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June 18, 2003
Soapbox Warning! (The Liberal Media)

It's my right to dislike the Bush Administration because I disagree with their position on, for instance, protected wilderness areas.

What isn't right is the kind of blind, they are all things evil approach I've taken to everything this Administration does, based solely upon the commentary I've read in the national media. (It's all commentary these days, people, okay? Even in "hard news" articles, you get a lot of bias. Anyone paying attention as they read can find it.)

To put it bluntly, every time someone in the Administration sneezes, I've gone searching for, and found, support for why it was an act of satan. I've lost balance and objectivity and I' saying that this has been a consequence of the actual Liberal Media. (Okay, it's my own fault for trusting the media, I know.)

Because there's nothing so nice as reading the words of those who agree with us, I read ten "Liberal" news outlets for every moderate or right-wing one. And I've been lead, even misled by an overwhelming negativism in the liberal media, into knee-jerk extremism.

For instance, after researching the "facts" of statements offering rationales for the invasion after the fact, I see that while many of the Left's claims of what was said are true, it's also true that there were claims for the invasion made on the grounds of humanitarianism and for protecting Iraq's neighbors, as well as for WMD. I fault the Liberal Media for ignoring that part of what was said in an attempt to force the impression that we were hammered with all WMD, all the time rhetoric for months before the war. This kind of thing doesn't make our arguments any stronger, okay? Bush was wrong to call is "revisionist history" but he would have been right if, instead, he'd talked about "selective memory.")

Doing some further research, I find that the Iraq + terrorist connection was not, in fact, originally made by Bush. This connection has been discussed in Washington for a number of years. For enough years to add a certain credence to the story. I don't find the Liberal Media offering me any data on that because then they might have to admit that this war wasn't quite as unprovoked as they were saying.

(Also, a lack of context is frequently a problem for me. It's clear that I haven't paid enough attention to events as they happened in the Middle East over the last ten years. I'm finding an appalling lack of depth to my knowledge of the region.

Because the national media has been restructured to cover actors and musicians and athletes as "legitimate news" topics, there's less room for actual news, be it on television or in a newspaper, so I'm not finding myself able to fill in the gaps in my knowledge from any coverage the national press is offering. My time, as I've whined repeatedly, is limited, and research takes hours. I'm not saying I'm not doing research, just that I'm a little bitter.)

I'm not saying there's not room to disagree, even passionately, with the current Administration's position on practically everything.

I'm just saying that when it comes to this war, a lot of us are arguing from a greater depth of ignorance than we're aware because the media is less concerned with facts than it is with grabbing headlines and boosting ratings.

There have been a dozen occasions in the last three weeks when I've started to rant and rave about something, stopped myself, and gone searching for actual source material to compare to the news stories. Over half the time, I find that blatant bias in the news story has nearly misled me into screaming in protest about something that's being seriously misrepresented.

I still believe Bush Administration is All Things Evil based on my personal view of what government is supposed to do for citizens, but from now on I'm going to try harder to read actual source material (original text and not the media's edited excerpts of said text) before I jump on the latest hang 'em high bandwagon every time the Administration scratches its ear.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:42 AM