Lying Media Bastards

November 4, 2005

Vaccuum


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Actual headline on CNN.com right now:

Bush supports human rights at summit

Anyone with a passing acquaintance with George W. Bush knows that his support for human rights ranks up there with his support for proper grammar.

True, right there in the opening paragraph, we have a quote from Bush saying that

President Bush told reporters that he viewed his participation as an “opportunity to positively affirm our belief in democracy and human rights and human dignity.”

Most journalists though would at least have the sense to put part of that in quotes in the headline, “Bush Attends Summit to ‘Support Human Rights’” or something like that. Although it’s maddening that we don’t live in a world where reporters ignore what politicians say and focus on what they do. I mean, a Congressman can say absolutely anything. That’s not news, really.

Even worse, that headline doesn’t match the rest of the story. The first paragraph has that nonsense quote from Bush. Then there’s a few paragraphs about Argentinian protesters outside the summit. Then a few paragraphs about future IMF involvement in the Argentinian economy. Then a few paragraphs about the structure of the summit meeting and potential conflicts. Then a few about tension between Bush and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Then a few about Bush’s push for a new “free trade” treaty. “Bush supports human rights at summit” is a completely unrepresentative title for this piece. It should clearly be called something like “Bush talks economics, trade at Latin American summit”.

Personally, I think the article should have focused on the potential outcomes of the conference, the likelihood of those outcomes, the effects on those outcomes, public opinion of those outcomes and effects, and the public outcry against Bush.

Which is maybe why I’m not a reporter.

Posted by Jake on November 4, 2005 8:55 am

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