FOX News – Biased? or Just Ignorant?

fair and balanced
On any given day, Fox News Channel has more unique viewers than CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC combined.

More people rack their brains with a steady stream of misinformation from the too-ugly for radio pundits and “anchors” at Fox than skim the headlines of the Sunday L.A. Times.

Bias and partisanship is more or less irrelevant when such a large percentage of the populous is exposed to downright misinformed pundits who speak from a “no-spin zone.”

The latest example comes from Bill O’Reilly, who not only proclaimed this week on his “Radio Factor” that “the war in Iraq is all about Chirac,” he later insisted on “O’Reilly Factor” that if al-Qaeda attacked the U.S., nobody would care if they hit San Francisco:

“[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off-limits to you, except San Francisco.

Media Matters for America has a deluge of further examples (with video), not limited to O’Reilly or the Fox News Channel.

It is not worth noting the incredulously ill-informed yammering and wankering that occurs on a daily basis across the cable and local news spectrum without pointing out the long-term harm this has on American culture.

The image of the United States in the eyes of the world is repeatedly harmed by the promotion and amplification of such absurd ideas as Scooter Libby’s indictment for perjury, among other things, proved that “no underlying crime” was committed. This was repeated in several news broadcasts.

Simply put, our nation’s comfort with consumer-driven news programs and networks is a serious threat to democracy.

This CAN be remedied. Most visitors or immigrants to the U.S. are completely surprised by the lack of pertinent local or international information in any American news broadcast. Most shocking of all, is that there are actually commercials!

A poll conducted by the Public Relations Society of America and released Thursday found that 61% of the general public generally trusted news on PBS and NPR, while 56% trusted papers like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or New York Times, and 53% trusted the commercial broadcast and cable news operations.

Considering this, how is it that the federal government is threatening to cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and divert those funds for Gulf Coast restoration and recovery efforts?

As it stands, without applying further cuts, Public Broadcating (radio & TV) gets a whopping $1.30 per capita in federal funding. Compare this to upwards of $100 in the UK and Germany, even $27 in Canada and Australia.

Clearly, something must be done.

Fox News

White House & Downing Street cosponsored fish fry

And the fish keep getting bigger.

Less than one week after Dana Priest’s bombshell column in the Washington Post, Senate Republicans are now launching their own probe into what may be yet *another* big-time CIA-related leak originated from one of their own.

“We can’t keep our mouths shut,” admitted Trent Lott, shown here implicating his own men today on CNN.

Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist also raised the red flag in fear that if these leaks go unquelled, they will in fact worsen.

Things are equally shaky for PM Tony Blair on the other side of the pond. Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK Ambassador to Washington at the time the Iraq war began just released a book accusing Blair of being seduced by the power of the U.S. and not taking advantage of the UK’s status as a key ally in negotiating conditions for war.

“Had Britain so insisted,” writes Meyer in ‘DC Confidential, serialized on Monday in The Guardian,’ “Iraq and Saddam might have avoided the violence that may yet prove fatal to the entire enterprise.

Last week a coalition of Labor and Tory members of Britain’s Parliament began an aggressive push for their own investigation into “the conduct of ministers” both before and after the war, according to the Sunday Times.

Unlike the United States, Britain is a signatory to the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court, modeled after the Geneva Conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter. While the U.S. government assumes their refusal to recognize the courts will nullify them from being brought to trial, Downing Street is more than a bit testy over present matters.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already told the BBC that the US-led invasion was “an illegal act that contravened the UN charter,” and the Nuremberg Charter itself proclaimed in bold letters: “To initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Ironically, it is on this exact premise that Saddam Hussein is set to be tried in Iraq.

Finally, when President Bush declared this morning that “we do not torture,” did anyone else have an image of Nixon flash before their eyes demanding, “I am NOT a liar?!?”

As a postscript, here is Time Magazine’s interview of the second of Hussein’s attorneys to be slain, Adil al-Zubeidi, which took place the day before he died.

PPS: A Pew Poll released today shows that 4 out of 5 surveyed consider Scooter Libby’s obstruction of justice to be very important to the country….

WMD in Iraq – if you can’t find ’em….

La Repubblica reports that the Italian network Rai 24 broadcast a documentary detailing the U.S. military’s use of chemical weapons in the Fallujah campaign of late 2004.

Watch the 27 minute video hosted at Information Clearing House and be forewarned – the content is a day-wrecker.

A better translation of the article can be found at TPMCafe. Gruesome, graphic photographs can be found at the bottom of this page on uruknet.

In the film, both eyewitnesses and ex-U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq confirm that “white phosphorus bombs had been used against civilians in the insurgent-held city,” according to BBC News.

The documentary, titled “Fallujah – the hidden massacre” is being recognized as disinformation by the U.S. government and at this point it is not clear what the legitimacy of the footage and/or the fallout from this will be.

Paper Tigress at Daily Kos posted this Monday morning.

The news stories and video that I have just witnessed are so sickening and upsetting, I can only hope this reference to the use of White Phosphorous on civilians is in fact “disinformation.” Hopefully the current Operation Steel Curtain is going much smoother despite the media’s comparisons to last year’s Fallujah battle.