I am talking about Julia Day's piece,US media at 'all-time low' Thursday February 2, 2006.
Arabic-language media have an unprecedented chance to take over as the world's premier news source because trust in their US counterparts plummeted following their "shameful coverage" of the war in Iraq, a conference heard today.
The US media reached an "all-time low" in failing to reflect public opinion and Americans' desire for trusted information, instead acting as a "cheerleader" for war, said Amy Goodman, the executive producer and host of US TV and radio news show Democracy Now!, at a news forum organized by al-Jazeera.
First, we need to bring out the Star Trek universal translator out, and run it through some of this language. "world's premier news source" becomes "America bashing propaganda engine". One thing Julia and I agree on is the US media is at an all time low, for failing to reflect public opinion and American's desire for trusted information. Given all the Dan Rathers, Pinch Sulzbergers, Jason Blairs, Judy Millers and Julia Days... Yes, we are definitely exhausted. We are exhausted by liars, propagandists and left wing demagogues.
Newsweek's Paris bureau chief, Christopher Dickey, said the US media were dying because of cutbacks and weren't interested in covering the world outside America.
That is the beauty of free markets. When they forget who pays to keep their lights on, they lose their shirts.
"The US media have done a shameful job of reporting on the Arab world. With the rise of al-Jazeera and independent media there is a chance for the Arab media to react back, but instead what we get is a clash," said Ethan Zuckerman, the co-founder of Global Voices Online and research fellow at the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.
'Global Voices Online'. Dear God, Ethan must have come from the John Kerry school of international group hugs. Notice the language. 'React back' means, answer the obvious 'lies' of the US media, with some of that blessed, holy, sanctified fourteen carat Al Jazeera manna from heaven.
"I would urge everyone involved with new Arabic media not just to report on this [Arabic] world more fairly and accurately, but to report on the whole world more fairly and accurately. I challenge al-Jazeera and the new Arabic media players to do a better job that the US in covering the rest of the world," he said.
This is amazing. Here we are, in total agreement, once again. He's right. They should be focusing on all the wonderful work being done by our military and civilian contractors, to wipe out religious savages and bring civilization back to honest people.
Ms Goodman said in the run-up to the Iraq war a study of NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS newscasts over a fortnight recorded 393 interviews on the conflict, of which only three reported the anti-war movement.
This is because the anti-war movement doesn't even add up to a bowel movement.
"This is a media cheerleading for war and does not represent mainstream opinion in the US," she added.
I love this part. Julia and Ms Goodman are strolling down Harvard Square, on their way to have lunch with Ethan Zuckerman. They stop everyone, with a crumpled paper cup or a dirt ringed mouth ,wrapped around a steaming bong, then ask what they think of the US war in Iraq. Whammo! Mainstream public opinion is secure for the next issue of the Guardian.
Ms Goodman said she believed the policy of embedding reporters with coalition forces was "a total failure for independent journalism ... western audiences need to see the other side of the story - from communities and hospitals".
Boy, Ms. Goodman is doing well, here. I would love to see more of these journalists go 'independent'. There are just not enough of these ripe grapes in the open field, ready to be picked by savage headhunting religious fascists.
"If people in the US had a true picture of war - dead babies, women with their legs blown off, dead and dying soldiers - they would say 'no'," she said.
People had a true picture of these. Saddam provided them in the form of mass graves and human Kuwaiti rubble. Ms Goodman pulls out the good ol' standby: "Think of the children."
She meant the ones Bush killed, not the ones religiously euthanized by her oppressed, misunderstood eastern brothers.
"There is nothing more important than the media - it is more powerful than any bomb or missile and we have to take it back ... we need a media that is independent and honestly showing us the images, the hell, ugliness and brutality of war, not selling us war."
If a nuclear bomb goes off in the US, because we said 'no' to Iran, and both Julia and Goodman still have this new age Kumbaya drool, swinging at the corner of their mouths, They would be advised not to show themselves on any American public street. Scratch that. Shout it out ladies!
Mr Dickey, the Middle East regional editor and Paris bureau chief at Newsweek magazine, said US media were "dying".We are all just waiting, looking at our watches, jiggling our legs in anticipation for that final death seizure. When Newsweek closes its doors:
"I didn't attend his funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it."
"After 25 years as a foreign correspondent I know what the US wants from the rest of the world: to forget about it."
Bingo! Of course, it's still ok if they buy our $hit, at a suitable premium, reflecting our hardship at having to listen to their's.
"There's this idea that the US media is controlling the agenda. In fact the US media is dying. Resources, money and staff are being cut back. Twenty years ago Newsweek had 25 staff in Paris, today it has one: me," said Mr Dickey.
Hey. Wait a minute. You guys represent the 'main stream' public view. Why don't you ask them for some resources? Maybe they open up that crumpled paper cup. You know, give you the money they were going to use for their 'next score'.
He added that the gap between what the US and Arabic media reports was widening. With American reports being "all about victory and the Arabic being all about victims".
Which, of course, in Mr. Dickey's neighborhood of make believe, makes the US the evil party.
However, concerns were aired at today's conference about the ability of the Arabic media to operate independently.
Lawrence Pintak, a director of the Adham Centre for Electronic Journalism and a former CBS foreign correspondent, urged delegates against thinking that Arabic media were allowed the freedoms to which western journalists were accustomed.
"I am concerned that someone from the US or Europe who doesn't know the Arabic world will think that all is goodness and light when we know that is not the case," he said, citing the beating of journalists during the Egyptian elections and the detention of journalists in Yemen and Morocco.
This is where our intellectual Guardians and CBS foreign Gestapo install the spring-loaded trap door. You know, if the Arabic media start getting uppity, and reporting any news, which might not fit the Guardian's acceptable Michael MooreBot protocol, they can come back later and express their 'concerns'.
"We might as well buy a new channel in the US," Mahmud Shammam, the bureau chief for the Dar Al Watan newspaper and Newsweek Arabic.
"[Al-Jazeera International] will not have Arabic characteristics and that's a big challenge."
Yes, it will be a major challenge to sell the efficacy of copulating with members of the order Artiodactyla, wearing urine soaked nightshirts and routinely beating wives and daughters. I suggest they target France first. There is a population already poised to understand at least two of these characteristics.
Hugh Miles, a journalist and United Nations media consultant, said al-Jazeera was massively popular in north Africa but because conspiracy theories about its agenda were rife, the new English-language channel would be watched very carefully.
"If al-Jazeera International is perceived to be biased or insensitive to Islam - on the Danish cartoon issues for example - there will be a loss of faith in the al-Jazeera brand," he said.
So, in other words, if the newspeak isn't popular, the 'main stream' Arab will treat it just like the US citizen is treating the international media. Here is where the true schizophrenia shows. We see all this sympathy for the poor, insulted people of Islam. If these were cartoons rendering Christianity or Judaism in a derogatory light, Hugh Miles, journalist and United Nations media consultant, would probably be waiving the banners of free speech, citing the ACLU and calling for liberty unchained.
"The Arabic service has done a tremendous job in establishing al-Jazeera as a trusted name. It would be a terrible shame to see that image jeopardised."
If they want a good example of jeopardizing their own image, just keep pumping false crap out, calling it news and shooing away their detractors. That is how CNN fell behind Fox.