Got The Point?
November 17, 2005 8:49 PM   Subscribe

How concerned should Americans be about the right-wing slant and use of the news for political purposes by a large broadcaster? No, not Fox, but Sinclair Broadcast Group, a company many had never heard of until the Nightline controversy discussed here. Setting aside bias, if they've subverted the rules as alleged, are they any better than this corporation, which was found unfit to be a broadcaster and stripped of its licenses?
posted by evilcolonel (53 comments total)
So... they own every (network) station in my city except PBS. Not surprising.
posted by IronLizard at 9:08 PM on November 17, 2005

No, wait. They only own two.
posted by IronLizard at 9:11 PM on November 17, 2005


It'd be nice to change the laws back tho'.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:26 PM on November 17, 2005

My biggest gripe with Sinclair involves their policies on HDTV. They demanded an extra US quarter per user to show HDTV through Comcast here. They were the only station demanding this extra money for a service that costs them nothing. This lead to an almost year long dispute that prevented me from seeing much of last year's NFL broadcasts in their glorious HDTV form. Comcast had to illegally start broadcasting Fox the day of the Superbowl in order to avoid thousands of angry letters.

So I feel like the Sinclair group has personally screwed me over. Sure that Kerry documentary was shady, gross and manipulative, but they tried to deny me personally the Superbowl in HDTV. I have half-a-mind to go down to their local offices and shake my fist in their general direction. I'll probably do that after I finish watching HD Football on Fox this Sunday.
posted by aburd at 9:32 PM on November 17, 2005

This article loses the righteousness of its righteous indignation right here:
... the company’s efforts to inject partisan spin into its local “news” have become increasingly bold and increasingly obvious. In April 2004, the company forbade all of its ABC stations to air a segment of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read the names of American casualties in Iraq, which Sinclair’s management considered “motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States.”
You can legitimately argue that Sinclair shouldn't be selectively censoring the programming it carries (you'd have an even better argument against the "slipstreaming" they apparently do with the daily news). But you can't say, with a straight face, that blocking Nightline's attempt to inject partisan spin is injecting partisan spin.

[asking for trouble]
The mainstream media (newspapers and television) in the US is distinctly left of center. Not far left, maybe, but definitely left. When the right gets ahold of something (Sinclair, Fox, talk radio), it's not that surprising that, in an attempt to provide balance, they move far right. Farther right than the mainstream is to the left. I'm not saying it excuses their excesses, but I, for one, can see where they're coming from.
[/asking for trouble]
posted by zanni at 9:36 PM on November 17, 2005

They'll become Clear Channel next. That bush has been beaten to death, however.
posted by IronLizard at 9:38 PM on November 17, 2005

How is honoring dead soldiers partisan?
posted by bardic at 9:43 PM on November 17, 2005

And awayyyyy we go!

I won't get into the middle of the Nightline debate. But I saw what Sinclair did to its Rochester, NY station, and this article gave me further pause.
posted by evilcolonel at 9:58 PM on November 17, 2005

bardic, everybody knows the best way to honor the dead is to pretend they never existed. Speaking the names of our fallen soldiers is something only those tree-hugging hippies on the left do.
posted by fatbobsmith at 10:04 PM on November 17, 2005

It's partisan in exactly the same way that it would be partisan for Fox to produce a similar show in 2004 with the names of the 9/11 victims.

I'm not saying it's wrong. Nightline is partisan, sometimes more overtly than others. That's fine. Sinclair was acting in a partisan fashion when they blocked it (I'm slightly less OK with that).

But Sinclair didn't inject anything. They trumped partisanship with more partisanship.
posted by zanni at 10:04 PM on November 17, 2005

Is the Vietnam Veteran's War Memorial partisan?
posted by rks404 at 10:13 PM on November 17, 2005

bardic :

1) start idiotically conceived neocolonialist war.

2) Sinclair station runs series incessant series :"Our Dead Soldiers" .

3) People questioning war are thus "guilty" .

4) Profit !

5) Capische ?
posted by troutfishing at 10:14 PM on November 17, 2005

The Sinclair group has 920 am here in Atlanta. They have this big ass sign that says "920 am. Liberals HATE IT!"

way to unite america...
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:26 PM on November 17, 2005

How is honoring dead soldiers partisan?

If your working with the Machiavelli playbook, everything is political. Therein lies the problem. If one side - and there are only two sides albeit with more heads than a hydra - makes it political, than it's political. As zanni pointed out 9/11 itself became a political fetish (in the 'symbol' sense, not the kinky sex sense).
And the Vietnam war was still a political issue in the last Presidential race (those purple heart band-aids still piss me off)
Granting that it's political - and to be clear, I'm not saying this is fair, only that perception = reality in the Machiavelli playbook - then one has to determine the politics of the thing in question.
Since it's casualties, it can be seen as being critical of the administration, because very few people were supposed to die; casualties in a democracy are hard to stomach, etc.
Or perhaps it was viewed as the left's attempt to claim the casualties in Iraq as their symbol.

I agree with zanni somewhat on the MSM thing.
I disagree that the MSM is left of center. Or rather, that content is left of center. In form - the way they do business, what they cover, the nature of it in appealing to the novel - must be by definition progressive. I see how it could be percieved as leftist, but I don't see much of a slant that way as in an actual attempt to influence. And I agree that the right overcompensates for this (partially valid) perception.

But I find that last bit particularly troublesome, since I do see it as honoring the dead. And I don't see the emotional truth of not doing them honor whether one is in favor of the war or not.

Speaking the names of our fallen soldiers is something only those tree-hugging hippies on the left do.

I thought they spat on them.
/kidding. Purposely addressing snarky humor with snarky humor.
But in 1967 The Mothers of Invention did usedta invite Marines onstage to tear apart baby dolls during the band's run at the Garrett Theater in New York City. F'rinstance. y'know that whole "babykiller" thing.

I'm just sayin' no one has the real political claim on "the troops." And I'm sayin' that people of whatever stripe will try to have a claim tho.
I dislike that. But I hate the sportifying of it (as Hands of Manos pointed out: "920 am. Liberals HATE IT!")
posted by Smedleyman at 10:30 PM on November 17, 2005

Ah yes, reading the names of war dead is so intensely partisan. Come back to earth, please.
posted by teece at 10:31 PM on November 17, 2005

I won't post them all, but there have already been several MeFi threads on the evils of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Still and all, I don't consider this a double post for the simple reason that this is worth revisiting.
posted by Doohickie at 10:34 PM on November 17, 2005

Is the Vietnam Veteran's War Memorial partisan?

According to the National Park Service: NO.
The purpose of this memorial is to separate the issue of the sacrifices of the veterans from the U.S. policy in the war, thereby creating a venue for reconciliation.
Context and intention are everything. The Nightline episode aired during an extremely contentious ongoing military action, and in the leadup to an equally contentious presidential campaign.

I'm not calling Koppel out for it. I'm not even defending Sinclair. But questioning Koppel's motives isn't much of a stretch at all.
posted by zanni at 10:38 PM on November 17, 2005

[asking for trouble] The mainstream media (newspapers and television) in the US is distinctly left of center.

Get off your self-erected cross, dude. You're not "asking for trouble," you're asking for a remedial course in political science.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:56 PM on November 17, 2005

Is the Vietnam Veteran's War Memorial partisan?

According to some right-wingers: YES
When Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built on the Washington Mall, well-organised veterans who criticised it as the ‘gook monument’ – Lin is Chinese-American – were allowed to open their own kiosks nearby. These became the cult’s temples, the places to buy its sacraments and phylacteries; bumper stickers, for example, saying ‘Jane Fonda: John Kerry with Tits’. Phyllis Schlafly and Tom Wolfe have both described the memorial wall as a ‘monument to Jane Fonda’.
The problem with ascribing partisanship to context and intention is that both notions are terribly subjective. It is entirely possible that Ted Koppel wanted to honor the dead in a similar, stark manner as the Vietnam Vets war memorial. Your opinions on Koppel's intent and context aren't very convincing to me.

And the second that the right wing decides that something is partisan, *puff* like magic it is so. Because anyone who argues against that position has taken a stand and is engaging in a partisan fashion and not working together and emboldening the terrorists. Tut tut.
posted by rks404 at 11:00 PM on November 17, 2005

The mainstream media (newspapers and television) in the US is distinctly left of center.

Nice to know that media entities owned by:
  • massive media conglomerates (who lobby for FCC media concentration de-regulation and get it from their Republican darlings)
  • Fortune 500 companies (who lobby for tax breaks and handouts and favorable legislation under their Republican darlings)
  • and the largest US defense contractor ('nuff said)
are considered "left of center". Who knew?

Their political contributions tell a different story.

How did this idiotic horsehockey ("the media is liberal") become conventional wisdom anyway? I'll tell you how...the "right of center" media repeats it ad nauseum. (And conveniently, broadcasters in syndication with 12 million listeners rail about "mainstream media" as if they aren't part of it...cable shows with 2M+ viewers act like they are outside the "mainstream".)

Repeating something does not make it true. Giving equal time to disingenous opinion and outright lies is not "balance" fer crying out loud. It's not "news" or "journalism" either.

It's not even about "right" or "left", who regularly switch arguments when it suits them (witness Democrats talking about Iraq -- they sound like Republicans talking about Kosovo, or Republicans talking about Scooter Libby -- they sound like Democrats talking about Clinton's perjury...around and around they spin)'s about haves and have-nots.

The people who have the money win the seats, own the media, lobby the Congress, get the tax breaks. It ain't single mothers with sick children who get legislation to their benefit...not because they don't deserve our compassion, but because they can't afford lobbyists. They just don't know the right people.

Plutocracy is the standard, in the halls of government and the media. Which is why I laugh like hell at people who tell me the media is "left of center". I dispute the premise. But I digress.

posted by edverb at 11:07 PM on November 17, 2005

How few of you actually read the article? (Yeah, I know, stupid question.)
A close look at the four brothers who own Sinclair—David, Duncan, Frederick, and Robert Smith—reveals a much less conservative cast of characters than one might expect. Far from the Bible-thumping, family-values stereotype that Sinclair’s critics imagine, the Smiths are a study in contrasts—especially the two principal owners, David and Duncan. Even as they lobby for government deregulation and a return to some idealized notion of 1950s family values, Duncan is a passionate environmentalist working to restore the power of the Environmental Protection Agency, while David got his start not in the conservative family-values business but selling bootleg pornography.
posted by mischief at 11:26 PM on November 17, 2005

I want ALL my news from enviromental pornographers!
posted by Balisong at 11:28 PM on November 17, 2005

edverb: I do not know who all is considered MSM, but as a libertarian (small L), I find CNN, USA Today, and Time to be distinctly left of center, or to focus it in your perspective, these outlets cater to the Democrat demographic. Regardless of their courtship with the current party in charge, they know the bulk of their customers match the Democrat demographic and they provide that bias.

That's why I watch both CNN and FoxNews, because generally the truth is somewhere in between.
posted by mischief at 11:36 PM on November 17, 2005

... and sometimes, they both miss the point.
posted by mischief at 11:41 PM on November 17, 2005

"because generally the truth is somewhere in between."

insert X files here
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:49 PM on November 17, 2005

How few of you actually read the article?
There was an article?

... and sometimes, they both miss the point.

edverb I think on to something with the plutocracy.

From the whatchamacalit, article:
"But by the spring of 2002, Sinclair had become so large that the economic models no longer applied..In 2002 the Smith brothers announced that they would begin distributing news and editorial programs to their stations. Broadcasting those programs would not be optional...
There’s the interview with George W. Bush sent to Sinclair’s local stations in 2000 with “instructions to replace the interviewer’s voice with a local anchor,” according to a former producer.There’s the “local” weather report being produced at the company’s corporate headquarters, where weathermen describe the bountiful blue skies “here in Las Vegas” from a production studio over 2,000 miles away—sometimes even when it’s raining."

The idea of business guys running the news like it's show business to make money...the theme of television rolling roughshod over just so oddly familiar.

(The problem in a nutshell:
Q. "I wonder what Kant would make of all of this?"
A."I don't think he'd have a problem with it")
posted by Smedleyman at 12:00 AM on November 18, 2005

Well, Sinclair wanted to know why Ted Koppel was reading off the names of soldiers killed in combat, instead of innocent civilians. I fully agree, go right ahead and read off the names of every last person killed in the Sept. 11 bombings. Then, after that, the names of every single innocent civilian killed in Iraq.

Bring a few bottles of water, it might take a little while.
posted by Saydur at 12:19 AM on November 18, 2005

You consider Time Magazine to be left of center? The same Time Magazine that's been fawning over Bush until very recently, even making him "Man of the Year" for last year?

You need to get out more.

Watching "CNN and FoxNews because the truth is somewhere between" is, well.... sometimes you go into a bar and ask what sorts of beer they have and they tell you, "All of them! Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, Cohrs, Cohrs Light."

You won't even get US news that way, let alone world news. Question for you: how many demonstrators got arrested at the RNC last year? Why? What happened to them, anyway? That one didn't seem to make it to any of your channels...(*)

There are many other news outlets, from the BBC to Voice of America to Al Jazeera. Turn off the Fox news (how can you watch that crap, it'll destroy your brain!), tone down on the CNN and take a look at the real world.

Frankly, getting your news from television is like getting your philosophy from television. Turn the whole damned thing off for a month and read the newspapers and some good books -- go for a walk. You'll have withdrawal symptoms for a bit but soon it'll be like the sun appearing from behind a cloud and you'll be free of the addiction.

How many hours a day do you watch?


(* -- the answer is: over 1800 people were arrested preventatively before they even got a chance to demonstrate; held incommunicado for 33 hours or more in a vile, chemical-tainted metal barn (the law in NYC is you have to charge someone or release them within 24 hours); then released with an array of greater or lesser charges against them, over 95% of which were dismissed when it came to court because video evidence refuted the claims of the police in almost every particular -- when I was young we called lying in court "perjury" but for some reason none of the officers were charged or even reprimanded.

(What's shocking is how few people, even in New York City itself, are aware that any arrests at all took place.

(Tell me, my simple friend, if the media is so "left-wing", why wasn't this simple story of mass, illegal, unjustified arrests of peaceful political protestors trumpeted from the rooftops?)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:48 AM on November 18, 2005

"How many hours a day do you watch?"

Thirty minutes (and I only watch those two cuz they are the only two on my cable). I spend another 30 minutes reading the business section of the local paper. The rest of my news I get from MeFi and Plastic (about an hour total most days). The rest of my day, I 'get out'.

I don't care how many people were arrested. It probably was not reported, because no editor saw it as able to sell ads.
posted by mischief at 1:12 AM on November 18, 2005

mischief, Time and USA Today as left of center? You must be kidding. I think this whole game of figuring out which way non-overtly-biased media outlets skew is silly.

You're never going to settle it. Coming up with even an operational definition of what it means to be biased right or left (and a bias is usually meant to be an unfair tilt in some direction) is probably even a non-starter. The idea that either of those you listed unfairly tilts the game towards Democrats strikes me as profoundly absurd. Of course the idea that this issue is never decidable by a truly objective measure is a feature, not a bug, to its proponents. That ought to give smart people pause.

The thing that I don't like is overt or covert bias. The tin-foil hat liberal bias loonies will try and tell you that the MSM is intentionally liberally biased. They are idiots. The more intellectually honest ones will say it is an unintentional bias to the left. Whatever. But folks like these overtly Republican guys at Sinclaire or Fox are somehow a balance for an accidental bias (often imagined) in the MSM? Please.
posted by teece at 1:13 AM on November 18, 2005

I won't post them all, but...

For a minute there I was afraid you were going to post the names of the American casualties in Iraq.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:39 AM on November 18, 2005

Bias in media
posted by Slothrup at 4:39 AM on November 18, 2005

Where I live the cable provider is Time Warner, which means that we get two CNN channels - the US and the International.
The International reporters refer to the US channel as their sister network. I have never heard the US people mention their sister. What I have found instructional is the difference in the news coverage between the two.

In recent times CNN USA has been trying to catch up with Fox by becoming, to my eye and ear much more right wing. CNN International has no such problem so continues on much as before, basically, again to my eye/ear middle of the road with some leftish commentary and some rightish.

But neither seems very satisfactory since I have become addicted to the blogisphere where I get to make up my own mind.
posted by donfactor at 4:39 AM on November 18, 2005

There's a right-wing slant in this whole country. Media is a commodity subject to the laws of supply and demand. Am I concerned about that? Yes. Can I do much about it? Not really - with the exception of choosing to receive my news from public broadcasting stations and the internet. If the Republicans manage to beat the life out of PBS and NPR, I suppose the web will just have to suffice. I truly can't watch the tripe that passes for news anywhere else. Unfortunately, I don't think I have much company.
posted by blendor at 5:47 AM on November 18, 2005

That's funny. I thought Nightline was honoring the dead. I would have thought republicans could be as into that as democrats, but it's too late. Anything a republican sees anywhere other than FOX is left-biased. What a crock.

If you want to see reality, tune in to the BBC or some foriegn news outlets. Then you'll see this country is one of the most right-leaning in the world in general.
posted by xammerboy at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2005

Lupus, where'd you get the 24 hours thing? My understanding was that NYC could hold people for 144 hours.
posted by Snyder at 8:08 AM on November 18, 2005

lupus_yonderboy writes "(What's shocking is how few people, even in New York City itself, are aware that any arrests at all took place."

How can New Yorkers not know about the arrests? Were all the arrestees from out of town?
posted by Mitheral at 8:15 AM on November 18, 2005

How can New Yorkers not know about the arrests?

Because, and I know it's hard for out of towners to imagine, but NY is frigging huge. I remember during the convention being amazed at how after I fought my way out of the cordon sanitaire, two blocks away it was like nothing was happening. There are people in NY who never leave their block. And most new yorkers are like most americans. If it's not shoved right in their faces, they're not really aware of it. Actually they're probably more like that. When I was in NY I was more concerned with making rent than anything as abstract as my government stifling free speech and making secret arrests three blocks away.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:43 AM on November 18, 2005

In Nashville they own the local Fox affiliate, so after Fox's 9 o'clock news, they run a direct feed from Sinclair's news service. It's chilling, like having the 700 Club running at 10PM on NBC.
posted by mikrophon at 9:52 AM on November 18, 2005

During the 2004 brouhaha over Sinclair Broadcasting and "Stolen Honor," I posted a good deal of background about the company here, and Jay Rosen of NYU's Journalism School added an intriguing hypothesis about what Sinclair was really up to, here.
posted by lexalexander at 10:02 AM on November 18, 2005

(New User)

The Nightline blackout:

a.) The civilian victims of the World Trade Center were indeed enumerated - er, commemorated. It is a lie to ask why they were not.

b.)I understand the civilian casualties have somehow become "pro-war" and the military casualties have become "anti-war", but I do not see a strong case for this.

Koppel's Politics:

a.) Koppel's tribute was ambiguously political in intent (intent is a squishy thing).

b.) Koppel's tribute was undeniably political in effect. The Bush Administration has made every effort to shield military casualties from public view, and the Nightline piece would have hurt that effort. Bush opponents should not deny Koppel's political result; it's dishonest.

Sinclair's Broadcast License:

a.) Sinclair should not lose its broadcast license for being politically active, biased, or heavy handed. Political speech should be protected most strongly by the first amendment.

b.) If we're going to take away Sinclair's licenses, lets get Clear Channel first. There's no shortage of abusive monopolists.

Have I omitted anything?
posted by Richard Daly at 10:10 AM on November 18, 2005

I'm not impressed with that Rhetorica article about bias.

They make the same mistake many people make: assuming everyone has a bias.

That's an abuse of what is generally meant by the word "bias." A bias is an unfair slant (at least in the usual usage. It can be meant as simply a slant, but to use language so carelessly when trying to define the issue does not impress me).

Everyone has a slant. Not everyone has a bias.

If they changed the word bias to slant in their conclusion, I'd trust them more. Yes, intelligent readers can often see through a slant, particularly if they have several source of media. Seeing through a bias is harder, and not always as easy. A bias is going to have to be fundamentally dishonest on some level in order to be unfair, and not everyone is going to be versed enough in the subject at hand to see it.

One example: I've heard a conservative talking point that tries to bolster the idea that US government spending is out of control, and that with out tax cuts, the average American is going to be crushed by their tax burden. The argument to bolster that position was that, in constant dollars, the US government had doubled since Carter.

This is a fundamentally dishonest argument and it is biased. But is not going to be completely obvious to the average, intelligent person that it is.

What's the problem? Constant dollars is a very poor measure of government growth. The US population is not constant, and neither is US economic output. Indeed, if you switch to GDP, which eliminates both of those problems, it is easily seen that the reality right now is that tax levels, as a percentage of GDP, are at a 60 year low. Hardly crushing.

But, to the casual listener, a convincing argument for crushing government debt is given by the "doubled since Carter" metric. In spite of the fact that it is bullshit.

That's bias, and it's much less common than people think it is in the mainstream media.
posted by teece at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2005

Richard Daly: your point b) about Koppel is extraordinarily week.

It's the kind of thing that sees liberal bias in reporting on anything bad about Bush.

It's going to have a severe, negative political effect for Bush to report about indictments in the White House, like Libby's. By the cloth you are weaving in point b), it would be "effectively" liberally biased to report such things, and thus Sinclair should be free to stifle any news report of them. It's not dishonest to claim that facts don't have a bias to them, because they don't.

Not a good path to trod. And yes, there does need to be a limit to overt political takeover of broadcast networks. The public broadcast spectrum is limited. As Sinclair shows, it's quite possible to take over that spectrum, so that most or all of the local affiliate sources for viewers have an overt, political bias to them. That's not good.

And until very recently, it was semi-official US media policy that those who control media and journalists were not to be overtly political. That's why we have Op-Eds, rather than regular journalists opinion. Until 1987, it was FCC regulation that a broadcast not be effectively biased.
posted by teece at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2005

Koppel's tribute was undeniably political in effect. The Bush Administration has made every effort to shield military casualties from public view, and the Nightline piece would have hurt that effort. Bush opponents should not deny Koppel's political result; it's dishonest.

Wait, wait. So now showing the truth is bias? Is it bias to say that this war has casualties? Is it bias to report that explosions happen when there might be injuries as a result? Perhaps we shouldn't say anything about anything that happens over there to avoid bias. Maybe every night the anchor should just say:

"Today in Iraq our interests were furthered"

Would that be lacking enough bias?
posted by lumpenprole at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2005

Today in Iraq: Evildoers were smited and many Christian soldiers were united with their childhood pets in heaven.

This is bizarre! Coming up with "balanced" headlines is a real creative challenge.
posted by rks404 at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2005

In response to teece

a.) I agree the Bush Administration has made itself an enemy of simple facts.

b.) I never used the word bias - I don't think factual reporting is unfair, the broadcast came at the end of a newsworthy month of fatalities, and I explicitly claimed not to know what Koppel was thinking.

c.) My criticism is of people claming an impartial middle ground, "We're honoring the dead, not having a political impact."

d.) Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has positioned itself so that simple news reporting has become a political activity. This is something for which I would fault the administration, not Nightline.

e.) This is similar to the conflict between the Catholic Church and the astronomer Galileo. Regardless of Galileo's theological intentions (nil, if I recall) his reports of objective truth had theological implications.

f.) Regardless of Koppel's intentions, on further consideration, he had to know this would upset Bush. Deliberately tweaking powerful politicians (a generally laudable activity, in my opinion) does seem to be political activity, regardless of whatever else it is.
posted by Richard Daly at 11:35 AM on November 18, 2005

Continued response to teece

a.) Monopolism of broadcast outlets is a problem, yes. One of the linked articles above indicates that broadcasting is one of the most profitable businesses in America, a sure sign of limited competition.

b.) The scarcity of broadcast frequencies is, at best, a fiction - and, at worst, a cartel.

1.) Digital Cable, especially combined with wireless broadband, is as an alternative to the limited frequency spectrum. Even without this, CNN and FOX NEWS are not "over the air" broadcast networks.

2.) The barrier to entry posed by prohibitively expensive FCC broadcast licenses has made government regulation a self fulfilling mandate. Competition only flourishes where it can take root, and it costs too much to get into the business of broadcasting.

3.) On a tangent, I can't wait to see what Google does with all that dark fiber they're buying.

c.) Given the options of a Large Company choosing what is broadcast and the Government choosing, I must chose the company.

1.) While companies only occasionally go out of business, it still happens sometimes (Enron, WorldCom, etc.).

2.) I'm glad the government is getting out of the business of telling stations what to broadcast. I don't trust our current administration to do so.
posted by Richard Daly at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2005

Response to lumpenprole and rks404

Perhaps what I should have written is, "Bush opponents should - instead of denying the obvious political impact of their actions - ask why the truth has become political."

I did not mean to imply All News Must Be Good News, Citizen!

p.s. That headline is funny stuff, It's going on my list.
posted by Richard Daly at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2005

That's an odd posting style, Richard (may I call you Richard?)

Thanks for the logical replies.
posted by teece at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2005

That's an odd posting style
Looks like someone's used to threaded discussions! (And to the person out there even now contemplating a Meta post on the "odd posting style", please, please, cut all your fingers off instead.)

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2005

Frankly, getting your news from television is like getting your philosophy from television. Turn the whole damned thing off for a month and read the newspapers and some good books -- go for a walk

I second this thought. As the layers build so should your skepticism. Watch CNBC or NBC or MSNBC all day long and tell me how many times they disclose the fact that their parent company - GE - is making billions of dollars off the American government is "support" of this war. Let me know when you get over 0.
posted by any major dude at 1:13 PM on November 18, 2005

Response to teece

Yes, I suppose it is an odd posting style. It forces me not to ramble, though. It'd probably work (and look) better if html supported indentation.


isn't as clear as


The latter shows organization much more clearly. if only I could show indentation more elegantly than ----.

Still, it made it easy to talk about what I'd written.

And yes, you're quite welcome to call me Richard.

Response to PinkStainlessTail

It's a preference I picked up from my overeducation in debate, rhetoric, and composition. "Always tell your audience where they have been, where they are, and where they're going," sort of a thing.

I lurked on Metafilter for a while, and in the longer discussions it became impossible to tell what was going on. It especially doesn’t help that MF doesn’t place a visible separator between comments (at least not by default, maybe there's an option to customize it). Try reading the Chomsky discussion, if you dare: it needs signposts.

Meta-Posts don't sound that healthy, and quickly perusing them hasn't changed my mind any. They mostly look like unmoderated bickering.
posted by Richard Daly at 2:09 PM on November 18, 2005

Richard Daly writes "It'd probably work (and look) better if html supported indentation."

Like this?
  1. item
  2. next item
    • sub item
    • sub item
  3. third item
Check out lists.
posted by Mitheral at 6:32 AM on November 19, 2005

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