Home > Analysis > perspectivehere chimes in on “anti-China propaganda”

perspectivehere chimes in on “anti-China propaganda”

I have recently posted a number of side-by-side comparisons showing how propagandistic articles (here and here) look like in the U.S. media. These are not mere instances, as I have shown here, based on a study by the PEW Research Center for Excellence in Journalism which systematically looked at coverage of China in the last few years and concluded only few topics dominated in the U.S. media and with negativity. I discussed how horribly those topics were reported with bias and distortion; and yes, I used the word ‘propaganda’ to describe.

In discussion, C.Custer of China Geeks countered (his full comment here) and said:

“It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to REPORT THE NEWS.”

perspectivehere left a couple of very insightful responses which I have decided to highlight and include below. (Some formatting for better readability and highlighting of perspectivehere’s concluding remarks are done by me.)

perspectivehere
July 15th, 2011 at 22:45
custer wrote:
“It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to REPORT THE NEWS.”

******
It’s hard to tell if you are stating this opinion out of naivete, ignorance or disingenuousness.
It’s more important to remember that you need to distinguish among (i) an idealized, wishful thinking picture of how you would like the media to work, (ii) how the media claims that they work, and (iii) how the media actually works.

Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT has spent over 20 years analysing and writing about American media. His writings form the foundation of any college-level course on the media, and his views are pretty compelling. Have you considered his analyses? Here is one excerpt:

“The Media: An Institutional Analysis”

“If you look back at the Revolutionary War period, you’ll find that Revolutionary War leaders, people like Thomas Jefferson (who’s regarded as a great libertarian, and with some reason), were saying that people should be punished if they are, in his words, “traitors in thought but not in deed” — meaning they should be punished if they say things that are treacherous, or even if they think things that are treacherous. And during the Revolutionary War, there was vicious repression of dissident opinion.

Well, it just goes on from there. Today the methods are different — now it’s not the threat of force that ensures the media will present things within a framework that serves the interests of the dominant institutions, the mechanisms today are much more subtle. But nevertheless, there is a complex system of filters in the media and educational institutions which ends up ensuring that dissident perspectives are weeded out, or marginalized in one way or another. And the end result is in fact quite similar: what are called opinions “on the left” and “on the right” in the media represent only a limited spectrum of debate, which reflects the range of needs of private power — but there’s essentially nothing beyond those “acceptable” positions.

So what the media do, in effect, is to take the set of assumptions which express the basic ideas of the propaganda system, whether about the Cold War or the economic system or the “national interest” and so on, and then present a range of debate within that framework — so the debate only enhances the strength of the assumptions, ingraining them in people’s minds as the entire possible spectrum of opinion that there is. So you see, in our system what you might call “state propaganda” isn’t expressed as such, as it would be in a totalitarian society — rather it’s implicit, it’s presupposed, it provides the framework for debate among the people who are admitted into mainstream discussion.

In fact, the nature of Western systems of indoctrination is typically not understood by dictators, they don’t understand the utility for propaganda purposes of having “critical debate” that incorporates the basic assumptions of the official doctrines, and thereby marginalizes and eliminates authentic and rational critical discussion. Under what’s sometimes been called “brainwashing under freedom,” the critics, or at least, the “responsible critics” make a major contribution to the cause by bounding the debate within certain acceptable limits — that’s why they’re tolerated, and in fact even honored.

Well, to begin with, there are various layers and components to the American media — the National Enquirer that you pick up in the supermarket is not the same as the Washington Post, for example. But if you want to talk about presentation of news and information, the basic structure is that there are what are sometimes called “agenda-setting” media: there are a number of major media outlets that end up setting a basic framework that other smaller media units more or less have to adapt to. The larger media have the essential resources, and other smaller media scattered around the country pretty much have to take the framework which the major outlets present and adapt to it — because if the newspapers in Pittsburgh or Salt Lake City want to know about Angola, say, very few of them are going to be able to send their own correspondents and have their own analysts and so on.

Well, if you look at these larger media outlets, they have some crucial features in common. First of all, the agenda-setting institutions are big corporations; in fact, they’re mega-corporations, which are highly profitable — and for the most part they’re also linked into even bigger conglomerates. And they, like other corporations, have a product to sell and a market they want to sell it to: the product is audiences, and the market is advertisers. So the economic structure of a newspaper is that it sells readers to other businesses. See, they’re not really trying to sell newspapers to people — in fact, very often a journal that’s in financial trouble will try to cut down its circulation, and what they’ll try to do is up-scale their readership, because that increases advertising rates.34 So what they’re doing is selling audiences to other businesses, and for the agenda-setting media like the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, they’re in fact selling very privileged, elite audiences to other businesses — overwhelmingly their readers are members of the so-called “political class,” which is the class that makes decisions in our society.

Okay, imagine that you’re an intelligent Martian looking down at this system. What you see is big corporations selling relatively privileged audiences in the decision-making classes to other businesses. Now you ask, what picture of the world do you expect to come out of this arrangement? Well, a plausible answer is, one that puts forward points of view and political perspectives which satisfy the needs and the interests and the perspectives of the buyers, the sellers, and the market. I mean, it would be pretty surprising if that weren’t the case. So I don’t call this a “theory” or anything like that — it’s virtually just an observation. What Ed Herman and I called the “Propaganda Model” in our book on the media [Manufacturing Consent] is really just a kind of truism — it just says that you’d expect institutions to work in their own interests, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be able to function for very long. So I think that the “Propaganda Model” is primarily useful just as a tool to help us think about the media — it’s really not much deeper than that.

Testing the “Propaganda Model”

Well, essentially in Manufacturing Consent what we were doing was contrasting two models: how the media ought to function, and how they do function. The former model is the more or less conventional one: it’s what the New York Times recently referred to in a book review as the “traditional Jeffersonian role of the media as a counter-weight to government” — in other words, a cantankerous, obstinate, ubiquitous press, which must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the right of the people to know, and to help the population assert meaningful control over the political process. That’s the standard conception of the media in the United States, and it’s what most of the people in the media themselves take for granted. The alternative conception is that the media will present a picture of the world which defends and inculcates the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate the domestic economy, and who therefore also largely control the government. According to this “Propaganda Model,” the media serve their societal purpose by things like the way they select topics, distribute their concerns, frame issues, filter information, focus their analyses, through emphasis, tone, and a whole range of other techniques like that.

Now, I should point out that none of this should suggest that the media always will agree with state policy at any given moment. Because control over the government shifts back and forth between various elite groupings in our society, whichever segment of the business community happens to control the government at a particular time reflects only part of an elite political spectrum, within which there are sometimes tactical disagreements. What the “Propaganda Model” in fact predicts is that this entire range of elite perspectives will be reflected in the media — it’s just there will be essentially nothing that goes beyond it.”

http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/lem02/chomsky1.html
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky
(Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel, editors, New York: The New Press (2002))
(Fair Use Excerpts intended for the use of students in Nicholas Johnson’s Law of Electronic Media
University of Iowa College of Law Fall 2002)

perspectivehere
July 15th, 2011 at 23:40

I think YinYang’s recent posts comparing 2 articles, one by a Western press source and another by a China media source, while not perfect, are illuminating.

Looking closely at the Reuter’s piece, the biases come through very clearly. For example, the Reuters’ piece contains emotive words like “furious”, “strident”, “military clout” and “thinly-veiled swipe” (referring to China’s actions). The journalist or editors who chose these words did so deliberately. This is their job, to make word choices that convey the message they intend to convey.

Some readers will absorb the emotional message uncritically and reach the conclusion the editors want. This is a form of emotional manipulation – one can call this propaganda.

The critical reader will be aware of this kinds of editorial bias and be capable of resisting these kinds of techniques.

(see “Emotive Language made simple”: http://library.thinkquest.org/C008200F/page9.htm)

“How to read Emotive Language”

“The use of emotive language in academic writing can obscure the message, and is no substitute for facts. As readers, it is necessary to separate the fact from the emotion. As writers, take care that emotion does not distort the factual/analytical aspects….Emotive language reflects the opinion of the writer (for/against).
….As a reader, check that the use of emotional language is not covering inadequate facts or illogical or weak argument. These are value-judgements by writers, not facts.
Here are a few hints to help you practice recognising emotive language:
When you read any article, it’s a good trick to see if you can imagine what it might be like if written by someone who held different views. How could a writer use language to try to sway your emotions so that you come to a different conclusion? Listen to politicians, too! They often use a lot of emotive language to persuade people to agree with their ideas.
Emotive Language use in reporting
….
The role of emotive or dramatic language in the news is a subtle one – though the story itself may not be dramatised, it may be possible to inject emotive, attention getting language into a story to “liven it up”. This would have benefits in terms of engaging the audiences’ attention and understanding. The criticism of this is that emotive language takes away from the facts of a story and places an interpretative or dramatic angle on the facts, thus skewing the viewers’ perception of events via their emotions….

By loading the news items with emotive language, some values are automatically implied on each item, limiting the ways in which it can be interpreted by the audience.
Emotive Language is defined as language used by the journalist reporting the story that describes elements of the issue or situation in an emotive manner, particularly language that dramatises or places extreme meanings on the items in which it is used. The words used in such language should be recognisable as those words designed to elicit an emotional reaction from the viewer, and describe the “feelings” of an event, rather than the actual event itself. Examples include: “horrific” accidents, “heroic” actions, “furious” politicians, etc.”

Here are some of the emotive words in the Reuters article that convey images, intentions or reactions regarding each of the US/Washington or China/Beijing, respectively.

Emotive Words about United States / Washington:
– committed
– worried
– enduring responsibility
– enduring presence
– pledged its support
– desire to see a peaceful resolution
– would not quit the region
– important for our allies
– involved in stand-offs in the seas off China

Reuters Article – Emotive Words about China / Beijing:
– embroiled in a row
– growing military capabilities and assertiveness
– severed ties in early 2010
– furious
– divide and conquer
– thinly veiled swipe at U.S.
– involved in stand-offs in the seas off China
– repeatedly complained about U.S. reconnaissance patrols
– add to its growing military clout
– other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy
– increasingly strident claims over disputed seas

What are your emotional reactions upon reading these words? Are they neutral or slanted to promote a positive or negative emotional reaction?
If I were an editor seeking to convey facts, I would have taken these emotive words out and used more neutral ones.

Neutral language is best when one wants to avoid taking sides in a dispute.

For example, see “Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic: Emotive Significance”

“I. Language can be analyzed into the two aspects of literal meaning and emotional meaning.
A. Emotive words are words that carry emotional overtones. These words are said to have emotive significance or emotive meaning or emotional impact.
1. Two different words or phrases can have literal (or denotative) meanings which are similar, but differ significantly in their emotive significance.
2. Often, we speak of “slanting” as emotive significance; i.e., a word or phrase can be positively slanted, neutral, or negatively slanted.
B. Emotively neutral language is preferable when we are trying to get to the facts or follow an argument; our emotions often cloud our reasoning.
1. When our purpose in language use is to communicate (i.e., the informative use), then, if we wish to avoid being misunderstood, language having the least emotive impact is the most useful.
2. When resolving disputes or disagreements between persons, it is usually best to try to reformulate the disagreement in neutral language. In essence, as we will see later, we are distinguishing between the belief (i.e., factual reference) and the attitude (the emotional reference) expressed by a given speaker or writer.”
(http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/emotive.html)

It should be manifestly evident that, by using emotive words with a positive slant when describing the US and its intentions and actions, and emotive words with a negative slant when describing China and its intentions and actions, the Reuters article is biased and contributes to creating a positive image of the US and a negative impression of China in readers minds. As such, it would not be unreasonable to characterize it as “anti-China propaganda”.

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  1. JJ
    July 18th, 2011 at 00:41 | #1

    Excellent comment!

    It’s hard to get people to understand that simply “reporting the news” isn’t that simple.

    For example, suppose 1,000 people were on a sinking ship and the government was able to rescue 90% of them.

    You might have one newspaper write, “The brave actions of the rescuers helped save 900 people,” or another newspaper might write, “Careless plan results in the death of 100 passengers.”

    It should be obvious to everyone that the corporate media has an agenda.

  2. July 18th, 2011 at 01:33 | #2

    As much as I appreciate the psych 101 lesson, this is all irrelevant because — as I said in the other post — the article yinyang chose was not Reuters’s news article about their drills, it was their article paraphrasing the US position, mostly through things Admiral Mullen said.

    Half of the emotive words perspectivehere lays out are in the quotes; I’m not sure how Reuters can be blamed for what Mullen said, unless they reqrote his quotes. As for the rest of it, again, THIS article essentially IS a propaganda piece, in that its purpose is to report the US perspective on this issue as delivered by Mullen in China.

    As I said in the other article, their NEWS article on this issue is here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-philippines-usa-drills-idUSTRE75N1GC20110624

    As for the Noam Chomsky bit, I never suggested that media outlets don’t have agendas. That part of perspectivehere’s response only works when you don’t look at the overall context of my comment. What I was saying was that yinyang’s original post and some comments implied that the Western media has an obligation to make people understand China. I was saying, that’s not the case, their obligation is to report the news. I was not suggesting that they don’t have interests or are totally unbiased or anything like that.

    And just for fun, let’s note that we could do the exact same “emotive words” thing with the China Daily article:

    Words about US Navy and allies/presence:
    military presence
    sensitive time
    missile destroyers
    outbreak of tensions (because that had nothing to do with china, of course….)
    suspicious
    accusing
    accused
    hindering
    insisted
    unstable
    plots

    Words about China’s perspective:
    hope
    benefit
    regional stability
    resolution
    peaceful negotiation
    friendly dialogue
    international law
    bilateral platforms
    resolved
    negotiations
    freedom

    Now, you might think that’s a pretty unfair, and frankly sort of stupid way to analyze the China Daily article, since we can just read it to see that it isn’t actually quite that biased, and understand the use of these words in their proper contexts. And my response to that would be: Yup, that is correct, and that’s my point.

    Analysis based on “emotive words” is useful, but only to a point — you need context or it’s VERY easy to mislead people with just a list of words. Moreover, in this instance, it’s a completely unfair form of analysis anyway because the article in question is obviously meant to be a summary of the official US position on the issue at hand.

  3. July 18th, 2011 at 05:31 | #3

    “Reuters Article – Emotive Words about China / Beijing:
    – embroiled in a row
    – growing military capabilities and assertiveness
    – severed ties in early 2010
    – furious
    – divide and conquer
    – thinly veiled swipe at U.S.
    – involved in stand-offs in the seas off China
    – repeatedly complained about U.S. reconnaissance patrols
    – add to its growing military clout
    – other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy
    – increasingly strident claims over disputed seas”

    I don’t think any of these words were from Admiral Mullen.

    And BTW, “missile destroyers” is not an emotive phrase. IT’S what the thing is called by pretty much EVERYBODY in the World!!!

  4. colin
    July 18th, 2011 at 09:50 | #4

    Great article worthy of praise and comment.

    “It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to REPORT THE NEWS.” If the western media were merely just reporting the news without bias, I’d happily accept it. Once bias enters into the picture, is it even news? If bias is part of the news, then no one should have any problems with Fox News right? Fair and balanced, as they say.

    Also, regarding the comparison with China Daily, the difference is that everyone knows CD is run by the chinese gov’t, so you take what they say with large lumps of salt. The deception of the western media is they parade around projecting themselves as the independent paragon of truthful journalism and integrity, while behind the scenes generating very insidious bias and propaganda on specific issues.

  5. July 18th, 2011 at 09:54 | #5

    It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to PASS the BULLSH*T.

    LOL! 🙂

  6. July 18th, 2011 at 12:32 | #6

    “Analysis based on “emotive words” is useful, but only to a point — you need context or it’s VERY easy to mislead people with just a list of words.”

    I would agree “context” is needed for better understanding of many issues, and many speeches and many ideologies.

    For example, when US and NATO speak of “democracy”, given the “context” of the years of their continual bombings and sanctions and “regime change” and renditions, the ONLY rational thing that comes to my mind is, “Who are you kidding?”

    *
    “Democracy”, “freedom”, the most over used emotive words for propaganda purposes, designed to mask the underlying “context” of reality.

  7. Charles Liu
    July 18th, 2011 at 12:40 | #7

    @C. Custer “we could do the exact same “emotive words” thing with the China Daily”

    And it would still be a comp between state-sponsoed media and supposed enlightened free media. Like Perspective said, such comparison is “illuminating” in terms of what the Chinese would learn from our “free media”.

    The whole point is about being introspective, but I guess you missed that.

  8. hehe
    July 18th, 2011 at 14:32 | #8

    @C. Custer

    Pretty weak response.

  9. colin
    July 18th, 2011 at 17:15 | #9

    I guess Custer’s definition of news would jive with that of Fox News and unfortunately this ruling in the US.

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

    “In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.”

    “What is more appalling are the five major media outlets that filed briefs of Amici Curiae- or friend of FOX – to support FOX’s position: Belo Corporation, Cox Television, Inc., Gannett Co., Inc., Media General Operations, Inc., and Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. These are major media players!”

    I really don’t know what is worse. In the chinese media, everyone knows the government is in control and so are careful to take everything with lumps of salt. In the western public, the image of the media, news and journalists is that of unassailable truth and good to society, so the hoodwinking of the masses becomes so easy when no one questions it (or at least no one of significance). Witness Iraq, Libya, the demonization of china and deification of any anti-china characters (lama, that ned funded nobel winner, ai weiwei).

  10. raventhorn2000
    July 18th, 2011 at 17:27 | #10

    “In the western public, the image of the media, news and journalists is that of unassailable truth and good to society, so the hoodwinking of the masses becomes so easy when no one questions it (or at least no one of significance).”

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill:

    “Never in the field of human communication was so much BULLSHIT owned by so few FED to so many for the sole purpose of profit.”

  11. July 18th, 2011 at 18:17 | #11

    raventhorn2000 :
    “Reuters Article – Emotive Words about China / Beijing:
    – embroiled in a row
    – growing military capabilities and assertiveness
    – severed ties in early 2010
    – furious
    – divide and conquer
    – thinly veiled swipe at U.S.
    – involved in stand-offs in the seas off China
    – repeatedly complained about U.S. reconnaissance patrols
    – add to its growing military clout
    – other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy
    – increasingly strident claims over disputed seas”
    I don’t think any of these words were from Admiral Mullen.
    And BTW, “missile destroyers” is not an emotive phrase. IT’S what the thing is called by pretty much EVERYBODY in the World!!!

    Sure. But they could just as easily have said “ships”, no? Why choose to specify that they were missle destroyers? Is that information that the public needs to know? Probably not, unless the public was planning on firing guided missiles at the US convoy.

    Look, my whole point is that that kind of analysis isn’t fair, and doesn’t speak to the actual meaning of the article because it ignores the context completely…

  12. July 18th, 2011 at 18:20 | #12

    Charles Liu :
    @C. Custer “we could do the exact same “emotive words” thing with the China Daily”
    And it would still be a comp between state-sponsoed media and supposed enlightened free media. Like Perspective said, such comparison is “illuminating” in terms of what the Chinese would learn from our “free media”.
    The whole point is about being introspective, but I guess you missed that.

    If the whole point is about being introspective, why mention me by name in the post? I’m either supposed to shut up (and thus have all of you assume that I just have no counter-argument) or say something and have that be proof that I “missed the point”? Give me a break, chas. That’s a load of horseshit and you know it.

  13. July 18th, 2011 at 18:24 | #13

    colin :
    Great article worthy of praise and comment.
    “It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to REPORT THE NEWS.” If the western media were merely just reporting the news without bias, I’d happily accept it. Once bias enters into the picture, is it even news? If bias is part of the news, then no one should have any problems with Fox News right? Fair and balanced, as they say.
    Also, regarding the comparison with China Daily, the difference is that everyone knows CD is run by the chinese gov’t, so you take what they say with large lumps of salt. The deception of the western media is they parade around projecting themselves as the independent paragon of truthful journalism and integrity, while behind the scenes generating very insidious bias and propaganda on specific issues.

    Bias exists everywhere. As I said in the other thread, there is nowhere where bias does not exist. The media should, to the extent they can, attempt to mitigate it, and where they can’t, try not to HIDE it, which is where the problem with Fox News comes in. Personally, I’m happy to have them exist, but I think their continued claims that they are completely balanced are utterly absurd. Very few other news media actually claim to be unbiased, although they certainly strive for fair coverage.

    I do wonder, those of you who believe in these sinister plots going on “behind the scenes”, how many of you have actually BEEN “behind the scenes” at any media outlet, foreign or domestic?

    I’m not saying the “western media” is always fair and balanced. But if you think they’re the same thing as what happens at the China Daily, you obviously don’t know enough about how either of those organizations work.

  14. July 18th, 2011 at 18:36 | #14

    Anyway, I note that everyone here is, as usual, ignoring my main point:

    THIS IS NOT A NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT THE DRILLS.

    For the billionth time, it’s a summary of the US position on the drills as stated my Admiral Mullen when he was in China. It’s “news” in the sense that his visit was an important one, especially in the context of the drills, and people may want to know what he said about them. Even the parts that aren’t in quotes are clearly a summary of the US position as outlined in Mullen’s remarks and previous remarks from US military officials.

    This is very clear to anyone who reads the headline of the article. I know you guys love a straw man, so I won’t spoil your fun any further, but don’t expect me to keep playing if you can’t even admit that. Reuters did write a more balanced “news” article about the drills, and I have linked to it repeatedly. They also wrote an article from the Chinese perspective that quoted and summarized a Chinese military official much in the way this one quotes and summarizes what Mullen said. But the China Daily article was a straight news piece, and it’s ridiculous to compare it to this article that isn’t about the same thing. You might as well compare it to this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19scibooks.html?hp

    “WTF guys, unlike the China Daily article, this NYT article doesn’t even mention China’s point of view! SO UNFAIR!”

  15. July 18th, 2011 at 22:09 | #15

    @C. Custer
    This is getting kinda old too. A burglar goes into a house to take things and when caught by police, he repeatedly says he was there to borrow. I am going to say he was stealing. Sure, you can call that ‘borrowing.’ Whatever.

    If you feel like, I have also said for the billionth time the broader study by PEW Research Center is dominated around a few themes and negative when it comes to U.S. media reporting of China and feel free to address that.

    It appears our discussion on this is damned again to being fruitless.

    Do burglars need to conspire to burglarize? Do racists? Do rapists? Why do you put up a strawman about this blog claiming there is some sort of conspiracy by the media? The media lie or distort or less than truthful, then we call them out on it. Who gives a damn whether they are secretly talking?

  16. colin
    July 18th, 2011 at 23:00 | #16

    @Custer

    1) Do you agree there is significant anti-china bias in the western media?
    2) Do you agree there is significant influence by powerful parties (US gov’t and its official and unofficial arms, independent anti-china organizations, corporations, moral narcissists, etc) on the western media, and most of these parties want china portrayed in a negative light?
    3) Do you agree that news organizations should portray events as truthfully as they can?

    Finally, we are talking about the western media. Calling out china daily is a straw man. We know the Chinese media is far from truthful. The chinese people know it. You’re beating a dead horse. We’re talking about the western media, which is a dying horse pretending to be a triple crown winner, and unfortunately successfully hoodwinking much of the western public on subjects such as china.

  17. colin
    July 18th, 2011 at 23:28 | #17

    @Custer

    Ultimately, you give lots of excuses for the western media behaving the way it does, but no refutation of what it actually is and does, in this context projecting a strong anti-china bias. I don’t understand how you defend something when in the end the product is flawed and deceitful. Think I’m stretching? How about the western media playing willing puppet to the US gov’t’s invasion of Iraq. How many lives have been wiped out and destroyed for one man’s vendetta, a bored military’s hopes at glory, and several corporations greedy dreams of profit? And this isn’t a once off. It happens every single day, the untruths, biases, stretches, that together shape a public’s thought into horrible things. You think Lockheed Martin wouldn’t want to sell more missiles and jets for a WWIII against china tomorrow? You don’t think there are crazy generals in the US military that wouldn’t jump at the chance to be the next MacArthur? Chuck Schumer taking political advantage of a high risk game with China?

    Who cares if the media had the freedom to refute the lies that started the Iraq war, they went along with it anyway. In some regards, this is even worse than say china daily, because the western media HAD the chance/”freedom” to refuse to go along and stop the insanity but chose not to.

  18. July 19th, 2011 at 03:13 | #18

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    This is getting kinda old too. A burglar goes into a house to take things and when caught by police, he repeatedly says he was there to borrow. I am going to say he was stealing. Sure, you can call that ‘borrowing.’ Whatever.
    If you feel like, I have also said for the billionth time the broader study by PEW Research Center is dominated around a few themes and negative when it comes to U.S. media reporting of China and feel free to address that.
    It appears our discussion on this is damned again to being fruitless.
    Do burglars need to conspire to burglarize? Do racists? Do rapists? Why do you put up a strawman about this blog claiming there is some sort of conspiracy by the media? The media lie or distort or less than truthful, then we call them out on it. Who gives a damn whether they are secretly talking?

    What did they lie about or distort in this article? THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT THE US POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. There’s nothing deceptive about that, because it’s extremely obvious what the point of the article is just from reading the headline.

    YES, if you read it as an article about the drills, it’s really deceptive! BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IT IS.

    I honestly don’t understand what about that concept is so goddamn difficult for you to wrap your brain around. It is so obvious.

  19. July 19th, 2011 at 06:03 | #19

    “Sure. But they could just as easily have said “ships”, no? Why choose to specify that they were missle destroyers? Is that information that the public needs to know? Probably not”

    Probably YES! Calling warships as “ships” is simply emotively more positive than the US message.

    HAVING “missile destroyers” by your logic is also emotive. Afterall, what kind of statement is US making by having so many “missile destroyers”?

    Hey, US is always admitted sending messages to China by sending “missile destroyers” or “aircraft group” near China, China is not making the message any more “emotive” than it was sent by US!!

    China is just passing the BS emotive message that US was sending to China, and actually quoting what US called those ships. (far more than supposed quoting of Admiral Mullen by Western media).

  20. July 19th, 2011 at 06:09 | #20

    Reuters Article Emotive Words about China / Beijing:
    – embroiled in a row
    – growing military capabilities and assertiveness
    – severed ties in early 2010
    – furious
    – divide and conquer
    – thinly veiled swipe at U.S.
    – involved in stand-offs in the seas off China
    – repeatedly complained about U.S. reconnaissance patrols
    – add to its growing military clout
    – other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy
    – increasingly strident claims over disputed seas

    “I honestly don’t understand what about that concept is so goddamn difficult for you to wrap your brain around. It is so obvious.”

    None of those emotive words were from Admiral Mullen, thus they are NOT “the US position”, they are the PRESS conclusions.

    Your hissy fit and insults won’t change that FACT.

  21. July 19th, 2011 at 07:20 | #21

    [deleted by yinyang for spamming]

  22. July 19th, 2011 at 08:02 | #22

    colin :
    @Custer
    1) Do you agree there is significant anti-china bias in the western media?

    No. Or rather, sort of. There are certainly some Western media agencies with an anti-China slant. However, the “Western media” is a ridiculous concept that basically refers to all media that isn’t mainland Chinese. I thing that’s a totally meaningless categorization, and I don’t think that, as a whole, the Western media is biased on China. Note that that doesn’t mean I think they report on China well, but bad and biased aren’t necessarily the same thing.

    2) Do you agree there is significant influence by powerful parties (US gov’t and its official and unofficial arms, independent anti-china organizations, corporations, moral narcissists, etc) on the western media, and most of these parties want china portrayed in a negative light?

    Again, in some cases yes, in some cases no. There are also many powerful companies that would prefer China was portrayed in a positive light because they have factories, massive investments, or other connections there. But it has to be looked at on a case by case basis, and I think there are media outlets that aren’t really beholden to anyone with any real interest in portraying China one way or the other.

    3) Do you agree that news organizations should portray events as truthfully as they can?

    Of course.

    Finally, we are talking about the western media. Calling out china daily is a straw man. We know the Chinese media is far from truthful. The chinese people know it. You’re beating a dead horse. We’re talking about the western media, which is a dying horse pretending to be a triple crown winner, and unfortunately successfully hoodwinking much of the western public on subjects such as china.

    The China Daily comparison was yinyang’s idea, and the foundation for his original post. If you have issues with the comparison, take them up with him.

  23. July 19th, 2011 at 08:14 | #23

    colin :
    @Custer
    Ultimately, you give lots of excuses for the western media behaving the way it does, but no refutation of what it actually is and does, in this context projecting a strong anti-china bias. I don’t understand how you defend something when in the end the product is flawed and deceitful.

    I’m not defending the product, I’m just saying that bias stemming from incompetence (which is what the VAST majority of “western media” anti-China bias is) is very different from government-mandated propaganda.

    Think I’m stretching? How about the western media playing willing puppet to the US gov’t’s invasion of Iraq. How many lives have been wiped out and destroyed for one man’s vendetta, a bored military’s hopes at glory, and several corporations greedy dreams of profit?

    Yup, the media fucked that up royally — we all did. I don’t know if you were in the US at that time, but I think most media outlets got swept up in the same wave of nationalist horseshit the rest of us did and forgot to ask real questions. You may remember that when we all came back down to earth, the media spent the next six years trashing the living shit out of that same president. So yes, their early coverage of the Iraq war was horribly negligent. But was it propaganda? No, not in the same way that the China Daily (for example) is. They didn’t get the facts wrong because they were ordered to, they got the facts wrong because they sucked. I’d be more inclined to condemn them for that if the rest of the country hadn’t, by and large, been just as sucked in by the whole thing. If you were in the US after 9/11 I’m sure you recall the mood quite clearly.

    It happens every single day, the untruths, biases, stretches, that together shape a public’s thought into horrible things. You think Lockheed Martin wouldn’t want to sell more missiles and jets for a WWIII against china tomorrow? You don’t think there are crazy generals in the US military that wouldn’t jump at the chance to be the next MacArthur? Chuck Schumer taking political advantage of a high risk game with China?

    I’m sure Lockheed Martin would love to sell jets, but what’s your point? That they are controlling the media to try to instigate a war with China? Give me a break, or alternately, I would accept some kind of evidence in lieu of a break. There are crazy generals in the Chinese military too — if you don’t believe me, read the Chinese news more often, people say shit about fighting the US all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, or that those guys have anything to do with media mistakes.

    Who cares if the media had the freedom to refute the lies that started the Iraq war, they went along with it anyway. In some regards, this is even worse than say china daily, because the western media HAD the chance/”freedom” to refuse to go along and stop the insanity but chose not to.

    True, except that the Western media realized their mistake eventually, reported the truth, and spent the rest of that administration being pretty ruthless about digging up dirt and lies and generally making the president look like an idiot (not that that was very hard). The China Daily, however, can’t and doesn’t do that. They are strapped to the insanity, 24-7-365. Not their fault, but it’s an important distinction to make.

    The failures of the US media at the beginning of the Iraq war are a pretty big exception anyway. Rarely if ever can the government get away with that kind of thing, and even in this case, they didn’t get away with it for too long (though it was admittedly long enough to cause horrific damage and get us stuck in a stupid war). The Chinese government, on the other hand, can do that any time they want, and they will NEVER have to admit they’re wrong unless down the road they decide they want to.

    The free media is not perfect. Not by a long shot. But it is not the same as state-run propaganda either, and to equate them is both simple and dangerous.

  24. July 19th, 2011 at 08:20 | #24

    @C. Custer

    I think these SPAMS need to be deleted, this forum is apparently under attack by some SPAMMER.

  25. colin
    July 19th, 2011 at 08:53 | #25

    @Custer

    “THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS A SUMMARY OF THE US POSITION.”

    Don’t want to prolong this much more, but where does it state explicitly that it is a summary of the US position, verses say a factual reporting of events? I actually wouldn’t have a problem with the article if there was a big disclaimer in the beginning about this.

  26. July 19th, 2011 at 10:04 | #26

    C. Custer, there have been a couple of comments where you used foul language and distracting bold and capitalized fonts. I personally don’t appreciate that…

    I also want to remind everyone to be civil in these debates. Sometimes we want to get in the last word and get that “I am right” or “I win” feel (at least I do). But the truth is that such feelings are fleeting. The ultimate value we provide is not that, but what readers take away. What readers take away are ideas: they rarely remember who made the comments, who won the “debate,” or even what blog, what posts they read it from. Sometimes, it’s not so much an idea, but the genesis of an idea that’s important and gets carried away. So there is really no point to be personal. Everything is fleeting. The purpose is to articulate. The rest … who cares?

  27. raventhorn2000
    July 19th, 2011 at 13:04 | #27

    I think some people’s blanket generalization to place all Western media biases as “incompetence” and all (albeit less) bias in the Chinese media as “government-mandated propaganda” reflect amply the inherent bias in such people.

    FACTs:

    (1) It is well known that Western media “mandate” some specific media messages, especially on Wars, Patriotism, etc.
    (2) Western media have corporate controls which are CLOSELY tied to governments and have strong vested interests to protect the government status quo.
    (3) British BBC is actually also owned by the UK government. “The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London.[1] It is the largest State owned broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff.”
    So, you want to talk about “government-mandated propaganda”?!! BBC is the “largest State owned broadcaster in the WORLD”!!!! That’s right! BIGGER than Chinese media!!!
    That’s DEMOCRACY at work!!

  28. JJ
    July 19th, 2011 at 19:45 | #28

    Very good point raventhorn2000.

    And I think rather than just saying “Western media has a bias,” it might be more accurate to say that, “Corporate media has an agenda.”

    These news companies are a part of large business conglomerates whose goal is to make money. So it obvious that these companies would produce news in a way that will compel people to pay attention.

    And the best way to do that is fear. Fear of China, fear of Muslims, fear or immigrants, etc… Why do you think the local corporate news broadcasts will always say, “Later in the show we’ll tell you what common household product can KILL YOU…”

    People who are afraid will comfort themselves with more information and that’s exactly what these news companies are trying to sell. By manufacturing fear, they are able to sell their news.

  29. July 19th, 2011 at 20:37 | #29

    colin :
    @Custer
    “THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS A SUMMARY OF THE US POSITION.”
    Don’t want to prolong this much more, but where does it state explicitly that it is a summary of the US position, verses say a factual reporting of events? I actually wouldn’t have a problem with the article if there was a big disclaimer in the beginning about this.

    READ THE HEADLINE

    It doesn’t state “This is a summary of Mullen’s remarks” at the beginning for the same reason that news articles don’t state “This is a summary of recent events as indicated to reporters” at the beginning — they assume you’re smart enough to figure out what the article is by reading it.

  30. July 19th, 2011 at 20:44 | #30

    raventhorn2000 :
    I think some people’s blanket generalization to place all Western media biases as “incompetence” and all (albeit less) bias in the Chinese media as “government-mandated propaganda” reflect amply the inherent bias in such people.
    FACTs:
    (1) It is well known that Western media “mandate” some specific media messages, especially on Wars, Patriotism, etc.

    It is? I’d love to see some evidence of that! Who is it that could even control the whole “western media”?

    (2) Western media have corporate controls which are CLOSELY tied to governments and have strong vested interests to protect the government status quo.

    Some media outlets are controlled by corporate news companies yeah. Others aren’t. And where’s the evidence of their close government ties or vested interest in the status quo? Would love to see some proof of that.

    For example, the AP is a non-profit company that’s owned as a collective by 1,500 newspapers across the US. There is no one corporate entity that has a big enough stake to control what they AP reports, and they’re similarly not beholden to the government in any meaningful way. Yet they are one of the largest media outlets in the world.

    (3) British BBC is actually also owned by the UK government. “The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London.[1] It is the largest State owned broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff.”
    So, you want to talk about “government-mandated propaganda”?!! BBC is the “largest State owned broadcaster in the WORLD”!!!! That’s right! BIGGER than Chinese media!!!
    That’s DEMOCRACY at work!!

    Yes, but unlike the Chinese media, the BBC is allowed to report freely and public op-eds on whatever they please, regardless of what the government says. Certainly, the government could try to retaliate by cutting their funding, but that might had adverse affects for them in the next election, no?

    It’s certainly not a flawless system, but to suggest that it’s the same as the Chinese system is just ignorant.

    Anyone who thinks the Chinese and “Western” media are basically the same but on opposite sides should come to China and work for a state media outlet for a few years. I guarantee you’d understand very clearly what the difference was by the time you left.

  31. cp
    July 19th, 2011 at 22:42 | #31

    You don’t need to look far to see western media propaganda. it’s right under their noses and it’s not only China that is on the receiving end. It is indeed Chinese propaganda that is lacking and China’s softly softly stance with the way they deal in international relations.

    see….
    http://medialens.org/
    http://salon.com/a/sWSwfAA
    http://www.slate.com/id/2176398/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6sYB5d1Bu4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTb3F5H2bdY
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    Why would China be exempt from the same kind of subversion? I’m not saying the western media have a grand scheme set out to undermine China but the overarching atmosphere is to maintain a continuum of pro-western status quo, us vs them.

    There is a power play between the west and china; even the most self-loathing liberal must see that the “rise of the rest” will ultimately mean the end of western pre-eminence. Why should liberals be any less self serving? Afterall, it is because of total dominance of the west that affords liberals the privilege to grandstand to a global audience. The unspoken message is, the west leads, everyone follows.
    Certainly this is why the chinese diaspora feel the need to speak up from time to time when often the media conflate cultural, racial, political issues all at once, for china is china – be that cheap toys, oppressive human rights, uncreative education, parochialism, nepotism, over achieving kids, strict parenting and so on….
    (I am not saying criticism is unwarranted, but the condescending undertones, morally superior grandstanding gets old after awhile.)
    So it does in fact go deeper than politics, it is precisely the reason why the decline of anglo-european power is such an unsettling topic for some westerners because deep down we all have our allegiances, racially, culturally and politically. in the end it’s about power.

  32. July 19th, 2011 at 23:20 | #32

    @Raventhorn – There is no point arguing with you on this, but it would be pretty hard to understand the BBC regularly making total fools out of government ministers in interviews if they were a UK government propaganda operation. BBC interviewers are famous for their forthright attitude with politicians, so much so that Americans friends of mine were astounded by the total lack of deference that Jeremy Paxman, a BBC journalist, showed Tony Blair in an interview – repeatedly asking tough questions about his decision to go to war in Iraq that no US journalist would ever ask the US president. If the BBC were only reporting what the UK government wanted them to report, it would be impossible for something like the Iraq dossier scandal, and a myriad similar events, to have happened.

    “To paraphrase Winston Churchill”

    Please. Don’t.

  33. July 20th, 2011 at 00:04 | #33

    @cp
    Well articulated and thanks for the list of links.

    Our world order and international political culture is dominated by power. In some ways, I feel the world urgently needs stronger institutions to be able to check – either in the case of a fast rising power becoming belligerent or a power in a rapid decline becoming belligerent.

  34. July 20th, 2011 at 05:24 | #34

    “it would be pretty hard to understand the BBC regularly making total fools out of government ministers in interviews if they were a UK government propaganda operation.”

    Why hard? If it is the government’s LINE to scapegoat and ridicule a few minions, to blame them for all the problems, it’s quite obvious to do, as BBC has often accused Chinese government of doing, isn’t it?

    BBC sure knows its tactics. You don’t. So much easier to fool you.

    “it would be pretty hard to understand the BBC regularly making total fools out of government ministers in interviews if they were a UK government propaganda operation.”

    Not fool enough to change policies. Circus sideshow for the fools who think they are actually watching “document-life”.

    What does that say about BBC, and the audience?

    Don’t tell me, BBC was so hard in making the government look like fools, they were actually “incompetent” as well, so that nothing happens to those “scandals”.

    Yeah, sure, Very convincing in the “fool-making act”.

    Oh look, they are “re-enacting” the Murdoch Outrage on TV, with a real clown throwing pies, and ministers resigning in droves.

    It’s just like the Medieval Faires.

    Ever heard of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, they were the Jon Stewart of their times. And THEY were pressured by BBC management for “political insensitivity”. How thing don’t change. Only clowns and comedians can actually speak the Truth.

  35. colin
    July 20th, 2011 at 09:59 | #35

    @Custer

    The headline reads “Military chief visits China, says to maintain Asia presence”

    I expect the journalist to provide a actual account of his visit, and with his words/rhetoric/opinions clearly delineated. Everything else, which is significant in this case and already highlighted in other comments, is what the reporter chose to add to embellish a strong anti-china sentiment. That’s your anti-china bias and journalistic fraud right there.

    As for the western media’s foul up of Iraq being a once off, you’re absolutely wrong on that. It happens everyday. There is an agenda, or many agendas, as someone else as said. The media has been a willing accomplice to those of power ever since and before Remember the Maine. The only reason the US is not on the ground in Libya right now is the US is stretched way beyond what it can do with Iraq and Afg. You don’t think the oil and infrastructure conglomerates wouldn’t love to have Libya “opened up”? You don’t think they have immense influence in all levels of government, from the executive, to the congressional, to the military, and even the media? The american economic engine is significantly based on war. You can call me a conspiracy theorist, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. To say conspiracy is too simplistic though. It’s the shared nods and winks, backdoor quid pro quo’s, the confluence of many interests into a few large shared ones by the powers that be that drive the direction of a society, including the media, into transgressions.

    And can you point out when the media said “yeah, we f*cked and are sorry, and will change our ways?” Rupert Murdoch in his recent testimony just gave you the finger on that.

    And again, everyone knows CD is state run. We’re beyond that. The problem is everyone in the west thinks their media is about fairness and truth, when it is anything but.

  36. July 20th, 2011 at 10:17 | #36

    I like to see “Official Positions” of governments from OFFICIALS, not summarized/predigested/regurgitated/backwashed/vomitted out by some journalism major.

    The real “summary” for these reporters should be, “I was too stupid to get a real job, that’s why I’m here SUMMARIZING badly what government PR people have wrote, because otherwise, no one would bother to read any of this.”

  37. July 20th, 2011 at 10:40 | #37

    Ever logical Raventhorn. Question: if the media are simply pawns of the government, then how could Kelvin Macenzie, the editor of The Sun say this to the Prime Minister John Major after the UK’s withdrawl from the ERM (exchange-rate mechanism):

    “”Well John, let me put it this way. I’ve got a large bucket of shit lying on my desk and tomorrow morning I’m going to pour it all over your head.”

    Which is what he then proceeded to do in editorial after editorial.

    Similarly, how did the Guardian switch from being a pro-Labour paper to being a pro-Liberal Democrat paper? Thus ensuring Gordon Brown’s exit from power?

    And what of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair’s resignations following heavy criticism in the press – was the press working hand-in-glove with the government in those situations?

    And now that we are seeing both David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch’s positions become threatened by a scandal that started with an investigation that was started in the Guardian, is the media working as an arm of the government in this situation as well?

    As they say, seek truth from facts . . .

  38. July 20th, 2011 at 11:15 | #38

    “Well John, let me put it this way. I’ve got a large bucket of shit lying on my desk and tomorrow morning I’m going to pour it all over your head.” Which is what he then proceeded to do in editorial after editorial.”

    I would say he lied. (1) he didn’t actually have a large bucket of sh*t, and (2) he didn’t pour anything over anyone’s heads, (3) he was just TALKING emptily for publicity purposes, (4) and the other guy knew it, (5) empty theatrics is obvious, doesn’t make it any kind of meaningful dissent, (6) EVERYONE knew the “line” he couldn’t cross.

    “how did the Guardian switch from being a pro-Labour paper to being a pro-Liberal Democrat paper? Thus ensuring Gordon Brown’s exit from power?”

    The Guardian is not the BBC, and BBC is the LARGEST STATE owned broadcaster in the world.

    And how did the Guardian “ensure Gordon Brown’s exit from power”?? Are you suggesting that the Guardian has the power to “wag the dog”??

    A close and powerful influence of the media over the government is not an “independent media”, it is in fact the very evil of collusion between “Free media” and the Government.

    Hell, you just admitted that the Guardian “owned” the UK Government enough to change them by “ensurance”.

    Is there much of a difference between a State-owned Media vs. a Media-owned Government? I think not.

    🙂

    “now that we are seeing both David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch’s positions become threatened by a scandal that started with an investigation that was started in the Guardian, is the media working as an arm of the government in this situation as well?”

    Certainly, The governments are not pressing very hard to investigate (break down) the media corporations. And despite some superficial feeding frenzy, most media corporations are not even “investigating” anything about News Corp. They are merely reporting what the governments are saying.

    It is clear to non-Western Media people, that the problem can’t be isolated to merely News Corp. (much like Stereoids in Sports, Bank Default, this amount of corruption coming to light in public cannot be merely isolated to 1 corporation, 1 bank, or 1 individual).

    Other Western media are probably doing the same, and they don’t want the pot stirred up too much, less they themselves get investigated and get brought down.

    It is obvious that the show inquiries of Murdoch are meant as a bone for the public outrage. (And if necessary, Murdoch and few others will go to prison, and scapegoated for ALL the problems).

    The News Corp whistleblower died, and UK police already marked as “not suspicious” the day after.

    *
    You believe what you want, the game is rigged for you, and you can go pretend the game is fair for you.

    I don’t play the game that you think is fair. I don’t believe in the hype.

    I only point out so EASILY Westerners are lulled in schemes that cheated them in the past. Murdoch is just another one in a long series. You still want to believe it’s fair, that they are not deceiving you using the very system that you hold up???

    Good luck, and good luck convincing others to have your kind of faith.

    “Seek truth from facts”? You have little of either. All you have is blind faith.

  39. July 20th, 2011 at 11:55 | #39

    “It is clear to non-Western Media people”

    Great, did you ask one?

    “Is there much of a difference between a State-owned Media vs. a Media-owned Government? I think not.

    🙂

    An excellent, indisputable piece of logic.

    “EVERYONE knew the “line” he couldn’t cross.”

    Great, care to tell “EVERYONE” what it was? Such as, say, calling for the government to resign?

    “The Guardian is not the BBC, and BBC is the LARGEST STATE owned broadcaster in the world.”

    And? That it is large signifies nothing, it is reporting this story just as the other main commerical outlets (ITV, Channel 4, Sky News) are.

    “And how did the Guardian “ensure Gordon Brown’s exit from power”?? Are you suggesting that the Guardian has the power to “wag the dog”??

    A close and powerful influence of the media over the government is not an “independent media”, it is in fact the very evil of collusion between “Free media” and the Government.”

    If the media did not have the power to influence people’s opinions, then there would be no point in watching/reading it – unless all you are looking for is confirmation for opinions you already have. Some conspiracy theorists fall into exactly this trap.

    “And despite some superficial feeding frenzy, most media corporations are not even “investigating” anything about News Corp. They are merely reporting what the governments are saying.

    Really. This entire scandal was uncovered by the media, and all the newspapers are struggling to catch up to the Guardian by launching their own investigations – particularly into the American link.

    “The News Corp whistleblower died, and UK police already marked as “not suspicious” the day after.”

    A guy who was 7 stone over weight, and who, according to his friends, smoked, drank and took narcotics.

    “I only point out so EASILY Westerners are lulled in schemes that cheated them in the past. Murdoch is just another one in a long series. You still want to believe it’s fair, that they are not deceiving you using the very system that you hold up???”

    You seem incapable of asking yourself this, so I will – if the media and the government were involved in a grand conspiracy to rule the country, just why would they bust themselves wide open like this? In fact the media and the government have been in a state of perpetual conflict throughout my entire life, this has caused the downfall of both journalists and senior politicians, including the Prime Minister.

    “You have little of either”

    I’ve just been back over your comment, and I note that you quote exactly zero original sources. That’s right. You do not cite a single source to support your views.In fact, in many places, where I have cited a source (such as the Kelvin Macenzie quote) you have given us nothing in disagreeing but your own opinion without any fact cited to support it.

    If I have few facts to back my opinions (and I believe I have more than a few) then you have none. This is the mark of the conspiracy theorist.

    Good day.

  40. colin
    July 20th, 2011 at 11:59 | #40

    @Custer

    “The free media is not perfect. Not by a long shot. But it is not the same as state-run propaganda either, and to equate them is both simple and dangerous.”

    Another straw man. No one here says a truly free media is bad. It’s what everyone here wants to see. What people are saying is that the western media is far from free of the the agenda’s of it’s own or of others, so much so that their journalistic integrity compromised and on some subjects like china completely lost. And it’s not a black and white comparison between the western so called “free” media and state sponsored media, just shades of gray, which at this point in time, doesn’t have too much distinction between the two.

  41. July 20th, 2011 at 12:20 | #41

    “Great, did you ask one?”

    Yes, ME!

    “Great, care to tell “EVERYONE” what it was? Such as, say, calling for the government to resign?”

    No, you already said it, “POUR SH*T all over his head”!! LOL!

    “And? That it is large signifies nothing, it is reporting this story just as the other main commerical outlets (ITV, Channel 4, Sky News) are.”

    And? Only shows that none of the other news stepped much away from the BBC “state-owned” line!! LOL!

    “If the media did not have the power to influence people’s opinions, then there would be no point in watching/reading it – unless all you are looking for is confirmation for opinions you already have. Some conspiracy theorists fall into exactly this trap.”

    You yourself said “ENSURING Brown’s exit from power”, not the now weak-as*ed “influence”. You are your own conspiracy theorist. Yeah, your own Freudian slip only demonstrates the amount of media power over you. (ie. you knew it had enough power to “ENSURE” a government change, don’t bother to sugar-coat/downplay it now). LOL!

    “Really. This entire scandal was uncovered by the media, and all the newspapers are struggling to catch up to the Guardian by launching their own investigations – particularly into the American link.”

    Yeah, I’ll wait until they actually “uncover” something useful beyond what that whistle-blower told the public.

    “A guy who was 7 stone over weight, and who, according to his friends, smoked, drank and took narcotics.”

    And all such people die naturally by your logic?? NOT because they exposed some dirty secrets of powerful people?? Yeah, OK. Like I said, you can go on pretending.

    “You seem incapable of asking yourself this, so I will – if the media and the government were involved in a grand conspiracy to rule the country, just why would they bust themselves wide open like this? In fact the media and the government have been in a state of perpetual conflict throughout my entire life, this has caused the downfall of both journalists and senior politicians, including the Prime Minister. ”

    Read the “Animal Farm”, because even dictators need to appear weak to placade the ignorant masses occasionally, by diverting attentions with such theatrics. (and I have no need to explain empty meaningless theatrics of others. Circus clowns may make some people happy by poking fun at themselves, but circuses are not legitimate political processes).

    You see “conflict”? Over such silly issues focused on a few individuals at a time, while the real issues are forgotten? It’s very definition of “diversion”!!

    “I’ve just been back over your comment, and I note that you quote exactly zero original sources. That’s right. You do not cite a single source to support your views.In fact, in many places, where I have cited a source (such as the Kelvin Macenzie quote) you have given us nothing in disagreeing but your own opinion without any fact cited to support it.”

    MY backing is in your own quotes, which contradicts your own conclusions. (1) your example journalist did nothing but talk, didn’t do what he claimed, THUS “POLITICAL THEATER”!!

    And I quoted YOUR own words, “ENSURING Brown’s exit”! to prove the very power of the media over you, which now you seek to downplay.

    IE. cause – effect, in your own words. Surely, why should I find another source to disprove your own characterization, when your own words prove my point so well?? 🙂

  42. raventhorn2000
    July 20th, 2011 at 15:31 | #42

    Funny part: Even Jon Stewart of the Daily Show last night made sarcastic comment on the rather quick dismissal of “suspicions” in the death of the News Corp whistleblower.

    (Death on the day before Murdoch’s testimony, UK police ruled it “not suspicious” on the next day. Oh les we forget, he was probably the ONLY currently known witness, and he is DEAD! Gee, who’s going to testify now? Oh, wow, those trials are going to be real quick!)

  43. July 20th, 2011 at 20:26 | #43

    colin :
    @Custer
    The headline reads “Military chief visits China, says to maintain Asia presence”
    I expect the journalist to provide a actual account of his visit, and with his words/rhetoric/opinions clearly delineated. Everything else, which is significant in this case and already highlighted in other comments, is what the reporter chose to add to embellish a strong anti-china sentiment. That’s your anti-china bias and journalistic fraud right there.

    *eyeroll* You don’t read the news a lot do you? See the stories I linked about Wen’s visit to Europe, they’re the same kind of headlines and the same kind of content. Maybe you don’t like the way it’s written, but (1) that’s the way it’s done and (2) “pro-China” stories are written exactly the same way when it’s summing up a visit and remarks of a Chinese official instead of a US one. It’s not an “anti-China” bias, they do this for EVERYONE.

    As for the western media’s foul up of Iraq being a once off, you’re absolutely wrong on that. It happens everyday. There is an agenda, or many agendas, as someone else as said. The media has been a willing accomplice to those of power ever since and before Remember the Maine. The only reason the US is not on the ground in Libya right now is the US is stretched way beyond what it can do with Iraq and Afg. You don’t think the oil and infrastructure conglomerates wouldn’t love to have Libya “opened up”? You don’t think they have immense influence in all levels of government, from the executive, to the congressional, to the military, and even the media? The american economic engine is significantly based on war. You can call me a conspiracy theorist, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

    No, it just means that you’ve got a whole lot of theory and a big dearth of evidence.

    To say conspiracy is too simplistic though. It’s the shared nods and winks, backdoor quid pro quo’s, the confluence of many interests into a few large shared ones by the powers that be that drive the direction of a society, including the media, into transgressions.

    And you are aware of these shared nods and winks and backdoor quid pro quos how? Because you work in the news media? No? Well, as someone who does, allow me to let you in on a secret: that stuff may happen from time to time at some outlets, but it’s not at all common.

    And can you point out when the media said “yeah, we f*cked and are sorry, and will change our ways?” Rupert Murdoch in his recent testimony just gave you the finger on that.

    Murdoch is an old nutcase, and most of his media outlets aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But there was TONS of criticism in the media post-Iraq invasion. They criticize themselves all the time, actually, they just often don’t actually change as much as they should.

    And again, everyone knows CD is state run. We’re beyond that. The problem is everyone in the west thinks their media is about fairness and truth, when it is anything but.

    Uh, what? First of all, regardless of what your conspiracy videos told you, most journalists really do strive for fairness and truth. Honest. I know a bunch of them, they’re good people. Now, of course they don’t always accomplish it. But you portray the whole industry like it’s some cloak-and-dagger propaganda outfit, and that’s simply not the case.

    Secondly, since when do people think so highly of the media? People in the US whine about how the media are a bunch of fear mongering extremists ALL THE TIME.

    Third, “the west” is such a made up concept, and saying “everyone in the west does _____” is totally ridiculous.

  44. July 21st, 2011 at 10:18 | #44

    Hacking probe to expand to OTHER MEDIA.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/07/21/uk.phone.hacking/

    Apparently, LOTS of news companies are hiring Private investigators to violate people’s privacy. According to a report in 2006, (why didn’t we hear about this before?), Murdoch’s News of the World paper was a DISTANT 5th place on number of times it had used PI’s to snoop on people!!!

    OH, What did I say just yesterday??!!

    “It is clear to non-Western Media people, that the problem can’t be isolated to merely News Corp. (much like Stereoids in Sports, Bank Default, this amount of corruption coming to light in public cannot be merely isolated to 1 corporation, 1 bank, or 1 individual).

    Other Western media are probably doing the same, and they don’t want the pot stirred up too much, less they themselves get investigated and get brought down.”

    *BTW, UK police has arrested, question, and THEN RELEASED about 10 people. That’s right! 1 actual witness who could have testified in court, DIED (under what UK police say is “not suspicious” circumstances)!!

    So, all those people previously arrested for the hacking scandal?? Had a nice “chat” with the cops and end of conversation.

    *
    Well, If these “media” were not too busy hacking into other people’s phones, or bribing police, maybe they would actually have time to write some articles about the Homeless and the Jobless in their own countries.

    But no, they know where the money is at, digging for dirty secrets for money, and “ensuring” the victories of their own puppet political candidates!

    That’s right, articles about the Homeless and the Jobless won’t do much “influence” or “ensuring” (of money or power) for the “free media”, So “who would want to read them”?!

    *But don’t worry, I’m still betting that only a few will get scapegoated. (Much as Berney Maddoff took the fall for the US financial troubles, and the big banks kept their bonuses).

    Logically, Politicians and Media Moguls are still survivalists, it’s only practical for them to throw a few of their own as sacrifice on the barn fire, shed a few tears, say a few sorry’s, just enough to quell the public anger (which is usually very easy to distract).

    *
    ONTO THE NEXT SCANDAL!!! MOVE ALONG PEOPLE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!

  45. July 21st, 2011 at 11:48 | #45

    Maybe I’m repeating myself, but here it is.

    The concept of “Western World” was coined by historians, such as Carroll Quigley (Evolution of Civilizations), who contended that “Western Civilization” was born around 400 AD.

    If anyone was being ridiculously generalized about the “West”, the “Western Civilization” self-proclaimed such ridiculous generalizations about themselves.

    “Clash of Civilizations”, Anyone? “War of Cultures”, perhaps?

    *
    Also, Speaking of generalizations, “Democracy” is “such a made up concept”, and saying ‘everyone who wants Democracy should do _____’ is totally ridiculous.

    😉

  46. tired of hypocrites
    July 21st, 2011 at 12:35 | #46

    @raventhorn2000
    Good point. The hypocrites have no idea how hypocritical they are.

  47. raventhorn2000
    July 21st, 2011 at 13:31 | #47

    “Human Rights” is “such a made up concept”, and saying ‘everyone who wants Human Rights should do _____’ is totally ridiculous.

    “Free Speech” is “such a made up concept”, and saying ‘everyone who wants Free Speech should do _____’ is totally ridiculous.

    “______” is “such a made up concept”, and saying ‘everyone who wants ______ should do _____’ is totally ridiculous.

    *copy and paste as you need to make a generalized point to satisfied the “WEST”, who made up all sorts of generalized terms.

  48. colin
    July 21st, 2011 at 13:45 | #48

    @Custer

    “Murdoch is an old nutcase”

    Yet this is the guy who has practically been the new British PM’s bed buddy since his election and has headed arguably the most dynamic global news organization in the last 25 years. Your whole credibility in defending western media and journalists fails right there. And this just one example of how the vast majority of western media isn’t worth the paper they’re printed on and how most western “journalists” aren’t even fit to carry the title.

    I like your *eyeroll* though. *Wink* right back at you!

    Seriously, you’ve been in china too long. Get out and get some perspective.

  49. raventhorn2000
    July 21st, 2011 at 13:59 | #49

    colin :

    Seriously, you’ve been in china too long. Get out and get some perspective.

    I do my *eyeroll* in sympathy.

    He’s teaching “English” in China for a reason. If he really had something better, would he stick around in China under the thumbs of the Chinese censors? You speak as if he has a choice.

    Come to Washington DC, and see what it is to live with the Political and Media “Bullsh*t” virtually 24/7.

    It’s great for Comedy material, ie. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, etc.

    But as Lewis Black (DC Metro area native) eluded, it can drive one crazy, (and he had to “get the Hell” out of DC right after college).

    *Hey, I would expect some Bullsh*t from government and media, but I don’t want to be buried in it.

    So most people in US simply pretend majority of BS doesn’t actually exist to keep their sanity.

    Or my young American friend called it, “it’s like Sausage making, I don’t know what goes into it, but I’m reasonable certain that whatever comes out is food.”

    (I on the other hand, know too much about the BS that goes in, and so, I will probably have to leave DC (or the country) before I go insane,

    OR I can go blissfully pretend that the whole system is just churning out “reasonable Sausage” with the knowledge that MOST Americans are buying and eating it without looking too closely).

  50. Charles Liu
    July 21st, 2011 at 19:21 | #50

    @raventhorn2000

    Exactely. Look at that Canadian fry cook, who shall remain nameless. Can’t make it back home, bam, in China he’s a blogger/language editor/human rights activist, twittering about buying jasmine flower to incite mass incident.

  51. cp
    July 21st, 2011 at 20:14 | #51

    C. Custer :
    Third, “the west” is such a made up concept, and saying “everyone in the west does _____” is totally ridiculous.

    No more than the China monolith that is propagated in the west or the western media or western thought – how ever you want to coin it.

  52. July 22nd, 2011 at 00:36 | #52

    colin :
    @Custer
    “Murdoch is an old nutcase”
    Yet this is the guy who has practically been the new British PM’s bed buddy since his election and has headed arguably the most dynamic global news organization in the last 25 years. Your whole credibility in defending western media and journalists fails right there. And this just one example of how the vast majority of western media isn’t worth the paper they’re printed on and how most western “journalists” aren’t even fit to carry the title.
    I like your *eyeroll* though. *Wink* right back at you!
    Seriously, you’ve been in china too long. Get out and get some perspective.

    Not saying the guy isn’t successful, my point is that most of his “news” organizations are a joke. They do make money, but that’s not the same thing as journalism. (In fact, plenty of reporters I know would joke that journalism is the opposite of making money).

  53. July 22nd, 2011 at 00:41 | #53

    raventhorn2000 :

    colin :
    Seriously, you’ve been in china too long. Get out and get some perspective.

    I do my *eyeroll* in sympathy.
    He’s teaching “English” in China for a reason. If he really had something better, would he stick around in China under the thumbs of the Chinese censors? You speak as if he has a choice.

    Not sure if anything punctures the thick skull that apparently surrounds your tiny brain, but you don’t know anything about me. Moreover, your assumptions are completely wrong. I am not “teaching English” in China. I did teach English, briefly, my first year out of college. I have not done so since then. Not a single class or even a tutoring session.

    And while I do appreciate the appeal to stereotyping — the foreign expat lives in China because he can’t find a job at home — but please. I have a magna cum laude degree from an Ivy League college and I speak fluent Mandarin. Do you really think the reason I don’t work in the US right now is because I can’t find a job there?

  54. raventhorn2000
    July 22nd, 2011 at 05:20 | #54

    “I have a magna cum laude degree from an Ivy League college and I speak fluent Mandarin. Do you really think the reason I don’t work in the US right now is because I can’t find a job there?”

    I know plenty of people with more degrees than you, who can’t find a job in US. SO YEAH! Your listing of your own degrees rather proves you are all “degrees” and unable to find a real job!!

    “speak fluent Mandarin”! “EYEROLL”!! Join the club. LOL!

  55. July 22nd, 2011 at 09:06 | #55

    raventhorn2000 :
    “I have a magna cum laude degree from an Ivy League college and I speak fluent Mandarin. Do you really think the reason I don’t work in the US right now is because I can’t find a job there?”
    I know plenty of people with more degrees than you, who can’t find a job in US. SO YEAH! Your listing of your own degrees rather proves you are all “degrees” and unable to find a real job!!
    “speak fluent Mandarin”! “EYEROLL”!! Join the club. LOL!

    The unemployment rate in the US for people with a college degree — any degree, any college — is 4%. If you know people with “more degrees than me” who “can’t find a job,” I’ve got to suspect that either (a) their degrees are from crap schools or (b) they’re not looking very hard.

    Anyway, if you or your friends need a job in the US, let me know. I do actually work for a US company, and might be able to set you up with some part time work if you’re qualified 😉

  56. pug_ster
    July 22nd, 2011 at 16:29 | #56

    C Custer,

    I have a magna cum laude degree from an Ivy League college and I speak fluent Mandarin. Do you really think the reason I don’t work in the US right now is because I can’t find a job there?

    So that explains your elitist attitude when it comes to China. Maybe you are smarter than an average Chinese, doesn’t mean that you are better than they are.

  57. raventhorn2000
    July 22nd, 2011 at 17:29 | #57

    “I’ve got to suspect that either (a) their degrees are from crap schools or (b) they’re not looking very hard.”

    As you have admitted, your “suspicions” are not arguments. So, your entire comment was worthless gibberish. 🙂

    Surely your degree was good enough to see how worthless your own “suspicions” are. YOU TOLD YOURSELF SO! 🙂

  58. July 23rd, 2011 at 09:43 | #58

    Charles Liu :
    @raventhorn2000
    Exactely. Look at that Canadian fry cook, who shall remain nameless. Can’t make it back home, bam, in China he’s a blogger/language editor/human rights activist, twittering about buying jasmine flower to incite mass incident.

    Incidentally, isn’t it somewhat racist that some Westerners put on “Speak Fluent Mandarin” on their resume, and expecting that to get them a job?

    I mean, do I put “Speak Fluent English” on my resume in US and expect to get a job from that?

    Doesn’t that speak much of the racist expectations?

    Seriously, there are about 1 billion Chinese who “speak fluent mandarin”, many of them also speak English in China, AND they can read and write both languages, and they KNOW China all their lives.

    And yet, some Westerners who can’t make it in the West, crash in China, start blogs, and they become the voice for Chinese in the Western world!

  59. wwww1234
    July 23rd, 2011 at 22:44 | #59

    @C. Custer
    Re:”The unemployment rate in the US for people with a college degree — any degree, any college — is 4%. If you know people with “more degrees than me” who “can’t find a job,” I’ve got to suspect that either (a) their degrees are from crap schools or (b) they’re not looking very hard. ”

    the unemployment rate for college graduates is 5.1% so you are off by 20% and perhaps in reality even more, as many are holding jobs not requiring college degree, some have dropped out of the count (unemployed for too long) and some are staying in school.
    And that is for ALL graduates. For new graduate, the number is terrible.

    “The New York Times reports that just over 55 percent of the 2009 graduates younger than 25 are working in a field requiring a college degree while nearly a quarter of them are not working at all. ”

    Looks like your knowledge base and analytical skill belong to a markedly different “league”.

  60. August 25th, 2011 at 11:06 | #60

    @C. Custer

    “It’s certainly not a flawless system, but to suggest that it’s the same as the Chinese system is just ignorant.

    Anyone who thinks the Chinese and “Western” media are basically the same but on opposite sides should come to China and work for a state media outlet for a few years. I guarantee you’d understand very clearly what the difference was by the time you left.”

    There’s Custer, bragging about his personal qualifications to support his own (lack of) arguments (and 1st a personal insult spread).

    So, I who “suggested” the equivalence was “JUST ignorant”, but he by the virtue of his qualifications understands, right….

  61. Charles Liu
    August 25th, 2011 at 13:58 | #61

    @raventhorn2000

    Tell that to Zhang Danhong, she worked for a state media for quite some years.

  62. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 14:18 | #62

    Now, certainly, Custer clearly wanted us to “infer” a number of things from his statement above.

    (1) we who suggest some merely comparison of equivalence are “JUST ignorant”.

    (2) Obviously, he means that by comparison, He himself is badas* intellectual. (Thus, he’s inferring and “acted like a badas* intellectual”).

    (3) and he himself works at a “state media outlet” in China for a “few years”. (But apparently, he complains about it, so obviously, he doesn’t like his job at the “state media outlet”. Thus, he’s inferring that it’s not a “real job”.)

    (4) Then, of course, he’s GENERALLY, and stereotypically inferring that the Chinese immigrants who “live in US” are “JUST ignorant”, because we “LIVE” in comfort, and thus are too lazy to learn.

    *See of course, such Inferences according to Custer’s own logic of (Negative inference X infinite), derive to the inevitable inferences about himself.

    So, I don’t know why he was making all that fuss about getting personal.

    (Not like we are the ones making the INFERENCES).

    😉

    From Good Fellas:

    (Joe Pesci) Tommy DeVito: You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little f*cked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to f*ckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

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