Main Menu

Mainstream media

One of the major themes of my Internet writing (starting more than a decade before this Obama business) has been “who do you trust?”

I’ve seen the statistic published that 90% of the media in the United States is owned by a handful of very large companies. Bias in the media is no April Fool joke. The Obama denialists would have us believe that all of the MSN is lock-step behind Obama (a real laugh for anyone who has spent more than a few minutes watching the Fox News Channel).

So who do I trust?

First off, I don’t trust any single source nor anybody’s editorials. An editorial is no better than the argument it presents. I just go with the hard news and ignore the spin. If I want to look up a fact, I’ll hit CNN or the New York Times. I personally listen to National Public Radio in the car (and frankly so do most of the people I know, liberal and conservative). I don’t watch TV news at all.

I believe that most any major newspaper in the country will get the basic facts right–and certainly better than email rumors and blogs. I am somewhat of a specialist in the niche market of Obama conspiracies, and as such I do find small mistakes in some newspaper articles when someone gets sloppy, but I’ve never seen anything material that was wrong. Also when the real newspapers make mistakes, they print corrections (unlike some web sites).

So if you don’t trust the corporate monolith, try public radio and TV, non-profits like,  The Christian Science Monitor or the BBC. There’s plenty of good information out there from organizations with long track records. They have reputations to maintain, and they check their facts. Trusted information sources are especially important for folks not clever enough to spot a con job when they see it. [Yes, birthers, I’m talking about you.]

40 Responses to Mainstream media

  1. avatar
    misha April 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    The Christian Science Monitor and the BBC are two of my favorite sources.

    Here’s my day of news:
    -google news, customized
    -BBC Americas page
    -everything else

    I do watch BBC World News, and 60 Minutes.

  2. avatar
    Expelliarmus April 2, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    When it comes to the birth certificate issue, its pretty simple. It has been now been confirmed by the Hawaii Dept of Health twice, in public statements, that their records show that Obama was born in Hawaii. Those public statements can be viewed or downloaded at the Hawaii Dept. of Health web site. Therefore its official. (One statement from the DOH is enough).

    So it really isn’t a matter of trusting “media”. Yes, its nice that I can also go to and look at a bunch of digital images of the birth certificate itself — but even if Obama had refused to release any documentation, the Hawaii Dept. of Health statement is enough. They are the agency charged with maintaining public records of births.

    One great benefit of the internet is that it allows direct access to so much information and documentation at its source. We don’t have to rely on the media; we can do our own fact-checking.

  3. avatar
    Dave April 2, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I wish I could share your assessment that newspapers usually get the facts right. Here are two large general areas of exception to this rule:

    1. Anything involving science, technology, law, or any other body of knowledge not known to most people. I’m a scientist, and I can rarely get through any article about a scientific subject without finding substantial factual errors.

    2. The habit of stating as facts things that are not facts. Example: you can’t find an AP story about the health care reform bill that doesn’t state as fact that the bill is unpopular. This statement is of course based on a questionable interpretation of polling data.

  4. avatar
    John April 2, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Investigation and Inquires into Dr. Fukino’s statements have shown her public statements not to credible.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 2, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Dave, I agree. When one wants reliable specialized information, one has to go to specialized publications.

  6. avatar
    YellowDog April 2, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    This is an example of #2 on the list of Birther Debate Tactics.
    Which investigation? Whose inquiries? We want names!

  7. avatar
    DickWhitman April 2, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Investigation and Inquires into Dr. Fukino’s statements have shown her public statements not to credible.

    Fukino mentioned examining Obama’s records and we’ve see an internet image of one of those records.

    What are the other records?

  8. avatar
    Black Lion April 2, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    It seems like our buddy the former Navy Court Martialed Let. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick is really going out on a limb….From the AGJ biased website….

    “(Apr. 1, 2010) – Retired Lt. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick III, a citizen of Monroe County, Tennessee, attempted to affect a legal citizen’s arrest this morning as the new 2010 Monroe County Grand Jury convened for the first time.”

    In return for his efforts to expose local corruption in the Monroe County justice system, Fitzpatrick himself was arrested this morning.

    As of my most recent query to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office moments before releasing this report, Sgt. Lynn states that Fitzpatrick is “passively resisting” processing, but is expected to be arraigned on the following four charges tomorrow morning:

    1. Disturbing a meeting by interrupting a Grand Jury while in session to arrest the jury Foreman Gary Pettway.

    2. Inciting a riot by gathering a reported five supporters to video the arrest attempt.

    3. Resisting arrest.

    4. Disorderly Conduct

  9. avatar
    BatGuano April 2, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    another thing to watch for in the dailies is the coverage of the housing market. real estate is the largest advertiser in newspapers. i’ve never seen a large market paper give false information ( or blatently distort a fact ) about home sales but………. ANY good news on prices/sales will receive a lot more focus and attention ( and better placement ) then bad news.

  10. avatar
    BatGuano April 2, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    if you’ve been court martialed can you refer to yourself as “retired” ?

  11. avatar
    Scott Brown April 2, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Yes, the H DOH have made public statements about the issue, but EXACTLY what did those statements say and what kind of authority does the person making the statement hold and do they have the authority to make the TYPE of statement they made.

    Anyone can say something, even a public office holder, but if they don’t have the authority to say it, then it doesn’t hold wanter. Additionally, if the statement was just double speak and didn’t REALLY say anything, then it was just someone flapping their jaw.

    I’m not saying the statements were one way or another – that is for the individual listened to decide. But at least, really listen and hear what was being said and not just take it at face value. Be an active listener and fully understand what the statement was really saying – or not saying for that matter.

  12. avatar
    Scott Brown April 2, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Exactly Dick – what are the other records she saw? How many birth certificates or COLB’s do you have?

    I just have one…so if someone wanted to examine my file to see if I am a NBC, they would only view ONE record, but Fukino says she viewed Obama’s record(s) – plural….just how many BC’s or COLB’s does the man have, or in addition to the BC or COLB, what other record did she need to examine to determine if he was a ‘natural-born American citizen’, but not a natural born citizen?

    More importantly, does Fukino possess the authority to issue such a finding? Or can she simply say that she has seen (whatever it is she saw, because she didn’t say she saw the exact COLB that has been posted or verified its veracity) his records.

  13. avatar
    Scientist April 2, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    So if the President comes out and wishes everyone a happy Easter, are you going to demand by what authority he knows it’s Easter? Hawaii has the records and they say he was born in Hawaii. They also say that Hawaii has palm trees. Do you doubt that too?

  14. avatar
    Scott Brown April 2, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I don’t consider myself a ‘birther’, ‘bifer’, or whatever the word of the day is…however, I also don’t rely solely on left leaning news providers for information.

    I watch CNN and FOX equally. If one is carrying news on something that the other isn’t, I find out why…that helps me in assessing the base of the news organization as a whole. I listen to NPR and a local station, probably the local station more, because I enjoy the local commentary from a guy who covers national politics pretty evenly with a local flavor.

    CNN leans left and FOX leans right – so I pretty much figure the truth is somewhere in the middle of both of them. NPR leans way left, so therefore, I listen but try to filter out the leftist crap.

    I discount most of what I read on blogs and take the rest of the Internet with a grain of salt. Most blogs are people voicing their OPINIONS and not facts – like this site. I read both pro and con Obama sites because I want to have a sense of what the public is thinking – but I certainly don’t utilize ANY of these blog sites for any real information….mostly just for amusement.

    Most of the commentary on this site leans way to the left and are closed minded. Their opinions are considered facts and that is that. In my opinion (which is NOT fact), more of the left are close minded than are their right leaning opposition. More left leaning commentary feel their opinion is fact as opposed to the right – however, both sides suffer from the same FACT disease. 🙂

  15. avatar
    G April 2, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Face it, you’re a birther.

    You’ve posted on here long enough to establish a clear pattern of uttering one birther talking point after another.

    You try to do it in a “concern trolling” manner, but that does not change the simple truth that you are clearly a birther.

  16. avatar
    richCares April 2, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    you left off the “Daily Show”, a good source of accurate news. As for satire, there’s the Onion plus Onion’s close competitor, WND.

  17. avatar
    richCares April 2, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    some lean left, some lean right, some fall down, that’s scott brown!

  18. avatar
    PaulG April 2, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    The important difference between CNN and NPR is the length of the stories. You can make a story seem credible for 20 seconds and then throw to commercial, it’s a lot harder in a ten minute piece. NPR throws out a clanger every now and then but usually you can tell. For example, take Rove’s gaff about having “THE math”. That was at the end of an extended to and fro with a lot of solid content and ended with him backed into a corner.

  19. avatar
    Lupin April 2, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Stephen Colbert described your idiocy to a T when he said that reality has a liberal bias.

  20. avatar
    YellowDog April 2, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Here, we have #3 on the list of Birther Tactics. It’s not enough that Fukino issued a statement; she now has to explain the statement, specifically, why she refers to “records.” Ooooh, that must signify a conspiracy (#4 on the list).

  21. avatar
    Greg April 2, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    If I look at a COLB and then check to see that there is not an amending document, or a contrary birth certificate, have I examined one document, or several documents?

    If I look at Barack Obama’s COLB, then at Barack’s Birth Certificate and confirm that the one matches the other, have I examined one or two documents?

    If I look at Barack Obama’s COLB and Birth Certificate, then at Barry O’Toole’s and Beatrice O’Quinley’s to confirm that no paperwork has slipped into another file, have I examined one or more than one documents?

    How can this not make sense to you guys? How are you this dumb?

  22. avatar
    Greg April 2, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    I don’t consider myself a birther’, bifer’, or whatever the word of the day is

    I don’t consider myself a flat-earther, but I just think that the media, when it presents the so-called evidence of a round earth, is exhibiting a bias. There is no court case telling us the earth is round. It looks flat to me!

    /End Scott-Mode

    Scott, I’ll look at any court case you have that says that a COLB is not sufficient to prove identity. I’ll look at any evidence you have from the past 100 years of anyone suggesting that a person born of one alien parent and one citizen parent, on US soil is not eligible for the presidency.

    I’ve looked, and I can’t find either.

    Have you, by contrast, looked at the dozens of articles that explain, quite clearly, that everyone born here is eligible for the Presidency?

    Close-minded? My butt!

  23. avatar
    nbc April 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    The statement said that Obama was born in Hawaii and a natural born person.


  24. avatar
    Lupin April 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    “How can this not make sense to you guys? How are you this dumb?”



  25. avatar
    Black Lion April 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Good question….These guys like to pretend that they are still in the military so that somehow their baseless accusations seem more plausible or carry additonal weight…

  26. avatar
    Lupin April 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    You can’t stand it that the President is a n***, can you? It just eats you up inside, doesn’t it?

    I mean, if you were the kind of nutcase who previously filed suits against Bush, Clinton, like Larry Klayman’s Judicial Watch, say, then at least you could claim you’re not a bigot.

  27. avatar
    BatGuano April 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    a few years back i did some work for a local television network affiliate. while i was in the studio i checked out the news set. during broadcast you can see people busily working away at computers behind the anchors ( presumably the reporting staff checking facts, following leads and etc ). on closer inspection all of the “computers” were empty monitor shells ( pre-flatscreen ) with a blue lightbulb rigged into the middle.

  28. avatar
    Kathryn N April 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Sounds similar to the Republican Party’s policymaking apparatus.

  29. avatar
    Mary Brown April 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Hello Scott,

    I am an Evangelical who belongs to and worships at a conservative church but who would be considered liberal or left wing politcally. I preface my remarks with this information because I interact regularly with both those on the far right and far left. I find both sides to be equally biased and equally determined to defeat the other. Neither side is willing to look at any ideas the other have to offer. In a sense, I am grateful for my experience and situation because it forces me to interact regularly with lots of people. I have been told by people on the left how surprised they are that I seem to be intelligent given my religious beliefs. I have been told by people on the right that all Obama voters are going to hell. If I were the President, I would not give those questioning my status anything. These questions arose because it was politically beneficial to present him as a stranger in our midst, as someone who is not one of us. As far as birth certificates go, my Transcript of Birth from New York has less information than his COLB. I can get a passport with it. I can run for President using it.

  30. avatar
    Mary Brown April 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    You are absolutely correct.

  31. avatar
    Black Lion April 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    And our friends at WND have attempted to prove the point on why we should not believe any editorial opinions written by that site…Their most recent stab at yellow journalism…Unbelievable…

    “In spite of all the mean, though true, things I say about Obama, I can’t help feeling sorry for him. After all, his Kenyan father deserted him when he was just a baby. Then, because that had worked out so well, Obama’s ditzy mother then married a Muslim and moved to Indonesia. Eventually, Obama and his mother were deserted by his stepfather, which led to Obama’s mother dumping 10-year-old Obama on his white grandparents in Hawaii. It was there that young Barack took up basketball, marijuana and cocaine, while seeking out radicals, revolutionaries and Communists as pals and mentors.

    The truth is, with that kind of dysfunctional background, Barack Obama could easily have turned out to be a serial killer. Still, one can’t help thinking that if only he had, today he’d probably be in prison, instead of the Oval Office, and none of us would have to worry about what awful thing he’s going to do next.”

    Can you imagine the outrage if someone had written such an article about Reagan or Bush? Wishing that they had grown up to be a serial killer? The talking heads would be on TV denouncing the commentary as disgusting. But since the target is Obama, all we will hear is silence. Amazing…

  32. avatar
    Hawaiiborn April 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    If I look at a COLB and then check to see that there is not an amending document, or a contrary birth certificate, have I examined one document, or several documents?
    If I look at Barack Obama’s COLB, then at Barack’s Birth Certificate and confirm that the one matches the other, have I examined one or two documents?
    If I look at Barack Obama’s COLB and Birth Certificate, then at Barry O’Toole’s and Beatrice O’Quinley’s to confirm that no paperwork has slipped into another file, have I examined one or more than one documents?
    How can this not make sense to you guys? How are you this dumb?

    very dumb since the H DOH keeps more than just birth records too; they keep medical records, vaccination/immunization records, whether or not you traveled to other countries that require a report of your vaccination and also when you come back from countries that have the potential to spread diseases.

    Seems that the birfers dont really realize just exactly how much records that any state department of health actually keeps.

  33. avatar
    Scientist April 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Let’s look at a difference I see between the left and the right. If you read the Constitution, there is no doubt that winning the Electoral College vote is every bit as much a requirement to hold the Presidency as being a natural born citizen over the age of 35. If that were not the case, then there would be about 150 million claimants to the office.

    Now in 2000, you had a disputed election. It’s not clear to this day who really won Florida and thus the election. Yet, almost everyone on the left accepted the fact that Bush was President and opposed him on policy grounds. Were there left-wing “electioner” sites calling him a usurper (which he would have been if he didn’t really win the election)? Not that I know of. Were there endless court cases? Did soldiers refuse deployment until they got a personal look at all the Florida ballots? Was there an Orly Taitz on the left? I think you know the answer.

  34. avatar
    The Sheriff's A Ni- April 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    The state of Hawaii was really saying that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen.

    50 states have accepted this statement. So has Congress. 64 plus court cases also have agreed.

    The sheriff’s still a ni-

  35. avatar
    Expelliarmus April 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Obviously, the Director of the Hawaii Dept. of Health does have the authority to make official statements as to matters within the jurisdiction of her department, which includes the maintenance of birth records.

    If you dispute that, you birthers need to be pursuing a quo warranto action against Fukino instead of Obama, because she clearly derives her authority by virtue of her office.

  36. avatar
    Rickey April 3, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Agreed, Dave. Most journalists also have little understanding of legal matters.

  37. avatar
    chufho April 3, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    you might be asking to much of some

  38. avatar
    misha April 3, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    And as always, we can count on chufho for his semi-literate comment.

  39. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 3, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Major news organizations have highly qualified legal consultants to guide their coverage, such as Jefrey Toobin at CNN.

  40. avatar
    kimba April 3, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    What a dumbass statement. No one would ever say ” I looked at your record.” Even if there was only one, a normal person would naturally say “We have reviewed his records.” We know without a doubt from the index data that the only Hawaiian vital record for Barack H Obama II is a birth record. It is hard to imagine, but you might actually be dumber than the real Scott Brown.
    Now, go put on your phoney barn coat and take a ride in that pickup truck you bought to haul your daughter’s horse trailer to rich-folk horsey events.