Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

04.08 'The perfect storm': hydrogen gains ground on LNG as alternative fuel [Good!]

04.08 Himalayan glaciers on the eve of destruction

04.08 Russia moves to free nearly 100 captive whales after outcry [Good!]

News Media Matters

04.12 DOJ Charging Docs: Julian Assange Committed Journalism

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

04.16 How Progressives Can Fix the Progressive Income Tax

04.16 Why the US Elected a Despot, and Why It's Poised To Do It Again

04.16 'This Is a Big Deal': Warren Vows to Ban New Leases for Fossil Fuel Drilling Offshore and on Public Lands

04.15 'We're not a dump' – poor Alabama towns struggle under the stench of toxic landfills

04.15 Bernie Sanders Accuses Liberal Think Tank of Smearing Progressive Candidates

04.14 Cummings moves to subpoena Trump financial records

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.14 Progressives Urge Democratic Leaders to Fight Back Against '200 MPH Right-Wing War Machine' Targeting Ilhan Omar

04.14 Why Conservative Attacks on an Out-of-Context Ilhan Omar Quote Are Dangerous

Justice Matters
High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

04.12 Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Rest [4:30 video]

04.09 Neoliberalism promised freedom – instead it delivers stifling control [Walmartization]

04.09 Wall Street loves socialism for bankers – but not for ordinary people

International & Futurism

04.16 Our Zero Emission Future [Be smart or life dies]

04.16 'The Time for Excuses Is Over': Extinction Rebellion Protests Shut Down European Cities

04.16 The Trump-Netanyahu Alliance

04.15 The Guardian view on Extinction Rebellion: one small step

04.15 Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse

04.15 Thousands join Extinction Rebellion protests across London

04.15 Fear and despair engulf refugees in Libya's 'market of human beings' [EU policy should more directly minimize factors creating immigration. Essential infrastructure projects and jobs are desperately needed for villages in poverty, most especially including renewable energy, clean water and waste managment.]

04.14 World leaders ignore David Attenborough at their peril

04.14 The Guardian view on Assange and extradition: say no to the US

04.14 Finland election: voters may pick first leftist prime minister in two decades

04.14 Rape and abuse: the price of a job in Spain’s strawberry industry?

04.14 What does the rest of Europe think about our Brexit shambles?

04.14 Brexit: Corbyn told to back new EU referendum or lose millions of supporters

04.14 Progressive Leaders Condemn Netanyahu's Vow to Annex West Bank as Unlawful 'Moral Catastrophe'

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Where Is the Afghanistan Debate?
Newspaper logo

ACTION ALERT:

Where Is the Afghanistan Debate?

When public support slips, TV packs in war boosters

SOURCE: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
25 August 2009

ACTION: Encourage the Sunday morning shows to acknowledge the public's views on Afghanistan by including peace advocates and other critics of the escalation of the war as guests on their programs.

With new polls showing the American public becoming increasingly critical of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, the Sunday morning network talkshows turned primarily to Pentagon officials and war boosters to discuss the issue, continuing the media marginalization of critics of the escalation of the war (Extra!, 4/09).

The most recent ABC/Washington Post poll (8/13-17/09) found that 51 percent of respondents believe the war is not worth fighting--the first time that position has received majority support. Just 24 percent supported sending more troops to Afghanistan, while 45 percent think the level of troops should be decreased.

As the New York Times reported (8/24/09): "The White House has been concerned about declining support for the war among the American public. After recent polls illustrating the decline, [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman] Admiral [Mike] Mullen and Karl W. Eikenberry, a retired general who is the ambassador to Afghanistan, went on Sunday talkshows to discuss the direction of the mission." Indeed, this pair of officials appeared the same morning (8/23/09) on both NBC's Meet the Press and CNN's State of the Union.

State of the Union host John King also presented "three U.S. senators from across the ideological spectrum [to] debate whether to send more troops to Afghanistan." The views expressed by Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, independent Joe Lieberman and Democrat Benjamin Cardin, though, could hardly be considered a debate: Lugar said that "everyone waits for General McChrystal to give, really, the outline of where we're headed, how many troops or whatever else is going to be required" while Cardin declared that "we need to make sure that Afghanistan and, quite frankly, the border with Pakistan is not a safe haven for terrorists," and "we now need to know what do we need to do as far as resources to accomplish that mission."

Lieberman, declaring that "we can't let the Taliban come back," suggested that the U.S. "give our troops and our civilians there...the support that they need as quickly as we can get it to them." ("Don't dribble it out, don't go for incrementalism," Lieberman warned.) Lugar concluded the segment by predicting that the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan would last "many, many years beyond" President Barack Obama's current term.

On ABC's This Week, Sen. John McCain gave his appraisal of Obama's conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (As the ABC web headline put it, "McCain: Obama Doing What I Would Do on Battlefields.") Host George Stephanopoulos asked McCain about the public's attitude towards the war: "The majority now say that it's not worth fighting. Two to one, they don't want more troops. The clock is ticking both with the public and Congress. You say 12 to 18 months. What do we need to see in 12 to 18 months to make sure the public and the Congress stay behind this war?" Note that the issue for the host is shaping public opinion to conform to the policy, rather than asking whether the policy should change in response to public opinion.

On the show's roundtable, conservative columnist George Will was the most forceful critic of the war (saying, "I think the American people are right about this"), while liberals Paul Krugman and Robert Reich downplayed both the political significance of the war and the importance of recent polls; Krugman said that he would like to ask Americans who are surveyed to find Afghanistan on a map.

CBS's Face the Nation did not feature a discussion of Afghanistan this week. Last week (8/16/09), the program featured former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton, neither of whom seemed to have a strong opinion about the war.

It makes sense that government officials would try to reverse the trend of declining public support for the war by going on TV. But why are the networks allowing themselves to be used this way? Why is the corporate media response to rising dissatisfaction with the Afghanistan War not an effort to include that point of view in the discussion, but to bring on more officials to explain to the public why their opinions are wrong?

ACTION:
Encourage the Sunday morning shows to acknowledge the public's views on Afghanistan by including peace advocates and other critics of the escalation of the war as guests on their programs.

CONTACT:

NBC's Meet the Press
Email: meetthepressquestions@nbcuni.com
Webform: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6872152/ns/meet_the_press/

ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous
Email: thisweek@abc.com

CNN's State of the Union
Email: StateoftheUnion@CNN.com

CBS's Face the Nation
Email: ftn@cbsnews.com

Please post copies of your letters in the comments section on the FAIR Blog.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.


Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on August 25, 2009.

 

Public Service Ads: