Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wall of silence 

This rather succinctly captures the wall-of-silence problem with the non-Fox mainstream media. How do you miss this story, or at least not play catch-up, unless you are actively pursuing an agenda?


By Blogger pam, at Wed Jul 07, 08:54:00 PM:

I wonder where I read the story as I am not a Fox gal... I can't remember...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 07, 08:59:00 PM:

Michelle Malkin has a hilarious little collection of new NASA logos.


By Blogger pam, at Wed Jul 07, 10:06:00 PM:

Maybe it was the Washington Post?

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Jul 07, 10:39:00 PM:

Yes, pam, Byron York mentions the WaPo blog post in the underlying link. But you don't see that if you subscribe to the paper.  

By Blogger pam, at Wed Jul 07, 10:59:00 PM:

So not right the way news is (mis)reported. I think it was either the WaPo or BBC where I saw the story initially? Or WSJ? I don't know. I am rather unfocused in my web surfing--in case you haven't figured that out.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Jul 08, 12:41:00 AM:

If ever an industry DESERVED to be going bankrupt, it is the print media.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Thu Jul 08, 03:01:00 AM:

"If ever an industry DESERVED to be going bankrupt, it is the print media."

They have been morally and intellectually bankrupt for years.  

By Blogger Noumenon, at Thu Jul 08, 03:57:00 AM:

Um, the right wing comes up with twenty stories like this to get outraged about every week. If the media reported on them just because Michelle Malkin cared about them, she'd pretty much be in charge. I'm sure there's bias involved in deciding how much ferment has to go on before they'll write a "critics are saying..." story, but... this is such a stupid, non-news story, I think the bias is doing its job correctly here.

Consider, this story could have been published during the Bush administration -- I can imagine it easily -- and would you really have wanted to bother reading about it in the paper then?  

By Blogger MTF, at Thu Jul 08, 07:23:00 AM:

That last comment is mind blowing, if I understand it correctly. Are you saying we should ignore the substance of the daily craziness emanating from Washington simply because of it's very frequency? Perhaps we should take up the violin and let the fire burn.

Of course this is an important story. If NASA changes it's mission that is newsworthy. If the leader of an important federal agency says something idiotic, or worse, attributes some surpassingly dumb statement to the President, that's newsworthy. Both together are certainly worth discussing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 08, 08:17:00 AM:

Good grief, do you any of you people read these links??? From the Fox story:

"It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim (nations)," he [NASA chief] said. He held up the International Space Station as a model, praising the contributions there from the Russians and the Chinese."

Where's the beef, guys? Coverage like this must have Reagan turning in his grave.  

By Blogger Goldwater's Ghost, at Thu Jul 08, 09:54:00 AM:

Anon, I don't think that particular part of Bolden's statement is what many on the right is objecting to, it is this:

"When I became the NASA administrator, [Obama] charged me with three things," NASA head Charles Bolden said in a recent interview with the Middle Eastern news network al-Jazeera. "One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

The first two charges seem innocuous enough; but to single out the 'Muslim world' to help bolster their eggshell-like esteems seems a bit self-serving and patronizing. Especially, coming from the head of a department created to further America's exploration of space.

And the left criticized GWB's foreign policy as arrogant...  

By Blogger MTF, at Thu Jul 08, 10:03:00 AM:

Brains have become so muddled that someone actually cannot understand why this is newsworthy? Let's try analogies: If NSA were to announce it's prime mission had become mortgage banking, or the State Department decided to take up the international distribution of roller skates, would that seem oddly, even perversely, out of touch with their real missions? Could the NASA mission description be more clearly an issue? Remember: these are words directly from the mouth of the agency head and attributed by him to the President, and the comments have been subsequently defended by the White House. This isn't some random kook from the Nation or Wapo putting this out- it's policy.

NASA is engaged in space exploration and the development of science and technolgy in support of that mission.

If NASA is perveted into an arm of faith-based pop psychology then it's mission change should be of interest even to the brain dead.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Thu Jul 08, 10:18:00 AM:

MTF, exactly. It has been decades since they were much good at space exploration - the degeneration dates from the moment when they say, "Safety is Job One." But to put them into the self-esteem business is just daft, unless you mean to have the agency disappear. Nobody, even a democrat, could argue that billions spent on NASA self-esteem-bolstering programs for Muslims are money well spent, when there are other existing agencies like the State Department competing for those dollars.

Unless you really do mean to snuff the agency, or unless you really don't believe there's any competition for dollars.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Thu Jul 08, 11:08:00 AM:

On reflection I'd say the new policy just needs a bit of tweaking to make sense to all of us. The notion of reaching out to the entire "Muslim world" is too broad and unfocused. It goes against the grain of aerospace engineers who obsess on minute details.

To give a better direction, the Obama administration should shift NASA's focus to improving the self esteem and relations with Hamas and Hezbollah. They are already renowned for their rocketry and interest in the peaceful use of space. As a starter, maybe we could add their flags to the International Space Station. If we don't help them obtain the self-respect they deserve, they're just going to continue annoying people with their rockets.


By Blogger MTF, at Thu Jul 08, 12:22:00 PM:

"It has been decades since they were much good at space exploration - the degeneration dates from the moment when they say, "Safety is Job One." "

I quite agree Simon, and I would argue a rejuvenation of NASA is going to be of great help in further development of basic science and enabling technology development. We should focus on that mission, and let the future bloom. Success in fulfilling the mission can help all of us, including those with the self-esteem issues the President is said to believe exists in the Muslim world.

Very strange stuff.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 08, 12:42:00 PM:

I got the other side of this coin. It's not the captive media hiding news that Chimpy the Kenyan's owners don't want spread, it's the captive media blaring stuff they want disseminated.
In today's news, we have constant "softening" on the spy swap. If JournoList was shut down, who is spreading the instructions to "prepare" us for swapping Russian spies and sweeping the issue (or other issues to remain hidden) from the public memory. No spies, no trial, no trial, no spreading stain.  

By Blogger Brian, at Thu Jul 08, 11:13:00 PM:

The right is having its usual problem distinguishing between liberal and mainstream media.

The liberal media has had no problem noticing the right wing outrage over doing outreach to Muslim countries:


They're just highly unimpressed.

CWCID, O'Reilly also finds it to be no problem (as do some commenters here whose political views could be conservative for all I know):


By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Jul 09, 01:10:00 AM:

"O'Reilly also finds it to be no problem"

Well that settles it of course - assuming O'Reilly is even being cited correctly. We already have an example right here on this thread of someone deliberately omitting the key quote.

"some commenters here whose political views could be conservative for all I know"

Brian, don't you ever just want to throw up over your own sophistry, welcher?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Jul 09, 01:25:00 AM:

"The right is having its usual problem distinguishing between liberal and mainstream media."

Another overgeneralization from Brian. *I* understand the difference between liberal and mainstream media.

The "liberal" media agrees with Bolden that it's jim dandy for America's space agency to have its #1 priority be to make Muslims feel good about their scientific achievements many centuries ago. So they have no problem quoting Bolden. Apparently Brian agrees with this too.

The "mainstream" media realizes that this is sheer lunacy and that if it were widely known the American public *might* begin to suspect that this administration has its head stuck so far up its ass you couldn't blow it out with dynamite. So they withhold the quote to protect BO. Aren't you glad I cleared that up for you, welsher?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 09, 07:43:00 AM:

The "mainstream" media realizes that this.... blah, blah, blah

You can keep harping on the big bad Mainstream Media as we live in some third world country without access to anything other than a state owned newspaper. You think NYT is "hiding" the real stories? Fine. Don't read it. Read the WSJ or National Review or the NY Post or the Washington Times. Or any of the millions of blogs out there. Read Tigerhawk.


By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Fri Jul 09, 10:13:00 AM:

So Tiger where have your "Weather is not climate, but...." posts about the record breaking heat temps.

Or do those posts only count if it's record breaking cold.  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Fri Jul 09, 03:27:00 PM:

Not much from Gary that needs responding, other than to point out his failure to back up his claim on "welching," all back on a previous thread.

I will agree that saying Muslim outreach is "foremost" is puffery, along with saying the NASA admin's main job is to do outreach to children, which he said in the same quote. It's harmless exaggeration though.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Fri Jul 09, 03:48:00 PM:

"You can keep harping on the big bad Mainstream Media as we live in some third world country ..."

MSM has influence -- although declining -- which is why this is important. They're supposed to be our Fact Checkers. instead, there's been a lot of conscious omissions in their coverage. Many of us are too busy or too ignorant to hear the dog that didn't bark.

Many of these omissions go to not calling out Obama on obvious bullshit. This was bad enough during the campaign, but it's glaring now that we have so many facts on the ground.

Accounting for Healthcare is but one example. Obama said it will cut the deficit -- and sold it on that basis. Congressman Ryan told Obama to his face that it "would make Bernie Madoff" proud. It's not that hard a thing to figure out that Obama was being the Great Dissembler on this, and using former CBO head Baby Daddy Orzag to game the CBO scoring. Obama's aready flipped on the Doc Fix, which alone moves Healthcare into the red.

Had WaPo or Gidget Katie or the Greek Boy Toy called out Obama on this, Healthcare wouldn't have been approved.

For all its bluster, Fox often does a bad job on the facts.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 09, 09:01:00 PM:

MSM has influence -- although declining -- which is why this is important. They're supposed to be our Fact Checkers.

Belive it or not, the definition of MSM goes far beyond the op ed pages of the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal is the MSM. So is Fox News (both run the the very conservative Rubert Murdock). The list goes on: New Republic, NRO, WeeklyStandard, NewsMax, Pittsburgh Tribune and let's not forget talk radio where all those drivebys ignored by the MSM have a voice. Twenty million voices and that just Rush Limbaugh! Eat your heart out Grey Lady.

Of course, if you don't think you're getting fair shake from any of those conservative leaning reads/listen, there's always factcheck.org. Careful though, you might not always like what they uncover.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Jul 10, 10:58:00 AM:

"the definition of MSM goes far beyond the op ed pages of the New York Times."

Yes and no.

We're an electorate roughly divided into thirds. The "right wing" sources you cite reach one of these thirds. The middle third either doesn't hear these sources or only hears them with skepticism bred from perceived partisanship.

The "leftie" third considers The Times to be gospel truth. That's why omissions matter. That's why a few months back, you'd find that residents of the Upper West Side didn't know anything about Siberian tree rings, but Rush-listening truck drivers did.

All the News (we see) Fit to Print!  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jul 11, 12:08:00 PM:

I am aghast at those in this discussion who do not think this is important news.

You probably haven't been around long enough to remember the week that we landed a man on the moon.

The entire world celebrated (except for the usual gaggle of "progressives" who thought we should have spent the money on welfare...or just staged the whole thing in a hanger).

There were crowds outside stores watching the TV's. Cheers and adulation from alll over the world. The US got credit, to be sure, but the entire world shared in the accomplishmnet.

It was a good time to be a Homo Sapiens on the planet Earth. For once, we ALL had something to celebrate, rather than mourn.

So, now, as we dismantle our capability to explore space and advance aeronautics (the two purposes of the agency) and move our collective purpose back to the level of eigth century Muslim mathmatics, when do you all think the NEXT time will come when all nations will celebrate the earth??

I suspect there will indeed be a planetary outcry in our future. I fear that it will not be joyous. I also suspect that Muslims will be involved.

Good Work, Barack Hussein Obama.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Jul 11, 02:13:00 PM:

Before the Apollo 11 landing in 1969, there was Apollo 8 in 1968.

1968 was a horrible year. I was young, but remember the details well from running my little Daily News / New York Times paper route: Khe Sanh, the Tet Offensive, LBJ's quitting, the MLK assassination, the RFK assassination, student riots everywhere, the Chicago Democratic convention, etc. etc. We nearly came unglued.

But 1968 ended on a grace note, with Apollo 8. That was the mission that first sailed around the Moon but without landing. You could say it was the first-ever true spaceflight. The crew were the first men to see an "Earthrise." They gave a Christmas broadcast reading from Genesis. It made for a great front page cover picture. Time Magazine named the crew Men of the Year


It bothers me that we're pissing on our legacy.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Jul 11, 02:52:00 PM:

While we're on the subject of moon shots, this shouldn't be forgotten: When JFK said in 1961 that we'd put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, the guys at Grumman Etc already knew how to do it. It was still a challenge in engineering execution, but not in scientific discovery. Engineers already had the blueprints and a budget. If funded, they promised to deliver and did.

(Someone here taught me this awhile back).

I raise this because Obama often alludes to JFK's moon shot speech, particularly in calling for us to embrace his vision for clean energy. Just last month -- in reacting to the Deepwater leak -- he said:

"The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. .... Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there."

On Energy, Obama has no blueprints ... no map ... no clue. Whether you believe in AGW or not, what's on offer won't work. We need only look at the experience of places like Spain to see that it won't work. It's not a moon shot ... it's a Children's Crusade.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Jul 12, 09:30:00 PM:

Heh...paraphrasing a comment I recently saw on the web:

Obama is merely a fool. He is not as dangerous as the vast confederacy of fools that placed him in power.

No blueprint, no clue? I suspect he has a very distinct plan. He will make an enormous amount of money and broker an enourmous amount of power for a few people...all at the expense of the "vast confederacy" of useful idiots that think he is something else.  

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