I am not a journalist. I merely play one on TV. If I were a real journalist — and, more importantly, being paid to write — I’d be more consistent and not skip posting for a week or more. But it is good to be the boss. When you are the boss, you get to make the big decisions. And since I am the boss of CaptainsComments.com, I get to make the decisions about the way it looks, how often I post, and what I will write about. Likewise, other bloggers are equally free to choose what and when to post, and the mainstream media is just as free to write about what it wishes. But there are some major differences between a hobby site like mine, and a major news outlet like ABC News or the Washington Post. It is obvious that our size and scope are different, but there is also an issue of partisanship. I make no bones about being a politically conservative individual with some libertarian leanings. But the mainstream media doesn’t openly admit its own political biases and the way members of the media are mostly liberal-leaning in their political philosophies.
We all have our own agendas, but some people refuse to identify their agendas or try to hide that they even have an agenda, which really amounts to the same thing. Having the power to choose what to report or not to report means you have the power to push forward an agenda. I realize there are some very good things happening in Iraq, but based on what the mainstream media reports, you’d think nothing good is happening to anyone there. Imagine if I reported only the failures of your sports team. If you never heard about any of their successes and only got news of the failures, wouldn’t you start having a negative image of the team? You wouldn’t care that they had just been ranked at the top of their sport because the news would be about anything and everything negative. While Americans tend to love an underdog, a team that continually loses every game and is bad-mouthed every night would see its fan base dwindle over time.
Sometimes there is an advantage to mulling over a subject for several weeks before posting. While typing up this information, I had a news nugget fall into my lap that just happens to deal with this issue. Mark Finkelstein posted an excerpt of an interview of Captain Sherman Powell by Matt Lauer for The Today Show:
Lauer: Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re probably telling the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that might be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the insurgent attacks you’re facing… What would you say to people who doubt that morale could be that high?
Captain Powell: Well sir, I’d tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I’d be pretty depressed as well.
So the successes in Iraq are a major non-story to the mainstream media, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. First, good news is not seen as news; second, the mainstream media is very liberal and has shown that it will do pretty much anything to affect President Bush negatively. And sometimes the necessary action is to keep silent about successes.
Speaking of silence, the mainstream media has been markedly silent about an issue affecting a liberal group — Air America. This liberal radio network was launched to compete with the very successful conservative radio market. So far, it isn’t doing too well. Its history has been clouded with financial woes, and this latest newsworthy debacle is no exception.
To boil it down: Air America Radio’s former chairman, Evan Montvel-Cohen, got a New York charity called the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club to give $875,000 to Progress Media, Air America’s parent company at the time. (Progress Media has since been bought by Piquant.) The Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club charity dealt with children and Alzheimer’s patients and got its money from the donations of private individuals and from grants by the government. Since the money was “borrowed” from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, as explained in the words of Air America host Al Franken, it makes sense that someone needs to pay the borrowed money back. Al Franken explained, “[we] discovered this big loan from this Boys and Girls Club, and Rob Glaser, the new guy, who is the head of this new company Piquant, said OK, we don’t legally have to pay it back, because we’re a different company I guess, but we morally do, so they start making arrangements to pay it back.” As I see it, when a company is sold, its debts are also acquired by the parent company, so they are more than just morally obligated to repay the money. But I’m not a high-priced business lawyer, nor do I want to play one on TV, so the actual legalities are a mystery to me.
Both Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney have been reporting on this irregular money transfer and are investigating it and the surrounding issues. But the mainstream media has mostly yawned at the story, and people have noticed. Maloney quotes a letter written by Michael Becker sent to the New York Times taking them to task for a very sloppy job of reporting this issue. I can’t help but believe that if the politics were reversed, the mainstream media would be in a frenzy to dig deeply into the dealings of a conservative company — and would report its findings fully and regularly to the American people. But because the Left-leaning news media is ideologically aligned with Air America Radio, it is fairly obvious no members of the mainstream media will be hopping up to report this growing scandal.
This is not the case when the Leftist media sees a chance to score against the Right. Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. Since that time, Ms. Sheehan met with President Bush; while they disagreed about the war, the meeting was cordial. The account of this meeting is based on Cindy Sheehan’s own words. But now it is very hard to find a mainstream media source that acknowledges that Sheehan previously met with President Bush. Instead, everyone seems to be focused on her current vigil outside the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. What is she demanding? To meet with the President. The unspoken message is that she wants to meet with the President again. While her situation is lamentable, and the grief of any parent who has lost an adult son is great, her continuing sorrow at her son’s loss is not reason enough to merit another meeting with the President.
Since Ms. Sheehan is against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, she has become a rallying figure for the Left, and people are gathering to stand with her. I listened to the Randi Rhodes show on a local Air America station and heard a caller explaining how she and a friend were heading to Texas to be at Sheehan’s side. The caller identified this trip as her greatest spiritual experience. Cox and Forkum poked fun at the way the Left is practically deifying Sheehan in the mad rush to attack President Bush and the war:
I mourn the loss of Casey Sheehan. Everyone deserves a good and long life, but the sad reality is that not all people get what they deserve. I am distressed to see that Ms. Sheehan chooses to use the death of her son to make political hay. While she stands up to express her opinion, she is open for response.
Matt Drudge is reporting some of the things said by Cindy Sheehan, and these bear reading:
We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!
In the sense that war is terrible and terrifying, I suppose you might be able to say the statement is true. But when over a hundred bombs go off in Bangladesh with the intent to maim and kill indiscriminately, the targeted war the U.S. is waging in Iraq ceases to be comparable to such blatant terrorism. And what was the reason for the Bangladesh attack, as explained by leaflets the terrorist bombers left behind? The goal of the bombing was to turn Bangladesh to Sharia law, and to “warn Bush and Blair to vacate Muslim countries, or to face Muslim upsurge.” Does it make sense to strike out against England and the U.S. by bombing Bangladesh, a nation that is 83% Muslim? Perhaps it does to a terrorist. But to Sheehan, these sorts of attacks don’t matter. President Bush is the biggest terrorist in the world.
We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.
And you thought those green-and-black war images were taken with night-vision goggles in the dark. In Sheehan’s reality, the green glow comes from all the nuclear explosions in Iraq. I’m sure you remember seeing all this in the news: the crater that was once Baghdad, the fused and melted glass of Fallujah, and the flaming pyre that was Mosul. In all honesty, Sheehan is not talking about nuclear explosions. She is talking about the use of depleted uranium for bullets. As Steven Den Beste pointed out, you’d get more radiation by living 100 feet higher up a hillside than by living next to a ton of depleted uranium. Heck, you could coat the inside of your house with depleted uranium and get less radiation because it would block out the normal cosmic rays we get every day. The war we wage in Iraq is not a “nuclear war” in any normal or logical sense of that phrase, but it sounds horrifying, so the news media will probably run with it.
So here we have a woman, quite possibly mentally unbalanced, who is publicly mourning her son who died in Iraq. Her story is no different from the hundreds of other mothers who have lost sons and daughters in the war on terror, but because she is so vocally against the war and makes such a great figurehead to promote leftist causes, the media is all over her story.
All the news that’s fit to exploit.