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March 22, 2006

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An 'opposition media'? Led by Ben Domenech? Can we agree that the media is supposed to be at least adversarial? Or is Judy Miller-style cheerleading (for any position) in lieu of actual reporting desirable? And somehow this 'opposition media' is more powerful than an opposition Congress?

Alternatively, he could try actually doing something positive instead of giving us daily verbal bouquets.

Gosh, I actually agree with you on most of these.

They are important and critical items.

In terms of Iran, I do believe we should be in direct communictaion with the government in Tehran, but not just for the reason you state. Rather, I think it is the only way to achieve soemthing positive in the region.

Of course, I am doubtful this administration can participate in meaningful talks, or be really sincere in tryign to achieve a positive result. And yes, that is my bias showing.

In terms of Bush speaking more, based upon his press conference yesterday, I question whether or not that woudl make any difference. It might if he actually answered questions and was open with the media and the American people.

I have difficulty agreeign with your statement about the "opposition media." I would liek to see some examples of that.

Asking questions which demand an answer or request clarification, or look for accountability is not opposition per se. And in fact, up until recently, it was probably more approrpiate to say that Bush had the friendliest media a President has had for a long time.

One more thing.

In regards to Afghanistan you say we have too much invested to let a conviction stand.

First of all, part of the problem may well be we didn't invest enough, aminly because of Iraq.

And secondly, just what do you think we are supposed to do about it. Overthrow the current government?

Good stuff.

Re Mississippi, I read some where that it's getting a very politicized share of reconstruction funds wrt Louisiana. Competent handling of the situation there might go on your list.

I'm not sure the press conference business is good advice, from Bush's point of view.

The guy just isn't good at answering spontaneous questions, and I don't think he's suddenly going to get good. Sure, the lack of press conferences hurts him, but it may be the lesser of evils.

Actually, I can't find much to really argue about in CB's latest: but I too was wondering just exactly what the US can do wrt internal social issues like the hapless Afghan convert. It seems the height of folly to assume that just because the Taliban government was ousted, age-old rigid social attitudes about religion would change overnight (or even over years)? As far are the Afghans are concerned, why should they? There were reasons why extremist Islamism was able to grab control of Afghanistan after all.

And of course, the inevitable Birdism tossed in towards the end: "opposition media"?. So, Charles: do you think that the media's job is merely to parrot the Adminstration's talking points? Or is the reflex to drop a right-wing shibboleth in every post just too hard to resist?


So they best we can hope for is that instead of being put to death, Muslims who convert to Christianity can be put into mental hospitals? I suppose it is less "embarrassing" that way.

I would like to find some of this opposition media Charles is worried about.

but I too was wondering just exactly what the US can do wrt internal social issues like the hapless Afghan convert.

Invade, and establish a free, peaceful, non-theocratic representative republic?

Actually, the "opposition media" statement is rather mild by CB standards.

But I guess we have to look for something.

And of course, it would be interesting for CB to provide evidence of it (more than one or two references to specific articles) and, as Jay C requests, a definition of what would be an appropriate media.

I agree with john miller and Jay C.'s comments on both the good and the bad in Charles's post.

An 'opposition media'? Led by Ben Domenech?

Add a conservative blogger to balance liberals Milbank and Froomkin, and all hell breaks loose. When only 7% of the national press are self-described conservatives, and considering the countless examples of bias, "opposition media" seemed fairly obvious to me.

Actually, if I had to pick something to quarrel with (just to uphold tradition and all that), it would be some pivotal tests that aren't mentioned. The deficit: it will harm us for generations, and it also greatly diminishes our freedom of action with respect to China. Energy independence: ditto Saudi Arabia. Global warming: massive problem; now's the time to act; instead, Bush wants "more certainty" in the science. Homeland security: most of the work we needed to do after 9/11 is still undone. North Korea: just because we ignore it doesn't mean it's going away.

Lots of pivotal tests around. Precious little action.

Both Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate the limits of what it is reasonable to expect in terms of how fast a society can change. Both the neocons and a big chunk of the left seem unwilling to face up to the fact that culture is a critical element of liberal democracy, and cultural change has to go hand in hand with political change. Once there are elected leaders in place the best the rest of the world can do is speak out against abuses, lead by example, and provide openings for the more liberal elements within the society to make themselves heard.

This applies to Venezuela as well, incidentally - If the administration doesn't like Chavez the only options they have are to either suck it up and deal or to act in direct opposition to the ideals they proclaim. You can't have democracy and negate the will of the voters when it's convenient - that's naked imperialism with a G-string.

The upshot is that the US is up the creek if Afghanistan ignores international pressure and executes Mr. Rahman. They'd be massively stupid to do so (not to mention evil), but short of reducing the country to colony status we don't have a lot of options. Needless to say, maintaining an occupying force in Afghanistan against the wishes of the people would be a mistake.

CB,

Ok, the Ben Domenech bit was needless snark on my part. But if the 'opposition' of the media is so obvious, would it kill you to provide an example? And the impression that you find the opposition media a bigger stumbling block than you would an opposition Congress is inescapable, and frankly bizarre.

I should add (and should have added in my original response) that I agree with your identification of other 'pivotal' items, especially re: Maye, though I probably would disagree voiciferously as to the proper steps to take for satisfactory outcomes.

Mr. Bird seems to be under the impression that these "pivotal tests" can be met by this Administration. Just look at Iran. This Administration is never, ever going to negotiate directly with Iran (one of the charter members of the "Axis of Evil," as I recall).

If Bush and his team decide it's time to bomb Iran, they'll do it. They won't be held hostage to world opinion -- they've told us so repeatedly.

Afghanistan
I agree with you on the importance of that case.

John,
the media and political parties in Germany for example are pretty upset about that case. There were/are suggestions about recalling our troops, freezing development aid, sanctions, pressuring Karzai in case of a death penalty.

Iraq
A "non-theocratic representative republic"?
Correct me if I´m wrong but didn´t most Iraqis vote along sectarian lines? And especially NOT voting for secular parties? At least among the Shiites, the 60% majority in Iraq? I think the absolute best result might be an Islamic republic "light". With an opt-out clause for some regions.
And a pretty weak federal government probably.
Assuming that a civil war can be avoided.

Iran
I am worried about Iran. And hoping for the best.

But I´m puzzled by your self-assurance about the point "where we must decide to strike or not to strike".
Sure, air strikes and cruise missiles are possible. I have no doubt that the US armed forces can attack their targets. But "you" have got a huge amount of American soldiers right across the Iranian border in Iraq. Remember?
You´re ready to see them attacked by at least some Iraqi Shiite groups and/or infiltrated Iranian revolutionary guards?
In addition to the Sunni insurgence right now?

The Bush Presidency
More press conferences?
Well, your President Bush doesn´t seem to deal well with spontaneous questions as Bernard said. Just look at the last years.
Remember that Irish journalist who was requested to submit her questions three days before the actual interview?
Or, when Bush visited Germany, initially there was a meeting planned. President Bush meeting some German youths IIRC. That meeting was cancelled when the German side declined to have that meeting "planned" before. "Planning" here involved who could participate and deciding on the eventual questions asked.

And that Dick Morris article...
Well, I´m a European but I do think there is a "tiny" difference between Bush and Clinton.

One case was about sex between consenting adults. A blow job. IMO a case for husband and wife to discuss and decide. A case for a wife to raise hell! :)

The other case is a war.
(Not Afghanistan by the way. Even we wimpy Europeans supported that war. :) Iraq though was a different case at that time.)
You know, an event actually killing thousands, ten thousands of people. Not to mention costing hundreds of billions of dollars so far.
And maybe resulting in an Iraqi Islamic republic allied with Iran.
And a war which did nothing to catch/arrest/kill Osama Bin Laden. Maybe even a war which allowed Bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora? You know, the guy that actually did plan the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

So maybe this "good man" President Bush should have some more explaining to do. I mean there is a slight difference between a blow job and a war, you know.
And should I even mention that post-war planning for Iraq seemed to be totally ignored by the current American administration?
""This is worse than a crime, it's a blunder" (Talleyrand)

Not to mention that comparing GDP growth during the Clinton and Bush presidency seems to be slightly off the mark.

http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2006/03/snow-on-income-inequality.html

According to the WSJ article cited there:

"...Other data suggest the typical family has seen little advance in income or net worth since Mr. Bush took office. Census Bureau data show median family income -- half of families have income greater than the median, half have less -- fell 3.6% from 2000 through 2004. Incomes for the poorest families fell even further. The only group to gain was the family at the 95th percentile -- that is, richer than 95% of all families.

...As for net worth, a triennial Federal Reserve survey found that the net worth of the median family rose 1.5%, after inflation, from 2001 through 2004. That is far less than the 17% increase from 1995 to 1998 and the 10% increase from 1998 to 2001."

Left one out:

Charles: As Iraq sinks further into the mire and Bush's incompetence becomes undeniable, will Charles face the facts about the bankruptcy of the Republican Party?

Changing gears, Rilkefan writes: Re Mississippi, I read some where that it's getting a very politicized share of reconstruction funds wrt Louisiana. Competent handling of the situation there might go on your list.

This is doubtless the opinion of many in Louisiana, but do not underestimate the destruction of the Miss. Gulf Coast. *We* got the *bad* part of Katrina, folks. Everyone I've talked to who's been down there is just appalled. And 7 mos. later, it's *still* appalling.

When only 7% of the national press are self-described conservatives, and considering the countless examples of bias, "opposition media" seemed fairly obvious to me.

For the record, only 34% of the national press is self-described liberal. That's still more than conservatices by a good margin, but clearly both liberals and conservatives in the press are secondary to the solid majority of middle-of-the-road reporters.

Perhaps that group's dominance explains why lefties think the media is conservative, and righties think it's liberal.

"More press conferences?
Well, your President Bush doesn´t seem to deal well with spontaneous questions as Bernard said. Just look at the last years."

Looking at yesterday is probably more relevant. The Washington Post approved for what it's worth. Ditto of his other recent events with unscreened audiences.

Looking instead at what he did in years past suggests that either the past is more relevant than the present, or that someone isn't keeping up to date.

Yes, of course journalists' stories directly reflect their personal political beliefs. Journalistic ethics, facts, and the opinions of their bosses and corporate owners have no effect.

I suppose since much of that is true at Fox News (except for the last part, which isn't relevant if there's no disagreement), conservatives assume it's true everywhere.

President Bill Clinton kept his job rating over 60 percent through all the days of Monica and impeachment. It had nothing to do with a good economy;

In addition to Detlef's comments - could it possibly have something to do with Clinton being, well, slightly more eloquent than Bush?

Clinton went out and spoke to people because he liked speaking to people. If Bush doesn't want to go out and engage the American people (which would be apparent from his previous behaviour), dragging him out in front of them isn't suddenly going to have the same effect.

Just as the three previous elections were pivotal moments in Iraqi (and American) history, so is the formation of its new government.

So what has actually changed on the ground, in Iraq, as a result of these pivotal moments? Insurgent activity is steadily rising, according to the Brookings index. Deaths of US servicemen have been lower recently, but not beyond what could be accounted for as random fluctuation.

If 4 pivotal moments pass without clear signs of an resulting change in the livelihood of Iraqis, one starts wondering if these moments are actually pivotal. It would be nice to see some effort to back up such claims with some form of quantiative analysis.


Gary wrote about W's press conference
Looking at yesterday is probably more relevant. The Washington Post approved here for what it's worth. Ditto of his other recent events with unscreened audiences.

Kinda whiplash inducing to read this from the same paper and compare it to the link Gary gave. And just to be clear, this isn't Gary's fault, in case anyone thinks that I am saying that.

Charles Bird wrote:

Add a conservative blogger to balance liberals Milbank and Froomkin, and all hell breaks loose. When only 7% of the national press are self-described conservatives, and considering the countless examples of bias, "opposition media" seemed fairly obvious to me.

Since I´m not living in the USA I can´t really comment on the real or supposed biased view of the American media.
I can only judge the Internet presence of American media and CNN International (Europe) which I can watch.

Seen from that - admittedly limited - view I just don´t see the "opposition media". Sure, I can read some critical press articles but considering the last 5 years the American media seemed to be pretty "tame".

The only real "opposition media" I could detect on the Internet was "The Daily Show". :)
So did I miss something?

Not to mention that I don´t quite understand what "conservative media" is supposed to mean?

Obviously it can´t mean smaller government or balanced budgets? Nor a healthy respect for the "good things of the past"? Like respect for the rule of laws?

I´m somewhat "conservative" myself (of course being a German conservative that probably makes me a "liberal" or "socialist" in the USA.). But everytime a democratic government/executive decides that it should be the only judge on who is an enemy of the state without judicial overview I´m hearing alarm bells. Blame it on German history. :)

So tell me how do you define "conservative media"?

UAE Saudi considering to move reserves out of dollar

Are today's Arab day-traders tomorrow's al Qaeda terrorists

Welcome to the Second World

File under Bush administration fiscal/monetary policy has foreign policy and National Security implications, specifically tax cuts during war time coupled with high oil prices means the Saudis and OPEC now own us. Example:Dubai port deal. So another pivotal test in the GWoT is whether the tax cuts are extended.

I wish I could think of the right analogy, but each successful event in post-Saddam Iraq is merely one step forward to a free, peaceful, non-theocratic representative republic. If such event fails, or fails to happen, then we move six steps backward.

So the USA is, what, eighty-two steps behind from where it started?

Gary Farber wrote:

Looking at yesterday is probably more relevant. The Washington Post approved for what it's worth. Ditto of his other recent events with unscreened audiences.

Looking instead at what he did in years past suggests that either the past is more relevant than the present, or that someone isn't keeping up to date.

I admit I don´t know how many "events with unscreened audiences" President Bush did in the last few days/weeks.

Might I also admit that I´m suspicious of "how many recent events" allowed totally spontaneous questions?

I might be totally wrong. I admit it!
But looking at what this administration "did in years past", I have a hard time believing that they´re now allowing free and spontaneous questions at every event?

It didn´t happen during a time when they had overwhelming public support in the USA. Instead they did their best to exclude anyone who might disagree.

And now they´re including opponent voices?
As I said, I can´t watch American media directly.

I´m living in Germany.
A person who did or say something "in years past" is judged on the acts he did "in years past". Past actions are normally a reliable judge on how that person will act in the future. If you were stupid and incompentent in the past - (no post-war plan for Iraq) and unable to ever remember one error - you are probably the wrong person to lead my government.

A single press conference or even a WaPo editorial won´t be enough to change my mind, I´m sorry to say.

I have been reading The Cunning Realist for just long enough for me to start wondering whose intelligence agency someone is using when they start harping about the imminent nuclear threat in Iran. I was originally just going to ask Mr. Bird if he had seen the CIA estimate and leave it at that.

However, when I clicked on the post he linked to about what to do with Iran, I noticed that in an update he directly mentioned the CIA estimate and then let it drop as though it were somehow less important than all the other questions he was asking, instead of being the question whose answer makes all the others relevant.

So with that in mind, I have to wonder why anyone would believe we were serious about Iran given that this administration talks like they could have nukes any second now and that we might have to invade because they are just a step away. I also have to wonder why I should take seriously anyone who behaves in the same manner, especially when they note the decade timeline in passing as though it were a rather unfortunate irrelevancy.

Oh, by all means, more press conferences... So the President can haul out more of the same, tired, bald-faced lies to confirm the public's increasing sense that something's very wrong here:

1. I also saw a threat in Iraq. 2. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. 3. That's why I went to the Security Council; [that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences ... and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world.] 4. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then 5. I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and 6. the world is safer for it.

For convenience, I've numbered the lies and bracketed the arguably true bit.

Maybe Gary, with his customary molecule-level attention to detail, is differentiating between WH Press Conferences at which Bush puts in any appearance at all, and "town hall"-style meetings.

At town hall meetings, attendance is by invitation only, and attendees must sign loyalty oaths, submit their T-Shirts and car bumper stickers for political inspection, and are only allowed to ask question which begin with "I thank God every day that you're the President."

The unscripted press conference yesterday was the first since - forever, I think. The only other time in recent memory Bush appeared before the WH Press Corp was when he wore that Amazing Flourescing Necktie, and he didn't take any questions, but vanished right afterwards. Considering the questions he was asked yesterday, and the quality of his answers, I don't think we're going to see any more unscripted encounters with the full WH Press Corps. Maybe future press conferences will be exclusively covered by the Washington Times, Fox News, and Les Kinsolver - plus whichever RW pundit is on the payroll that week.

BTW, the growing economy under Clinton was a real growth economy, in that it was providing livable-wage jobs to more and more people. The "growing GDP" under Bush is no such thing: his job creation numbers only look good if you ignore the job-loss numbers, and the jobs which are being created pay an average of $9K less than the jobs they're replacing. People might not understand economic theory, but they do understand having to work two jobs instead of one, esp. when they're still not making as much as they made with the one job they lost.

And just trotting Bush out more often for photo-ops and prepackaged speeches - another one of Dick Morris' lame ideas - won't do much good. Another difference between Bush and Clinton is that when Clinton spoke, you knew he knew what he was talking about. He was able to answer questions without repeating prefab talking points, didn't act like an unstringed Chatty Cathy when someone asked him a follow-up question, and didn't issue a fog of malapropist non-sequitors that make the Oracle of Delphi sound coherent in comparison.

The more Bush talks, the less people believe him, because when Bush speaks, it's clear that the Clue Train left the station before he even got there.

"Maybe Gary, with his customary molecule-level attention to detail, is differentiating between WH Press Conferences at which Bush puts in any appearance at all, and "town hall"-style meetings."

No, I'm differentiating between what the White House has been doing in recent weeks and in the past; they've put him in front of the random public, who are free to ask questions, of late, as well. It's perfectly clear and obvious that they've decided that with his numbers in the toilet, and the elections past, that they can only go up from this point (this may be wrong, but it's obviously the notion they're currently working with).

I don't offer this as any sort of defense of Bush, but as an observation on facts of what's been going on of late.

I should say just say for the record that I think this is a pretty good post, with the inflammatory bits quite small, so good on ya for that, Charles. I have one quibble, which is that if these are pivotal tests, who precisely is termed to pass or fail? With some, I think it is pretty obvious, Corey Maye being a pivotal test for the Mississippi Justice system, but with something like Abdul Rahman, who is actually taking the test, Afghanistan or our efforts to set up a true democracy in the region?

I also can't help thinking that if this happened in a country we hadn't invaded, Chas might not think that declaring Rahman unfit to stand trial is a take what you can get option. In fact, a year ago Chas touted Center for Religious Freedom, whose mission is "to defend against "religious persecution of all groups throughout the world. It insists that U.S. foreign policy defend Christians and Jews, Muslim dissidents and minorities, and other religious minorities in countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran and Sudan." This is not to play 'gotcha', but to simply note that Charles' opinions have seem to softened a bit, which I think is a good thing.

but if that's what it takes to get out of an embarrassing situation, so be it.

I understand, and agree with the sentiment, really I do.* These kinds of things are really slippery slopes however. We don't know what the unintended consequences would be from US agreement that a Muslim who converts must be crazy. I can imagine, though, a few steps further down that road going to a Very Bad Place.


* I have a friend who was a Presbyterian missionary in Iran in the 60s. He's been under a fatwa of death for more than 25 years now.

"If not, those terrorists, rejectionists and others agitating for civil war may just get one."

Are you including Irving Kristol and his ilk in that, Charles? They've recently been arguing that a civil war aint so bad, at least compared with an anti-American Iraqi government (as any democratically elected one is certain to be).

Since I´m not living in the USA I can´t really comment on the real or supposed biased view of the American media.

As a fellow European I don't know from own experience either. I only watch CNN directly, but find them on the whole shallow and not well-informed. From what I read they are perceived as leftish, which amazes me. And I read Harpers, but that is not part of the mainstream media AFAIK.

I do always take account of the fact that press freedom has declined in the US.

I also think that there is more "big money" in the States, and that it has more influence than we (at least we Dutch) are used to - also because people and organisations are less certain about their near-future income. But I'm aware that the latter is my own feeling, not an established fact.

About the pivotal points Charles mentioned: I am not to worried about Iran. I think they were heading in a more liberal democratic direction before the invasion of Iraq, but I don't think they want a war. Pakistan having nukes, and North-Korea (in desperate need of many things, which makes them vulnerable for "monetary rewarding activities") are more dangerous IMHO.

Afghanistan: should have been done properly. First important pivotal point was when the US left the country in chaos and didn't follow through. We (Dutch) will have new troops in Uruzgan, but one of our conditions was the replacement of the corrupt governour of the area. He has now been replaced - by a former member of the Taliban government...
Afghanistan is not lost yet, but getting increasingly difficult.

Iraq: Total failure on almost every point. When even in Halabja thousands of Kurds demonstrate against the government...

The Bush presidency: You can repeat over and over again that you are not interested in what the world thinks. But if your president is viewed as an incompetent person by almost every known country in the world it should make you scratch your head and think twice before voting for him. He had been as bad in his first period so everybody who voted for him knew what they'd get.

"I only watch CNN directly, but find them on the whole shallow and not well-informed."

CNN and CNN International are different channels, you know. But maybe you have a satellite dish.

"And I read Harpers, but that is not part of the mainstream media AFAIK."

Harper's Magazine? Of course it is; it's a major American glossy magazine on newsstands and in waiting rooms across the nation, and has been for about 150 years.

"When even in Halabja thousands of Kurds demonstrate against the government..."

Specifically, against the two Kurdish parties that run Iraqi Kurdistan, which is in essence a separate country, and has been for decades, though not technically so, of course.

Harper's Magazine? Of course it is (mainstream media)

Just out of curiosity, Gary, what precisely is your definition of MSM?

"Just out of curiosity, Gary, what precisely is your definition of MSM?"

Well, I don't tend to use the term, but I'd generally hold any newspaper or magazine with major circulation and distribution to be part of it.

Being part of the mainstream political discourse, as in, articles published in an example of it (or discussed on a tv or radio program/station/channel that is "mainstream") that tend to be picked up by such authenticators as NY Times/Washington Post/CNN/network news Sunday morning interview programs, is another validator/indicator, I'd think. It's all a bit circular, of course.

I'd generally hold any newspaper or magazine with major circulation and distribution to be part of it.

Well, I'm not so sure about that definition, because wouldn't Cosmo, People, Redbook and National Geographic fit in there? (though I have never seen Cosmo in a waiting room, but I might not be going to the kind of doctors that deal with the Cosmo crowd) Obviously, there is no set definition, but MSM seems to me to be entities that report the news, and, by reporting, are able to shape it on a regular basis. It is the ability to pick up, not the ability to be picked up and would rule out a large swath of glossy magazines like Harper's and even the New Yorker, which does not shape perceptions on a regular basis. By that standard, don't you think Dutch has a point?

"Well, I'm not so sure about that definition, because wouldn't Cosmo, People, Redbook and National Geographic fit in there?"

Absolutely; they're certainly media, and mainstream media. They're not publications primarily about political news, but that's another question. They're definitely not little-read, or "alternative" in some way, or advocates of fringe politics.

"but MSM seems to me to be entities that report the news."

I don't see that as in either "media" or "mainstream," but, as I said, it's not a term I make much use of, myself. I do see some usefulness in distinguishing between that which is in the mainstream of U.S. media, and that which is not, at times, to be sure, speaking as someone who grew up writing for media that was not mainstream (science fiction fanzines and "amateur press associations").

"It is the ability to pick up, not the ability to be picked up and would rule out a large swath of glossy magazines like Harper's and even the New Yorker, which does not shape perceptions on a regular basis. By that standard, don't you think Dutch has a point?"

Sorry, I should have further responded on this. Certainly both you and dutchmarbel are free to use the term as you wish. But I see items from the New Yorker and Harper's picked up by other news/political commentary magazines all the time. It has always been so, since the start of their publication, long before I was born. They've both always published major political/new commentary/reporting.

Gary Farber wrote:

CNN and CNN International are different channels, you know. But maybe you have a satellite dish.

And which is better? If that can be judged?
I´ve read (American left) opinions that CNN International is "better" than CNN USA. Since I can´t compare them...
I´m not that impressed with Blitzer for example. OTOH CNNi has a weekly "Daily Show" edition. :)

"And which is better? If that can be judged?"

Since I don't have cable tv, let alone a satellite dish, I'm hardly the right person to ask, I'm afraid.

I'm not the serious newswatcher that many around here are, but I watched CNNI when I lived in Hong Kong (up to two years ago) more than I've watched CNN since returning to the US. Partly it was the weakness of alternative news sources there, but partly it was just that CNNI seemed more _serious_ about news, whereas CNN strikes me as more frivolous, pandering to what they believe (perhaps correctly, alas) the American media market to want.

It seems that seeing the US CNN might not improve my judgment :)

Detlef: if you like the Daily Show you should download the real show. Much much better that the summary version at CNNi. I am a great fan :)

Gary: I have not read any in-depth research about what the MSM consists of, so it is purely my estimation. Before Harpers I read Foreign Policy and that seemed more MSM to me, but I might be wrong :)

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