An article which clearly illustrates the need for knowing the agenda of the sources you read to make your decisions.
[quote]Your thoughts are prohibited
Melanie Morgan, Posted: May 18, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Despite Sen. Harry Reid’s determination that the United States has lost the war in Iraq, our troops are still dug in like there’s real hope. What are these guys thinking? Do they believe America, the world’s only super power, has a real chance to beat a rag-tag group of terrorists who hide in caves and use cell-phone batteries and children’s toys in their high-tech war on the West?
If you listen to the left and their cohorts in the mainstream media, you might think we patriots who support this war on terror and our troops have given up the fight. If you do, you’re dead wrong.
Many pro-troop, pro-American and pro-defense groups are still very much alive and thriving, but the liberal media are largely ignoring our efforts. They pretend our voices don’t matter because the polls say we are in the minority. Despite their phony claims of giving voice to minority opinions, the media have turned their backs on any idea that doesn’t fit their template of this “lost” war.
As chairman of the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, Move America Forward, I have had endless opportunities to witness this basic truth. But last week an e-mail exchange with a news reporter stunned me by its blatant sabotage of the truth.
Let me re-phrase– this was evidence of the media’s decision to censor the thoughts and viewpoints of conservatives and deliberately prevent the public from hearing about an alternative point of view.
A reporter named Damien Benson, who writes for the Mirror and Guardian newspapers in the UK, recently approached my staff at Move America Forward:
[i]I am currently running an investigation into "Political extremism on both sides of the 'War on Terror,'" which will hopefully lead to a special report. … However, I have not yet been able to communicate with any group vocally supporting the war on terror. I would therefore like to request any information you could give me on your standpoint and your philosophy, a basic breakdown of your organization's functions and the reasons behind it.[/i] – Damien Benson
Due to the fact Benson was writing for publications that reach a large segment of the British public, we wanted to make it very clear that Move America Forward and many Americans strongly support the war on terror – and we are not “extremists.” We also wanted to convey how very disappointed we were with the way the Blair regime timidly handled the British sailor hostage crisis in Iran.
We wrote, in part: “It is clear that the United Kingdom and the United States are joined in the need to respond to this threat. Imagine, then, our disappointment and dismay here at Move America Forward as we witnessed the pathetic response by your once-renowned Navy and your government after Iranian military forces took 15 of your sailors hostage. To us at Move America Forward the actions of the Blair government and your military, which previously had been exemplary in displaying a commitment to the war on terrorism, were cowardly and weak.”
Benson read our comments on his government’s actions and decided that it would be best not to include our comments.
“The message was very informative although I don’t think it would be the best idea to quote your comments on the sailor’s capture – it’s an extremely delicate situation here,” Benson said.
I think Benson is confused. We are not interested in a biased left-wing reporter cherry-picking parts of our message that are in line with his liberal political beliefs. He wanted the opinion of the other side and he got it.
While we were frustrated Benson decided he was not going to include our comments about the Brits’ languid response to Iranian aggression, we weren’t prepared for just how utterly outrageous the conduct of this reporter would become.
A week later, we received the following e-mail from Benson regarding our opposition to the efforts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reid to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq:
[i]I must confess my discontent after reading this message. It seems to aim to undermine the peace progress in Iraq. Although I realise your point of view, I greatly regret that I cannot in good conscience afford the press coverage I originally intended to a group which ridicules pacifism. I obviously prefer my articles to be neutral and report both sides equally, however, even I as a born political journalist, I am uncomfortable with subjecting the public to such materials. ... On a personal note, I ask you to reconsider this campaign – I don't see how it can be anything other than detrimental to the peace process.[/i] – Damien Benson
Mr. Benson must be on crazy pills.
I could devote an entire column mocking how insanely pathetic and naïve Benson’s embrace of “pacifism” and the “peace process” in Iraq is. Apparently, Benson is trying to outflank Neville Chamberlain in the “appease-all-evil” category.
But I digress; my main point here is the issue of journalistic integrity. Benson calls himself a “born political journalist” who “prefers his articles to be neutral.” How in the world can any true journalist claim to write a neutral article and at the same time decide not to include a conservative message because he personally disagrees with it?
This isn’t the first time a reporter has said he was going to censor what views were allowed to be heard. As I wrote previously, some reporters have gone so far as to tell pro-troop organizations they are not even allowed to send them press releases.
I have a news flash for Mr. Benson and all so-called reporters like him: Your job is to get off your butt and make a concerted effort to write fair reports that truthfully investigate both sides and put your findings on paper for all to read. It’s not your job to decide what is and is not appropriate for the public to view.
As an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years experience, I find it alarming that certain reporters, their editors and others in my profession are successfully silencing one side merely because they disagree with their opinion.
In a better world, I would challenge Benson to a duel for his journalistic offense. Oh, wait! That might offend his pacifist sensibilities. We can’t have that, can we?