The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Who's the REAL Flip Flopper anyway?

The so called "mainstream" media just loves to typecast candidates . They have a definite bias to reporting stories [and only stories] that fall into the prevailing "story line". Once that story line is set, usually by the megaphone of right wing talk shows and opinion columns, the media becomes [as Jon Stewart of the Daily Show said] like 6 year olds playing soccer. “There is a ball in their somewhere”

Examples from the most recent presidential election include the smearing of the boy scout Al Gore into an mentally deranged pathological liar. This sort of thing usually happens, as I said, when the enormous right wing noise machine [print, radio, and television media] start to pound particular talking points set by the Republican National Committee or Right wing think tanks over and over again ad nausea. Then the "mainstream" media is forced to report on these “news” items because they are now “out there” in the public and being talked about. By commenting on them the mainstream media gives them a creditability that the ring wing media lacks.

Well, they are up to their old tricks again this time trying to turn one of the most consistent Senators in Congress into a "flip flopper". Even if this allegation were true isn't this like the pot calling the kettle black? Like the Bush Campaign attacks on Kerry's Military report. Won't this back fire?

Do they really want us to compare Kerry's voting record to Bush’s?
Well, let’s take a little look at the Flip-Flopper-in-Chief.

Here is a link to the Center for American Progresses article "Flip-Flopper-in-Chief"

Friday, August 13, 2004

NY TIMES liars can't figure!

As many of you already know, major newspapers have been screwing up a lot lately. The New York Times has recently apologized for printing false information about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Judith Miller was basically getting information directly from the White House and printing it like it was investigative reporting. Then Cheney came out and cited the New York Times article as proof of his allegations. Journalistic Incompetence or Right Wing Plotting?

Well, recently there was an article in the New York Times that, among other things, claimed that the situation in Iraq was getting better since the hand over of Authority. Specifically, it said that Causalities were going down. This is flat wrong!

Sam Seder, of the Air America Show Majority Report with Janeane Garofalo, knew it was too, and put out an impassioned plea to listeners to call the NY Times on this fraud. Many of us wrote in and after initially trying to pacify us with excuses and some massaging of the data, the Times has finally admitted that they screwed up [again].

My First Email To NY TIMES:
At 09:14 PM 7/23/2004, you wrote:

I get tired of newspapers making “mistakes” and saying “oops”... is this incompetence or intentional political agenda? I also get very tired of media bias and type casting. Gore was a “liar”, Kerry is a “flip flopper”. Why is Bush given a pass on SO many things? Why is it I am always reading about how Kerry and Edwards are millionaires and nothing about the Bush and Cheney millions? Please put more effort into investigating and demanding that your journalists dabble in fact checking and balance occasionally. Do we have to have hundreds of left wing think tanks just to hand feed you news to counterbalance journalistic laziness?

From Adam Nagourney in The New York Times: “...Mr Bush has other factors potentially in his favor, several Republicans said. The economy is showing signs of strengthening, though it remains an open question whether that is happening in time to change voter attitudes about how Mr. Bush is managing the economy. In Iraq, the transfer of sovereignty has led to some reduction in American casualties.

Really Adam? This time, he’s not only wrong, it’s numerical. According to the Department of Defense: Daily average number of American deaths in: June (the month before the transfer): 1.67 July (the month after the transfer): 2.19 This is what I am talking about: outright lies and disingenuous use of tone when lies aren’t tolerated. -Jon Easton

Their Dismissive Reply: From: Public []
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2004 12:44 AMTo: Jon and Krista Easton
Subject: Re: NY Times gets it wrong... again...

Dear Mr. Easton,

Several readers voiced similar concerns about the following sentence in the 7/21 article, "Bush Plans No Rest in Next Month; 2nd Term Agenda Near," by Adam Nagourney and Richard Stevenson.
{{they quote the same sentence I quoted above}}

We raised your concerns with Mr. Stevenson who noted that according to the Department of Defense's web site, for the month leading up to the transfer on June 28, there were 48 Americans killed in action in Iraq. During this period the rate of casualties was between 1.5-1.6 deaths a day (48 deaths divided by either 30 or 32 days depending on which day is used as a starting point; the Defense Department figures were not updated each day at the end of May.)According to the Department of Defense's web site, from the transfer of sovereignty on June 28 through July 21, there were 32 Americans killed in action in Iraq. During this period of 23 days the rate of casualties was 1.39 deaths per day (32 deaths divided by 23 days.)

This does not represent a huge difference, but still, the casualty rate, at least as measured by KIA, has come down a bit since the handover and has come down very substantially compared to earlier months. While Mr. Stevenson noted he could understand why readers might object to an implication that there had been a complete turnaround he did not see anything incorrect regarding the statement. We noted reader concerns to a senior editor in charge of following up on corrections who agreed that there was nothing to correct.

In addition, I noted several readers' concerns to Mr. Okrent who reviewed this issue and he noted that this is an example of an article which would have benefited from an explanation of how the numbers behind this statement were arrived at. However he saw nothing which merited a correction. Thank you for writing. I hope this helps answer your concern.
Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor

My Second "I don't buy it" Email:
At 01:37 AM 7/24/2004, you wrote:

I think it is dubious, at least uncalled for, how the author chose to divide the days up in an arbitrary way that shows a statistically insignificant decrease in attacks. Where as a more common way of dividing the fatalities up by calendar month show a slight increase since May. Neither of these divisions make enough of a statistic difference to make a statement regarding an increase or decline in average fatalities. Especially not when combined with equally inconclusive statements he gave about the economy.

Realistically, at the time this article was written, there had not been many days in July AND there had been a whole lot of deaths in May and April. Therefore, pushing the starting day of the June period into May and using some of June's lower fatality days combined with the unfinished month of July gets a false view of statistics.

Figures don’t lie but liars can figure. You can get figures to say anything; 73 percent of people know that. The real disingenuousness of the article by your author is the manipulating of a small period of time and a readjustment of dates of those periods of time to produce a minute decrease which statistically is not indicative of any real change. Either this was an intentional attempt by the author to support his manufactured story OR this is a manipulation of information by the source and the author has lifted it without much examination.

It is irresponsible to make claims about the average fatalities going up or down especially when you use this contrived outcome in combination with other equally inconclusive statements. In the future, please don’t take liberties with the future of our democracy. Be factual and objective, not merely technically accurate. And please do not try to prove political points by massaging the data.

{{go to this webpage to see the chart on Iraq Casualties that I sent to NY Times in reply}}


Dear Mr. Easton,

You may be interested in the following correction which appeared in today's New York Times.

Corrections Published: August 13, 2004 An article on July 21 about President Bush's campaign plans for the rest of the summer referred imprecisely to the trend in American military casualties in Iraq after the transfer of sovereignty there on June 28. From the transfer date to the date on which the article was written, casualties increased compared with the same length of time before the transfer; they did not show "some reduction."
(Go to Article)Thank you for raising this issue with us.
Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor


It is always good to go the extra mile. Don't accept a lukewarm excuse. Email [or write] them again and again. That a correction buried in the middle of the paper in some tiny little article will never undo the damage of the original article is NOT THE POINT! It is the pressure we exert on them to tell the truth. It is this same sort of pressure that the right wing has been putting on the media for over a decade. It's our turn to stand up and fight for what’s right!

- Jon Easton

Let's Get Started!

I don't have enough people to do a published [or even an email] newsletter. I thought, though, that I could easily [with the help of some others] keep an up to date blog on politics, news, and local events.

For those of you who don't know:

A blog is a webpage that posts can be added to as easy as typing an email. These posts can be commented on by anyone who reads the post. But posts can ONLY be made by me or people on my blog team. Contact me to join the blob team of contributors.

This is the best start we can make for now. Hope to grow bigger.

The posts here should be:

1] Comments on news stories [with links to the original story if they are online].
2] Your own news stories.
3] Important events in the area that others should know about.

Any kind of other comments should be posted to the comment section [thread] of each post.


- Jon

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