Friday, December 09, 2005

All the Hyman's Spin



Just in case you had any lingering doubts about the level of duplicity Mark Hyman is capable of, take a look at his recent commentary about Bob Woodward.

Hyman notes that some of his fellow reporters at the Washington Post are “miffed” about Woodward’s recent actions. What are these actions? Hyman isn’t specific. He suggests it has something to do with Woodward working “unsupervised” and that he has been “caught skirting the boundary of truth.” He also suggests that Woodward is simply an example of some journalists’ “zeal to get the scoop and to promote their political agendas.”

Why might Hyman not get specific when it comes to laying out the sins of the Washington Post’s star reporter? Because what Woodward’s colleagues are “miffed” about is that he knowingly withheld information about the administration’s role in making Valerie Plame’s identity public. This illegal outing was used as a means of punishing Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for his contradiction of the Bush party line about Iraq’s purchasing of uranium from Niger.

In fact, as any number of media observers have noted (including
Sidney Blumenthal, Joe Conason, and the ever-vigilant Media Matters for America), Woodward has served as an apologist for the Bush administration, openly mocking the investigation into the leak, making false statements about the origins of the investigation, and doing so while withholding his own tacit role in the cover-up (all of which is coming back to haunt him, now that Scooter Libby has been indicted).

If Hyman were a man of principle who actually cares about the role of journalism in a democracy, he would criticize Woodward for his actions (and inactions) specifically, pointing out that even though he several “Point” commentaries have attempted to discredit Wilson, Woodward must be held accountable, even if his actions served a cause with which Hyman himself agreed.

But Hyman brings every last ounce of the cynicism that is the hallmark of his editorials to this topic, using intentionally vague statements about Woodward as a tool with which to repeat his drumbeat of criticism against newspaper journalists in general, a group that represents an economic rival to the company Hyman works for, and which (in Hyman’s odd world) is also a political enemy (despite the fact that major
newspapers tend to be owned by large corporations, endorse Republicans for president, and use partisan labels more often when describing liberals).

Worried about those who use journalistic license to “skirt the truth” in order to promote a political (and financial) agenda? Look in the mirror, Mark.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


Hyman Index: 3.97

12 Comments:

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Sickofspin said...

'Journalistic License?' How about the fact that much of the media doesn't care to challenge liberals on their hypocrisy?

October 9th, 1999 Letter to President Clinton Signed by Senators Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski, Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry -- all Democrats

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

Joe Biden > August 4, 2002
"This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world, and this is a guy who is in every way possible seeking weapons of mass destruction."

Bill Clinton > February 17, 1998 "If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program

Chuck Schumer > October 10, 2002 "It is Hussein's vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and future potential support for terrorist acts and organizations that make him a danger to the people of the united states."

Madeleine Albright > February 1, 1998 "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."

John Kerry > January 23, 2003 "Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator leading an impressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he's miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. His consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction."

Nancy Pelosi > December 16, 1998 "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Al Gore > September 23, 2002 "We know that he has stored nuclear supplies, secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."

Sandy Berger > February 18, 1998 "He'll use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has 10 times since 1983."

John Kerry > October 9, 2002 "I will be voting to give the president of the US the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

Senator Carl Levin > September 19, 2002
"We begin with a common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."

Ted Kennedy > September 27, 2002 "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Senator Hillary Clinton > October 10, 2002 "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock. His missile delivery capability, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including Al-Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

Jay Rockefeller > October 10, 2002 "There was unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember that we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."

Madeleine Albright > November 10, 1999 "Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."

Joe Biden > August 4, 2002
"[H]e does have the capacity, as all terrorist-related operations do, of smuggling stuff into the United States and doing something terrible. That is true. But there's been no connection, hard connection made yet between he and al-Qaida or his willingness or effort to do that thus far. Doesn't mean he won't. This is a bad guy."

Dick Durbin > September 30, 1999 "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or some other nation may acquire or develop nuclear weapons."

Hillary Clinton > October 10, 2002 "In the four years since the inspections, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability and his nuclear program."

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Bradley said...

Mike--

(I absolutely refuse to call a human top "sick of spin" anymore. It's just ludicrous).

Your arguments are getting boring. Haven't you posted these quotes before? Or were they just very similar quotes? Either way, you're pretty much repeating yourself here, even though these quotes have been proven irrelevant. Here's my last response to such a post-- it still fits:

"On a final note, I have no idea why you think anyone should talk about the quotes you and Rush have provided. This was a conversation about Mark Hyman, John Kerry, and Viet Nam. But yes, the quotes were taken out of context; yes, you and Rush Limbaugh both clearly have an agenda that has nothing to do with pursuing an objective sense of truth; yes, the Democrats were wrong to support the war; yes, I believe those Democrats were misled by this administration; yes, sometimes Democrats-- like all other human beings-- are inconsistent; no, this has nothing to do with Mark Hyman smearing a decorated war hero."

(Take out the stuff about John Kerry and Viet Nam, and insert new references to Bob Woodward, if you need to).

And previously, you avoided addressing this post:

"From there, you provided a bunch of quotes from Democrats who believed Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction and/or needed to be removed from power. Nobody knows why you did that, as far as I can tell-- you provided no argument to go along with your "evidence," so I'm forced to try to figure out what your point was. I guess it's that liberals are hypocritical when it comes to Iraq? Like, we used to want to invade, but we changed our minds because... I don't know... Toby Keith thought it was a good idea? Whatever your reasoning, the quotes you provide are largely pointless. Some come from six or seven years ago, well before Hans Blix and the U.N. Weapons Inspectors began their search for WMDs in Iraq. Others were more recent, and reflected the obvious misunderstandings that the administration's flawed intelligence created. All the same, as I said before, those Democrats who supported the war with Iraq were wrong. Plain and simple.

"And, yes, I will always maintain that pulling quotes from partisan propaganda websites in order to bolster your own argument is ridiculous. Would you take me seriously if all of my information came from www.michaelmoore.com? I'm guessing not. But again, that's not my main problem with your reliance on "spin" websites for your information. The only reason this keeps coming up is because your name suggests that you are, well, sick of spin. But your sources for your information are devoted to "spinning." I mean, you have to see why that's funny, right? You actually love spin, but you say that you're sick of it."

You didn't really reply to these posts before, except to ask how the quotes were taken out of context. So I wonder if, now, you might be willing to address what I've said? For that matter, will you please address the other concerns I've articulated and you've ignored? For example...

1) Why are you dittoheads so inconsistent when you discuss Bill O'Reilly's ratings? He says he reaches five million people, but-- by your own admission-- the number is closer to two million.

2) Why do you insist that having the number one rated cable news show is somehow noteworthy, when-- as I've proven-- even the most popular cable news show still trails behind talking sea life and people hitting other people with chairs, rating-wise?

3) Why do you insist on personal insults and ad hominem attacks? Why can't you actually argue about issues?

4) If you have a serious point to make, why don't you try to express yourself more eloquently? You frequently employ awkward phrasing and poor grammar, which weakens any argument you make.

5) Why not actually debate the issues Ted brings up? Why respond to his blog with irrelevant quotes provided by shady spinmeisters?

I realize that, in order to cut and paste quotes lifted from Rush Limbaugh's webpage, you must be at least functionally literate. But time and time again, I've tried to engage you in a civlized discussion, and time and time again you've either ignored me or simply responded with name-calling or irrelevant asides. So either contribute a thoughtful, intelligible counter-argument, or please admit that you're incapable of doing so. It's quite frustrating, trying to talk politics with someone whose idea of rebuttal is simply sticking his fingers in his ears and going, "Nyah, nyah, I can't hear you."

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Sickofspin said...

1) Why are you dittoheads so inconsistent when you discuss Bill O'Reilly's ratings? He says he reaches five million people, but-- by your own admission-- the number is closer to two million.

I posted numbers from a source. Where's your source that says Bill claims 5 million? Are you taking into consideration his radio audience? To be fair there could be some cross-over numbers in there, but 5 million is entirely plausible if not probable.

2) Why do you insist that having the number one rated cable news show is somehow noteworthy, when-- as I've proven-- even the most popular cable news show still trails behind talking sea life and people hitting other people with chairs, rating-wise?

Going for the volume/reach argument.... lame, apples/oranges. The point being made is that Fox is #1 on cable, as in the preferred choice. Why is it that my side isn't making an apples to oranges claim, and yet you make one in response (improper response to note)?

3) Why do you insist on personal insults and ad hominem attacks? Why can't you actually argue about issues?

For example?

4) If you have a serious point to make, why don't you try to express yourself more eloquently? You frequently employ awkward phrasing and poor grammar, which weakens any argument you make.

Hmmm, a personal attack.....Lack of example noted.

5) Why not actually debate the issues Ted brings up? Why respond to his blog with irrelevant quotes provided by shady spinmeisters?

Perhaps you call them irrelevent only because you cannot think of a good counter-point (yep, intended). Ted went on a rant about journalistic integrity and I challenged that notion with an example of how the media does not challenge liberals and their obvious hypocrisy.

I realize that, in order to cut and paste quotes lifted from Rush Limbaugh's webpage, you must be at least functionally literate. But time and time again, I've tried to engage you in a civlized discussion, and time and time again you've either ignored me or simply responded with name-calling or irrelevant asides. So either contribute a thoughtful, intelligible counter-argument, or please admit that you're incapable of doing so. It's quite frustrating, trying to talk politics with someone whose idea of rebuttal is simply sticking his fingers in his ears and going, "Nyah, nyah, I can't hear you."

Your whole premise here is to shoot the messenger instead of directly addressing the content of the message. Regarding the quotes you insist they are taken out of context and that they are posted on a Conservative site, that somehow disqualifies them. The quotes are what they are. As if I were to pull those quotes from the NY Times would change them?

 
At 1:57 AM, Anonymous mr. creosote said...

dear sos (aka, the black knight)
dude, what is your problem? ted tries to start a dialogue about journalistic ethics and you cut-and-paste the same tired old irrelevent quotes from 10 posts ago that have nothing to do with the topic. i came hear for an argument, not for an argument. i swear, you're like a living-breathing monty python sketch. bring me a shrubbery!
yours,
the knights who say neo-con

 
At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Sick

- You have smeared Ted on Ted's blog (about his alleged academic misconduct)

- You have been asked to provide evidence for your smears.

- You have refused.

- Yet you continue to rant.

That pretty much tells your story.

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Bradley said...

Mike--

1. From the July 20, 2004 broadcast of the nationally syndicated radio program The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: You know, The Wall Street Journal has an article today about the attacks against FOX News, and they said well, Bill O'Reilly's nightly program only gets two million viewers. That's a lie. That's just not true. We get about five million viewers inside the United States, every night.

2. I don't think you know what the phrase "apples to oranges" means. "Apples to oranges" refers to a comparison between things that have no similarities. I'm arguing that O'Reilly doesn't really reach that many people, compared to other cable shows and other forms of media. Do try to pay attention.

3. You called me an incompetent book because I dared to counter your inane rants with facts.

4. Pointing out that your language skills are as murky as your critical thinking skills is not a personal attack-- it's a legitimate critique of your argument. But again, since you don't seem to make a distinction between substantial arguments about issues and ad hominem attacks in your own arguments, I'm not exactly surprised that you understand. And though I provided an example the first time I noted that arguing in English seems to be a problem for you (and you and I both know you read-- and ignored-- that post, I'm happy to provide another example: Please see the last paragraph of the post to which I am replying.

5. I haven't "shot the messenger" once, Mike. You and I both know that. Yesterday was the first time I was even remotely rude to you-- my previous responses to your post have been civilized and respectful, even while you were being petty and small-minded. So let's keep things in perspective.

The simple fact of the matter is, you are the one who has proven you can't argue issues. Again, you can cut and paste quotes all you want. It doesn't change the fact that 1) you're citing right-wing spin websites, not legitimate sources of information, 2) the quotes themselves only go to show how thoroughly the White House's poor intelligence convinced our nation's leaders that this illegal and corrupt war was justified (a fact that, I think, makes the Bush administration look a lot worse than the Democrats in Congress, 3) No one who posts to this blog has ever argued that the people you quote were right, 4) The quotes you provide have absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand. I know, I know-- "liberal hypocrisy" (hypocrisy, by the way, is another word you don't seem to know the definition of). But the fact that you were able to find these quotes actually undermines your point-- someone, somewhere in the media must have reported these quotes. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to cite them.

I would like to be friendly towards you. As I've mentioned before, there is a conservative intellectual tradition, and I would like to be able to debate issues with someone who held a position I disagreed with, but could respect. However, you quite clearly don't know what you're talking about. I can't talk politics with you, because you simply don't know anything about the subject, your whiney insistence to the contrary aside.

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Bradley said...

To clarify--

I typed my last response entirely too quickly, and I realize now that there are a few typos in it that I didn't catch before clicking "login and publish." Not a big deal, but I want to be clear-- Mike, you called me "an incompetent BOOB, not an incompetent BOOK." My apologies for the error.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks,

Sick of Spin (real name: Mike) presents us with a real problem: how to engage someone who really doesn't want to engage.

It is a problem that is drowning our nation. All one has to do is listen to the mean, hateful, ranting of the O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Boortz, Coulter, etc. etc., to see how corrosive public speech has become. They are a huge smokescreen that prevents real public dialog, angers many, and turns off millions (those that are "turned on" by such talk likely have some real psychiatric issues).

The really sad thing is that adherents of this sort of garbage are oblivious to the harm that it does to the body politic. While TV and airwaves are full of uniformative and innaccurate crap, the fans become more poorly informed and have their antisocial tendencies reinforced.

After reading through these blog pages, I have to conclude that Mike is demonstrating many of these antisocial tendencies. He doesn't engage, doesn't respect others, and has accused Ted of wrongdoings. And we're all trying to figure out: what is Mike's point?

The social fabric of our country has been worn to a frazzle, typically by extremists at both ends of the political spectrum. It's time for the rest of us to try to work together. The trick is "how?" given the grip that Right Wing Extremists have on the media.


What Mike doesn't seem to realize is that the very powerful in this country use such divisiveness for their own ends. O'Reilly et al. couldn't give a rat's *** about the daily problems facing most Americans. It's clear by his laughable agenda. Take for example, O'Reilly's ridiculous posturing about the "Attack on Christmas" (TM). While O'Reilly's parent company (FOX) and the White House come out with "Holiday Greetings", he baits the haters with this crap about the "War on Christmas". Meanwhile, 46 million Americans lack basic healthcare, we've got deficits up the wahzoo, a mess in Iraq, and real questions about America in the 21st century.

What O'Reilly is doing is plainly unpatriotic. He is distracting, in a hateful way, Americans from the real issues. He does it for ratings only.

Apparently, Mike doesn't see how he and his kind are being blatantly manipulated by such Hate Talkers. It does no one any real good.

And that's the tragedy here. We're becoming a nation of nincompoops if we passively allow the hateful talk of the Very Rich to push us all down the toilet. That's another thing that Mike doesn't seem to get: We are all being degraded by such garbage.

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just call him Sicko, as I would hate for people to confuse him with Mike B. in SC, and it is clear that Sicko should be under the care of a mental health professional.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might suggest that we try to be as gracious as possible to people like Sick. Yes, he is very trying. Very trying. I mean, what do you do with someone who refuses to converse?

But still, I can't believe that Sick has a whole lot of friends that are left of Pat Robertson.

I say, let's try to keep him honest (for example, calling him on his slanderous speech against Ted), but let him have his POV, as long as it it not hateful or slanderous.

Ted's being pretty gracious letting a bomb-thrower have free reign on his blog. Let's try to do likewise (while insisting on basic levels of civility).

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Bradley said...

I agree that it's important to be polite and respectful. I will continue to point out errors in logic, grammar, reasoning, and, to quote Stephen Colbert, "truthiness." But I don't believe in countering ad hominem attacks with more ad hominem attacks. Frankly, name-calling and lying are the debate tactics used by the right. We on the left don't need to employ such tactics, because we have truth on our side,

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bradley,

Alas, its fair to say, I think, that members of the left wing also make ad hominem attacks. Just surf the web and you'll find entertaining, but demeaning sites that poke fun at Rush et al.

I think both sides are guilty of gutter talk. I know some dyed in the wool Dems who can't speak nicely about ANY Republicans, which I think is just as pig-headed as the counterparts on the other side. But the Republicans are better at the smear stuff, much better.

Just turn on your radio or TV for evidence... on any day and anyplace in the U.S.

So, I'm much more comfortable supporting the messy Democratic party than what's become of the Republican Party. In straining to support an incompetant man who was groomed by the powerful to be President, they've painted themselves into the extremist corner. While there are some brave Republicans (Senators Hagel, Graham, and McCain, come to mind) most of the rest are just players. So many just don't give a damn about the majority of Americans. Talk about unpatriotic!

Any party that can find 9 senators who support torture, prevent ethics investigations of a slimely House leader, support all sorts of negative advertising (Swift boats, anyone), or make excuses for the bad behavior of Coulter, O'Reilly, Liddy, Boortz, Limbaugh, O'Hannity, The Very Reverend Robertson, Hyman, etc., etc., is not a party worth joining.

It's time for real leaders, whether elected or in journalism, or with any influence to stand up and say: For the good of the people, stop your trashing of Americans. Our country needs to stop this crap and start solving real problems that aren't going away: The buying of Congress by lobbyists, our insane "health care system", our energy insecurity, etc., etc.

Where are the country's real leaders?

 

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