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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Seriously confused about the concepts of demagoguery and jihad

The Associated Press reports on Peter Jennings' and Tom Brokaw's defense of their embattled "competitor," Dan Rather (boldface added; ellipsis in original; hat-tip InstaPundit):

While acknowledging that a mistake was made in a "60 Minutes" report questioning President Bush's National Guard service, fellow network news anchors Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings offered their support Saturday for beleaguered colleague Dan Rather.

"I don't think you ever judge a man by only one event in his career," Jennings said at a panel on which all three men were speaking.

Brokaw criticized what he called an attempt to "demonize" CBS and Rather on the Internet, the place where the first complaints about the report were raised and heavily debated.

"What I think is highly inappropriate is what going on across the Internet, a kind of political jihad ... that is quite outrageous," the NBC anchor said.

"It is certainly an attempt to demonize CBS News and it goes well beyond any factual information a lot of them has [sic], the kind of demagoguery that is unleashed out there."

Rather declined to comment on the situation, saying he had been asked not to talk about it further by news division officials while an investigation was underway.

Excuse me for a moment.  I have to take a short break to calm down my poor dog, who doesn't understand why I'm screaming at my computer monitor and thinks I'm mad at her.


Okay.  The dog's calm, even if I'm not.

dem·a·gogu·er·y n. The practices or rhetoric of a demagogue.

dem·a·gogue also dem·a·gog n.

  1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.
  2. A leader of the common people in ancient times.

So who's the demagogue, Mr. Brokaw?  Would you care to show me where in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics it says that Mr. Rather and CBS News were entitled to knowingly collaborate in the propagation of forged documents in an attempt to enflame the emotions and prejudices of the populace and thereby defeat a sitting United States President?

In fact, Mr. Brokaw, I think you've just joined Mr. Rather in the Demagogue's Club.  You both fit both parts of the definition — "ancient times" in this context meaning before Al Gore invented the internet.

As for the "political jihad" argument — does the NBC stylebook approve the use of the term "jihad" to describe efforts by the public to hold a network news division accountable when it conspires to perpetrate a fraud?  Are are you genuinely too dense to understand the sarcasm in bloggers' self-description as the "pajamahadeen"?

Posted by Beldar at 09:38 PM in Mainstream Media, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


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(1) Dick made the following comment | Oct 2, 2004 9:54:30 PM | Permalink

Jennings and Brokaw are sticking up for Danno because they are all in the same boat. They're vulerable, and they're next!

(2) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Oct 2, 2004 10:02:27 PM | Permalink

"I don't think you ever judge a man by only one event in his career," Jennings said at a panel on which all three men were speaking."

Okay, Mr. Jennings... Let's see now - How many times has Mr. Rather had one of these 'events'?

NEVER again would suit me just fine.

(3) George Purcell Jr. made the following comment | Oct 2, 2004 10:26:41 PM | Permalink

Beldar, why does this surprise you? Brokaw ran a low level campaign to be Kerry's Veep!

(4) ron muir made the following comment | Oct 2, 2004 10:27:29 PM | Permalink

I think their comments are a perfect example of how out of touch the MSM is today – particularly at the elite level – I believe that some of the MSM are toeing the line in defense of who they are. There is going to be a dam(n) break one of these days, I hope it is sooner than later.

(5) The Raving Atheist made the following comment | Oct 2, 2004 10:57:21 PM | Permalink

I'm sure Brokaw has an intimate knowledge of what's going on "across the internet," based on his careful analysis of every post ever written about Rathergate. He'll probably air a comprehensive report on his findings, pointing out where each blogger went wrong in their analysis of the memos and of Rather's motives.

Assuming he even knows how to turn on a computer.

(6) foghorn made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 3:10:53 AM | Permalink

I do not know any of the people in question, I was not there, and I did not see it. However, I do have an opinion based on what I have learned about people in my lifetime.

two things --

1) those defending Rather are doing so because they also practice the same behavior.

2) when a person gets caught shoplifting every 4-5 years for 30 years, it is not because they are the world's most unlucky shoplifter who somehow managed to be caught every time they did it. No, it means they do it all the time, probably daily, and they get caught at highly irregular intervals.

In my opinion, we are still only seeing the very tip of Greenland-sized iceberg of absolute scum commonly known as the MSM. If we ever know the truth it will be much worse than we ever imagined.

(7) lyle made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 3:20:34 AM | Permalink

Brokaw could have spoken up for journalistic ethics. He could have denounced the rabid partisanship that led CBS to feature fake documents, dubious sources, and uncorroborated charges. He could have argued for fair play and against agenda-driven smears.

But his sympathies lie entirely with the fraudsters and cheats. He proves himself a typical example of MSM hubris and its everyday dishonor. When truth conflicts with the liberal agenda: print the agenda - and damn the truth.

(8) jack risko made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 6:07:53 AM | Permalink

More MSM fraud and shanenigans:


From Rathergate to Pollgate: Newsweek’s Uses Pathetically Fraudulent Polling to Boost Kerry by 15 Points and Create the “Kerry Comeback”
Filed under: General, War, Polling, New Media, Red Shift — Jack Risko @ 6:01 pm on 10/2/2004 Edit This
Newsweek editor Evan Thomas promised Kerry a boost of 15 points,in his election bid against George Bush and so far Mr. Thomas is doing a good job of delivering as the campaign reaches the home stretch. Four weeks ago, we reported in this space the Newsweek poll that had Bush up 52% to 41%. Today, the Newsweek poll among registered voters has it 46% for Bush, 49% for Kerry. So in the last month, Mr Thomas’s man is up 8%, and the President is down 6%, so Newsweek has so far delivered on getting John Kerry a 14 point swing – almost home!

We noted a couple of days after reporting last month’s poll that the big Bush lead of 11% among registered voters was not obtained honestly, but by manipulating the poll sample by oversampling Republicans, in order to subsequently report a Kerry comeback. That is precisely what has happened.

Newsweek cooked the books in its fraudulent poll a month ago, and we have no reason to believe that it is not cooking its results again, both to sell magazines and to boost its favored candidate. It is no coincidence that the poll numbers are released just in time for the Sunday yak-fests.

If you subscribe to Newsweek, this would be a perfectly appropriate moment to stop doing so, unless of course you like being manipulated by newsmen with an aggressive and dishonest agenda. Oh, you thought Dan Rather was the only egregious one? One look at this Beldar post should cure you of that misguided notion.

The Methodology of Creating a Fraudulent Poll

From LGF and lots of other places we have a breakdown of Dems and Reps in the two polls, and talk about a pathetic forgery: these polls make Bill Burkett look like Rembrandt or Picasso. Take a gander from LGF:

September 11, 2004: NEWSWEEK POLL

391 Republicans (plus or minus 6)
300 Democrats (plus or minus 7)
270 Independents (plus or minus 7)

NEWSWEEK POLL: First Presidential Debate

345 Republicans (plus or minus 6)
364 Democrats (plus or minus 6)
278 Independents (plus or minus 7)

You don’t need an 800 on the SAT or a degree in statistics to follow what Newsweek did to cook up these fake results. In the most recent poll, R’s go 89% for Bush, D’s go 86% Kerry (with I’s splitting 37/42 R/D, or about even). Follow me: the whole result of the poll is dictated by how many Republicans and Democrats you include in your sample – that’s it, that’s the ball game.

In the first poll, 57% of the sample was Republican versus Democrat, so Bush won big. In the second poll 51% of the sample was Democrats versus Republicans, So Kerry won narrowly. This is a poor joke, rank hucksterism, patent medicine from the back of a wagon. Newsweek is playing the readers of Newsweek for fools.

Newsweek is committing no crime in hawking these phony polls, since they are forging nothing. However, if you believe them, you are guilty of imbecility: you are too dumb to breathe.

(9) lyle made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 7:06:53 AM | Permalink

They think we're stupid.

(10) Katie made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 8:22:49 AM | Permalink

We used to be uneducated,uniformed bigots sitting around our living room in pajamas. Now we're jihadists. We must be onto something.

(11) ter0 made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 8:43:58 AM | Permalink

Some time ago Glenn Reynolds characterized the MSM as an unelected, fourth branch of government.

In Nixonian terms, Brokaw has volunteered to perform the Haldeman function of demonizing the opposition in order to protect the viability of the press and its overpaid figureheads -- obviously a function he values more highly than truth-telling.

(12) David Hamilton made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 9:30:01 AM | Permalink

I'm not aware that the blogosphere has tried to demonize
The Dan. But I think Brokaw may have something with his Demon Theory. After all, Rather has been in deep denial like a
man possessed!

(13) Just Don made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 9:56:32 AM | Permalink

Easy guys, easy.

Let's see...I'm in a three-way race for popularity and there is a danger I'm going to lose the opponent who consistently finishes a poor third.

Quick, let me come to his defense!

(14) burner made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 11:08:35 AM | Permalink

Damn all these intelligentsia. There the problem. Rather did it on purpose because he hates Bush, its obvious. The FCC should shut CBS down and take them over. FOX tells me all I want to hear.

(15) MaDr made the following comment | Oct 3, 2004 3:12:13 PM | Permalink

"Some time ago Glenn Reynolds characterized the MSM as an unelected, fourth branch of government."

Well, Glenn was a few decades late in making an observation already attributed to the MSM. I think we would have all been better served if he would have observed that our "unelected, fourth branch of government" has in fact become a "Fifth Column".

(16) Michael Williams made the following comment | Oct 4, 2004 7:22:22 AM | Permalink

Message to Tom,

I'm sure you do look at free speech as "outrageous" since you and Danny Boy and Palestinian Pete no longer control what people see and hear through the media and press. We have options now and you hate it! Do the world a favor, retire with Dan.
Fleece that you a**hole!

These guys are in a panic because people are putting huge question marks beside their reporting on a much larger scale than ever before. Well its about damn time!

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