Tuesday, May 17

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

by justmy2 @ 5/17/2005 07:39:00 PM

Via Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing...

Joe Hagan writes in the Wall Street Journal about how the Newsweek story has again raised questions about anonymous sourcing.

" 'We get bashed for all the anonymous sources but the administration is the one that insists on it,' says Dana Priest, who covers national security for the Washington Post. 'I don't think people realize that.'

Which is sort of analogous to saying "My husband beats me, but I stay because I love him."

If the media is continually ridiculed for respecting the requests of The White House, who in turn bashes them for using the same techniques that they requests, why on earth would the media continue to use these journalistic practices. It is like some strange twilight zone self fulfilling prophecy.

Two Words: Access & Money.

The press is profit driven, and they somehow believe that being first to market translates into dollars. If the CBS and Newsweek experiences are not enough for them to figure out how outlandish the pitfalls of this approach, they deserve exactly what they get and I have no sympathy for them.

Monday, May 16

I agree!

by justmy2 @ 5/16/2005 11:14:00 PM

On my way home today, I heard a conservative radio host on the radio state that there should be a thorough investigation into the negligence of those who put United State's Soldiers in harm's way by relying on single sourced evidence of wrongdoing that could not be later confirmed and appeared to be politically motivated.

I agree wholeheartedly.

And when the investigation into the manipulation of facts to suit the Administration's Iraq policy is completed, it may be a good idea to look further into any potential journalistic lapses that caused Newsweek to make this retraction...

Too Little, Too Late

by justmy2 @ 5/16/2005 03:44:00 PM

When will the media learn?

Newsweek apologized yesterday for an inaccurate report on the treatment of detainees that triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which at least 15 people died.

Editor Mark Whitaker expressed regret over the item in the magazine's "Periscope" section, saying it was based on a confidential source -- a "senior U.S. government official" -- who now says he is not sure whether the story is true.

BTW-It looks like ship has already sailed...

Newsweek magazine may have apologized, but to many in the Muslim world, it's too late and much too little.

Muslims brushed off an apology to readers that appeared in this week's edition of the newsweekly that acknowledged errors in a story alleging U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Koran, Islam's holy book.

Interestingly enough, Newsweek has an Arabic issue but there was no mention of the apology in this week's issue. Critics called it a strategic move in the face of the overwhelming and violent reaction.

I thought the press had the privilege of revealing their sources if the source proved to be untrustworthy. If the source told you something untrue, there is no reason for that person to remain anonymous. I am not sure why they have not, but it is interesting that they have not.

Why the press continues to use anonymous sources as the rule as opposed to the exception is beyond me? This Administration has successfully taken down the credibility CBS (Non-Denial of the National Guard story), the NYT (Miller WMD reporting), attempted The Washington Post (Mike Allen on the Schiavo Memo), and now Newsweek (w/WaPo due to their ownership) via this story with another non-denial that the Newsweek relied upon and threw back in their face 11 days later. They sit there in gaggle briefings with the Press Secretary literally laughing in their face and not giving them a straight answer for days on end, and then they report him telling them they need to get their facts straight. And they take it over and over again...There are a few metaphors I could use hear, but this is a family site.

There is a reason journalist's first job is to be skeptical. The lack of skepticism is now becoming the MSM's achilles heel. The MSM continues to chase their tails while Rupert Murdoch laughs all the way to the bank.

I have no sympathy for Michael Issikoff or Newsweek. I still have not seen any evidence that the story was untrue. But tell me again, why is the editor checking on sources after the story was published instead of before? It is like the Mike Allen Schiavo memo story. They retract a bit and then unretract a bit, but the damage is already done. They have only made the situation that much worse.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, they report that the story is absolutely true next week, would anyone believe them? That is the problem here. The same way the President has been using up his political capital, the MSM has just about used up there capitial and they don't get any new capital every 4 years.

You can forget about any adversarial stories from Newsweek for the next two or three years. There are not many investigative journalists out there and Newsweek just blew it. Perception is reality here, no matter how loud Juan Cole protests (and I happen to agree with the majority of his assessment)

As everyone who frequents this site should know by now, I am no tinfoiler, but let's take a look at the current state of affairs for the Neo-Conservative power structure.

Executive Branch...check

Legislative Branch...check

Judicial Branch...taking care of that this week

World Bank....check


Delegitimize the UN and International Law...check with Bolton cleaning up loose ends

Delegitimize major non-conservative media outlets...check

As an Independent, this scares me just as much as a Democratic checklist of the same type would. I sincerely believe absolute power corrupts absolutely and absolute power is suddenly within reach.

Stranger than fiction?

by justmy2 @ 5/16/2005 02:33:00 PM

The third installment has somehow set off another debate on the world view of the current Administration

But there were also murmurs at the parallels being drawn between Bush's administration and the birth of the space opera's evil Empire.

Baddies' dialogue about bloodshed and despicable acts being needed to bring "peace and stability" to the movie's universe, mainly through a fabricated war, set the scene.

And then came the zinger, with the protagonist, Anakin Skywalker, saying just before becoming Darth Vader: "You are either with me — or you are my enemy."

I have heard and read that many are suggesting a correlation between The Empire and the Bush Administration. Without getting into the particulars of whether this is true or not, I would like to ask supporters of the Administration a simple, but yet what I believe is a poignant and important question.

Why is it that so many recent movies "appear" to be jabs at the current Administration via the antagonist? Once again, I have not seen the movie, but movies from "The Manchurian Candidate" to "Minority Report" to this one definitely have a point of view.

But take the current Administration out of the equation...Are the points being made by "The Good Guys" valid? Are they too Utopian?

If not, why are we at the point where the first interpretation of all of these movies is that our current Administration takes the view of "The Bad Guys"? What would be the storyline of the movie that fits the world view of the current administration? Maybe the "24" storyline, although I have never seen that show.

I am not asking this rhetorically. It seems to me that there is a difference between right and wrong. However, these movies appear to be making the distinction more clear, but in reality they are becoming more and more blurred. Should we be moving toward more clarity or less at this point in history? Is reality simply less clear than we would like to believe?

I do not know when the dialouge for this movie was written. However, Lucas says the story was written more based on his experience with the Vietnam War than any recent events according to the linked storty. But I still believe that it is very telling that 30 years later we have reached a point were a "viable" interpretation of this movie could be that the US is closer to the role of the Empire that the "Good Guys"?

I am trying to organize my thoughts around this, but I would love to hear your opinion. I would like to here the counter argument from a supporter of the Administration on this subject. Why is the interpretation not viable, even if you believe it does not represent the full reality of the situation. I certainly would like to think that this is a ridiculous interpretation of the movie, but unfortunately, recent events make this interpretation much closer to reality than it should be, even if it is only 5% (an arbitrary number).

Join in a discussion here in the comments section.

Wednesday, May 4

Never Again???

by justmy2 @ 5/04/2005 11:41:00 PM

Many people love to use those two words when they think about atrocities committed by governments over the years. Unfortunately, there are many times that these are no more than words.

The 21st Century Tuskegee Experiment

Government tested AIDS drugs on foster kids
Children not provided with basic legal protection, review finds

...The research funded by the National Institutes of Health spanned the country. It was most widespread in the 1990s as foster care agencies sought treatments for their HIV-infected children that weren't yet available in the marketplace.

The practice ensured that foster children, mostly poor or minority, received care from world-class researchers at government expense, slowing their rate of death and extending their lives. But it also exposed a vulnerable population to the risks of medical research and drugs that were known to have serious side effects in adults and for which the safety for children was unknown.

...In one study, researchers reported a "disturbing" higher death rate among children who took higher doses of a drug. That study was unable to determine a safe and effective dosage.

...However, researchers and foster agencies told AP that foster children in AIDS drug trials often weren’t given such advocates even though research institutions many times promised to do so to gain access to the children.

Illinois officials believe none of their nearly 200 foster children in AIDS studies got independent monitors even though researchers signed a document guaranteeing “the appointment of an advocate for each individual ward participating in the respective medical research.”

Please click on the link and read the entire article. The article states lives were extended in some cases, but then states a disturbingly high death rate occured in others. Does the ends justify the means?

Let me be clear. I have no problem with experimental medical care for those who are willing and able to accept the risks. I also think it is important to attempt to provide the best treatment available to all of those in need, including the most needy among us.

However, it is simply unacceptable in my view to experiment on children without oversight and then attempt to hide it from authorities. If this was on the up and up, why were advocates not assigned to these children who could take care of their best interests. We have seen this story before in Tuskegee. Rules were set up to ensure the same thing did not happen again. These rules were systematically subverted in this case. These are not mice. These are human beings who were guinea pigs for experimental treatments and may not have been aware of the consequences.

I simply ask you these two questions.

Have you heard about this? Why not?

I tend to believe this is at least worthy of a national discussion. Some people may believe doctors should experiment on kids if they think the treatments can help. I just happen to believe history has shown that someone independent should be involved in thes decisions, because of the potential conflicts of interest for the researchers.

The media of this country would prefer to talk about a bride who got cold feet than talk about experimentation on the most vulnerable among us. Have they no shame? By the way, the BBC reported this back in November, but the US media didn't find it important enough to discuss.

Remaining silent on this is simply not an option in my opinion. I implore you to email this story to anyone you believe would be interested.

Write your congressman or congresswoman and ask why they allowed this to happen and what they are going to do to never let it happen again. They can pass laws in one day to attempt to save the life of one person in Florida, but yet children are being experimented on like animals and nothing is done.

Write a letter to your editor or other local media asking why this is not more important than Michael Jackson and runaway brides.

Here are tips for writing letters to the media.

The madness must stop. Your silence is deadly. Literally.


And in case you didn't know, another African genocide is underway, but those lives do not seem to be important either. Thousands die each day and the world remains silent. What does "culture of life" really mean, and whose lives does it refer to? Silence is indeed deadly.