Monday, January 01, 2007

"Grim milestone" watch

Via Instapundit, Daily Pundit has a list of MSM publications noting the 3000th U.S. armed services death in Iraq, and each one using the above phrase.

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19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While originality in MSM is obviously in short-supply and agendas are pathetically obvious, I can't take lightly 3,000 lives lost and 3,000 families bereft.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops. Dana/anonymous..

1:35 PM  
Anonymous luther said...

So are you saying you disapprove of using "grim milestone" in reference to the 3000th U.S. armed services death in Iraq? And if yes what wording do you feel is more appropriate?

5:32 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I don't in any way mean to sound callous or minimize the deaths of soldiers, esp. since my sorry butt never served.

My intention is to highlight the uniformity of thought among the MSM outlets. I would probably characterize it as "Three thousandth American service member killed in Iraq."

7:34 PM  
Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

I think it's disrespectful for the media to repeatedly harp on the number of deaths and the "grim milestones" reached. Their anti-war agenda is obvious and they are handling the matter as if it were the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous luther said...

Grim: depressing: depressingly gloomy

Somber: serious and melancholy: marked by or conveying strict seriousness combined with sadness or a troubled state of mind.

Via Fox News: The U.S. military announced Sunday the deaths of two more soldiers, raising the number of Americans killed to the somber milestone of 3,000 dead, according to an Associated Press count.

So is Fox News classified as MSM? Even if so they definitely do not have an anti-war liberal agenda.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It (grim milestone) is disrespectful only because MSM is the user of the descriptive. They are so disingenuous. One can hear the hissing, 'Its Bush's fault, it's Bush' fault' accusation. The phrase itself isn't the problem, and is so accurate - young lives lost, of course its grim and of course the 3,000th is a milestone. But the users of the phrase are utterly dishonest in their usage because of their own political pov and accusations that color it.

D.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous luther said...

The posting on the Daily Pundit lists 9 MSM publications. How many MSM publications are there? I would think in the hundreds or thousands? So one question is whether a sampling of 9 publications can really be taken to indicate complete uniformity and mind-think amongst all MSM publications? I listen to a couple of “conservative” radio stations frequently on my commute to and from work and so on a daily basis get to hear from four different hosts – and their messages are very consistent with each other and they use a lot of the same catch phrases.

How do we define MSM publications? By number of viewers/readers? By whether they are considered to be liberally biased? Libertarian-Centrist-Conservatives want to know!

Do we really think that the only motivating factor for feeling “grim” about the US casualties is hatred of Bush? It is a given that there are many people who despise the man (again similar to the way Conservatives despise Clinton – even before the Monica ordeal), but I find it hard to believe that every MSM publication really feels nothing for the soldiers and only pretends to feel bad because the only thing they actually care about is making Bush look bad. Although there could be people like that, it seems more plausible to me that most war critics actually feel grim about war. Implications that they are all disingenuous and they are all utterly dishonest are, for me, not very believable.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I wouldn't say hundreds at all. I'd say ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/MSNBC/FOX/NY TIMES/LATIMES/TIME/Newsweek...all major newspapers. I don't know that I would include local TV news stations.

The reach of these big media outlets is very far--the major newspapers are syndicated and I can tell you from what I learned in J-school, that not an editor in any town or city starts his day without reading the New York Times first thing. The broadcast stations though declining in viewership have a much bigger audience than the cable stations.

I can also tell you from my experience in NY journalism, limited though it may be, that Republicans and conservatives are racist homophobes who are trying to bend the country to their Christian view of the world.

At least those that I worked with, told me, verbatim.

I don't know that anyone here has said that that every MSM publication really feels nothing for the soldiers and only pretends to feel bad because the only thing they actually care about is making Bush look bad.

And I would note that this a blog's comment's section and that making an argument about the current state of MSM liberalism does not require apologies for past sins of media during past administrations. I don't recall that anyone here wrote conservatives walk on water.

If you want that, you have to read "Mark" on Cathy's World comments section. (Note to Mike in S.A. and Dana: ahahahahahahaha!)

I do lump FOX in with MSM, though they have a separate sub category b/c their bias is conservative (though less biased than most of the other news broadcasters). There is another type of bias in the news and that is professional bias, that is, in this instance, the need to mark an occasion, when there really isn't one. The three-thousandth death is worse than the 2999, but by a factor of one life. Why didn't they mark it then with such somber tones? How bout 3001?

You sound somewhat offended for your liberal media friends, and I'm sorry if that is so, but you if you really believe that the MSM is not fueled by anti-Republican/anti-Bush sentiment, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. I don't disagree that Clinton probably got some unfair shots at all. Do I think as many as Bush? No.

Please be aware that I'm pointing out supposedly straight news outlets not opinionated radio shows. Opinion shows are for opinion and I don't quarrel with that.

Here's a lede paragraph that might have been written forty years ago, but in an anti-military, anti-war, anti-Republican media not today:

"The three-thousandth soldier was killed today in Iraq, a somber occasion to be sure, but with estimates as high as 5000 deaths in the battle for Bagdad three years ago, and only XX men lost in those three weeks, hopes are high that the upcoming surge in forces will break the backs of the enemy and bring our men and women home soon."

That's never going to be written in an MSM piece because they (most, if you prefer) don't consider Al Qaeda in Iraq and Sunni insurgents their enemy. You see, as the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review said, as did the vaunted CBS 60 Minutes Mike Wallace, journalists should not take sides in a war, even if their country is fighting it.

I don't happen to agree with that. But then, as one former classmate screeched on our j-school email list, people who voted for Bush (and I'm one of them), are just a "bunch of Muslim-chasing witch hunters...who never got over the Crusades." So, what do I know?

I'm delighted that you've had a different experience than mine. I wish I'd had yours. I find the MSM good for informational purposes, but it takes a critical eye to parse through the bias, mostly liberal, but sometimes conservative, occasionally Martian and otherwise.

And if you've got a problem with that, bucko, bring over a bottle of wine and after I drink half of it, I'll tell you lots more!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I understand Bill O'Reilly is a Catholic; if he's faithful, then his opposition to the death penalty makes sense.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Whoa! Have I hit the sauce too early? I thought I remembered a comment from Bill O'Reilly about "Luther."

Maybe I really do need to hit the sauce tonight!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous luther said...

See this is what always happens to me - I point out that someone’s "conservative" views seem to be based more on emotion than logic and then I get categorized as "liberal" or as you put it offended for "my liberal friends". Huh? I guess I did a poor job of it but I was trying to ask a few questions and also point out that some comments being made don't seem fair. I know this is a blogs comments section - my intention was to also make comments, ask some questions, and hopefully provoke some thought and reflection - but it seems all I did was provoke angst and for that I apologize. BTW your comments about "past sins" and "conservatives don't walk on water" lost me - me no understand your point – I know I didn’t write “conservatives walk on water” and I also didn’t state that anyone else did. As to Clinton getting unfair shots I never said they were unfair – I’m just pointing out again that “conservatives” hated him with such a passion that they let proving him wrong at all costs get in the way of accomplishing anything – just like hard core liberals do with Bush - just my observation anyway.

You guys introduced me to the term MSM only a couple of months ago - so without getting a better understanding then I'm not sure what to make of comments directed towards the MSM and the absolute disdain that some seem to have for them. Therefore, that's why I was asking questions as to who comprises the MSM media, how they are defined, etc. Thank you for your list - and I admit I'm not familiar with any of them other than MSNBC, FOX, and CNN. As for MSN (is that the same as MSNBC?) and FOX - no I do not believe they are fueled by anti-Republican/anti-Bush sentiment. As to the rest – I have no idea or opinion.

The comments from D. Anonymous pretty much state my paraphrase about the MSM being utterly dishonest, disrespectful, disingenuous, and really what they are doing is hissing it is Bush's fault. Maybe this wasn't the meaning - but I'm not sure how anyone could read those words any other way. So most of my comments were really trying to ask “is that really what you meant?” Dana if I came across insulting or mean I sincerely apologize – I just have a hard time rationalizing or agreeing with the words as I read them.

It’s hard sometimes communicating this way because the tonality and posturing that the writer has in their head rarely translates well into writing. For example your response seems to indicate I came across insulted and angry. While I was being very direct as that is my normal communication style – I was not insulted or angry – actually I was quite calm - and I was not trying to insult or anger anyone. While reading your reply, it seemed to me to be somewhat angry, frustrated, and an attempt to put me in my place – until the last comments about wine which sounds very good to me right now!

Chow.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Oh no! I didn't mean to sound angry or frustrated! I thought I was being direct too.

Huh, lemme try again:

I agree that conservatives gave Clinton a hard time and liberals gave Bush a hard time, but I'm not talking about conservatives or liberals here, I'm talking about the supposedly non-partisan media, and the original post really wasn't talking all that much about politics but professional biases.

The long comment I made did bring up political partisanship. And I stand by my remarks.

And I'm sorry if my tone sounded harsh. Whenever I write an opinionated piece my husband says I sound too severe, and that's not my intention. My intention is to make my point and opinion clear. I guess I need to learn how to improve my writing, so that my point is clear, but I don't sound harsh, frustrated or angry.

My calling you "bucko" was meant affectionately. It's a term I tossed around with my siblings as a kid.

As to your "liberal friends"--I have plenty of them myself and in fact on balance, I think I am one. Oh, maybe not--I don't know how to measure it anymore. So, it wasn't an accusation. You sounded genuinely offended for the liberal members of the news media by some remarks made here. I don't accuse you of being liberal or having liberal friends--it's not a crime and it's darn near impossible not to have liberal friends in a 50/50 world, even if you're a conservative. It's not something you can accuse someone of.

Uuh, can't speak for Dana, but can tell you from what I know of her, she seems like a generally thoughtful and kind person.

Anyway, I apologize for sounding angry--I felt passionate to be sure, but not angry and I thank you for pointing out my failing in this. I'll work to improve my writing. My pointed remarks, I guess, are too sharp. I mean no ill will.

Best, N.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Oh, uh, to answer one of your other comments, you said that you never wrote people here think that conservatives walk on water.

I know you never said that. It just seems to me that when I make an argument about liberal bias in the media, you bring up the fact that conservative media and conservative people were rough on Clinton (fairly or unfairly). This is true, but I don't think pointing that out is always apropos of the discussion, and in particular this one. I don't think ... and I haven't thought this one through entirely ... that there's a moral equivalence to be found here between bashing Clinton for his sex life and using deaths of troops to push your political agenda through allegedly non-partisan media outlets.

I'm in deep and I'm going to stop digging now.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only have a minute to respond... Luther, you asked good questions, Nancy gave thoughtful response. She doesn't get ticked when good provoking questions are asked, and has seemed to always give thought, logic, and consideration to her responses...I'm personally very rarely offended by how folk respond on blogs (unless its very off-color) but appreciate thought & discussion.

p.s. Nancy, I agree w/your basic premise of your responses. And re Clinton-dear god, he just behaved so outrageously and egregiously that it was an open invitation to the bashing. Gotta run!

Dana (or D.)

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Luke Luther said...

Well I am obviously also guilty of coming across harsh with my comments but again that was not my intention and I do sincerely apologize – especially to you Dana. Like I said written communication can be tricky. I honestly respect everyone who participates in this blog and my observation is also that they are thoughtful and kind. So again my real goals were to find out more about how you guys define the MSM and to get more insight to Dana’s comments.

I don't think I ever bring up Clinton solely in reference to media bias. I bring it up when people comment that liberals just can't get past their hate for Bush and that its not fair for liberals to be that way. I agree its not fair – but in that context I do like to bring up that the same things were said about conservatives and Clinton. No defense of Clinton intended - but I do fee this is an appropriate comment in this context. This is not a statement on the specific situations under which this behavior occurs nor an attempt to find any type of moral equivalency of the situations under which these men are criticized. My point is that it isn't only liberals that behave this way and let their desire to defeat the other side get in the way of moving the country forward. My unrealistic dream would be that both sides could put this pettiness aside so we could make some real progress on the many things we all do agree on.

I’m also not a big fan of name calling. Although Darth Luther and his petty name calling does emerge from time to time, Luke Luther tries to fight this urge and feels compelled, by the goodness of The Force, to point it out to others when he thinks they might be falling into this dark-side behavior. (No I’m really not a Star Wars geek)

As to whether I am a liberal – that probably depends on each specific topic and who you ask. On many things no and on some things yes. The problem I have is when it gets used as a dirty word or used as a derogatory label – I know that wasn’t your intention. My father in-law likes to use the word liberal in this fashion – any one who doesn’t agree with him is a “god d__n stupid liberal”. My very good friend Mike (the one who proudly calls himself a conservative but is an atheist) also uses the term liberal in a very, very, very derogatory name calling fashion like this. To them the definition of conservative is “my way” and the definition of liberal is “any f__ing idiot who doesn’t agree with me”. And most of the conservative talk show hosts I’ve been exposed to use the term in this fashion. When they just speak their opinions to issues they are interesting and make valid points that I usually agree with – but when they start blasting the other side with name calling it just comes across like mean spirited kindergarten play-ground mentality which to me isn’t necessary and is very counter productive.

To be fair though the little bit of Air America that I listened to was also very guilty of this behavior so I could never stomach listening to it. So now that I think about it if the MSM that you gals are familiar with is as bad as Air America then Dana’s comments were probably right on the mark.

Hugs and kisses!

Oh and PS. This was a good run - but it looks like we'll be a little shy of breaking the record of the most comments.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous luther said...

Oh, and the "And re Clinton-dear god, ... " comment made me laugh and I totally agree!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous luther said...

Oh and yes its kinda surprising but Bill O'Reilly quotes me all the time.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Michael Moore said...

Chow.

Where?

9:33 AM  

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