« Veterans Day | Main | You Know (Part 9) »

November 15, 2005
No... No Bias There....

Last night while flipping through the on-screen TV guide, I noticed something on a channel I've not watched before: the Discovery Times channel, a cooperative effort of the Discovery Channel and the New York Times.

Showcasing the best in journalism from The New York Times,

This bit of.... No, no, no, it's just too easy. It just wouldn't be sporting of me.

... Discovery Times introduces NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING. Working with the newspaper's award-winning journalists from around the world, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING will offer insight into some of the most important domestic and international stories in the world today.

Popular science plus shoddy journalism — finally, together in one neat package!

I wonder if Jayson Blair hosts any programs?

Back on topic... the program listing that caught my eye was "Why Intelligence Fails: Intelligence to Please," the description for which was:

Intelligence agencies receive pressure from governments to gather certain information.

Digging into the channel's website leads one to the online description of the program:

The mission of intelligence agencies is to gather information. In the United States, pressure on intelligence agencies to provide evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has become a flashpoint for political criticism.

Except, of course, we know that there was no such pressure. [Don't believe me — believe the Senate Intelligence committee. Go here, scroll down to Conclusion 83... y'know, where it says there was no pressure.] On the face of it, it looks like the Times is attempting to pass off an hour of BDS-laden historical revision as a documentary. And the media wonder why many on the right think they're a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party.

I recorded the last half of the program, and if I think my stomach can handle a production with which the NY Slimes was involved, I'll watch it later and report back.

Update, 3:15pm: I watched it, and I feel like throwing up. The only good things that can be said of the program are that it wasn't funded by my tax dollars, and that Discovery Times doesn't have many viewers at 2am.

For the first 40 minutes or so, the program documents other countries' intel failures and the disasters that followed therefrom. [Surprisingly, the NYT thinks the 1968 Soviet crushing of Czechoslovakia was a bad idea. Walter Duranty, call your office!] This is known as "the setup." The show then moved on to the Iraq war, attempting to prove that the administration pressured the CIA to arrive at its pre-war WMD conclusions.

I don't know about you, but if I'm pressured to agree with my boss, against my better judgement, I'm not going to be enthusiastic enough about it to use the expression "slam dunk."

Apart from David Kay, ADM Stansfield Turner and Frank Gaffney (the sole Bush/Cheney defender on the program), I didn't recognize any of the people interviewed for the program, but Google can be useful:

Bob Baer: former CIA agent, current CIA gadfly.

Thomas Powers: former CIA guy, author of "The Vanishing Case for War."

Karen Kwiatkowski: former USAF Lt.Colonel, LaRouche supporter, conspiracy theorist.

Ray McGovern: notable, if at all, for his claim that the Bush administration didn't merely misinterpret existing intelligence, but that it manufactured the intelligence.

Greg Thielmann: State Department analyst since the Carter administration. Notable mainly for his disagreements with (now UN Ambassador) John Bolton and for his public disagreement with the current administration.

In short, however, the entire thrust of the documentary (one which Michael Moore would no doubt have been proud to produce) was to assume that the only casus belli was WMD, and then to try to show that the Bush administration pressured the CIA into delivering the results the White House wanted with regard to Iraq's WMDs, with the inevitable conclusion from Thielmann being that the actions of the administration amounted to a "high crime."

Do you suppose those last words were carefully chosen? What do you think the people at the Times are trying to say?

Posted by Russ at 09:06 AM, November 15, 2005 in Politics

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


The worst part about these shows is that if you do not nip these opinions in the bud, they try to become fact rather than reporting the facts.

Posted by: Charles at November 20, 2005 08:11 PM