March 5, 2007

Fair & Balanced

What's 1 to 55?

That's the ration of news video coverage at the Fox "News" website between the critical Water Reed veteran's health scandal vs. the Anna Nichole Smith story.

By Editor & Publisher's count, as of last night, there was a total of one video story about Walter Reed on Fox "News" website, and fully fifty-five about Ms. Smith and that critically important story.

And leading Fox Noise talking head/undertaker Brit Hume today said that the real bad thing about the expanding exposure of systemic problems for veterans outpatient care is that the Walter Reed story really "looks" bad, in other words, it's only a problem because it gives the administration a black eye, NOT because there's thousands of wounded vets being provided sub-standard care in disgusting conditions.

The "support our troops" right-wing Republican crowd is nearly nowhere to be found on this story, proving to anyone who didn't already know, that they're a bunch of loud-mouth hypocritical phoneys who have no problem using the troops as some sort of politial puppet for their own purposes when it suits them, but really aren't too concerned when it comes to the reality on the ground for the returning wounded.

It might also explain why this administation has consistently called for reductions in funding for veteran benefits while sending more and more into combat and extending the tours of nearly all of them to the breaking point and beyond.

Also, as I mentioned several days ago, look for the attrocious "out sourcing" or privitization of all but the most skilled medical duties to emerge as a huge part of this scandal, including the fact that the $100 million plus contract to handle outpatient services at Walter Reed which was given to IAP Worldwide Services, a corporation headed by, oddly enough, an ex-executive of Haliburton. What a shock.

In other news which touches on how our own government actively keeps the truth from us, we have this report,
NEW YORK The U.S. military in Afghanistan on Monday defended seizing and erasing press photographs and video after an incident which left up to 10 civilians dead, Agence France-Presse reported this afternoon, saying this was allowed in "extreme circumstances."

Journalists working for the Associated Press and Afghan media said soldiers deleted footage of a site in eastern Nangarhar province where U.S. troops opened fire after an ambush. Demonstrations broke out afterward as witnesses claimed the shootings were unwarranted. One journalist said a soldier warned that if he didn't delete the photos "we'll delete you."

A media spokesman for the US-led coalition admitted some pictures of the scene may have been erased. "Some of those facts may be accurate but there is some context that is due," Mitchell told AFP.

The journalists had gone beyond a security perimeter and had been asked to remove their images to "protect the integrity of the investigation," he said, adding that the scene may have been altered before they arrived.

The concern had been that the "photographers would not accurately represent what the scene looked like immediately after the ambush," Mitchell said."
Yeah, we all know how photographs really mess up the scene, what with capturing it exactly as it looks, etc. Better to have no evidence whatsoever outside of the military about this alleged slaughter of innocent life.

8 Comments:

At 3/06/2007 2:06 AM, Anonymous saul said...

This was a great post, TID. This is truly appalling. I can't for the life of me figure out what is at the root of all of this attention given to Smith. Some will say that the media are just responding to "what people are interested in", but I would hope that the people in charge of reporting the NEWS would actually feel a duty to report the actual NEWS, rather than celebrity gossip.

If a democrat were in office when this kind of scandal was brought up at Walter Reed, Fox would be all over it. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

 
At 3/06/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the stat for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN?

Let's not just throw FOX to the wolves here - they are all ga-ga over Smith.

 
At 3/07/2007 12:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon, I believe you're either willfully or wrongly missing the point.

This post isn't about the obsessive coverage of Anna Nichole Smith, which is excessive and overblown across the board, but rather about the fact that Fox and other right wing outlets are nearly silent about the national shame of the way returning vets are handled after their initial treatment.

As noted, Brit Hume feels that the only thing of concern in the matter is that it "looks" bad for the administration which he and his supposed "news" channel serves as a propaganda arm.

Where are the "support our troops!" wing-nuts now?

Largely silent. The hypocrisy is deafening however.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you made the claim that FOX is downplaying the story based on the 55:1 stat.

I am only asking what the smae stat is for the other channels - so that a true comparison can be made.

I am sorry, but it is the (Republican) administration that discovered and acted upon the issue.

There is no need for hearings (that will do nothing), there is no need to picket or wear ribbons -the only thing that needs to be done s to make changes and to take care of the soldiers.

Why is it that you think talking about an issue, spending months laying blame about an issue, is better than solving the problem?

Again, I only asked that your stat is compared to the other networks - before pointing a finger at FOX.

 
At 3/07/2007 1:58 PM, Blogger diehard said...

FOX is part of the right wing noise machine that has figured out how to talk to low IQ'd folks.
You know bright lights, slick banners and logos blondes in short skirts etc.

 
At 3/07/2007 2:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

By your ridiculous pursuit of an issue that has nothing to do with the point of the post and demanding answers to a question that is self evident. (Obviously other channels gave much more coverage to the Walter Reed story.) you can only be one person.

Secondly, where in the WORLD did you come up with the idea that it was this administration that discovered the problem??!!!

It was only after a huge expose by the Washington Post, and by the same writer that the right wing has screamed and demanded be charged with treason for exposing the black ops prisons which the CIA has set up in foreign countries in order to torture prisoners, that there was any action on this story.

The initial reaction by the military was to blame the soldiers or otherwise try to deny and minimize the problem. That's why heads have rolled and more likely will.

But don't make us laugh by trying to suggest that it was the administration who uncovered this shabby treatment of vets.

And again, demanding some sort of count of stories by other networks is only a red-herring. (and not only that, I'm not going to waste my time doing such a count. If you think this will somehow prove Fox not any more biased than other networks, then YOU do the count.)

There's been all sorts of reports by both pundits and media about the eerie silence about Walter Reed in the conservative press.

Anyone who still thinks Fox News is "fair and balanced" is obviously unbalanced themselves.

 
At 3/07/2007 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, it was a simple question...

You led off the post stating that FOX provided unbalanced coverage. All I asked is,

"unbalanced compared to what?"

Why is it that you didge even the simplest of questions?

 
At 3/08/2007 2:06 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The obvious answer, to everyone but you apparently, to "compared to what", is compared to every other network.

Satisfied?

 

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