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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Monday, July 22, 2002

Framing Bias

As Susanna remarks at cut on the bias, framing bias is "presenting facts, but couched in a way that gives an inaccurate impression, or one skewed toward a certain viewpoint". She cites an example in the NYT taken apart by Bigwig at Silflay Hraka:

.... [NYT:] The American air campaign in Afghanistan, based on a high-tech, out-of-harm's-way strategy, has produced a pattern of mistakes that have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians. On-site reviews of 11 locations where airstrikes killed as many as 400 civilians suggest that American commanders have sometimes relied on mistaken information from local Afghans. Also, the Americans' preference for airstrikes instead of riskier ground operations has cut off a way of checking the accuracy of the intelligence.
[Bigwig:] A.) I didn't realize that the Gray Lady was in favor of a ground war in Afghanistan, but apparently she was. B.) Only 400! It's proof positive that this was the single most accurate campaign in military history. 300,000 died in Dresden in World War II. 1600 died in Hanoi alone in the Vietnam war. But forget those, The Taliban killed between 3000 and 7000 people that we know of while they were in power. Dropping bombs on Afghanistan has caused a reduction in the civilian death rate! C.) That's at a minimum 3000 less casualties than this guy has, and his numbers were accepted as legitimate back in March. Want to bet he doesn't update that website anytime soon? The NYT certainly doesn't say anything about the reduction in numbers. The whole story plays up the failures, not the obvious success of the bombing....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/22/02 04:41:14 PM
Categorized as Classic.


I Beat Amy!

To blogging about Kansas' Sen. Sam Brownback joining the Catholic Church:

A Catholic Convert
After working closely with Catholics and evangelical Christians to oppose human cloning and restrict stem cell research, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), converted to Roman Catholicism in a quiet ceremony June 27 in Washington.
Brownback, a former United Methodist, often has spoken of his Christian faith in connection with issues such as abortion and the civil war in Sudan. But he declined to discuss his reasons for embracing Catholicism. "It's a personal matter," aide Erik Hotmire said.
The ceremony was performed at the Catholic Information Center by the Rev. John McCloskey, a priest who belongs to the conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei and who has helped to convert several celebrities, including former abortionist Bernard Nathanson and intellectual Robert Novak.
"I really can't say anything except that Senator Brownback is clearly a person who believes in the moral vision of the teaching of the Catholic Church on things like cloning and stem cell research," McCloskey said.
Brownback's sponsor was Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who blamed the church's sex abuse scandal partly on America's liberal culture in a July 12 article for Catholic Online (
"It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning 'private' moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm," Santorum wrote.

Somehow, a story about Sen. Brownback can't help mentioning that Fr. McCloskey is "conservative", and then turns into a piece about how Sen. Santorum blamed "liberals" for something.

(Thanks Amy. And see below.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/22/02 02:33:10 PM
Categorized as Classic.


Middle Eastern Involvement in Oklahoma City Bombing?

From an article last week by Ralph Reiland (who teaches at the university a few miles from where I am working now):

.... On the day of the bombing, a highly regarded intelligence source in Saudi Arabia told Vincent Cannistraro, then the chief of counterterrorism at the CIA, that an Iraqi terrorism team was assessing targets to attack in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles and Houston. The Saudi informant, a member of the Saudi Counterterrorism Service, stated that he had seen the target list and first on the list was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Also on the day of the bombing, Abdul Hakim, speaking from a prison cell in New York City while awaiting trial for his part in the plot to bomb five American 747 aircraft, told U.S. authorities that Ramzi Youssef's "Liberation Army" was responsible for the bombing. Youssef, an Iraqi intelligence operative, is currently serving a life sentence for masterminding the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center....

(Thanks Bryan.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/22/02 12:04:08 PM
Categorized as Classic.


The Moral Dimension

Bryan Preston, the JunkYard Blog, writes about the current corporate scandals:

.... To sum up, for eight years the American people said that the character of the man holding the highest, most powerful office in the land didn't matter. One should then assume that the character of lesser office-holders, in the private as well as public sector, should matter even less. So we're reaping what we've sown. If you think character doesn't count, don't get ticked that some CEO trashed your life savings on his way to the Caribbean--you asked for it....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/22/02 10:46:01 AM
Categorized as Classic.


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