numbers in this country. I think you guys do have some very good ideas, but then you cross the line into this ridiculous theoretical abstract thinking. The American people can choose to be stupid, it is their right. Well yeah it is, but me calling for higher journalistic integrity suddenly makes me a fascist. I think anyone with any shred of common sense would want our news to operate with as much integrity as possible.

If you purchase a product under false pretense, that is illegal. Why does a news organization who is selling you news under the pretense that it is factual when it is not get away with it?

Mar 7, 2011

Sidenote: I didn't realize awm had completed his ascent to the top of soiled monkey leaderboard. I would like to congratulate him. That is all.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 7, 2011

Yes, opinions count. AWM is a good counter to myself, Rebel and others. With that said, you don't see me talking about laws that SHOULD be in place to restrict things. That line is typically uttered by you, AWM.

I am pretty much anti restrictions, within reason. You tend to be for restriction, within reason. Fair enough assessment?

Mar 7, 2011

Did awm just say the BBC does a good job at being nonbiased?!?!?!

Hey awm, I have a bridge to sell you.

Mar 7, 2011

You calling or thinking that there should be higher standards is fine, I agree with you. But the law things is where people harp on you.

I think a lot of things are fucked up, but I dont support laws to stop them. I think it is bullshit that 600 lb whales are going to McDonalds and getting diet coke, but I dont want to stop them.

Mar 7, 2011
ANT:

You calling or thinking that there should be higher standards is fine, I agree with you. But the law things is where people harp on you.

I think a lot of things are fucked up, but I dont support laws to stop them. I think it is bullshit that 600 lb whales are going to McDonalds and getting diet coke, but I dont want to stop them.

haha, worse at Wendy's Baconator Triple large with.... Diet Coke.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

^^^Incorrect, nobody is against higher journalistic integrity, I'm all for it...and I do everything in my power as a consumer to encourage it. Other people do not, that's their choice.

The problem with your example for purchasing a product is the fact it is very difficult to say that anybody is "purchasing" an individual product when watching FoxNews. If anything, the adverstisers are purchasing a product, and they got 100% of what they purchased, air time. You are purchasing a product from a cable provider that agrees to carry x amount of cable programs, which it does...and if it does not you can bring it to court on false pretenses. Again, if you are unhappy with the product, then feel free to turn away, nobody is forcing anybody to watch. And, also, ignorance of the facts is no excuse...that's your choice to remain ignorant.

For the record, I'm not a libertarian, don't like a lot of what the party itself stands for.

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

^^^Incorrect, nobody is against higher journalistic integrity, I'm all for it...and I do everything in my power as a consumer to encourage it. Other people do not, that's their choice.

The problem with your example for purchasing a product is the fact it is very difficult to say that anybody is "purchasing" an individual product when watching FoxNews. If anything, the adverstisers are purchasing a product, and they got 100% of what they purchased, air time. You are purchasing a product from a cable provider that agrees to carry x amount of cable programs, which it does...and if it does not you can bring it to court on false pretenses. Again, if you are unhappy with the product, then feel free to turn away, nobody is forcing anybody to watch. And, also, ignorance of the facts is no excuse...that's your choice to remain ignorant.

For the record, I'm not a libertarian, don't like a lot of what the party itself stands for.

But dig a little deeper. Fox et al can charge allot for advertising because they get people to watch them under false pretense that they are getting factual news. So wouldn't that be illegal?

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
rebelcross:

^^^Incorrect, nobody is against higher journalistic integrity, I'm all for it...and I do everything in my power as a consumer to encourage it. Other people do not, that's their choice.

The problem with your example for purchasing a product is the fact it is very difficult to say that anybody is "purchasing" an individual product when watching FoxNews. If anything, the adverstisers are purchasing a product, and they got 100% of what they purchased, air time. You are purchasing a product from a cable provider that agrees to carry x amount of cable programs, which it does...and if it does not you can bring it to court on false pretenses. Again, if you are unhappy with the product, then feel free to turn away, nobody is forcing anybody to watch. And, also, ignorance of the facts is no excuse...that's your choice to remain ignorant.

For the record, I'm not a libertarian, don't like a lot of what the party itself stands for.

But dig a little deeper. Fox et al can charge allot for advertising because they get people to watch them under false pretense that they are getting factual news. So wouldn't that be illegal?

Why stop there? What about "Music Televison?" For surely they have tricked people into watching a product that is not music.

Mar 7, 2011

Here, I got one for you awm. Ok, so I win the presidency and my media czar looks at the facts. We have a meeting and we have decided, "ok, enough with this bias in the news!" NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, MTV, VH1, ESPN, ABC all must carry discaimers that their news is biased and not necessarily "news." We sit around and watch Foxnews and we say, "hey that's pretty good...now that is a product that we can call truth." We don't put any kind of disclaimer on Foxnews. Foxnews changes its slogan to "America's only real news network." My cabinet is fine with that. Liberals are outraged, but according to us they are simply angry because they can no longer use what were once very successful brainwashing tactics under the guise of "news."

Now what? Did we solve your problem?

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

Here, I got one for you awm. Ok, so I win the presidency and my media czar looks at the facts. We have a meeting and we have decided, "ok, enough with this bias in the news!" NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, MTV, VH1, ESPN, ABC all must carry discaimers that their news is biased and not necessarily "news." We sit around and watch Foxnews and we say, "hey that's pretty good...now that is a product that we can call truth." We don't put any kind of disclaimer on Foxnews. Foxnews changes its slogan to "America's only real news network." My cabinet is fine with that. Liberals are outraged, but according to us they are simply angry because they can no longer use what were once very successful brainwashing tactics under the guise of "news."

Now what? Did we solve your problem?

I totally understand it is a very hard thing to implement and there are conflict of interests involved. But you don't see news sources in other countries providing such egregiously false information to its viewership to fit their agenda. You don't see news organizations setting up rallies for hundreds of thousands of people to get them around an idea they spew out everyday.

Mar 7, 2011

^^^You absolutely do see that, in fact I feel it's even worse in other countries where competiton is limited. If you don't see the BBC and Sky News as having as anti-American anti-conservative a bent as there is in the industry...then again, I have a first-class ticket to Mars with your name on it.

Basically you're saying we need a law that will tell people that what they watch on TV may or may not be truth. Do we need a law saying that when an restaurant advertises a certain product as being "delicious" that the product may or may not be delicious?

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

^^^You absolutely do see that, in fact I feel it's even worse in other countries where competiton is limited. If you don't see the BBC and Sky News as having as anti-American anti-conservative a bent as there is in the industry...then again, I have a first-class ticket to Mars with your name on it.

Basically you're saying we need a law that will tell people that what they watch on TV may or may not be truth. Do we need a law saying that when an restaurant advertises a certain product as being "delicious" that the product may or may not be delicious?

Sky News? The news corp murdoch owned Sky News is anti-conservative? That is the thing, the reason it may appear less hyper right wing as Fox is because the only thing to counter it is the BBC. If any news organization in the UK operated like MSNBC or FOX it would not be taken seriously because it would look ridiculous next to the non partisan BBC.

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
rebelcross:

^^^You absolutely do see that, in fact I feel it's even worse in other countries where competiton is limited. If you don't see the BBC and Sky News as having as anti-American anti-conservative a bent as there is in the industry...then again, I have a first-class ticket to Mars with your name on it.

Basically you're saying we need a law that will tell people that what they watch on TV may or may not be truth. Do we need a law saying that when an restaurant advertises a certain product as being "delicious" that the product may or may not be delicious?

Sky News? The news corp murdoch owned Sky News is anti-conservative? That is the thing, the reason it may appear less hyper right wing as Fox is because the only thing to counter it is the BBC. If any news organization in the UK operated like MSNBC or FOX it would not be taken seriously because it would look ridiculous next to the non partisan BBC.

Why do you need "counter" if its just the news... Why do you need a counter for facts? AWM failed again.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

^^^See here's the problem, I imagine you've never even watched Sky News. You just look at who its owned by and come in with a bias already. Just because there is some consensus that it's biased towards the Tories does not in any way take away from some of the regular anti-Americanism you see on the channel.

And if you are going to sit here and call Fox "hyper right wing" then you've really lost touch with reality. Just because you are a flaming leftist does not mean something that might appeal to conservatism is "hyper right wing." You're talking about the same Fox News that won't even acknowledge Michael Savage or the banned from England story, wouldn't even acknowledge the Obama records story, buried the Sandy Berger story, announced the Tea Party is illegitimate without the Republican Party, etc. It's hard for me to even take them seriously sometimes. This is a channel that has Greta Van Susteran in a primetime slot...that's "hyper right wing" for you. I would have let you go with "Conservative slant," but your own bias is just ridiculous.

Mar 7, 2011

LOL -- good point...

Mar 7, 2011

You should be able to watch the news and assume you are being told the truth. That's the point of the news, to give you the facts. Even if there is a bias, it should be based on facts. Very often, our news (both on the left and the right) has misleading information to promote one side or the other. To say that "people need to do their own research to know what's true and what's not" is crap. You shouldn't have to research the news to fact check it...if you do, what's the point of the news? You should dig deeper if you have an interest in a subject and want to learn more, not to be sure your news source (which is often a major billion dollar network) isn't lying to, or misleading, you.

Demanding greater accountability from our news outlets to report on facts and not outright mislead is not at all unreasonable. AWM is not suggesting that there could be a law because he wants news outlets to spread his opinion and jive with his viewpoints. No, I think he's being pretty reasonable here. The whole free market "they can report whatever they like and I can watch whatever I like" argument is nice in theory, but in practice it leads to a country where something like 40% of Republicans think Obama is a foreign born secret Muslim. Though, given his affinity for giving his wife "terrorist fist jabs," I suppose he is actually a secret islamic extremist.

Also, I think the reason Fox News gets pointed out so much for spreading lies and misleading information is because:

1.) They have well-documented strategies for cheerleading one point of view and disparaging the other

2.) They actually do report complete bullshit. They recently ran results for a poll asking Americans if they supported collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. The results of the poll showed that 61% of Americans favored collective bargaining rights. On Fox News, however, they ran the results backwards...showing that 61% of people were against them. They literally just reversed the poll results and reported it as fact and then had a discussion around them. You can see that here:

Long story short, there are liars on both sides, it just seems to many that Fox News and MSNBC are more out-and-out cheerleaders than the other networks. And seriously, don't get me wrong, MSNBC is a Democrat dickriding network, but they don't seem to be quite as egregious in their use of brutally misleading information AND they are very much up front about being a liberal network (not a 'fair and balanced' one.)

To ask for more stringent standards of facts in reporting is pretty reasonable, as far as I can tell and does not deserve a flaming.

Mar 7, 2011
TheKing:

To say that "people need to do their own research to know what's true and what's not" is crap. You shouldn't have to research the news to fact check it...if you do, what's the point of the news?

This is utterly and absolutely preposterous. You are basically saying, in a wayward way, that people have a "right" to the news. The "point" of the news is to generate revenue for a network, that is all, don't confuse yourself. The concept of "news" is not a government sponsored product that, by rights, need be disseminated to the public in a certain way. It is merely a television product, and like all television products people have the choice to take it for what it is worth or do further research. I think this idea that people somehow have a "right" to electronic media being truthful if it says it is, is ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is this idea that government has a mandate to ensure that information transmitted on electronic "media" be truthful and responsible. Again, it is media, that's all it is. Facts are facts and media is media, if you want facts go look for facts, if you want media turn on the TV. I don't understand how this concerns anybody at all (I could understand how it might concern a government like Cuba, but for this nation it is utterly ridiculous.)

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:
TheKing:

To say that "people need to do their own research to know what's true and what's not" is crap. You shouldn't have to research the news to fact check it...if you do, what's the point of the news?

This is utterly and absolutely preposterous. You are basically saying, in a wayward way, that people have a "right" to the news. The "point" of the news is to generate revenue for a network, that is all, don't confuse yourself. The concept of "news" is not a government sponsored product that, by rights, need be disseminated to the public in a certain way. It is merely a television product, and like all television products people have the choice to take it for what it is worth or do further research. I think this idea that people somehow have a "right" to electronic media being truthful if it says it is, is ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is this idea that government has a mandate to ensure that information transmitted on electronic "media" be truthful and responsible. Again, it is media, that's all it is. Facts are facts and media is media, if you want facts go look for facts, if you want media turn on the TV. I don't understand how this concerns anybody at all (I could understand how it might concern a government like Cuba, but for this nation it is utterly ridiculous.)

There is a difference between having a slant on a topic and egregiously misreporting facts. The media in the UK (especially the newspapers) slant to either side of the spectrum. They do not call the prime minister a muslim socialist born in Kenya. Some aspects of our mainstream media does do that. The news is held to higher integrity in other countries whether you like it or not.

Mar 7, 2011

Here's the actual gallup poll results. Note that Fox actually 100% reversed them to push an agenda.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-22-pol...
Yes, we all have the right to say what we please, the first amendment is wonderful. But, I think it's reasonable to ask that our news networks don't straight up make up things to push an agenda. It's one thing to have your own opinion, it's another thing to have your own facts. Shit doesn't work that way. And seeing as people are watching the news (not an entertainment program), they aren't going to fact check everything put up front of them because there is some inherent level of trust in the source they are watching and because they don't always know any better.

Mar 7, 2011

And, by the way, your one example of Foxnews "purposely" switching poll results...I mean what can I say...if Foxnews regularly reported poll results upside down they would not have an audience. To suggest that this was some kind of intentional conspiracy by them that they thought they would get away with is, again, ridiculous. Let's just stick with the idea that Foxnews has a conservative slant, that's fine, but don't make it more than it is. If you haven't seen CNN and MSNBC make mistakes with poll results before or post election results upside down, then you haven't been paying attention. Here's just one example of a lie I dug up in ten seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvSybeI_9fY

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

And, by the way, your one example of Foxnews "purposely" switching poll results...I mean what can I say...if Foxnews regularly reported poll results upside down they would not have an audience. To suggest that this was some kind of intentional conspiracy by them that they thought they would get away with is, again, ridiculous. Let's just stick with the idea that Foxnews has a conservative slant, that's fine, but don't make it more than it is. If you haven't seen CNN and MSNBC make mistakes with poll results before or post election results upside down, then you haven't been paying attention. Here's just one example of a lie I dug up in ten seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvSybeI_9fY

Dude they do this all the damn time. There are entire websites that operate to point out how much Fox lies. Look, I understand the other networks are bad as well, but Fox constantly egregiously misreports facts. But again, that is not the main point.

I understand you think it is the American people's right to be lied to, mislead, and stupid. I agree, it is their right. I take issue with the fact that people with voting power are voting based upon notions that could very well be completely wrong. When the media has the power to skewer facts to the point where the electorate ends up voting for a candidate that supports policies that are directly counter to that persons best interests we have a major fucking problem.

That is exploitation of the 1st amendment and that is exploitation of the concept of factual news.

Mar 7, 2011

I actually saw the poll that TheKing is referencing on the daily show and they fixed the mistake in short order.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 7, 2011

Happypants:

--The damage is already done by that point. It's just like the NYTimes making a mistake and then correcting it in the corrections section of the paper. The information is already out there. Furthermore, this was just an example I was bringing up because it was recent and fairly egregious.

Rebelcross:

I am aware that MSNBC and CNN mislead as well. I stated it in my post. I just believe that Fox News does so more egregiously. With that said, I don't think ANY of them should be and I think it's reasonable to expect a news network to report on facts, not lies or misleading information. I didn't ask for a tyrannical government sponsored news network.

You are basically implying that Fox News and MSNBC are entertainment and should not be taken as news sources, because "if you want facts, go find facts." I guess I should start DVRing Maddow and O'Reilly so I can watch them in between new episodes of Jersey Shore. After all, "media is media" and I can find my own facts.

Are you a real person?

Mar 7, 2011

This argument is so tired already. First of all, about Fox News, I know it fits your agenda to point out that they somehow misrepresent facts "more egregiously" than other news networks. You base this on nothing but your pure hatred for Foxnews. I would suggest that MSNBC is by far the most "egregious" in misrepresenting the news, and much like there are for Fox News, there also "entire websites" dedicated to pointing out the lies of CNN and MSNBC. So let's shut the fuck up about Fox News already, it's such a juvenile argument. And guess what awm, I never heard anything approaching "Obama is a Muslim Socialist born in Kenya" on Fox News, so drop it already. I have heard however, on MSNBC that "gun toting Tea Partiers are racist and targeting blacks" when the person toting the gun that they were showing from behind turned out to be a black man. So get off your high horse. And as for the BBC "being held to a higher standard" http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/ , http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-411846/We-... (i.e. they're just as bad as everybody else)

@TheKing: Again, I restate, I don't know where your grand concept of "television news" comes from. None of these networks owe you any news whatsover, they don't owe you anything. They could put cartoons all day and you can choose not to watch it. I am absolutely implying that Fox News and MSNBC are entertainment, I absolutely believe Rachel Maddow and O'Reilly are a form of entertainment which are editorial in nature, and they can call it whatever they want, they can call it "pancakes" for all I care, if you find it ridiculous then turn it off. What is this God given concept known as "television news" that must be somehow protected and held to a higher standard than any other form of media? And yes, again, media is media and facts are facts. I don't know how that makes me any more or less a "real person" or makes the general public any more or less deserving of some grand right to "factual news" from electronic media. Completely ridiculous.

And awm, again, "exploitation of the First Amendment." Just by saying that, you are basically stating that you have no respect for the First Amendment, as I could basically say that about any speech I dislike. That is mind boggling, stay in Europe where you don't have to worry people taking advantage of a First Amendment.

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

@TheKing: Again, I restate, I don't know where your grand concept of "television news" comes from. None of these networks owe you any news whatsover, they don't owe you anything. They could put cartoons all day and you can choose not to watch it. I am absolutely implying that Fox News and MSNBC are entertainment, I absolutely believe Rachel Maddow and O'Reilly are a form of entertainment which are editorial in nature, and they can call it whatever they want, they can call it "pancakes" for all I care, if you find it ridiculous then turn it off. What is this God given concept known as "television news" that must be somehow protected and held to a higher standard than any other form of media? And yes, again, media is media and facts are facts. I don't know how that makes me any more or less a "real person" or makes the general public any more or less deserving of some grand right to "factual news" from electronic media. Completely ridiculous.

And awm, again, "exploitation of the First Amendment." Just by saying that, you are basically stating that you have no respect for the First Amendment, as I could basically say that about any speech I dislike. That is mind boggling, stay in Europe where you don't have to worry people taking advantage of a First Amendment.

The King already pointed this out, and it is an excellent point. 25 year old finance professionals living in NYC and earning 250k a year will be able to look at the news for what it is and understand it has heavy biases. You think middle america, this countries most important voter base, has the inclination to fact check what they hear on MSNBC and Fox? This is the problem with libertarian thinking, the idea that people should be free to be stupid and the news should be free to lie is nice in your little abstract theoretical libertarian utopia, but in the real world this is enormously damaging to our political process.

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:

The King already pointed this out, and it is an excellent point. 25 year old finance professionals living in NYC and earning 250k a year will be able to look at the news for what it is and understand it has heavy biases. You think middle america, this countries most important voter base, has the inclination to fact check what they hear on MSNBC and Fox? This is the problem with libertarian thinking, the idea that people should be free to be stupid and the news should be free to lie is nice in your little abstract theoretical libertarian utopia, but in the real world this is enormously damaging to our political process.

This is typical of the kind of elitism that leads to the kind of totalitarianism that would be your ideal form of government. I have no problem with ignorant people determining, through the political process, how they wish to be governed. It is their choice of whatever makes them most comfortable. It is not for you or I, as smarter "finance professionals" to determine how they should live their lives based on our more intelligent views. I find the only thing "enormously damaging to out political process" is your idea of life forced upon others based on your hyper-elitism. Why would it even bother you as to how Kansas decides to elect its government and what information they use to do so? I don't think they care how you choose to live your life or govern your state. But I guess papa knows best, right?

Mar 7, 2011

Really dude? You were that naive into thinking Al-Jazeera was funded by Hezbollah??

Al-Jazeera was made out to look like an anti-American propaganda machine by the Bush Administration because the channel was critical of the way the war was being handled, in-fact if memory serves me right at a certain time in the early stages of the war, the hotel room for one of the journalists was accidentally shelled while at other times they were barred from news conferences.

The organization is financed or at least was financed by the ruling Qatari family, a pro-west, pro-American regime that has come under the cross-fires of the local regimes. The channel watched by most American soldiers currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't CNN or Fox its Al-Jazeera. The content is brilliant and the News anchors are mostly ex-BBC so they don't come across as Nancy Grace and talk to you like you are a retard. They do tend to lean slightly towards the Palestinian cause but if that's the biggest offense so be it.

RTN is also good especially the business segment. Watch RTN's business segment then watch CNBC and you'll see the difference.

China Daily is pretty much garbage. The articles in English are poorly written and you can tell the shit is censored to hell. I have them under favorites and while browsing occasionally I don't remember one article about the crisis in Middle East or Egypt.

In the end Al-Jazeera and RTN's views still do not come close to the garbage that is shown on Fox. If you watch Glenn Beck you think the world is about to be over any second. Seriously it amazes me that people watch this shit. Glenn Beck is ranting and raving about the Arabs while his daddy Murdoch is sleeping with a Saudi Prince who is the second biggest shareholder in the company.

In closing, if we continue to rely on Fox as the American patriotic station, we are destined to lose the information war as Mrs. Clinton put it.

Mar 7, 2011

Comcast may actually consider carrying the channel here in the US nationwide....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/al-jaze...

Mar 7, 2011

Expecting news programs to not outright lie and intentionally mislead me is not a "grand vision of the news." It's common sense. That goes for Fox News and MSNBC.

With that said, MSNBC is openly a liberal channel, whereas Fox News is "fair and balanced" and has "no spin zones." That further emphasizes the idea that they should not be lying and misleading. If I'm Joe Schmo in middle America and I watch an hour of news once a week, there's a good chance that I'm going to take Fox News at their word because all of their slogans imply that you should be able to.

Yes, the networks can lie and it's their right, but I think we should all expect more from them. The fact is, is that the members of this site are among the most educated in the country. We know to dig deeper and look into stories on our own. Most of the country is not as educated and doesn't spend their time in debates like this, nor do they spend their time reading different views. When they watch a news program, they don't expect to be misled. And when they watch a news program that is "fair and balanced," they certainly expect it to tell it like it is, not how the pundit wants it to be.

I'd be really curious to hear your (rebelcross) views on the Westboro Baptist Church and the Supreme Court decision affirming their right to protest military funerals. Does your text book level application of rights apply there? How about gay marriage? Would really be curious about this because I think they are also "gray areas" when it comes to constitutional issues.

Mar 7, 2011

"Expecting news programs to not outright lie and intentionally mislead me is not a "grand vision of the news." It's common sense. That goes for Fox News and MSNBC."

I would agree and you have the choice to discourage such news programs from straying too far from the truth by changing the channel and sending a clear message. What is also common sense is the idea that you don't have the right to force upon a media outlet which message it may or may not wish to transmit.

"With that said, MSNBC is openly a liberal channel, whereas Fox News is "fair and balanced" and has "no spin zones." That further emphasizes the idea that they should not be lying and misleading."

The idea of MSNBC being openly liberal is a very new phenomenon. They hid behind veil of "unbiased reporting" for years before they finally were publicly derided to the point where they had no choice but to come out. However, following upon your reasoning here for always using Fox News as your example, I fail to see why we are not simply using CNN as the example here, except for maybe your own bias on the subject (lest you were to have me believe that CNN actually IS a fair and balanced media outlet, at which I would respond by laughing wildly.)

"Yes, the networks can lie and it's their right, but I think we should all expect more from them. The fact is, is that the members of this site are among the most educated in the country. We know to dig deeper and look into stories on our own. Most of the country is not as educated and doesn't spend their time in debates like this, nor do they spend their time reading different views. When they watch a news program, they don't expect to be misled. And when they watch a news program that is "fair and balanced," they certainly expect it to tell it like it is, not how the pundit wants it to be."

OK, I'm not understanding something. You have admitted the networks have a right to lie as per their freedom of speech and I have admitted that I expect better from them. So what is the debate? By stating that the "networks can lie and it's their right" you are basically saying there is no right to regulate such things, which I would agree with. However, let's say that you were to now contradict yourself and support some kind of regulation based upon the second part of your argument...I would just say that that is all that America needs is for TheKing to go around and determine who is ignorant and who isn't and to, therefore, regulate media based upon such views. Perhaps middle America feels you are the ignorant one. Perhaps I am the ignorant one. It's not for you, me or middle America to make that determination now is it? People have a choice, ignorance of the facts is a choice in itself. If people continue to watch [replace "Fox News" with "CNN" for the sake of the example] for their news, and they are comfortable with that, then they have announced that they wish to be ignorant. It's not for you or anybody else to determine that they are not allowed to be so, and so the information transmitted to them must be held to a certain standard that you have regarded as "fair." It's not your problem and it's none of your business. It is not for you to regulate media in order to protect people from themselves. Your only problem in this world is to educate yourself and determine your level of ignorance to how you see fit, and then to attempt to transmit your views to others in any way you can. If you cannot compete, then that is your problem as well. In fact, I feel that my views have a much bigger problem competing with the media than your views.

"I'd be really curious to hear your (rebelcross) views on the Westboro Baptist Church and the Supreme Court decision affirming their right to protest military funerals. Does your text book level application of rights apply there? How about gay marriage? Would really be curious about this because I think they are also "gray areas" when it comes to constitutional issues."

Happy to discuss this in a PM or new topic. Not for this debate, we have very different things at play here (which would become apparent were we to enter into such a debate.)

Mar 7, 2011

Don't have time this moment to write a long reply, but I'll just say that I didn't use CNN as an example because all CNN seems to report on these days is "what people are saying on Twitter!" and other complete non-sense. Not even worth discussing because it's literally like balloon boy style stories around the clock. Anderson Cooper is the one legit dude they have, even if he lives in a fire house. Pause.

Mar 7, 2011
TheKing:

Don't have time this moment to write a long reply, but I'll just say that I didn't use CNN as an example because all CNN seems to report on these days is "what people are saying on Twitter!" and other complete non-sense. Not even worth discussing because it's literally like balloon boy style stories around the clock. Anderson Cooper is the one legit dude they have, even if he lives in a fire house. Pause.

haha, agree

Mar 7, 2011

I love how a 22 year old kid thinks he knows what's best for America all the time. How bout you mind your business and stop trying to tell people who to do and think.

Wasn't too long ago that you, AWM, chimes into a post not knowing the basics.

Mar 7, 2011

I love how completely out of context that dictator stuff was taken, I am implying that all of awm's views added together make him a dictator going back to earlier debates we have had.

Although, yes this idea of coercion upon private companies concerning which message they may or may not relay publicly is coercive in nature and ethically incorrect. However, without going into a long retort Ant stole the show above of why awm is foolish to care and is basically totalitarian in wanting to force people to be informed without taking choice into the equation. Again, people choose the way they live and they make government choices based on that. The people of Kansas are happy with their ignorant choice (if it is that) and not happy with your so-called "educated" choice. So why should they be forced to live by your choice and not their own if their own choice leads to a higher quality of life?

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

I love how completely out of context that dictator stuff was taken, I am implying that all of awm's views added together make him a dictator going back to earlier debates we have had.

Although, yes this idea of coercion upon private companies concerning which message they may or may not relay publicly is coercive in nature and ethically incorrect. However, without going into a long retort Ant stole the show above of why awm is foolish to care and is basically totalitarian in wanting to force people to be informed without taking choice into the equation. Again, people choose the way they live and they make government choices based on that. The people of Kansas are happy with their ignorant choice (if it is that) and not happy with your so-called "educated" choice. So why should they be forced to live by your choice and not their own if their own choice leads to a higher quality of life?

And we are now back to this stupid abstract libertarian thinking. In an entirely theoretical context you are right, but in the real world this is not the best way run a democracy.

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
rebelcross:

I love how completely out of context that dictator stuff was taken, I am implying that all of awm's views added together make him a dictator going back to earlier debates we have had.

Although, yes this idea of coercion upon private companies concerning which message they may or may not relay publicly is coercive in nature and ethically incorrect. However, without going into a long retort Ant stole the show above of why awm is foolish to care and is basically totalitarian in wanting to force people to be informed without taking choice into the equation. Again, people choose the way they live and they make government choices based on that. The people of Kansas are happy with their ignorant choice (if it is that) and not happy with your so-called "educated" choice. So why should they be forced to live by your choice and not their own if their own choice leads to a higher quality of life?

And we are now back to this stupid abstract libertarian thinking. In an entirely theoretical context you are right, but in the real world this is not the best way run a democracy.

Wait so the best way to run a democracy is the way that "you know how" or that "informed people know," that doesn't sound like a democracy to me. Should I say, we are now back to this stupid abstract totalitarian thinking?

Mar 7, 2011
awm55:
rebelcross:

I love how completely out of context that dictator stuff was taken, I am implying that all of awm's views added together make him a dictator going back to earlier debates we have had.

Although, yes this idea of coercion upon private companies concerning which message they may or may not relay publicly is coercive in nature and ethically incorrect. However, without going into a long retort Ant stole the show above of why awm is foolish to care and is basically totalitarian in wanting to force people to be informed without taking choice into the equation. Again, people choose the way they live and they make government choices based on that. The people of Kansas are happy with their ignorant choice (if it is that) and not happy with your so-called "educated" choice. So why should they be forced to live by your choice and not their own if their own choice leads to a higher quality of life?

And we are now back to this stupid abstract libertarian thinking. In an entirely theoretical context you are right, but in the real world this is not the best way run a democracy.

Ok I will comment on this since you have said it three times thinking outside of the box is "stupid" Doing something that makes sense is stupid? How is theoretical to make an informed decision and let people do what they want within reason? Better yet why is it YOUR business? Cause it sure as hell isn't mine. I will go back to the point I made before, people choose to do things a certain way, if its different than the way you do it...why do you care...

My last point is you say "in the real world this is not the best way (to) run a democracy" Says who? You.

But than that wouldn't be a democracy...that would be you telling me how to do something which last time I checked is NOT a democracy.....

But what do I know. Make better arguments, you say the same thing over and over and over again just with different words... which no support to any of your points....

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

By the way, for awm and TheKing who are obviously so much better informed than the people of, say...Florence, Alabama....hypothetical scenario:

Finance industry collapses tomorrow. Utter destruction everywhere, nations fall, the US Dollar is now not even worth the paper it's printed on, the very concept of "currency" collapses and we become a barter society. OK, you guys have to eat somehow...right? So you go to Farmer Bill down in Florence and you share your "knowledge" with him. He tells you, "gee golly, that is with amazing detail that you recounted the events that led to the fall of Emperor Nero....but.....you're still not going to eat tonight." Suddenly Farmer Bill's knowledge is pretty valuable and your knowledge about why a company's WACC is higher when you take on more debt...means jack shit to anybody. So now who's ignorant and who's smart? Farmer Bill knows about cross-breeding different crops, what kind of fish react different wind patterns, how to build an instrument that will lure and trap prey...etc. You basically know how to shine Farmer Bill's shoes, and so that's what you do so that maybe he'll throw you a drumstick once in a while to keep you alive. Farmer Bill gets the hottest women because they need to eat. You'd be pretty ignorant wouldn't you? And Farmer Bill and his "elite" farmer friends decide he knows what's best for you. He knows what kind of information is good for you and what isn't. He has a big problem with you listening to other "finance professionals" and "city slickers" for your info and making choices in your life based on that. So he disallows other finance professionals to communicate with you except only in ways that meet his criteria of being "fair" and "unbiased." If you believe in your own arguments, that would be a perfect scenario for finance guys in that society, right?

Funny, a lot of you guys got good grades in school (including myself,) but you're so stupid when it comes to life (as am I,) and you don't have anything on those "uninformed masses" from middle America when it comes to informal education or life in general.

Mar 7, 2011
rebelcross:

By the way, for awm and TheKing who are obviously so much better informed than the people of, say...Florence, Alabama....hypothetical scenario:

Finance industry collapses tomorrow. Utter destruction everywhere, nations fall, the US Dollar is now not even worth the paper it's printed on, the very concept of "currency" collapses and we become a barter society. OK, you guys have to eat somehow...right? So you go to Farmer Bill down in Florence and you share your "knowledge" with him. He tells you, "gee golly, that is with amazing detail that you recounted the events that led to the fall of Emperor Nero....but.....you're still not going to eat tonight." Suddenly Farmer Bill's knowledge is pretty valuable and your knowledge about why a company's WACC is higher when you take on more debt...means jack shit to anybody. So now who's ignorant and who's smart? Farmer Bill knows about cross-breeding different crops, what kind of fish react different wind patterns, how to build an instrument that will lure and trap prey...etc. You basically know how to shine Farmer Bill's shoes, and so that's what you do so that maybe he'll throw you a drumstick once in a while to keep you alive. Farmer Bill gets the hottest women because they need to eat. You'd be pretty ignorant wouldn't you? And Farmer Bill and his "elite" farmer friends decide he knows what's best for you. He knows what kind of information is good for you and what isn't. He has a big problem with you listening to other "finance professionals" and "city slickers" for your info and making choices in your life based on that. So he disallows other finance professionals to communicate with you except only in ways that meet his criteria of being "fair" and "unbiased." If you believe in your own arguments, that would be a perfect scenario for finance guys in that society, right?

Funny, a lot of you guys got good grades in school (including myself,) but you're so stupid when it comes to life (as am I,) and you don't have anything on those "uninformed masses" from middle America when it comes to informal education or life in general.

Yeah, if you think this is analogous to what I have been saying on this topic, than we're done here.

Mar 7, 2011
TheKing:
rebelcross:

By the way, for awm and TheKing who are obviously so much better informed than the people of, say...Florence, Alabama....hypothetical scenario:

Finance industry collapses tomorrow. Utter destruction everywhere, nations fall, the US Dollar is now not even worth the paper it's printed on, the very concept of "currency" collapses and we become a barter society. OK, you guys have to eat somehow...right? So you go to Farmer Bill down in Florence and you share your "knowledge" with him. He tells you, "gee golly, that is with amazing detail that you recounted the events that led to the fall of Emperor Nero....but.....you're still not going to eat tonight." Suddenly Farmer Bill's knowledge is pretty valuable and your knowledge about why a company's WACC is higher when you take on more debt...means jack shit to anybody. So now who's ignorant and who's smart? Farmer Bill knows about cross-breeding different crops, what kind of fish react different wind patterns, how to build an instrument that will lure and trap prey...etc. You basically know how to shine Farmer Bill's shoes, and so that's what you do so that maybe he'll throw you a drumstick once in a while to keep you alive. Farmer Bill gets the hottest women because they need to eat. You'd be pretty ignorant wouldn't you? And Farmer Bill and his "elite" farmer friends decide he knows what's best for you. He knows what kind of information is good for you and what isn't. He has a big problem with you listening to other "finance professionals" and "city slickers" for your info and making choices in your life based on that. So he disallows other finance professionals to communicate with you except only in ways that meet his criteria of being "fair" and "unbiased." If you believe in your own arguments, that would be a perfect scenario for finance guys in that society, right?

Funny, a lot of you guys got good grades in school (including myself,) but you're so stupid when it comes to life (as am I,) and you don't have anything on those "uninformed masses" from middle America when it comes to informal education or life in general.

Yeah, if you think this is analogous to what I have been saying on this topic, than we're done here.

Oh but it absolutely is, for you know that people are misinformed, correct? You have a big problem with the information they are getting, right? So...I guess we are done here, no?

Mar 7, 2011

Not sure how awm55 is telling people how they should live their lives and make choices. I think he and I are both saying that we think it'd be best for people to be informed based upon facts and that it's rather sad that we can't rely on major news networks to provide us with factual information.

I don't see how this removes people's freedoms. In fact, I think people would be more free if they were better informed via facts and not misled by lies and misinformation.

If your reply is "people have the freedom to change the channel," then don't bother replying. This will just go in circles and we don't live in a libertarian text book.

Mar 7, 2011
TheKing:

If your reply is "people have the freedom to change the channel," then don't bother replying. This will just go in circles and we don't live in a libertarian text book.

That's such a cop out it's unbelievable, and the reason you have to resort to that is because really, you have no way to ethically overcome the problem. I would like people to be as informed as possible as well, but blackfinancier above hit on the head of why that doesn't really concern you or I.

Mar 7, 2011

I wish I could write more on this but I don't have the knowledge nor the time.

But quick thing - ANT, rebel - forget labels like liberal, totalitarian etc.. existed and think rationally for a second. Do you really think that intentionally misreporting facts and calling it news is right when you have the largest news audience in America? We've all heard the age old example of you can't run into a movie theater and yell "fire!" and be protected by freedom of speech. This is not as direct but look at what is happening. There are way more people than is normal that think Obama is a secret muslim and there is a conscientious effort to prove he wasn't born in the U.S. I have to agree with TheKing and awm here as they are not totally out of line to expect the public to have legitimate news.

Disclaimer: I consider myself pretty divded on issues from both left and right.

Mar 7, 2011

^^^This has been touched on before in my original posts, that NOBODY owes anybody any news. No network owes you anything, we've have already evolved passed this part of the argument. They can call it "news" or they can call it "fishsticks" if they want, that's their freedom and it's your freedom to figure out whether or not what you see is actually "news," "fishsticks" or whatever. This is electronic media and media alone that wishes to sell advertising time, not some grand societal right that must be held sacred.

And correct, this is not the same thing as running into a movie theater and yelling "fire." So, let's not even go there.

Mar 7, 2011

By the way, like TheKing, I also don't have time to continue this right now, so that's it from my end for now.

Mar 7, 2011

if news is facts... then why do we need more than one news network? strictly facts? People whether they accept it or not like the spin people like Fox for there own reasons other people like MSNBC and CNN for there own reasons. But to say that people deserve to hear the facts...umm if you are smart enough to know you aren't getting facts then you'll do what you can to get them. If you aren't smart enough to know your being feed bullshit then...not really sure how you would know you were getting the facts in the first place.... and to the point of people deserve... umm what do people deserve? Its all relative what people deserve....so not really sure what you are getting at here with "people deserve"

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011

Blackfinancier:

In short:

--My point is that the news should report based on facts, not lies and misinformation. Information should be presented and laid out based upon facts, and information should not be misconstrued or not reported because it does not fit with an agenda.

--Multiple networks exist because multiple viewpoints exist. Bias can exist without distorting information and misleading people. People can disagree on collective bargaining rights for public employees, that's fine and it's healthy to have debate. The problem arises when lies and misinformation are used to push one side of the debate. That's the issue here and I think it's pretty clear. People deserve to have facts reported and if opinions are given by the networks, those opinions should be based on reality, not misleading bullshit. That really isn't too much to ask. If a network or anchor or program starts to push an agenda based on skewed or misleading or straight up false information, it's basically just pushing propaganda. Not sure how people are ok with that.

--Additionally, multiple networks can exist to pursue different angles on stories and to dig deeper into stories. Investigative journalism, and so on and so forth.

I find it really, really fucking funny that some people on here have zero issue with a news organization literally reporting lies and misleading the public so long as the organization is a private enterprise, but would lose their fucking shit if the government ran the organization. The fact is, you should be disgusted with BOTH scenarios. If you aren't, then you just blindly worship capitalism even if its pursuit is wholly unethical.

::awaits post saying "you can still change the channel!"::

::kill self::

Mar 7, 2011
Comment

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 7, 2011
Mar 7, 2011
Comment

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 8, 2011
Comment

Greed is Good.

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