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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell

    "An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible." ~ Unknown

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    Sunday, October 17, 2004

    You can't just read the headline

    Here's a great example of the subtle variety of media bias. Kofi Annan, the head of the UN, gave an interview to ITV. AP news writes up the story.

    The headline reads Annan: Iraq War Hasn't Made World Safer

    That's also what the top three paragraphs talk about, because to the AP this is the important part of the story. The AP can't be gotten for outright bias because they even mention in the fourth paragraph that Kofi Annan has called the invasion of Iraq "illegal" and then says that the eminently concerned Mr. Annan is duty bound to speak out on any and all things that go wrong with the upcoming elections in Iraq. One wonders if he did not mention planned UN scrutiny of US elections on purpose.

    And then, what some might find to be the more interesting statements of the interview come at the end. AP news thinks that Annan's opinion that the US acting to enforce 17 UN resolutions passed by the UN is 'illegal' is the lede, but doesn't want to get called for outright bias so puts the facts it would rather you didn't absorb down in the bottom(emphasis mine):

    Annan also dismissed any suggestion that France, Russia and China had been prepared to ease sanctions on Saddam Hussein's Iraq in return for oil contracts.

    Iraq tried to manipulate foreign governments by awarding contracts - and bribes - to foreign companies and political figures in countries that showed support for ending sanctions, in particular Russia, France and China, the final report by the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group said earlier this month.

    But Annan said it was "inconceivable" Saddam's activities could have influenced policy in the countries concerned.

    "I don't think the Russian or the French or the Chinese government would allow itself to be bought..." Annan said.

    "I think it's inconceivable. These are very serious and important governments. You are not dealing with banana republics."

    Oh really! Well that clears it all up for me, nothing more to see *here* obviously. But we had better look out for shenanigans by the US! They conduct 'illegal' wars and 'illegitimate' elections, you know. All that stuff about Oil-For-Food must be just some kind of clerical screw-up, or something. Or not. See the Duelfur report. See the UN oil-for-food debacle, in which Mr. Annan's own son is implicated as a chief conspirator.

    What the AP is subtly(and I'm not even saying intentionally here, though the question certainly seems worth raising) obscuring is the fact that Kofi Annan and the UN are mostly a joke to anyone with the stomach to keep laughing at the tragedy of the whole thing. What I'm telling you is that this is news written in a way to favor John Kerry's election to the presidency. John Kerry has already said that his first order of business is to going to be gaining back the respect of people like Mr. Annan and the French. I'm telling you that those are the kind of people you can be proud of having earned their scorn.

    posted by M@ at 11:31 AM   1 comments links to this post


    At 3:26 PM, Blogger The G-man said...

    John Kerry fits right in with people like Kofi Anan and Jacques Chirac!


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