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WW - 3? eventually?

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threadbear
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25 posted 02-12-2010 03:45 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

http://www.campaignfreedom.org/blog/detail/fox-lies-videotape-debunking-an-internet-my  th

try again, Bob.  This is called, in the business: sanitizing the news, and all TV stations do it, although they don't won't admit to anything specifically unless sued, like in this instance.  

Here's the bottom line on expose' stories:  all content is property of the station, not the reporters.  All allegations are run thru the legal dept, and what are called 'balance statements' are inserted for civil lawsuit defenses against the accused in the expose'.  Usually this involves statements from the accused.  It's also called 'fair journalism practices.  It's not up to the broadcasting station to verify the accuracy of what the accused says.  That's the courts' jobs: it's simply a rebuttal provided to the accused to be 'fair.'  It also involves showing the expose' in pre-production mode to the accused, which can be interesting drama.  

I followed this story and know what it is about.  It's not as simple as: Fox sues to get the right to lie.  

Akres, the video producers suing WTVT, lost the lawsuit on appeal, by the way, and also didn't get any damages.  
Bob K
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26 posted 02-12-2010 09:15 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear TBear,

     I really don't like getting this detailed in responses, Threadbear, especially about legal matters, which I know little about; but it appears you didn't read your own reference material through as closely as you might have.  The issue turns on legal questions like the Clintonesque, "It depends on what your definition of "is" is by the Fox Lawyers."  while it was indeed a wonderful piece of lawyering; it was not such a great piece of work for journalism.

     The initial court gave Akre a victory on the basis of the Florida Whistleblower statute.  The Fox News folks disputed that judgement.  The judgement, closely as I can figure out, was based on the court’s understanding that Ms. Akre thought that Fox News was violating  an FCC rule about telling the truth in news stories.

     Apparently the issue of First Amendment rights were never brought up during the suit.  

     In checking the text of my comments, I notice that I did not at any point say that they were.  Nor did I offer that implication, though Threadbear, by including that point in his response, has suggested that I have.  This is not the case.  I do not particularly resent his implication, I simply point out that it is wrong and creates a mistaken impression that should probably be corrected.

     Fox News, in their disputation of the judgement, however, was very specific about what they disputed.  They seemed to stay very far away from what were the facts of the case and disputed the points of law in the case.  To be fair, this is my understanding of what appellate courts are supposed to do, and, as near as I can tell, the actual facts of the case were never very much in dispute anyway.

     Where the Fox News folks seemed t5o have won their reversal was on the interpretation of what sorts of things were covered by the whistleblower law.  While it seemed pretty much beyond dispute that a whistleblower who went to the authorities with facts about the violations of actual Laws was protected  under the Whistleblower Law, as was the whistleblower who went to authorities on the basis of violation of of “rules,” the whistleblower who went to the authorities on the basis of violation of FCC “policies” was not.

     And the court was certain that what was being violated here was a “policy’ and not a “rule.”  They knew for certain in this case what “is” was, and they wanted to make sure that everybody else did too.

     To be fair here, I must also include that my friends at Fox were joined in their efforts by five major news organizations.  I had not previously been aware of this fact, and I am disappointed to find this to be true.  Gannett and Post /Newsweek were among those Friends of the Court.  I don’t believe that this is such a great thing for Democracy, though it does do a lot of good for the business side of the news organizations.


    

I quote here from your own reference:

quote:



And contrary to the claim in Gaddy's story, it is simply not true that "Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre's claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story..." They did, in all of their filings.




     And what does this piece of legalese actually mean?  It’s actually a little bit difficult to unpack, but I think that I have it translated into English.  Forgive the actual torture that I went through in doing so, and follow along as best you can.  It may actually be better than what I could, so we might actually see what these folks are saying.


Somebody Named Caddy has written (some sort of story, perhaps a news story), in which Caddy (Who is Caddy?) has made some sort of claim about something (perhaps about the lawsuit against Fox News and the countersuit against Akre).

In reference to that claim, an unnamed speaker wishes to go on record (Bob would like to suggest that this is a functional impossibility here) as making a statement contrary to a piece of something Caddy has said  about Fox News company Lawyers.

It (An unspecified source) asserts (on specified authority) that the next statement is a lie:

The lie is, apparently, that Fox’s attorneys did not dispute Akre, the winner of an initial legal judgement (about what?) on fact, and the loser of an appeal judgement on that matter on the basis of the distinction between the definitions of the meanings of the words “rule” and “policy.”

Fox’s lawyers wish it known Akre’s claim that Fox’s attorneys  pressured her to broadcast a false story did not go undisputed by them.

They did dispute this story in all of their filings.


     In other words the Fox lawyers say that every time somebody on the other side actually said that Fox tried to pressure Ms. Akre into lying about the Monsanto story, they were Johnny on the spot in filing some sort of written rejoinder.

     It says absolutely nothing about whether they actually made the threats, whether the threats were serious or what their intentions were.  It only says that they were swift in making denials.  I have absolutely no doubt that they can make such statements with every bit of sincerity they can muster, and that these statement, insofar as they go, are entirely true.  

     While I am very much concerned with free speech, I am also concerned with telling the truth.  The notion of the free press extends not only to the rights of the organizations that publish the news, but to the people who write the news and report it, and for one or the other part of the press to take over exclusive rights in this matter, or to try to, seems to me to be a little bit contrary to the notion ofd the free press in general.

     Perhaps when I am a bit less tired, I can take this issue back up with you and continue.  

Best wishes,

Bob Kaven
Ron
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27 posted 02-12-2010 11:00 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Bob, I don't know what you're reading. It can't possibly be the same stuff I've been reading?

Reporters don't get to decide what goes in a story and what doesn't go in a story. That's up to the editors and, ultimately, the policies of the news organization. Seems to me we've got a couple of disgruntled reporters here who apparently thought they should be the final authority on their version of the truth.

From your own link: "Each time the station asked Wilson and Akre to provide supporting documentation for statements in the story or to make changes in the content of the story, the reporters accused the station of attempting to distort the story ... "

Wilson and Akre should get a loan and start their own news service. Then they can print what they want. Without supporting documentation or hard proof if that's still their desire.

The way I read it, Bob, the law suit isn't about a news service's right to lie. Rather, it's about their right to define their own standard of proof for what you apparently want to characterize as an absolute truth. There aren't too many of those puppies floating around, I'm afraid. Most truths are at least a little subjective and largely a reflection of who and what we want to believe.


threadbear
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28 posted 02-13-2010 01:29 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

The best answer I can give to you is to show an example scenario:
TV station WNKR exposes allegation of graft by SENATOR Anyone.
This is the first time they reported on the story, so they try to present
  both points of view and invite Sen. ANYONE for rebuttal, who promptly says:
It wasn't me.  It was my twin brother, Alex.
WNKR **KNOWS** this is a lie, but runs the statement anyway.

Question:  Did Fox News intentionally Lie to people by leaving in this statement, that the WNKR reporters knew wasn't true?  The reporters objected to these statement's inclusion, to no avail.  But the statements let WNKR off the hook legally in many directions.

Question:  Does this ring a bell with you, when you hear liberals constantly proclaim:  Limbaugh lies, Hannity lies, etc.

to quote Ron here:
Rather, it's about their right to define their own standard of proof for what you apparently want to characterize as an absolute truth. ...Most truths are at least a little subjective and largely a reflection of who and what we want to believe." . . .

. . . so does that make Fox News liars in this instance?

One more thing, in real time:  the TV station in question wasn't Fox News, it was an independent Affiliate.  National Fox News didn't originate this story.  The local station started the expose on a local cow steroid issue.  WTVT-Tampa is the kind of station that runs news during the day, then switches to Married With Children at night.   WTVT, being an affiliate, did have access to FOX legal attorneys, but the rest of the story originated and propagated itself out of a local TV station,  not the National Fox News.

So: the premise that 'Fox News Lied' is inflammatory language designed to mislead the reader into a prejudiced literary conclusion.   In my opinion, which ain't worth much right now since my brain has wings.

It was a Fox New Little League team's problem,
not the Major League Club.

[This message has been edited by threadbear (02-13-2010 03:18 AM).]

Bob K
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29 posted 02-13-2010 02:58 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I believe I hear the pitter patter of little feet retreating.

     Fox and Friends were on the hook for $425,000 for firing whistleblowers in the initial action against the Fox affiliate.  The issue wasn't whether the Fox Folk were doing wrong or not.  It seemed clear that they were going against the FCC guidelines on the matter.  There was not real question of this.  Read the quotes folks, the decision by the appellate court and the  artfully worded refutation offered by TBear..

     In order for the decision to be reversed, the legal attack was made not on the basis of the facts of the actions taken by the station or of the actions taken by the reporters.  These remained the same actions that led to the original verdict in favor of the reporters.  What the lawyers had to do was get the court to agree that there was a big difference between what the FCC meant by "Rules" and what the FCC meant by "Policy."  This distinction had not apparently been clear to the first trial court who thought that the two words were quite literally close enough for Government Work.

     It has apparently escaped those of you who have commented on the issue since, who think that the outcome focused on some other issue.  Threadbear thinks that it has something to do with "fairness" of some sort, a doctrine that he normally raises clusters of garlic to avoid considering as having any sort of moral validity at all in regards to broadcasting, and he sometimes mentions first ammendment rights (I think; perhaps not).  Ron seems to be talking about something else entirely.

     But if you look at the actual legal decision, folks, that's exactly it.  "Rules," which would have cost the station the $425,000 bucks and ""policy," which prior to the decision in question, nobody had legal grounds to think was different at all.

     So there, guys, is there deal:  Fox still behaved in a fashion that could well have gotten them fined or reprimanded, but they managed to get out of it because the FCC had a policy and not a rule.  Fox was still in violation of the thing.  They were still behaving in a way that they knew they shouldn't.  They were still cooking the books on a story in a way that was skating very closely to the line, and it was only with the aid of some very talented lawyers that they were able to escape as well as they did.

     They were still distorting the news  in a way that was deceptive to the public, whose interests they were supposed to be serving by dint of the fact that they were using public media, and they were doing so in a purposefully deceptive way.

     If the affiliate had access to Fox legal talent, I must say that the Fox legal talent did a great job.  I might also say that the Fox legal talent in my opinion damaged the news business as a whole.  I cannot say that it damaged Fox's reputation with me, since I expected Fox news to act this way, and I must say that it certainly hasn't damaged the reputation of Fox news with the people it should have damaged the reputation of Fox News with, that being the viewers of Fox News, who depend upon them to be "Fair and Balanced."  

    This is one more instance where the fiction of that stance may be shown to be a matter of indifference to the viewers of that network.  It doesn't matter to them.  The fiction of that stance matters to them, and that remains as solid as ever.

     Ron, the source I quoted was the decision of the  appellate trial.  I made refrerence to Threadbear's quotation, which was an attempt to respond to the allegations that Fox had violated first ammendment protections on freedom of speech.  The various statements made in this somewhat complex document were very hard to unravel for me, and I do not pretend to understand them all.  Many of the ones that I was able to decipher, I disagreed with. or felt were written in such a careful way that they were more impressive in what they neglected to mention than in what they actually stated.  I hope the example that I attempted to translate into ordinary English gave some sense of my frustration with that document.
Holding me responsible for sonme of those statements would be like holding you responsible for the contents of The Little Red Book for having once mentioned you thought the book heavy on realpolitik.  A true-enough statement, yes, but it's not one that I would assume certifies your approval.

     Alas, I'm sorry to say that I'm the sort of guy who's all too likely to say that absolute truth may well depend on the context.  Sorry about that, Ron.

     Hope everything is well all about.
Ron
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30 posted 02-13-2010 09:03 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It seemed clear that they were going against the FCC guidelines on the matter.

Clear to whom, Bob? It's certainly not clear to me.

The policy the station is accused of violating apparently precludes licensed broadcasters from "deliberately distorting the news." Intent is always difficult to prove. Beyond that, however, the story never aired. How do you distort news, deliberately or otherwise, that is never reported?

The only thing that's clear, Bob, at least to me, is that twelve people sitting on a jury made a stupid mistake. It happens. Especially in a litigious country where deep pockets are typically seen as tempting, low-hanging fruit. Reading between the lines, I think the judge was looking for any reasonable excuse to overturn the jury's findings. Fortunately, he found one that made a lot of sense. The policy the station was accused of violating is so vague as to be virtually meaningless as a rule. It's also a little silly, to me, that Wilson and Akre were seeking protection under whistle-blowers legislation when, uh, they never actually blew any whistles. Does the Florida law cover whistle-threateners, too?

Think about it. Is there any real reason to believe Fox was honestly afraid that two no-name reporters were going to report them to the FCC? Is there any reason to believe Fox fired those reporters based on said fear? The allegations, frankly, are silly. Even if the station had actually been distorting the news, instead of engaging in responsible journalism by insisting on supporting documentation, there was never any real danger of Fox losing its licenses. Especially for news that never saw the air waves?


Bob K
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31 posted 02-13-2010 11:14 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

          Not clear to you?  Perhaps not.  You are right to ask that the referent be specified.  I am wrong not to specify it.  You are, however, able to puzzle out the meaning of the missing referent in the text sufficiently well to understand my meaning and specify it yourself directly afterward, so I might be forgiven for assuming that your opening quote was more for rhetorical purposes that out of actual puzzlement.

quote:


The policy the station is accused of violating apparently precludes licensed broadcasters from "deliberately distorting the news."




     This is what I was getting at.  I don't see why I would need to spend additional time trying to say it better, when you said it so well yourself.

     Now you go ahead and raise an excellent point, and one that I think is very much to the point.

quote:


Intent is always difficult to prove. Beyond that, however, the story never aired. How do you distort news, deliberately or otherwise, that is never reported?




     Couldn't tell you, there, Ron.  

     I could, however, offer you a bit of a distinction that might clarify things a bit.  

     While the story was never in fact broadcast, the station did in fact invest considerable time and money into the preparation of the story.  Broadcast preparation such as this involves fairly major investment.  It isn't on the same level as a quick afternoon two minute story for sports.  And this in particular involved a lot of editorial work and time with legal staff in addition to reportorial, directorial and production time.

     I think intent could pretty much be a slam dunk with a decent lawyer, and it appears that intent was proven to the satisfaction of pretty much everyone.  Certainly this was not the point of law that Fox though was a flaw in the case solid enough to contest.  I won't ask you to acknowledge the reality of that because you can't mind read the Fox defense lawyers.  You can however concede the point of fact.  The Fox defense people stayed away from that point.

     The point that they did choose, the semantic difference between "rule" and "policy" is very much on a level of the Clinton comment of, "it depends of what you  say "is" is."  Forgive my slight misquote of that, but the distinction is legalistic and not clear or glaring, certainly not to my mind.  Bless you, if it is to yours, but I do believe that most folk would find it legalistic in the extreme.  If I'm making a miscall there, forgive me there, too.

quote:

The only thing that's clear, Bob, at least to me, is that twelve people sitting on a jury made a stupid mistake.



     Chacun a son goute, Ron.  You'd have to explain that to me;  I'm not even sure that it was a 12 person jury.  The clarity of many matters seems to grow the further one gets from the actual courtroom, the actual jury deliberations, and the evidence they were permitted to view.  Perhaps you know more about that that I do.  Perhaps you had more information or information with a more or less accurate slant than either of us have available to us.  Your ability to make that call seems more certain than mine.

quote:


It happens. Especially in a litigious country where deep pockets are typically seen as tempting, low-hanging fruit. Reading between the lines, I think the judge was looking for any reasonable excuse to overturn the jury's findings. Fortunately, he found one that made a lot of sense. The policy the station was accused of violating is so vague as to be virtually meaningless as a rule. It's also a little silly, to me, that Wilson and Akre were seeking protection under whistle-blowers legislation when, uh, they never actually blew any whistles. Does the Florida law cover whistle-threateners, too?




     It was the threat of going to the FCC that got them fired, yes?

quote:
    

Think about it. Is there any real reason to believe Fox was honestly afraid that two no-name reporters were going to report them to the FCC? Is there any reason to believe Fox fired those reporters based on said fear? The allegations, frankly, are silly. Even if the station had actually been distorting the news, instead of engaging in responsible journalism by insisting on supporting documentation, there was never any real danger of Fox losing its licenses. Especially for news that never saw the air waves?



     Certainly.  There is absolutely that possibility.  This is one of the ways that No-Name journalists become Bob Woodward.  They ride a story and push it as far as it can go.  The story could be the Bovine Growth Hormone or it could be just as importantly the Fox News Story, and any decent reporter knows that.  You limit your thinking here to simply the Bovine Growth Hormone Story.  The Fox News Story is bigger, and is still going, isn't it?

     Had the reporters followed up on it properly, it could have seriously made their careers, except for the filings of the five other amicus briefs at the appeals trial.  There may be roughly five to six major news corporations in the united states today.  Fox was the one the two reporters were fighting and guess who filed the remaining five amicus briefs.  They were toast.

     The fact that the FCC was a pretty solid Republican organization at the time certainly had a major effect.  I don't know what the Florida appellate court was like at that time, nor how political it might have been.  For me to assert that the decision was political would be absurd; for me to suspect the possibility without research I have not done would be paranoid.  I acknowledge I do cherish my paranoid tendencies somewhat.  I remember a quote from one of my favorite novels, Any God Will Do by Richard Condon.  I may have it slightly wrong, but it is, "You paranoids are the last Romantics."

     Ah.


Ron
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32 posted 02-14-2010 05:11 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Certainly this was not the point of law that Fox though was a flaw in the case solid enough to contest.

Your argument, Bob, seems to rest largely on this point. That Fox didn't contest the allegations, but rather, relied on what you call semantics and legalistics?

I doubt that's true, Bob. While I don't have the legal briefs in front of me, of course, I'd be pretty much willing to give odds that the allegations were hotly contested in the original trial. They were NOT contested in the subsequent appeal because doing so would have had no legal standing once a jury had reached a decision.

It would be a mistake, I think, to not differentiate between the two phases of the legal process and use to that to make an assumption of guilt.

quote:
It was the threat of going to the FCC that got them fired, yes?

You don't think, Bob, that drawing a salary for ten months without producing a single story had anything to do with their termination? Maybe their continued refusal to provide supporting documentation for statements they wanted in the story or to make changes in the content of the story had something to do with their eventual trip to the unemployment lines?

Personally, I don't think their threats held any real weight. If there was any substance to the threat, it would not have remained just a threat; Wilson and Akre would have actually gone to the FCC.

Bob, we can and likely will continue to disagree about who should have won the legal battle. But I don't think that's the point. The point, rather, is your earlier contention that Fox went to court to win the legal right to lie to the public. I think that's a mischaracterization of Fox's refusal to let a couple of reporters dictate company policy.


Bob K
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33 posted 02-14-2010 06:46 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


  
quote:


You don't think, Bob, that drawing a salary for ten months without producing a single story had anything to do with their termination?




     They were producing the work product, as I understand it.  Are you telling me that there were two reporters running are with physical possession of film and tape owned by the station that was being edited on machinery owned by the station with the help of producers employed by the station in a physical plant run by the station?  Gosh, I'm convinced.
quote:

Maybe their continued refusal to provide supporting documentation for statements they wanted in the story or to make changes in the content of the story had something to do with their eventual trip to the unemployment lines?



     Which statements would those have been, Ron?

     What changes of content had been demanded?

     Of the two questions, the one which makes the most sense to me is the second, by the way.  My sense is that a professional journalist should almost always make appropriate changes in a piece at the request of an editor for any number of valid reasons.  A professional writer has an obligation in the matter.  The situation needs to be pretty extreme for other obligations to come into a really solid conflict.  I see this element of the discussion, and have seen it right along.

     There is, however, a matter of being asked to lie on a story that you have been asked to put your name upon, and I think there is a matter of significant obligation involved there as well.  Obligation to the profession, obligation to the society and obligation to the self in terms of amor propre.  There is also the matter of how the people saw their legal obligations, and so on.

     I do still believe that Fox was aking these reporters to lie as part of their contract with the station, and to report things the way the station thought editorially expedient rather than in a truthful fashion.  Were the material being reported editorial material, I might agree.

     It seems to me, however, that there was a disagreement on the nature of the services that each party thought were being contracted for here by the reporters.  I do think that Fox went to court to win the right to lie to the public.Nor do  I see substantive evidence that they make a large effort to do otherwise.  I may have missed their retractions or admissions of error on matters of fact or policy, however, and wait with some interest for you to point out where they have made retractions on some of the major errors that they have made, such as blaming Iraq for 9/11 and reporting significant prewar involvement of Iraq with Al Qaeda.  
  
quote:


The point, rather, is your earlier contention that Fox went to court to win the legal right to lie to the public.



     Actually, the statement is somewhat unclear, the way you've phrased it, Ron.  The point is, apparently, something you haven't specified about my earlier contention that Fox went to court to win the legal right to lie to the public.  Exactly what that may be, I don't know.  I do know that these points about Fox's behavior with its views and readers, which were, at a minimum, misleading, have never been cleared as far as I know, and if Fox were at all concerned about issues of accuracy and truthfulness, this business would have been addressed at least on the level of stories that presented more accurate and recent data would have appeared.  If Fox has not staked out a right to lie and defended it as best it can, this policy would be different, wouldn't it?

     I certainly think so.  And I certainly think so in this case as well.

Ron
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quote:
They were producing the work product, as I understand it.

Perhaps so, Bob. They certainly didn't seem to be producing any results, though. I wasn't in the news business long, so maybe nine months on a single story isn't as outrageous as it sounds? I have, however, seen non-fiction books written in a third that time.

How long do you think they should have been given?
quote:
There is, however, a matter of being asked to lie on a story that you have been asked to put your name upon, and I think there is a matter of significant obligation involved there as well.

I agree. I've seen no indication, however, that the reporters were asked to lie. Have you?

quote:
I may have missed their retractions or admissions of error on matters of fact or policy, however, and wait with some interest for you to point out where they have made retractions on some of the major errors that they have made, such as blaming Iraq for 9/11 and reporting significant prewar involvement of Iraq with Al Qaeda.

I don't know anything about that, Bob. Was it part of the case we've been discussing?


Bob K
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35 posted 02-14-2010 04:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     To my mind, of course, Ron.

     To my mind, and this is what prompts me to pick my issues, Fox ius an organization that purposefully distorts their information to fit their agenda.  I contrast them with many, though not all other news organizations, including many organizations on the Right.  I have often mentioned on of my favorites, the extraordinarily well researched right wing English The Economist," but there are others.  The more straightforwardly militaristic [i]Jane's would be an example of a narrowly defined but very reliable publication, and there are a number of Military professional journals that do a similarly outstanding job.

     They do their jobs by being concerned with the facts, and by building solid cases narrowly built on what the facts mean in pursuit of their points of view.  They don't fabricate facts, they use facts to illustrate, which is what careful editing is about.  I may not like the conclusions that stories like this come to, and I may have idiological beefs with them, but I don't mind my idiological beefs being challenged.  They should be, if my information or my reasoning is wrong.  That's how democracies become more solid.

     Democracies should turn on facts and discussions of facts.  They should even turn on discussions about people's opinions about facts.  People's opinions about facts to my mind can sometimes be as important as the facts themselves.  When I talk about semantics, it's because semantics is very important to me.  Your life experience has centered you, if I understand you correctly — and Lord knows I may not — in Ayn Rand and a lot of her Economic, Philosophic and social thinking.  This is a snapshot generalization, and doesn't do justice to a complex guy, but it's the basis of most of what I hear you talk about here, and the rest of what you say isn't as clearly articulated, though it may be just as firmly held.  If I'm way off base, please forgive me.

     Mine is centered for the most part in something called Constructivism, which is centered in the notion that everybody operates not so much directly on the world, but more on the model that they've built for themselves of the world.  Everybody's model makes perfect sense to them because everybody has built their own model.  Everybody's model allows them certain advantages and disadvantages over other people.

     The model that these right wing journalistic organizations that I mentioned use is very traditional.  They want hard data.  They want the data confirmed.  They have a view of the world.  They can't help but see the data in light of that view, but the data is clear and their reasoning is clear as well.  If their facts are wrong, you can dialogue about the facts.  They are willing to debate opinion, though they are reasonably certain of their opinions, as they should be.  They also have clear values that are in the service of their view of history and politics.  
Great.

    Their view of history and politics are, like my own, rooted in democracy.  We can talk.  They honor the notion of good data and information being important to the democratic process.

     Fox News, does not do this.  There are other conservative organizations that do, and I have named a few.  Fox does not.  I have mentioned, in prior postings, examples of where they do not pay attention to the facts and where they distort information.

     I am a Liberal Democrat, and am forthright about that.  I have also disagreed with my party about some of the things it's done, and I've been equally forthright about that.  I try to keep my attention on what I see as accurate information, not on what my party or on what any party says.  If you look back over the history of my postings, you can see that I've disagreed with my party and with Democratic Presidents as well a significant amount of the time.  I try to keep my loyalties with the information and the facts, as best I see them.

     In this case, I see The New York Times and many other Main Stream publications giving a better and more accurate view of the news.  They may get the story wrong a significant amount of the time, as in the Iraq situation right after  9/11 and in the says leading up to the Iraq war.  But as more and information and more nuanced and accurate information becomes available, they print that as well.  It appears their loyalty is toward the information.

     The construction that Fox news seems to put on public information seems to be at variance with this construction, and has right along, as I have pointed out fairly frequently.

     I would be happy to check into the details of the case further, however.  Telling the executives, as Tbear suggested, that the denials that the monsanto executives offered that were, as Tbear suggested, contrary to truth, were not appropriate for broadcast, seems to me to qualify as an example of  exactly that sort of thing.  You might check my exchange with T-bear above, and his explanation that such comments contrary to truth are in fact pro forma throughout broadcast journalism (imagine my curiosity about that!).  

     Perhaps you were looking for something even for literal?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
  
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36 posted 02-14-2010 06:38 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Bob, since we're talking about editorial content by producers, here is an example on the Huffington Post of 'liar headlines' by the liberal press.

Isn't this quaint.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hvWEqwq3CrRvaQCmt21MfoYhjZJQD9DS0UO00  

This is the original article from the AP by the same author. The first line reads as such:

"NATO says two rockets fired at insurgents missed their target and killed 12 civilians in southern Afghanistan.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, has apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the accident."


And yet the HuffPo version of the story reads:
"Two U.S. rockets slammed into a home Sunday outside the southern Taliban stronghold of Marjah, killing 12 civilians after Afghanistan's president appealed to NATO to take care in its campaign to seize the town."

So, did the author create two versions of the same story or was someone changing the first line for their own reason? " quoted ...from Huffpost blog
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/14/nato-rockets-miss-target_n_461831.html
Ron
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37 posted 02-14-2010 06:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If I'm way off base, please forgive me.

You're forgiven, Bob.

quote:
Mine is centered for the most part in something called Constructivism, which is centered in the notion that everybody operates not so much directly on the world, but more on the model that they've built for themselves of the world. Everybody's model makes perfect sense to them because everybody has built their own model.

You're also forgiven for what is probably an unavoidable over-simplification of Piaget's theory of learning (which, of course, is itself an imperfect model of the world). It does seem strange that someone who supposedly privileges subjectivity over objectivity would be so concerned about "facts" that rarely exist outside the context in which they have been learned?

That's neither here nor there, however. What does surprise me, especially since you always go so far out of your way to protest your sense of fairness, is that your world model would include the acceptance of prejudicial testimony. It seems to me, if I had to sit on the jury for a murder case, I would be obliged to determine guilt or innocence based on what was presented. Even if I knew the defendant had killed people in the past it wouldn't prove he had killed someone in THIS case.

I honestly don't care, Bob, what Fox has done in the past. I've seen no indications in THIS case, either anecdotal or documented, that suggest they asked Wilson and Akre to lie. The records I've seen, on the contrary, indicate an insistance on supporting documentation that the reporters felt was unnecessary and apparently burdensome. Again, however, that's neither here nor there. We don't have to agree on who was right or wrong.

Heaven knows I'm not trying to defend Fox.

I will argue, however, that you don't get to twist Fox to your particular world view without running the serious risk of having your own favorite media twisted to someone else's world view. You like The Economist, Bob? How long do you think you'd like it if they no longer had the right to determine the standards under which they would report the news? How long do you think you'd like it if every reporter they hired could publish anything they liked, regardless of whether The Economist believed it was accurate? Facts are slippery little critters, Bob. Insisting that everyone report only your world view of the facts is the worst threat to freedom I can possibly imagine. I don't have to like Fox to know that we need Fox.

Fox didn't go to court for the right to lie. They went to court to preserve their right to continue to dictate their own truth. If you take that right away from Fox, Bob, you take it away from all of us.


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38 posted 02-14-2010 06:59 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

you both have to admit, though,
it's a helluva interesting topic:
how and why news editors decide what they air.  Is it also unethical for newspapers and tv stations to purposely ignore a story?  They can also choose to ELEVATE the importance of non-stories, such as Palin's handwriting notes.

Let's also remember, this was NOT Fox NEWS, it was a FOX affiliate and their story.  It's really a 'liar headline' when blogs says: Fox News sues for the right to lie.
It should read:
"A Foxs network affiliate sues to preserve their right to editorial content.'
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39 posted 02-14-2010 10:39 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Wrong constructivism, Ron.  I like Piaget, mind you, and I think there may be some overlap, of course, especially when it come to the neurology of things.  The constructivism that I'm talking about has to do with folks like Peter Berger, Alfred Korzybski, Milton Erickson, Jay Haley, Gregory Bateson and Paul Watzlawick.  Watzlawick traces roots back to mathamatical group theory and set theory and the theory of logical types, which drags in Bertrand Russell and theory of paradox as well.  It's a very rich theory.  It's more complex than I can explain briefly.  A good book is The Pragmatics of Human Communication, and the material  would be seriously entertaining for a guy with a mind as interesting as yours.  I am not anywhere nearly as technically capable as you, I believe, and I could get it, and find the applicability seems to keep growing everyplace I look.

     You may find the same thing or, entirely possible as well, find the complete opposite.  Witness our disagreement about the current stuff, where each of us seems thoroughly convinced that the other person is clearly wrong.  The appeal of this particular material for me is that I find it useful for problem solving in a lot of different places.  It has a lots of, well, pragmatics to it.

     I comfort myself, I don't think I'm wrong, and, then, neither do you.

     Threadbear has an interesting point.  What is appropriate editorial consideration is a great question.

quote:

Is it also unethical for newspapers and tv stations to purposely ignore a story?  



     The answer here lays, for me, in the motto of The New York Time.  I happen to think that having Ms. Palin wrote notes in her palm is a charming character detail.  To have it presented as damning is plain stupid.  And I do not like the Governor as a potential office holder at all.  If you want to call attention to her in a damning way, it's very difficult; those folks who value logic, knowledge, thoughtfulness and insight would be turned off by a substantive quote from one of her speeches.  Those who listen to her speeches aren't listening for those things..  I'm not really certain what they are looking for, but I don't want it with its hand anywhere near a nurclear football.  Either senator from Maine could do far better as a Republican nominee as far as actual ability to govern.  I'm not trying to shoot down the possibility of a good Republican running for office.  I'd simply like to have one that's capable of putting together a coherent policy with political competence in an articulate fashion.
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40 posted 02-14-2010 11:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Unlike the guy at the helm now, right Bob?
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41 posted 02-15-2010 02:30 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Actually, Denise, I think he'd make a far better Republican nominee that Governor Palin.  He's certainly much more articulate.  He can put together a sentence that isn't built entirely of cliches, and I think his understanding of geography and foreign policy is far better.  I could keep going, but I think you was just funning me, and I don't want to rile you none.
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42 posted 02-18-2010 09:28 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

A couple of updates since last post:

the 'blow' that Ahmadinhajad referred to, was the announcement that their Uranium program had approached the 70% enriched point, and that the remaining 20% would be done by Russia.  This enriched uranium would give Iran the capability to cause a nuclear explosion within a nuclear warhead.

Which brings us to today's news:
Iran Accused of Building Nuclear Warheads
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_re_eu/eu_iran_nuclear;_ylt=Ag1nsHf8JODZ_USBZwSmZ96s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqajFlbGwxBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMjE4L2V1X2lyYW5fbnVjbGVhcgRjY29kZQNtb3N0c G9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzcEcG9zAzQEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl9oZWFkbGluZV9saXN0BHNs

Apparently a computer laptop smuggled out of Iran in 2005 proves that Iran didn't stop their nuclear weapons development.  It's been 5 years since then:  I think they are only 60 days away from having the whole capability of nuking Israel.  

There is no more time.
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44 posted 02-20-2010 07:53 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Can't get the last link to work, Bob. Could you check it again? Thanks.
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45 posted 02-20-2010 08:51 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

History Commons - WOW Lots of info on just about everything. Thanks for the tip, Bob.
Anyway, since I couldn't get the link you  posted to work, I went to the site and put "plame" in the search box - amazing amount of info and all in once place.

Here's a link to the site: http://www.historycommons.org/aboutsite.jsp

Bob K
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46 posted 02-24-2010 03:29 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     We're still obligated to deal with what we have sitting in our laps now, certainly.  After a certain point, discussions of history are only futile discussions of laying blame that take away from problem solving.  It's like discussions of the Arab Israeli conflict that end up going back to Jacob, as though who robbed who of a birthright 3500 years ago actually has to be the point that settles an quarrel today, as opposed to flipping coins or playing  a soccer game or asking somebody who's a fair broker to make the judgement or simply deciding to keep going until both sides succeed in killing each other off entirely, down to the last person, and then getting their neighbors to sew the area with salt.

     I can blame the Republicans, the Republicans can blame me, and all of a sudden the story is about who's to blame instead of defining the problem.  Once we define the problem, then maybe we can figure out who needs to be involved in actually solving the problem.  Most issues are about problems of problem formulation.  Once the problem is well formulated, then it's possible to solve them more easily.  If a problem is poorly formulated, it will always seem impossible to solve.

     I suspect that this is our issue with Iran.

     The current problem formulation is probably not one that allows for a solution because it is a problem formulation that sees the issue as a problem between U.S. (and world) attempts to exert power over the issue of Nuclear prolifferation in Iran.  Insofar as it goes, this is true.  It pits the United States and many of its European allies against one of the world's large potential suppliers of oil, a vital commodity in short supply.  This pits the United States against Iran, Shi'ia ande some fundamental Islamis sects as well as it's potential economic rival, China.  In this we may well be taking on may other Islamic powers as well, powers that might not otherwise be involved, because we are trying to protect our Ally Israel.

     Looked at in this way, we are in in very difficult position.

     Another formulation — The religious revolution that took place in Iran some 30 yeqars ago is still popular in many ways, but the country chafes under some of the more restrictive aspects of the theocracy that has evolved.  There is considerable reistance to the continuation of theocratic rule, and there is an active underground which is giving the theocracy a more and more difficult time maintaining power.  The population is educated, bright and thoughtful and doesn't want to settle for being an intellectual and social backwater, though it does feel very loyal to it conservative brand of Islam in many ways.

     A good strategy for a government in t5rouble with its people in this way it to have an external enemy to focus upon.  With a more and more provocative Iranian President making more and more provocative statements about flexing its wings militarily, the Theocracy, without whose complete support the president would essentially be unable to open his mouth, hopes to draw flack and, hopefully, armed response from western powers and even, Allah be praised, from the Great Satan itself.  Religious uncertainties are then swept aside and the theocracy is swept back into a consolidated power position for another thirty years or so.

     Depending on how you formulate the problem, then, two separate solutions present themselves.  In the first scenerio, you will want an activist solution.  It makes sense.  In the second scenerio, you want to keep your hands off, allowing the  emergence of a popular uprising or a natural cultural shift that would remodel the nature of the local democracy.

     The question would seem to hinge on how much faith we, as Americans may have in the system that we say is the most important system of government in the world — the Democracy.  Do we really, and I mean really believe in the ability of people to goven themselves, or do we really believe in the necessity (when push comes to shove) of the necessity of us making the decisions for the rest of the world.

     This is the place where the distinction between Capitalism and Democracy become clear.  In Capitalism, one makes the decision in the interest of and in protection of the Capital.  In a Democracy, the Capital, which may be our economic system, coincidentally, must perfocxe come second to our committment to our own people and the nurture of Democracies in other countries.

     And Democracies in other countries are not obligated to vote the same way that we do about economic and social systems.  They are Democracies, by definities, and they vote thgeir own decisions for their own fates.  
Bob K
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47 posted 02-25-2010 04:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Remind me to proofread and then to re-write a little.  First drafts shouldn't be inflicted on anybody.

     Sorry.  Bob Kaven
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48 posted 02-26-2010 06:00 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Hi, Bob & co.,
just wanted to let you know I wasn't ignoring you.  Just haven't had time: we had a septic implosion and have had the plumbers out here every day, and will be all next week.  They have to repipe and retrench 80 ft next week.  Tree roots grew into the pipes.  Catch ya soon, guyz,
Jeff
Bob K
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49 posted 02-26-2010 07:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Perhaps you're in the wrong place, here, threadbear.  Sounds more like this belongs in the healthcare thread.

     Since people can't always tell with me, that was a joke.

     I'm sorry to hear about the house problems.  Tree roots in the sewer line, yuck, which must also mean tree roots in the bank account, double yuck.  I look forward to hearing from you, though, when things get less pressing.  Best of luck to you and your family.

Bob Kaven
 
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