Friday, July 18, 2008

Our “unbiased” MSM in action (Updated - contains error)

Readers Alert: After I published the post below, a commenter suggested the claim ABC's Martha Radditz and the network suppressed news of 54 soldiers expressing a perference for Sen. McCain in the story referenced below was very likely bogus. The commenter linked to www.snopes.com.

I did follow-up fact-checking I should have done before publishing the claim.

Bottom line: I'm convinced the claim is bogus.

In a separate post I'll detail the evidence that effectively refutes the claim. I'll place a link to that post here later today. I'll also be sending an apology to Raddatz and ABC News.

Right now I just want to let you know where things stand and tell you I'm sorry for my error.

John
_____________________________________________________

From Mike Williams' latest electronic letter without further comment - - -

Martha Raddatz was in Iraq recently asking soldiers who they planned to vote for in November. According to ABC News, four said Obama and two said Clinton. Left out – the 54 who said McCain.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you check with the urban legends website www.snopes.com, the story as cited is disputed by the reporter (surprise!). Since numerous versions of the story have gone out over the internet, it looks like it may be bogus. To be scrupulously fair, I would put this story in the "uncorroborated" column. It's not like there isn't a ton of confirmed MSM bias stories out there.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

That is lying by omission. That is pure, unadulerated deceit. That makes me so angry. It is pathetic journalism and Martha should be hanging her haed in shame. How can you, in all good conscience, totally dismiss 54soldiers who are in harms way, fighting in America's name? Where is Kirsten Butler?

Archer05 said...

Re: It is illegal to poll the military about their voting choices.(Newsbusters)

I think this is the ABC news article, Raddatz knew the soldiers were not supposed to engage in this conversation, but she went ahead with her biased reporting.
----------------
Surprising Political Endorsements By U.S. Troops
American Soldiers Speak Out About Their Presidential Endorsements
By MARTHA RADDATZ
April 7, 2008

“Though the military is not supposed to engage in partisan political activity, these soldiers spoke out about their personal endorsements, and their opinions are likely to matter.”

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=4244798&page=1

Also: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2008/04/07/abc-finds-soldiers-iraq-backing-candidates-obama-clinton

Anonymous said...

TH: What I'd guess to be the original Raddatz report is here: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=4244798. Nobody she talked to supported McCain?

Mike Williams

JWM said...

To the first four commenters,

I plan to post tomorrow concerning the ABC report.

I thank each of you for your civil, on point comments.

John

Archer05 said...

Re: Snopes.com

Yes, for checking wacko urban legends. Not, however, for verifying reportage of current events.

Snope.com has its own little set of biasness in my opinion. I do not regard them as anything more than people writing what they researched as true, but what material did they select to research? Same-o, same-o opinions, just in a different package. Buyer Beware, still applies.
------------
Another view of Snopes:
Snopes.com has a liberal political agenda.

Rip-off! Internet
Although Snopes hasn't any political philosophy explicitly stated on the website, snopes' selectivity and analysis of political emails oozes with partisanship.

Religious emails don't fare much better and typically get a liberal hatchet job. In a nutshell, although snopes has to reluctantly admit that most of the conservative political and religious emails are “true" as far as snopes can determine, there is always a caveat, disclaimer, footnote, or lengthy oratory explaining why everything from crime statistics to reports from Iraq must be viewed and understood through snopes' lens.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/097/ripoff0097773.htm

Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't feel so bad. Given the state of the MSM and its lack of credibility, to assume bias is reasoned judgment.

I recently fell for a "lost tribe" story and felt stupid for not questioning it when I read it.

Like you, if I had written about it, I would have corrected and apologized for my mistake. So I understand your regret but it's not your fault the press has created the stiuation that bias is assumed. At least you acknowledge the mistake which is more than the press normally does.

Anonymous said...

John,

Everyone in the news business should be as willing to correct errors as you are.

Duke '85

Archer05 said...

John, Did you read RADDATZ’s article?

She did not say anything about McCain. She only spoke of Obama and Clinton.

Unless I missed something, your first post was correct. I do not regard Snopes.com as credible in all matters, they are just more of the same biased reporting, it’s just not everyone has figured that out yet.

Go to: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Story?id=4244798&page=1

Re-read the article, then [read the comments.]
Raddatz didn’t fool everyone!

Comment:
Rather than look at accuracy of the facts, snopes simply defends the editorial discretion of ABC and the reporter to follow their own purposes, which aren't to gives facts, but slants: "...As for what material actually made it into the finished segment, [the e-mail is largely true"] (referring to the soldier's account that 54 or 60 interviewed supported McCain); and the paragraph starting, "Whether this segment reveals some deliberate agenda on the part of ABC to mispresent..." makes a pitiful attempt to justify not revealing the results of the poll in favor of what was reported.

ABC is biased and is not in the NEWS business, but rather the political advocacy and culture-change business. As long as it is, I will continue to ignore it and not expose myself to its advertisers.

Anonymous said...

John -

Whatever the truth here, don't you find it odd that Raddatz managed to stumble across five of six voters in the military who will not vote for McCain?

Jack in Silver Spring

Archer05 said...

John, One more thing about Snopes, they usually cite the New York Times’ articles as their source of truthfulness. That seals the no-deal,for me. Shame on Snopes for their slanted information, more shame on bloggers that routinely use them to squelch a true story.

JWM said...

To Archer 05,

You've been so reliable but I led you wrong on this story, even putting aside what Snopes said.

I've had considerable contact with a number of people including Raddatz.

I'm working on a post now.

It should be up by 11 AM ET.

The McCain-54 story is bogus.

Yes, Raddatz's story has a pro-Obama tilt.

I'll talk about that in the post.

Best,

John

AMac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.