Saturday, May 27, 2006

Media Bias Once Again

Blogs just have to be the best thing going. This morning, on my regular blog tour, I, of course, visited Iraq the Model to see what's up in Iraq that we never hear about elsewhere.

Imagine my surprise (not) when I read Omar's critique of CNNs coverage of a press conference by Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, and his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki. I had read a similar account on Google News yesterday and had found it rather disturbing. Both the CNN report and the one I had read suggested Iraq's foreign minister supported Iran's right to develop nuclear technology and for the moment there was no need to worry about them developing nuclear weapons.

Omar translated an Arabic audio clip of the same press conference and here is his version of what Zebari actually said:

"We respect Iran's and every other nation's right to pursue nuclear technology for research purposes and peaceful use given they accept [giving] the internationally required guarantees that this will not lead to an armament race in the region…"

He also provided a link to the audio clip so that people who understand Arabic could make up their own minds, which is a nice touch not often seen in the main stream media world.

This follows a big tizzy earlier in the week in which Canada's National Post published a story which they later retracted saying that Iran was passing legislation that required dress codes of its citizens, including special colours that were to be worn by Jews and Christians, reminiscent of the yellow star forced upon German Jews by the NAZI regime. The left went wild, accusing the National Post and, and by extension, because they are both (gasp!! Oh the horror!!) "right wing", Stephen Harper, too, of fomenting a rush to war.

As it turned out, the National Post apologized and Hansard, the verbatim record of the debate in Parliament, clearly showed that it was members of the Liberal Party caucus who rushed to conclusions, believing every word of the National Post, while Harper viewed the news with skepticism and is on record stating he wanted verification of it. In any case, the Conservative Party was hardly chomping at the bit to rush to war, as so many on the left wanted us to believe.

This leaves me wondering if CNN will also retract and apologize. The media often gets things wrong. The media is biased and there isn't much point in pretending it isn't, even if a particular organ takes pains to minimize it. Every day the media has to select what it will cover from a vast multitude of possible stories and simply the selection therefrom introduces a degree of bias, never mind all the other multitude of ways in which bias leaks in, right up to and, many say more frequently now than ever, opinion pieces being published as though they were the news.

Blogs, however, are filling a much needed role by shining the clear and irrefutable light of truth onto the mainstream press. The National Post-Liberal caucus fiasco was all over the Canadian blogosphere and within hours the evidence was out. Both the National Post was forced to retract and the liberal-left lie about Stephen Harper was exposed.

A third story happening this week is the decision by Stephen Harper to not allow the Ottawa press gallery their usual piranha-like feeding frenzie in the Parliament buildings. Is there any connection? Ya think???

Oh well. It could be worse, I guess. At least Iran and Iraq are talking. I'm sure with the uprisings reported happening in Iran, and despite their efforts to ban any media coverage of them (I wonder why we aren't hearing any protestation from the left about that?), the government in Tehran will want to tread more carefully than it has in recent weeks. After all, ever since the Islamic revolution way back in the days of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's women have been fulfilling their ascribed roll and mass producing more Iranians. There are now a disproportionately large cohort of younger people in Iran who are not particularly thrilled about being placed at risk by their raving lunatic leader and the puppet masters who pull his strings.

(This entry is cross posted on Search)

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