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  1. Polimom – Polimom’s about sick to death of hearing everybody else’s spin carefully structured versions; I’m feeling patronized and lied to across the board.
    I learn more about you the more I read. This is EXACTLY my feeling. A lot of time when you see me post something 180degree out of phase with you or another blogger, it’s not always that I disagree with the individual that much, but I want folks to see there are other opinions out there – and those opinions can be backed with just as valid information and “experts” as “good” as the others.
    I had a professor who called me the labs’ anarchist because I always took the opposite of the status quo. When asked if I did it on purpose to confuse people, I said no, I’m trying to see if their theory is based on facts they know and understand, or just know what someone else said.Got 3.8 in his class mainly because I made people think.
    Polimom says – I’m particularly fed up with the media. By agreeing to appear on Fox, there was surely no doubt Clinton was going to be grilled. Fox is about as impartial as a banked freeway curve.
    Again, dead on target. Clinton went in there looking for a fight to better his wife’s chances for the P/VP ticket in 08. One exception I would say, “Fox is about as impartial as CBS.”
    Polimom says – “I haven’t written about this yet, but I do actually think the U.S. is safer than it was on September 11. What I don’t believe is that Iraq has the first thing to do with it… nor do I think we’ll ever be as safe as we would like.
    I’ll be interested in the reading that piece. I think we’re safer and I believe some of that safety comes from Iraq (I think I wrote on that a few days ago).
    I guess we never really were safe. As a “duck-and-cover teenager” most of us had seen the film clips of Japan, Bikini, and other, land-based explosions for which they used to sell tourist packages, including round Vegas bus rides, booze, a picnic lunches, to see the big boomb and mushroom cloud. Most of took for fact we wouldn’t make 25 or 40. I remember clear as if it were yesterday setting in algebra class considering the odds of the world being habitable at the turn of the millennium.
    But I remember a time no one in town left their doors locked and kids could walk a dozen blocks home in the dark after the movie show closed. Until the world goes thought a major change, one way or another, those types of felling safe are gone.

  2. Polimom – …but I do actually think the U.S. is safer than it was on September 11. What I don’t believe is that Iraq has the first thing to do with it…
    Lazarus – think we’re safer and I believe some of that safety comes from Iraq…
    I think that both of you may actually be right. In the short term, it would appear that our efforts in Iraq haven’t contributed to the safety of Americans as regards terrorism. However, Saddam (like his counterpart in Iran) saw himself as one of those whose role it was to navigate the world toward Armageddon (given his references to “the end times”.) In addition, there wre *known* training bases used by terrorists on Iraqi soil (one of which provided mock-ups of the cabins of Boeing jetliners, and was designed to give “special forces” practice in breaking into the cockpit.) Combine this with the fact that Saddam continued to play hide-and-seek with the weapons inspectors regarding his NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) programs, and his continued desire to make mischief in tht part of the world, and I think history will show that his ouster did, in fact, make the world (and therefore America) a safer place.
    Unfortunately, when you are playing whack-a-mole, everytime you whack a mole, another pops up.
    Polimom – Fox is about as impartial as a banked freeway curve.
    A banked freeway curve? Interesting. But, even if that is the ultimate definition of “impartial”, banked freeway curves serve a useful purpose – otherwise the cars and trucks go slip-sliding off the side as they are trying to take the curve. High-school physics.
    Lazarus – “Fox is about as impartial as CBS.”
    Better. But, I would go one step farther. FNC does include representatives (both in the host and guest role) from multiple sides of the spectrum, and their hosts do tend to grill people on both (all?) sides – I recall Bill O’Reilly absolutely ripping a senior GOP type a new one over the “Jessica’s Law” bill the GOP’er was not entirely supportive of (and BOR most certainly was.)
    As far as us needing impartial news sources – that is a relatively recent phenomenon. Newspapers have always been partisan, and radio/TV land was “neutral” primarily due to some Federal regulations – most specifically the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”, which penalized stations which addressed controverial issues by making them provide free airtime to other viewpoints. Besides, we now know that several well-known newscasters had a very definite political agenda – they just couched their reporting in terms which tended to hide the agenda. I would prefer that we accept that news outlets do take positions, and treat them in that regard like we do newspapers.

  3. A couple of oopsies: My reference to “the end times” should have read “the mother of all battles” (which is a metaphorical reference to the Battle of Armageddon, and also to the reappearance of the 12th Imam.)
    tht == that, wre == were.

  4. Polimom – By agreeing to appear on Fox, there was surely no doubt Clinton was going to be grilled. Fox is about as impartial as a banked freeway curve. Likewise, there’s never any confusion about where a leaked intelligence report is likely to appear. Of COURSE it will come out through the NY Times.
    One major difference, Polimom: grilling President Clinton (or any other person) isn’t a Federal felony offense. Leaking classified documents IS. When I was in the military, if I recall the penalty was 10/10 (10 years/ $10,000 fine) per offense. Don’t know if it has changed at all.

  5. The analogy of the banked freeway curve evidently was too open to interpretation; I apologize for having been unclear. There was no intent whatsoever (by me) to imply that FOX news was helping to keep people on the “right” road… unless you also think that the correlating left banking serves the same purpose? How helpful these various slants and tilts are, then…
    I’ll try to improve the analogy:
    They are strongly tilted. Perhaps the guardrails equate to education and a developed ability to reason? If so, then they no doubt keep some people from going off into the weeds altogether… but many folks just flat-out miss the curve.
    Illiterate? Lazy? Not curious? Or just busy? Dunno…
    Ed T said:

    I would prefer that we accept that news outlets do take positions, and treat them in that regard like we do newspapers.

    I’d feel better about that if everyone actually possessed the ability to think internal guardrails.

  6. I think the fact that news organizations are tilted is a given – we can’t undo it, we can’t control it.
    As to people possessing the ability to think internal guardrails, I think that the vast majority of people in fact do – but that the ability is severely under-exercised.
    Another fact of life – everybody has an angle, an agenda, a slant. “We report… you decide” is a nice marketing slogan, but not realistic or reasonable. One of the reasons I review both and (as well as Polimom) is that I happen to like a variety of sources for my information. The reason I don’t watch that much news on TV is that I prefer Stargate-SG1, Dead Like Me, 7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls, Star Trek: TNG, and just about anything on Food Network. I’ll watch FOX-26 in the morning for the weather and the traffic before I leave for work – besides, Jan Jeffcoat is so incredibly cool 🙂
    BTW, I noticed that the Chronicle’s article on the NIE says it has both good – and not so good – things to say about how the Bush administration has handled AQ, OBL, Iraq, terrorism, and things along that line. Pretty much as I expected.
    Bush is also royally PO’d about the NIE being leaked. Also as I expected – and I am not happy the folks on the ‘other side’ aren’t complaining about that, too. They should be – the leakers aren’t doing them, or us, any favors.

  7. Something that people seem to have missed in the NIE was that a minority of Arabs and Muslims agree with the terrorists tactics. It also notes the emergence of moderate voices in the Arab world as a help.
    It did not mention something that I have read and heard from several Near East experts, that events in the Near East have made it very difficult for moderate voices to be heard; Iraq, Isreal vs. Hezbollah, and the continuinng issues on the West Bank. President Bush is bearing much of the blame for this in the Near East.
    Reflecting this trend is the affect Osama Bin Laden has had on the United States. It is increasingly difficult to be a moderate in the United States; to believe that even accuseed terrorists deserve certain rights in court, that there are limits to what should be considered torture (not for Osama and his cadre who could have an electric cattle prod stuck in their ear for all I care), to expect some level of oversight of the Executive branch (I have nothing against wire tapping but it is not a power I would give unchecked to any President). Some of this is political posturing but the posturing is only being done because it has worked and is expect to succeed.
    At the heart of this is fear, the more afraid we are, the more we freedoms and principles we are willing to give up to relieve that fear. But fear never goes away. When talking to friends prior to the Iraq war, I noticed that the level of commitment to the war was directly linked to how terrified they were after 9/11.
    I think frequently of the words of FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear is an emotion, it prevents us from thinking. It makes us do things that are not in our best long term interest.
    How long will this fear last, look at the support for the war in Iraq and the President’s approval ratings. Contrast both of those to just before the war in Iraq. If people still held the same level of fear, I would expect support for both to be substantially higher. However, there is still enough fear that people are willing to give up some freedoms or at least certain principles to feel just a little bit safer.
    There is much more to say about fear but it is late,

  8. That’s a great comment, Robert, and it’s particularly relevant, I think, this morning.
    I may have to pull it out of the comments and up into the light of day in a separate post.

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