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Very Cool


Good for the USA Today, putting front and center the good news of re-enlistment figures.


Tags: media
by Brett Rogers, 7/18/2005 8:28:40 AM


Y'know, it occurs to me that your quest for "good news" is going to be skewed by every individuals definition of "good news". It also occurs to me that a publication known for it's pie charts and sixth grade reading level shouldn't necessarily be the last word on anything. :-)

Missed you, but it didn't take long for me to remember that reading your political posts gives me stomach monkeys... although I was glad to see you give Dubya a hard time when it comes to free speech---but can't for the life of me figure out why it would surprise you given the man's consistant lack of respect for the Constitution. As for Karl Rove,'s like the good news/bad news thing. We choose to believe the news stories that confirm our world view.

I'd blow you a kiss to let you know it's good to see new posts, but my fist is currently upraised and shaking :-) Still....welcome back to your life!



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 10:14:10 AM

Hmm... well, I didn't know that the fact of upward re-enlistment figures was to be doubted by the fact that the USA Today gave the news, but a quick scan of GoogleNews will show plenty of other sources.

And I wonder - how could this fact be considered bad news by anyone? Your comment implies that it could be... but frankly, any time that our men and women in uniform are bolstered by greater numbers of experienced men and women in uniform, unless you're China, that's gotta be good news.

As for Dubya's respect for the Constitution, can you cite examples of his "consistent lack of respect for the Constitution?"

I know of a recent Supreme Court opinion that shows an utter lack of respect for the Constitution - the Kelo case where local governments can move to use eminent domain for reason of greater taxation. I would assume that you are equally alarmed then that the left side of the court has issued an un-Constitutional decision that enables the rich to vacate the private property of the poor for their own greed. True?



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/18/2005 10:48:00 AM

You are correct, the fact that our troops are being bolstered by experience is a good thing. The fact that they NEED to be because of a war started on false pretenses and the occupation of a country we are doing no real service to anymore is the bad news.

Oh please, I was giving you a hard time about USA Today. But, if you want to take it as a paragon of good reporting, or even balanced reporting, you should also note that the story states that the high re-enlistment rates are having to make up for a significant drop in people enlisting in the first place.

Dubya proposed an AMENDMENT to ban gay marriage. Okay, maybe lack of respect is an incorrect phrase. Maybe lack of understanding would be better. The document is designed to protect rights, not take them away.

Honestly, I know nothing about the Kelo case, but if Dubya gets involved in it, maybe he'll just disregard the court and abuse his executive powers like he did with the Schiavo case.

Are we pissing each other off yet?



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 11:33:10 AM

C'mon... you ought to know that it's hard to make me mad. (I'm actually chuckling a bit...)

As you know, I completely oppose Bush on his stance on gay marriage. But where exactly is he wrong according to the Constitution to suggest an amendment? The Constitution doesn't define marriage. He's proposing a defintion. I see no Constitutional problem with making the proposal. A lack of respect for the Constitution would invoke such a ban without an amendment or the apporval of Congress.

You know, I don't believe that I've ever told you that you were wrong... I've disagreed, sure, but I've never said that you were wrong. But you are utterly wrong to suggest that we're doing no real service to the citizens of Iraq. Goodness, where to start... the new de-salinization plant. The Iraqi defense forces training. Electricity, etc... wow, the list goes on. But I understand that you may not know those things because of your sources for news, like, you know, newspapers or NPR. They just don't report that stuff. Unfortunate, but true.

But hey - it's a Monday, and back to my original point, what a great bit of news to hear that troops are extending their service. As I said, very cool. I love good news.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/18/2005 12:10:32 PM

Yeah, I hear after what is it now, 3 years, people have electricity for 2 or three whole hours a day.

An exclusionary definition is a ban, which goes against everything the Constitution is about. And y'know what...I'll go back to my original wording. It is a lack of respect. Dubya has backed 7 different amendments ranging from flag burning to displaying the ten commandments to overturning Roe v. Wade....backed in word, not deed, granted, but the very fact that he attributes such power to his issues that he even contemplates amending a document as serious as the Constitution is a display of his arrogance. There have been something like 10,000 suggestions for amendments since 1789. And how many have we got? 27? He takes the whole concept of the amendment too lightly for my comfort. Or his ego too seriously.

I don't really care if you think I'm wrong. I think you are on this front most of the time. :-) Your opinion of me is none of my business. But, I still like you.

So....perhaps I should believe only the government when it comes to news? That's just creepy.



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 12:47:44 PM

News from the government? Not a chance. Don't trust it.

I rely on this regular summary of good news from Iraq from the Wall Street Journal, compiled from various news sources worldwide by an Australian named Arthur Chrenkoff. Couldn't other stateside newspapers do this too? Sure, but they have no interest due to their slant on the news.

As for my opinion of your opinion, it's not personal, Bella. It's a simple disagreement and assertion of facts and sources.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/18/2005 1:21:11 PM

LOL! As personal as opinions are, I know the thinking I'm wrong thing isn't. Relax. It's fine.

But isn't the summary of good news propaganda in it's own right? Doesn't the Wall Street Journal have an agenda all it's own? We can't berate one and then tout another.

It's a moot point. All media outlets have an agenda. That's why it's our job as good citizens to pay attention, and both sides, unfortunately, are always going to think the other is biased. As a country, and actually, as a planet, we are a house divided. Case in point, I think Dubya is responsible for making that worse over the years. You don't.

It's also way beyond the point of your original post, and for that I apologize because I kind of started it, didn't I? :-)



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 1:45:33 PM

A friend of mine recently gave me a good definition of propaganda.

Back in the days of the Cold War, the Russians and Americans were in a race of some sort, and the Americans beat the Russians. In Pravda the next day was this headline:

"Russia Finishes in 2nd Place; America Finishes 2nd to Last"

Propaganda is spin, in other words.

I fail to see how good news, if accurately reported, is spin. All I want here is some balance. The daily drumbeat of suicide bombings and other negative news from the main stream press is fact and I don't mind the facts being reported. Facts are facts - give 'em air. I'm a big boy, I can take the facts. So can the rest of America.

The bias of the press is never so much in their reporting of indisputable facts as their selection of which facts to report. To its credit, the Journal publishes the bad news of Iraq as well. Balance. Both the good news and the bad news are facts. But it's rare to hear of the positive getting any airtime in the media at all. Troops and troop families notice this lapse constantly. The letters from those actually there (and re-enlisting for extended tours) see a lot of good in what they do and they see the thankfulness of the Iraqis as these good things get accomplished.

But why do these things not merit any mention in the press? That oversight is certainly negligent and at worst deceiptful.

Part of the reason, I think that recruitment is down is partially due to the negativity in America's press corps. But stop and think for a moment - if things were so bad (a la Vietnam), wouldn't the troops there be quite excited to leave? I mean, for a moment, just consider that maybe, just maybe the bad news is far overreported and the good far underreported and that those chooing to stay for extended tours are staying because of the good that they are doing and it's giving meaning to their lives. And if so, then why the lopsided picture? What's wrong with just giving a balance of facts?

If it's because the media has an agenda, then no problem, they can do what they like - but I'll shed no tears at their decreasing readership. They're making their own bed because they're choosing to view the world through a keyhole instead of simply bringing the facts to lights.

So today I saw that headline on the USA Today and thought I'd give the paper an "attaboy!" for reporting good news. A great way to start my Monday :)

Woo hoo!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/18/2005 2:04:41 PM

So much to say...yet soooooo off topic. SO I'll go back to work now. :-)



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 2:43:52 PM

...and if we need good news, I got your good news right here. :-)



Posted by Bella, 7/18/2005 3:54:55 PM

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