Thursday, April 26, 2007

If the Herald-Sun Had an Ombudsman . . .

. . . His name would be Adam Eaglin. In yesterday’s Chronicle, Eaglin provided what almost certainly will be the definitive published review of the Herald-Sun’s coverage. From the paper’s slanted editorials to its ignoring news to its factual errors, Eaglin’s article reviews the Herald-Sun’s sorry performance.

But, of course, the Herald-Sun doesn’t have an ombudsman. And so, as Eaglin discovered, the person reviewing the work of news editor Bob Ashley, columnist Bob Ashley, and co-editorial page editor Bob Ashley is . . . Bob Ashley. Ashley’s verdict on Ashley? Critical self-reflection doesn’t seem to be a desired attribute at the Herald-Sun.

As Eaglin noted in a blog posting, he confronted a serious dilemma in writing the article: few people, it seems, read the Herald-Sun. He noted, “Despite finding plenty of sources willing to comment on the lacrosse case (journalism professors, editors, watch-dog organizations), I faced one common problem. Many of my sources—and I don’t mean this to be derisive or facetious—prefaced interviews with one caveat: they didn’t want to comment because they didn’t bother reading the Herald-Sun, and thus were unfamiliar with its coverage.”

Defense attorneys, obviously, read the H-S: the December 15 change-of-venue motion was filled with examples of the paper’s misleading, one-sided coverage. Jim Cooney’s public calling-out of the H-S bias was one of the most spectacular events in the April 11 press conference; Cooney told Eaglin he did so because while Nifong probably didn’t pay too much attention to national publications, “if The Durham Herald-Sun had stood up for due process and justice, he would’ve been forced to pay attention.”

Eaglin also obtained a comment from Bill Green, a former Washington Post ombudsman who now lives in Durham. Green’s analysis: “The Herald-Sun has consistently failed to presume the innocence of these three people. They leapt to judgment early and stayed with that thinking.”

An obvious example of Green’s thesis—the paper’s first editorial on the case, published March 28, 2006. The editorial praised the potbangers, hoping that “the banging drums served as a wake-up call that the students’ obnoxious fun and games have taken a very serious turn.” The editorial inaccurately stated, “When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation.” Moreover, added the editorial board, it was “outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened.” Of course, they had done so. They just hadn’t told the “truth” the H-S so desperately wanted to hear.

Asked by Eaglin whether the paper regretted the tone or substance of these early editorials, Ashley defended them: “We were reflecting the circumstances and situation as it was known at the time, and I don’t have any regret in doing that. I don’t think we need to apologize for that conclusion.”

Ashley similar seems blasé about the depressing litany of slanted stories that Eaglin’s article presented. Eaglin noted that Ashley considered such stories exceptions to the paper’s handling of the case: “We’ve tried,” the editor proclaimed, “to do our best to cover it in a level-headed and even-handed way.”

Why would defense attorneys and virtually anyone who’s actually read H-S coverage think otherwise? Ashley appears mystified.

And Cooney points out a dubious honor: the H-S was “the only newspaper in the country who wasn’t critical” after revelations that Nifong had entered into an intentional agreement with Dr. Brian Meehan to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence. Of course, this was the same newspaper that several months before had portrayed Meehan’s DNA tests as a boon for the state.

Ashley’s decision to write opinion columns on the case (demanding a trial, mocking Nifong’s critics) that foreshadowed the paper’s news coverage likewise attracted comment: UNC journalism professor Lois Boynton told Eaglin that “if the stories start to reflect too much the leaning of the individual, the readers will begin to question the validity of the stories . . . [Ashley] is pushing his luck a little bit here.”

Ashley, incredibly, even rationalizes the paper’s falsely claiming (in a page-one headline) that Attorney General Roy Cooper said that concern over racial tensions contributed to his decision to publicly declare the three accused players innocent. “We made a mistake,” the editor blandly observed. “Human beings in this business make mistakes all the time.”

Why is it, I wonder, that in the lacrosse case, all of the Herald-Sun’s lacrosse case “errors” tilted in one direction?

In his blog posting, Eaglin offers a devastating assessment: I’m only a student, and an admittedly amateur reporter. But I hope the Herald-Sun can realize what everyone else seems to see—the Herald-Sun is setting.”

It’s tough to disagree with that assertion.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary. D-i-W should now invite John in Carolina blogger, or ex-Durham editors Bob Wilson and/or Jon Ham, to analyze the News & Observer's even more serious lapses in the early days of what is known as the cold-blooded frame, enabling Nifong to easily abuse his power and force at least three families to go through more than a year of hell.

Sure, Joe Neff did an excellent job. His outstanding performance, however, doesn't excuse the newspaper's important early role in promoting the hoax.

miramar said...

There is an important Bob Ashley quote from the January 2006 Independent Weekly:

Paxton [Media Group] gives him and publisher Bob Childress complete local control over editorial decisions, Ashley says. "It's one of the reasons I really like working for Paxton Media Group as an editor. Their policies are such that if this newspaper does a good job for this community, it's because of me, and if it does a lousy job for this community, it's because of me."

That may be the only true comment you will ever hear from Bob Ashley.

JWM said...

Eaglin did a terrific job.

As for the setting Herald Sun: what are the H-S latest circulation numbers?

How about ad revenue?

Ashley has done something I don't think any editor has ever been able to do: with one of the biggest, if not the biggest, news story in the country playing out for thirteen months in the middle of his circulation area, Ashley has been able to drive H-S circulation down by more than 25%.

That said, the Raleigh N&O launched the public part of the Hoax/frame-up starting on 3/24/06 and covered up for thirteen months the critically important exculpatory news it withheld from its 3/25/06 "anonymous interview" story it said was about a night that ended in "sexual violence."

The N&O gets my vote as the paper that first framed the players and covered up the information that would have stopped the frame-up.

John in Carolina

Anonymous said...

As for a setting H/S, one would have to assume that it had ever risen...

quite a stretch of the imagination.

rrhamilton said...

I think I should post this. Let me put it in context. I had commented on an article about Duke's behavior in The Hoax. A "Law Prof" made a quick response. This was my rejoinder:

A response to "Law Prof's" 5:26 PM response to my 12:17 PM comment:

I'm going to concede, only for the sake of argument, the point you make in your first paragraph. If I can sum it up, it's basically that, "For Duke to support our students when they proclaimed their innocence would have caused political problems both for the university and indeed for the students themselves." In other words, "We did the wrong things for the right reasons". The reason I am going to concede this point is that I do not know the political landscape of North Carolina and so I will not attempt to gainsay your analysis of it.

Your second paragraph, which brings in the basketball team and the canceling of the lacrosse season, is a puzzlement, since my original comment addressed neither issue. Alright, I'll concede everything in that paragraph, too.

Your final paragraph seems to contradict your first one. Instead of Duke making a calculated decision based on the "politics of the situation", in this paragraph you posit the Duke leaders as mere dupes of the evil machinations of ... unnamed "others". But then you say, "We should judge Duke in the context in which it acted, not with the perfect vision of hindsight."

Fine. I'm not going to argue with you, Law Prof. I'm going to concede every point and agree with your conclusion.

Law Prof, based on YOUR OWN analysis and conclusion, Duke has a problem. What you have is a group of at least 88 and probably more than 100 professors that effectively silenced (or worse, coerced them to join an academic lynch mob) nearly every decent person in the employ of Duke.

Now, I did not become particularly interested in this case until December, and I am not now going to go back and research all the twists and turns. But it is my understanding that the group of Duke professors that did the most to support The Hoax are currently unrepentant (save one). I understand that Duke created a "Campus Culture Initiative" in which members of this group dominated the leadership positions. I understand that a member of this group was elected to something called the "Academic Council" or some such prestigious post. I understand that one of the ... I don't recall all the names of the departments that "signed on" to the group, but I think "Angry Studies" is probably the most benign name for them -- that one of these departments or sections or whatever is now to be promoted to a higher status.

Now, let me return to YOUR conclusion: "We should judge Duke in the context in which it acted." OK, maybe a year ago Duke "had" to do the wrong thing for the right reason. Maybe with the boys under indictment, Duke "had" to pass out leadership posts of its Campus Culture Initiative to Group members; maybe Duke "had" to elect a Group member to a very prestigious faculty post; maybe Duke "had" to announce that it was elevating one of the Group's Angry Studies departments.

But, Law Prof, the boys aren't under indictment now, are they? So what is the context NOW under which we should you? I have read that one of the Group said of the context that "white innocence equals black guilt". Of course, this is too far; but certainly the boys' innocence (they were declared innocent by the man charged with convicting them, weren't they?) equals Group guilt.

Now Duke doesn't have to "do the wrong things" out of a justifiable concern for protecting the university or the falsely accused players from unseen "political forces" in North Carolina. Duke is free to do the right thing. Duke is free to move against the supporters of The Hoax on its own campus, isn't it? Will it?

So, Law Prof, if and when you respond to this, tell me what actions Duke will take against the Guilty -- they are guilty by their own admission. Your contentions (which I accepted for the sake of argument) about how Duke "had" to act in a ... less-that-heroic way a year ago will be proved completely false if Duke does not take immediate steps to punish the Guilty in its ranks.

I look forward to your reply.

Anonymous said...

Wrote this on John's blog also - Neff claim to fame is he did not join the mob. N@O launched the hoax on 3/24 sounds right - Ruthies article was the match that inflammed the issue - this paper has nothing to be proud of. John - driving the circulation down twenty five percent being in the heart of one of the biggest stories of the year is too funny.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan: To Duke accused: I'm sorry

Purps said...

The Duke Chronicle certainly shone yesterday.

hman said...

One big lesson from this mess: There are a lot of smart, well intentioned people in this nation of ours but they are not necessarily 1. In journalism, 2. In academia 3. Old.
On the whole, I am quite thankful for this revelation.

Mike in Houston said...

This was the e-mail I sent to Mr. Ashley on April 16th:

Dear Mr. Ashley,

How does your paper inform readers of corrections either in your online or your physical paper. Most online papers I have seen show the original mistake and the correction. They also explain to their readers how the mistake occurred. While I see nothing on the 60 minute article where your error occurred, I can not find any place on your web site explaining the error or the staff involved. Please advise.

thank you

Here was his reply (his typos):

We consider the web articles to be dynamic, and unnecessary to note changes. Were we attaching it to our electronic archive of printed material, we will do just that.
And I suspect readers care far more that we made adn correct an error than an explanation of its cause.
Thanks for writng.

Bob Ashley

editor

The Herald-Sun

Was there any explaination of HOW the error in the dead tree edition?

Anonymous said...

When reach for comment at the Snooze Room Bob Ashley had this comment

ZZZ ZZ ZZZZ ZZ

yours, Baldo

Anonymous said...

you simply don't understand yet, kc. durham is a town where "diversity" has prevailed. the end result is that it is a town run by blacks and for blacks and that is what the H-S was acting on.

the HS would have lost far more circulation locally by questioning Nifong. this paper did what every business does - it served its customers what they wanted.

i know you are still dreaming in the MLK way, but eventually you will have to see that there will be no diverse utopia. you refuse to look at the fact that this was a case that was pushed not only by the accuser and the DA (who was only reacting to the same public sentiments that the HS was)but the entire "civil rights" industry. further, even mainstream black spokespeople such as Julianne Malveax continue to slander the boys.

You really need to learn from this KC. I'm afraid that you've learned nothing and thus you continue to support obama. doesn't say much for your insight into this situation or your willingness to review the broader social context in which this case played out. you should read ben shapiro on townhall and dennis prager as well. they both did outstaning pieces on the aspect of race in this case. have a look.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

hopefully h-s and n&o and times will be sued for malice. the press could use a little chilling before they willingly do this to my kids.

bill anderson said...

It seems to me that Bob Ashley himself has explained why so many of us call it the Hurled-Scum.

scott said...

If the Herald-Sun had an Ombudsman ... nothing would change. We've seen the impact of an Ombudsman in the form of Calame at the NYT. The Ombudsman position is a scam, or to use the parlance of the Nifong Scandal Case, a hoax, an attempt to give the impression that a newspaper cares about quality control.

These remarks by Ashley prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he doesn't care a whit about a quality performance. There has been nothing "level-headed and even-handed" (his words) in the
H-S coverage. Indeed, his "ace" reporter, John Stevenson, got it wrong so often that it became predictable -- whatever the storyline, the H-S could be counted upon to line up with the position most favorable to Nifong and his supporters and / or least favorable to Duke LAX players.

Does anyone believe that the only story the H-S did such a poor job on is the Nifong Scandal Case? We know how bad the coverage was because we have been following the story for more than a year and through the efforts of this blog and others, (LS, JinC, and THN etc.) know the facts. But what about other stories about which we are not so knowledgable. We have no way to judge the quality of the coverage, but other people who are as deeply involved in those stories as we have been in this one do know. Bob Ashley's comments about the H-S's coverage in this story convince me that his agenda driven style negatively affects the quality of the newsreporting at the H-S on a daily basis.

Such poor performance should not be supported in the marketplace. To those that have cancelled their subscriptions and pulled their advertising from the H-S, I thank you for not waiting. For those who continue to support the H-S's demonstrated poor performance with their hard-earned money, what is it going to take to convince you?

Nifong's hat trick said...

HMAN
And they apparently aren't at Virginia Tech either.
This is a poem about youth rage by Nikki Giovanni, a "professor" at Virginia Tech who at one point in time had Cho as a student;
Ni**er
Can you kill
Can you kill
Can a ni**er kill
Can a ni**er kill a honkie
Can a ni**er kill the Man
Can you kill ni**er
Huh? Ni**er can you
kill
Do you know how to draw blood
Can you poison
Can you stab-a-Jew
Can you kill huh? Ni**er
Can you kill
Can you run a protestant down with your
‘68 El Dorado
(that’s all they’re good for anyway)
Can you kill
Can you piss on a blond head
Can you cut it off
Can you kill
A ni**er can die
We ain’t got to prove we can die
We got to prove we can kill

Instead of being fired (like Imus),
Giovanni was asked to speak at the Virginia Tech memorial service.

Where is the Herald Sun and where are the potbangers when you need them? Their "banging drums" could "serve as a wake-up call" that "professors" "Obnoxious fun and games have taken a turn for the worse."

Shouting Thomas said...

Years ago, I believed that news outlets like The New York Times and CBS were reliable sources of information. Now that I know reality, I wonder just how distorted our vision of the past might be. Obviously, news organizations have been making up the news to fit their preconceptions for a long time.

How, for instance, was the news framed during the Vietnam War? The major press outlets clearly chose sides. Was the reporting during the civil rights movement reliable? This is pretty important, because this was the beginning of framing southern white men as habitually violent racists. The gay marriage debate was largely shaped by The New York Times.

The web was not around to challenge the press before 1995. I'm beginning to wonder just how deceptive the press was without anybody to watch them.

wayne fontes said...

Any word on when the AG is going to release the report?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Wayne. When is the report coming out? Any chance it will comment on the role of the Judges in this hoax?

Anonymous said...

Generally, criticism of newspapers as monolithic organizations is overblown and completely false. Just check the Wall Street Journal's recent intramural skirmish between the newsroom and the editorial page, or check out the improvement in the Times' coverage when they switched reporters.

The only big newspaper I can name that has an inner circle calling all the shots is The Washington Times. And that paper isn't really that big.

Most big chains don't play a role in steering the coverage of their papers. They're just business arrangements. I worked for an NYT paper once, and I can tell you few people in the newsroom would have agreed with Maureen Dowd's ideology. The main influence the NYT had on that paper was quality -- they bled money off it by understaffing it. (In other words -- yes, the NYT's ownership had a negative effect, but not in the sense you're likely to hear from alleged media "watchdogs.")

In fact, most media critics miss the point. I've even seen KC make allegations I know to be false. KC doesn't quite "get" the media, and Stuart Taylor isn't the guy from whom you want to learn media criticism. The groupthink model often fits; the notion of editors in back rooms pulling strings generally does not.

But the string-pulling happens at small papers from time to time, particularly those papers that may have a couple of people juggling roles in publishing, editing, reporting and running the editorial page.

So here's the sad thing (and the point): The Herald-Sun wasn't a "small" paper until Ashley's company bought it. Now it's small in every sense of the word.

And congratulations to The Chronicle for detailing the damage.

lm said...

I posted this over at LS -

PBS interview

Ashley's ideas about what the Duke case meant to Durham are on full display in this interview he gave. Just in case he left any doubts with his biased coverage n the HS. Resentment over "labor practices" at Duke...this case really was a magnet for agendas.

Anonymous said...

Windbag 5.14am:
Read Peter Wood's book, "Diversity: The Invention of a Concept". Peter was prof. of anthropology at Boston U. when he wrote it, now provost of The King's College, NYC. Written very much in KC's scholarly style, it is an ultimately scathing condemnation of a fiction that has taken academic, media, and corporate America by storm.
I have my doubts that the blogosphere can reverse this social pestilence, but it is truly our only hope.

Read also the postings by Fjordman on the Brussels Journal on the results of this and other social diseases in Sweden.
TomMD

Anonymous said...

Someone must know what's the delay with the AG report. It was a news reporter that asked when there would be wriiten facts. The attorneys must be looking for this public record. It should have been given out on April 11.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Shouting Thomas -- I ask myself the same questions. I also used to believe the media completely - it was the bible whose commandments I followed to march in the streets against the Viet Nam war, cheer on the impeachment of Nixon, be certain that unless I could have an abortion in the third trimester, I wasn't a feminist. Now I am shaken. It started with the OJ verdict that rattled me to the core with a fact I saw the media refuse to print, let alone admit - black racism. If something so awesome and monumental could be ignored by the media as one ignores an elephant in my living room - then what other elephants in other living rooms had the media ignored without my realizing it? I tried to find out, but it was hard going. Unless I was actually there, I couldn't see the facts for myself. Until - as you pointed out - the internet went 'there' for me. I was delighted to have the Net give me facts to counter the media's 'truth' - but what I wasn't prepared for was the stupefying vastness of all that the media ignored. I never dreamed it was this huge.

I must be awfully naive but I was not prepared for the contempt of the media once their lies were exposed. I knew they wouldn't like it - but I simply was not prepared for the arrogant contempt of that not caring. This Duke lacrosse scandal has epitomized all that troubles me about the MSM. It seems every piece of the media's agenda has dovetailed perfectly into this sordid tale of a black prostitute trying to stay out of a drunk tank in a small Southern town. Mine eyes have seen a sight.

And now, like you, they look backwards at the truth I once accepted without question. Viet Nam, Watergate, racism, politics, etc. It HAS to have been as corrupted with agenda as the Duke lacrosse 'truth' which even now Calame and Ashley still throw in my face. And keep throwing.

Gary Packwood said...

wayne fontes 8:21 said...
...Any word on when the AG is going to release the report?
::
I for one hope the undergraduate students at both universities are finished with their final exams and hoome with their parents before that report is released.
Young college students have better things to do right now than spend hours trying to figure out the 'real' meaning of sentences within the AG report.

Better Things To Do = Final Exams.
::
GP

jamil hussein said...

Re Vietnam reporting. Former Vietking commanders openly admit today that TET offensive was a tremendous success for US and Vietkong was about to surrender. However, then they saw the anti-american "journalists" fabricating stories ("This war is lost" - by Walter Cronkite) and they saw how american public was tricked to believe communists lies. Vietkong decided to hang on and eventually they won - thanks to MSM.
(See parallels to Iraqi reporting today).

P. Rich said...

rrhamilton: You said-

"Now, let me return to YOUR conclusion: "We should judge Duke in the context in which it acted." OK, maybe a year ago Duke "had" to do the wrong thing for the right reason. Maybe with the boys under indictment, Duke "had" to pass out leadership posts of its Campus Culture Initiative to Group members; maybe Duke "had" to elect a Group member to a very prestigious faculty post; maybe Duke "had" to announce that it was elevating one of the Group's Angry Studies departments.

Not Duke. Brodhead. Attributing problems to institutions lets responsible individuals off the hook.

shouting thomas: You said-

"How, for instance, was the news framed during the Vietnam War? The major press outlets clearly chose sides. Was the reporting during the civil rights movement reliable? This is pretty important, because this was the beginning of framing southern white men as habitually violent racists. The gay marriage debate was largely shaped by The New York Times."

All excellent examples of your basic point, which I think it's fair to say is, slanting news coverage might not be recent phenomenon. Re Vietnam, for example, research the Tet Offensive, its real outcome, the coverage and the results of the coverage. See for example

http://www.americanthinker.com

and find the article entitled 'The Legacy of Tet' from December 20, 2005. It begins with:

"It was with Tet '68 that the American media first knew sin. Anyone seeking to understand the character of consistently negative media coverage of the Global War on Terror must understand Tet..."

Keep reading.

As for Southern white men? More the entire South, a distinctive culture that was effectively wiped out by a "civil" war, for which objective coverage will never be seen in modern writings.

Gay marriage? Black crime? Diversity? Affirmative action? School choice? Abortion? Immigration? World government? Gun control? National health care? Islamic terrorism? And the left-leaning drummers relentlessly play on.

Anyone today who depends primarily on MSM (AP included) written or broadcast "news" sources is little more than the willing pawn of a propaganda machine.

Gary Packwood said...

lm 9:48 said...
...Ashley's ideas about what the Duke case meant to Durham are on full display in this interview he gave. Just in case he left any doubts with his biased coverage n the HS. Resentment over "labor practices" at Duke...this case really was a magnet for agendas.
::
I respectfully disagree with you.
The AGENDAS were the magnet for the case.

The Anger Studies professors and their colleagues who are staff members have been stirring up labor unrest for years. In fact, Duke just re-assigned a mid-level resident hall manager who has been advocating for years that Resident Assistants (RA's) take up a collection for the cleaning staff.
Every cleaning person on that campus knows which group of students donates the most dollars... and ...what do you bet that the helmet sports guys did not even know that they were expected to donate money?

Imagine the cafeteria workers being excluded along with grounds crew!

The President of Duke is responsible for the monetary compensation policy for workers ...not some mid-level manager in the Office of Student Affairs...who is moving forward an agenda.

Collecting monetary donations for cleaning folks can spark WW III.

Cleaning people, members of the grounds crew, fix it people and cafeteria workers all go home to their neighborhoods after a long day at work and tell everyone what they have seen at Duke during their shift. And what they have seen is carefully orchestrated.

Management professors at the world famous Duke Fuqua School of Management need to offer management training for Duke managers...and soon.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that the AG's report has been delayed mainly because of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

For the same reason that Liefong always made his disgraceful announcements on a Friday afternoon (best time to "dump" a story, so it will only run in the Saturday paper that nobody reads, and be "old" news by the time everybody gets back to the water coolers on Monday), the AG's office quite properly wants to time its release instead to get maximum attention. As it should, since the whole purpose of this report is to dispel lies and explode myths that are far too prevalent.

Or, to put it more charitably, the AG's office doesn't want to put out a story about such ugly abominations as Nifong, when the public is already burdened with a more acute, recent tragedy.

So I think they've been waiting for VT news to cycle down. In my opinion, today would be a great day. Otherwise, it's gonna wait til next week.

Anonymous said...

In light of the justifiably dwindling Herald-Sun readership, and in recognition of Sheryl Crow's brilliant "one square" t.p. rationing campaign, consider cutting the mountains of unread H-S newspapers into 3" X 3" squares and donate them to Ms. Crow's historic campaign.

It's one way to turn a negative into a positive, and would convert the H-S product into a more productive and appropriate use.

DJ Stillwater said...

Unfortunately, the news media in this country has become a profit making industry. Ever since 60 Minutes starting turning a profit for CBS, THE NEWS has become no different than producing widgets or selling cars.
For better or worse, Ashley made a BUSINESS decision to slant his coverage to appeal to the highest number of readers in his circulation base. That is a common ploy used by small circulation newspapers. Courage becomes a virtue in short supply, when the alternative is a potential decrease in readers and or advertisers.
Sad, but true....

Anonymous said...

GP, 11:05:00 AM:

That's an interesting comment but perhaps you could elaborate on the details for the benefit of those of us who are not familiar with Duke's organization. What, for instance, do you mean by: "Imagine the cafeteria workers being excluded along with grounds crew!"

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if the boys will be personally suing the academic thugs euphemistically referred to as the Group of 88?

Polanski

jamil hussein said...

Unfortunately, the news media in this country has become a profit making industry.

Actually, this is not entirely true. (This is true for real estate "reporting" ie. now is good time to buy a house etc).

In general, For New York Times, it is always about left-wing agenda (even if its credibility and profitability drops).
Air America is another money-losing left-wing "news" organisation that goes bankrupt every 3 months, then it finds another left-wing sugar daddy to fund it next few months. It is nice way to go around campaign finance laws.

Anonymous said...

2:01

the other side of that coin is limbaugh, hannity, coulter--these people are right-wing propagandists

Polanski

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think it ironic that a discussion about agenda-driven people is being steered away from the point by, you guessed it, agenda-driven people?

Folks, the left and right attitudes toward the MSM are both way off. There's no conspiracy in the MSM to lose wars. There are conspiracies to make money with sensationalized coverage of wars AND the ensuing polarization.

That's why it's no contradiction to say many of the same news outlets that breathlessly went along for the ride to Baghdad are today going breathlessly in the other direction.

If you learn one thing from KC's good work here, it's the danger of groupthink. A lot of the journalists who descended upon Durham last year engaged in groupthink. So did a lot of the Duke faculty. A lot of the journalists writing about Duke today are engaging in groupthink. A lot of people at this blog are engaging in groupthink.

And it's funny how the "group" is almost always wrong.

Yes, it's great that the Web has given us all more tools to check the media -- and you'd be surprised how many journalists welcome the opportunity to get feedback on their work.

The danger is that the Web can simply replace one wrong groupthink with another. Remember that most journalists are not ideologues -- they're just easily led down the wrong path by today's sophisticated spinmeisters. But many of the people criticizing the media ARE ideologues.

So if you're replacing blind faith in imperfect journalists with blind faith in agenda-driven watchdogs, are you really making progress? Really?

jamil hussein said...

polanski: Fox News is profitable media, ie unlike NYT etc people actually want to watch it (and pay for it). Fox News is certainly the most reliable big media at the moment, ie it does not fabricate stories or forge documents. Both sides can express their opinions. You can take whatever topic, from Duke Hoax, Hezbollah-Israel war or Iraq and see which media reports propaganda and which media report gives you the truth.

There's no conspiracy in the MSM to lose wars.

Yes, it is not a conspiracy. It is open goal, known by everybody.
MSM just promotes far left-wing ideology and whatever belongs to it. Basically, it is full-time media for the left-wing of democratic party. Duke Hoax was just one example of the propaganda. Similar fabrications happen every day. The abortion report from South America was similar story few weeks ago (pro-abortion wacko group sponsored the article, eventually public editor admitted the fraud and lies..long after it was front page news).

but hey, there are people who claim that gang88 members are honest, objective professionals so I'm not surprised that some people defend NYT.

jamil hussein said...

Latest Reuters "news" report:

Palestinians attend a demonstration against violence in Gaza April 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)
Anti-violence demonstration in Gaza

Next time leave the RPG home..
There is also link to youtube video of Reuters video forgery from Lebanon war. Anything you see from AP or Reuters should be subject to close scrutinity.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1: 12 said...
GP, 11:05:00 AM:

...That's an interesting comment but perhaps you could elaborate on the details for the benefit of those of us who are not familiar with Duke's organization. What, for instance, do you mean by: "Imagine the cafeteria workers being excluded along with grounds crew!"
::
Sure. The Residents Assistants (RA's) in the residence halls were encouraged to take up a collection of cash for the cleaning people who work in the residence hall at Duke.
There was no such collection for the cafeteria workers, building and ground crews or clerical workers.

A 'pass the hat' to students for the purpose of giving cash to any employee should never happen.

I was speaking to the issue of financial compensation for all employees of Duke being the responsibility of the President and NOT the responsibility of mid and low level managers who are trying to make friends with the cleaning people for example...for some purpose.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

DJ Stillwater 12:43 said...
...Unfortunately, the news media in this country has become a profit making industry.
::
Is there a major city newspaper in the USA that is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization? They are all profit making organizations and always have been.
You sure you meant to say profit?
::
GP

jamil hussein said...

Air America is not even pretending to do profit. It is a vehicle for rich leftist sugar daddies to do full-year campaigning. Clearly, it makes no financial sense.

NYT propaganda does not make financial sense for the company, either, so clearly, it does not care about the profit.

jamil hussein said...

Air America is not even pretending to do profit. It is a vehicle for rich leftist sugar daddies to do full-year campaigning. Clearly, it makes no financial sense.

NYT propaganda does not make financial sense for the company, either, so clearly, it does not care about the profit.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 2:41 said...

...Does anyone else think it ironic that a discussion about agenda-driven people is being steered away from the point by, you guessed it, agenda-driven people?
::
I think you are correct and I am coming around to Jason Trumpbour's point of view that we need to focus on telling the truth. Jason is associated with Friends of Duke University (The FODU Blog).

We have used the phrase 'agenda-driven' so many times that young people are beginning to think that it is OK to substitute an 'agenda' for the truth.

We are all entitled to our own opinion when we are searching for the truth but we aren't entitled to our own facts.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Gary -- Good to hear.

Jamil -- Uh ... yeah. When you decide Kool-Aid isn't fulfilling your nutritional requirements, I'll check back in with you.

To point you back in the right direction -- there's legitimate media criticism, and then there's "Fox is always right, everyone else is always wrong." Two very, very different things.