Looking Through a Lens

Wall Street Opinion Journal September 19, 2006

Talking over 9-11.One 9/11 picture, thousands of words: Rorschach of meanings.

Faith in the camera as an infallible eyewitness was supposed to have died for good with the advent of Photoshop. Critics have opined for years that the popularity of such digital trickery would erode the truth value of all photographs. What attorney would risk introducing an 8-by-10 print as evidence of a murder scene if jury members knew how to rotate bodies and paintbox skin tones on their home computers?

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How low can press standards go?

Townhall.com Marvin Olasky August 17, 2006

Try on this exciting photo caption: “A Hezbollah PR man poses for dramatic effect in front of a tire fire.”

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Media Mistreat American Troops

Real Clear Politics July 13, 2006
Thomas Sowell

The same newspapers and television news programs that are constantly reminding us that some people under indictment “are innocent until proven guilty” are nevertheless hyping the story of American troops accused of rape in Iraq, day in and day out, even though these troops have yet to be proven guilty of anything.

What about all the civilian rapes that are charged — and even proven — in the United States? None of them gets this 24/7 coverage in the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated example of media hype of unproven charges against American troops. While military action was still raging in the early days of the Iraq war, there was media condemnation of our troops for not adequately protecting an Iraqi museum from which various items were missing.

When the smoke of battle cleared, it turned out that members of the museum staff had hidden these items for safekeeping during the fighting.

Then there was the incident when a Marine shot a terrorist who was pretending to be asleep and the media turned that into a big scandal until an investigation revealed how these and other tricks used by terrorists had cost the lives of American troops in Iraq.

None of the brutal beheadings of innocent hostages taken by terrorists in Iraq — and videotaped for distribution throughout the Middle East — has aroused half the outrage in the mainstream media as unsubstantiated charges made by terrorists imprisoned in Guantanamo

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The New Gay Times

Townhall.com Brent Bozell III July 12, 2006

There was the expected wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left when New York’s state Court of Appeals ruled against installing so-called “gay marriage” by judicial fiat, as they had in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. The New York Times, as expected, was stunned that the judges could find a “rational basis” for traditional marriage, and that judges would defer to elected legislators.

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The shame of the Times

Townhall.com Bruce Bartlett July 4, 2006

The New York Times is very upset that it has been singled out for revealing a government program that tracks terrorists through financial transactions. The Times notes that the same story was simultaneously broken by the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, but so far they have not come in for the same criticism.

One reason for this disparate treatment is that the New York Times has no reservoir of goodwill to fall back on. Because of its past actions, people are disinclined to give it the benefit of the doubt when its judgment and patriotism are questioned.

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Fit and Unfit to Print: What are the obligations of the press in wartime?

Wall Street Opinion Journal June 30, 2006

“Not everything is fit to print. There is to be regard for at least probable factual accuracy, for danger to innocent lives, for human decencies, and even, if cautiously, for nonpartisan considerations of the national interest.”

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More on the Zogby Poll

The Empire Journal
Zogby Poll Shows Americans Favored Terri’s Survival

According to polls published by the mainstream media, particularly one by ABC News, it was indicated that most Americans favored the removal of the nutrition and hydration of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the 41-year-old disabled woman who died of starvation and thirst March 31 in a court-ordered death in Florida.

But the polls by ABC and Time were based on the disinformation campaign engaged in by the mainstream media in the case. They didn’t tell the public that Terri Schiavo wasn’t vegetative, that she wasn’t in a coma, that she wasn’t terminal. They didn’t tell the public about Michael Schiavo’s adulterous affair and that the order to end her life was based on the self-serving hearsay testimony of Michael Schiavo who had a lot to gain by Terri’s death. In the opinion of many, the mainstream media is as responsible for the death of Terri Schiavo as Judge George W. Greer, Michael Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos.

Wesley Smith: Internet brought Schiavo case to the fore

The Case Heard Round the Web

Media bias

Continuing the media bias discussion Hugh Hewitt’s Two incidents highlight the mainstream media’s defects and biases is a good read.

Th Market is Saturated with Liberal Media

Continuing the theme of liberal bias in the mainstream media, Jim Geraghty asks in National Review if the liberal media has too many outlets for too few viewers. Will the MSM have to start reaching out to conservatives?

MSM Requiem: After the Dan Rather scandal, American journalism will never be the same

Peggy Noonan wrties in the Wall Street Journal today on the decline of the MSM:

“The Rathergate Report is a watershed event in American journalism not because it changes things on its own but because it makes unavoidably clear a change that has already occurred. And that is that the mainstream media’s monopoly on information is over…”

“Is it annoying that the panel that issued the report did not find liberal bias in the preparation and airing of the Bush National Guard story? Yes, but only that. It’s not as if anyone has to be told. I hate to be cynical, and this is cynical, but the panel that produced the report was not being paid by CBS to find liberal bias. It was being paid to do the anatomy of a failure with emphasis on who did what wrong.”

Church of Christ television ad

Reader Daniel Crandell mentioned that Touchstone Blog has commentary about the new television ad trumpeting the United Church of Christ as an all-inclusive Church. The ad was rejected by the alphabets (NBS, CBS, ABC) and major papers picked up the story arguing that the rejection is due to a covert rejection by other churches of homosexuals. Touchstone links to Christianity Today which argues that the ad has more to do with racism than homosexuality (I agree). The most cogent comment comes from Touchstone however:

[In] Michael Paulson’s report for the [Boston] Globe, one striking detail is that UCC officials did not expect that the commercial could be taken as criticizing any other church: The Rev. Nancy S.] Taylor [president of the UCC’s Massachusetts Conference] said the ad is not intended to criticize other denominations. She said she showed the ad to members of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, an umbrella organization of Protestant and Orthodox churches, where it drew no criticism.
That detail may say more about the goo-goo atmosphere in councils of churches, even at the state level, than it does about the ad’s content.

Christianity Today did mention:

It’s worth noting that the UCC may not be turning people away, but its members are fleeing in droves. The denomination has lost 23 percent of its membership in the past 15 years, reports the Associated Press. This is not a denomination that needs crowd control.

Why are the Orthodox even involved in such nonsense?

View the ad here.