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July 23, 2003 9:57 AM   Subscribe

GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq They claim that the ad itself is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.” Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (74 comments total)

 
As the letter to the stations is not available in full, not all of the necessary information is provided, but the article certainly doesn't give any credence to the idea that the GOP is "warning" TV stations, nor do I see "implicit threats". Yes, they're telling them they shouldn't run it (as they believe it contains "false" information), but there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by Marquis at 10:02 AM on July 23, 2003


The best way to win the hearts and minds of the world, and the American people, is to demonstrate a complete disregard for the freedom of speech.

I'm not usually in the business of giving advice to Republicans, but they might want to fire the consultant who came up with this utterly stupid idea.
posted by benjh at 10:03 AM on July 23, 2003


I look forward to a political advertisement free campaign season if misleading and dishonest political ads aren't to be televised. I suppose this is also an end to State of the Union addresses.
posted by substrate at 10:03 AM on July 23, 2003


This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.

By that standard, all television advertisements would be eliminated.

Hmm...
posted by rushmc at 10:08 AM on July 23, 2003


...and the Democratic party continues its ritual act of Seppuku. "Look America, we may not be relevant or have a real message of our own, but look at how funny Dubya looks! Plus his ears are too big! Nyah!"

I'm just waiting for the GOP landslide in the next election when the Dems look around all hurt and dewy-eyed and say, "What happened?" You traded your future to the far-left looneybirds is what happened.
posted by mrmanley at 10:13 AM on July 23, 2003


"You traded your future to the far-left looneybirds is what happened."

I'm sorry, when did that happen? I completely missed it.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:17 AM on July 23, 2003


Arguably, it happened in the last two elections.
posted by namespan at 10:20 AM on July 23, 2003


Aww, look: this thread's first troll. If only far-left loonybirds expect honesty from the president on matters as grave as war, then feather me up.
posted by squirrel at 10:22 AM on July 23, 2003


And if the dems aren't careful, mrmanley is probably right, it'll happen again. They're going to have to articulate a vision as well as level (probably deserved) criticism.
posted by namespan at 10:22 AM on July 23, 2003


I'm just waiting for the GOP landslide in the next election when the Dems look around all hurt and dewy-eyed and say, "What happened?" You traded your future to the far-left looneybirds is what happened.

Yeah, that's been the Democrats' problem lately. They're way too far-left. Life good on Bizarro-world!
posted by Skot at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2003


What an interesting concept. If TV stations were obliged to refrain from running any political ads that could be construed as "misleading," how many election-time ads could they run? The typical campaign ad, from either side, is filled with half-truths, misleading statistics or quotes, and outright nonsense.

It takes particular gall for the GOP to complain about harsh campaign ads, after they smeared Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam Veteran and triple-amputee from the war, as lacking courage, through thoroughly misleading representations of his voting record...
posted by crookdimwit at 10:31 AM on July 23, 2003


Outlawyr:

You missed the midterm elections, then? Forgot to vote, maybe? Maybe that's why the Dems got their asses handed to them....
posted by mrmanley at 10:34 AM on July 23, 2003


It takes particular gall for the GOP to complain about harsh campaign ads

Gall? GOP? Hypocrits? Compromising the Bill of Rights?

I'm shocked.
posted by goethean at 10:37 AM on July 23, 2003


I'm fully behind the push for independent investigation, (I mean, if possible sexual harassment warrants it, then possible lying to start a war certainly does, no?) but I don't think the commercial is particularly good.

First, the repetition of "the 16 words" seems nose-grindingly mean spirited. This allows the unconvinced to dismiss it as partisan politics, which I think this issue transcends.

Second, the type-writer motif is outdated, it no longer conveys the gravity it may have once conveyed.

Third, they should have secured another domain, such as www.wedeservetruth.org to close with. Closing with a domain that contains "democrat," again, gives the unconvinced a free pass to dismiss this as a partisan attack.

The fact that only Democrats support independent investigation doesn't necessarily mean the cause itself is purely politically motivated. Seen another way, the absence of Republicans in this drive could also mean that resistance to this reasonable investigation is politically motivated.

The case itself seem to me pretty clearly bipartisan: the president may have lied to dupe the nation to go to war. Why not investigate? Why not find out?

On preview: mrmanly, we register your contempt for "liberals." Please make a point on the topic or toodle off. This is grown-up talk.
posted by squirrel at 10:38 AM on July 23, 2003


Yeah, that's been the Democrats' problem lately. They're way too far-left.

Whoa... really? Maybe I need to switch back. Last I knew they were on the same corporate payroll as the Republicans.
posted by badstone at 10:39 AM on July 23, 2003


And if the dems aren't careful, mrmanley is probably right, it'll happen again. They're going to have to articulate a vision as well as level (probably deserved) criticism.

Agreed. A start (not that these guys are Democrats, but it is a non-whiny policy alternative)?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:39 AM on July 23, 2003


I'm just waiting for the GOP landslide in the next election when the Dems look around all hurt and dewy-eyed and say, "What happened?" You traded your future to the far-left looneybirds is what happened.

Shit, when did Chomsky and Zinn take over the party? I've been lax in using my looneybird decoder ring to ferret out the secret communiqués' in the liberal press. But that's ok, I'll just ask about it the next time the socialist cabal gets together...

You missed the midterm elections, then? Forgot to vote, maybe? Maybe that's why the Dems got their asses handed to them....

You're just a thing of beauty, you know that?
posted by SweetJesus at 10:39 AM on July 23, 2003


This is really pretty lame. As much as I agree with the DNC on most issues, if this is all we have we're in a world of shit come '04. I hate to break it to the DNC but the GOP questioning the truth of a Democratic Party ad isn't exactly an earth shaking event.

Looking at the front page of the DNC site the featured content is a commercial alluding to some sort of censorship and a silly little Twister 'game'. Call me naive but I like to look at the political process and voting as a proactive action-- I would far prefer to see some reasons I should vote for a candidate or a party platform rather than reasons I shouldn't vote for the incumbent.

Hell, I don't need the DNC to tell me Bush is a manipulative liar, I need them to convince me that they aren't.

It's also worth noting, as is constantly mentioned but usually ignored, that it is not censorship or a First Amendment issue unless it is the government doing the censoring. Just because the GOP happens to currently be in charge does not make them synonymous with the government.
posted by cedar at 10:42 AM on July 23, 2003


So, just for the record, you folks making snarky comments about, "Gall? From the GOP?!", and "Well, we shouldn't run *any* campaign ads, then!", don't dispute the fact that the ad *is* intentionally misleading?
posted by jammer at 10:45 AM on July 23, 2003


SweetJesus:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Ah, Keats.

...or were you being sarcastic? If so, I'm going to be very hurt.
posted by mrmanley at 10:49 AM on July 23, 2003


Good points, cedar. I'm not convinced that had Gore won the election most of the same things wouldn't have happened. Democrats have dragged us into unjust wars before.

Before this thread becomes another ho-hum partisan flame war, I want to throw down that corruption is an equally big problem on both sides of the aisle. The GOP currently controls Congress, the White House and are making gains on the Judicial. It behoves us all to observe their lockstep locomotion in what they're doing, ponder what they want to do in the future, and consider critically the way they're going about it.

This bullshit Democrat-Republican is a red herring: both sides have sold us out.
posted by squirrel at 10:55 AM on July 23, 2003


It's too bad the ad is so text-based. Anyone who can read already knows Bush is a lying sack of shit. What we need are some monster trucks and bouncing titties to attract the attention of the unwashed masses who elected the idgit, with a sexy female voice-over telling them to write their congressional repre--

oh wait--

crap.
posted by scarabic at 10:59 AM on July 23, 2003


...or were you being sarcastic? If so, I'm going to be very hurt.

To answer your question, you could eat for a week on just the leftover sarcasm drippings of that post.

But I still think you're a thing of beauty. Interpret that however you wish.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:59 AM on July 23, 2003


mrmanley, it's fairly obvious that the midterm elections were lost by NOT running to the left, and NOT attacking the administration. As for your notion that I forgot to vote, if I had forgotten to vote would that prove or disprove your theory. Or was it just rabid blather.
I voted, and I don't recall any left wing looneybirds on the ballot.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2003


From the first link:
Republicans said the ad is "deliberately false and misleading” because the ad omits the portion of Bush's statement where he points out that the disputed information came from the British government.

That's great, so 'from the British Government' has become a valid way of negating the truth. Looks like the Bush-Blair honeymoon is nearly over.
posted by jamespake at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2003


Gimme a break, squirrel. The Democrats aren't anyone's idea of truth and justice personified for certain, but on some issues - say, the economy - they are a damned sight better than the folks on the other side of the aisle.

And mrmanley, you're not getting it. Why do you think Bush's poll numbers are dropping? Is it because the American public even knows what yellowcake is? No, it's because we've stepped into a steaming pile of shit bigger than anything this administration warned us might exist. The public was led to believe it would all be quick and easy, and while the war itself might have been quick, the post-war is turning out to be anything but easy. Now the GOP wants to talk about the long haul - well, where was that talk before the war, eh? John Q. Public didn't hear it - and that's why he's losing faith in this crusade. And that, my friend, is what the DNC seeks to capitalize on.
posted by kgasmart at 11:05 AM on July 23, 2003


Yeah, jamespake, I find it ironic that this president whose campaign was so full of "straight talk" would resort to the same kind of hairsplitting dodging behavior that he criticized Clinton for. What does it matter if Bush attributed the claim to the British if his office already knew it to be false? Still, the makers of the commercial should have included the whole line, just to avoid the accusation of misleading.
posted by squirrel at 11:08 AM on July 23, 2003


(from the first link)"....as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment to not only oversee and protect the American marketplace of ideas, essential for the health of our democracy, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations of the facts."

Gee, the GOP wasn't always so enamored of The Fairness Doctrine - "However, before the Commission's action, in the spring of 1987, both houses of Congress voted to put the fairness doctrine into law--a statutory fairness doctrine which the FCC would have to enforce, like it or not. But President Reagan, in keeping with his deregulatory efforts and his long-standing favor of keeping government out of the affairs of business, vetoed the legislation. There were insufficient votes to override the veto. Congressional efforts to make the doctrine into law surfaced again during the Bush administration. As before, the legislation was vetoed, this time by Bush. "

Reading between the lines, I say that the letter in question constitutes an implied threat that Michael Powell's FCC might yank the broadcasting licenses of troublesome stations which continue to air material critical of the Bush administration. Whether the threat has teeth or not, I can't say.
posted by troutfishing at 11:12 AM on July 23, 2003


Before the News Corp. conspiracies start, FOX 47 WMSN in Madison is owned independently by the Sinclair Broadcast Group who also owns UPN 24 WCGV & WB 18 WVTV in Milwaukee.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:35 AM on July 23, 2003


I wonder if their use of footage with the FoxNews logo in the ad is a subtle way to discredit two birds with one stone.
posted by jpoulos at 11:35 AM on July 23, 2003


A letter from Republican counsel to TV stations in Wisconsin reads in part, “The Democratic National Committee certainly has a legitimate First Amendment right to participate in political debate, but it has no right to willfully spread false information in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people

Two words: Ari Fucking Fleischer.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2003


kgasmart:

The public was led to believe it would all be quick and easy...

Just hold your jets right there, bub. The administration never said this war would be "quick and easy". Some retired hacks on the networks might have said so, and the chattering pundits might have said so, but neither the military nor the administration ever did. If anything, they cautioned that the war was going to be a difficult one.

George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Franks, and Gen. Abizaid have all gone to great lengths to point out hte dangers and hazards involved in this enterprise.
posted by mrmanley at 11:40 AM on July 23, 2003


Brown shirts and jack boots. Thugs.
posted by nofundy at 11:47 AM on July 23, 2003


"Two words: Ari Fucking Fleischer"

Not to nitpick, but those are three words.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:52 AM on July 23, 2003


Someone nudge the fundy bot. It's stuck.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:53 AM on July 23, 2003


George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Franks, and Gen. Abizaid have all gone to great lengths to point out the dangers and hazards involved in this enterprise.

Wow. And here I thought Bush said that "major combat operations" were over. Clearly, he meant that the occupation would be dangerous and lengthy. I was just mesmerized by the flight suit, I suppose.

on preview:
Actually, the "fucking" in Ari Fucking Fleischer functions like a hyphen. It is more a piece of punctuation that a word. A discourse marker, if you will.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:54 AM on July 23, 2003


Actually, the "fucking" in Ari Fucking Fleischer functions like a hyphen. It is more a piece of punctuation that a word. A discourse marker, if you will.

I always thought the "fucking" was silent... Like Ari (fucking) Fleischer...
posted by SweetJesus at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2003


(As heads spin) what Steve@ said. Much as I love hearing how the bias of FoxNews is made aware to the pubic, local Fox station does not equal Fox News Channel, or for that matter Rupert Murdoch. When Rupert sends a memo advising all NewsCorp-owned stations to not run the ad, then it's a "conspiracy issue."

I'm sure this wasn't the point Steve was making, but if the fact that a TV station has the Fox name is mentioned every single time a story like this occurs, it saturates the "Fox is bad" concept to a point where no one cares when Fox News does something that really is horrible. I'd rather reserve my outrage for the next time Bill O'Reilly verbally assaults another dead soldier's child or something.

This isn't an issue of Fox New being biased; it's an issue of the GOP being strongarming bullying assholes. A local Fox station just happened to be the first to give up their lunch money.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2003


Wow. And here I thought Bush said that "major combat operations" were over. Clearly, he meant that the occupation would be dangerous and lengthy. I was just mesmerized by the flight suit, I suppose.

Um. Major combat operations are over. We're not charging massive tank formations across the desert, launching huge aerial bombardments, or fighting door to door. "Major combat operations are over" does not imply that we will not run into scattered strong resistance in the future.

And I'm still waiting for someone to answer my question above.
posted by jammer at 12:01 PM on July 23, 2003


On preview: wasn't the old joke that "fuck" counts as a comma?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:03 PM on July 23, 2003


Jammer - I'm not one of the people you seem to be looking for an answer from, but to answer your question: no, I don't think the ad is misleading.
posted by jamespake at 12:11 PM on July 23, 2003


So, just for the record, you folks making snarky comments about, "Gall? From the GOP?!", and "Well, we shouldn't run *any* campaign ads, then!", don't dispute the fact that the ad *is* intentionally misleading?

And I'm still waiting for someone to answer my question above.

I don't think the ad is very misleading, especially if you have even an iota of knowledge about current events, and the Iraq war. But since you mentioned "intentionally misleading" information, I get to mention the king weasel of intentionally misleading information, Ari (fucking) Fleischer, who up until recently, has been doing his act twice a day for the last three years.

So in terms of misleading information, the GOP has that market cornered. Let's hope Ari's replacement can sling the bullshit even 1/2 as well as the champ..
posted by SweetJesus at 12:13 PM on July 23, 2003


But since you mentioned "intentionally misleading" information, I get to mention the king weasel of intentionally misleading information, Ari (fucking) Fleischer...

OK, so it's a tu coque defense then. Just wondering.

especially if you have even an iota of knowledge about current events, and the Iraq war

Great way to marginalize the opinions of those who disagree with you there. It is possible for people to come to different conclusions than you without having to explani it via ignorance, you know.
posted by jammer at 12:30 PM on July 23, 2003


Googlewhack or google bomb? - Ari (fucking) Fleischer. Okay, so not really a googlewhack 'cos it uses quote marks and has three words (even if one is just a nominal comma).
posted by jamespake at 12:30 PM on July 23, 2003


the Sinclair Broadcast Group

You mean this Sinclair Broadcasting Group? I see absolutely no improvement as far as right wing propaganda machines go.


Someone nudge the fundy bot. It's stuck.
Nofundy loves PST!
posted by nofundy at 12:31 PM on July 23, 2003


Remember, from the extreme right perspective, most everyone is the far left.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:31 PM on July 23, 2003


Hmph.

I'll just sit over here and play more educational Twister.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:38 PM on July 23, 2003


Just hold your jets right there, bub. The administration never said this war would be "quick and easy". Some retired hacks on the networks might have said so, and the chattering pundits might have said so, but neither the military nor the administration ever did. If anything, they cautioned that the war was going to be a difficult one.

But dude, the war is supposed to be over, isn't it? What was the point of the "mission accomplished" banner otherwise - except to film a campaign commercial that, until the shooting stops, can't be aired.

What we have now is a situation virtually no one predicted, which is continuing hostilities - continuing American deaths - even after "major combat operations" are supposed to be over.

How long do you really think this country is going to accept an average of one American dead per day in this fucking hell-hole, while we make plans to go ahead and invade further hell-holes in conjunction with our new theory of pre-emptive war?

Six months from now, if Americans are still dying, Bush's approval rating sinks below 50 percent - bank on it. It's not that Americans are particularly concerned about whether Bush "lied" or not - it's that they were convinced it was going to be bing bang boom, quick military victory, replace Saddam Hussein with something better, get out, bring the boys back home. Now "We're in it for the long haul" has become, "It's costing us $1 billion a week and Americans are still getting killed." We'll go for the long haul. Put figures and faces on it, and we don't like it one bit.
posted by kgasmart at 12:47 PM on July 23, 2003


far-left looneybird
posted by johnnyboy at 12:48 PM on July 23, 2003


Great way to marginalize the opinions of those who disagree with you there. It is possible for people to come to different conclusions than you without having to explani it via ignorance, you know.

Why don't you tell me what's so fucking misleading about it then? All the sources are quoted, and printed to the screen. It's not like they're changing Bush's voice, or rearranging his words. Is this a sour grapes thing, or what? Because if you truly think it's "misleading", then I might have to stand by my "iota" statement.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:53 PM on July 23, 2003


You mean this Sinclair Broadcasting Group?

Yes. Did you not read my comment or follow my links?

Remember, from the extreme right perspective, most everyone is the far left.

Just the same, from the extreme left perspective, most everyone is the far right.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:14 PM on July 23, 2003


Bill Clinton on Bush uranium line: 'Everybody makes mistakes' (CNN)

I guess not all the Democrats think Bush should be burned at the stake for the uranium lie.
posted by yarmond at 1:15 PM on July 23, 2003


Why don't you tell me what's so fucking misleading about it then?

Well, since you asked so nicely... It's the matter of chopping off the bit about "British intelligence indicates". It would be analogous to taking a recording of me saying that, "My friend Joe thinks that..." and reworking it to make it sound as though Joe's opinion was my own.

Bush mentioned, as one very minor supporting argument in a larger issue, that our allied intelligence thought some things that now, in retrospect, may or may not be true. But the ad makes it sound as though we ourselves knew, in a hard and fast way, which isn't the case.

This whole thing is such a tempest in a teacup. There are so many legitimate things to be annoyed with the Bush administration about...
posted by jammer at 1:18 PM on July 23, 2003


Nofundy loves PST!

The scary part is I've kinda started to love you too. Up my nose and into my heart, I guess...

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2003


Well, since you asked so nicely... It's the matter of chopping off the bit about "British intelligence indicates". It would be analogous to taking a recording of me saying that, "My friend Joe thinks that..." and reworking it to make it sound as though Joe's opinion was my own.

Well, if Bush didn't trust it, then why did it end up in the speech? If you're going to use intelligence to make a point for going to war, you better make damn sure it's trustworthy before you put it in such an important speech. You're the president of the United States, so you better be very fucking sure that every piece of the information is true, and not just cherry picked to support your argument.

Bush mentioned, as one very minor supporting argument in a larger issue, that our allied intelligence thought some things that now, in retrospect, may or may not be true

Reports have shown that the CIA tried for months to get Bush off that African trail, and he still didn't. Bush made a huge deal during the elections about the accountability of the President, and how he wasn't going to pass the blame along. Well now he's in a sticky situation, and the blame is flying everywhere.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:36 PM on July 23, 2003


kgasmart:

What world do you come from, man? No sane person thought that as soon as Gen. Franks announced that major hostilities were over that all the bad guys would simply say, "Well, heck, fellas, looks like we lost!" and throw down their guns. The administration said all along that we could be in Iraq for a long time. The administration never said that all the violence was over and everything would be dandy now; they said that major combat operations were over, and they are.

Read for context, kgasmart; you'd be surprised at how much clearer things are.
posted by mrmanley at 1:51 PM on July 23, 2003


I'm with you, SweetJesus. I'm just afraid the press is going to back off. Now that the Republicans in the house have said, "Well *I* don't feel misled," this story may go the way of iran-contra...

Oh, but OOPS! there's multi-billion dollar war killing off our freedom fighters a couple at a time. That's hard to soft-peddal. How long until this war gets stinky in middle America?

Nofundy, PST, get a room!
posted by squirrel at 1:59 PM on July 23, 2003


>Bush mentioned, as one very minor supporting argument in a larger issue

Nonsense. All the major reasons for the war have been politicized and the cavaets the intellegence community attaches to these reports were stripped out by Bush and co. and then pushed to the public in the form of semantic gymnastics.

1. Saddam + Osama are buddies: lie. The minor connections between the two groups have more to do with overlap and enemies keeping track of each other. The only complaint the CIA ombudsman received regarding Iraq was about this.


2. Aluminum tubes for nukes: thoroughly debunked. They were used for missile launchers not centrifuges.

3. Saddam's nuclear program: non-existant and certainly not an "imminent threat" that will produce the smoking gun of a "mushroom cloud."

How about Powell's "poison factory?" The press itself went to see this thing, and found nothing. Or the mobile WMD labs - sorry, those make hydrogen gas for balloons. Or the biological drones that can be deployed in 45 minutes. Nowhere to be seen.

The problem is the media is only focusing on the uranium claim. Its the whole damn case they should be working on.

More ads on the way via moveon.org.
posted by skallas at 2:03 PM on July 23, 2003


mrmanly, I think we'd all feel better if you agreed to put down that fork.
posted by squirrel at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2003


Well, if Bush didn't trust it, then why did it end up in the speech?

Of fucking COURSE he trusted it. That's why it was put in there in the first place, and that's the whole point I'm trying to make! Was there an error in judgement there? Very possibly, yes, and I am interested in finding out how that error was made.

But does it mean that "BUSH LIED!!!!!11"? Hell no, it doesn't. And neither does this one misjudgement mean that the Bush junta duped the gullible American public into a war they didn't want to go into.

The "anything but Bush" crowd have been shown to be wrong about most of the frantic claims they've made. We saw no millions of refugees, no uprising in the Arab Street, no extended Vietnam-esque quagmire -- and no, I don't even begin to put the current troubles we're having into the same league. And hell, even those hundreds of thousands of priceless antiquities turned out to have not been stolen after all. Well whaddaya know? There's been no increase in terror attacks -- just the opposite, infact. Saddam's removal from power has hurt international terror... but wait! There was NO LINK between Saddam and terrorists, right? Riiiiiiiiiight.... And now, we've bagged his two sons, and have 3/4 of the most wanted deck that you all deride so much either dead or in custody. And the people of Iraq are already working on a new constitution and their own govenment. It's been the left's worst nightmare.

But look! Right here, on page 375, paragraph b, subsection 3 of the reasons why we should go to war! It's an 'i' left undotted! OH MY GOD! LOOK!!! BUSH LIED!!! Well whaddayaknow, we were right all along. Let's impeach Bush, put the Tyrant back in power, and apologize to the people of Iraq for having upset their apple cart (and be sure to go in and take their TVs and radios and satellite dishes and printined presses away while you're there). You'd better get busy killing you some innocents, too -- there's a back debt of mass graves you need to be filling.

It's fucking pathetic.
posted by jammer at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2003


Nonsense. All the major reasons for the war have been politicized and the cavaets the intellegence community attaches to these reports were stripped out by Bush and co. and then pushed to the public in the form of semantic gymnastics.

You're forgetting about this ever so minor reason: that the entire UN security council agreed that Iraq was in violation of almost a full score of resolutions, reaching back over a decade to the original cease fire agreement. That is a fact that you cannot dispute.

It's not "all' the reasons that have been politicized. You're just choosing to ignore the vast number of reasons which you have not yet found any way to spin into looking baseless.
posted by jammer at 2:11 PM on July 23, 2003


"Iraq was in violation of almost a full score of resolutions"

...and probably a few parking tickets as well. None of which adds up to justification of war. That's why the UN refused to go and the rest of the planet, except parts of America and Britain, is outraged at our behavior.
posted by squirrel at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2003


It's not "all' the reasons that have been politicized. You're just choosing to ignore the vast number of reasons which you have not yet found any way to spin into looking baseless.

The reasons were politicized to circumvent the very body that you cite! Since we're talking about the UN, let's ask how they felt about this war.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:26 PM on July 23, 2003


>Iraq was in violation of almost a full score of resolutions

You're forgetting its the Bush administration who pulled the UN inspectors out of Iraq because they were intefering with their war. Looks like the inspectors were right too.

Also, Israel has violated something like 32 resolutions. The numbers may not be as important as you make them out to be.

>It's not "all' the reasons that have been politicized.

That's just off the top of my head and some of the most popular reasons. Pack of lies I'm afraid.
posted by skallas at 2:30 PM on July 23, 2003


Now the GOP wants to talk about the long haul - well, where was that talk before the war, eh?

Google the "foot-in-the-door" phenomenon.

I always thought the "fucking" was silent...

YMMV
posted by rushmc at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2003


Skallas, Israel has never violated a binding resolution of the UNSC. Iraq did. There's a huge difference. Binding resolutions supposedly are backed by the force of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the use of force section. Nonbinding resolutions have as much international legal standing as a high school's student council motions.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:37 PM on July 23, 2003


> Nonbinding resolutions have as much international legal standing as a high school's student council motions.

Agreed, I was somewhat making a similiar point regarding numbers vs substance, e.g. tell me about Iraq just don't drop numbers. Not to mention pushing the cause of the war to the UN, as jammer suggested, when the US clearly when over the head of the UN.

Also, I wouldn't call Israel's UN violations kid's stuff, but none were backed by the threat of war, as far as I know.
posted by skallas at 2:52 PM on July 23, 2003


squirrel:

You'll get my fork when you pry it from my cold dead hand. As a long-time member of the NFA (National Fork Association), I firmly believe in the right of every citizen to keep and bear forks.
posted by mrmanley at 3:36 PM on July 23, 2003


Before the News Corp. conspiracies start, FOX 47 WMSN in Madison is owned independently by the Sinclair Broadcast Group

My brother worked for WMSN when it was purchased by Sinclair. Coincidentally, Sinclair is also the station that purchased (and, was finally bought out of) my father-in-law's FOX affiliate in a nearby midwest city.

In both instances, the general consensus from everyone I knew associated with the changing of the guard was that the folks who make the decisions at Sinclair were corporate jellyfish willing only to motivate to squeeze that last remaining dollar from their viewer base.

So, this decision from WMSN does not surprise me.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:01 PM on July 23, 2003


...it is not censorship or a First Amendment issue unless it is the government doing the censoring.

According to the Democracy Now article the letter states "as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment..."

They are using governmental regulations and bodies to try and prevent the airing of this commercial. Right or wrong, it is an attempt at censorship.
posted by modofo at 4:06 PM on July 23, 2003


"as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment..."

Isn't this the FCC telling them they have a responsibility to make their own decision based on the facts. Sounds like the opposite of censorship.
posted by cedar at 5:11 PM on July 23, 2003


hee hee! by the time this is all over these neocon fuckers are going to wish they had never heard the terms "blowjob" and "blue dress".
posted by quonsar at 5:26 PM on July 23, 2003


"as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment..."

Isn't this the FCC telling them they have a responsibility to make their own decision based on the facts. Sounds like the opposite of censorship.


Just because the FCC is making a complaint based on "facts," it's still an attempt at censorship. Minor factual errors are not sufficient reason for suppressing free speech unless the errors are made with malice aforethought and reckless disregard for the truth. While the DNC could definitely be accused of malice (toward some very deserving targets), disagreeing with the Bush administration's interpretation of the facts does not rise to the level of reckless disregard for the truth. Here's the relevant legal precedent where a racist city commissioner tried to sue the New York Times for printing a civil rights ad, because the ad contained minor factual errors.
posted by jonp72 at 9:37 PM on July 23, 2003


...it is not censorship or a First Amendment issue unless it is the government doing the censoring.

You're conflating two related, but not identical issues.

"It is not a First Amendment issue unless it is the government doing the censoring." 100% correct.

"It is not censorship unless it is the government doing the censoring." Sorry, not so.

From Merriam-Webster:
Censorship 1 a : the institution, system, or practice of censoring b : the actions or practices of censors; especially : censorial control exercised repressively

Censor (v.) to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable
Nothing at all requiring a government action in order to be censorship. Acts of censorship which are done outside of the government may not be prohibited by the First Amendment--in some cases they may not even be wrong--but they are still censorship.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:29 AM on July 24, 2003


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