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Media

Permanent link to MTA daily media news

Dry up the tears for that golden period in US Journalism that never was
[T]he performance of a mass media system must be measured and graded according to output, and this output has been consistently deplorable, for at least 150 years, and shamefully so since the era of supposedly “professional journalism” began in the 1920s.
Click through to see the examples.

GENERAL PETRAEUS’S PR BLITZKRIEG….
Petraeus has been slowly and methodically carrying out an extremely disciplined military campaign with a very precise goal: gaining support for David Petraeus and the surge… And it’s worked. Even though there’s been no discernable political progress, minimal reconstruction progress, and apparently no genuine decrease in violence, he’s managed to convince an awful lot of people that the first doesn’t matter, the second is far more widespread than it really is, and the third is the opposite of reality.

Why Was Petraeus Able To Shift The Debate On Iraq? The Media Enabled It
If you step back and survey the totality of media’s performance this summer on the Iraq debate, it becomes a good deal clearer just how awful it’s all been — and just how complicit these failings were in helping to shift the debate: (1) Big news orgs repeatedly twisted the words of Democrats who had returned from Iraq to make their assessments sound more positive than they were… (2) Big news orgs shifted the definition of the success of the surge from a political goal to a military one… (3) Many news organizations gave tons of coverage to outside experts who said the surge is working, while giving little to none to people who said it wasn’t… (4) Multiple news outlets repeatedly and falsely described the September Iraq assessment as representing the sole judgment of Petraeus, echoing White House propaganda… (5) News orgs and pundits are now baselessly asserting that the White House is “confident” that it will “win” the September showdown with Dems over Iraq.

More Than 1,800 Iraqis Killed in August
Going along with the White House’s “the surge is working” spin, the second paragraph of this AP story claims: “U.S. deaths remained well below figures from last winter when the U.S began dispatching 30,000 additional troops to Iraq.” In actuality, U.S. military deaths in August 2007, at 81, were virtually the same as they were when the surge began in January (83) and February (81). Media Views previously noted AP’s cherry-picking of casualty statistics for their propaganda value rather than their news value, but this report takes things a step farther by misrepresenting reality to fit in with official claims.

“Sectarian deaths are down” unless you count the dead bodies
The GOP is going to parrot the talking point that “sectarian deaths are down” for the next few weeks. It’s becoming one of their favorite campaign slogans. One problem — it’s a lie. And, you know it’s a blatant, glaring lie when even Wolf Blitzer debunks it.

Click through to watch the amazing video of Wolf Blitzer debunking a Republican talking point.

Couric Admits Her Rosy Report From Iraq Is Based On ‘What The U.S. Military Wants Me To See’
CBS News anchor Katie Couric is currently reporting from Iraq. [Sunday] she spoke to Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation and largely reiterated Gen. Petraeus’s talking points on Iraq. She said that Petraeus believes there “really is a trend” of success on the security situation in Iraq and believes President Bush’s escalation “needs to continue.” She also recounted “signs of life that seem to be normal” at a market she visited, but then conceded that the positive aspects of her report are based on “what the U.S. military wants” her to see.
Click through to watch the video.

How Much Does the Iraq War Cost?
Continuing his battle to get economics journalists to report in terms that communicate something useful to readers, [Dean] Baker addresses the Washington Post’s statement that Bush is seeking “up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq” atop “$147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” “It would be helpful if these numbers were put in a context that would make them meaningful to readers.”

Chavez: Why so much coverage of Craig’s bathroom scandal?
Is the Larry Craig scandal “really worthy of the press attention it has received this week?” asks Linda Chavez. She doubts a Democrat would get the same attention. “Sen. Craig’s political career is probably over. The abuse of power, however, was not Sen. Craig’s but the media’s, who pick and choose whose privacy they will violate on a partisan basis.”

Meet The Press: A Pissy Mary Matalin Throws Her Pen When Punked By Shrum
On [Sunday] morning’s Meet The Press, Senior Cheney apologist and right wing sniper, Mary Matalin, threw a little hissy fit at Bob Shrum on the issue of Iraq and the upcoming presidential election. As Shrum continually smacks down her spin, Matalin becomes increasingly perturbed and at the end of the segment as Mike Murphy was getting in some right wing spin of his own, she chucks her pen across the table in front of him
Click through to watch the video.

Congressman Threatens Couple — Over Letter to Editor
A couple who wrote a letter to the editor of a small community paper in Colorado were surprised to receive a threatening phone call at home complaining about it — from a U.S. congressman.

Washington Post Spouts Feel Good Misinformation
It is scary how ignorant the Washington Post’s columnists can be on the issues they address. (Who says that in today’s economy you need a good education to get ahead?) Joel Achenbach puts his ignorance on display in a front page feel good article of the Sunday Outlook section titled “Bet on America.” The main point is that the U.S. is still number one and no one else is close. If he were a bit more informed, Achenbach would know part 2 of this claim is obviously false.

The content map and corrections (by Jeff Jarvis)
I think there is an elegantly simple solution to the problem of attaching corrections to earlier errors in news: It’s the link, the tag, and the content map.

Cops probe posting of lynching photo on newspaper’s website
After a black man allegedly stabbed a white man to death in Dubuque, Iowa, a link to a photo of a lynched black man was posted several times in the comments area of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald’s website. Police are investigating, and the Telegraph Herald was served a subpoena earlier this week to provide information about the person who linked to the photo.

Feds to restrict volunteers at disasters
In an effort to provide better control and coordination, the federal government is launching an ambitious ID program for rescue workers to keep everyday people from swarming to a disaster scene… Many … volunteers angrily dispute the notion they were a burden [on 9/11 or after Katrina]. They insist that in many instances they were able to deliver respirators, hard hats, and protective boots to workers when no one else seemed able.
I’ll bet any amount of money that the real purpose of this program is to keep the MEDIA away from disaster scenes.  As we know from Katrina, the media were there when FEMA was not.  It really was bad for the administration.  Lots of people who could help in emergencies won’t be able to.  Lives will again be sacrificed to boost the image of the administration.

Dutch royals caught revising Wikipedia
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A Dutch royal couple acknowledges altering a Wikipedia entry about a 2003 scandal that forced the prince to renounce his claim to the throne.

Ark. Computers Delete Huckabee Criticism
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Internet criticism of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s involvement in the pardon of a castrated rapist and his heavy use of a state airplane disappeared with a mouse click. [The changes] were made using state government computers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of records from Wikipedia and the state.

Iraq War Debated On YouTube
During the Vietnam War, protestors took to the streets to make their opinions known. Today’s generation is taking to the Internet.

Media Players Go After Free-Spending Boomers
TV Land, Host of Websites Try to Cash Out by Building Content for Over-50 Demo
I don’t know why more advertisers aren’t targeting the Boomer generation.  Oh, that’s right.  They’d have to change their thinking about always targeting young people, whether or not they have money to spend.

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