So, when reasonably objective professional journalists don't give you a rosy enough picture, go read biased amateurs. Sheesh. There are a lot of reasons why blogs and syndication are great, but avoiding the truth about what's going on isn't one of them.
In lighter news, I'm reading the terrific _Developing Feeds wth RSS and Atom_, it's got lots of great application ideas - there's more to RSS than meets the eye!
Remember during the 2004 election when :"60 Minutes" claimed to have revealing National Guard memos about Bush from the early 1970s? Every "objective professional journalist" on the planet seems to have swallowed their tale, hook, line and sinker. The next morning Google News had 1200 hits from around the world and none on the first few pages questioned CBS's claims.
But the very evening the show ran, an Atlanta lawyer noticed something wasn't quite right about those memos and posted his doubts to a blog. The memos didn't look like they were typed on an early 1970s era typewriter. It wasn't just that the type was proportionally spaced, it was that parts of the letter had perfectly-centered proportionally-spaced type, something virtually impossible to do by hand and not anything someone doing a 'memo to self' ever would klutz with.
Several political blogs took up the issue, most notability LittleGreenFootballs.com, and by early the next afternoon, someone had discovered that, if you open Word for Windows, leave it set to the defaults, and type the memo text, you got a memo that is identical, almost pixel for pixel to CBS's alleged early 1970s documents--line breaks, a silly superscripted th, and all.
I tried to get a technology reporter at the Seattle Times to take up the matter, but he begged off, claiming in essence, "CBS couldn't be this stupid." Poor guy! He missed the chance to break the story in the old meda. Call it stupidity, bias or whatever, CBS had pulled a real whopper. In an effort to do a hit on Bush, they'd gone contrary to their own hired experts and taken the word of a guy so weird, even the Texas Democratic party didn't want to have anything to do with him.
The better sort of blogs are having an impact on the old media. They can no longer echo one another's opinion, smugly assured that no one can offer a contrary point of view. What's "news" in America is no longer what Walter Cronkite likes when he reads the NY Times.
Things are going well in Iraq. For the first time in history an Arab Muslim state is holding free elections and more people are turning out, despite the threat of bombs, than show up for our elections. And democracy is beginning to work it's magic. Sunni Muslims have begun to realize that if they want things their way, they're going to have to join the process and work out compromises.
The news from Iraq isn't perfect, but it compares quite favorably with Western Europe three years after the end of WWII. We should forget just how close some countries, particularly France, Italy and Greece, came to going communist. Nor should we forget just how cold and hungry many Europeans would have been without the Marshall Plan.
--Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle
And those who're interested in just what it means to be a professional journalist might want to read Joseph Pulitzer's (of Pulitzer Prize fame) classic, The School of Journalism. I edited it for publication and it should be on Amazon next week.
I am going to have to rebut you here Mr. Perry. You are re-iterating talking points produced by the political machinery and not acknowledging the facts.
First, and perhaps most importantly, Iraq is on the brink of civil war. This directly contradicts your statements and obviates the specious reference to World War Two.
Second, CBS news had an excellent news team, including Edgar R. Murrow, and did not re-iterate what was printed in the New York Times.
Third, Bush avoided service in Vietnam to remain in the United States partially fulfilling his commitment to the National Guard.
Lastly, this forum is really about technology and not politics. While I am complicit in steering the conversation off-topic, I would like to take the opportunity to guide it back to more germane territory. Perhaps you can take up this discussion further on DailyKos or a blog like that.