Mahar Promotes Biased Story On Media, Neglects Both Sides Of Story

PBS will be airing a four part series called "News War", which purports to cover the relationship between the government and the news media. Coming from PBS, though, you can expect what it is - biased against Bush and any conservatives.

This is made clear in reading Ted Mahar's review of the show, and he also shows his anti-Republican, anti-Conservative bias.

From the White House point of view, two newspapers have been treasonous villains since the start of the Vietnam War -- the Washington Post and The New York Times. This is also the point of view of some in the media, including Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan.

Indeed, I hope the First Amendment is never subjected to popular vote, because it would surely die in a landslide.

He proves the saying about hindsight being 20/20 and goes back and beats the same old drum about the faulty pre-war intelligence

The friction between the White House and the media was evident before 9/11, but it blossomed in the period now called "the run-up to the war in Iraq." Keller and others admit they fell for the weapons of mass destruction story and the (nonexistent, we now know) intimacy between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein.

I think maybe he needs to go back and re-read the speeches that were given by people like Hillary Clinton

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

and Ted Kennedy

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed."

about the dangers of Saddam Hussein and how he needed to be dealt with. But, you know how the facts might get in the way of a good opinion...

The media and the Bush administration have battled for six years, and in time to come, information will emerge that will embarrass or perhaps even humiliate Bush. But he will likely emerge the victor. His Justice Department and (once secret) executive orders have locked up documents, possibly forever, including papers from the Reagan administration that should have been opened years ago.

Moreover, his administration is close to negating the principle that reporters can promise confidentiality to sources, even on issues unrelated to national security, like the Bonds steroid scandal.

It's amazing to me how the press is to the point where they consider themselves above the law. They should be able to get access to court testimony that is prvileged by law (the Bonds case) and be able to make public programs that are used to protect our national security (wiretapping and the SWIFT system) without there being any consequences. They talk about the freedom of the press, but all the liberal MSM really cares about is doing everything they can do take shots at push and promote flimsy liberals with no backbone and no plan to improve anything.

At the same time, it sounds like they are so happy to forget the war that the MSM - particularly rags like the New York Times and the Boston Globe - have been waging on the Bush administration and Republicans in general for years. Just read any article on national politics in almost any paper these days, and you'll see almost nothing but derogatory things about conservatives on a regular basis (it's the reason this site exists). But that side of the story will be completely forgotten.

But I digress...

On November 12th, Arun Rath, the producer of "News War", in an interview on the SAJA web site gave his weak explanation for his complete incapability to track down a conservative to combat the arrogrant liberal these of the show.

We tried without success for nearly a year to get someone from the administration to talk to us, but at the last minute we scored an interview with Dan Bartlett. That, and a number of other key interviews came about from simple persistence and effort over a long time by a number of producers.

We were originally going to feature a lot more about the rise of conservative media in this series, but it just wouldn’t fit in the end; plus we’d tried without success to get interviews with the big names at Fox News, and to talk about conservative media without such key players (Rush Limbaugh et al also turned us down) felt a little weak.

Well, they didn't bother to call any media watchers at places like Newsbusters, and it sounds like they didn't bother to talk to any of the numerous conservative talk show hosts or members of Congress that might actually be able to contradict the shows premise.

Well, all except one host, and even then the producers lie about it. Hugh Hewitt explains his side of the story on his blog.

Frontline has a big four part series on the news rolling out. Producer Raney Anderson journeyed to California to make the case for why I ought to participate, and I declined. I spent a decade inside the PBS system, and while I think Ms. Anderson is a talented and sincere documentarian, the form is inherently biased as the moment a cut gets made, an editorial choice has been rendered, and I didn't trust a PBS team, however talented, to make those choices about what I have to say about media, new and old.

I was open to being persuaded, though, and made a sincere offer to Ms. Anderson: She could come on my radio show, discuss the series with me, her objectives and her methods, and then I would run a web-based poll asking my listeners if I should participate. I would agree to abide by their vote.

This bit of applied transparency intrigued Ms. Anderson, but was ultimately declined. The negotiations were interesting and good humored. I did provide many other suggestions. We parted on good terms. A few months later, Ms. Anderson --a very persistent producer-- tried again, and even dangled the prospect of having the series' host, Lowell Bergman, appear on my program. I declined. With most docs, it is the producer and director who matter most, and I had offered to allow the team to film the entire radio show on which they appeared.

Now I see this story on the series from the Seattle Intelligencer:

Bergman also said he tried to talk to several conservative radio personalities, including Hugh Hewitt. But Hewitt said he would only agree to appear if Bergman and a "Frontline" producer went on his radio program first and, after that, only if his audience voted that he should do an interview for the series. Bergman and "Frontline" did not take him up on his offer.

This strains at the limits of even "technically true" as I have never spoken to Mr. Bergman, and even if one takes an expansive approach to what it means to say that "he tried," the graph does not in any way fairly reflect the long conversations I had with Ms. Anderson or the assistance I provided, or the fact that they would have been allowed to film the radio show conversation.

I am hard pressed to consider why I even came up in this conversation Mr. Bergman had with Melanie McFarland. I am not in the series, and I have written nothing about it. But having been as helpful as possible, and as open to cooperation that I could be, I am disappointed that there appears to be some bitterness there.

But I have to say that old media's insistence that new media play by its rules is outdated. It is too bad that PBS is still mired in the old ways, producing all the usual shows from all the usual suspects.

And still spinning every step of the way.

And people wonder why we say PBS and the Dead Fish Wrapper are so liberally biased.


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