"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Since When Was It The Job Of The Media To Reject OpEd Pieces From Elected Presidential Party Candidates?

The Sun Sentinal said this in Sunday's paper:
John McCain's "rejected" New York Times' piece.
"In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation "hard" but not "hopelsss." Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shite terrorists are reeling."

These are the words that open the recent opinion piece that The New York Times chose not to publish. Their reasoning, while holding some rationale given the monumental impact this war is having on our nation, in our opinion, does not justify the decision to withhold publication. It is better for the public to see and evaluate the candidate's words, logic and rationale for his position and make the appropriate judgement about the man.

Here is the full OpEd piece that the NYTimes rejected. Decide for yourself. Where do your values lie on freedom of expression and speech? Do you want the media deciding what you can or cannot read to make your own judgements? And if they are doing that are you truly making your own judgements? Hmmm

By John

In January 2007, when General David
took command in Iraq, he called the situation "hard" but not
"hopeless." Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to
the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling.
The situation is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate
our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number
of troops
and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge
at a
time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen.
Barack Obama
was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that
additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence
there," he
said on January 10, 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that "our troops have performed
brilliantly in lowering the level of violence." But he still denies that any
progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has
recently certified,
as one news article put it, "Iraq has met all but three of
18 original
benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political
economic progress." Even more heartening has been progress that's not
measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who
once fought against the government, have signed up to fight against the
terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's new-found
willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City —
that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Sen. Obama's determination to pull
out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New
York Times
column and a speech this month, he offered his "plan for
Iraq" in
advance of his first "fact finding" trip to that country in more
than three
years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our
troops out
within 16 months. In 2007, he wanted to withdraw because he
thought the war was

If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw
because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime
Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that
he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some
unspecified point in the future.

Sen. Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi
army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not,
as Sen. Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their
without a good deal of help. The Iraqi air force, for one, still
lags behind.
The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning,
logistics, command
and control, communications, and other complicated
functions needed to support
frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Sen. Obama charges. A partial
withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five "surge" brigades, and
more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw
down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as
Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I
expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term
in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic
assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted
for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Sen.

Sen. Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and
Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his "plan for Iraq."
Perhaps that's because he doesn't want to hear what they have to say. During the
course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what
Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad,
recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be "very dangerous."

The danger is that extremists supported by al-Qaida and Iran could stage a
comeback, as they have in the past when we've had too few troops in Iraq. Sen.
Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that
he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the
"Mission Accomplished" banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending
it. But if we don't win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists
would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as
president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency
strategy not only in Iraq but
also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating
stable, secure, self-sustaining
democratic allies.

Sen. McCain is the presumptive Republican presidential


Da Old Man said...

I've been noticing a lot of media bias in this campaign. Even more than usual.
Obama's speech in Germany, according to US papers, had a crowd of 200,000. According to German papers, there were 20,000.

That makes no sense.

Lauren said...

D.O.M.- can you post the links where you saw that?

Drowsey Monkey said...

Can't a newspaper reject whatever they want?

And didn't I just see an independent survey come out in the states that said the bias is actually toward Obama!?

HA! I bet I know what you're response will be!

Remember - when thinking/talking about politics ... just remember my Harry Belafonte post. Day O! Day-ay-ay-O! And it's all better :)

Lauren said...

Drowsey, I don't know about the policies and laws in Canada...so I am sure it coulors your response...haha, see how I spelled that?

Yes a paper can reject anything HOWEVER papers are supposed to be unbiased and report the news. To say that they won't allow the words of a presidential nominee to be in print because they/the paper doesn't like how the nominee wrote their own oped piece is extremely biases and THAT is the point.

It's the NYTimes job to print the OpEd piece not write it and not demand how it be written or what be said.

It's then their job to critique it after it's in print or side by side.

They showed bias. And oh Drowsey you know better than to tease and say you have seen nothing to show that the media is biased against McCain and for Obama...that you know is just fodder.

DAY OH! :-)

Drowsey Monkey said...

Thanks for typing in Canadian! LOL

Actually I did see a report about a review of the media. I don't remember all the details, just an interview with someone from the left and someone from the right, and the guy from the right said it wasn't unbiased they were left leaning, LOL. Actually ... they were all chuckling about it ... so it's like people are gonna believe what they want to ... regardless of reality. Regardless of whether they're left or right. Propaganda rules baby!

Lauren said...

Drowsey, What you're writing about is perception and what I am writing about is bias. Close but not the same. There are groups that monitor this stuff. And then you hear the reports. PLUS I have worked within the media and still have friends there and I can tell you there is a strong bias for Obama and they run their coverage vs lack of coverage that way. And it ISN'T their job to do so. There are standards, ethics and values they are supposed to uphold and are taught to uphold but they aren't and haven't for a long long time. It's just too damn obvious this time.

When you make a clear decision to cover every last moment and only report good things of one candidate and you don't cover diddly of the other it's biased. You know this...but you want to egg me on. That's ok, even really tired and sleepy I can handle this with ya ;-)

Da Old Man said...

This is some information. I know it's a blog, but what do you do when the media is biased?