Sick of being fed lies -- 05/24/03

It's cloudy and cool today, but that's better than the steady rain that had been forecast.

People always joke about weather forecasts being wrong. However, think about it -- that's an attempt to say what will happen. After all, “Predicting is always very difficult. Especially predicting the future.” (I had thought that somebody like Yogi Bera had said that, but I just googled it and found it attributed to Nobel prize winning physicist Niels Bohr.)  I can understand errors in predicting the weather, even just for a day or two in the future.

But I am really sick and tired of being fed lies by the news media.

They aren't attempting to predict the future, they are (supposedly) telling us the facts about things that have already happened.

Yes, yes, I know, perfect accuracy is perfectly impossible to achieve. Yes, yes, there is the "fog of war" and all that.

I'm not ranting about minor details. Not was it a 2003 Volvo or was it a 2002 Volvo. Not were five shots fired or six. Not was $5,000 taken in the robbery or $6523.59.

I mean, were 170,000 priceless articles looted from the Iraqi museums or was it fewer than 50. I would agree that comparing, say, 50,000 items vs. 75,000 items is not really much of a difference -- but there certainly is a difference of many orders of magnitude between 170,000 and a few dozen. [I also noticed that the original stories were front page news, but the corrections were buried deep inside.] So the original stories (in the weasel words of the Nixon White House) are "no longer operational" but they sure came in handy for a while to put down the United States.

You've all read about the New York Times reporter who faked dozens of stories. (And now they are finding more Times reporters also had been faking at least parts of their stories.) And now people are looking back at Robert Fisks's supposed reporting from Iraq, such as a pair of stories filed that, if true, would have meant that he was at two locations hundreds of miles apart at essentially the same time. (Or, there was his report that he had personally gone to the airport and seen that the Iraqi Information Minister was correct in saying that U.S. forces had been driven back and the airport was in Iraqi control -- but at the time he claimed to have visited the airport to expose what he called American lies, I was watching live television feeds from the airport on two different cable news channels.)

This week I had an email discussion with Doug about Maureen Dowd -- He had quoted something from her column and I told him that (although I agreed with his points in his entry) I could not accept anything she had to say about any topic, not because she was a Liberal but because she was a Liar... and once proven to be a liar, how could we trust what she said. My example for that was her May 14th column where she deliberately distorted something Bush had said.
Al Qaeda is on the run. That group of terrorists who attackedour country is slowly but surely being decimated. Right now, about half ofall the top Al Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case,they're not a problem anymore.
And he is obviously right. Those operatives who are either jailed or dead are no longer problems. However, Dowd changed what he said, deliberately distorted his quote to make it appear as if he had said something different.
Busy chasing off Saddam Hussein, the president and vice presidenthad told us that Al Qaeda was spent. "Al Qaeda is on the run," PresidentGeorge W. Bush said last week. "That group of terrorists who attacked ourcountry is slowly but surely being decimated," he added. "They're not a problemanymore."
Then she rants and raves, attacking him for saying something that he hadn't said. (And, since then, various political hack commentators have picked up on her lie and have repeated it again and again as if it were true although they obviously must know that it is yet another lie.)

Interestingly enough, in her column that Doug had quoted (and as I noted above, I agree with Doug's position), she would appear to be arguing against the Patriot Act -- and I certainly think some provisions of that law are questionable on Constitutional grounds and that many of its provisions are stupid or vile or dangerous (or all three) -- but I have no desire to associate with anyone of her ilk.

Do you remember a month or so ago when a CNN official openly admitted that they had been lying to us in all of their stories from Iraq for the past decade in order to avoid having their reporters kicked out of the country. It was more important to them to be able to say "Live from Baghdad" than it was to tell the truth.... so they carried endless numbers of stories depicting Saddam and his killers in a positive light, presented Iraqi government lies as being the truth (while, of course, hinting that anything the U.S. government said must be of questionable reliability), showing fake street demonstrations and pretending that they were spontaneous displays, and showing us weeping and wailing parents and hundreds of dead babies killed by the economic sanctions.

Now it turns out (see Newsday article) that those stories were faked by the Iraqi government (the very doctors who had been quoted as blaming the sanctions for those deaths now say that they had to say that or be killed, that Iraq could easily have had all needed antibiotics and other drugs under the sanctions but the government confiscated those funds to spend on palaces and the military. The bodies of all dead babies were put into refrigeration (despite Islamic custom calling burial as soon as possible) and then gathered together to make big displays of bodies to show to foreign journalists who passed these lies onto us as the truth because they were too afraid or too incompetent to find the truth or who (like Fisk and Dowd, etc.) found these lies useful for political reasons.

Ah... so I got some of that off my chest. I could go on for pages about this... could even, I suppose, provide links and such for various things I said, but this isn't a blog, it's just my personal thoughts and today I felt like ranting. Haven't done that here in a while. I think I tend to do much of my ranting in the comments sections of various blogs, but this morning I just felt like letting loose here...

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