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BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.

Rick Fielding 05 Sep 03 - 12:46 PM
Amos 05 Sep 03 - 12:51 PM
Raptor 05 Sep 03 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,heric 05 Sep 03 - 01:01 PM
Ebbie 05 Sep 03 - 01:26 PM
katlaughing 05 Sep 03 - 02:06 PM
Mark Clark 05 Sep 03 - 02:12 PM
Don Firth 05 Sep 03 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Russ 05 Sep 03 - 04:03 PM
Nigel Parsons 05 Sep 03 - 04:17 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 05 Sep 03 - 04:22 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Sep 03 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,heric 05 Sep 03 - 04:46 PM
mack/misophist 05 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM
Peter T. 05 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM
alanabit 05 Sep 03 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 05 Sep 03 - 09:46 PM
Rapparee 05 Sep 03 - 10:31 PM
Amos 05 Sep 03 - 11:09 PM
LadyJean 05 Sep 03 - 11:12 PM
Bobert 05 Sep 03 - 11:37 PM
katlaughing 06 Sep 03 - 12:15 AM
Amergin 06 Sep 03 - 04:02 AM
C-flat 06 Sep 03 - 04:28 AM
Jeri 06 Sep 03 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,John Hardly 06 Sep 03 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,John Hardly 06 Sep 03 - 08:33 AM
Bobert 06 Sep 03 - 08:46 AM
Jeri 06 Sep 03 - 09:52 AM
Rapparee 06 Sep 03 - 09:52 AM
Amos 06 Sep 03 - 10:43 AM
Jeri 06 Sep 03 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,John Hardly 06 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM
Rapparee 06 Sep 03 - 12:11 PM
Metchosin 06 Sep 03 - 12:23 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Sep 03 - 01:06 PM
Bobert 06 Sep 03 - 10:51 PM
Don Firth 06 Sep 03 - 11:40 PM
katlaughing 07 Sep 03 - 12:02 AM
Mark Clark 07 Sep 03 - 12:25 AM
Jeri 07 Sep 03 - 07:29 AM
Alice 07 Sep 03 - 09:32 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Sep 03 - 11:45 AM
Mark Clark 07 Sep 03 - 03:44 PM
Bardford 08 Sep 03 - 12:49 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Sep 03 - 02:23 PM
Rick Fielding 13 Sep 03 - 04:13 PM
mg 13 Sep 03 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,John Hardly 14 Sep 03 - 06:48 AM
Amos 14 Sep 03 - 11:25 AM
John Hardly 14 Sep 03 - 11:46 AM
Jeri 14 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM
John Hardly 14 Sep 03 - 02:23 PM
Deckman 14 Sep 03 - 03:04 PM
John Hardly 14 Sep 03 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,pdq 14 Sep 03 - 03:09 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 03 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,pdq 14 Sep 03 - 04:37 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Sep 03 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,pdq 14 Sep 03 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,An observer... 14 Sep 03 - 07:53 PM
Bobert 14 Sep 03 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,pdq 14 Sep 03 - 09:10 PM
Bobert 14 Sep 03 - 09:21 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 03 - 09:37 PM
John Hardly 14 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,pdq 14 Sep 03 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Casual Observer 15 Sep 03 - 05:19 PM
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Subject: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:46 PM

I guess this is probably just a symptom of ageing, but I find myself constantly shaking my head at the absolutely ridiculous babble that passes for "TV Truth" these days. I used to just laugh when a politician or commentator said something obviously coloured by his/her idealogical bias, because I honestly felt that (like me) the majority of folks were chuckling too.

The last year has changed all that. I've watched countries gladly send soldiers off to die in bogus wars on the the most transparent flimsy lies. I've seen a network that I used to enjoy watching (CNN) completely lose it's credibility by becoming strictly an entertainment channel. (or worse, a Government policy cheerleading team)

Mostly I've lost so much respect for my fellow humans who either buy wholeheartedly the obvious bunk, or who fail to see that their own fanaticism (political, religious, whatever..) matches perfectly with that of "The enemy". It IS disheartening.

But occasionally I see on the tube people who seem to make sense. One (Bill Maher) does it through humour, the other two, Journalists Robert Fisk and Christopher Hitchings (both British coincidentally) just seem to be able to look at all sides of the hot button issues and make interesting points......and I don't feel insulted to be watching and listening.....WHETHER I agree with them or not.

There are other people I enjoy listening to like Michael Moore or Ralph Nader, and even occasionally Jesse Ventura,(!!) because I tend to agree with them a lot....but I won't put them in this list because they all manipulate a lot....and I'm talking about people who simply and dispassionately speak the TRUTH (on TV)

So that's my list:

Bill Maher
Robert Fisk
Christopher Hitchings

Any thoughts on who YOU believe speaks honestly (on TV)?

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:51 PM

More important, is the equation "Lying = Success" more dominant in the public mind than it used to be? If so, why?

We've had scurrilous politicians and lying slimebags for President before, so it is no news that the halls are power are halls of corruption, is it?

It feels to me like a serious decline has set in but it may be no more degraded than it has been for decades. What's your take on the Truth Factor?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Raptor
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:58 PM

Rick My List:

Cathy Jones

Mary Walsh

Rick Mercer

Greg Tommey

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:01 PM

Jerry Brown (Governor Moonbeam.) I just LOVED him as a Presidential candidate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:26 PM

One big- and dismaying- change is that lying has become merely a strategy. When a falsehood is exposed, there doesn't seem to be any embarrassment involved, just kind of an 'oops', and a fresh spin. Given that kind of climate, I don't see that telling the unvarnished truth as one sees it is a winning approach. The people have become aware that at any time an oops may be forthcoming.

On a slightly different note, in this morning's paper I read that Congress has voted itself their fifth consecutive pay raise, bringing their take to $158,000 a year. When those who speak and act for us are making $12,000 a month, why are we surprised when they don't relate to the common man?


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 02:06 PM

Mario Cuomo always seemed pretty truthful, to me.

I like watching Jon Stewart.

Molly Ivins, even though she does op/ed, she and Ellen Goodman, both seem to try to keep it balanced in their own particular ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 02:12 PM

Great topic Diogenes… er, I mean Rick. Still looking for that honest man, I see.

I think we could add Bill Moyers to what must surely be a very short list. He explores all sides of an issue and goes to great lengths to get the facts across even if they aren't welcome.

I suspect the U.S. population isn't much different than people everywhere when it comes to believing lies from suposedly responsible sources. I remember laughing out loud when U.S. President Ronald Reagan began calling the USSR the Evil Empire. At the time the U.S. and USSR enjoyed cordial relations and, except for Afghanistan, were cooperating in a number of areas. I figured the press would soon make him a laughing stock. (Okay, more of a laughing stock.) Strange thing was that the administration keept repeating the tag and the press kept reporting it until finally it became accepted as “truth.” I finally realized people will believe any crap they are handed until the lives of most citizens have become so miserable that toleration is no longer possible.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 02:59 PM

Mark, you beat me by that much! I had just got the URL to put a link to Bill Moyers' web site and had come back to post it when I say your post.

I don't know if all PBS affiliates carry it, but the one in Seattle, KCTS, airs NOW with Bill Moyers at 9:00 p.m. on Fridays. I watch it regularly, and it is one of the few programs on TV where I feel that they really get in and dig and then present the unvarnished truth. In the minds of some, of course, that makes the program a flaming example of the "liberal media."

Some months ago, when I first started watching it, Moyers ended the program with a commentary. I felt that it was so "right on the money" that I searched the internet until I found a copy of it and downloaded it. If you will forgive me, I would like to post it here.
MOYERS: I wore my flag tonight. First time. Until now I haven't thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see. It was enough to vote, pay my taxes, perform my civic duties, speak my mind, and do my best to raise our kids to be good Americans.

Sometimes I would offer a small prayer of gratitude that I had been born in a country whose institutions sustained me, whose armed forces protected me, and whose ideals inspired me; I offered my heart's affections in return. It no more occurred to me to flaunt the flag on my chest than it did to pin my mother's picture on my lapel to prove her son's love. Mother knew where I stood; so does my country. I even tuck a valentine in my tax returns on April 15.

So what's this doing here? Well, I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo — the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the good housekeeping seal of approval. During the State of the Union, did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little red book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread.

But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American. They are people whose ardor for war grows disproportionately to their distance from the fighting. They're in the same league as those swarms of corporate lobbyists wearing flags and prowling Capitol Hill for tax breaks even as they call for more spending on war.

So I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first stash the cash.) I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what Bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds me that it's not un-American to think that war — except in self-defense — is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomacy. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.

What do you think?
This reflects my own feeling on this matter exactly. I've learned a lot from this program, and so often, the program gives information that I think every citizen should be aware of if they want to be part of an informed electorate.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:03 PM

My impression is that politicians and politics aren't any worse than they were during the 60s, the first decade where I actually paid attention.

I don't think I am any more frustrated with the government and the electorate than I was during the 60s. (or the 70s, or the 80s, ...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:17 PM

UK politics: I seem to recall that Margaret Thatcher (1970s/ 1980s) told the truth. Not everyone agreed with it!
But that's another matter.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:22 PM

Right On Don!

Nice post. Moyers has been keeping me in on friday nights... and I'm ever so grateful for his insights! I think you sited a fine example of his clear and insightful thinking. ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:41 PM

Thanks Don. Geez, from now on I'm a Bill Moyers fan.

Even up in Canada we get the occasional Molly Ivans column, and naturally I enjoy her too.

When I say "speaking the truth" I mean lambasting BOTH (all) sides when deserved though. Someone who blindly supports liberal causes is just as bad as a dyed in the wool reactionary in my book.

Remember Tom Lehrer? HIM I'd add to my list as well.....so it's:

Bill Maher
Christopher Hitchings
Robert Fisk
Bill Moyers

......and (hopefully) counting.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:46 PM

and Tom Lehrer


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM

CNN was mentioned above. Just this morning I read something interesting about them. Salon.com features a regular semi-tech column written by an airline pilot. Today he mentioned that, in other countries, CNN does real news, not pap. His theory is that Americans aren't interested in the rest of the world. I think he's probably right. I think it's also true that, while a majority of reporters may be consciencious and/or liberal, the vast majority of media owners are right wing weasels who imagine truth is whatever makes them the most money.

check here


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM

I am afraid I am even more cynical than Rick. One of the most familiar strategies these days is to pose as someone "speaking truth to power". George W. Bush, for example, went through his campaign talking about how it was time to sweep out all those eggheads in Washington, bring politics back to the people, and other crap. Anytime I see or hear someone saying it is time to tell the truth, I know I am about to be given the "little people vs. those bastards" line. This feeds people's distrust of government, and helps them decide not to vote, especially when each new reformer turns out to be more of the same. These days, the "cleaning out of that place" usually means a right-wing agenda of cutting back on government, regulation, and social support.

Similarly, the "truth" is a synonym for "those liars, not me." Yet, if we look around, we see environmentalists driving SUVs, free traders protecting their own subsidies, people demanding that we help the Third World but not prepared to do anything about it, etc. In my home province, everyone is bitching about the recent blackout. Were there demonstrations in the street when the government deliberately froze electricity rates? Where did the government get the idea that raising electricity prices might annoy citizens?

They are not telling us the truth because we prefer lies. It makes us feel good every once in awhile to have someone tell us the truth, it amuses us, and gives us a shudder of pleasure. But a steady diet of truth would upset us too much.

Saints are lousy and dangerous politicians, by and large. In my country (Canada), and in England, and other countries I know, politicians are usually being asked to do complicated conflicted things, balance off competing demands, and remain somewhat consistent with their own party's philosophy, which cannot become too anarchic, or, except in very special circumstances, they will not have enough resources to be elected again. Truth, in that case, is a negotiated thing.
yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:20 PM

Nigel, if you think that Margeret Thatcher always told the truth, it might be worth examining the fate of Sarah Tidsall and Clive Ponting when they both exposed the government's mendacity at different times. Thatcher actually shouted down Neil Kinnock in the House of Commons when he challenged her with factual information which she knew to be true.
   It has struck me for many years that in the UK - and probably other countries too - that politicians both left and right refuse to tell the simple truth about tax - which is that the very rich have never paid it and probably never will. It is equally damaging to both sides to acknowledge that simple fact.
   The other fantasy - which Tony Blair has regrettably perpetuated - is the absurd notion that a British Prime Minister would have any real say in our foreign policy. That has not been true in my lifetime, although I am baffled as to why Blair has been such an enthusiastic salesman of the White House's decisions.
   I am afraid that I can only endorse Rick's comments on the CNN coverage of the Iraq invasion. Regrettably the BBC has been no better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 09:46 PM

Molly Ivins impresses me because she documents her arguments more than most anyone. And she's sane.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 10:31 PM

"What is Truth?" said jesting Pilate.

We can only speak the truth about what we see, and what we see may differ. Truth comes through our perceptions of the world, and whatever we see is filtered by our perceptions, our preconceptions, our prejudices, and more.

What is reported as "news" is all too often anecdote, and our cultural has increasing taken anecdote for fact or news.

In an attempt to "personalize" the stories, reporters have lost sight of the stories. "Sergeant, how did you feel when you saw the car bomb wipe out your platoon?" "Mrs. Smith, your husband was killed on the construction sight today. Can you tell us about it?" Probably speaking, in both cases the reporter should be told to go piss up a rope and his/her microphone jammed where the sun don't shine. But we are too polite and, at times like these, too distracted to do what should be done.

The same has been applied to politics. "All politics is local," said Tip O'Neill, and he was dead right. "Keep the streets fixed" was King Richard Daley I's version. Now politicians tell us that what they are doing is good for us individually, EVEN THOUGH for the country as a whole it's terrible.

Neither the politicians nor the vast majority of the media can present a holistic, balanced view of events. My vote for a decent newsperson?

Paul Harvey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:09 PM

It is wonderful to think how someone who went in to journalism hoping to increase the understanding of the world, to bring light into dark corners and be the stout voice of integrity and honesty, gradually gets wormed away into working for a polit-bureau, isn't it? How does the spirit of samizdat gradually shrivel into the voice of propaganda, militant and bureaucratized and strident in its assertions of untrue realities?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: LadyJean
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:12 PM

I'm working for Howard Dean because I think he means what he says.
Prowl among back (seriously back) issues of the New York Times, in 1977, Dr. Roger Bennet, a gifted professor of journalism wrote an article on how to tell if someone was lying. Dr. Bennet was a fine teacher and the rarest of all animals a gifted journalism professor. It's Christopher HITCHENS not Hitchings. He has his biases too, and they can be fairly blatant. Molly Ivins is my hero.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:37 PM

Walter Cronkite....

I recently heard that he was going to get a little show going where he could talk about what's on his mind. Unfortunately, I haven't seen his show...

Why?

Hmmmmmm?

Like guess who owns the media....

Yeah, Rick, I agree with you and this would be an easier question to answer if it weren't for the fact that the media is owned by the same folks who are in bed with the crooks and liars who run America....and the UK.....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:15 AM

Good one, Bobert, I hadn't thought of Cronkite. I agree with you about him.

Also, on Bill Moyers. I just watched his weekly program "NOW." This time he told of "Rich countries, Poor women" all about what market globalisation, the IMF, WTO, etc. are doing to destroy the lives of the poorest peoples of our world. Did you know the Ganges is being "privatised?" Its water is being stolen from inhabitants, taken for free, by Coca Cola, then bottled as water and sold for 10 rupees. Local wells, etc. are running dry as a result. 15% of the world's drinking water is "owned" by a French company, bottled and sold all over the world. Bill Moyers is incredible and speaks the Truth, most definitely!


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Amergin
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 04:02 AM

in response to paul harvey being a decent newsperson...well if he had researched his stories a bit more fully....he probably would have seen them for the crap they actually were....

for example: click here, click here, click here, click here, and the list just goes on and on and on.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: C-flat
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 04:28 AM

Not only do I find myself shaking my head at the "TV truth" we're subjected to, I'm positively insensed at the dumbing down policy of the media.
So much of the media is in the hands of a small group of people whose main concern is viewing figures. Possibly due to the shameful dumbing down in education, viewing figures for political programmes have been dropping off steadily for the past 20 years, at a rate which is reflected in election turn-outs for people under 50 years-old, and the news groups reacted by re-packaging the news into sound bites and stock quotes in order to popularise the news.
As a result, the more news you watch, the less informed you are.
There are, as has been shown here, a few voices in the darkness, but as a society in general, we are uneducated and uninformed with regard to world events giving the Bush/Blair administrations the perfect opportunity to raise a political smokescreen on the back of the terror attacks to wrest control of the precious oil supplies they covet.
The TV and other media organisations aren't going to start making hard news programmes until they feel a demand from the viewers, and the viewers, in general, aren't going to demand because they're conditioned to watching news in 5-second sound-bites and have grown to feel unengaged by world events. The sudden upsurge of interest following the Sep-11 attack and the subsequent "war on terror" has created a problem for the media, in as far as they have needed to bring people up to speed with regard to middle-east relations, cultural and religious matters, in order to paint a back-drop for the military images that have been "manna from heaven" to the programme makers.
Not easy to pack all that background information into little,5-second bite-size lumps between advertisements and who's going to want to listen to some political commentater questioning the ethics of what we're doing when there's all this great footage of tanks and soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 07:37 AM

People often don't notice an agenda when newscasters say stuff they want to hear. Oh well - popularity sells. I see most newscasters today as game show hosts or talking heads. The former exemplified by the guy on Fox (can't remember his name) whose show Larry (InOBU) was on. The latter...oy. I was watching CNN one night and had this feeling I'd seen the woman doing the news somewhere. She played whatshername, the PsiCop on Babylon 5. You think journalism was her first love? I don't. (If you've seen Bab5, seeing her in the role as a news anchor was VERY ironic!)

I'm pretty cynical. I listen long enough to try to figure out what someone's agenda is, no matter what 'side' they appear to be on, then I use that as a filter to figure out what the facts are. Unfortunately, there isn't anyone I watch regularly. I'll turn on the news and flip channels until I find one that's not talking about the stock market, sports, or gossip of one sort or another.

(Kat, we've got a water issue going on in NH now. Some company from another country wants to draw a ridiculous amount of water per day to bottle and sell overseas.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 08:30 AM

funny isn't it. Our own ideology makes this kind of list into just another refection on whom we like to have presenting the side we're already on. F'rinstance, Moyers is one near the bottom of my list. His manner is thoughtful -- but he is as deceptive as they come.

...and he does it on my dime.

I tend to agree that Hitchings has shown a willingness to present the truth in the side with which he does not agree. I enjoy the interchange between Tony Snow and Juan Williams.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 08:33 AM

...oh yeah, and Moyers "speaks for God" just as dogmatically as any Falwell or Dobson -- it's just that his dogmatism is anti-objective truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 08:46 AM

Hey, John, come on over and view the scene from the other side fir just a minute or two and look around at just how few folks our side has mentioned compared to the dozens and dozens of well known media figures. This ain't Wes Ginny 'rithmatic here. Like, not many...

Oh, yeah, we keep hearing cons and neo-cons calling the media liberal. What a total joke. If that were so you'd see a lot more folks being named here that the this side of the fence see as even objective....

Also, consider this, my friend. During the time that the US was contimplating attacking Iraq but hadn't made up it's mind (supposedly) look at the folks that the networks hired to help us make up our collective minds: retired generals and defense contractors, that's who. No theologians. No psychologists. No peace activist. Or sociologist. Just a bunch of war mongers. Hmmmmm, Part 2749!!!!.....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 09:52 AM

I hate to mess with yet another opportunity to get on soap boxes, but this is exactly what this thread AIN'T about. Not "my side" or "your side." It's probably a good indication of why news folks can't resist throwing their own agendas in whenever they get the chance.

The people speaking the truth should be acclaimed by both sides. Unfortunately no one these days (if ever) can tell the difference between fact and opinion and no one has the self control to keep from shoving their own agendas up the public's arse if they CAN manage to tell the difference. Cynical moi...


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 09:52 AM

Well, there was trouble with the 'Cat at the time I wrote about Paul Harvey, and what got posted wasn't what I wanted to be the final message.

What the last lines should have been were that my vote for a trustworthy newsperson was Paul Harvey, because he was as good as most of them.

Actually, Molly Ivins comes about as close as any to being truthful and is one of my favorite columnists.

I wonder, sometimes, if we could *stand* hearing the truth, seeing as how much it would interfer with our (and I mean this personally, including myself) view of the world.

What ever happened to the old AP lead of the "5 W's and an H"? Even modified AP leads told more than today's leads.

(By the way: Paul Harvey was against the Vietnam War. Not on moral grounds, mind you -- he said that if we weren't willing to win we should get out -- but he was one of the first news reporters to come out publicly and unequivocally against the US being there. I'll grant you that he's a little to the right....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Amos
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 10:43 AM

There really is a thing called truth, Pontius Pilate notwithstanding, and the simplest description of integrity is knowing what you have seen and being willing to say so. Politicians in general tend to sell this principle out in exchange for telling what buys. But let's not get so fuzzy-headed that we lose sight of the fact that individual integrity is possible and means something!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 11:15 AM

Although I get frustrated because I wish humanity in general were better, it's darned near impossible to be objective. Er...that's MY version of 'better'.

What I really resent is being told what I should believe and being assumed to be stupid enough that I won't notice. I don't care which side is doing the spinning. It can be especially aggravating if I DO agree with the person.

As I can't seem to remember any names today, does anyone remember the guy who was on CNN a lot during the Gulf War? Older African-American man, deep voice. I wonder where he is these days. I remember seeing him being interviewed once. He was asked his opinions about the war and refused to answer on the grounds that the public trusted him to be as objective as possible. I suppose it's possible that one could lose confidence simply by stating an opinion people didn't agree with no matter how objectively one reported. He also said something else that I still remember: that he couldn't BE the news and still REPORT the news.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM

"Although I get frustrated because I wish humanity in general were better, it's darned near impossible to be objective. Er...that's MY version of 'better'.

What I really resent is being told what I should believe and being assumed to be stupid enough that I won't notice. I don't care which side is doing the spinning. It can be especially aggravating if I DO agree with the person."


That's all I was trying to say -- and just pointing out that you must have to come from my perspective to realize that Moyers is a "spinner" with the best (worst? ) of 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:11 PM

Amos, a few months ago I was unemployed and took a course on getting a job.

The instructor had been personnel manager for, among other places, Sun Microsystems. His rules -- cast in stone -- were:

1. Absolute integrity. Personally and professionally, absolute integrity.

2. Don't take it personally.

3. Be impeccable.

4. ALWAYS do your best.

He also said some other things that wear well:

1. Effort isn't results.

2. Reacting isn't responding.

3. Be decisive.

4. Getting the MOST our of yourself isn't getting the BEST out of yourself.

Sure wish a lot of folks -- politicians, newspeople, and more -- would learn these aphorisms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 12:23 PM

........i miss Peter Gzowski.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 01:06 PM

Look, this is a simplistic thread. I was in a simplistic (and fairly hostile) mood. I have no idea whether the people I mentioned (Maher, Hitchins, Fisk, Moyers) are ACTUALLY speaking the truth or not. What they HAVE done is go on TV and APPEAR to go against the prevailing (lack of) wisdom.

This woman Molly Ivans has been mentioned several times, and although I've read a few of her columns, her TV presence (which was the basis of my argument) must be on some channel that I don't get. I think there are quite a few interesting JOURNALISTS that go against the grain....but I'm asking about those that are allowed to spout on TV.

Cronkite is interesting. Might he REALLY speak from his heart if allowed a regular forum? Geez I'd hope so.

Nope.....the folks I mentioned SEEM to be speaking from the heart.

But then again, I guess Pat Buchannan, Pat Robertson, and Ann Coulter are as well......sigh.

Thanks for the good arguments.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 10:51 PM

Well, Jeri, like "your side/my side" or not, it very much exists. The media is owned lock, stock and barrel buy folks who profit from anti-human, anti-earth policies... No wonder that just about everything gets spun to compliment the Bush administration....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 11:40 PM

Going through some videotapes that I made of NOW with Bill Moyers when I was going to be out and miss the program, I defy anyone to point out where he nobbles what he reports. He picks the stories and introduces the film clips. When he does make a comment, he makes it clear as crystal that this is his opinion. Essentially what he does is say, "I think you should know about this," and presents a film clip, usually containing interviews and commentaries pro and con, and lets you make up your own mind. However, I can readily understand why some people would object to what he tends to report. He digs up the stuff that lots of people would rather you not know about. That, of course, makes him "biased."

From what I've seen of her and read of her writings, I think Molly Ivins doesn't get much air time because she's much to close to the mark and is clear, outspoken, funny, and highly quotable. We can't have that!!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 12:02 AM

Linda Ellerby was/is another woman who is very clear about her preceptions and she used to have a lot of TV time. Also wrote a couple of books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 12:25 AM

Don, I totally agree with you about Moyers. I don't see him spinning anything on his program. He merely lays it out for us. If he offers any opinion, it's always clearly labeled as opinion. I'm not sure what John meant by his remark, I hope he'll give us an example.

I have noticed that some people's world view or self image or whatever is completely dependent on a need to believe with heartfelt sincerity that things are fundamentally as they should be and, except for a few abberations, all is right with the world. I've run across fundamentalist Christians who genuinely believe that God created dinosaur bones deep in the earth but didn't create any living dinosaurs, ever. To believe that actual dinosaurs roamed the earth conflicts with their creationist theology so it just didn't happen. There is nothing one can say to change these people's minds since their belief system allows them to dismiss facts as the influence of Satan.

Molly Ivins is one of my favorites too. I read her column whenever I can and enjoyed her very brief stint as a 60 Minutes commentator on CBS television. Still, perpaps that short stint on 60 Minutes will qualify her for Rick's list.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 07:29 AM

Bobert, of course the battle exists. I was afraid the thread would creep completely off the subject of 'truth in news' in favor of fighting the 'my beliefs are more right than yours' battle here. Again. Threadcreepaphobia.

I watched part of an interview last night by Christianne Amanpoor. (Alright, I remembered her name even if I can spell it.) She asked a guy (well, I don't remember HIS name) if he thought Al Jazeera and such pandered to popular opinion. He said all countries had news services that did that. Now THAT was truth. I think Amanpoor is a good candidate here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Alice
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 09:32 AM

Bill Moyers for TV reporting.
Greg Palast for print.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 11:45 AM

Yup, Christiane Amanpoor doesn't look like she could be intimidated.

Just saw a stat that said that 7 of every 11 Americans believe that Sadam was responsible for 9-11......even NOW. I find that (Sadam's responsibility) highly unlikely. Now our bosom buddies and oil partners in Saudi Arabia.....that has the ring of authenticity to it. Guess I won't hear too much about that theory on CNN.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 03:44 PM

Rick, You can usually rely on Americans to believe pretty much any crap they're handed from a mainstream or official source. It isn't that Americans are stupid, it's just that they've been pursuaded to put all of their energies into their jobs (if they still have jobs) and let everything else be what it will. They're busy Striving for Excellence don't you know. I saw a guest on a quiz show the other night who was unaware that the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bardford
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 12:49 PM

I've always liked the writing of Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's. Certainly ain't one to shy away from paddling against the prevailing mainstream media current.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 02:23 PM

A recent PBS "American Masters" documentary called "The Education of Gore Vidal" made me curious to read more of his writings. Here are some samples:

From the Observer: Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11

From the LA Weekly: The Last Defender of the American Republic? - An interview with Gore Vidal

From Salon: An interview with Gore Vidal

From Democracy Now: Gore Vidal on the "United States of Amnesia," 9/11, the 2000 Election and the War in Iraq


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 04:13 PM

Gore Vidal is a favourite of mine, but not on my list because he sees things a little TOO emotionally (like Moore) and I'm trying to be as objective as possible here. I'm thinking more of yer average TV guy or gal who calls a spad a spade ON BOTH SIDES....hard to find

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: mg
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 11:44 PM

I love Camile Paglia (sp?). Also Andrew Sullivan. Also Peggy Noonan, although it sometimes is like reading something by one of the Lennon Sisters. I think most people tell their version of what they see and the problem is the filters, not their lack of honesty. I think one serious filter is great naivite about how awful the world can really be, and another is too great cynicism about how it can't be changed ever no how. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 06:48 AM

I've said it before -- I don't want a news source that claims to be unbiased. Therein lies all the diplicity that creates the problem.

The only reason y'all think Moyers speaks the truth is because you agree with him. To me he is a bitter little man who feels let down by God and wants to make sure to disillusion as many others as possible -- spread his own misery.

Yeah, I agree. We're going to think that the guys who present our point of view speak the truth. All others are liars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Amos
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 11:25 AM

Well, the problem with many newscasters is not that they aren't presenting ground-truth -- how could they? But that they don't even present the truth as they themselves know it.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 11:46 AM

all but those who have experienced first hand, or proven something empirically, get filtered truth. Yup, even newscasters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM

I don't think objectivity from humans is possible, but the attempt to be fair is. That seems to be what's lacking: no one seems to notice that fairness is often missing, it's not important. What's important is finding an opinionated asshole one can use as an example. People who think it's alright to be close-minded, prejudiced, and cruel with invective aimed at 'the other side' are not going to want their newscasters being fair. They need role models who demonstrate how to properly behave like an opinionated asshole and who endorse that sort of image.

Maybe that talk show mentality was with us before talk shows, but it sure seems to me that talk shows were where the new gladiatorial games first started gaining popularity. It took a while before 'news' shows bought into the games, but it was inevitable. Insidious too. I think things have changed quite a bit. Others don't notice anything different. Ah well - perhaps Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, Reasoner, etc, were just as publically biased as news people of today and I was just too young to notice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 02:23 PM

I don't want them to attempt to be fair -- the concept of fairness is as biased as the content.

I want everyone OUTED.

I want to know where everyone stands and I don't want anyone to be able to put for the pretext of fairness, objectivity or any other euphemism for couching their biases in a way that empowers them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 03:04 PM

Rick, let me preface my comments by saying that I have NOT read every posting to this thread yet. I'm in the middle of some serious designs and bids and I won't have time until midnight. However, the title caught my attention, and I did read your posting.

I have had a lifteime strong aversion to TV. That doesn't mean that I don't watch it, I just choose my programs extremly carefully. The reason I do this is because years ago, I learned one fundemental: The PRIMARY purpose of TV is to sell toothpaste (or cars, or dog food). Given that basic assumption, how can anyone believe anything they see on TV, including your favorite persons mentioned.

The day that Maher sits down in my living room and lays an idea on me, where I can add my two cents worth in a meaningful discussion is the day I will perhaps listen to him. As it is now, his primary job is to sell toothpaste! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 03:07 PM

Oh, and this...

"Maybe that talk show mentality was with us before talk shows, but it sure seems to me that talk shows were where the new gladiatorial games first started gaining popularity"

You may be right but from my perspective it started with the fact that the left had a wonderful, powerful, built-in one-two-three punch that the right seemed to have no answer for.

Punch number one -- the national newscast possessed the mantle of objectivity while embracing a left-leaning stand.

Punch number two -- the left totally dominated academia, and in such a manner that trained a generation that there was only one dogma -- the left. And it became highly unlikely that the right could themselves appear "scholarly" in their positions as all "studies" pouring out of academia proved what academia already believed to be true -- the unassailable "rightness" of the left (see thread about scholarship).

Punch number three -- and to my mind perhaps simultaneously the least appreciated but the most effective -- the left has a total stranglehold on the entertainment industry. I think this wore on the psyche of the right more than either of the other two punches because, though the left's presentation from this front was the least logical, it was the most visceral. It told the right that they were STUPID, moronic sheepfucking rednecks who sit on their asses in their easy chairs when they weren't molesting their children. Not to mention the right dressed unhip, and had no sense of humor. Neither were we loving.

Well, I wish we could have risen above it in an homorable manner, but when push came to shove, the bloody battered right rose from the matt in the form of talk radio -- and it combined it's own one-two-three punch in one rabid, desparate......but very hurt attempt to be significant again.

It's first punch was finally not giving a damn about whether being humorous would compromise credibility. The left always got away with this because their humor wing was handled by the entertainment punch while the news media carried the credibility water.

Their second punch was in finding an alternative to accepted new media to gain credibility. This came in the form of the internet in which the standard news sources were daily scooped and their point of view was being unmasked by a news source that second by second could show an interested readership what news was being spiked, as well as a glaringly opposite perspective on events -- and they were covered more completely. Now the left has caught up and that "source" has become a burden for both sides as each and every kookburger conspiracy theory gained unassailible sources for every plot now threating to take over the (world/government/mudcat/you-name-it).

The third punch is in a self-collapsing academia. From elementary all the way up, the religion of how education is to be done and what is to be believed is crumbling -- whether talking about how incredibly well homeschoolers have done (despite all dire predictions otherwise) or how market forces drove simple, pragmatic education techniques back into schools out of necessity (like phonetic reading) or how technical schools are supplanting colleges in practical job training, and helping drastically change the face of the college campus such that women now significantly outnumber men.

Unfortunately, it is the first -- the unholy marriage of entertainment with news that has had the greatest ill effect on civil discourse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 03:09 PM

This is an example of bias/agenda promotion/spin right here on Mudcat:

"How bizarre can the music business be when a 12-year-old girl is prosecuted for internet downloading children's songs ".

Fact is that her mother(42) has 1000+ songs on her computer, mostly Madonna, Aerosmith, etc. Not Childern's songs and probably not downloaded by the daughter. They were set up for desktop file-sharing.

Call it spin or call it lying, most people are tired of non-truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 03:40 PM

Here are some links (and some spelling corrections)

Bill Maher
Robert Fisk
Christopher Hitchens (not an "official" site, apparently)
Michael Moore
Ralph Nader
JesseVentura
Cathy Jones (Is this the right one? I'm not familiar with her.)
Mary Walsh (ditto)
Rick Mercer (I'm beginning to see a pattern here.)
Greg Thomey (Aha!)
Jerry Brown
Mario Cuomo (It was hard to find a good site about him.)
Jon Stewart
Molly Ivins
Ellen Goodman
Bill Moyers
Margaret Thatcher
Paul Harvey (only audio is available, apparently)
Howard Dean
Roger Bennett (Couldn't find any references to his writings. Help!)
Walter Cronkite
Peter Gzowski
Linda Ellerbee
Christiane Amanpour
Greg Palast
Lewis Lapham
Gore Vidal
Camille Paglia
Andrew Sullivan
Peggy Noonan


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 04:37 PM

Only two conservatives, one 83 years old and the other retired. Nice balance. Paglia and Noonan are mixed-message types, and therefore may be honest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 06:08 PM

Well as I've pointed out again and again, I've left out dozens (mentioned here) from MY list, simply 'cuz they never break ranks LOUDLY and publicly from their idealogical position. Doesn't sound like objectivity to me.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 06:27 PM

Does anyone really want objectivity ? Most people seem to want advocates who shout their side's story louder and longer than the other side's spokemen. Hannity and Limbaugh are spokesmen for their particular view points and tell people that from the start. What many must object to is the "objective" journalist like Rather or Moyers spinning everything for his/her side. As John Hardly said, much more elequently than I can, we just want people who cannot be objective in reporting the news to go home. Having them become more clever and discrete in disguising their spin is hardly an improvement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,An observer...
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 07:53 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 08:56 PM

Well, seems that what folks want to hear has little to do with volume but more in something that makes 'em feel good. Ahhhh, not to be confuzerated with the truth, now. So when George Dubya gets up and says things like "No child left behind" everyone feels good. Hey, they got to dig real deep in the A section of their newpapers to find that Bush won't authorize the money to impliment the educational reforem legislation that he signed into law. Bottom line: public eductation is now being held accountable with standardized tests but the money to bring public education up to speed isn't being spent! But don't we all feel good knowin' that "no child is being left behind'? Meanwhile, behind the "no child left behind" scenes, Bush and his buddies are not only no funding the "no child left behind" but they are now stealin' money from public eduaction with school vouchers????

So a lot of kids are being left behind in the *new and improved* "no child left behind* program. Actually, more kids are being left behind now than before the "no child left behind" program... But who cares. We still got NASCAR, Budweieser and Country Music, don't we???...

BObert


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 09:10 PM

You forgot apple pie and motherhood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 09:21 PM

Dubya can't eat apple pie 'cause it's got too high an alcohol content.... But now, pretzels (wink, wink) are another story.

Ahhhh, just seemed to fir in with the "truth" or lack-there-of of this thread.....

The boy was smashed out of his gord, passed out and fell onto something but we get the "pretzel" lie...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 09:37 PM

"Unfortunately, it is the first -- the unholy marriage of entertainment with news that has had the greatest ill effect on civil discourse."

Two words: Rupert Murdoch. This Faux News scion is the antithesis of "left" and the epicenter of the unholy marriage you mention. and you think this is a result of those big bad lefties knocking over your bloodied, holier-than-thou conservatives, poor, poor victims that they are? And now they've risen, phoenix- like, against the forces of Rather and Jennings to be championed by this " fair and balanced" marriage of news, entertainment, and sets left over from the football pre-game shows? what a load of horseshit your post contains. the left hasn't held the presidency or signifigant power in the politics of america since LBJ. bill clinton was no "liberal" he was a moderate republican who had to run as a democrat because there's no such thing left in the republican party since they've moved to the right of mussolini. as such, "conservative" ( i hate the theft of that word by the reactionaries who now claim it) values have held sway in america since at least 1980 but the crybaby right still want to claim victimhood and milk it for all it's worth like an unrepentant welfare queen.

"the concept of fairness is as biased as the content."

you don't believe in the concept of fairness? i'm guessing you've not had a lasting relationship or raised kids, because one doesn't generally do well in such things without a concept of and commitment to fairness. i don't see why it can't be applied to civil discourse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM

No. It's much more simple than that.

I don't want the same people who decided what was "unbiased" deciding what is "fair".


....and I like my horseshit. It makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 10:16 PM

Scary part, John, is that ANON guest actually believes his horseshit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Publicly speaking the truth. Rare.
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 05:19 PM

I like my truth with a little humor: Dave Barry and P.J. O'Rourke.


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