July 16, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (071607)

From Rasmussen, on TV news:

By a 39% to 20% margin, American adults believe that the three major broadcast networks deliver news with a bias in favor of liberals. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 25% believe that ABC, CBS, and NBC deliver the news without any bias.

The 20% who say they don’t see liberal media bias have to be liberals who know it’s there, but won’t acknowledge it.

With trends like this one, it may not be too long before respondent say, “Network TV news? What’s that?”

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From here, the view Vista isn’t too pretty.

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From a week ago, courtesy of the Associated Press — spying program goes from “domestic” to “international” in five paragraphs (HT Taranto at Best of the Web):

Court Rejects ACLU Domestic Spying Suit

CINCINNATI (AP) – A divided federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit Friday challenging President Bush’s domestic spying program without ruling on the issue of whether warrantless wiretapping is legal.

….. (para 6) President Bush authorized warrantless monitoring of international telephone calls and e-mails to or from the United States when one party is believed to be a terrorist or to have terrorist ties. The government has kept details confidential, saying the case involved state secrets whose disclosure would threaten national security.

Taranto raises a valid point:

Such misreporting–and the AP is far from the only offender–is scurrilous. Moreover, it is potentially threatening to civil liberties. Remember the boy who cried wolf? If a future administration does engage in warrantless domestic wiretapping, how will the AP let us know? Who will believe it is the real thing?

Perhaps AP has placed the phrase “Hillary Clinton’s law-enforcement campaign to protect America from the far right” on hold for just such an occasion.

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Now that Al Gore has cozied up to R-Rated and worse musical acts too numerous to mention (full list here; it’s not too difficult to find objectionable “artists” in the list), Reason’s Nick Gillespie (with more background here, including book excerpt, and here) reminds us of something that is way too easily forgotten, and shouldn’t be — Gore’s wife Tipper, with his blessing, was once on a crusade against suggestive lyrics in pop music. She even wrote a book, Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society.

What Gillespie missed is Tipper’s stunning “problem solved, never mind” stance on her prior work during the 2000 presidential campaign (about halfway through link):

Q: Back in the ’80s, you crusaded for voluntary restraints in music lyrics, for which you were roundly attacked by the entertainment industry.

A: The whole point was public education about the fact that lyrics have become very explicit. I mean, I didn’t know it. My kids tuned me in. That was happening with parents all across the country. We were surprised and shocked. So public education. We asked the record companies to voluntarily put a label on that says “explicit lyrics/parental advisory.” They’ve been voluntarily doing that since the late ’80s. That’s all we ever wanted.

It solves the problem. It’s respectful of the 1st Amendment rights. It doesn’t affect content. But it tells people that there is explicit content before they buy it. . . . We have consumer information on almost all the products that we buy. And certainly when we are making choices for children of different ages it’s nice to have that kind of guidance in the marketplace.

I don’t recall reading that Live Earth viewers got any kind of “explicit lyrics” or “expected expletives” warnings before or during the event. If there were, apparently a lot of BBC viewers missed them.

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